The Summer of Discontent: Why Hong Kongers Must Win

A murder in Taiwan has ignited the most important revolution of our time.

While celebrating Valentine’s Day in Taiwan, a Hong Kong couple got into a heated argument culminating in the death of a 19-year old girl. After returning to Hong Kong, the murderer would eventually confess to strangling his girlfriend. The only problem was he could not be sent back to Taiwan to be tried for murder because Taiwan and Hong Kong are semi-autonomous regions in China, and there is no extradition law between the two governments.

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, decided to change the law and proposed an extradition bill that would allow accused criminals to be extradited to Taiwan  – and mainland China.

Hong Kongers knew the potential repercussions of the extradition bill. If the bill had passed, accused criminals could be extradited to China and be tried under a corrupt government (i.e. the Chinese Communist Party), and Beijing would have the opportunity to silence political enemies like they do on the mainland.

If you don’t believe Beijing would extradite political enemies, look at the case of the booksellers at Causeway Bay Books. Back in 2015, five booksellers who were selling books criticizing the president of China, Xi Jinping, went missing. Eventually, officials from Guangdong Province admitted some of the booksellers were in custody for traffic violations. This extradition was not only illegal, but the men were clearly political prisoners and not arrested for the trumped up charges brought upon them. This is just one case among many. In mainland China, political foes often go missing or end up in prison for offenses that are clearly a facade.

Hong Kongers do not want to be apart of the Chinese judicial system. Since its days as British colony and since 1997 when it was turned back over to China, Hong Kong has been ruled under its own government and judicial system. However, over the last couple of decades, Beijing has been slowly gaining more and more control over Hong Kong  – the extradition bill is just one of the latest examples.

In 2047, it has been agreed upon that Hong Kong will be completely under China’s control (i.e. no more “one country, two systems”). Many  – or most  – people in Hong Kong are not looking forward to that day, especially the young Hong Kongers. They cherish their rights to free speech, assembly, religion, and do not want to be under a regime that suppresses them. And the Beijing regime is just that, a government of suppression and deceit. On a daily basis, it lies to 1.4 billion people by censoring the internet and television stations. It brainwashes its people to believe in its narrative for the purpose of “peace” when its true intent is keeping power. In fact, Chinese people didn’t even know about the Hong Kong protests until the latest upheaval. Now, their propaganda machines are painting the Hong Kong protesters as criminals; they control the narrative in China.

The Anti-Extradition Protests have given Hong Kongers the chance to fight for their freedom. They have already succeeded in stopping the extradition bill, but they are now fighting for much more.

Democracy

The protests are now more about “genuine universal suffrage,” not the fake democracy they have in place now.

Firstly, the chief executive of Hong Kong is not even selected by the local citizens. The leader is elected by a 1,200-member Election Committee which is dominated by pro-Beijing politicians. After being selected by the committee, Beijing has to approve of their selection.

Secondly, the Legislative Council (LegCo) is the unicameral legislation in Hong Kong. There are 70 members and only 35 of them are chosen by the people with the rest chosen by other “constituencies.” While there are numerous political parties, the LegCo is primarily divided into Pro-Democracy officials and Pro-Beijing officials. Every election since 1997, the Pro-Democracy officials have won more seats from the citizens’ votes, but the Pro-Beijing officials always secure more seats because of the votes from other constituencies. It’s completely corrupt.

Now, the Hong Kongers are using this opportunity to fight for genuine suffrage. They understand the system is rigged against them. They want to elect their chief executive and the legislative body.

Pro-Beijing officials and the Chinese Communist Party know they will lose control if Hong Kong has a true democracy. They will not give in easily.

Independent Hong Kong

In addition to the withdrawal of the extradition bill and genuine suffrage, an increasing number of Hong Kongers are fighting for complete independence from China. This is not the official narrative, but more and more chants for “free Hong Kong” and “liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our times” are echoing through the streets.

As mentioned above, the stated goal for the protests was to stop the extradition bill. Since the bill was pronounced “dead,” the list has grown to include the resignation of Chief Executive Lam, accountability for police brutality at the protests, and genuine suffrage. An independent Hong Kong is not officially one of them. However, more and more Hong Kongers are singing to the tune of an independent state.

Among the rebels are those carrying the flags of the United Kingdom and the United States. More and more rhetoric on independence can be heard among the protestors. Throughout world history, many rebellions started with minor grievances that turned into revolutions for independence. In the 1770s, the American colonists were simply fighting for more representation within the British government overseas; after a year of fighting, it became a war for independence.

The Hong Kong Protests have been going on for eight consecutive weeks. One protest included 2 million people  – there are only 7.5 million people in Hong Kong. The rebels have stormed the Legislative Council and defaced the Chinese liaison office. They are occupying the international airport and train stations. Hong Kongers are not going down without a fight. The young among the group have their hard hats, goggles, gas masks, and makeshift weapons ready; they don’t want to be slaves to the Beijing regime now or in 2047. Maybe like the American Revolution, this too will turn into a war for independence.

The World and Hong Kong

Whether the Hong Kong protests turn into a revolution for independence or remain a movement for more democratic rights, it is important for countries around the world that value freedom and condemn tyranny to support the young rebels. The Chinese people on mainland China are wonderful people, but they are being led by an autocracy that is gaining more and more control over the world. With its international influence from the Belt and Road Initiative, control over countries in Asia and Africa, and its expressed 2025 plan to dominate the world, China must be stopped.

One way to stop them is to support Hong Kong.

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