Editor’s note for Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A note from today's editor of the SupChina Access newsletter.

My thoughts today:

Another day, another national security law action in Hong Kong. After yesterday’s dismissal of a protesting professor from his tenured position at the University of Hong Kong:

At a press briefing at 11 p.m. local time today, a senior official of the city’s new national security department of the police force announced “that three males and one female aged 16 to 21 had been arrested…based on the content of social media accounts,” which fell afoul of Article 21 of the new law, which says that statements that promote secession constitute incitement to succession.

The youngsters who were arrested are all ex-members of a pro-independence group called Studentlocalism. The group had disbanded its Hong Kong operations and dismissed all members on June 30, the day before the national security law was imposed on Hong Kong, but promised to establish an overseas branch.  

We can expect a grim procession of such arrests in the coming days, until civil society in Hong Kong is sufficiently cowed. This is how the Party has learned to suppress dissent in the P.R.C. since 1989: by picking off the troublemakers one by one, or in small groups. Some of them receive horrible punishments, pour encourager les autres. Hong Kong is now part of the same system.

Other news on Hong Kong:

 Our word of the day is enemy: 敌人 dírén.

—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief