HK activists testify at United States’ Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) in Washington DC

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18th September 2019 – (Washington) At around 10pm Hong Kong time yesterday, political activists from Hong Kong testified at the United States’ Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) in Washington DC, United States on the issues in Hong Kong. At least 100 people were present at the hearing including media reporters.

James McGovern, member of the United States House of Representatives and Christ Smith who proposed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act started the opening speeches at the congressional hearing. Hong Kong representatives present included Secretary-General of Demosistō Joshua Wong, singer-activist Denise Ho, Hong Kong Higher Education International Affairs Delegation spokesperson, Sunny Cheung, Sharon Hom, Executive Director of Human Rights in China Sharon Hom, and author Dan Garrett.

McGovern referred to the street protests in Hong Kong where millions of people took to the streets to safeguard the future of Hong Kong. Some sacrificed their lives, health and jobs to fight for their freedom. He commended the courage of Hong Kongers and emphasised that United States will work always hand in hand with Hong Kongers. He condemned Hong Kong police for use of excessive force and said that United Kingdom has already stopped supplying tear gas and riot control equipment to Hong Kong government. He further said that United States will also stop supplying the same to Hong Kong via his proposed bill.

He urged the Beijing government to recognise the autonomy and universal suffrage in Hong Kong. He said that if the self-governing system of Hong Kong continues to be eroded, it will affect the special status accorded to Hong Kong and impede the trade talks between China and the United States. The economic growth of Hong Kong will also be severely dampened.

He continued to glorify Hong Kongers for stepping out to safeguard human rights, freedom and democracy. He pointed out that the autonomy of Hong Kong is crucial to the preservation of financial interests between United States and Hong Kong. He hopes for the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act to be passed soon.

Marco Antonio Rubio, the senior United States senator from Florida also expressed that United States will stand with Hong Kongers and he condemned police brutality and also the 21/7 Yuen Long incident. Protesters and reporters were repetitively targeted by police as they kept ‘looking the other way’. He also chided Carrie Lam for failing to respond to people’s demands and bear the responsibility of police brutality despite withdrawing the extradition bill formally.

He emphasised that freedom of human rights and rule of law are the basis of a developed Hong Kong and its special status. The whole world ‘has a stake’ in the principle of the ‘One Country, Two systems’. He then asked Hong Kongers to ‘add oil’ in Cantonese.

Chris Smith alleged the Beijing government for encroaching on the freedom of Hong Kong and suppressing the freedom of the people. The installation of mass surveillance system in Hong Kong shows that Beijing wants to control the political future of Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Joshua Wong alleged that the Beijing government intends to use Cap. 241 Emergency Regulations Ordinance to cut off the internet, stop public transport and all flights from taking off. He warned against the deployment of the ordinance and white terror. He also said that the Beijing government will prevent young people from participating in the local district elections in November. He stated that in 2019, Beijing government is upholding the unilateral principle of ‘One Country, One system’ instead and also he pointed out that all the riot control equipment and weapons including tear gas canisters, bean bag rounds, sponge grenades and water cannon vehicles were imported from Western countries.

Denise Ho blamed Carrie Lam for being headstrong and stubborn. Police concealed their warrant cards and police numbers resulting in failure of protesters in identifying them.

Meanwhile, Sunny Cheung referred to the death threats received by students and their family members.

(HEARING IN PROGRESS)