The Chinese regime transferred a general who led the brutal crackdown in Xinjiang to Hong Kong to head the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) garrison, showing that Beijing is taking an increasingly hard line on the island that had once enjoyed full freedoms.

As announced by Chinese state media on Sunday, Major General Peng Jingtang, deputy chief of the General Staff of the People’s Armed Police, was appointed commander of the Hong Kong garrison by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

As reported by Breitbart, Chinese media announced without any qualms that one of the most notorious experiences in Peng’s career and which qualifies him for the post, was that of having been Chief of Staff of the Armed Police Corps in Xinjiang, which is part of China’s paramilitary police force. 

It is precisely in Xinjiang where the CCP administers many concentration camps, where ethnic and religious minorities and anyone who contradicts and/or rejects the communist ideology are kept locked up and subjected to all kinds of abuses. 

China denies any abuse in that region, and as international denunciations grow, the CCP tries to clean up its image by saying that these are “education and professional training centers” designed to “eradicate extremist thoughts.”

Since Beijing imposed the National Security Law in Hong Kong in 2020, Hong Kongers have seen all their democratic rights trampled by communist totalitarianism, and today there is no longer full freedom. 

The press, education, literature, entertainment, and every area where society moves are subject to censorship by the CCP. Dozens of elected politicians and activists have been arrested since the law went into effect, while others have fled into exile.

This infamous law criminalizes all dissent from Beijing’s authoritarian policies as “subversion.” However, the law infringes on freedoms and forcibly imposes the CCP’s ideology on the island. No doubt, the arrival of Peng Jingtang to the Hong Kong army only reinforces the idea that persecution of pro-democracy activists and anyone the CCP sees as a threat to its power will intensify, just as it does in Mainland China.

But the persecution is not only about political dissent. It is also aimed at religious beliefs, so freedom of belief on the island is a threat to the totalitarian power of the atheist communist regime. Moreover, it will reproduce the brutal persecutions faced by believers in China, including Christians, Tibetans, and Falun Dafa practitioners, a spiritual discipline of the Buddha school that the CCP has cruelly persecuted since 1999.

As early as July last year, Liang Zhen, president of the Hong Kong Falun Dafa Association, called on the government to respect religious freedom in the city after pro-Beijing lawmakers accused Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) of violating the island’s national security law. 

“We are lawful citizens and believers, and we do not hope to see the suppression of our group spread from the mainland to the city,” Ms. Zhen said at the time.

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