China’s tyrannical Intrusion into Hong Kong
China’s Ever Growing Grip on Hong Kong
Unrest in Hong Kong stayed high for yet another month as China’s authoritarian grip over Hong Kong tightened as the world moved into October. The pro-democracy demonstrations initially started this past June in opposition to the tyrannical Hong Kong Extradition Bill that would have given China further control over HK but, since Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam agreed to withdraw the bill, the focus of the protests have largely shifted towards individual freedoms and China’s tyrannical intrusion into the semiautonomous zone. Tensions have recently reached a fever pitch with police shooting a protester in the chest during protests on October 1st, the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. Police brutality and violence is becoming ever more common at these demonstrations.
China’s response has largely been hands off so far but, things could change if the unrest is unable to be controlled. A build up of PLA troops and military equipment was spotted in Shenzhen, a city just north of Hong Kong sending an grave message to HK’s pro-democracy movement. If China decides to send in the military to ease the unrest a situation like what happened in Tiananmen Square but on a much larger scale could unfold.
China should not be encroaching on Hong Kong’s autonomy. When Hong Kong was granted independence from the United Kingdom in 1997 it was promised that China would leave the region as semiautonomous for 50 years, until 2047. China’s current moves are at least 28 years too early according to these agreements. The world’s democracies now have a decision to make. They can vow to protect freedom, or they can allow China’s authoritarian dictatorship to stamp out the flame of democracy and autonomy in Hong Kong. If no action is taken against China and Hong Kong’s democracy is allowed to fall it will send a chilling precedent throughout the world that no action will be taken against regimes that threaten freedom and democracy. It may seem that there is little we can do but, China’s political clout largely banks on their economic power due to them being a manufacturing mecca. If the powers of the world could band together to take advantage of this dependence, they could have some real leverage against China. In the end, the responsibility of preserving the spirit of democracy rests on the shoulders of the free world. That is the only way to ensure Hong Kong’s continued freedom and in part the rest of the world’s freedom.