Officials in the Chinese capital, Beijing, and in Hong Kong have issued a string of warnings after a journalists’ association broadcast a speech by an advocate for the city’s independence. The immediate censure by Chinese and Hong Kong officials hinted that city lawmakers may soon be pressed to pass a law against sedition and treason, which could stifle protest in the partially autonomous territory. Earlier this week, Andy Chan Ho-tin, convener of the Hong Kong National Party, told a crowd at Hong Kong’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club, or FCC, that “if Hong Kong were to become truly democratic, Hong Kong’s sovereignty must rest with the people of Hong Kong. And there is only one way to achieve this: independence.” Chan, who was banned from being a legislative candidate in 2016, denounced China as a worldwide threat to freedom. He also called on foreign governments, including the United States, to help Hong Kong. “China is, by nature, as an empire, a threat to all free peoples in the world,” Chan told the audience. “Simply saying you are pro-independence is somehow the same as committing treason. … There is, in other words, no longer freedom of speech in Hong Kong, but instead, the… Read full this story
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