Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Beijing Celebrates Obedient Macau as Hong Kong Racked by Protests

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While Hong Kong has been roiled by more than half a year of protests against perceived communist influence from the mainland, its neighboring city of Macau has progressed in the opposite direction—serving as a model of obedience to the regime.

The former Portuguese colony, now the world’s largest gambling market, is currently hosting Chinese leader Xi Jinping for his three-day visit to mark the 20th anniversary of Chinese regime rule.

Under the “one country, two systems” formula, which also governs Hong Kong, the territory was to be guaranteed a high level of political autonomy not enjoyed in the mainland.

Some 40 miles away, Hong Kong, which the regime similarly reclaimed in the late 1990s, saw another round of protests on Dec. 19 when hundreds marched through downtown to the consulates of eight countries. The pro-democracy movement, initially ignited over the now-withdrawn extradition bill, has broadened into public defiance against the Chinese communist regime—which protesters say has not kept its word to stay out of the city’s affairs.

Beijing’s Praise

Xi, who arrived in the city for a three-day visit on Dec. 18, has lavished Macau with praise, calling the city a “source of pride.”

During a welcome banquet on Dec. 19, Xi praised Macau’s government for “prioritizing the interest of the country and Macau” and for its “patriotic education,” including mandating all schools to raise Chinese flags and sing the Chinese anthem.

“The [Macau government] and people from all walks of society is well aware that ‘harmony makes a family prosper,’” Xi said in the same speech. “They consciously resist various foreign interferences.”

Chinese state-run news outlet Xinhua also quoted Xi telling Macau security forces to “resolutely prevent and crackdown on any activities that harm national sovereignty, challenge the central government’s power or the authority of the Basic Law.”

Show of Loyalty

Unlike its restive neighbor, Macau, where half of its 620,000 population emigrated from China in recent decades, has been closely following…

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