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Beijing Trying to ‘Remake Hong Kong in Its Image’ With City Election Delay: Rubio

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The United States imposed sanctions on two more Chinese officials and one Chinese regime entity over human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslim minorities in the far-western region of Xinjiang. The Trump administration on July 31 announced sanctions on current and former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials heading the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a regional paramilitary force under the Party, as well as the XPCC itself. The latest move builds upon sanctions issued earlier this month against four CCP officials—including a member of the CCP’s powerful Politburo Chen Quanguo—for their roles in overseeing the suppression in Xinjiang. The United Nations estimates that more than a million Uyghur Muslims have been detained in internment camps in the Xinjiang region. Survivors of the internment camps said they experienced torture, rape, and political indoctrination while…

Beijing Trying to ‘Remake Hong Kong in Its Image’ With City Election Delay: Rubio

Governments and officials around the world have condemned the Hong Kong government’s decision to delay an upcoming election, saying it was Beijing’s latest affront on the city’s freedoms.

“The world has watched the Chinese Communist Party’s continued, escalating assault on Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told The Epoch Times in a July 31 email.

On Friday, Hong Kong’s top official Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the decision to postpone the September Legislative Council election by one year, citing a surge in local virus cases. Hong Kong has recorded triple-digit increases in COVID-19 cases for the tenth day straight, with 121 new cases recorded on Friday.

Rubio said Beijing was exploiting the virus pandemic to “remake Hong Kong in its image” and that “Hongkongers’ political freedoms are being crushed daily.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, at a Friday press conference, condemned the election postponement, saying the action “undermines the democratic processes and freedoms that have underpinned Hong Kong’s prosperity,” and is “only the most recent in a growing list of broken promises by Beijing.”

The move dealt a blow to the local pro-democracy camp, which hoped to win a majority of seats in the legislature. In mid-July, more than half a million Hongkongers came out to cast ballots in an unofficial primary organized by pro-democracy activists, a turnout widely viewed as a symbolic protest against the national security law.

Beijing Trying to ‘Remake Hong Kong in Its Image’ With City Election Delay: Rubio A woman (centre L) uses her phone while waiting to vote during primary elections in Hong Kong on July 12, 2020. (Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images)

In reaction to the election postponement, Germany suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong. The United States, U.K., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand previously ended their agreements with Hong Kong following Beijing’s imposition of a sweeping national security law.

The law went into effect on July 1, the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s transfer of sovereignty from British to Chinese rule.

On Thursday, local authorities mass-disqualified a dozen prominent pro-democracy activists from running in the election. Chris Patten, the last British governor, described the move as “an outrageous political purge.” And on July 29, the Hong Kong police’s new national security department made its first arrests, detaining four student activists for posting “problematic messages” advocating for independence on social media.

The recent developments in Hong Kong “represent a further infringement of the rights of Hong Kong citizens,” the Germany foreign ministry said in a statement on Twitter.

Hours after Lam made the announcement, Hong Kong police issued arrest warrants for six democracy activists currently based overseas, including Nathan Law and former British consular worker Simon Cheng, accusing them of violating the national security law.

Law, currently in the U.K., said that he had expected such a day to come when he fled Hong Kong amid growing Chinese encroachment, but that “this becoming a reality still disappoints, incapacitates, and frightens me.”

Beijing Trying to ‘Remake Hong Kong in Its Image’ With City Election Delay: Rubio Pro-democracy activist Nathan Law, along with Agnes Chow and Joshua Wong, attends a press conference in Hong Kong on Jan. 27, 2018. (Kin Cheung/AP Photo)

“[W]ho can enjoy freedom from fear in the face of China’s powerful political machine?” he said on Twitter. He said he has stopped contacting family members since leaving the city and will also sever ties with them.

“The arrests, the disqualifications, the wanted bulletins—these are indications of our need to remain active on the global stage,” he continued. “That Hong Kong has no place for even such moderate views like ours underscores the absurdity of Chinese Communist rule.”

The Hong Kong government’s decision also invited a torrent of U.S. criticism on Twitter. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) called it a “slippery slope to authoritarianism,” while Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said it showed the Chinese regime’s pattern of suppression.

“Whether the election is tomorrow or in a year, [Hong Kong’s] desire for democracy won’t fade,” he wrote.

Follow Eva on Twitter: @EvaSailEast

Focus News: Beijing Trying to ‘Remake Hong Kong in Its Image’ With City Election Delay: Rubio

DOJ Takes Action Against Researchers in Connection With Their China Work

An American former professor was sentenced for concealing his participation in a Chinese state-run recruitment program, while a Chinese researcher pleaded guilty to stealing trade secrets from her employer in order to benefit China. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced details of two separate cases on July 30. Dr. James Patrick Lewis, a former West Virginia University (WVU) professor, was sentenced to three months in prison for federal program fraud, while Chen Li pleaded guilty to stealing trade secrets from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Research Institute in Ohio, for the benefit of herself and the Chinese communist regime. According to the DOJ, she applied to multiple Chinese state-run talent plans. For years, China’s central authorities and regional governments have rolled out talent recruitment programs, targeting promising overseas Chinese and…

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