Hong Kong, China – While teaching in Hong Kong in 2011, filmmaker Ying Liang was banned from traveling to China after making a note of a Beijing mother seeking to save her son from the death penalty.
Ten years after their accidental move, Ying strives to make the most of the city’s rights, as he has been threatened with National Security Act as well as the ongoing uprising of politicians and freedom fighters.
Just last month, Ying showed a shocking video of two dozen viewers at a movie theater.
“We must appreciate our freedom while we still have it,” he told Al Jazeera.
For many Hong Kong citizens, the law has curtailed long-standing freedoms under “one country, two systems,” a system in which Britain’s former regime was restored to Chinese rule in 1997.
China has promised the area “independence” for at least 50 years.
Before Beijing was ousted last year, locals were free to oppose the authorities and form political parties to hold elections.
But for immigrants who have received a degree of freedom from the past, a return to oppressive rule encourages fear and anxiety.
“I think the abduction will go down stronger and stronger than you can see on the surface, it’s better to scare everyone,” said Ying, a 34-year-old filmmaker.
“This is not what I experienced growing up in Shanghai.”
As a father of three, including a two-month-old baby, Ying says he is very concerned about the government’s wishes patriotism.
“What worries me the most is what is happening in the school,” he said. “While I don’t think any child can come out of his mind, I know from personal experience how this will affect you for the rest of your life. It makes you afraid to take part in politics.
‘The Promised Land’
For the past several years, Hong Kong has been hailed as the “promised land” for millions of Chinese, both from the north and from other countries.
Although China has been plagued by many afflictions – regime change, a military coup, a world war, a civil war, famine and political cleansing – Britain has been seen as a joy and a fortune.
After the arrival of more and more people from the mainland, only a little over half of the city’s 7.5 million people are born.
Since the donation, more than a million Chinese people have migrated to Hong Kong using the family-friendly approach.
In a 2016 study of the newcomers, Hong Kong political scientists found that “most of those who left China are politically stable and support Beijing’s electoral alliance.”
But not all.
This is why the headlines of “RIP Hong Kong” irritate me.
It’s because people like it @KamemeTvKenyaMung Siu Tat is very much alive: “the best way to protect our rights is to do as much as we can. The aim is to ‘save one breath; light one lamp’ and light a lamp” pic.twitter.com/2EjoyQj4BD
– Yuen Chan (@xinwenxiaojie) April 24, 2021
Flora Chen, 35, has been out of China for the past 10 years and has vowed to return
A job at the university brought him to Hong Kong, where he saw it as “another Chinese group where law and order are protected by institutions.
“For generations of free Chinese nations known as the Tiananmen, a military force in Hong Kong [shone] as a lamp of hope, ”said Chen, confidently.
Nowhere on Chinese soil does the commemoration of the devastation of 1989 be allowed.
But last year, for the first time ever, the Hong Kong government banned the annual guard citing the dangers of COVID-19. The conspirators, as well as some of the thousands who have not complied with the order, have now been sentenced.
Arriving in 2018, Chen participated in anti-government protests the following year. As a student of economics, Chen said his research “also participates”.
What worries her the most is that the lack of education hinders her education.
“As a mainland we know that fear is real. We have learned to be careful and to be careful about what we say,” Chen told Al Jazeera.
“But now I can see the fear in my students’ faces. Their faces are marked with anger and pain, strongly. ”
Despite China’s economic growth over the past century, Hong Kong has retained its appeal to more people in the north as an opportunity, bound by more stable laws than ever before.
Outside of the family visa program, a large group of immigrants have come to study higher education.
Graduate programs at all local universities are now controlled by mainland students who take advantage of the offer offered in this area upon graduation.
After leaving her hometown 300 kilometers (186 miles) to study for a technical degree in Hong Kong, Jacqueline Zhang, decided to leave for just a few years.
But almost 10 years later, the 32-year-old Zhang says he enjoys living in an environment where fair play and display is the norm. In war, he says, it is the “guanxi” – connection with relationships – that is important to answer and answer
As Hong Kong falls under Beijing, Zhang says “fear has increased” for people living in the north with family and friends north of the border.
Officials are known to be harassing Chinese relatives who are involved in politics, hoping to use force to force families to also include these “disruptors”.
Mr Zhang said he knew many other Chinese people who had withdrawn themselves from Hong Kong, fearing that their political participation had put them on the watch list. They worry that any return visits could impose a curfew that would prevent them from traveling abroad.
A former journalist, Zhang doesn’t know if he has any watch list but says he doesn’t want to take advantage.
In the meantime, she has found comfort and friendship in the “ethnic” she found in Hong Kong – people who are not afraid to discuss what they say are avoidance and neglect in the spirit of restraint.
“Freedom and laws are like air. You don’t feel like you exist, “Zhang said.
You only feel it when it is taken away from you. ”