Under China, ‘Hong Kong’s democracy is dead’


Nine Hong Kong democracy activists have been banned from contesting seats in China’s legislature, the South China Morning Post reports. Elections to choose deputies to the National People’s Congress now require candidates to swear allegiance to the Chinese constitution.

With the communist leaders in Beijing increasingly confident in exerting their control, the city’s aspirations for genuine democracy will go unanswered, analyst Michael Chugani says.

Radio Free Asia (RFA) today released an e-book featuring the artwork of Wang Liming, also known as Rebel Pepper, whose career as a political cartoonist began by satirizing politics in his native China:

In this collection of 50 drawings, titled “Drawing Fire: The Political Cartoons of Rebel Pepper,” Wang continues to apply his editorial and artistic wit to events in China, while also tackling issues from North Korean nuclear provocations to Cambodian political machinations to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis in Burma. … Forced to leave his homeland in 2014, Rebel Pepper first found haven in Japan before settling in Washington, D.C. His cartoons have appeared in the Japanese edition of Newsweek, Index of Censorship, and China Digital Times [a grantee of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Washington-based democracy assistance NGO], among other publications.  He began working for RFA in June 2017. Throughout his journey he continued to hone his craft, challenging Chinese state-controlled narratives and expanding his graphic editorials for RFA.

“Rebel Pepper masters the art of making big statements with few to no words,” said Libby Liu, President of RFA. “Political cartoonists serve up satire, caricatures, and dark humor that can be controversial, if not subversive, even in free societies with long histories of unfettered media and open debate.

RFA’s e-book is available free for download on iTunes, Google Play, and the RFA website’s e-book shelf (in PDF format).

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