Crackdown to end Hong Kong status as haven for civil society


National Endowment for Democracy

Beijing’s looming imposition of a security law on Hong Kong has spread fear through charities and advocacy groups in the city, as China prepares to go after foreign-backed organizations deemed to interfere in local affairs or carry out “destructive” or “subversive” activities, Reuters reports:

For decades, Hong Kong was a haven for civil society, a safe place for activists who had fled China and an operational base on the fringe of the mainland for groups pursuing social justice, labour rights and democracy. Now those groups are contemplating whether they can continue to exist as China prepares a national security law for Hong Kong that will take aim at what Beijing deems “foreign interference.” It’s a charge mainland authorities already routinely level against advocacy groups in the city.

In December, Beijing’s hawkish Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying singled out five organizations for playing an “egregious role” in the violent protests that swept Hong Kong last summer and fall, notably the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, Human Rights Watch and Freedom House, Reuters adds.

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