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Thread: Hong Kong protests

  1. #61

  2. #62
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    Shoulda seen this coming...

    #BoycottMulan Trends Again After Donnie Yen Celebrates Hong Kong’s Return to ‘Motherland’
    Donnie Yen

    Martial arts star Donnie Yen recently celebrated Hong Kong’s handover to China, sparking heavy criticism from fans and renewed calls to #BoycottMulan.



    Pro-Beijing post: Yen, who plays Commander Tung in Disney’s upcoming live-action Mulan remake, becomes the film’s second cast member along with lead Liu Yifei to spark backlash from fans.

    On July 1, Yen took to Facebook to mark Hong Kong’s handover day, which commemorates the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China in 1997 and the eventual establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
    “Today is the celebration day for Hong Kong returned to motherland China 23 years [sic],” the Chinese-born actor wrote.
    He also fondly remembered performing for Chinese President and Communist Party Chairman Xi Jinping back in 2017, calling it a “memorable night.”
    In Hong Kong, the anniversary of the July 1 handover is celebrated as the Establishment Day and marked with “fireworks displays, live music, and dragon dances,” according to Public Holidays HK.
    It has also become the platform for political movements demanding universal suffrage.
    Yen is now being criticized in Hong Kong for his opinion of Xi Jinping amid Beijing’s recent imposition of the controversial national security law.
    The new law, which many views as a threat to civil liberties, has since sparked a new round of pro-democracy protests in the city.
    This article has a bunch of tweets after the it. Follow the link if you're interested.

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  3. #63
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    Golden Empire

    Jul 7, 2020 12:10pm PT
    Donnie Yen Lauds Hong Kong’s Return to China as He Starts New Films ‘Sleeping Dogs,’ ‘Golden Empire’
    By Rebecca Davis


    Courtesy of Disney

    Hong Kong “Mulan” star Donnie Yen this week reiterated his political loyalty to mainland China as he teased work on the upcoming theatrical adaptation of popular video game “Sleeping Dogs” and announced “Golden Empire,” a new China-backed crime thriller.

    His hometown is currently roiling under the impact of a controversial new national security law imposed by Beijing that strips Hong Kong of many of its former freedoms, which came into effect July 1 — the anniversary of Britain’s handover of the territory to China. Ten people protesting its stipulations were arrested within 24 hours of its enactment, including a 15-year-old girl.

    The same day, however, the “Ip Man” star feted by posting a celebratory message complete with champagne bottle emoji to his Chinese and western social media accounts. Under a video montage of himself tickling the ivories and shaking hands with Chinese president Xi Jinping, he reminisced: “Recalling such memorable night [sic] in 2017 where I had the privilege to performed [sic] with piano Mastro [sic] Lang Lang for Chairman Xi and wife along with several hundred guests who came to watch the show and celebrated the night!”

    Comments on his Instagram version of the post have been “limited,” and show only positive feedback. But on his official Facebook account, the post was met with more teeth by fans baffled by his “celebration” of what many have deemed a devastating occasion.

    “He probably has 100 million reasons. But indeed tragic seeing such [a] talented person like Donnie fighting for the people on set but unable to do the same in real life,” wrote one commenter.

    Yen himself responded directly, writing in English: “I am fighting for the Chinese people, which indeed for the longest time, [have] been undermined and disrespected, but worst abused.”

    Yen is best known in the west for his turn in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” and plays Mulan’s mentor Commander Tung in Disney’s upcoming live-action version of “Mulan.”

    But staying in Beijing’s good books is likely key for Yen, 56, who these days is one of Asia’s most bankable stars thanks to the China market.

    Last December’s “Ip Man 4” grossed $165 million in China, but just $3.7 million in Hong Kong (and $4 million stateside), making the mainland far and away Yen’s most lucrative fanbase.

    He also recently starred in “Enter the Fat Dragon,” a comedy backed by China’s Bona Film Group that cancelled its planned Feb. 16 theatrical release because of the coronavirus and moved directly to streaming.

    His next project appears to be “Sleeping Dog,” an action movie adaptation of the popular 2012 video game of the same name developed by United Front Games and published by Square Enix.

    Yen confirmed his participation in the film over the weekend, posting a video of himself busting a few warm-up moves at the gym and writing that he is “aiming to make another breakthrough movie.” He will star as main character Wei Shen, an undercover police officer who infiltrates the Hong Kong triads. “I am excited to start preparing for the next challenge,” he said.

    First announced in 2017, the project will be produced by Neal Moritz’s Original Film (“Fast and Furious”) and DJ2 Entertainment and is listed as currently in pre-production, though neither company replied to Variety’s request for comment by press time.

    Yen will also star in and co-produce a new crime thriller called “Golden Empire,” about a drug lord wanted by authorities in both the U.S. and Mexico. It will be backed by China’s Starlight Media and SA Inc., with Starlight’s CEO Peter Luo also producing.
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  4. #64
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    Jimmy Lai

    WORLD
    Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested, top aide says
    The democracy activist was detained under a new national security law that punishes what China considers subversion, secession and collusion with foreign forces.



    Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai in a July interview.Vincent Yu / AP
    Aug. 9, 2020, 6:35 PM PDT / Updated Aug. 9, 2020, 6:39 PM PDT
    By Reuters

    HONG KONG — Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been arrested over suspected collusion with foreign forces under the new national security law, his top aide said on Twitter, in what is the highest-profile arrest yet under the legislation.

    Lai has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing, which imposed the sweeping new law on Hong Kong on June 30, drawing condemnation from Western countries.

    The new security law punishes anything China considers subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.

    Critics say it crushes freedoms in the semiautonomous city, while supporters say it will bring stability after prolonged pro-democracy protests last year.

