The protests in Hong Kong (HK) against the extradition bill started on March 31st, 2019 and evolved into a massive movement in June involving as many as half million people walking on the streets demonstrating. Up to now, the unrest in HK has been over 200 days changing from a growing peaceful mass movement to a shrinking but violent protest more like riots than demonstration. In the past near seven months of unrest, the HK mass and organic media have revealed a lot of hidden issues in HK beyond the mere concern of the extradition bill. They are: 1. Hong Kong’s severe wealth gap and deficient housing supply problem in the extremely crammed and expensive city created a large unhappy population struggling under diminishing economic opportunities. 2. Hong Kong’s colonial education system, left unchanged since its return to China, produced generations of youth with a false HK pride unable to face the reality of HK losing its competiveness to her neighboring Shenzhen. 3. HK’s Judicial System filled with judges with dual citizenship (UK’s and HK’s) acting leniently towards arrested protest0rs and thus emboldened them. 4. HK’s Media owned and controlled by the conglomerates and owned produced inflammatory reporting causing mistrust between the HK people and their government. 5. The external influence (foreign powers, Western media and high concentration of international spies in HK) supported the demonstrations and the violent riots turning the HK unrest into a challenge to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) one country two systems practice.
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (HK HR&D Act) of 2019 is a bipartisan American legislation directing various US departments to assess whether political developments in HK justify changing HK's unique treatment under the U.S. law. The original HK HR&D Act consists of five main points: (1) reaffirm the principles set forth in the US-HK Policy Act of 1992 (established prior to HK’s return to China); (2) support the democratic aspirations of the people of HK; (3) urge China's government to uphold its commitments to HK; (4) support the establishment by 2017 of a democratic option to nominate and elect the Chief Executive of HK, and the establishment by 2020 of democratic elections for all members of the HK Legislative Council; and (5) support freedom of the press. Since HK’s return to China in 1997, China has practiced its one country two system policy letting HK people governing HK with HK’s legislative Council elected and the executive head elected by the council. HK has a three branch (Executive, Legislative and Judicial) government system governed by its Basic Law, HK’s Constitution, which was approved by the National People’s Congress in 1990 prior to HK’s return to China in 1997. In fact, the CCP has not only kept its promise of letting HKers managing HK but also helped HK developing a healthy economy under law and order.
In the U.S., the people or their two political parties often have a strong opposing view on a political or social issue, for example, on the acceptance of illegal immigrants or granting them voting rights. HK people also often have opposing views on legislations, modification of election methods and/or the policy and performance of their Chief Executive. Currently, HK enjoys complete economic freedom and is politically self-governed by the HK people under her Basic Laws with her legislators half (35) directly elected by the geographic district residents and the other 35 elected indirectly. Her Chief Executive is elected by 1200 election commissioners – an electoral college. Like many countries and political systems, there are opposing political factions in HK, some favor a gradually evolving political system but satisfied with the one country and two systems, some favor a fast changing pace to a general suffrage system electing all officials directly and yet some favor to make HK independent of China (like re-secession) which is obviously unrealistic as California seeking independence from the U.S. With a history of colonial occupation, HK has been dominated by a few families (for instance, 90+% land of HK are owned by four families) and the elites employed by the wealthy families (many of them are British citizens). HK’s demonstrations on various issues are not always for the benefit of the people, for example, on immigration laws (the wealthy who need labor and the politicians who need votes have different views from the common citizens’ views) and the current controversial extradition bill (a threat to international spies living in HK but actually beneficial to law and order).
The original HK HR&D Act was established with the principle of promoting freedom and democracy on behalf of the HK people. Today, the HK People has more freedom and democracy than most people in Asia perhaps even more than the U.S. citizens, judging from how HK’s frequent demonstrations are treated. Violent protestors would never be tolerated in the U.S. or U.K., examples are Wall Street or Dunning Street demonstrations. However, the U.S. and U.K. media persistently reported onesidedly favoring the protestors and slanting the HK police. Most people caring about HK, especially Chinese Americans and Chinese Britons, who saw the real video footage of riots or experienced them in person, are furious about the hypocritical behavior of American legislators such as the Cuban American Senator Marco Rubio (one of the main sponsors of the HK HR&D Act) who has become famous for inviting all sorts of dissenters to the Senate to testify slanting China. He sometimes anxiously puts words in the witness’s mouth or hastily makes tweets (recalling his rush to tweet “collapsing German dam in Venezuela causing blackout” - German Dam is actually a reporter’s name who wrote about the blackout in Venezuela). We suspect Rubio’s real motivation is his political ambition. He sees an opportunity of gaining name recognition by being the number one China hater in the Senate. He has only turned to be a China-hater following his loss to Trump in Florida in his 2016 Presidential campaign.
The 2019 HK HR&D Act does not do anything to improve HK’s democracy. Rather, it may destroy HK as a free Financial Center, causing irreparable damage to the world financial system due to a domino effect in the financial world possibly resulting in a world recession. No citizens in the U.S. or U.K. would dare to destroy properties, use self-made bombs, beat-up innocent people and police and immobilize public transportation like HK rioters had done. No one would get away with it like the HK rioters. By passing the new HKHR&D Act, it is essentially endorsing violence, a hypocritical behavior, and it may just backfire to encourage more violence not only in HK and but also in our own homeland. The US-China Forum has just initiated a petition to the White House urging President Trump to reject this 2019 HK HR&D Act. We ask our government to focus on obtaining a trade agreement with China quickly so that the two countries can seek cooperation rather than confrontation. Two great nations striving for excellence bound to have competition. However, only fair and open competition will benefit each country’s economy and promote world prosperity. Agitating and destroying HK may give China a setback but it will also hurt the other countries and the world, in the end hurting the U.S..