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The Biggest Story of 2020 Won't Be COVID or Riots, Tom Cotton Warns it will be HONG KONG

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On Thursday, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) gave a powerful speech about the Chinese Communist Party’s brutal crackdown on Hong Kong. He suggested that this assault on Hong Kong’s liberties may be the most important event of 2020, even more monumental than the coronavirus pandemic or the George Floyd riots. He also suggested that China’s application of a “national security law” railroading the freedom of Hong Kongers exposes the Chinese Communist Party’s greatest weakness.

“What’s happening right now in Hong Kong is a tragedy, a crime, an affront to the civilized world. In an eventful year with so much happening every single day, we may look back in the near future and say this moment, in Hong Kong, was the most important event of the year. It’s not getting enough attention, though, because the Chinese Communist Party is using the pandemic as cover for its crimes against Hong Kong,” Cotton began.

The senator condemned the “national security law” as a tool to “sweep aside” Hong Kong’s traditions and freedoms. “While the Chinese Communist party hasn’t yet rolled in the tanks, as it did in Tiananmen Square, the effects of this law are no less chilling to democracy,” he warned.:snip:

 

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Overnight, a Hong Kong Hotel Is Transformed Into China’s State Security HQ

HONG KONG—First the construction signs went up, then a flagpole appeared and police officers started to swarm the streets. Within hours, a skyscraper hotel in a cozy neighborhood of bars, apartments and boutiques was transformed into something new: the headquarters of Beijing’s powerful new security agency for the city.:snip:

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China's Great Firewall descends on Hong Kong internet users

At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong.

Unveiling expanded police powers as part of a contentious new national security law, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech and force internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms.

Many residents, already anxious since the law took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the last year of protests. Charles Mok, a pro-democracy lawmaker who represents the technology sector, tweeted: “We are already behind the de facto firewall.”

Hong Kong is facing a dramatic decline of one of its most important advantages – a free and open internet – a defining trait that sets it apart from mainland China where Facebook, Twitter, Google and most major foreign news sites are blocked.

The prospect of Beijing-style internet controls – where residents are not just restricted but monitored and punished for what they post online while companies are forced to censor their platforms – is worrying for citizens, activists and businesses in Hong Kong.:snip:

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