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On October 3, 2002, Freedom Asia published a commentary article, which stated that Hong Kong was becoming headline news in many major Western newspapers. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government plans to include a set of laws to combat any "subversion" of the Beijing government in the name of the Basic Law. This has stirred up protest from local people and newspapers. They view it as strangling the freedom of press and freedom of speech in Hong Kong. Major Western newspapers such as the Financial Times in England, and the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post in the U.S not only carried lengthy reports on the issue, but these three influential newspapers also published special editorials.

The editorial in the Wall Street Journal held that when Hong Kong was returned to China, the Beijing government promised a "one country, two systems" policy, and that Hong Kong would keep its existing social system. However, if the law against "subversion" is put in place, it would be no different from being one country, one system, since the Hong Kong people will be required to act according to Beijing's political ideology and standards. If the Hong Kong people hold another gathering to commemorate the "June 4th Tiananmen massacre," they may be convicted of "subversion." The title of this editorial is "Broken Promises in Hong Kong" (http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2002/9/26/26916.html).

An editorial by the Washington Post stated that when Hong Kong came under Chinese rule five years ago, some optimists predicted that the political liberties in Hong Kong might begin to spread to the mainland and influence China; however, they have been proven unfortunately wrong. The reality is just the opposite, and the CPC's autocracy has spread to Hong Kong. Tung Chee Hwa, the chief executive of HKSAR was not only hand-picked by Beijing, but was "re-elected" after one term with the backing from Beijing despite the fact that he had no political achievements and was wildly unpopular. Presently, Tung Chee Hwa and his accomplices plan to pass a set of laws meant to combat "subversion, sedition and treason... against the central government". This means that public organizations such as Falun Gong and other political dissident groups might also be suppressed. Freedom in Hong Kong is being eroded. At the end of the editorial entitled, "Banned in Hong Kong," it states, "It's hard to imagine that Taiwan's vibrant democracy, observing such a spectacle, would ever take seriously the "two systems" model that China claims to offer." http://www.clearwisdom.net.emh/articles/2002/9/28/26978.html

The editorial in the British Financial Times begins with a pessimistic metaphor, "Throw a frog into boiling water and it jumps out; gently bring it to the boil, and the frog, never noticing the incremental increases in heat, allows itself to be cooked. Is Hong Kong a frog in a pot in Beijing's kitchen? If so, then on September 24th the temperature rose another notch." (http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2002/9/28/26978.html)

This editorial states in retrospect that at the time of Hong Kong's handover, Hong Kong would have been most vulnerable to social upheavals, yet there were no laws against "subversion" then; now, it has been five stable years since Hong Kong's handover, and there is no sign of any emergency situation whatsoever, so there is no need at all to make such laws. Moreover, what is the definition of "subversion"? In free societies, citizens have the basic right to "subvert" peacefully, their own government. They call it "opposition." This article titled "Death by Slow Boiling -- Are Hong Kong's Liberties Being Slowly Taken Away?" concludes, "Every few months, it seems, the water gets a little hotter."

Despite strong criticism from liberal newspapers in Hong Kong, parades and protests from the Hong Kong people as well as sharp criticism from Western media, with support from Beijing's autocratic power, it's very likely that Tung Chee Hwa and his followers will eventually include and enforce the laws against "subversion." It will once again prove to the world's people that the so-called "one country, two systems" was a lie right from the beginning. Never mind that throughout human history, no country has ever used two systems, what is happening in Hong Kong five years after its return has already proved that the so-called "one country, two systems" is merely a high-sounding pretence and excuse for eroding freedom with autocracy. The fact that Jiang dares to do this shows he doesn't even have the confidence or subtlety of Deng Xiaoping, and wants to blatantly impose autocracy.

The laws against "subversion" will become the dictator's tool to deprive the Hong Kong people of their basic rights, and it is also another disgraceful mark on Tung Chee Hwa's personal history. Tung can do whatever he wants with support from the dictator in Beijing, but he will not be able to escape the judgment of history. The crime he has committed is none other than a crime of subversion: he has subverted the freedom in Hong Kong.