As China airs CCP propaganda in Hong Kong, millions are added to the authoritarian regime's victim lists, joining notable CCP critic and exiled dissident (aka Miles Kwok)
In the quarter of a century since the UK officially transferred its sovereignty of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which celebrated its 100th anniversary earlier this year, has increasingly flexed its muscles to fully integrate the administrative region with the mainland.
While there has been resistance along the way, as we saw with the protests throughout 2019 and early 2020, the fight reached its pinnacle in the past month, as the CCP's historic clampdown on Hong Kong expands into the administrative region's media channels. Pushing out CCP propaganda, this latest decision by the authoritarian party follows just months after Beijing's announcement of new electoral reforms in Hong Kong. As the CCP continues to implement laws, increasingly inhibiting and infringing on civil liberties, the people of Hong Kong are fast becoming another oppressed minority, nothing more than pawns lost to the dark shadow of the communist party.
Earlier this month, TV31 of Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) announced its partnership with China Central Television (CCT), a Chinese media channel controlled and influenced by the CCP. CCT will produce programmes celebrating the CCP's centenary and highlighting the best of China's national identity. These programmes replaced current affairs shows published and created by RTHK for their local audience of Hong Kong natives and expats, in what can only be described as a blatant example of CCP propaganda.
Among others, RTHK's drastic change in programming was possible due to the works of Hong Kong-based CCP supporters, such as Carrie Lam.
Ms Lam, Hong Kong's chief executive, is aloud and proud advocate of the CCP.In the past year, she has voiced her support of CCP initiatives, including its new election rules, which will drastically reform the government and diminish the independent sovereignty of Hong Kong. Pushing to end "subversion" and allow only "patriots" to run the region, The Times notes these new election rules "will effectively block any pro-democracy candidate from standing for parliament, and potential MPs will be vetted in an election committee stacked with pro-Beijing members."
When asked about the proposal, Lam thanked the mainland government for "solving a problem for Hong Kong."She has made clear she will fully enforce the law at the earliest.
Lam additionally voiced her support of RTHK's recent actions, telling South China Morning Post that the new programmes would "offer a crucial opportunity to let Hong Kong people have a comprehensive and thorough understanding of the struggle and development of the Communist Party of China and nurture a stronger sense of patriotism."
Lam is not the only CCP advocate in Hong Kong. Wang Songmiao, the Secretary-General Liaison between the Central Government and Hong Kong, stated the CCT programmes airing on RTHK will inspire Hong Kong compatriots to identify with the CCP and develop of sense of belonging and national pride. Wang claims"Hong Kong is China's Hong Kong, and the Communist Party is the ruling party of China."
However, hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens would disagree.
In 2019, violent protests took place throughout the city state on a scale previously unseen, causing months of civil unrest, and curfews, long before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Initially starting as a stand against an extradition law launched by the CCP between Hong Kong and China, the movement grew, with protestors advocating for greater democracy and political independence for Hong Kong, pulling away from the constraints of the mainland.
The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) played a prominent role in these protests, routinely organising crowds of individuals for peaceful protest in the streets. Other civil society groups rallied together, voicing their disagreement with and condemnation of the CCP policies. Over a million people marched in the protests, representing a significant proportion of Hong Kong's population in support of democratic freedom.
In typical CCP fashion, the party's response to these protests was to impose even more restrictions on the people of Hong Kong. On June 30th, 2020, following the aftermath of the massive protests, the CCP launched the National Security Law criminalizing any acts of dissent against the mainland government.
Since the implementation of this oppressive law, prominent members of the CHRF have been imprisoned, alongside hundreds of other citizens. In fear of these policies, and the heavy handed response from the government, more than30 civil society groups have disbanded in the past year.
This past Sunday, the CHRF became another of these statistics, announcing it was disbanding due to China's increasing clampdown against Hong Kong. In a statement, the CHRF wrote"member groups have been suppressed, and civil society has faced unprecedented severe challenges."As victims of an authoritarian regime, the CHRF has been forced into inaction.
However, for now, there are still glimmers of hope, as other pro-democracy groups including the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China and the pro-democracy Confederation of Trade Unions are still going strong. As their partners in arms before them, they now find themselves the latest targets for the CCP, which has labelled them as threats to public security.
Exiled Chinese dissident Guo Wengui, also known as Miles Kwok, is an avid supporter of these pro-democracy groups. Known for his criticism of the CCP, Guo argues for immediate action against the oppressive regime in order to protect democracy in Greater China. As a previous resident of Hong Kong, Guo applauds the protests against the mainland government, acknowledging that they are possible due to the work of civil society groups, such as CHRF. Upon hearing of CHRF disbanding, Guo is "devastated" but encourages others to continue to fight against the CCP. Currently living in the United States, Guo is educating others on the tyrannous efforts of the party.
As the CCP continues to impose authoritarian rule outside of its own borders, opponents need to capitalise on its fear; publicly holding the CCP accountable for their actions by its own people, striking the party at its core. As organizations and individuals alike stand up for their rights, the media needs to continue to shine a spotlight on these draconi and developments. If not, the government's clampdown on Hong Kong will only worsen, allowing the CCP to continue to spread its dark shadow across the world unchecked.