Total submission’: With Mass Arrests, China Neutralizes Hong Kong Democracy Movement


Professor Carl Minzner shared his expert opinion with The Washington Post on Hong Kong’s democracy movement and mass arrests.

Before dawn, Facebook news feeds here began filling up, post upon post detailing arrest after arrest. A crackdown on the city’s democracy movement was unfolding.

By late Wednesday morning, at least 53 Hong Kong residents — former lawmakers, activists and an American lawyer among them — had been detained under Beijing’s new national security law, and their offices and homes raided. Accused of subversion, they face up to life in prison for holding a primary vote last year ahead of legislative elections that were ultimately postponed and which many of them were barred from contesting.

Carl Minzner, an expert on Chinese law and governance at Fordham University, added that Beijing’s control in Hong Kong, as in China’s other restive peripheral regions, involves “a particular emphasis on remodeling communities viewed as insufficiently patriotic and loyal” through ideological education and mass arrests, and efforts to co-opt “institutions that Beijing feels it does not fully control.”

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