Hong Kong: A Fight For Democracy


Source: Laurel Chor

Calvin Mueller, Reporter

Imagine doing nothing wrong then getting detained and arrested. Not to mention the controversial threat of being extradited to a country where you can go to jail. This is a real fear for the people of Hong Kong and has ignited the massive protests which have been covered massively in the media. The underlying fear of a Chinese Government takeover is a terrifying and now more-real-than-ever for Hong Kongers.

What is the Extradition Bill?

After a man from Hong Kong killed his girlfriend in Taiwan, the Hong Kong Government imminently took action against other actions like this.the law would allow virtually anyone in the city to be picked up and detained in mainland China.”  The Communist Party in China has complete rule and is known for prosecuting political opponents. After learning of this, Hong Kongers took action. There were many protests after this, calling for the removal of the bill.

Airport Protests

Hong Kong International Airport is a world renowned hub for travel and international connections. The night before massive protests caused all flights to be cancelled two days in a row, Hong Kong Police who were undercover, slammed people on the ground, and also shot a rubber bullet at a Hong Konger in the eye at point blank range causing eye loss. This became a rallying call for the democracy movement, sparking the protests at the airport, with the remarkable thing about this being there is no main leader. 

China’s Response

Source: AP News

In response to heightening tensions in Hong Kong, the Chinese Government stayed quiet until August 14th. Photos showed that Chinese APC’s (armed personnel carrier) were in a sports complex in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong. In an effort to promote the perspective from China, many celebrities are posting what is happening in Hong Kong is a “shame”. Most notably the lead actress of the live action Mulan movie has faced criticism for supporting the Chinese point of view, which caused a #BoycottMulan movement across social media.

Protests and Worldwide Solidarity 

Source: Laurel Chor

On a rainy, miserable day on August 18th, Hong Kong had yet another massive march. 1.7 million people to be exact, which is 25% of the population of the Southeast Asian metropolis. The amount of recognition of the democracy movement was seen through worldwide marches on August 19th. Notable turnouts mainly in London and Sydney show that the global awareness for Hong Kong is rising and becoming more evident. 

How this affects global relations

Some protesters over the past few months have been using the American and British Flags as a symbol of defiance. They hope to anger the Chinese government by this and hope to get aide or support from these foreign governments.