by WorldTribune Staff, February 16, 2020
One of the young leaders “at the forefront” of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong has been nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.
Andy Chan Ho-Tin, 29, an outspoken voice in the movement who has been hounded and persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party’s puppets in Hong Kong leadership, has been officially nominated for the prize by the Nobel Committee in Norway, Hidetoshi Ishii, vice president of Free Indo-Pacific Alliance, said in a Feb. 6 statement.
A speech by Chan at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondent Club in August 2018 sparked an immediate reaction from Beijing followed by a statement one day later by Hong Kong’s chief executive. The Chinese communist regime denounced both the Foreign Correspondent Club and Chan as potential national security threats.
Months-long mass protests erupted in Hong Kong last spring and continued even after the government announced on Sept. 4 that it was withdrawing an extradition bill which sparked them
Gordon Chang, author of “The Coming Collapse of China”, noted on the Feb. 6 edition of the Sara Carter Show podcast that people in Hong Kong say the ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations represent the “revolution of our time.”
“Andy is at the forefront of that revolution,” Chang said.
Related: Activist whose speech precipitated Hong Kong showdown arrested before CPAC event in Japan, August 31, 2019
Chang added: “Andy is important because he represents the logical conclusion of the demonstrations. People there realize that China is encroaching on the autonomy there, is trying to restrict freedom and Beijing will continue to do this unless Hong Kong is free and sovereign.”
Andy Chan supports independence from China, Chang said, acknowledging that not all protest leaders agree.
After being arrested at the Hong Kong airport on Aug.31, 2019 while on his way to speak at J-CPAC (Japan Conservative Political Action Conference) in Tokyo, Chan issued a statement in absentia:
“I am now urging everyone of you to join the revolution. We need you. … To make things clear, it is not just the revolution of Hong Kong people but the revolution of the free world, the revolution of our time. We are now in the 21st century, the year of 2019. It is ridiculous to me that there is still such a massive communist country in the world. What was not finished by our predecessors now falls upon our shoulders. It is time for us to end communism. It is time for all of us to join the revolution. When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a duty.”
“Identifying as a Hong Konger, he yearned for his motherland to be a country of freedom and democracy instead of authoritarianism,” the Feb. 6 press release announcing Chan’s nomination said, adding his “ideas caught fire in the hearts of other young Hong Kongers. Today, approximately 80 percent of young people in Hong Kong recognize themselves as Hong Kongers, not Chinese.”
During his controversial speech in August 2018 at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents club, Chan referred to Beijing as the worst “colonial master” in Hong Kong’s history. He described China as an empire, not a state, that was a threat to all free people in the world. The speech prompted an immediate reaction from Beijing and its government in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor responded with a warning one day after Beijing’s head of Hong Kong affairs said the speech by Chan and the decision by the Foreign Correspondents Club to provide him a platform had exposed Hong Kong’s “inadequacies” in upholding national security.
Lam in her remarks said, “the government and myself are obliged to uphold national security, under Article 23 of the Basic Law, and local legislation should be enacted to uphold national security.”
Earlier, in September 2016, Chan was barred from standing for the 2016 Hong Kong Legislative Council election, the first such disqualification ever in Hong Kong. In September 2018, the Hong Kong government issued an order to ban the political activities of the Hong Kong National Party.
“Andy Chan Ho-Tin’s Hong Kong National Party thus became the first political party to be outlawed in Hong Kong since the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China,” the press release said. “The ban held despite criticism of this suppression of free political advocacy from around the world. To this day, no other political party has ever been banned except for Andy Chan Ho-Tin’s.”
Chan and the pro-democracy movement continue to demand basic civil rights for Hong Kongers, including the right to a fair trial, the right to a jury trial, and the right to assemble and exchange ideas.
“The Hong Kong police force and other mainland security forces have responded to Hong Kongers pleas for peace and democracy with violence, intimidation, and mass arrests. Unbowed, Andy Chan Ho-Tin and his fellow activists fight on, seeking to achieve in Hong Kong what was denied with tanks and machine guns at Tiananmen Square some three decades before,” the statement said.
In response to being nominated for the Nobel Prize, Chan said: “I am glad that foreign friends and allies recognize China is a serious threat to the free world and choose to stand with Hong Kong. This nomination is important to Hong Kong people that our foreign friends recognize our values, culture, identity and support our sovereignty. We Hong Kong people should be open minded to our future and start planning our future. I don’t deserve this nomination alone but all the people who have been advocating independence of Hong Kong and who have sacrificed for the course, especially those young people who are fighting fearlessly at the frontline for their nation.”
During her Feb. 6 podcast in which she spoke of Chan’s Nobel nomination, investigative journalist Sara Carter noted that Chan “stands up to the Chinese government and literally put his life on the line.”