Tony Chung Wiki-Tony Chung Biography
Hong Kong teenage activist Tony Chung has been charged under a new national security law just days after being detained outside the US consulate.
Mr. Chung, 19, had reportedly planned to enter the consulate and apply for asylum.
He faces possible life in prison if convicted of secession, conspiracy to post seditious content, and money laundering.
The court denied bail to Mr. Chung, the second person charged under the law.
The controversial law was imposed by China in Hong Kong in June, making it easier to punish protesters and reducing the autonomy of the city.
The law is wide-ranging and gives Beijing sweeping powers it never had before to shape life in the territory.
Critics say the law erodes the city’s judicial independence and rights such as free speech, and that it has created a sense of fear and uncertainty in Hong Kong.
The United States, which under the Trump administration has taken a hard line against China, criticized the arrest.
What do we know about Chung’s arrest?
According to the South China Morning Post, Chung was detained Tuesday morning at a coffee shop in front of the US consulate.
UK-based activist group Friends of Hong Kong said it had planned to enter and apply for asylum. Instead, pictures taken near the consulate showed plainclothes policemen taking him away.
Chung, a former member of the pro-independence group Studentlocalism, had previously said that life under the new law had become more restrictive for him and other activists.
He told BBC Chinese in a recent interview that he felt that he could not speak or act freely and that he had to “worry about red lines all the time.”
But he also said that the activists had not stopped fighting and that “at the right time, we will go out to protest again.”
“Yes, we lose at this point. But the road to democracy is always long.”
He will remain in custody until his next court appearance on January 7 of next year.
What is the new Hong Kong security law?
Beijing imposed Hong Kong’s national security law in June after months of huge pro-democracy protests last year against an extradition bill.
The new law punishes secession, subversion of the central government, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces with up to life imprisonment.
In July, several were arrested under the new powers, including a man carrying a “Hong Kong Independence” flag.
China’s New Law: Why Is Hong Kong Concerned?
The UK makes an offer of citizenship to Hong Kong residents
Critics say it effectively ends the freedoms guaranteed by Beijing for 50 years after the British government ended in Hong Kong in 1997, but China says it will restore stability to the city.
After the passage of the security law, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it would offer up to three million Hong Kong residents the opportunity to settle in the UK and ultimately apply for citizenship.
China criticized the suggestion, saying it would take countermeasures against the UK if it granted residency to Hong Kong residents.
“What has Tony Chung really done?”
It’s only when you sit down and ask yourself, “What has Tony Chung really done?” that you realize how draconian Hong Kong state security law is.
Among the accusations against Chung: that he posted on social media advocating for Hong Kong’s independence.
According to Joshua Rosenzweig, Director of Amnesty International’s China Team, “A peaceful student activist has been charged and detained solely because the authorities do not agree with his views.