Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, fled to Hong Kong after the leak of the secret information.
“Mainland China does have significant restrictions on free speech but the people of Hong Kong have a long tradition of protesting in the streets, making their views known.”
“I believe that the Hong Kong government is actually independent in relation to a lot of other leading Western governments.”
May God bless him if he had believed in the Communist propaganda and Western media in portraying Hong Kong. Superficial impressions gathered from the media coverage on the mass demonstrations in Hong Kong may put his life in peril.
Mr. Snowden just may not know what is happening in Hong Kong. The reality is that the freedom of speech and demonstration is being curbed day by day. Not to say the failed attempt in 2003 in passing the Article 23 as a security law to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Chinese Government, protestors in demonstrations were often charged with more serious offences, and the police force is increasing aggressive in violating the human rights in suppressing the demonstrations, even with sexual assaults involved. If he thinks Hong Kong’s autonomy was safeguarded, it seems not the case. And don’t forget the extradition agreement between Hong Kong and the U.S. signed right after the handover. The Hong Kong government, with Beijing’s consent, has the lawful option to extradite him. If it was the real reason why Mr. Snowden chose Hong Kong, let’s wish him good luck.
Nevertheless, it is hard to believe that a 29-year old talented whistleblower is such a retard. The bet of Mr. Snowden seems to rely on the Chinese government. Curbing the freedom to the Hong Kong citizens is one question, while Mr. Snowden is a VIP and the storm eye stirring up the tides from Beijing via Hong Kong to Washington. Another possible scenario of the story is that Mr. Snowden makes a deal with Beijing – by supplying some valuable intelligence to Beijing in exchange of his safety.
Still, it is almost certain that Hong Kong will not be the last port for Mr. Snowden. A highly transparent society with sophisticated communications and transport system facilitates any acts to trace his tracks. The agents of the U.S. government in Hong Kong should already been acting.
It seems the news of Mr. Snowden is welcomed by the Mandarin officials. In the first place, it is a good chance for the Communist government to criticize the U.S. government of undermining the human rights of the U.S. citizens, with an agent defecting as the Obama administration failed to roll back the surveillance measures implemented by the Bush administration. To the Chinese officials, it is another good chance to demonstrate to the Hong Kongers her sovereignty, when this case will likely to be handled as a diplomatic issue. To put it more plainly, that is to take this chance the Hong Kongers again: “I am the real boss”, in view of the growing localism sentiments in the city.
With the Iceland legislator voicing out her willingness to assist Mr. Snowden to seek asylum in Iceland, let’s keep an eye and see how this incident will develop.