    "Jimmy Lai is being arrested for collusion with foreign powers at this time," Mark Simon, a senior executive at Lai's media company Next Digital , which publishes local tabloid Apple Daily, said early on Monday.

    Police did not immediately comment.

    Lai was also arrested this year on illegal assembly charges, along with other leading activists, relating to protests last year.

    In an interview with Reuters in May, Lai pledged to stay in Hong Kong and continue to fight for democracy even though he expected to be one of the targets of the new legislation.
    This does not bode well...

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  5. #65
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    Jc & hk

    Here’s Why Jackie Chan Is Really Unpopular in Hong Kong
    One of Hong Kong's most famous exports has provoked the ire of the pro-democracy movement.
    By Heather Chen
    August 19, 2020, 5:25am


    JACKIE CHAN ACCEPTS THE ALBERT R. BROCCOLI BRITANNIA AWARD FOR WORLDWIDE CONTRIBUTION TO ENTERTAINMENT ONSTAGE DURING THE 2019 BRITISH ACADEMY BRITANNIA AWARDS PRESENTED BY AMERICAN AIRLINES AND JAGUAR LAND ROVER AT THE BEVERLY HILTON HOTEL ON OCTOBER 25, 2019 IN BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA. PHOTO: KEVIN WINTER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

    To the Western world, Jackie Chan is a martial arts hero and popular action film star. But in his birthplace of Hong Kong, Chan is deeply unpopular, particularly among the city’s pro-democracy movement.

    “The West lauds Jackie Chan but they don’t understand him,” a popular Twitter account called Hong Kong World City that supports the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement told VICE News. “He isn’t this wholesome mascot that he makes himself out to be.”

    Known in the cinematic world for his acrobatic fighting style and slapstick comedy, Chan—who also goes by his Chinese name Cheng Long—is easily one of Asia’s most recognizable and influential stars. He started out as a stuntman in the 1970s and worked his way to the top, rising to international superstardom after appearing alongside comedian Chris Tucker in the hit action-comedy franchise Rush Hour.

    Chan has appeared in more than 200 films and shows to date and remains one of Hong Kong’s biggest names in the entertainment industry—with an estimated net worth of $400 million.

    But Chan’s outspoken support for China’s ruling Communist Party has caused controversy in Hong Kong—he was even recruited to join the party’s political advisory body.

    In 2009, Chan questioned the idea of a free press and said that Chinese control was a positive thing.

    “I’m not sure if it’s good to have freedom or not,” he said at a conference in 2009. “I’m gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we’re not being controlled, we’ll just do what we want.”

    Hong Kong World City referenced Chan’s comments in a recent tweet, explaining why people in Hong Kong are not fans of Chan.

    “His support among fans in Hong Kong is bone dry because of the controversial beliefs he holds—that people here and in Taiwan belong to mainland China and therefore, do not deserve freedom,” the Twitter page told VICE News. “His words are unfathomable and unforgivable.”

    Chan criticized Hong Kong’s renewed pro-democracy protests in a televised 2019 state TV interview, reiterating his pro-China stance and expressing hopes for the city to “return to peace”.

    “The recent events in Hong Kong are sad and depressing,” Chan said. “Hong Kong and China are my birthplaces and my home. China is my country and I love my country.”

    Most recently, Chan voiced his support for the controversial national security law imposed on Hong Kong by China. The law bans all forms of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with a foreign country, and threatens a maximum penalty of life in prison.

    Chan added his signature to a group statement that read: “We fully understand the importance of safeguarding national security for Hong Kong and support the decision of the National People’s Congress on Hong Kong’s national security law.”

    In response, Hong Kong and Taiwanese netizens were quick to label him “a two-faced scumbag” and “a deviant traitor”.

    “Instead of raising awareness and safeguarding Hong Kong’s security and core values, Cheng Long rides on his political status with mainland China,” Lo Kin-hei, vice-chairman of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party, told VICE News.

    “He may have been well-liked and respected as an actor in the 1980s and 1990s but things have changed. There is a lot of hatred for him in Hong Kong now and he is no longer in any position to accurately represent our city and its people.”

    Chan was also the subject of a political art campaign by popular Chinese-Australian artist Badiucao.

    “When you stand with the Chinese government, you stand with violence, censorship, concentration camps and ethnic cleansing,” the political cartoonist told VICE News.

    “Jackie Chan is one of Hong Kong’s biggest names. He has a social responsibility to speak out about what’s happening in his home city but instead, he defends Beijing-backed violence and police brutality. Cheng Long may be an idol to many Chinese people but he is misusing his fame and influence by allying with the Communist Party to betray not only Hong Kong but himself.”

    The artist added: “Democracy helps artists by giving us the freedom to create work. Jackie Chan is an enemy of democracy.”

    The mainland Chinese market is a lucrative one that wields power and influence over Hollywood. To anger China would mean paying the price with one’s career, John Lee, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., and an adjunct professor at the U.S. Studies Center in Sydney, Australia previously told VICE News.

    “There are potentially serious commercial consequences for celebrities and entertainment executives who make sensitive comments that are deemed as being critical of China and the Communist Party,” Lee said.

    “China’s box office revenue is valued at almost $10 billion, which makes it the second-largest in the world after the United States and there are estimates that this figure will even double,” he added. “Mainland Chinese audiences are also a highly influential market that the U.S. and other regional film industries are all seeking to expand into.”

    The turbulent anti-government protests that have roiled Hong Kong for years have also split its entertainment industry.

