Joshua Wong, Denise Ho to testify at China panel hearing in Washington

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Joshua Wong, the secretary-general of Demosisto and “Umbrella Movement” leader, and Denise Ho, the democracy activist and Cantopop singer will testify before US lawmakers when the Congressional-Executive Commission on China convenes next Tuesday.

The commission, chaired by James P McGovern and co-chaired by Senator Marco Rubio, says the hearing will examine developments in Hong Kong and the future of U.S.-Hong Kong relations in light of ongoing demonstrations and the escalating tensions caused by police violence and threats by the Chinese government against Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Witnesses will provide first-hand testimony about current events in Hong Kong, discuss the Chinese government’s role in Hong Kong’s political crisis, and offer recommendations for the U.S. administration and Congress, the commission says.

The hearings will be livestreamed on the YouTube page of the commission.

Sunny Cheung, the spokesperson for the Hong Kong Higher Education International Affairs Delegation; Sharon Hom, the executive director, Human Rights in China and Professor of Law Emerita, City University of New York, and Dr Dan Garrett, author, Counter-hegemonic Resistance in China’s Hong Kong: Visualizing Protest in the City (2014), will also testify.

The commission says that the Hong Kong government’s increasingly heavy-handed tactics against protesters further galvanized clashes between protesters and authorities.

Also alarming are the Chinese government’s disinformation campaigns and escalating threats of political retaliation and military intervention. Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms, as guaranteed in the Basic Law and the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, a binding international treaty, are more tenuous now than ever. 

On August 23, before the G-7 meetings in France, McGovern and Rubio said in a statement, that US and global interests are at stake if Hong Kong’s autonomy continues to erode.

“Chairman Xi Jinping should understand that his government’s willingness to uphold its international commitments will have a direct bearing on whether any agreements with Beijing, especially on trade, can ever be trusted."