12 August 2019
Cogito Ergo Non Serviam
The protests in Hong Kong against the heavy hand of the Beijing government entered a new stage over the week-end. The protesters assembled at the airport, and as of this morning, the authorities have canceled all flights in and out for the rest of the day. The officials worded it this way, "Other than departure flights that have completed the check-in process and the arrival flights already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been cancelled for the rest of today." This affects the economy of Hong Kong much more directly than the previous week-end protests because it interferes with international travel.
The protests originally focused on an extradition law that would have allowed the PRC to take residents of Hong Kong, charge them with crimes and bring them to the mainland for trial. Needless to say, the people of the former crown colony know what kind of justice the ChiCom government provides and wanted nothing to do with it.
However, the latest protests have moved on to the viciousness of the police in putting down the protests. Tear gas and water-cannon are short of what happened in Tiananmen Square a generation ago, but it is clear that the Beijing government is prepared to escalate the amount of force used.
The Guardian reported, "Civil Rights Observer, a local rights group that sends observers to protests, said it had serious concerns about police violence and had seen 'clear evidence to show the police are violating their guidelines', according to its spokesman, Icarus Wong Ho-yin.
Of course, the authorities blame the victims. Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said, "Hong Kong's radical demonstrators have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers, which already constitutes a serious violent crime, and also shows the first signs of terrorism emerging. This wantonly tramples on Hong Kong's rule of law and social order."
One it tempted to point out that Hong Kong does have the rule of law while the PRC has a long way to go before it meets that same standard. Moreover, there is no social order when a government has sat on bayonets since 1949.
In 2047, the fifty years of "one country, two systems" will come to an end. There is no reason for Hong Kong to surrender any of its freedoms before then. And if these protests work the way one hopes, the PRC will rise to the Hong Kong standard of freedom and justice. That presumes, however, that the protests are not put down with even greater violence than the world has seen thus far. Given the track record of Beijing, the smart money is on the sidelines right now.
© Copyright 2019 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.