The anti-extradition bill and democracy movement in Hong Kong has now passed its 100th day. After repeated mass protests, many of them with over one million participants, one of the demands have been met. The controversial extradition bill has been officially withdrawn. The whole process has however brought to light several issues with the way Hong Kong is governed, and serious questions concerning Mainland Chinese interference in what should be local Hong Kong issues have arisen. It has been clear throughout the process that the decision to withdraw the bill has ultimately rested with the Chinese government in Beijing, a clear breach of the “One country two systems” agreement. One of the other major protest demands, the one for universal suffrage, is still far from being met.
Unfortunately, the threat from China does not end with Hong Kong. A clearly stated goal of the Chinese government is to become the leading global power, both financially, technologically, militarily, and culturally. One side effect of this goal is that China is working hard to impose the same harsh restrictions that exists within the country concerning any kind of criticism or dissent on the rest of the world.
This can already be seen clearly in Sweden and Scandinavia:
• The Chinese embassy in Stockholm has tried to silence Swedish journalists and news media, for example Expressen, DN, SVD, Sveriges Radio and journalist Kurdo Baksi. • Swedish national Gui Minhai was kidnaped during a trip to Thailand and brought to China. His only “crime” was running a book store in Hong Kong selling books critical of the Chinese government. • Chinese state sponsored online trolls tried to create an online protest movement against a Swedish satirical TV program. • After Chinese pressure against Sheraton Hotel Stockholm, the Taiwanese national day celebrations had to be moved to another venue. • China tried to punish Norway through cooled diplomatic relations after Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.
Call to action:
• Try to put diplomatic pressure on China together with the EU parliament, and push for similar regulations as in the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” in USA. • Put Restrictions in the ability of Chinese companies to purchase Swedish companies. • Restrict Chinese direct investments in Swedish infrastructure as parts of the “belt and road” initiative. • Boycott companies owned directly or indirectly by the Chinese government, such as Huawei or Oatly.
You can find news about Hong Kong pro-democracy movements and local events in Swedish on Sverige för Hongkong Facebook page.
You may also show your support by signing the letter from Amnesty Sweden: