(Clearwisdom.net) Free Asia broadcast station January 10, 2003 report: Article 23 of the Basic Law is an arrow on the bow. The Hong Kong people are forced to speak out their last voice or Hong Kong will be trapped in a dead-end.

Recently, Chinese people around the world held numerous anti-Article 23 activities to protest. In San Francisco, a city with the most Cantonese-speaking Chinese in the U.S., ten organizations held conferences and signed joint-named announcements. Among the associations were the American-Hong Kong Chinese Association, the Hong Kong and Macao Democracy Development Association, the Hong Kong Student Association-University of California at Berkeley, the China Forum of the University of California at Berkeley, the Global Coalition against Article 23 Legislation and the Chinese Democracy Education Foundation, etc.

Article 23 explicitly stated seven "crimes" that it claims damage national security: treason, sedition, secession, subversion, theft of state secrets, foreign political organizations or bodies conducting political activities in the Region, and political organizations or bodies of the Region establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies. The primary target is of course the Hong Kong media. After the consultation document on proposals to implement Article 23 was published, 10% of media workers immediately said they would change their career. According to the draft of consultation document published in September 2002, if anything that involves the Region and/or the central government is reported by the media without approval, [the reporters] would be sentenced to more than five years in jail.

Looking at Hong Kong, if the anti-subversion law is enacted, the space for freedom of speech in Hong Kong would be completely shut off. As for "subversion" and "theft of state secrets," they claim that if a civil organization in Hong Kong is connected with political organizations in Mainland China or anywhere in the world is considered to be "subversive" and with the intention of "sedition," the chief of Security Bureau has the right to ban it without legal process. According to published consultation document, the Hong Kong government has the right to pursue and arrest any Hong Kong citizen who violates Article 23, even if they are living in a foreign country, meaning they can be arrested when re-entering Hong Kong. As for Hong Kong people and organizations residing in China and foreign countries, many of them have connections with foreign political organizations, and including organizations considered "subversive" by the central government. Therefore, it would be hard for them to escape the blow from Article 23. The political, cultural and personal freedoms of the Hong Kong people are greatly threatened.

Just as an editorial in the New York Times points out, if Article 23 is enacted, Hong Kong and China will both become victims. Hong Kong's status as an important world financial center will be reduced, and by depriving Hong Kong's autonomy, Beijing will reduce its credit in its resolutions with Taiwan. The editorial stated that Article 23 severely restricts the freedom of the Hong Kong people and allows the government to persecute political activities, different opinions and circulation of information the government deems unendurable.

What benefits will China gain through the reduction of Hong Kong from that of prosperity to difficulty? This is an issue the dictator does not want to think about. However, do the Hong Kong people have to live by his will? Is this indeed all Chinese people's destiny?