    Celebrity figures like Chan and Ip Man star Donnie Yen, who is featured in the upcoming Disney live-action reboot of Mulan, are rewarded for loyalty in promoting China and the Communist Party. But fellow veteran Hong Kong stars like actor Chow Yun-fat and Cantopop singer Denise Ho, who have thrown their support behind the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement, have paid the price with their careers.

    “There is a sense of betrayal and hypocrisy, given that Jackie was born in Hong Kong and presumably enjoyed the freedoms that the territory offered,” Lee told VICE News.

    “This benefitted his career greatly,” Lee added. “But today he articulates the same propaganda messages as the Chinese government on highly sensitive and political issues, emphasizing the importance of patriotism and stability rather than freedom and democracy.”

    Representatives for Chan did not immediately respond to VICE News for this story.
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  6. #66

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    Jimmy Lai

    DECEMBER 10, 20208:32 PM UPDATED 5 HOURS AGO
    Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai charged under national security law
    By Reuters Staff

    3 MIN READ

    HONG KONG (Reuters) -Hong Kong democracy activist and media tycoon Jimmy Lai, 73, has been charged under the city’s national security law on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces, his Apple Daily newspaper reported on Friday, citing a police source.



    Lai, an ardent critic of Beijing, would be the highest profile person charged under the sweeping new law imposed on the Chinese-ruled city in June.

    He was due to appear in court on Saturday, according to Apple Daily, a popular tabloid known for its feisty and critical coverage of China and Hong Kong.

    The security law, which punishes what Beijing broadly defines as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in jail, has been condemned by the West and human rights groups as a tool to crush dissent in the semi-autonomous, Chinese-ruled city.

    Authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing say it is vital to plug gaping holes in national security defences exposed by months of sometimes violent anti-government and anti-China protests that rocked the global financial hub over the last year.

    “The goal is to hold Jimmy Lai, and shut Jimmy Lai up,” Mark Simon, an associate of Lai, told Reuters.

    Hong Kong police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The publishing tycoon is one of the financial hub’s most prominent democracy activists, while his Next Media group is considered one of the key remaining bastions of media freedoms in Hong Kong.

    Tensions between China and the United States have escalated in recent weeks as Washington accuses Beijing of using the security law to trample wide-ranging freedoms guaranteed when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

    Authorities have intensified a crackdown on opposition forces in the city, dismissing lawmakers from the legislature, conducting widespread arrests and jailing high-profile democracy activists such as Joshua Wong.

    Lai was denied bail earlier this month following his arrest on a separate charge of fraud related to the lease of a building that houses his Apple Daily, an anti-government tabloid.

    He was arrested in August when about 200 police officers swooped on his offices. Hong Kong police later said they had arrested nine men and one woman for suspected offences including “collusion with a foreign country/external elements to endanger national security, conspiracy to defraud” and others.

    The tycoon had been a frequent visitor to Washington, where he has met officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to rally support for Hong Kong democracy, prompting Beijing to label him a “traitor”.

    Reporting by Twinnie Siu and Greg Torode in HONG KONG; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Sam Holmes, Lincoln Feast and Michael Perry
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  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Does Pornhub do stuff like this? Asking for a friend...
    This is a problem for some people.

  9. #69
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    busted

    speedboat chase. how very hong kong.

    Hong Kongers who tried to flee to Taiwan jailed in China for up to 3 years
    By James Griffiths, Jadyn Sham and Eric Cheung, CNN

    Updated 10:32 AM ET, Wed December 30, 2020

    Hong Kong (CNN)Ten Hong Kongers who attempted to flee the city by speedboat to Taiwan have been jailed in China for up to three years for organizing and taking part in an illegal border crossing.

    The activists -- most of whom were on bail or facing charges in Hong Kong related to last year's anti-government protests -- were caught by the Chinese coast guard in August as they attempted to escape to the self-governing island of Taiwan, about 700 kilometers (440 miles) away.
    Two convicted of organizing the illegal border crossing were sentenced to two and three years in prison, respectively. The other eight were convicted of taking part in the border crossing and all received seven-month sentences. Yantian People's Court said all 10 pleaded guilty. All the accused also received fines ranging from $1,500 to $3,000.
    Earlier Wednesday, China handed two suspects aged under 18 who were also on the boat to Hong Kong police. Authorities in the southern city of Shenzhen said they had confessed to crossing the border illegally but had not been charged.
    All 12 were detained for more than 100 days before this week's trial in Shenzhen, as their parents and politicians in Hong Kong, the United States and the United Kingdom pressured for their release. A group representing the families of the accused said their loved ones were abused in Chinese custody and denied access to their lawyers.
    Police and prosecutors in Shenzhen have previously denied accusations of ill treatment and claimed the 12 had access to legal advice, though the practice in mainland China of denying defendants their lawyer of choice by appointing a government-picked counsel has been well documented in the past.
    On Monday, a US State Department spokeswoman urged Beijing to release the 12 and allow them to leave the country, adding their "so-called 'crime' was to flee tyranny."
    "The treatment by PRC authorities of these 12 individuals, some of whom are underage, has been appalling," the spokeswoman said. "Beijing authorities continue their campaign to stamp out the remaining rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong, falsely equating their system of rule by party decree with the rule of law."
    The fate of the 12 activists has attracted considerable attention both in Hong Kong and overseas, emblematic of the city's worsening political freedoms and climate since the passage earlier this year of a new national security law. The law -- imposed on the city by Beijing, bypassing Hong Kong's semi-democratic legislature -- criminalized secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces, and has already had a major chilling effect on politics and debate.
    Numerous high-profile activists, including former lawmakers Nathan Law, Ted Hui and Baggio Leung, have all fled the city for exile overseas, while many other protesters have also left, fearing arrest in connection with the anti-government unrest that rocked Hong Kong for much of 2019.
    On Tuesday, Tony Chung, a onetime Hong Kong independence activist who is also facing charges under the national security law, was sentenced to four months in prison for unlawful assembly and desecrating the national flag in connection with protests last year.
    Chung had reportedly attempted to flee the city in October by seeking asylum at the US Consulate, but was turned away.
    Avenues of escape have grown continually tighter this year, exacerbated by closures and lockdowns around the world as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. What had been a viable, albeit risky, sea route to Taiwan was closed off once the Chinese coast guard made clear they were monitoring waters around the city.
    Some commentators have speculated the 12 activists were permitted to leave so they could be publicly detained and put on trial as a lesson to others. In October, open source flight data revealed a government plane was monitoring the area when the activists left Hong Kong and then appeared to track their route.
    Carrie Lam, the city's Beijing-appointed chief executive, has refuted any suggestion that the Hong Kong government was aware of or involved in the case prior to the 12 being arrested.
    The fugitives had "chosen to flee, and in the course of fleeing, they entered another jurisdiction and have committed a crime of illegally entering another place," she said in October. "They have to face the legal consequences in that jurisdiction. It is as simple and straightforward as that."
    The potential to face prosecution in China was a major source of opposition to a proposed extradition bill that kicked off protests last year, and the fate of the 12 seems to have borne out many of the concerns felt in Hong Kong. The activists were allegedly denied access to proper legal representation and scant information was offered about their condition.
    Chinese courts -- along with prosecutors and police -- are overseen by the Chinese Communist Party's powerful Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission and its local branches.
    In a statement, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific regional director Yamini Mishra said the sentences "meted out after an unfair trial lay bare the dangers faced by anybody who finds themselves tried under the Chinese criminal system."
    "The Chinese authorities have shown the world once again that political activists will not receive a fair trial," she added.
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  10. #70
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    derecognition

