Monday, July 29, 2019

Hong Kongers Are Losing the Plot

Hong Kong continues to hog headlines with its citizens persisting with their anti-China protests. Along with the vitriol against China, a call for a “return” to democracy. 

Wait a sec! Didn't they know that Hong Kong has never had complete democracy?! 

Besides, no Hong Konger had demanded democracy for Hong Kong in 156 years of British colonial rule. If they had, they may just have a legitimate basis for demanding democracy today. 

So, when protesters foolishly unfurled the Union Jack and call for reverting to British rule – they forget that reaching out to a former colonial master exposes their hypocrisy. 

Oh, let me also refresh Hong Kongers’ memory that under current law, any unlawful assembly can be deemed a riot if anyone taking part in it commits a “breach of the peace”. 

[The Hong Kong Universal Periodic Review Coalition, an alliance of local civil society groups that delivers human rights status reports to the UN, has previously pointed out that prosecutors have wide discretion to define an act as a riot]. 

In fact, the use of the “riot” label is laid out in the colonial-era Public Order Ordinance, which is prone to being misused against protesters as many of its provisions are vaguely defined, say civil society and legal advocacy groups. The ordinance was enacted in 1967 following riots that year against British colonial rule. The last time a protest in Hong Kong was designated a riot was 2016, during the so-called Fishball Revolution in the city’s Mong Kok district. And prior to that, a 2005 protest against the World Trade Organization was labeled a riot. 

So, Hong Kongers who face rioting charges, please blame it on the British! 

Worse, it was criminal to have unfurled “Old Glory” too and made a call for American intervention during a US-China trade war. With trade a major basis of Hong Kong’s survival, it was political madness. 

Hong Kongers forget Hong Kong is not the same anymore. It is already eclipsed by China’s spectacular rise and there is no turning back the clock. 

This video clip featuring Martin Jacques offers a refreshing insight on today’s Hong Kong:
It’s time we look at the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China in an entirely different light. 

And only then will we become acutely aware that demonizing China won’t help Hong Kong at all. 

Methinks, the protesters have lost the plot.

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