It didn’t take long for the new national security law, which was passed by China on June 30, to be enacted for arrests of more than 300 protesters in Hong Kong. Minutes after it was official, several pro-democracy activists quit. It came into effect 23 years after Hong Kong returned to China, as the Communist party kicks off its 100th year.
It’s been one year since the current wave of pro-democracy protests started in Hong Kong, and it was marked with flash mobs, a week after a Tiananmen Square anniversary vigil successfully defied a police ban. And while Hong Kong’s last British leader calls China’s agenda for it “Orwellian,” further preparations appear to be well underway.
While the public commemorations in Hong Kong of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing were technically restricted due to COVID-19 congregation regulations, China’s planned security laws threaten the future of the annual event. Residents have been asked to light candles instead, and share their thoughts online.
After a few days without new coronavirus cases in Beijing, reports of office work returning to normal in the capital city offset the fears sinking in elsewhere on the planet. Wuhan-based industries were also green-lit to resume operations, following a visit to the virus epicentre by Chinese leader Xi Jinping
VICE compiled a review of reported incidents of China probing social media for posts about the outbreak of COVID-19, and then tracking down dissenters. Expert observers note how more of it came after president Xi Jinping’s first public comments on the coronavirus on January 20. The effects have seemingly spread to news outlets.