Legislation introduced last April to allow the extradition of criminal suspects from Hong Kong to mainland China motivated millions into the streets in protests that have not yet ended . . .
. . . including a major pro-democracy rally scheduled for tomorrow in Causeway Bay.
Traveling to Hong Kong and Taiwan months ago, the glimpse I caught of Hongkongers’ courageous struggle spurs me to applaud George Will’s judgment in Sunday’s Washington Post: “Nothing more momentous happened” in 2019.
The extradition bill has been withdrawn, sure, but Hongkongers know well that without real democracy they have no long-term hope of avoiding the repressive rule of the Chinese Communist Party . . . which may no longer be “communist,” but remains totally totalitarian.
Ask a million Uighurs.
Carrie Lam, the city’s Beijing-installed chief executive, has long labeled the protesters “selfish rioters.” But new pro-democracy candidates won nearly 90 percent of seats in last month’s local elections, demonstrating which side the public is on.
This year began with newly un-term-limited Chinese President Xi Jinping threatening military action against Taiwan. The island nation of 24 million, some 100 miles off the coast of the mainland, has been offered the same “one country, two systems” arrangement China has with Hong Kong . . . what Mr. Will dubbed “a formula for the incremental suffocation of freedom.”
Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, is “loathed by Beijing,” reports the South China Morning Post, “because her party refuses to accept the idea that Taiwan is part of the so-called one-China principle which denies the island’s independence.”
Her opponent in the upcoming national election on the 11th, like some in the NBA, “favours much warmer relations with mainland China.”
The Taiwanese, however — like Hongkongers — appear increasingly resistant to being totalitarianized.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
2019 Commentaries on Hong Kong and Taiwan
- I Am Hong Kong (June 24)
- Protests & Propaganda (August 16)
- Is There Hope for Hong Kong & Taiwan? (Sept. 28)
- Two-thousand Somethings (Sept. 29)
- Tears for Freedom (Sept. 30)
- Stand with Hong Kong! (Oct. 5)
- Stand By Your Tweet (Oct. 9)
- Blizzard Fallout (Oct. 11)
- The King’s Air Ball (Oct. 16)
- Q&A: Hong Kong Activists in Taiwan (Oct 6)
- Thriving Totalitarianism (Oct. 12)