    China is making some moves...
    China derecognizes British National Overseas passport
    yesterday


    A British National Overseas passports (BNO) and a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China passport are pictured in Hong Kong, Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. China said Friday it will no longer recognize the British National Overseas passport as a valid travel document or form of identification amid a bitter feud with London over a plan to allow millions of Hong Kong residents a route to residency and eventual citizenship. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
    BEIJING (AP) — China said Friday it will no longer recognize the British National Overseas passport as a valid travel document or form of identification amid a bitter feud with London over a plan to allow millions of Hong Kong residents a route to residency and eventual citizenship.

    The announcement by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Friday throws up new uncertainty around the plan just hours after the U.K. said it would begin taking applications for what are called BNO visas beginning late Sunday.

    Under the plan, as many as 5.4 million Hong Kong residents could be eligible to live and work in the U.K. for five years then apply for citizenship. Demand soared after Beijing last year imposed a sweeping new national security law on the former British colony following months of pro-democracy protests.

    “The British side’s attempt to turn a large number of Hong Kong people into second-class British citizens has completely changed the nature of the two sides’ original understanding of BNO,” Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing.

    “This move seriously infringes on China’s sovereignty, grossly interferes in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs, and seriously violates international law and the basic norms of international relations,” he said. “China will no longer recognize the so-called BNO passport as a travel document and proof of identity starting from Jan 31st, and reserves the right to take further measures.”

    Many Hong Kongers carry multiple passports and it is unclear what if anything the Chinese government could do to prevent people entering the U.K. through the BNO visa plan. As a further protection of personal privacy, a cellphone app will allow applicants to download their biometric information without having to been seen visiting the British visa office.

    The BNO passport was originally a disappointment for Hong Kongers when it was first offered ahead of Hong Kong’s handover to Chinese rule in 1997. At the time, it offered only the right to visit for six months with no right to work or become a full citizen. Applicants had to have been born before the handover date.

    However, pressure grew to expand such privileges as China increasingly cracked down on civil and political life in Hong Kong in what critics say violates China’s commitment to maintain the city’s separate way of life for 50 years after the handover. China first declared the 1984 Sino-British Declaration setting out the handover arrangements null and void despite its recognition by the United Nations, then imposed the national security law on the territory after the city’s legislature was unable to pass it on its own.

    “I am immensely proud that we have brought in this new route for Hong Kong BNOs to live, work and make their home in our country,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.

    “In doing so we have honored our profound ties of history and friendship with the people of Hong Kong, and we have stood up for freedom and autonomy – values both the UK and Hong Kong hold dear.”
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  11. #71
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    Ironic given that HK was a UK colony

    This reminds me of the HK flight to Canada in '97.

    Thousands flee Hong Kong for UK, fearing China crackdown
    By ZEN SOO and SYLVIA HUI
    February 1, 2021


    FILE - In this July 7, 2019, file photo, thousands of protesters carrying the British flag march near the harbor of Hong Kong. Thousands of people from Hong Kong are fleeing their hometown since Beijing imposed a draconian national security law on the territory in the summer 2020. Many say China’s encroachment on their way of life and civil liberties has become unbearable, and they want to seek a better future for their children abroad. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)
    HONG KONG (AP) — Thousands of Hong Kongers have already made the sometimes painful decision to leave behind their hometown and move to Britain since Beijing imposed a strict national security law on the Chinese territory last summer. Their numbers are expected to swell to the hundreds of thousands.

    Some are leaving because they fear punishment for supporting the pro-democracy protests that swept the former British colony in 2019. Others say China’s encroachment on their way of life and civil liberties has become unbearable, and they want to seek a better future for their children abroad. Most say they don’t plan to ever go back.

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    The moves are expected to accelerate now that 5 million Hong Kongers are eligible to apply for visas to Britain, allowing them to live, work and study there and eventually apply to become British citizens. Applications for the British National Overseas visa officially opened Sunday, though many have already arrived on British soil to get a head start.

