I suppose it was bound to happen eventually. At the time the British lease on the Island expired in 1997, the Beijing government promised to respect and retain Hong Kong’s democratic policies. It was part of what they dubbed a “One country, two systems” philosophy.
It has been working pretty well for a lot of years. The democratic spirit among Hong Kongers remained strong even as the overlords in Beijing would – from time to time – try to extend their brand of Communist authority. The action that popped the cork on the bottle of freedom was last year’s attempt to change the law so that dissidents – supporters of democracy, that is – could be (excuse the expression) Shanghaied to the mainland.
This resulted in massive demonstrations and riots that did not abate even when the egregious proposal was shelved. Covid-19 did what no threats or cajoling from Chinese President Xie Jinping could do – clear the street of Hong Kong.
With a health-driven lockdown in place and world attention deflected from the situation in Hong Kong, Beijing made its boldest move yet to crush democracy in the Island province. Under a new law proposed by Xie, the Beijing government will establish security forces in Hong Kong.
The action by Xie can have only one of two results. The freedom-loving people of Hong Kong will be oppressed, and the flames of democracy snuffed out OR there will be a civil war. Lost is any opportunity for civil disobedience to effect change. Xie has drawn the line in the sand and now the world will have to wait and see what the people of Hong Kong do.
We can only hope that the world democracies are not too distracted by Covid-19 to support the people of Hong Kong.
So, there ‘tis.