Protesters staged a march in Hong Kong on Monday against what they saw as a Chinese repression, days after Chinese authorities decided to subjugate a section of a city train station to Chinese law, reports AFP news agency.
Hong Kong, which is semi-autonomous under a “one country, two systems” agreement since its return to Britain in 1997, enjoys rights not available in China, especially freedom of expression and an independent judiciary.
But a series of recent incidents have fueled fears of the erosion of Hong Kong’s self-rule and rule of law, including the imprisonment of prominent democracy activists.
Democracy activist Joshua Wong, who joined thousands of participants on Monday, said repression by the Communist Party of China (CPC) government had increased in 2017.
Wong, 21, was jailed in August for his role in mass rallies for the pro-democracy umbrella movement in 2014 and was released on bail pending an appeal against his six-month sentence.
“I hope that every citizen in Hong Kong in 2018 will become a defender in order to restore the basic values that Beijing is eating,” Wong told AFP.
Many protesters expressed anger over the “sign-in” agreement, which was the name given to the imposition of Chinese law on part of a railway station in the heart of the city.
The station, which is a link to major cities in southern China such as Shenzhen and Guangzhou, is scheduled to open this year. Plans have been made to set up a joint immigration inspection center, meaning that two Chinese policemen and other officials will be stationed at the Hong Kong railway station.