Democracy on the Ropes: the Story of Hong Kong
In the United States, we have been taught since childhood that democracy and freedom of speech are both great rights that shouldn’t be taken for granted. We hold these as virtues and ideals. Unfortunately, these staples of human rights are currently at risk in Hong Kong.
Going back to the root of this conflict, Hong Kong was a colony of the United Kingdom. Through that Hong Kong was immersed in Western culture. Hong Kong has enjoyed things such as freedom of speech and a free press for nearly a century now.
However, this may soon collapse. The fall of Hong Kong’s democracy and freedom was signed off through the Handover of Hong Kong. This deal was struck between Deng Xiaoping and Margaret Thatcher to begin the release of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom over to the People’s Republic of China. The treaty of sorts made it so that Hong Kong would become autonomous as of January 1, 1997. Hong Kong would have its sovereignty. There was a twist, Hong Kong was to be fully annexed by the People’s Republic of China on January 1, 2047. This is a major issue.
Hong Kong largely enjoys democracy, and freedom of speech and press, things which seem to be largely absent from the People’s Republic of China. China is largely autocratic, with all of the power in the country resting on either Xi Jinping or the communist party.
China also does not have freedom of speech or press, such examples being the denying protest exemplified in the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989, where a group of student protesters gathered to fight for things such as freedom of speech and press, and against the corruption of the communist party. China reacted to this by declaring martial law and sending in troops equipped with rifles, with orders to shoot.
Hong Kong has the rights which these students were fighting for and might lose them. China has currently sent its forces into Hong Kong because of the protests occurring in Hong Kong due to the annexation which is getting closer, and is growing more dreadful, and is now becoming a truth with China violating the Handover by sending in Chinese nationals into Hong Kong to enforce Chinese laws in Hong Kong.
The free world looks over at what is happening in Hong Kong and turns a blind eye. The NBA blocked Houston Rockets Manager Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of Hong Kong, China has a lot of economic influence worldwide, and the world fears to criticize the country due to this.
As Hong Kong seems to stand alone against the World Giant, it stands bold and courageous. Hong Kong is standing for the beliefs that not only do they view as right, but that the world views as right. although we may not appreciate it at times, freedom of speech and press, democracy, and being able to protests are priceless rights that Hong Kong is fighting for.
Photo Credit: Unknown
Photo Caption: Protestors in Hong Kong fight against the impending Communist Chinese government.