Hong Kong’s peaceful movement gets international sympathy

Jatin Desai
Sunday, 1 September 2019

The protest in Hong Kong continues non-stop. The residents of Hong Kong have shown tremendous courage to fight to preserve their rights.

The protest in Hong Kong continues non-stop. The residents of Hong Kong have shown tremendous courage to fight to preserve their rights. Their movement is against the all-powerful Chinese administration and they are fighting it in a most effective and non-violent way. Lakhs of people assemble, protest and return home peacefully. It is something very close to the Gandhian way of struggle. 

A couple of incidents of violence did happen but the overall movement is non-violent. The thinking behind the movement is of peaceful means. It is also a leaderless movement.

In today’s world, only peaceful agitations get sympathy globally. The residents of Hong Kong are rightly getting sympathy across the world. The recent G7 summit also discussed it and the declaration said, “The G7 reaffirms the existence and importance of the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 on Hong Kong and calls for violence to be avoided.” It means G7 leaders supported Hong Kong’s autonomy as laid out in the declaration of 1984. 

The semi-autonomous region is witnessing a peaceful agitation for more than three months. 

It all began in June after the pro-China administration of Hong Kong announced an extradition bill that would allow authorities to send suspected criminals to mainland China for prosecution.

Even as the protest is spreading there is no visible sign of giving some concessions to the protesters. The information coming from Hong Kong indicates that there are serious differences between Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Chinese authorities. Lam recently said the extradition bill is “dead”. But, it does not mean withdrawal. The Chinese authorities are not in favour of withdrawal. The Chinese stand has even surprised pro-establishment voices.

As expected, China expressed strong dissatisfaction over G7 declaration backing the unprecedented protest of the residents of the Hong Kong. China has been alleging that external forces are supporting the movement. Fears have risen now as the Chinese troops moved into Hong Kong. But a military official said it is a regular troop movement. 
Joshua Wong, one of the most popular democratic rights activists has now been arrested. He became popular at the age of 15 in 2012 when he organized protests against the national education curriculum. He was also leader of the Umbrella Movement. Andy Chan Ho-tin, a leader of the outlawed Hong Kong National Party has also been arrested. 

A few days ago, Hong Kong police used teargas and water cannons to disperse protesters. This was for the first time the G7 openly sided with the protesters in Hong Kong. It also needs to be seen in the context of the trade war between the US and China. The language of US President Donald Trump on trade war was mild at the summit than earlier.

This summer movement is much bigger than the 2014 Umbrella Movement, which lasted for 79 days. The protesters were forcefully removed from the places of protest by the police. The protesters were using umbrellas to protect themselves from the pepper spray and so it was called Umbrella Movement. They were demanding transparent elections.

Leading economists feel the continuing political unrest could trigger a global economic slowdown. The protests have affected day-to-day activities but they are fighting to preserve their autonomy. One Nation, Two System doctrine has helped Hong Kong’s economy grow.

China is facing its biggest crisis on Hong Kong since it was returned to China in 1997. The Chinese authorities must take urgent measures and take protesters into confidence. Unless, protesters are taken into the confidence the stalemate will continue. It is affecting the economy of Hong Kong. As Hong Kong is one of the major hubs of business it is bound to affect world economy too. 

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