Hong Kong teen activist arrested after reportedly planning to seek asylum at US consulate
Hong Kong teen activist arrested after reportedly planning to seek asylum at US consulate

Hong Kong teen activist arrested after reportedly planning to seek asylum at US consulate

Police say two men and a woman, aged between 17 and 21, were arrested Tuesday in connection with a territorial dispute on social media.

Studentlocalism, a pro-independence group at the time, identified three people on Facebook as co-founders Tony Tony, and former members William Chan and Yanni Ho.

According to Friends of Hong Kong, a well-known British activist organization, he said he had worked with Chung and planned to seek asylum at the US Consulate in Hong Kong before his arrest.

All three former Studentlocalism members were arrested in July in connection with a message posted on social media by the group claiming to represent the group’s international affiliation.

The organization’s Hong Kong branch says it was abolished shortly after the National Security Act was forced on the city by Chinese authorities to ban secession, subversion and clashes with foreign forces.

Police have accused Chung and others living in Hong Kong of pursuing the city’s independence from China, a crime punishable by three to 10 years in prison or life in prison for “grave acts”. Defendants have denied any involvement with the allegedly leaked text.

A Hong Kong government spokesman told CNN on Wednesday that it would not comment on media reports of the arrests, but said there would be no reason for the so-called “political asylum for people in Hong Kong.”

“It should be emphasized that the people of Hong Kong are being prosecuted for acts contrary to Hong Kong’s rule of law, regardless of their political beliefs or background. Moreover, the trial is being conducted by an independent judge according to the rule of law,” he added.

An increasing number of Hong Kongers have successfully sought asylum abroad since the National Security Law was adopted earlier this year. Washington Said It will give priority to refugees from Hong Kong, and US politicians have been one of the most vocal groups in constantly criticizing China’s crackdown on self-government and democratic freedom.

Providing asylum to activists within Hong Kong itself would be a significant increase, however, and could spark diplomatic fires for both Washington and Beijing, potentially jeopardizing Hong Kong’s own future.

CNN contacted the US Consulate in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office for comment.

according to US weir, Washington “refuses to grant asylum in its diplomatic missions abroad.” Applicants for refugee status must be in the United States to do so. While in the past some activists have been protected by the US Embassy in Beijing, this is a rarity, and each time it has caused significant political unrest in Washington.
In 1989, after a crackdown on Tiananmen Square, opposition scholar Fang Lizhi fled to the US Embassy, ​​where he spent more than half a year before Beijing agreed to allow him to leave China. In 2012,’s activist Chen Guangcheng, after months of house arrest, destroyed the embassy during a visit to Beijing by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was eventually allowed to leave the country, after tense negotiations between US and Chinese authorities.
When ex-wife Wang Lijun took refuge at the US Consulate in Chengdu the same year, however, he was abandoned. Wang was eventually sentenced to 15 years in prison on corruption charges.
The difference between an embassy and a consulate may be key. Embassies are protected under international law, and the closure of one place or place of entry causes a major diplomatic crisis. However, consulates are being protected, and countries can order them to suspend operations, as both the United States and China did earlier this year with closures for each of the countries involved in Houston and Chengdu.
During the incident, after Washington claimed that China’s Houston consulate was involved in spying, US officials also accused Beijing’s mission in San Francisco of reviving Chinese scientists. The scientist, Tang Juan, later confessed to the California police.

The circumstances of Tang’s surrender remain unclear, but it may have been fueled by fears that the United States may move to close the San Francisco consulate if he continues to live inside. Similar concerns could make US officials less embarrassed to grant asylum to dissidents in Hong Kong, the United States’ most important mission in China after the Beijing embassy.

As the consulate ended earlier this year, some Chinese state-run media outlets called for the closure of the Hong Kong consulate, accusing the United States of operating under its influence. As Beijing appears to be shining a bigger increase for now, the loss of the Hong Kong mission will have a significant impact on Washington, both diplomatically and operationally, given the economic importance of Hong Kong and the number of Americans living in the city.