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44 scholars urged Jiang to drop Article 23 for Hong Kong

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44 scholars from all over the world have co-authored a letter to Jiang Zemin, President of China, to urge him to reconsider Article 23 which will be imposed upon the people of Hong Kong. Also, a website on this particular issue has been set up: On December 14, different groups will hold a rally in Washington, D.C. to protest this Article 23. The following the original text of the letter signed by these 44 scholars.
October 21, 2002

His Excellency Mr. Jiang Zemin
The People's Republic of China

Dear Mr. Jiang,

We write to protest an impending change in Hong Kong law that could seriously harm that vibrant city. The Hong Kong government's recent proposal to implement the part of its Basic Law called "Article 23," against "treason, subversion, secession and sedition," will have chilling effect on Hong Kong's civil liberties and expose Hong Kong citizens to the danger of arbitrary prosecution.

In the 1990s your government promised Hong Kong "one country, two systems" and "no change for 50 years." Implementing Article 23 will undermine the spirit of that promise. In mainland China, your government has a clear record of using anti-subversion laws to crack down on citizens as various as academics, internet entrepreneurs, worker-rights advocates, and members of political and religious groups. If the proposed legislation on Article 23 passes, little will stand between Hong Kong people and a similar fate. The independent judicial power of Hong Kong courts, as you know, has already been weakened, and self-censorship in the Hong Kong press, already well underway, will certainly increase if the current plans go forward. Hong Kong people will naturally be less willing to risk exercise of their rights of association and demonstration.

The plans to implement Article 23 are not in the best interests of Hong Kong's people, and we ask you to adhere to the true spirit of the "one country, two systems" policy by urging the Hong Kong government to shelve them.


David Bachman, University of Washington
Jean Philippe B?a, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris
Michel Bonnin, Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Paris
Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Centre ?tudes Fran?is sur la Chine contemporaine
Anita Chan, Australian National University
Gordon Chang, writer
Michael C. Davis, Chinese University of Hong Kong
June Teufel Dreyer, University of Miami
Michael Duke, University of British Columbia
Joshua Fogel, Institute for Advanced Study
Bruce Gilley, Princeton University
Dru Gladney, University of Hawaii
Merle Goldman, Harvard University
Qinglian He, City University of New York, Staten Island
Victoria Hui, University of Illinois
Jean-Fran?is Huchet, University of Rennes
Graham Hutchings, Oxford Analytica
Joan Hudge, Institute for Advanced Study
Jeffrey Kinkley, St. John's University
Shaomin Li, Old Dominion University
Xiaorong Li, University of Maryland
Perry Link, Princeton University
Daniel Lynch, University of Southern California
Roderick MacFarquhar, Harvard University
Barrett L. McCormick, Marquette University
Richard Madson, Univeristy of California, San Diego
Jonathan Mirsky, writer
Robin Munro, University of London
Andrew J. Nathan, Columbia University
Ka Po Ng, Aichi Bunkyo University, Japan
Paul G. Pickowicz, University of California, San Diego
Eric Sautede, Centre ?tudes Fran?is sur la Chine contemporaine
James D. Seymour, Columbia University
Shawn Shieh, Marist College
Yongyi Song, Dickinson College
David Strand, Dickinson College
Wei Su, Yale University
Jonathan Unger, Australian National University
Peter Van Ness, Australian National University
Martin K. Whyte, Harvard University
Philip F, Williams, Soka University of America
Yenna Wu, University of California, Riverside
Michael Yahuda, The London School of Economics & Political Science
Kate X. Zhou, University of Hawaii

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