Hong Kong authorities celebrate Beijing’s takeover

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (fourth, first row, from left), at the official ceremony marking the 71st anniversary of the Democratic Republic of China in Hong Kong on October 1.

According to a scenography which seems to marry, a little more each year, the style and pomp of what is done in Beijing, the government and some influential personalities of Hong Kong attended the flag raising ceremony, in the early morning of the 1er October, to mark the 71e anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, to which the former British colony has been attached since the handover in 1997.

2017 Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her husband momentarily lowered their masks to sing the Volunteer March, the Chinese national anthem, sung by a duo of opera singers while the immense Chinese flag and the small Hong Kong flag were hoisted at the top of their mast, on the square of all the official ceremonies, located at the edge of the Victoria harbor.

“Never been so optimistic”

“China is a haven for Hong Kong when times are tough and a boost when you need it”Carrie Lam then said in a short speech, mainly devoted to praising the blessings of Beijing’s support for its Special Administrative Region. Carrie Lam also mentioned her intention to respond to “Public aspirations for more democracy and better living conditions”, insisting that, since the establishment of a national security law three months ago, “Stability has returned”.

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I have never been so optimistic. I’ve seen this movie so many times: Tiananmen in 1989, the Asian crisis, SARS in 2003 … whatever happens, Hong Kong is recovering “, says famous businessman Allan Zeman, one of the few Westerners to have obtained Chinese naturalization. “People who were worried a year ago are starting to understand that the situation is getting better,” adds Edward Yau, the Minister of Trade and Economic Development, sometimes mentioned as a potential successor to Carrie Lam.

“This year we weren’t even invited”, for his part said over the phone Lam Cheuk-ting, deputy of the Democratic Party prosecuted in five different cases in connection with the disorders of the year 2019. “The reality is that Hong Kong remains the only region in China completely cut off from the rest of the country. Beijing strangles her to punish her “, also comments on the sly a guest who wishes to remain anonymous.

Mini-event

An hour before the raising of the flag, not far from there, the Guevarist deputy Leung Kwok-hung, nicknamed “Long Hair”, had led a row of four people – maximum imposed by the rules of social distancing – , supervised by dozens of police officers, for a mini-demonstration. Because even though Carrie Lam felt that “Citizens can continue to enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms”, the big march planned for that same day was banned. It should have made it possible to demand the return to Hong Kong of twelve young people intercepted by Chinese coast guards on August 23 in still unclear circumstances as they tried to flee the territory.

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China, which had already admitted to detaining these twelve Hong Kongers, affirmed Wednesday October 30 to have them formally “Arrested”. But the lawyers chosen by their relatives have still not been able to see them. Their families protested on Wednesday by bringing mooncakes (traditional moon-shaped cakes) to the liaison office, Beijing’s highest representation in Hong Kong. Because by a rare coincidence, the Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the most important dates in the Chinese calendar, also falls on the 1ster October this year. But due to Covid-19, which in nine months has killed 105 people in Hong Kong, the beaches where locals send paper lanterns to the full moon were to remain closed on Thursday.

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