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From the Berlin Wall to Hong Kong’s National Security Law

June 24, 2020 |   By Shu Tong and Xi Jin

(Minghui.org) The Berlin Wall, the symbol of a clear dividing line between communism and the free world, was demolished in November 1989. Along with other factors, the domino effect eventually led to the Soviet Union’s dissolution two years later.

The ending of the Cold War, however, did not fully eradicate communism and its harm to mankind. After decades of harsh brutality, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continued to expand its influence, and with the help from Western society, it has grown into the second-largest economy in the world.

If the Tiananmen Square Massacre and the 20-year-long persecution of Falun Gong did not alarm the world enough, the CCP's cover-ups of the coronavirus outbreak and recent implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong serve as another warning for the world to break away from the century-long communism nightmare.

Berlin Wall

After World War II, Germany was separated and diverged on different routes. The rapid reconstruction and redevelopment of West Germany and Austria were astonishing, referred to as the Miracle on the Rhine (Wirtschaftswunder). Walter Ulbricht, a loyal follower of Joseph Stalin, adopted communism in East Germany accompanied by repression and hunger.

Massive westward emigration occurred in the 1950s with hundreds of thousands fleeing in the first six months of 1953 alone, triggered by fear of increased Sovietization. As usual, communist East Germany enforced tight restrictions in an attempt to stop the exodus of skilled workers and educated people, a phenomenon called Brain Drain.

This contradiction was clearly seen in Berlin, where no physical barrier existed between the two jurisdictions. About 3.5 million people, or roughly 20% or the entire East German population, had fled by August 17, 1961, when the Berlin Wall was constructed.

The Western countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, continued to support West Germany including West Berlin, which was surrounded by East Germany territory. During his speech at West Berlin on June 12, 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan called on Mikhail Gorbachev, then the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, to tear down the Wall.

As thousands of East Germans gathered at the Berlin Wall demanding guards to open the gates on November 9, 1989, officers were first ordered to revoke their citizenship. It was soon clear that no East German officials were willing to take personal responsibility to issue orders of force. The gates were opened, and residents from both sides soon joined celebrating a long-waited peace and reunion.

The Situation of Hong Kong

To some degree, Hong Kong resembles West Berlin—surrounded by a tyrannical regime and serving as a symbol of the free world.

Instead of opening the gate and allowing passage for citizens to seek freedom, the national security law pushed through by the CCP essentially turns Hong Kong into a communist territory, something that had never occurred to West Berlin.

Similar to West Germany, Hong Kong grew quickly since the 1950s and became the first of the Four Asian Tiger economies, as well as one of the major financial centers in the world. Although a joint declaration was signed between U.K. and China in 1984 that guaranteed Hong Kong’s economic and political systems to remain unchanged for 50 years since 1997, over half a million people emigrated between 1987 and 1996 fearing the uncertainties.

Although less than half of the 50-year period has passed, the CCP has already made several attempts to undermine Hong Kong’s freedom: a failed national security bill in 2003, followed by a failed extradition bill in 2019. And most recently, the proposed national security law on May 21, 2020.

The Terror of Communism

Besides legislative measures, the CCP has also harassed individuals. Lam Wing-kee, a bookstore owner in Hong Kong, was secretly detained in October 2015 and transferred to mainland China for selling books that were banned in China. After regaining freedom in 2016, he later moved to Taiwan due to the Hong Kong extradition bill incident and opened a bookstore there.

The Hong Kong office of the Epoch Times, an independent news media that exposes the CCP’s human rights violations, was damaged and set on fire by four mobsters on November 19, 2019.

The tough ruling from the CCP, however, did not defeat Hong Kong residents. Thousands of people went on a peaceful March on May 24. “I’ll fight on until I can’t anymore,” said Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily. “If we fear, then there is no way we can do anything … it’s not the time to be careful, it’s the time to be brave.”

The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, published by the Epoch Times in November 2004, has helped many Chinese people understand the brutality and nature of the CCP regime. As of late June 2020, close to 360 million people have renounced their membership of the CCP organizations, which also include its junior organizations of the Youth League and Young Pioneers.