Leader opposing Hong Kong fled after government warnings, 'revolution' is now illegal



The impact of China's new security law on Hong Kong is still unfolding, as officials chanted a popular protest movement and fled the city instead of facing at least one prominent activist.


Former legislator and 2014 Umbrella Movement Leader Nathan Law said late Thursday that he was leaving Hong Kong shortly after the video link to the US Link Congress panel. Law said he is aware of legislation that prohibits lawmakers in Washington from "colluding" with foreign powers.

"The options I have are formidable: stay silent so far or engage in private diplomacy so that the world can be warned of the danger of China's expansion of power," he said. "I decided when I agreed to testify before the US Congress."

Following evidence of the law, the House unanimously approved new regulations on Hong Kong and Chinese authorities for security laws, a move quickly followed by the Senate.

The Hong Kong Autonomy Act imposes restrictions on businesses and individuals assisting China to restrict Hong Kong's autonomy. Before it goes into effect it will go to US President Donald Trump for his signature.

On Wednesday, Hong Kong's top official, chief executive Carrie Lam, insisted on foreign critics of the law, saying it was "an important step to end the chaos and violence that has been going on in the city for the past several months."

"National security law is a very important development since the relationship between China and Hong Kong's special administrative region was achieved," he said.

Hong Kong pride
Law concludes his statement with the slogan "Glory to Hong Kong" in reference to a protest song, often sung at demonstrations and parades, but may soon be considered illegal.

The song's reference is "Revolution of our time, liberating Hong Kong". Graffiti is also the antithesis of posters, t-shirts and political advertising, which is one of the most popular slogans of protests that began last year. The government said Thursday that the new law could be used as a charge of treason.

"The slogan 'liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our time' now supports 'independence of Hong Kong', or change the legal status of HKSAR, or suppress state authority, by changing the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) from the People's Republic of China," "Disables other activities and activities that endanger state power and national security," a spokesman said.

On July 1, all 10 people arrested during the protests were concerned about promoting Hong Kong's independence, asking people to show up with flags, slogans or with pro-separatist items in their bags

One of those arrested has now been granted bail until July, police said. He faces charges of inciting or insulting others for secularism or vandalism, which could lead to a five-year prison sentence.

Cooling effect
It is very unclear how the new security law will be implemented, and it is likely that most people will politely abandon their own behavior and avoid actions that could set foot on the new invisible red lines.

Many shops and restaurants that strongly support the protest movement have seen posters and slogans being removed from their walls for fear of prosecution. People were scrutinizing their social media and dismissing WhatsApp chats, and journalists began to protest fiercely from sources about the law talking on the record.

Speaking at a protest on July 1, a woman who refused to name her said, "It's hard to censor yourself when something like this happens."

"I think a lot of people are more careful about what they say."

One thing he said was how Hongkongers use the Internet, and he plans to use VPNs and secure apps more frequently. Samuel Woodhams, a researcher at London-based Top 10 VPN, said in an email that VPN demand rose 321% on June 30, compared to the average daily average for the rest of the month.

Speaking to local media this week, Leno Yip Yuk-fa, president of the Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Association, said that companies now have no choice but to assist the police if they seek national security.

"When it comes to fear, speech is the first thing to go back to," said Matt Zhang, founder of Matters, a censorship publishing platform this week. "Over the past few days, people have swallowed what they wanted to say. They thought the law was terrible. And after the law was made public, people generally felt worse than they had imagined. We can say no words. "

Tom Yiu-Chung, the only Hong Kong member of China's National People's Congress Standing Committee, has drafted security legislation "not to use crime or fear or other forms of chaos and unrest in society."

However, he said the fears about the law are high and that people are not forced to live their lives for it, and that more "education" is needed about the new regulations.

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