Daily Memo: One Country, One System?

Beijing passed the controversial security law that tightens its grip over Hong Kong.

“One country, two systems” circles the drain. On Tuesday, China’s National People’s Congress voted unanimously to pass the contentious new Hong Kong national security legislation. President Xi Jinping reportedly signed the bill, which has still not been made public but is expected to be written in a way that would effectively outlaw pro-democracy protests and anti-Communist Party media, into law shortly thereafter. This comes two days after Hong Kong police detained at least 53 people — some of them reportedly bystanders — at a rally opposing the law, and a day before Hong Kong’s annual July 1 mass pro-democracy march (which Hong Kong police have banned, conveniently on the grounds of COVID-19). The pro-democracy community in Hong Kong is understandably freaking out. For example, Demosisto, a prominent advocacy group behind some of the past year’s protests, announced that it would disband. Several other civil society groups have announced similar moves. Activists are also reportedly scrambling to delete social media posts that could prove incriminating. This speaks to a core goal of the law: to get Hong Kongers to start censoring themselves and think twice before criticizing the Chinese Communist Party, effectively allowing Beijing to stifle dissent without having to take […]

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