According to the latest annual report to the United States Congress by the US-China Economic and Security Review Committee yesterday (Nov 16), China’s interference on Hongkong’s governance have reached “alarming” level.
The report admonished China for abducting and detaining five Hongkong-based booksellers, and pressuring media and academic freedom. According to the agreement with Britain, China should not interfere with Hongkong’s legal and governmental autonomy under a “one-country two-system” condition.
The committee stated that the abduction of the booksellers, including two foreign nationals and one from within Hongkong territories, broadened domestic fears of mainland China’s encroachment in the financial hub:
“This incident has threatened the maintenance of the ‘one country, two systems’ framework and led some observers to question Hong Kong’s status as a leading global financial hub. The election took place against the backdrop of an alarming rise in mainland interference in Hong Kong.”
Responding to the China-critical report, the Hongkong government said that the one-country two-system agreement was upheld and that foreign nations should not interfere with its domestic affairs.
Four of the five abducted detainees have been released and one of them, Lam Wing Kee, testified that he was held captive by China Chinese agents for eight months.
Many Hongkongers remain defiant of China and are calling for independence for the island territory. This has however angered the Chinese Communist Party and heightened oppression on the Hongkongers. Just earlier this month, two anti-China elected legislators were expelled under a directive from the China government, to which they called “only a translation of the Basic Law”.