Hong Kong used to enjoy a lot of autonomy, even after the British turned it over to Communist China in 1997, but that all began to seriously change a couple years ago when Chinese dictator Xi Jinping’s government began cracking down on the city’s freedoms.
On Monday, as the ChiComs continue to implement more limitations on personal freedoms and freedom of the press, Reuters reported that Hong Kong’s pro-China government is pushing for power to censor films.
What’s going on?
For more than 20 years, the people of Hong Kong had pretty free lives following Great Britain’s pullout. But in 2019, the Xi regime truly began to push its allies in the local government to stifle the people’s liberties, and in that summer, protests broke out in response to the city’s planned extradition agreement with China.
After a year of fighting the people’s protests, the communist nation announced in May 2020 that it would be stepping up its abuse of Hong Kong citizens with a massive new national security law outlawing “foreign interference” and quashing pro-democracy forces — and that it would do so by fiat, bypassing the Hong Kong legislature.
According to the Xi regime, the new law was necessary to battle the ongoing freedom protests.
Just last month, pro-China authorities arrested an editor and multiple journalists of the Apple Daily, a pro-democracy newspaper that the government forced to close in June. The editor and writers were charged with “collusion with foreign forces,” a violation of the aforementioned security law.
Now the ChiComs of Hong Kong want to impose a new law to censor films — all because they want to “safeguard national security.”
The new legislation would empower greater state regulation of film in order to battle what the nation sees as “subversion, secessionism, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces,” according to Reuters.
Under the planned bill, Hong Kong’s chief secretary, the outlet said, would have the power to revoke a movie’s license if the state found it to be “contrary to the interests of national security.”
Violators would face up to three years in prison and a massive fine, equivalent to $128,400, Reuters said.
The move came after the government canceled several screenings of protest-related documentaries and movies in the city’s theaters and art centers.
The goal, the government said, is “ensuring more effective fulfillment of the duty to safeguard national security.”
“The main reference is the national security law … for instances, acts or activities which might endorse, support, glorify, encourage and incite such activities that might endanger national security,” Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s commerce secretary, explained, Reuters reported.
The city’s legislative council is scheduled to vote on the bill next Wednesday.