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Numerous books have been pulled from the shelves of libraries in Hong Kong after the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) new Hong Kong security law went into effect last week.
“Books written by prominent Hong Kong democracy activists have started to disappear from the city’s libraries, online records show, days after Beijing imposed a draconian national security law on the finance hub,” Voice of America reported. “Among the authors whose titles are no longer available are Joshua Wong, one of the city’s most prominent young activists, and Tanya Chan, a well-known pro-democracy lawmaker.”
Experts and activists say that the removal of the books increases concerns that the Chinese Communist Party will use the new law to censor political statements that dissent from the oppressive political party, which has been responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of its own citizens since its inception.
The new security law “criminalizes four categories of crimes, including secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign or external forces to endanger national security,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “In contrast to mainland China, Hong Kong historically has had robust protections on free speech, and the city has been a haven for publishers and journalists. However, episodes such as the disappearance of several booksellers who sold titles in Hong Kong critical of China’s leaders have heightened anxieties that China is trying to import its style of social control into the city.”
Two of the books that were removed were written by activist Josh Wong, who responded by writing on Twitter: “Less than a week after #NationalSecurityLaw has been put in place, #Hongkong’s public libraries started to put books under review and suspend them from lending, including two of mine published in 2013 and 2015.”
Less than a week after #NationalSecurityLaw has been put in place, #Hongkong's public libraries started to put books under review and suspend them from lending, including two of mine published in 2013 and 2015. pic.twitter.com/Dbuj62rEfj
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 😷 (@joshuawongcf) July 4, 2020
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to the new moves by Beijing, writing on Twitter: “With the ink barely dry on the draconian National Security Law, HK authorities are now removing books from libraries, banning political slogans, and requiring censorship in schools. The U.S. condemns these Orwellian assaults on the rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people.”
With the ink barely dry on the draconian National Security Law, HK authorities are now removing books from libraries, banning political slogans, and requiring censorship in schools. The U.S. condemns these Orwellian assaults on the rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 7, 2020
China expert Gordon Chang told Fox News on Sunday that China’s new security law appeared to give “China the ability to imprison anybody that it wants.”
“And, indeed, you don’t even have to go to Hong Kong to be at risk, because Hong Kong and China have extradition treaties with other countries,” Gordon said. “And Article 38 of this law says that any comment, any statement on foreign soil by a foreigner is a violation of the national security law if it advocates succession, terrorism, collusion, sedition, all the rest of it. ”
“China is saying that it not only demands the total obedience of people in China. It demands the total obedience of people in Hong Kong,” Chang added. “China demands total obedience from everybody else in the world. It can’t enforce that right now, but that really is the message.”