What we’ve seen in Hong Kong over the past couple of days has been coming for some months. It’s been inevitable, and now it’s happening. I don’t envy the student activists who are now trapped in the university there. They’re either going to disappear into Chinese detention camps, or they’re going to die there. They have no other options left.
Hong Kong police have fought running battles with protesters trying to break through a security cordon around a university in the city, firing teargas at anyone trying to leave.
Polytechnic University, a sprawling campus that has been occupied by demonstrators since last week, has become the scene of the most prolonged and tense confrontation between police and protesters in more than five months of political unrest.
Hundreds were still trapped inside on Monday, after overnight clashes during which protesters launched petrol bombs and shot arrows at police who threatened to use live rounds.
. . .
The People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist party, published an editorial on its front page saying there was no room for compromise: “What we are facing today is a struggle between safeguarding ‘one country, two systems’ and destroying it.
“On an issue involving national sovereignty and the future of Hong Kong, there is no middle ground and absolutely no room for compromise.”
Hong Kong is experiencing its most serious political crisis in decades after the government attempted to push through a controversial extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China, seen by many as another move to extend Beijing’s control over the city.
Protests over the now withdrawn bill pose a direct challenge to China, which governs Hong Kong under the “one country, two systems” framework.
There’s more at the link.
I find the relative lack of coverage of this crisis in the US news media to be damning in its deafening silence. They’re all kowtowing to Beijing’s financial influence. The Washington Post’s slogan, since the election of President Trump, is “Democracy dies in darkness”. That’s precisely what’s happening to democracy in Hong Kong right now, as you read these words . . . and the Washington Post and its competitors are aiding the darkness to kill it (even if only passively, through their deliberately understated reporting), because they’ve been bought off by the allure of Chinese money.
I’ve seen this in several nations before (and when I say “seen it”, I mean I’ve been there and watched protestors killed). I saw it in South Africa in 1976 and subsequent years. I’ve seen it in Zimbabwe. I’ve seen it in Congo. I’ve seen it in West Africa. It may have differed in detail from what’s going on in Hong Kong right now, but the essentials of the conflict remain the same. Those in power are determined to hold onto it at any cost, no matter how great. Those who are shut out of power are protesting, demanding a greater say in their own future. They won’t be allowed to get it, because any crumbling of the facade of power will only encourage others who want the same thing in different areas.
China cannot – dare not – risk rebellion breaking out in other provinces. It’ll gladly perpetrate another Tiananmen Square massacre rather than submit to the protestor’s demands.
When Britain gave Hong Kong back to China, due to the expiration of the 99-year lease it held over the New Territories (making the remaining tiny scrap of land it held there untenable, because it would have lost almost all its workforce and economic activity across the newly extended Chinese border), it concluded a treaty with China guaranteeing “one country, two systems”. The democratic nature of government in Hong Kong was supposedly guaranteed, with the rights of its citizens (far more extensive than those in the communist mainland) protected. Well, that’s lasted about two decades . . . but now it’s over. China cannot and will not tolerate two systems if that poses a threat to the dominance and control of the Communist Party over the people.
We are watching the death of democracy in Hong Kong. What’s left, when all this is over, will be nothing more than a hollow shell, a public relations sham that they call “democracy” but which is, in fact, totalitarian.
We should learn from Hong Kong’s death throes, and be on the watch against the efforts of the radical and progressive left in the United States to control our thoughts, words and deeds. That, in essence, is exactly what Communism is all about. If we tolerate its methods here, they will inevitably lead to the same fate for our constitutional republic, unless we are constantly vigilant and prepared to defend it.