The world today got its latest taster of just how China responds to those inside its borders pushing for democracy and international standards of rule of law.

In a series of early morning raids, police across the former British territory of Hong Kong arrested 53 known individuals in an operation involving around 1,000 national security officers.

During the operation it is understood the authorities once again searched the home of the imprisoned democracy activist Joshua Wong in addition to doing the same at the premises of prominent law firm Ho Tse Wai & Partners.

Reports have surfaced of American lawyer John Clancey being amongst those arrested.

Mr. Clancey has in the past worked as the treasurer of the Power for Democracy political group.

Screengrab from Citizen News – Twitter – as police raid Ho Tse Wai & Partners law firm

In addition, media outlets Apple Daily and Stand News as well as In-Media were also targeted.

All three had been linked to unofficial elections in the last year in Hong Kong.

China has accused those arrested of attempting to “overthrow” the Hong Kong government with the security secretary of the territory claiming their actions were “subversive”.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Following the arrests, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying spoke publicly saying the arrests were made to prevent “external forces and individuals from undermining China’s stability and security”.

Included in those arrested are a number of political figures including members of Hong Kong’s Civic Party, Democratic Party, and opposition district councilors.

As just one of the 53, American John Clancey, is currently the chairman of the Asian Human Rights Commission.

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