Washington [US], March 31 (ANI): As the 25th anniversary of Hong kong’s handover to Beijing nears, Hong Kong’s freedoms are fading while the People of the Republic of China has tightened its rule in the region, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a press statement on Thursday.
“Over the past year, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has continued to dismantle Hong Kong’s democratic institutions, placed unprecedented pressure on the judiciary, and stifled academic, cultural, and press freedoms. As the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to Beijing approaches, Hong Kong’s freedoms are diminishing while the PRC tightens its rule,” Blinken said.
“The differences between Hong Kong and cities in mainland China are shrinking due to ongoing repression from the PRC,” he further added.
Blinken said that Hong Kong Policy Act Report document’s actions which were taken by leaders in Hong Kong and the PRC have been gradually destroying the democratic institutions and human rights and also impacted the media operations and the freedom of expression.
“This year’s Hong Kong Policy Act Report document’s actions taken by leaders in Hong Kong and the PRC that have further eroded both democratic institutions and human rights, and profoundly impaired independent media operations and freedom of expression. These policies have far-reaching implications for all aspects of life in the city, including for the international business and financial communities,” he said.
Blinked mentioned the arrests of several Rights activists convicted on charges linked to pro-democracy street protests two years ago providing a blow to the city’s rapidly decreasing freedom of expression.
“Sweeping arrests of Hong Kong residents, as well as the forced closure of institutions including Apple Daily and the June 4 Museum, underscore the scope of these deeply damaging changes,” he said.
“In response to heightened risk and uncertainty, some international firms in Hong Kong have relocated entirely, while others have shifted key staff or operations elsewhere. Beijing will ultimately force many of the city’s best and brightest to flee, tarnishing Hong Kong’s reputation and weakening its competitiveness. Hong Kong’s position as a free, global financial centre will continue to suffer as a result,” Blinken further added.
He lastly said that civil society functions on the bases of rule of law and individual liberties form the bedrock on which vibrant societies grow
“A fully functioning civil society, rule of law, and individual liberties form the bedrock on which vibrant societies grow. We stand with people in Hong Kong,” Blinken said. (ANI)
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