The Communist Party of China is preparing for what state media called this Wednesday an “unprecedented” celebration of its ideology, responsible for at least 45 million deaths in China alone, in Hong Kong next week for the 100th anniversary of the Party.
Under the One Country, Two Systems policy, Beijing agreed upon taking sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997 that it would not impose communism on the capitalist city. Dictator Xi Jinping passed increasingly aggressive measures during the 2010s to undermine One Country, Two Systems, leading to multiple waves of protests that culminated in the 2019 Hong Kong pro-democracy movement. At its peak two years ago, a single protest against communism in Hong Kong attracted 2 million of the city’s 7 million people.
During the 2019 protest movement, polls indicated that a record low number of Hong Kong residents identified as “Chinese.” Most, according to the University of Hong Kong, identify simply as “Hongkongers.”
Hong Kong’s Beijing-controlled government arrested and brutalized many of the protesters throughout 2019, but failed to pass any laws that would limit their political freedoms. In response, the National People’s Congress (NPC) — China’s federal legislature, which has no formal power over Hong Kong — passed a law in May 2020 decreeing support for “secession,” “foreign interference,” “terrorism,” or “subversion of state power” a threat to national security. The “national security” law requires a minimum of ten years in prison for anyone found guilty of violating it.
While the NPC law violates “One Country, Two Systems,” Hong Kong’s police force is nonetheless enforcing it, most recently this week against the editors and staff of Apple Daily, an anti-communist newspaper forced to shut down Thursday.
The Communist Party of China turns 100 years old on July 1, which the state-run Global Times propaganda outlet noted on Wednesday will allow for a celebration on the regime’s part of the complete takeover of Hong Kong.
“Festive vibes fill Hong Kong with a week away from the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and also the 24th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, which some local residents see as unprecedented,” the propaganda outlet claimed, “as it would also be the first time in Hong Kong to celebrate the birthday of the CPC on such an open and large scale.”
The state newspaper added that June 30 is also the anniversary of the drafting of the “national security” law and that this, too, would be celebrated.
“Chan Yung, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress (NPC), told the Global Times on Wednesday that this year’s anniversary will be a turning point for Hong Kong, as it is the first time that the city will celebrate the CPC’s anniversary so openly and grandly,” the Global Times‘ reporting continued. “In the past, the CPC was a sensitive term for some people in Hong Kong. But now, the CPC has become a term representing positive energy, and it will become even more familiar to Hong Kong residents, Chan noted.”
The Communist Party will celebrate its seizure of Hong Kong by elaborately decorating buses and other public transportation vehicles and holding mass public events such as a fireworks display, according to state media. The latter presents a marked risk to the city given an out-of-control outbreak of Chinese coronavirus in Guangdong, the Chinese province bordering Hong Kong, but the Global Times did not indicate any concern on the part of Hong Kong authorities regarding the disease. That lack of alarm contrasts with Hong Kong officials’ ban on any observance of June 4, the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, allegedly due to the potential spread of Chinese coronavirus at such events.
Prior to 2020, Hong Kong was home to the oldest memorial service in honor of the victims of communism at Tiananmen Square — the first memorial occurred in 1990. Hongkongers typically participate by the thousands in a candlelight vigil; many did so anyway, illegally, last year. This year, Hong Kong deployed 3,000 police officers to repress any displays in honor of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Estimates suggest the Chinese Communist Party killed as many as 10,000 people, most of them peaceful pro-democracy students, in the event.
The Global Times celebrated the massacre this year as a “political vaccine” against a free society and proclaimed Tiananmen Square “embodies the Chinese people’s confidence and pride in the politics of the country.” A Hong Kong lawmaker falsely insisted that no one died in the massacre.
“On July 1, Hong Kong’s Central and Western District and Southern District will hold a float parade while variety shows will be held in Wan Chai District and Eastern District,” according to the state newspaper this week. “Young people in Hong Kong will perform a 100-person flash mob singing at 25 iconic spots, including Golden Bauhinia Square.”
The coverage of the festivities did not mention the ongoing Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
The treatment of Apple Daily this month — raided by hundreds of police officers and forced out of business through asset seizures — prompted international condemnation, which the Chinese Foreign Ministry dismissed Thursday.
“Hong Kong upholds rule of law. It is not a safe haven beyond the law. Freedom of the press does not entail impunity for crimes,” spokesman Zhao Lijian insisted. “Anti-China Hong Kong disruptors have no extrajudicial rights. The Hong Kong SAR [Special Administrative Region] government ensures that laws are strictly enforced and complied with and offences are prosecuted.
“No foreign country has the right to point fingers at or make irresponsible remarks on Hong Kong affairs or China’s other internal affairs,” Zhao said, condemning the free states from which objections to the Apple Daily shutdown have emanated.