Your small but significant territory has been a beacon of freedom in Asia for many years, and that freedom is currently under threat from China, one of the most powerful dictatorships in the entire world. The most recent threat from China has come in the form of a newly proposed law called “The Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation.”
This is a piece of legislation would allow China to extradite Hong Kong citizens and foreign nationals traveling through the region, which would radically change the legal system and business culture of the territory. Hong Kong has acted as a sort of safe haven for many years, but this would make them nothing more than a colony of mainland China.
There has also been a great deal of suspicion that this legislation was politically motivated, considering that many of the Chinese government’s targets are political activists who are fighting for the full independence of Hong Kong. Edward Leung Tin-kei, for example, was an activist turned politician who gathered a ton of public support in the previous election.
He did not manage to win, but he polled so well that he was banned from politics, and then arrested and sentenced to 5 years in prison. There are many other activists in Hong Kong who are rightfully fighting for the independence of the territory, and this extradition bill puts them all in grave danger.
Thus far, it seems like the citizens of Hong Kong will not stand for this type of abuse, and now it seems the protests could be reaching a tipping point, as both police and demonstrators are becoming more aggressive.
To the people of Hong Kong: You must stay strong and unified, and remain vigilant in your protests for as long as possible. These types of demonstrations are wars of attrition, which means that the government is hoping to outlast you. They know that you have the numbers to make them bend to your will, but their weapons and current control of the region allows them outlast any type of resistance movements that may come along. Demonstrators often get exhausted and frustrated that their efforts aren’t making any change, and then they go home way too early before they are able to tip the scales in the favor of the people.
Another important thing to remember is to practice extreme caution and restraint in these situations. The mainland government is already using small spats of violence to condemn the demonstrators as “evil,” and this type of propaganda will only escalate as the protests continue.
There is no doubt that there will be agent provocateurs in the crowd, hired thugs that governments use to discredit resistance movements by painting them as violent and disorderly. It is much easier to spot these infiltrators if the movement as a whole makes a nonviolent pact, because people in large numbers truly can affect change, but the masses rarely want to follow a group that acts out in violence, regardless of how many people are in the streets.
At this point, the people of Hong Kong should accept nothing less but complete and total independence from mainland China. Hong Kong is one of the most significant business centers on the planet, and should be able to flourish and thrive on its own without answering to China.
There is no doubt that the government in mainland China will fight as hard as they can to implement their controversial policies and maintain as much control over Hong Kong just as they have with other territories like Tibet. It is possible that they may even attempt to negotiate with the protesters and make a few small concessions in their policies. However, they have proven that they see the Hong Kong people as subjects, and have no respect for their right to self determination.
It is a rare opportunity to be able to unify so many people for such large demonstrations, so it is essential to capitalize on these rare moments in history and make a real change before the opportunity passes us by.
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