Harbour Times Editor-in-Chief Andrew Work gave a talk at Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Ottawa earlier last month on “Can fundamental rights and freedoms in Hong Kong survive Chinese rule?”.
According to Work, Hong Kong did not immediately come under totalitarian rule after Britain handed the city over to China in 1997, as some had pessimistically anticipated. Journalists and writers still enjoy a reasonable level of freedom of press in Hong Kong as they can publish writings critical of the Chinese regime.
The kidnapping of Hong Kong booksellers selling such books of Chinese tourists by Chinese authorities in 2015, however, seems to be a signal that all these freedoms in Hong Kong can be taken away anytime – but no one can be sure when and how will that actually happen.
“They don’t want to just sow fear, they want to sow fear and confusion,” Work remarked.
These incidents fuelled an atmosphere of distrust in the city. “People are beginning to feel the Chinese government’s influence on media,” he said. “People become hypersensitive to everything, sometimes correctly, sometimes not.”
Andrew’s full presentation is now online. Please check out MacDonald-Laurier Institute’s website.