Police suspend 4-person protest as HK celebrates National Day
Hong Kong police yesterday interrupted a four-person democracy demonstration on China’s National Day amid a growing crackdown on free speech and opposition policies in the territory.
Singing and carrying a sign calling for the release of Hong Kong people arrested in the crackdown and chanting pro-democracy slogans, the four members of the opposition League of Social Democrats tried to march to the port’s convention center where an official celebration was taking place. tenuous.
Dozens of officers, part of a massive police presence deployed to avoid disruption, surrounded them and kept them out of sight and earshot of officials attending a flag-raising ceremony.
“I think Hong Kong is now the only place in China where diverse opinions are allowed,” party chairman Chan Po-ying (陳寶瑩) told reporters.
“Even under such pressure, we still have to cling to our most basic civil rights, namely freedom of speech and assembly,” Chan said.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong Managing Director Carrie Lam (林 鄭月娥) presided over a flag raising ceremony attended by Hong Kong and Chinese officials who sang China’s national anthem while helicopters emblazoned with the Chinese national flag passed overhead.
In remarks at a reception that followed, Lam praised Beijing’s support for Hong Kong’s economy, the stabilizing effects of the National Security Law, and the “improved electoral system,” while appearing defiant of Hong Kong’s economy. the United States and other critics.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry report last month listing what it described as US political interference in Hong Kong showed that “despite a plethora of slanderous and defamatory comments made by foreign politicians and some Western media, the forces Hong Kong’s inherent elements remain intact, ”Lam said. in his address.
In mainland China, huge crowds have gathered to witness flag-raising ceremonies in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and in cities across the country.
This year marks the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party, adding to the scale and luxury of the celebrations.
Yesterday marked the start of a week of national holiday.
Despite heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent a congratulatory message.
“As the United States seeks to work cooperatively to resolve the challenges we all face, we wish the people of the PRC peace, happiness and prosperity in the coming year,” the post said, referring to to the People’s Republic of China.
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