Sun, Jul 06, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Half-million person march fruitless

By the Liberty Times editorial

Tuesday was the sixth anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) attended a ceremony in honor of the event. Later in the day there was the biggest protest against Beijing since the Tiananmen Square Incident in 1989. The number of Hong Kong residents who participated in the protest exceeded 500,000. The truth of the matter is, as a result of the reporting and broadcasting of the event by the news media, the number of individuals who indirectly participated and voiced support for the appeals of the protest can't be less than several million.

It may seem that the protest by the people of Hong Kong against the Beijing regime is no business of the people of Taiwan. However, the chairmen of both the KMT and PFP endorse the "one China" roof theory and use the "one China" principle, which they claim is part of the so-called 1992 consensus reached between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, as the major theme of their China policy for next year's presidential campaign. Once they are elected, it could define the country's China policy.

One cannot help but feel deeply concerned and worried about the possibility of this happening. A reminder hereby must also be given to everybody that it has been proven that the "one country with two systems" can only lead to "one country with one totalitarianism." "One country with two systems" was nothing but a piece of bait to lure Hong Kong into "gradual unified governance."

The main appeal of the protest was to oppose the expected passage of the national security bill, or the so-called "anti-subversion law," based on Article 23 of the Basic Law, which states that "The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies."

In the soon-to-be-enacted law, the territory's government makes the following unlawful: treason, subversion, secession, sedition, seditious publication, unlawful disclosure and organizations endangering national security.

According to this new law, the Hong Kong chapters or branches of the groups, political organizations, and religious organizations banned in China will also be banned in Hong Kong. As long as the Hong Kong Secretary of Security Office considers any organizations or groups as intending to commit treason, subversion or secession, it may ban the groups' activities altogether.

Even more preposterous is that the law even includes clauses on closed hearings and secret trials, stating that when a court tries a group, it may order that members of the general public be excluded. The definitions of the so-called "unlawful disclosure" and seditious publication are also very ambiguous. Under an ambiguously defined yet very restrictive law, not only will the freedom of speech become a red herring, but also the scope of permissible speech will be entirely up to the government's discretion. Under the circumstances, no wonder the bill has become a cause of grave concern for both the international community and the Hong Kong media.

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