The legacy media have been unsurprisingly silent, less FNC, about the incremental Chinese Communist-backed aggression against the protesters in the former British crown colony of Hong Kong. Protests have been ongoing in June in response to the ChiCom-leaning Hong Kong government’s introduction of the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill, which would allow Hong Kong authorities to detain and extradite fugitives who are wanted in Communist China along with other territories with which Hong Kong doesn’t currently have extradition treaties. The protests take place virtually every weekend, and the associated violence and crackdown by authorities has been escalating for months. The death of the first protester has inflamed people there:
Roughly five months since massive protests first spread through Hong Kong, unrest has flared anew after a student died of injuries sustained during a protest. Chow Tsz-lok, a 22-year-old student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, died [2 Nov] of brain injuries he suffered in a fall as police dispersed protesters from a parking garage earlier this week.
Chow is believed to be the first person to die in violence directly related to the protests. He had been hospitalized since early [5 Nov], when he was found unconscious in a pool of blood after police teargassed protesters in the parking garage. Police say it appears he fell one story, though what caused his fall is disputed. The circumstances of Chow’s death remain under investigation.
Read the rest here. How did it get to this point? The ChiComs intend to absorb all territories with majority Chinese populations in their near abroad, come hell or high water. Hong Kong is the first; Taiwan is their ultimate goal.
Here is a brief history summary of how the British first acquired Hong Kong and how the Communists regained control:
Great Britain had acquired Hong Kong Island from [China’s Qing dynasty] in 1842, when the Treaty of Nanking was signed at the end of the first Opium War (1839-42). Unsatisfied with incomplete control of the harbour, the British forced China to cede Kowloon Peninsula south of what is now Boundary Street and Stonecutters Island less than 20 years later, after the second Opium War (1856-60).
By the Convention of 1898, the New Territories together with 235 islands were leased to Britain for 99 years from July 1, 1898. After the communists took power in China in 1949, Hong Kong became a sanctuary for hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing communist rule. In the following decades the Chinese government insisted that the treaties giving Britain sovereignty over Hong Kong were invalid.
Although in 1984 Britain and China agreed on the terms of the handover of Hong Kong, Sino-British cooperation during the transition period deteriorated after the appointment in 1992 of Chris Patten as Hong Kong’s last colonial governor. Sharply breaking with past practice, Patten initiated a series of political reforms designed to give the people of Hong Kong a greater voice in government via democratic elections to the Legislative Council (LegCo).
China’s crackdown on the student-led democracy movement in 1989 fed anxiety in Hong Kong regarding the handover and led to the political awakening of a previously quiescent population. Beijing made efforts to stonewall Patten’s reforms, which it condemned as a betrayal of London’s earlier promises to manage the transition as an exercise in which Hong Kong had no voice of its own. When Hong Kong’s Democratic Party, led by barrister Martin Lee, routed pro-Beijing politicians in the 1995 LegCo elections, Beijing denounced Patten and began a series of strong measures aimed at reestablishing its influence.
On March 24, 1996, China’s 150-member Preparatory Committee, which had been created to oversee the handover, voted to dissolve LegCo and install a provisional legislature after Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty. In December 1996 a China-backed special election committee selected the 60 members of the provisional body, just days after it had overwhelmingly elected 59-year-old shipping magnate Tung Chee-hwa the first chief executive of the HKSAR. Tung, whose tottering corporate empire had been salvaged by a large infusion of government-supplied capital in the 1980s, soon signaled his intention to roll back Patten’s reforms, announcing in April 1997 proposals to restrict political groups and public protests after the handover.
In essence, what Lee called the “Singaporization” of Hong Kong–i.e., the imposition of authoritarian control–had begun even before the Union Jack was lowered in the colony for the last time.
Read the rest here.
Here is a video that captures the handover of the British Hong Kong Protectorate to the Communist Chinese in 1997. What a sad, sad day!
The following is commentary from a “free Chinese” with experience on the mainland, courtesy of a pal, and provides direct perspective on the situation. I found it to be very compelling:
Hong Kong is in a sad situation right now. The students and protestors have a powerful voice, are fairly well organized, and have clear demands. There is definitely inspiration especially among the younger generation. This was surprising because for the longest time Hong Kong youth cared about things like having a successful career and enjoying life…even to detriment of family life. Then came the 2014 protests and now the current round of protests, there is a glimmer of hope. However, the hand is definitely stacked against them.
The Hong Kong Government fouled up big time in rolling out the extradition bill which was one of the proximate causes of the current round of protests. The bill originally came about because a Hong Kong resident killed his girlfriend in Taiwan and returned to Hong Kong. After the guy returned to Hong Kong, the police could not charge him or extradite him to Taiwan because there was no extradition agreement or legal framework to do so.
I think the bill could not name Taiwan directly because “technically” Taiwan is part of China (that whole conversation is a separate one), so it was decided to use a blanket catch all, which eventually led to fears among people in Hong Kong that this would result in possible extradition not to Taiwan, the original concern of the bill, but to mainland China.
From this we get the protests, and the Hong Kong Government is probably running out of time before Beijing is forced to intervene with other tools. Biggest clusterf…thus the whole Taiwan v. China conversation plays a role in the current situation. If Beijing decides it is time to intervene more directly, then it will make what is going on now look like a picnic. The biggest thing restraining heavy-handed action is Beijing’s need to save face, salvage their PR nightmare, and keep Hong Kong’s financial markets attractive. How much restraint being mandated by Beijing is unclear. I do not think Beijing is overly concerned about international opinion on matters such, as this as evident by the ongoing situations with the Uyghurs and the South China Sea.
The 1997 handover by the Brits was a shame not so much that it was done, but rather in the manner by which it was done. Technically, the Brits had two of the three regions of HK in perpetuity, including Hong Kong island, meaning there was no prior treaty agreement requiring the Brits to return the entirety of Hong Kong. Also, the input of the Hong Kong people was barely asked for, i.e., the handover negotiations between the British and Beijing were opaque. Therefore, many people in HK were shocked to learn that the Brits would return the entirety of Hong Kong to mainland China.
The Communists had adhered to the concept of “one country, two systems” for 50 years all guaranteed by ink on a piece of paper. The TV broadcast of the handover showed the actual ceremony with Tony Blair grinning from ear to ear. Hong Kong residents (and I) retain a certain amount of bitterness about it that is justified, given the escalating violence and the Communist tentacles that are slowly strangling Hong Kong. The Brits simply walked away and abandoned Hong Kong to the Communists.
We have not seen the end of the violence by any means. The ChiCom-backed crackdown on the protestors in the Hong Kong “special region” is far from over. This is a tragedy in the making. I hope that President Trump is pressuring Xi Jinping about Hong Kong in continuing US-China trade talks, as well as via regular channels at the State Department. We shall see.