One of the liquidators for the now-disbanded group behind the city’s annual 1989 Tiananmen Massacre vigils has questioned an executive order from Chief Executive Carrie Lam which has struck the group from the companies registry. He called the move “premature and unnecessary.”

Lam made the order in consultation with the executive council on Tuesday, striking the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China from the city’s companies registry.

Chow Hang-tung
Chow Hang-tung, vice-chair of the Alliance. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

The government’s announcement alleged that the Alliance’s five operational goals, including seeking to “end one-party dictatorship,” amounted to “subverting state power.”

“The [Chief Executive-in-Council] agreed with the views of the Commissioner of Police and the Secretary for Security that the operation of the Alliance which seeks to end the leadership of the CPC amounts to seeking to overthrow the basic system of the PRC established by the Constitution with a view to subverting the state power of the PRC, which would inevitably threaten or undermine the PRC’s ability to safeguard national security and to maintain public safety and public order,” a statement read, in reference to the People’s Republic of China.

Hong Kong’s Companies Ordinance provides the chief executive with the power to strike a registered society from the companies registry if they are satisfied it is necessary in the interests of national security or public safety, or if it had a connection with an international or Taiwanese organisation.

June 4 Tiananmen Square Massacre Victoria Park 2021 64 graffiti
Graffiti commemorating June 4 on a bridge in Causeway Bay. Photo: Jimmy Lam/HKFP.

The decision comes after authorities cracked down on the Alliance last month, arresting its leaders under the national security law, freezing its assets, and seizing its property. The group is in the process of disbanding.

The Alliance, formed in the spring of 1989 to support a budding democratic and labour movement in mainland China, had campaigned under five operational goals since Beijing’s bloody crackdown on protesters on June 4 that same year. Its goals included the release of all dissidents on mainland China, accountability for victims, an end to one-party dictatorship, and a democratic China.

‘Proper legal procedures’

Richard Tsoi, a former secretary for the Alliance now jointly in charge of administering its disbandment, slammed the executive decision as unreasonable and “totally regrettable.”

“I think it’s also difficult to understand why they would make such a decision. We have repeatedly said we disagree with the suggestion that the Alliance has done anything that against national security,” he told HKFP.

Richard Tsoi October 1 unauthorised assembly trial
Richard Tsoi. File photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

He also questioned why the executive order was needed, when the Alliance itself and three former leaders had already been charged with “incitement to subversion” under the security law, and are awaiting trial.

“It’s premature and unnecessary to use an executive disorder to make such allegation without following proper legal procedures,” he said.

The Tiananmen Massacre ended months of student-led demonstrations in China. It is estimated that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people died when the People’s Liberation Army was deployed to crack down on protesters in Beijing.

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Rhoda Kwan is HKFP's Assistant Editor. She has previously written for TimeOut Hong Kong and worked at Meanjin, a literary journal. She holds a double bachelor’s degree in Law and Literature from the University of Hong Kong.