    Britain’s government said some 7,000 people with British National Overseas passports — a travel document that Hong Kongers could apply for before the city was handed over to Chinese control in 1997 — have arrived since July on the previously allowed six month visa. It estimates that over 300,000 people will take up the offer of extended residency rights in the next five years.

    “Before the announcement of the BN(O) visa in July, we didn’t have many enquiries about U.K. immigration, maybe less than 10 a month,” said Andrew Lo, founder of Anlex Immigration Consultants in Hong Kong. “Now we receive about 10 to 15 calls a day asking about it.”

    Mike, a photojournalist, said he plans to apply for the visa and move to Leeds with his wife and young daughter in April.

    His motivation to leave Hong Kong came after the city’s political situation deteriorated following the anti-government protests and he realized that the city’s police force was not politically neutral. The police have been criticized by pro-democracy supporters for brutality and the use of excessive violence.

    Mike said moving to Britain was important as he believed the education system in Hong Kong will be affected by the political situation and it will be better for his daughter to study in the U.K.

    Mike agreed to speak on the condition that he only be identified by his first name out of fear of official retaliation.

    Lo said that with the new visa, the barrier to entry to move to the U.K. becomes extremely low, with no language or education qualification requirements. British National Overseas passport holders need to prove that they have enough money to support themselves for six months and prove that they are clear of tuberculosis, according to the U.K. government.

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    Currently, Lo assists three to four families a week in their move to the U.K. About 60% of those are families with young children, while the remaining are young couples or young professionals.

    Cindy, a Hong Kong businesswoman and the mother of two young children, arrived in London last week.

    In Hong Kong she had a comfortable lifestyle. She owned several properties with her husband and the business she ran was going well. But she made up her mind to leave it all behind as she felt that the city’s freedoms and liberties were eroding and she wanted to ensure a good future for her kids.

    Cindy, who spoke on the condition she only be identified by her first name out of concern of official retaliation, said it was important to move quickly as she feared Beijing would soon move to halt the exodus.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this week the visa offer shows Britain is honoring its “profound ties of history” with Hong Kong, which was handed over to China on the understanding that it would retain its Western-style freedoms and much of its political autonomy not seen on mainland China.

    Beijing said Friday it will no longer recognize the British National Overseas passport as a travel document or form of identification, and criticized Britain’s citizenship offer as a move that “seriously infringed” on China’s sovereignty. It was unclear what effect the announcement would have because many Hong Kongers carry multiple passports.

    Beijing drastically hardened its stance on Hong Kong after the 2019 protests turned violent and plunged the city into a months-long crisis. Since the security law’s enactment, dozens of pro-democracy activists have been arrested, and the movement’s young leaders have either been jailed or fled abroad.

    Because the new law broadly defined acts of subversion, secession, foreign collusion and terrorism, many in Hong Kong fear that expressing any form of political opposition — even posting messages on social media — could land them in trouble.

    “This is a really unique emigration wave – some people haven’t had time to actually visit the country they’re relocating to. Many have no experience of living abroad,” said Miriam Lo, who runs Excelsior UK, a relocation agency. “And because of the pandemic, they couldn’t even come over to view a home before deciding to buy.”

    ___

    Hui reported from London.
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  12. #72
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    Crumbling...

    Rights and freedom
    Hong Kong
    'Hong Kong is crumbling': seven days that crushed city's last resistance
    [IMG]https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/213fa9f4a2fbe983647f253e6166cdda86a6634b/0_123_5932_3560/master/5932.jpg/IMG]
    Supporters comfort each other after hearing bail results at West Kowloon Court in Hong Kong Photograph: Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock
    Dozens of pro-democracy politicians and activists have been rounded up, charged and denied bail in fresh crackdown on opposition to China

    Rights and freedom is supported by
    Humanity United
    About this content
    Guardian reporter
    Fri 5 Mar 2021 05.30 EST

    The phones rang on Friday, one month earlier than expected. More than 50 pro-democracy politicians and activists across Hong Kong received a call from the authorities: they were to report to police on Sunday.

    Expecting to be charged and held for lengthy jail terms, many spent the weekend making last-minute preparations. They picked out books to take into custody, arranged for pets to be taken care of, said goodbye to their loved ones. Tiffany Yuen, 27, spent the day at home, where she was photographed cuddling a Buzz Lightyear toy, before visiting constituents in Tin Wan.

    “When the police called, I knew it’s bad news,” said one, who spent most of the weekend quietly hugging his child. “I probably won’t be able to hold my kid for some years. I said: ‘You might not see daddy for several years. You have to be brave and look after mummy.’”

    “I never thought things would come to this,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity, fearing his comments would be used as further evidence against him under the national security law. The legislation, introduced in Hong Kong in June, penalises acts seen by the authorities as subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces or terrorism with up to life in prison.


    An activist known as Grandma Wong, holds up an yellow umbrella outside the West Kowloon Magistrates Courts during the forth day of a bail hearing for 47 opposition activists charged with violating the city’s national security law Photograph: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images
    “I don’t know what sort of One Country Two Systems this is,” he said, referring to the policy meant to uphold Hong Kong’s freedoms and rights under Chinese rule after the 1997 handover of sovereignty.

    “Now, even the mildest forms of opposition – chanting slogans and wearing certain colour masks – are seen as a potential breaches of national security law,” he said. “The red line is constantly shifting – we feel very insecure.”

    In a dawn raid on 6 January that sent shock waves across Hong Kong, 55 Hong Kong pro-democracy figures, from former lawmakers, local district councillors to young campaigners and activists, were arrested over primary polls held last year. The sweeping police crackdown marked the single biggest operation conducted under the controversial national security law Beijing imposed on Hong Kong last year.

