WASHINGTON — On Thursday, July 30, I fell asleep watching reruns of “Law and Order.” The next morning, I woke up a fugitive.
Chinese state television said that the Hong Kong authorities had issued arrest warrants for six activists who promote democracy for that supposedly semi-autonomous region.
I was one of the six. The charges? “Inciting secession” and “colluding with foreign powers” — part of the National Security Law imposed on July 1 by the Chinese Communist Party. Both crimes are punishable by up to life in prison.
It doesn’t matter that I’ve been an American citizen for 25 years — having left Hong Kong in 1990 to live in the United States.
I had violated Article 38 of the new law, which states: “This Law shall apply to offenses under this Law committed against the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from outside the Region by a person who is not a permanent resident of the Region.”
In other words, every provision of this law — which was concocted in Beijing and enacted without the Hong Kong legislature — applies to everyone outside of Hong Kong. Nobody is beyond the law’s reach, not me in the United States, and certainly not the estimated 85,000 Americans living and working in Hong Kong itself.
Read the rest here