Hong Kong resistance to China is a glimmer of hope amid repression

There are massive political problems in the United Kingdom right now, and huge challenges in other European countries such as France and Spain.

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

There are major political tensions in the United States and in Australia too, and multiple other countries that would typically be considered to be ‘stable’.

Here in Northern Ireland, the political stalemate that has closed Stormont for almost three years is ongoing.

Yet for all these difficulties, it is of little consequence to what is going on in Hong Kong. It is easy to forget when you live in a democratic society how radically different is China.

The 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre of students who merely sought democratic reform (hundreds, maybe thousands, were killed by Chinese troops) was not only an outrage without parallel in the western world post 1945, it had an even more chilling aftermath. The truth of that day is unknown because China is so closed. The masterminds of the brutal clampdown went on to run communist China. Most shocking of all, there has never been an uproar in China about that unpardonable event. This is in part because the Chinese communist authorities ensure it gets no publicity, but also due to a radically different culture in which much of the vast population accepts that rule is left to the rulers, and thus such matters are not their concern.

Imagine such abuses in the UK or Ireland, accompanied by indifference as to the detail of the abuse. It wouldn’t happen.

The only glimmer of hope is the markedly different mindset that prevails in Hong Kong, where they cherish western freedom of speech and assembly, which means the public there will not submit to Beijing oppression without dissent.

Yesterday thousands of people in Hong Kong again took to the streets in defiance of the Chinese authorities and their puppet Hong Kong regime. China ultimately could crush Hong Kong based on sheer numbers. It is incomparably bigger. But the fight for democracy and freedom goes on, and in the UK we should give it all moral support we can.