    On Sunday, Hong Kong police charged 47 of them with conspiracy to commit subversion, and held them in custody before they appeared in court on Monday. Prosecutors alleged they had schemed to select candidates who could win a majority of the 70 legislative council seats in an election – subsequently postponed by the government – and then to indiscriminately block legislation to “paralyse” parliament and force the resignation of the chief executive.

    They were detained in custody, appearing in marathon bail hearings that ran for most of the week. Some fainted from fatigue while others complained they were not able to change clothes for several days.

    To show their eligibility for bail, some of the most prominent political figures announced their departure from their democratic political party. On Thursday, the judge denied bail to 32. As of Friday, 11 out of the 15 granted bail remained in custody pending the government’s immediate appeal. Those refused bail included veteran politicians Claudia Mo, Eddie Chu and Gary Fan, who were often criticised by younger activists as being too moderate.

    The judge barred the media from reporting on arguments made by either side at the bail hearing, during which the defendants made speeches that drove families and even journalists to tears.

    Accused of “conspiring to subvert state power”, the 47 face terms up to life imprisonment if convicted. The eight who have not been charged so far – including American lawyer John Clancey, pro-democracy legislators James To and Roy Kwong – had their bail extended to 4 May.

    The operation leaves nearly every key voice of dissent in Hong Kong now in custody or jail.


    Supporters wave cellphone lights as they see a Correctional Services Department (CSD) vehicle following the forth day of a bail hearing for 47 opposition activists Photograph: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images
    The sudden detentions came a few days after Xia Baolong, the head of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said those who “opposed China and caused chaos in Hong Kong” should be banished from public office. Xia said at a high-level symposium on Feb 22 that the “extremely vicious ones”, including detained Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, law academic Benny Tai and jailed activist Joshua Wong, should also be “severely punished,” according to a transcript published by the Beijing-backed Bauhinia magazine. Chinese officials also stressed that the new laws would ensure that only “patriots” could govern Hong Kong.

    The speed and the magnitude of the crackdown on the pro-democracy camp has shocked even the most experienced politicians. Many had anticipated that the national security law would initially only target those involved in violent protests, or advocates of independence and believed China would tolerate some pro-democracy politicians for the sake of window-dressing.

    “It was a big surprise to be charged with subversion,” said 79-year-old American lawyer John Clancey, who came to Hong Kong over 50 years ago as a Catholic priest. “I never foresaw this.”

    “Obviously they are saying clearly they only want patriotic people to govern Hong Kong, … they want to rule out anyone from the democratic camp,” said Clancey, who was the first foreign national detained under a sweeping national security law. He was serving as the treasurer for Power of Democracy, an organiser of the primaries.

    ‘A free and safe city is degenerating’
    Since the imposition of the national security law, the authorities have stoked pressure on the judiciary, media, schools and universities and the civil society at large, including churches and NGOs, as Beijing-backed media increasingly lashed out on judges, professors, school teachers and church pastors seen as pro-democracy.

    Emily Lau, a veteran politician and former chair of the Democratic Party, lamented the muting of voices of dissent in the city that once prides itself as a bastion of freedoms in the region.

    “The Hong Kong as we know it is crumbling before our very eyes,” Lau said. “It is disheartening to see a once vibrant, free and safe city degenerating into its current state.”

    “Beijing may decide to snuff out the dissenting voices, but that would be a big mistake. Allowing different voices in Hong Kong is a part of the city’s strength and shows Beijing is willing to tolerate opposing views.”

    As the National People’s Congress convened its annual meeting in Beijing this week, officials say a key focus is the overhauling of Hong Kong’s electoral system to ensure the city is governed by “patriots”.

    Kenneth Chan, a political science professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, said the crackdown would send the message to the world that “the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy has been prematurely terminated.”

    “There is no limit to a populist authoritarian drive for ‘political purity’ to bring the city under total subjugation,” he said.

    “We have now ‘show trials’ to make the democrats examples of how the party-state fights and struggles with the enemies … To “legalize” the political struggle is the Leninist legal tradition, whereby the law is viewed by the Chinese Government as a mere tool to facilitate the Party agenda,” he said, citing party edicts that stress that “to implement the law is to implement the will of the party.”

    “The message to the world is that Beijing will not succumb to pressure from the Western coalition about human rights violations in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet etc,” said Willy Lam, an adjunct professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    Meanwhile, many still brave prosecution by protesting outside the courtroom this week, chanting “Give us justice!” amid heavy police presence.

    “You can’t live in fear … I wouldn’t stop working because of fear,” said Clancey. “In perfect love, there is no fear.”
    I'm getting such varied reports from friend in HK.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  13. #73
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    This is so on topic for this forum

    Hong Kong protests: martial arts athlete jailed for six months over taking part in unlawful assembly outside Legco in 2019
    Brian Wong brian.wong@scmp.com 8 hrs ago
    © SCMP Eastern Law Courts Building in Sai Wan Ho. Photo: Nora Tam
    A Hong Kong martial arts athlete was jailed for six months on Wednesday for taking part in an unlawful assembly during an anti-government protest outside the city's legislature in 2019.

    Kwong Yuk-ming's lawyer told Eastern Court his client believed the conviction would shatter his dream of winning medals at the 2022 Asian Games and other major events in the future.

    Four co-defendants were also convicted and jailed for between seven weeks and seven months, as the presiding magistrate turned down their lawyers' pleas for non-custodial sentences.

    The trial centred on the overnight chaos outside the Legislative Council between June 9 and 10, 2019, when protesters confronted police after a march on Hong Kong Island with an estimated turnout of 1 million.

