Overseas Chinese Organizations Rally in Los Angeles to Oppose Hong Kong's Article 23 Legislation (Photo)
(Clearwisdom.net) World Journal in Los Angeles has reported that on December 14, 2002 before the consultation period of the controversial Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23 Legislation is over, many overseas Chinese organizations of southern California rallied in Chinatown's Chung Shan Square in protest of the proposed law that will deprive the Hong Kong people of their human rights and violate the promise of "No Change in 50 years." Some attendees called on Taiwan "not to be deceived by 'One Country, Two Systems.'"
The organizations attending the rally included: Global Committee Against Article 23 Legislation, Hong Kong Forum, Visual Arts Association, Democracy Union, China Human Rights, China Democracy & Unity League, China Social Democratic Party Western America Branch, China Mainland Political Asylum Western America Association, "China Affair" Magazine, and Falun Gong practitioners etc.
Los Angeles Hong Kong Forum spokesperson Guan Shuyue said that according to the consultation document, the legislation will follow the lead of Mainland China. Any organization banned in the mainland for the reason of national security will also be banned in Hong Kong without the government going through an investigation. The document also deliberately confuses the principles of "government" and "country." "Opposing the government" is equal to "opposing the country." It also gives the police authority to search residential houses and arrest residents even without a court order or evidence.
Guan Shuyue indicated this law binds all Hong Kong permanent residents regardless of where they are, and regardless of the nationality. If anyone violates Article 23, they may be extradited back to Hong Kong for trial. If the verdict is guilty, minimum punishment is seven years imprisonment; the maximum is life imprisonment. For instance, if a Hong Kong resident holds a foreign passport and transgresses Article 23 in a foreign country, after he returns to Hong Kong, he can be arrested immediately.
The Article 23 legislation consultation document proposed by the Hong Kong government on September 24th will expire on the 24th of this month. It has already caused widespread discussion among people from all walks of life. Guan Shuyue said that the only thing people can do is hope that the people can change the contents of Article 23, deleting those parts that deprive people of their human rights; or it could simply be dropped, since history has proved that there is no need for it in Hong Kong.
One attendee, Mr. Ren Feng said, "Before 1997, the Beijing government promised the system in Hong Kong would continue for 50 years, that both horse racing and dancing would continue. Now it has been only five years, and Beijing has become impatient and wants to change the free system in Hong Kong. Now Beijing is talking to Taiwan by saying if Taiwan accepts the 'One China' principle, everything else can be negotiated. But looking at the true nature of the Chinese Communist Party, it is just another trick. The Article 23 legislation actually exposed its true nature." Another said to Taiwan: "Republic of China, don't be deceived by the Chinese Communist Party's 'One Country, Two Systems' lie."
The Falun Gong representative said that if Article 23 was passed, all practitioners in Hong Kong would automatically be persecuted.