Edition and Translation: Jenny Ball
With the implementation of China’s National Security Law (NSW) in Hong Kong in 2020, the authorities were able to easily convict protesters, significantly strengthening the CCP’s control over Hong Kong. Many analysts have noted that the CCP’s political repression has harmed academic freedom in Hong Kong and has resulted in a rapid exodus of talent.
Last month, just days after Hong Kong Chief Executive-designate John Lee Ka-chiu was elected, the National Security Division arrested several people, including Xu Baoqiang, a former visiting associate professor at Lingnan University.
Xu Baoqiang, one of the trustees of the “612 Humanitarian Support Fund,” was scheduled to leave Hong Kong for Europe as a visiting scholar at a university, but was arrested at the airport.
Feng Zhaotian, secretary-general of Hong Kong Border Town Youth, said the situation proves that “Hong Kong is already a big prison“.
According to the Nikkei Asian Review, following the implementation of the NSW in Hong Kong, some academics were fired or terminated without cause. Many academics say they are faced with difficult decisions, and they are concerned about sensitive research topics that may make them targets of the NSW.
Professor Wang Yaozong, a former associate vice president of Lingnan University and head of the Department of Political Science, recently announced his relocation to Australia. He stated that he was unwilling to live in Hong Kong due to the NSW.
Many academics left as Beijing tightened its crackdown gradually. There are no reliable statistics on the number of academics who have left or are considering leaving due to political concerns. However, observers believe the numbers are increasing due to political factors, and Hong Kong continues to enforce strict COVID-19 prevention measures.
June Teufel Dreyer, a professor of political science at the University of Miami, wrote on the website of the Foreign Policy Research Institute that under Hong Kong’s growing authoritarianism, “arrests are still taking place, all public expressions of resistance have disappeared, and there are probably 100,000 people who have left (probably they are the most dissatisfied)”.
Keiji Fukuda, a Japanese scholar, was the former dean of the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health and an expert adviser to the Hong Kong government. He went to the United States at the end of last year after his contract with the University of Hong Kong was not renewed.
According to the Nikkei, as international scholars from top HK universities leave, more positions are being filled by scholars from mainland China.
In the most recent academic year, the proportion of mainland professors at City University increased from 19.6 percent to nearly 25 percent, while the proportion of international staff decreased to 28.5 percent.
According to Xu Luowen, a former assistant professor of journalism at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who now lives in the Netherlands, Hong Kong’s universities have lost their appeal to international scholars due to the deterioration of the academic freedom environment.
Comment: It did not take the CCP long to devastate Hong Kong’s international financial centre. Consider what would happen if the CCP took over the world as it has been planning for decades.
Link of the source article: hk.epochtimes.com