At the FCC on Monday, veteran journalist Ching Cheong argued that, since 2003, Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong amounts to a de facto amendment to the Basic Law.
Cheong, who is chairman of the Independent Commentators Association, said that China misread the mass pro-democracy protests of 2003, attributing them to a lack of patriotism and a colonial hangover. Therefore, Beijing began a slow ‘decolonisation’ process, involving the enforcement of ‘national education’ and a greater role for Chinese authorities in running the SAR.
In preparation for this shift of policy towards Hong Kong, Beijing sparked debates in the city about the meaning of patriotism and the nature of the Basic Law.
During the launch of a new campaign group called ‘2047 Monitor’ Cheong presented a chronology detailing how China has eroded the SAR’s mini-constitution over the past 12 years.