The People of Hong Kong Deserve Freedom

Hong Kong is stuck in an everlasting battle against world-superpower China as they struggle for freedom.


The people of Hong Kong gather in the streets in protest of Chinese rule.

Justice Fauver, Staff Writer

On June 4, 1989, in mainland China the people had been revolting against the communist government for months, and tensions had reached a boiling point. The Chinese Government rolled into Tiananmen Square and began to fire upon the thousands of protesters indiscriminately. Hundreds, possibly more than a thousand are killed, but for the people of Hong Kong, this is an issue that they are totally unaffected by, but not for long.

Thousands gather in the streets to protest Chinese rule.

On January 25, 1841, Britain invaded and gained control of Hong Kong in the final stages of the First Opium War, where they used it as a military staging point. After China lost the war they ceded the island nation to the British Empire, and a series of treaties would commence. Within one of these treaties lied a monumental detail; Great Britain was to hold complete control of Hong Kong for the next 99 years. It would become one of the most prosperous places in all of China, and in 1993, Hong Kong’s economy would make up more than 27% of China’s entire economy. That would be like the total economy of Hawaii being more than 5 trillion dollars, but as Chinese cities began to expand and grow their own economies, Hong Kong didn’t seem as important anymore. As the expiration on the lease of Hong Kong drew nearer, Britain began talks with China. They agreed to peacefully hand over Hong Kong, and in return it would be able to remain autonomous and uphold it’s western values. China agreed, and would respect Hong Kong traditions as they adjusted to Chinese rule for the next 50 years (Vox). This “One Country, Two Systems” model expires July 1, 2047; but China has already begun to sink its teeth into the people of Hong Kong.

When China first gained control of Hong Kong, they pretty much left Hong Kong as it was, but as time progressed China saw Hong Kong as less of an asset, and they began to impose their rule. In 2014, the Chinese government put laws into motion that would change the Hong Kong voting system, and many native people saw this as an act of oppression. A series of peaceful protests ensued and they also devolved into violence, just as the protests had in Beijing in the late 80s. Now, the Chinese government has changed the language of the evening news and textbooks to Mandarin, contrary to the main language of Cantonese.

A protester waves the American Flag in support of the preservation of Hong Kong’s democracy.

Protests began in June when millions came out to oppose a bill that would have allowed people accused of a crime in Hong Kong to extradited to mainland China to face their trial. As time has gone on, the protests have evolved into something much more than this bill, and Hong Kongers are on a quest for freedom. As time has gone on, the uprising has become increasingly violent and disruptive, with 2,600+ injured and 2 dead. Not only have the people suffered, but so has the economy. Hong Kong retail sales have dropped 25% since March, according to CNBC. The protests in Hong Kong have no end in sight, as they continue to struggle for their freedom against the world’s greatest threat to democracy.