By: Hayden Cunningham
Because not a lot of media coverage has been given to the events unfolding in Hong Kong, here’s a quick summary of what is occuring:
Historically, Hong Kong’s owernship has been challenged. After the first Opium War, the Chinese territory was controlled by Great Britain. There it became the powerful port for trade that it has been all of history. During WWII, it was breifly controlled by the Japanese but after American domination in the pacific it was given back to Great Britain. In 1997, the control of the Hong Kong territory was placed back into the hands of China after 156 years of British control. This diplomatic handover was observed to be an act of fear that China would forcefully take the territory if Great Britain did not comply with their request.
Although the territory is owned by the Chinese, Hong Kong’s history has given the people who live there a seperate identity other than simply idenitfying as Chinese.
China by no means is a free country. One example of their corruption was in 2014 when a bill was formed requiring all politicans to be approved by the Communist Party if they wanted to run for office. Another is that the country only has a few approved religions, banning Christianity and other religions not approved by the state.
The Chinese – Hong Kong relationship was established as a “one country, two systems” foundation. But over the years, Chinese rule has increased over Hong Kong. As they impose thier economic rules over Hong Kong, it becomes less free. Hong Kong in 2019 has been specifically upset about the recent Extradition Bill which would give China Jurisdiction over Hong Kong, making them stand trial in China instead of Hong Kong. But citizens fear the unfair Chinese judicial system. Protestors were furious about this bill, calling for it to be banned.
But it’s more than just the Extradition Bill. The protesters repeatedly chant “Five Demands, not one less.” Here are the five:
1.) The withdrawl of the extradition bill
2.) A retraction of the protestors being characterized as a “riot”
3.) Release and exoneration of protestors who were arrested
4.) Establishment of an “independet commision of inquiry” to conduct an investigation of police conduct during the protests
5.) Resignation of Carrie Lam, Chief Executor of Hong Kong, and the implementation of universial suffrage for Legislative Council and Chief Executive elections.
Recently after months of protests, Carrie Lam has come out and stated that the extradition bill will be withdrawn. This is followed by the protestors responding “one down, four to go.” Videos have surfaced recently as well of police beating Hong Kong civilians into submission. The Chinese media is portraying rioters as violent and criminal.
To sum this all up, The people of Hong Kong are rejecting the Chinese government and they are rejecting communism. They are marching for freedom and liberty. To show that this is what they stand for, they do this:
This is a real protest. This isn’t ANTIFA breaking windows and milkshaking people. The people of Hong Kong are seeking serious change to better their own lives. And what symbol do they use to show that they want freedom? The American flag. A symbol that throughout all of history has stood for freedom, liberty, and prosperity. And in 2019 that’s still what it stands for. Maybe everyone in the U.S. needs to take a timeout from our internal arguments and have an appreciation for the one thing we all have in common: we are all American.
President Trump and the U.S. Congress need to do whatever they can to help the people of Hong Kong. They’re looking to America to stand up to China. We need to do more than President Trump’s tariffs. These hurt our economy and do not push China enough to make any change. China has a set of goals for the future, and sooner or later the U.S. is going to have to stop them from achieving these goals that jeopordize the well-being of millions of people. A second Cold War may be brewing, with America and China putting the boxing gloves on and getting in the ring. Until then, take some time to appreciate the benefits you have living in the best country the world has ever seen.
Here are some posts about the protests in Hong Kong. View at your own discretion: