After the suspension of Hong Kong’s Apple Daily, Hong Kong’s Standpoint News also recently issued an announcement saying that all blog articles, reprinted articles and commentary articles such as readers’ contributions published in May this year and before were temporarily removed from the shelves; sponsorship acceptance was suspended and the monthly fee transfer arrangement for paid members was discontinued; in addition to the settlement of employees with more than six months’ seniority were re-employed and six of the eight directors of the parent company resigned as directors. The stand said, “The current financial reserves are sufficient to meet expenses for 9 to 12 months.”
In an interview with the station, Zhang Jie-ping, former editor-in-chief of Tuan Media, who is based in Taiwan, pointed out that what happened to Hong Kong’s Apple Daily in the past two weeks was beyond the expectations of many people, including herself. Zhang Jie-ping said she didn’t think the National Security Law would be applied to the news media so soon, but the seeds of criminalization for speech had already been planted.
Zhang Jie-ping: “The most troublesome thing is that the National Security Law lacks legal details, and all these times are just arrests, but no formal cases, prosecutions, trials, or convictions. I myself think that the arrests are now used to create an atmosphere of terror to make an example of the monkeys. To some extent, it is also a political ‘July 1’ clearance before, this is my guess.”
Zhang Jieping points out that the key is that there is no formal legal process, so the charges are not known at all, and it is impossible to deduce what kind of action of “Hong Kong Appleseed” violates what charges, and whether “Position News” and “Zong News” will be the same.
Zhang Jieping: “Everyone does not know where the basis is, and can only use the strictest of that ruler to examine themselves. Seeing a lot of Facebook, special pages, and self-publishers have closed their accounts is this effect.” Zhang Jieping believes that the lack of basis, simply just a big arrest, the formation of the panic effect is obvious.
Chen Wenshan: “Apple” and “Position” clear zero to avoid being infiltrated to do fake news to tout the government
Taiwanese theology scholar and visiting assistant professor at the School of Theology at Chung Chi College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Chen Wenshan, told the station, “This is something that will happen in the range of speculation, something that is predictable.” Chen Wenshan said, the outside world originally expected China during the epidemic, coupled with the need to take into account international relations, industrial chain and other issues, may not be so hard, so fast.
Chen Wenshan: “Maybe his domestic situation is very bad, so he used a very strong way to erase the entire past history of Hong Kong and redo the ideological indoctrination, unfortunately! But what The Standpoint News did was wise. I know many not just media, or NGOs or Christian groups, who have made preparations to ‘zero out’ and then disband.”
Chan further explained that if these organizations or media did not “zero out” and disband, what they might face next is further infiltration and internal division, and then start to create some fake news under his original banner, or create some news that only touts the government’s actions, the people of Hong Kong would be more easily brainwashed. The people of Hong Kong are more likely to be brainwashed, because he knows that “Standpoint News”, Hong Kong “Apple News” used to be good.
Chen Wenshan: “But now if the “Standpoint News”, Hong Kong “Apple News” is no longer available, people will know that any media, his words can not be trusted. Hong Kong people did not return to China only today. After 1997, they have developed a sense of self-awareness and resistance to media judgments. They generally don’t believe in Ta Kung Pao or Hong Kong 01.”
Hong Kong media people stay or go? Do well to take risks or take a step back
As for the media people who still remain in Hong Kong to fight in the end should go or continue to stay, Zhang Jie Ping from the “stand news” issued a circular that has done the best he could! Zhang Jie Ping said, each newsman, news organizations in this situation, will take the maximum risk to assess their next approach. Of course many will insist, whether from the perspective of institutions, individuals, the mission of doing news.
Zhang Jie Ping: “I think the approach and order of protection in Standpoint News actually gives a pretty good guideline for everyone. It’s about protecting your donors’ money accounts; protecting the employees, I believe they sign contracts with employees that deal with specific exemptions; or avoiding company funds being frozen, maybe sending out severance pay first or something like that; and then protecting the directors. The ultimate risk is that if you want to do this, you have to be prepared to take the risk; otherwise, please take a step back.”
Zhang Jieping pointed out that the political news also in Hong Kong to do, especially political exposé news reporters and fellow journalists and institutions, may have to do the same review, that is, they can undertake to which step, can undertake to that step to do the corresponding thing; if not, to do with their own related interests and partners are cut, may be more responsible to say.
Lee Ka-chiu was promoted to be the Chief Secretary for Administration, and the situation in Hong Kong deteriorated even faster
The new wave of personnel changes in Hong Kong, the Secretary for Security Li Ka-chiu was promoted to the Chief Secretary for Administration, the Commissioner of Police Deng Bingqiang was appointed Secretary for Security, the police system to replace the “civilian officials”. Zhang Jieping believes that the civil service and police system in Hong Kong may be stronger than China’s national security system and civil service execution, Hong Kong’s strength is the speedy execution. Zhang Jieping expects that “looking at the situation of the democrats down the road, it will change faster than people think.”
Chen Wenshan also agrees that the Hong Kong government’s crackdown will be more thunderous, and those who want to lean on the government and have no core values will fall on one side. But from 2019, 2020 efforts to adhere to the core values of people who adhere to the spirit of the rule of law and freedom of human rights in Hong Kong in the past, will be more hidden, preserve the strength of the way, and wait for the next wave of suitable to come out to protest the time.
Chen Wenshan: “The situation is worse and worse than expected, far faster than expected, and you will find that China completely regardless of international criticism and accusations, to the point of a kind of shameless, is to start to suppress. So he is bad enough to exceed imagination.”
Chen Wenshan heaved a sigh and said, “The spirit of Hong Kong will not die.” It’s just that the front, the timing of their resistance, needs to make very big strategic adjustments. You will see the overseas fronts of Hong Kong begin to organize actively. It’s just that the people will suffer greatly and endure to exercise their minds to a point where they can hopefully grit their teeth and pull through.