Zhang Dejiang (photo by Lelde Rafelde, Saeimas Kanceleja, CC BY-SA 1.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
On May 17, Zhang Dejiang paid a high-profile visit to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Zhang is a senior member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party’s Politburo, ranking third after Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang. He currently serves as chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC), as vice-chairman of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), of the Central Committee and of the National Security Commission, and as head of the Communist Party’s Central Coordination Group for Hong Kong and Macau Affairs.
In Hong Kong Zhang attended a forum on the ‘One Belt, One Road‘ initiative. On May 19 he held a speech in which he outlined Beijing’s policy towards the city. He reassured the people of the territory that the Communist government will uphold ‘one country, two systems’ and that the city’s economy and way of life will remain unchanged. However, he also issued a clear warning to political groups opposing the Communist Party and calling for Hong Kong’s independence.
On February 18 Tiffany Chin (錢詩文), a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist, was denied entry into mainland China and detained at Kunming Airport. The 19-year-old Tiffany Chin is the girlfriend of Joshua Wong, the founder of ‘Scholarism‘, a pro-democracy student association that was at the forefront of last year’s Occupy Central movement. Joshua Wong soon became one of the most famous leaders of the demonstrations.
According to the mainland Chinese newspaper Guanchazhe (观察者网), Tiffany Chin, a member of Scholarism, which was one of the organisers of the “illegal” Occupy Central protests, was denied entry into mainland China upon arrival with her family in the city of Kunming, where they had travelled to visit relatives on Chinese New Year. She was stopped by the police who asked her whether she “had done bad things in Hong Kong”. She was not permitted to leave the airport. She had to spend the night at a hotel inside the airport and flew back to Hong Kong the following day.
On February 7 Tiffany Chin had participated in a session of a special committee of the Legislative Council (LegCo) that dealt with matters concerning the electoral system. Chin had boldly criticised Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, going so far as to personally insult him.
Hong Kong’s Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok stated that the Hong Kong authorities had not aided their mainland counterparts in compiling a blacklist of people who had taken part in ‘Occupy Central’.