One Big Thing: Do you think the U.S. should support Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists?
Join us and take our poll!
What is it?
- In May 2020, the Hong Kong protests will reach their one-year anniversary as demonstrators continue to fight for governmental accountability, freedom from tyranny and democratic norms.
- On Saturday, April 18, 15 pro-democracy activists and former lawmakers were arrested in connection to the protests signaling a broader crackdown – despite the danger posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the movement began last year, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have been arrested by pro-Beijing security forces.
Why is it important?
- Among the arrested pro-democracy leaders was Figo Chan, the Vice-convener of the Civil Human Rights Front in Hong Kong and recipient of the 2019 John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service. His arrest, among others, demonstrates how China is trying to exert greater influence over Hong Kong, despite the “one country, two systems” agreement in place since 1997 when Hong Kong rejoined China as a special administrative region.
- The high-level arrests of pro-democracy leaders is a tactic that is commonly employed in mainland China, but is atypical in Hong Kong whose independent legal system provides greater protections for civil rights.
- Secretary Pompeo condemned the arrests and affirmed that Hong Kong should continue to enjoy transparency, the rule of law, democratic self- autonomy.
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