How Hong Kong is China’s conscience
Last Sunday many protesters were on the streets to demonstrate against the murders of Tiamanmen dissident Li Wangyang. He was part of the big demonstration 1989 which resulted in twenty years imprisonment for him. He never stopped criticizing his government and died one day after he had given an interview to a Hong Kong tv station. Although China states that he committed suicide, all the evidence proves otherwise. With his death a person who dares to speak up is silenced in a country where government tries to hold the people away from as much information as possible. Luckily there is Hong Kong.
When the British transferred the power to China, many people in Hong Kong held their breath. They enjoyed much more wealth and freedom than their much bigger brother. They were happy to find out that Hong Kong would not be swallowed up by the big Chinese empire but could stay relatively autonomous within the Chinese state.
Now Hong Kong is a special administration under the Chinese Republic, the people can enjoy more freedom. For example, they can access Facebook, Youtube and other websites that are banned in China. But at least as important, there is an independent media and people have the right to speak their mind and demonstrate .
By being connected to China and still being able to have those freedoms, Hong Kong has the unique opportunity to be China conscience. It can function as an intermediate of information. It can provide the world with information of China and the often multilingual Hong Kongers can pass objective info about China and the world to China. Sure, the Chinese government does a lot to avoid it, but people from Hong Kong can travel to China and vice versa relatively easily. There are ways to beat the system, and the people from Hong Kong are the best suited for the job.
Fortunately, Hong Kong knows its unique role. They protest against the Chinese government if they don’t agree and who knows what kind of underground information sharing is already happening. Hopefully Hong Kong can play this role for as long as necessary to share a different view than the Chinese Government. In 2047 the current agreement giving Hong Kong its autonomy will end and my hope is that the Chinese can enjoy more freedoms by then, otherwise China has the power to put once and for all an end to Hong Kong’s freedom of speech and their role as the conscience of China.