HONG KONG Activists who have advocated autonomy for Hong Kong contend they have been tormented or followed by pro-China internal newspapers in new months, while Beijing has stepped adult a tongue opposite what it calls a “dangerous absurdity” of independence.
Beijing’s refusal to extend full democracy to Hong Kong, that mostly runs a possess affairs underneath a one-country, two-systems arrangement given a former British cluster returned to China in 1997, stirred 3 months of travel protests in 2014 and flourishing calls for autonomy for a city.
In a Jul check by a Chinese University of Hong Kong, 17 percent of a roughly 1,000 respondents pronounced they upheld independence, though Chinese state media call such views “poisonous”.
Six possibilities in subsequent month’s legislative elections have been released from a list by Hong Kong’s Electoral Affairs Commission for pro-independence opinions, that it says are exclusive with a city’s governance laws.
One of a six, Edward Leung, orator for Hong Kong Indigenous, a localist celebration set adult in 2015, and his co-worker Ray Wong contend they were tailed for a month this summer by group claiming to be from a journal with Beijing links.
And this month Leung was filmed in a scuffle with a contributor from a internal pro-China paper, Ta Kung Pao, that published front-page cinema of a scuffle along with a story claiming to have unprotected his dark wealth.
Leung, who suffered grazes on his face and neck from a incident, pronounced a contributor and another male approached him progressing that dusk with sum on his private life while perplexing to film his reaction. The scuffle occurred after when Leung confronted a reporter, who also incited adult during a subterraneous hire nearest to a unit a essay pronounced was his home.
TKP’s essay pronounced Leung had started a fight, and a reporter, surnamed Lo, had postulated identical injuries.
Leung pronounced a male concomitant Lo that dusk had also been one of dual group who had followed him and Wong in a black automobile for a month.
In a video filmed on Aug. 7 by Leung and posted online by him, Wong confronts a group in a automobile and asks where they are from.
The motorist is listened to say: “You know where I’m from. It’s ‘grandpa’,” regulating a renouned tenure to report China’s government. The motorist combined that he was from a newspaper, though didn’t brand a title.
“The Chinese Communist Party is creation use of Hong Kong’s Ta Kung Pao, their minion, to accumulate comprehension on us,” Wong told Reuters.
Ta Kung Pao did not respond to requests for comment.
China’s State Council Information Office and a mainland’s deputy in Hong Kong, a Liaison Office, did not lapse requests for comment.
Three employees during Ta Kung Pao, that they pronounced had an editorial staff of about 100, told Reuters they didn’t commend Lo or a other dual men.
“We consider it’s really strange. They’re not a reporters,” pronounced one, who declined to be named.
Wong pronounced his family had also been approached progressing this year by 3 group claiming to work for a Chinese supervision entity that he declined to name.
“They told my family, ‘Be careful, your son might finish adult like Lee Bo,'” Wong said, referring to a bookseller who went blank in Hong Kong in late Dec and showed adult months after underneath military control in mainland China.
A third activist, Andy Chan Ho-tin, who founded a Hong Kong National Party to foster Hong Kong independence, pronounced he contingency also have been followed in Apr by reporters during another pro-Beijing newspaper, Wen Wei Po.
He was not wakeful of it until a paper printed an essay and cinema alleging Chan’s links to another romantic charged with arson.
The essay pronounced it had invariably staked Chan out during a party’s bureau and several university campus forums.
Wen Wei Po declined to comment.
Professor Sonny Lo, co-director of a Education University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Greater China Studies and a Centre for Governance and Citizenship, pronounced normal revolutionary newspapers had undergone a “strategic transformation” in new years, adding inquisitive teams partly to dominate and accumulate comprehension on viewed threats in a criticism movements.
“We’re saying a distant some-more worldly and concurrent plan during work now from these newspapers in isolating and aggressive targets,” pronounced Lo, who has researched China’s subterraneous change in Hong Kong.
(Additional stating by Greg Torode, Tris Pan and Hera Poon; Editing by James Pomfret and Will Waterman)