    After the mass demonstration, the government issued a statement insisting it would proceed with the now-withdrawn extradition bill, ignoring protesters' demands.

    The court heard that after the government's response, around 200 protesters began dismantling barriers outside Legco and formed human chains in an attempt to storm the building. They also hurled water bottles and umbrellas at officers guarding the entrance.

    Prosecutors charged 15 men with offences, including taking part in an unlawful assembly and assaulting a police officer. Ten of them were previously jailed or sentenced to community service after pleading guilty.

    Four of the other five - Kwong, 23; restaurant employee Wong Lok-kwan, 23; nursing student Tsang Wing-cheung, 31; and former accountant clerk Liauw Tak-fai, 43 - denied taking part in an unlawful assembly. The fifth defendant, computer technician Wan Chun-ho, 31, denied obstructing a police officer during the incident.

    © Provided by South China Morning Post The trial centred on the overnight chaos outside the Legislative Council between June 9 and 10, 2019. Photo: Handout
    Lawyers for the five had challenged the identities of the alleged offenders captured in police footage, saying their clients were not seen in any of the video evidence.

    But Magistrate Daniel Tang Siu-hung said on Wednesday police footage clearly showed the five defendants committing the respective offences.

    In mitigation, Kwong's lawyer described his client as a decorated athlete who had the potential to be successful at the Asian Games and other major sports competitions, but said his career had come to an end after the conviction.

    The court heard Kwong won his first gold medal at the age of 10 in spear art in the World Junior Wushu Championships in 2008, before being awarded the Hong Kong Junior Sports Stars Award in 2010.

    He was arrested in August 2019 at the city's airport when he was about to leave to take part in the World Martial Arts Masterships in South Korea, but was later granted temporary release to continue with the competition. He eventually won a bronze medal in the xing yi quan category.

    The magistrate set a starting point of nine months in jail for the four defendants found guilty of taking part in the unlawful assembly, but reduced their sentences by two months to reflect their previous clear criminal records.

    He gave a further one-month waiver to Kwong in light of the impact the case had on him. He also jailed the fifth defendant, Wan, for seven weeks for obstructing a police officer.
    I imagine this will affect Kwong's results should he compete again.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  14. #74
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    Do Not Split

    Mar 17, 2021 3:03am PT
    China Tells Media to Stagger Oscars Telecast, Downplay Event (Report)

    By Patrick Frater


    Field of Vision
    The Chinese government has reportedly told its local media channels not to transmit live coverage of the Oscars and to downplay the awards ceremony. The move follows the nomination of “Do Not Split,” a 35-minute chronicle of the pro-democracy struggles in Hong Kong, in the documentary short subject category.

    The order reportedly came from the propaganda department of the Chinese Communist Party and instructed Chinese media to only report on non-controversial awards.

    Such instructions are not intended for publication or dissemination overseas and are difficult to verify. The matter was first reported by Hong Kong’s Apple Daily and Radio Free Asia, and subsequently also by Bloomberg.

    Directed by Norway’s Anders Hammer and produced by Hammer and Charlotte Cook for Field of Vision, the 35-minute film shows footage of the 2019 street protests in Hong Kong against the city government’s planned extradition law. Two marches in June 2019 were reported as attracting one million and two million participants, respectively, from a population of 7.5 million.



    Field of Vision is a company under the First Look Media umbrella, along with The Intercept, Topic Studios and the Press Freedom Defense Fund. “Do Not Split” is the company’s third Oscar nomination after “In The Absence” (2020) and “A Night at the Garden” (2019).

    The film follows the increase in physical violence and growing desperation by the pro-democracy camp after the extradition law was abandoned, only to be replaced in June 2020 with a Beijing-imposed National Security Law. It also discusses the erosion of rights of freedom of expression and the media.

    Oscar nominations were announced on Monday this week. The winners will be revealed at a ceremony in Los Angeles on April 26.

    The gag order illustrates how politics are complicating almost every aspect of entertainment, culture and the arts in mainland China and former British colony Hong Kong.

    The Oscar nominations contained two other pieces of news that might otherwise have been cheered by Chinese authorities: six nominations, including best film, for “Nomadland” by Chinese-born director Chloe Zhao; and the nomination of Hong Kong’s representative “Better Days,” in the best international feature category.

    Since Zhao’s Golden Globe directing prize win in February, “Nomadland” has sparked a storm of controversy in China. State media and social media alike initially blazed with pride and sought to claim Zhao’s historic success for China. But within days, social media users unearthed two previous interviews given by Zhao to foreign news outlets.

    In the first, Zhao told the Australian website news.com.au that “the U.S. is now my country.” Zhao’s last three films have been U.S. productions and Chinese netizens took her comments to mean that Zhao may no longer hold a Chinese passport. That section of the interview was online in December 2020, but had been deleted some time before Feb. 16, 2021.

    The second interview appeared in New York-based Filmmaker Magazine in 2013. Explaining why she chose to make a film (2015 drama “Songs My Brothers Taught Me”) about a Native American teen on a North Dakota reservation, Zhao said: “It goes back to when I was a teenager in China, being in a place where there are lies everywhere.” She added: “You felt like you were never going to be able to get out.

    “A lot of info I received when I was younger was not true, and I became very rebellious toward my family and my background,” said the director. The comments had been removed from the magazine’s website by Feb. 15, 2021.

    “Nomadland” has been penciled in for an April 23 release in China. But it’s no longer certain that it will go ahead.

    The trajectory of “Better Days” is less controversial, but just as twisty.

