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The Cold War rages in Hong Kong as democracy advocates ask for U.S. support
Fred Hiatt – Editorial Page Editor
In the global war of ideology that President Obama says is not happening, Hong Kong is on the front lines.
Democracy in Hong Kong is increasingly squeezed by the autocrats of Beijing. It is a fight of ideas and power, but also of flesh and blood: Just ask truth-telling newspaper editor Kevin Lau Chun-to, who was savagely assaulted and nearly killed in February in what he believes was an attack on his journalism.
Two of the most stalwart fighters on the side of democracy were in Washington last week, hoping for moral support. They made for an odd couple, though each has spent more than 40 years in the struggle: one is a consummate insider and the other has always battled from the outside.
Anson Chan, by contrast, rose through the prestigious Hong Kong civil service to the top appointed position of chief secretary, resigning in 2001 when she felt the chief executive was allowing Beijing to chip away at Hong Kong’s core values: rule of law, a level playing field and freedom of press, speech and association. Since then, she said, democracy’s hold has grown more precarious — “I’m quite frankly surprised at the rate of deterioration,” she said during a visit to The Post — and she is hoping the United States will speak out.