What’s Happening in Hong Kong?


By: Wooseuk Jin

As students living in one of the best hubs for international business and relations, it only helps to know more about what is happening around us. Events that are constantly on the news are the Hong Kong riots. On April 3rd of this year, Hong Kong’s government introduced plans for a law that will extradite criminals to China. The majority of people believed that this law would diminish the freedom of citizens of Hong Kong. The first protest that happened on June 9th, had an estimate of around one million people who marched around the government headquarters. Three days later, this peaceful march for freedom was attacked by the Hong Kong police by the use of tear gas and rubber bullets. In the span of a week there were estimates to up to two million people protesting Hong Kong police and parliament. 

    Hong Kong, a former British colony now part of China, is run under one country, two systems. In fact, many of the citizens of Hong Kong do not even consider themselves as “Chinese”, rather they consider themselves to be just citizens of Hong Kong. That is partially why they feel like this overruling law from China is a threat. Many of the things that they are free to do in Hong Kong can be considered as very illegal in mainland China. That is why many people go to Hong Kong for refuge from China.

    Why are protests still going on 4 months after the initial protest? Well, first of all the citizens do not want their protest to be identified as a riot as it makes it sound as if they are being violent when the police are using weapons. Furthermore, they would like amnesty for all of the people being arrested. An infamous case of an unjust arrest is that of Keith Fong, leader of Baptist University’s student union. The police arrested him because they said he was “acting suspiciously, after he purchased 10 lazer pointers, which they later considered offensive weapons. Additionally, we see evidence of police brutality all across the internet with incidents of citizens being harassed for not having their identification on them and another famous incident of a woman having her skirt pulled off of her by the Hong Kong riot police. These incidents are a common occurrence in Hong Kong and the longer the protests go on the more the citizens become enraged.

    In recent news, video game company, Blizzard Entertainment, banned a professional Hearthstone player Ng Wai Chung for voicing his support for the Hong Kong riots. Ng Wai Chung otherwise known as Blitzchung was initially banned for one year which was later changed by Blizzard to six months. Blizzards suspension of Blitzchung was viewed as a way for Blizzard to appease the Chinese government because of their relationship with the country but Blizzard was soon to denounce this claim saying that Blitzchung’s actions were inappropriate for a professional gaming environment. Employees of Blizzard Entertainment have walked out to show their disapproval of their company’s actions.

    What can we expect to happen because of these protests in Hong Kong? Well, as of October 8th, Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, has now withdrawn this controversial bill. Still however, many of the citizens demand for Carrie Lam’s resignation as well many other demands. We can expect for protests to decrease in size as many of the demands are met but we can also expect many more protesters to appear with the increase of police brutality and pressure from the Chinese government. What will other foreign countries, like the US, do about this problem, as many of the protesters call Donald Trump for help while singing the Star Spangled Banner, and what can we do to help?