We all saw it coming. Back in May China announced plans to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong through its own one-party system. In doing so, China to effectively put an end to the “one country, two systems” commitment they had made when Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1997. China promised to respect Hong Kong’s semi-independence for at least 50 years but 23 years later it’s clear that nothing approaching freedom of speech exists in Hong Kong any longer.

Police announced they had arrested four students for the crime of advocating Hong Kong independence. One of the four is only 16-years-old.

The four students arrested had connections to a group called Studentlocalism which was pro-independence. I say ‘was’ because Studentlocalism was shut down a few days before the new national security law took effect. The former leader of that group, Tony Chung, was one of the people arrested. Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong said Chung was arrested for a post on Facebook about Chinese nationalism. Wong also claimed Chung’s phone was hacked:

Nathan Law, another pro-democracy leader who fled Hong Kong earlier this month said it appeared China was afraid of social media posts by teenagers:

According to the Senior Superintendent of the National Security Department, it’s all perfectly legal now thanks to the new national security law. Under the law, “separatism” is a crime with a possible life sentence.

Li Kwai-Wah, a senior superintendent at the newly established national security department, said the four people arrested had said that “they want to establish a Hong Kong republic and that they will unreservedly fight for it.”

“They also said they want to unite all pro-independence groups in Hong Kong for this purpose,” he added…

Under the new measures, those convicted of crimes amounting to what Beijing described as “separatism,” “subversion,” “terrorism” and “collusion with foreign forces” could face life sentences. The law also allows for police to enter homes without a warrant, conduct surveillance on those suspected to have violated the law and seize their devices.

That’s not the only mischief China is up to in Hong Kong this week. China also announced today that 12 pro-democracy candidates for office have been disqualified from running in the upcoming elections. Activist Joshua Wong tweeted about the decision and noted that the official reason for his disqualification is that he wrote something critical of the national security law.

Hong Kong is now about as free as the rest of China, i.e. you can say whatever you want as long as it’s pro-CCP and pro-Xi Jinping. However, if you deviate from the party even slightly, the police will show up and you could face life in prison.