Hong Kong Strong
The Global Citizen
Hello, and welcome to my little part of the Clocktower! My name is Wesley and I’m hoping that this year I can show you a little bit more of the world through my eyes. My goal for this column is to stray away from the political atmosphere of the United States as much as possible. Obviously, there are many issues that happen around the world that either affect America and I will be inclined to report on those events as well. But overall, I want you all to feel like you can learn more about what’s going on, not only outside of Lincoln or Neb. but outside the United States as well. It’s important to stay informed so you can have your own opinions on the world and its events.
That being said, let’s talk about Hong Kong. If you have Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook or really any kind of social media that has adopted some sort of news outlet, you’ll know that it is getting wild over there. For a bit of reference, Hong Kong is an autonomous region/city state in Southern China, known as a Special Administrative Region (SAR). They are a perfect example of how capitalism and democracy work, right in the hands of Communist China. In a nutshell, the city is under a different legal, administrative and judicial system than that of the surrounding Chinese government. However, the people are still Chinese and have Chinese citizenship. It attributes its success to the fact that it has been allowed to continue to operate almost completely independent of China.
So why are there protests? Hong Kong is classified as an Alpha+ city, meaning they hold a world wide influence. Everything was relatively calm until China tried to enact a bill. The Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill of 2019 is essentially China’s way of extraditing people who are in territories that China does not have an extradition agreement with. This is an especially sensitive matter due to the previously mentioned difference in the legal and judicial system. There will be and already is a clash in differences of ideology.
Not only will China have more control and power in these territories if the bill is passed, but the citizens, businesses, and anyone with actual ties to these SARs will have much more restrictions and lose different aspects of their autonomy. Almost everyone in Hong Kong will have their lives affected in some way. Hence, there are thousands of protestors, day in and day out that have been demonstrating, marching and organizing since as early as March. People are hearing about this more now because tensions are escalating. The government is getting scared and desperate as they deploy riot police to contend with the violence that is also on the rise. Social media has been a great way to share information about the stories being told and the risks being taken to make sure their way of life will not be threatened anymore than it has.
Wesley Rodriguez-Diep is a senior studying International Relations