'HK used to suppress China since the handover' - RTHK
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'HK used to suppress China since the handover'

2021-07-23 HKT 10:53
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  • 'HK used to suppress China since the handover'
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Friday that “external forces” have used Hong Kong to “suppress China” ever since the handover in 1997, but people weren't sensitive enough to notice it.

On RTHK’s Backchat programme, Lam alleged that foreign interference was behind major protests over the past two decades.

She said Hong Kong has been used "as a platform" for the "process” of the suppression of China, citing the half-a-million-strong march against the proposed Article 23 national security legislation in 2003, mass sit-in against planned national education curriculum in 2012, the Occupy Central campaign in 2014, the advocacy of Hong Kong independence that was linked to the Mong Kok riot in 2016 and the social unrest of 2019.

"Why were these young people harbouring such sort of anti-China sentiment? Why did an initiative of the Education Bureau to teach national education in Hong Kong schools arouse that sort of strong resistance and protests on the streets?" Lam asked.

"Why did rioters during the 2019 protests have all this gear, this equipment supplied to them? Then, one would have to ask yourself, what has happened in Hong Kong?"

She said it’s her view that “external forces” were at work, without offering any proof.

“This is not the occasion to talk about evidence, we have judicial proceedings,” she said.

“I would say that the whole community, including the Hong Kong SAR government, somehow were, in a mild way, you can say that we were not sufficiently sensitive or alert. We did not realise that it was not just a simple individual isolated act, but in a more fundamental way, if you look at it, it is not as simple as that.”

During the programme, the CE also dismissed suggestions that the city no longer enjoys the freedoms enshrined in the Basic Law after the national security law was enacted last year.

"I'd honestly ask you, what sort of freedoms have we lost? What sort of vibrancy has Hong Kong been eroded?"

“If you look at the stock market, the property market, and the technology sector, the startups, even arts and culture now, they are all booming, because of the support from the central people’s government, and because of the restoration of order and stability in Hong Kong.”