Julian-Alexandre W., journalist
This is an opinion article by one of our staff writers, and the opinions expressed here do not represent the views of the newspaper in general or of the leadership team.
Since the introduction of the Fugitive Offenders Amendment Bill, outrage has spread among many Hong Kong civilians. This bill supports the enactment of extradition – anyone who commits a severe crime in Hong Kong will fall into the hands of mainland Chinese jurisdiction. Because of this newfound bill, a once civilized and law-abiding Hong Kong has become divided, belligerent, and angry. The cry for democracy and human rights have driven the youth to mass protests throughout Hong Kong island. These ongoing demonstrations have proven to be dangerous for both the protestors and the police. Angry crowds turn into mobs, taking their voices to a new level by overturning cars, burning garbage, smashing storefront windows, and littering bricks to blockade busy streets. In retaliation, the police are violent as well by carelessly dropping tear gas and utilizing pepper spray. The mad chaos often turns the police force’s fears into executing unintentional shootings of young demonstrators.
Over the past several months, Hong Kong has suffered greatly. Daily life has been filled with anxiety and divisiveness. Protestors have forcibly bombarded and shut down airports. Their tactics have overtaken college campuses by disrupting regular classes. One might truly believe that the Hong Kong solidarity is strong for an important cause; however, past incidents illustrate a weak link. Their strength waivers as some anti-government protestors have become highly suspicious of other fellow protestors whom they think are police or imposters who support the Chinese government.
In a nutshell, there is a deadly cost to democracy. The Hong Kongers are fighting for a belief that they have earned the right to lead a democratic society. They do not wish to be part of communist China. Not now, not ever. However, they fail to understand they never really had “democracy” to begin with. When they were under British rule, they were called subjects of the Queen. And after the turnover to China, they reverted back to being subjects of China. They are and always will be part of the Republic of China. Until they accept this fact, there won’t be a peaceful and harmonious balance between the government and the Hong Kong people.
I believe it’s difficult to have their ideology of freedom stripped. It is very un-American. In our part of the world, we are fortunate to witness rights, equality, and liberty. We have just about every group represented and different movements pop up frequently. America sets an admirable standard for the rest of the world. Unfortunately for other nations, the bar is set quite high. I’m not saying that we are perfect; however, our country is the envy of many nations.
Hong Kong was once an opportunistic and prominent place. It was an economic haven that enjoyed a booming economy and a prosperous environment. However, due to recent activities and political developments, Hong Kong has become a battleground. It has transformed into a hellscape where antagonistic protesters mutiny against the irritated Chinese government. There are wrongdoings on both sides, yet an amicable resolution can’t compromise their partisanship.
I think that the situation surrounding Hong Kong is hyperbolic. The issue at hand is complicated; and solutions are not fathomable. China clearly has an upper hand. Hong Kongers cannot fight the giant motherland with an iron fist. Thus far, the methodology and execution of the protestors are immature and foolish. Though the civilians have every reason to be heard, I do not believe that violence and destruction is right. I firmly believe that there are more effective ways to communicate and negotiate
with the Chinese central government. The continuation of this conflict is only going to tear down the once sophisticated Hong Kong. The boom of real estate, tourism, luxury goods, international business will all suffer because of the political instability and turmoil.
I am confident that the relationship of Hong Kong and China can produce better solutions to appease both parties. Chaos and violence are not the key answers that will win them democracy. Freedom is important but taking this issue into their own hands should not result in anarchy. Divisiveness will only cause Hong Kong to deteriorate further. There is always a give and take to every scenario. It’s time Hong Kong request civil interaction with the Chinese government for a win-win result.