The Chinese Communist Party continues on its mission to crush democracy advocates in Hong Kong who have been bravely contesting the CCP’s effort to turn Hong Kong into a dictatorship run from Beijing.
In one of the latest blows orchestrated by the Chinese government, a court sentenced three young leaders of Hong Kong’s democracy movement to prison.
Joshua Wong, at 24 years old, is already a veteran advocate for political and human rights in Hong Kong. He was a student leader of the 2014 “Umbrella Revolution” and is among the founders of the now disbanded political party Demosisto. On December 2, Mr. Wong was sentenced to thirteen and a half months in prison for his involvement in a 2019 protest outside of police headquarters. Two other prominent members of the party, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam were also sentenced – Ms. Chow to ten months; and Mr. Lam to seven.
The three leaders are among the 10,000 demonstrators that have been arrested in Hong Kong since June 2019. The arrests, which include that of media mogul and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai, occurred as the Chinese government continues to choke off Hong Kong’s autonomy and deprive its citizens of fundamental freedoms, in flagrant violation of China’s international commitments.
“The United States is appalled by the Hong Kong government’s political persecution of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy advocates,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote in a statement. “The use of courts to silence peaceful dissent is a hallmark of authoritarian regimes and underscores once again that the Chinese Communist Party’s greatest fear is the free speech and free thinking of its own people.”
“Hong Kong,” Mr. Pompeo said, “historically benefitted from a free and open system that celebrated the peaceful advocacy of citizens like Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, Ivan Lam, and Jimmy Lai. Hong Kong’s people should be free to exercise the rights guaranteed to them under the Basic Law; the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-registered treaty; and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
“The United States,” Secretary Pompeo declared, “will continue to work with our allies and partners around the world to champion the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and all those who suffer under the [Chinese Communist Party's] repressive rule. We stand with Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, Ivan Lam, Jimmy Lai, the people of Hong Kong, and all the people of China.”