Since the announcement, there have been demonstrations in the streets. Great big, peaceful demonstrations. No broken windows, no looting, no violence. (Some Americans protest groups could learn from this example.)
Hong Kong's current chief executive sent the police to break up the demonstrations with tear gas and pepper spray. Now the demonstrators want him to resign. Who can blame them?
The Chinese government has blocked access to Instagram photos of the demonstrations in both China and Hong Kong. I do not believe in the suppression of information, and so I am posting a couple Instagram pictures below, just to get them out there.
Hong Kong was ceded to China by the British in 1997, with the understanding that it would be governed separately. It was agreed, among other particulars, that Hong Kong's citizens would have the right to demonstrate.
"One country, two systems" was the mantra at the time, but strains between two such different systems were almost certainly inevitable.
In fact, China has opened up a bit over the years, but it continues to have problems with the free speech thing.
An editorial in yesterday's Global Times, which seems to be a house organ of the Chinese Communist Party, said the following:
"The radical activists are doomed. Opposition groups know well it's impossible to alter
the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress . . . ."
(Blatantly false terms like "radical activists" and "National People's Congress" always make me think of George Orwell and Newspeak.)
Anyway, the Global Times editorial acknowledged China's 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and said things are completely different now.
"Recent years have witnessed many severe mass incidents, but none had the ability to disturb
the thinking of society. China has tackled these incidents smoothly."
Tear gas, pepper spray. "The thinking of society." "Tackled. . . smoothly." Hmm.
The situation now seems to be a stalemate. The demonstrators aren't going home. The Chinese continue to insist that they will choose Hong Kong's political candidates. The worry is that China will send in the People's Liberation Army (more Newspeak), as was done in Tiananmen Square 25 years ago.
In reading about the Hong Kong demonstrations, I came upon an interesting group called New Tang Dynasty (NTD) that operates out of New York, covers much of the world and has an audience of more than 100 million. It broadcasts cultural shows and children's programming as well as news reports. I hope the NTD will not object to my sharing one of its recent posts, which includes public reaction to the suppression of information about events in Hong Kong.
Note: The Chinese government has made clear for decades that it wishes to absorb prosperous, democratic, peaceful Taiwan into China. The people of Taiwan must look across the Formosa Strait and shudder at the thought.