    Directed by Hong Kong-based director Derek Tsang, the film is a mainland China-set melodrama that mixes up a school bullying tale with a story of mismatched love. It was set to have its world premiere in February 2019 at the Berlin Film Festival, but at the last minute it was withdrawn by its production team, amid messages of regret from Tsang. No meaningful explanation was ever advanced, but it seems likely that the gutsy telling of disaffected youth caused Chinese authorities to rethink the permission given for it to screen overseas.

    After a couple more false starts, “Better Days” was allowed to release in Chinese theaters, where it proved to be a smash hit, earning RMB1.55 billion ($238 million).

    That does not mean authorities were cool with the film. Mainland China favored an overtly patriotic sports drama “Leap” as its Oscar contender. That left Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Area belonging to China, to select “Better Days.”

    In recent days, arts and culture have become the center of another storm in Hong Kong, where pro-Beijing forces are politically ascendant.

    On Monday, under pressure from Beijing-loyal newspapers, cinemas and arts centers in Hong Kong canceled planned commercial screenings of “Inside the Red Brick Wall,” another award-winning documentary about the pro-democracy protest movement. It was accused of breaching the National Security Law by stirring up hatred for the Hong Kong police and for China.

    On Wednesday, it was the turn of broadcaster RTHK and the West Kowloon Cultural District’s museums to be attacked by Beijing supporters.

    New People’s Party lawmaker Eunice Yung claimed that upcoming shows at the WKCD’s M+ Museum are causing great concern to many members of the public, because they are “spreading hatred” against China. “How come there will be display of art pieces that are suspected to have breached the national security law and also are an insult to the country?” Yung asked in the Legislative Council.

    Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam responded by saying that authorities will be “on full alert” to make sure museum exhibitions in Hong Kong do not undermine national security.

    “I’m sure staff are able to tell what is freedom of artistic expression and whether certain pieces are really meant to incite hatred or to destroy relations between two places (Hong Kong and mainland China) and undermine national security,” Lam said.
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  15. #75
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    Where the Wind Blows

    Mar 29, 2021 6:59am PT
    Hong Kong Film Festival Cancels Opening Movie, Citing Unspecified Technical Reasons


    By Patrick Frater


    Shaw Organization
    The Hong Kong International Film Festival has announced the cancelation of its world premiere screening of crime thriller “Where the Wind Blows.” The move appears to be part of the accelerating ‘mainlandization’ of Hong Kong’s entertainment industry.

    The festival said Monday evening in a statement that screenings of “Where the Wind Blows” (previously known “Theory of Ambitions”) had been cancelled at the request of the film’s owner.

    “Upon request from the film owner, the screenings of ‘Where the Winds Blows’ originally scheduled at 5.30 p.m. on 1 April and 2.30 p.m. on 4 April are cancelled due to technical reasons,” the festival said in a statement in English and Chinese.

    The film was produced by Hong Kong’s Mei Ah Film Production in a co-venture with mainland Chinese firms Dadi Century and Global Group. Its production budget has been reported as $38 million.

    The film is directed by Philip Yung, who made the acclaimed “Port of Call,” and stars Tony Leung Chiu-wai (“In the Mood for Love”) and superstar singer-actor Aaron Kwok (“Monkey King,” “Cold War”). Kwok was additionally named as the festival’s goodwill ambassador.

    Rooted in the long-established vein of Hong Kong crime films, “Where the Wind Blows” “depicts the friendship and rivalry between two ambitious detectives who form dangerous alliances with organized crime,” according to the HKIFF catalog. The IMDd synopsis describes it slightly differently: “A corrupt police sergeant’s career is curtailed by the launch of Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption.”

    “Technical reasons” is widely understood in mainland China as a euphemism for censorship. It was the phrase used for the abrupt cancelation of Zhang Yimou’s “One Second” at the 2019 Berlin film festival and for the last-minute halt of “The Eight Hundred” which had been set as the opening film at the Shanghai festival later the same year.

    Portraying corruption on screen has previously been difficult for filmmakers on the mainland. In contrast, Hong Kong filmmakers, including Johnny To, Andrew Lau, Longman Leung, Felix Chong and Alan Mak, have reveled in dramatic and exciting portrayals of crime, corruption and abuse of power.

    Hong Kong’s Apple Daily newspaper had reported that Mei Ah previously aimed to release the film at the end of 2018. But it was then thwarted by the mainland’s National Radio and Television Administration because the film dealt with police corruption and Triad organized crime gangs.

    What makes the latest case harder and more perplexing is that “Where the Wind Blows” is set in the 1960s and the period of British colonial rule; nor have Hong Kong films previously followed mainland edicts within Hong Kong.

    Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, known as the Basic Law, specifies that the Special Administrative Region has the ability to set its own policies on matters such as culture, education and technical standards. Hong Kong has never previously applied the mainland Chinese system of movie censorship, and instead operates the kind of ratings or classification system that is widely used in western democracies.

    However, since Beijing’s injection of the National Security Law into Hong Kong law and the shutdown of the pro-democracy camp’s ability to act as legislators, the entertainment, arts and media sectors have increasingly become the focus of scrutiny.

    Award-winning pro-democracy documentary film “Behind the Red Brick Wall” was pulled from cinemas earlier this month before it could get a commercial screening. Hong Kong broadcasters have followed the example of mainland media and ditched their plans to screen the Oscars ceremony, where another democracy movement film “Do Not Split” has been nominated in the short documentary category. And public broadcaster RTHK has been repeatedly sanctioned over matters such as satirizing the police and its investigative journalism techniques. In recent weeks, pro-Beijing lawmakers have asked for artworks by exiled Chinese artist Ai Weiwei to be removed from the new M+ Museum at the West Kowloon Cultural Centre.

    The 45th edition of HKIFF is scheduled to run April 1-12, 2021.
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