What’s going on in Hong Kong?
After Chinese officials ousted four opposition party members from Hong Kong Legislature, many more resigned.
- Hong Kong has existed as a semi-autonomous territory of China since 1997, when a 50-year “one country, two systems” model was established. Under this agreement, Hong Kong is part of China but has its own governance model which allows freedoms of speech, assembly, and expression.
- Recently, Hong Kong has been pushing for total independence from China and the establishment of a fully democratic government institution. China has cracked down hard on these efforts, enacting anti-protest laws which override the freedom of expression laws established by Hong Kong’s own semiautonomous government.
- Conflict has escalated between China, Hong Kong, and the United States as China and the U.S. imposed sanctions on one another over the restriction of freedoms in Hong Kong.
- Yesterday, after 4 opposition lawmakers were disqualified from serving in Hong Kong legislature by a new ordinance out of Beijing, the 15 remaining pro-democracy lawmakers resigned from their posts.
- The chairman of Hong Kong’s democratic party said that the dismissal and resignation of the lawmakers constituted a violation of the agreement between Hong Kong and China, and marked the “death” of democracy in Hong Kong.
- Human rights activists have also raised concerns about the move, and the future of Hong Kong in general, since the dismissal of the lawmakers.
- Portrays the situation as a tragedy for human rights. ABC quotes a pro-democracy activist who called yesterday Hong Kong’s “darkest day so far,” and writes that the fall of democracy in Hong Kong would bring danger to the daily lives of millions. CBS echoes this sentiment, pointing out that China is historically guilty of human rights violations.
- Calls China’s approach extreme and un-democratic. Daily Beast says that democracy has effectively been ended in Hong Kong.
- Praises the resigned lawmakers. CNN says that the resignations were a brave show of unity and support for the ousted lawmakers.
- Similarly to the left side, the right praises legislators who resigned en masse to show dissent. Washington Examiner said that the legislators were taking a brave stance in the face of a new bill criminalizing acts of secession, terrorism, treason, and others acts against the government.
- Discusses how the new bill by china is another example of a violation of the “one country, two systems”agreement made between China and Hong Kong, and of the democratic process in general. New York Post reports that the by ousting the legislators, Beijing violated a fundamental agreement with Hong Kong.
- Reports on underlying tensions in Hong Kong. Fox News reporters believe that mass resignation comes as a result of Beijing’s grip over the financial hub more generally.
© Evelyn Torsher, 2020