Xi Jinping, Chinese President, today said,” The Hong Kong was independent than before and laid down a red line for any challenge to Beijing’s authority since it was handed back by Britain.” Xi Jinping spoke in a television interview after swearing ceremony of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam as anti Beijing protesters that was clashed close to the ceremony.
The Pro-China committee elected Carrie Lam as her predecessors and is being cast by critics as a stooge in a city where peoples are angry at Beijing’s tightening grip on the freedoms of around eight million people.
A large parts of Hong Kong shut down for huge security operation for Jinping’s three day tour after reflecting Beijing’s concern that there should be no embarrassment before the key Communist Party congress and later which is expected to fix his position as the most powerful Chinese leader of this generation. Since, becoming leader in 2013 this was his first trip and his first comes three years after mass pro democracy rallies crippled the parts of the city for months.
On Saturday, China’s President said that any threat of China sovereignty and security or for power of the central government crosses the red line and is totally impermissible.
He was warned against endangering Hong Kong constitution or using the city to carry out penetrate and destroy activities that are against the mainland. He warned soon after the emergence of young activists calling for self determination or full independence for Hong Kong, which enraged Beijing.
Xi Jinping insisted that now, Hong Kong had more comprehensive democratic rights and freedoms than other time in its history and undertaking to uphold its semi autonomous status. But on Friday, Beijing’s foreign ministry had declared the documentation signed by China and Britain which initiated that this handover is no longer relevant.
The Joint Declaration between Sino British gave unseen rights to Hong Kong on the mainland through one country and two system agreement that last long from past 50 years. The fear for the freedoms is under threat from an assertive Beijing with inhibiting in a range of areas from politics to media and education and chinese authorities accused of appropriation.
Jinping called Hong Kong to improve its systems in order to uphold China’s sovereignty and enhance education to promote China’s culture and history. Also, there is a proposal according to which inclusion of patriotic education in Hong Kong schools has been shelved since it met with huge protests in 2012. The target of Pro China protesters was a small march in memory of the victims by activists of Beijing’s 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown Saturday morning as officials gathered for the swearing occasion.
The pro democracy campaigners prepared to carry a makeshift coffin , as they do this every year in which a man ran across the street and kicked it. Then, flag waving pro China protesters blocked the march as police struggled to separate the two sides. Soon after that the Democracy campaigners were taken away in police vans and then they were released after some time.
Since Xi flew-in on Thursday, the Activists say that they have been followed and has been attacked repeatedly. Swearing of lam is deep symbol for all those frustrated activists who were pushed for free leadership elections during the Umbrella Movement rallies in 2014 but it was failed to win concessions. Pro-democracy lawmakers voted down the proposal in parliament and the reform process has now stalled. However, Lam didn’t made any commitment to revisit it soon.