【Japan Himalaya League】 Author: YouLanZiDe (幽蘭自得) Translator: Ranting
On October 7, the student union of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, which had been established for half a century, announced its dissolution, becoming the latest victim of the authorities’ frenzied crackdown on civil society groups under the National Security Law. One comment sarcastically said, “Hong Kong has gone through so many storms, and it’s amazing that today it can’t even accommodate a student union. The country is so powerful!”
According to VOA, the Chinese University of Hong Kong Student Union said in a statement published on Facebook on the 7th, since February this year, the university announced to stop collecting student union dues on behalf of the student union, and asked the student union to register independently with the government, but professional lawyers said the student union does not need to register independently, the student union held a meeting for this reason, and accepted the resignation of all representatives of the Student Union Representative Council and the motion to dissolve the Chinese University Student Union.
The statement said, “For many years, the Student Union has adhered to the spirit of democratic self-governance, common governance of members and students, and the federation of schools for the benefit of our students and the university,” but after 51 years, the CU Student Union, which insisted on being elected by democratic procedures, became history.
After the CU Student Union issued a statement on its dissolution, people took to Facebook to comment. One follow up post said, “It’s so hard to imagine CU without a student union.” Another follow up post said, “A university without a student union is not a university.” Another comment said, “Hong Kong has gone through so many storms, it is surprising that today there is not even room for a student union. The country is so powerful!”
Student unions in Hong Kong universities have been actively involved in social movements, including both the Occupy Central movement in 2014, the annual mourning of June 4, and the anti-revisionist legislation in 2019, as well as leftist movements in the 1970s that sympathized with the Chinese Communist Party and resisted colonialism. However, student unions have been subjected to increasingly harsh repression following the imposition of national security laws by the CCP in Hong Kong last year.
In April, the University of Hong Kong Students’ Union criticized Beijing’s revision of Hong Kong’s electoral system as an “end to the electoral system” and sent a letter to President Zhang Xiang, criticizing the university’s implementation of national security education as a way of cutting off institutional autonomy. Shortly afterwards, the university announced that it would take back the space where the student union operates and stop collecting dues on its behalf.
In addition, institutions such as the City University of Hong Kong and the Polytechnic University also announced that they would stop collecting dues on behalf of student unions in order to cut off the source of funding for the operation of student unions.
Since the implementation of the Hong Kong version of the national security law last year, some 50 civil society groups in Hong Kong have announced their dissolution one after another, and the trend continues.
Post Script: This article only represents the view of the author.
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Posted by: Ranting