What Hongkongers Think but Cannot Say

What Hongkongers Think but Cannot Say, by C.G. Fewston.

What Hongkongers cannot say, what they are forbidden to say, is that the protests are for independence, to become a city-state free to govern themselves along the lines of Singapore or Monaco. To be free to govern themselves like Taiwan. No one can legally say this because to do so is an illegal act in Hong Kong.

In 2017, China considered any speech or act which seriously urges for independence or self-determination in Hong Kong a violation of China’s national sovereignty. Hong Kong’s Criminal Ordinance explains that anyone with a “seditious intention” will be guilty of an offence and could be punished by two years in jail and a fine of HK$5,000 ($638 USD). These crimes also fall under Article 23, related to subversion and sedition. This is the primary reason why citizens in Hong Kong deny that the protests are for independence. They do not wish to go to jail. …

Over the last two years, anyone seeking election has had to undergo a vetting process by Beijing. Anyone wanting to be elected to public office in Hong Kong must denounce self-determination and prove they do not support independence. …

Hong Kong Skyline Restitch - Dec 2007

What Hongkongers have been calling for consistently over the last five years is to be granted Universal Suffrage. Hong Kong citizens and protesters are now fighting for the ability to be able to democratically elect public officials, like the Chief Executive Officer, without any kind of political screening from China.

Once publicly elected officials were in place under its own form of government disconnected to the mainland, Hong Kong could begin peaceful maneuvers to democratically obtain its independence. Think of it this way: Step 1 is Universal Suffrage; Step 10 is Independence. You cannot peacefully reach Step 10 without first achieving Step 1. So Hongkongers are fighting for Step 1, for Universal Suffrage, before they can even begin to consider future changes.

The Hong Kong government controlled by Beijing, however, will never allow Universal Suffrage because they know where it would most certainly lead in the future.