China’s Military Parade Fuels Hong Kong’s Anger

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Melina Hicks, Staff Writer

 

On October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong, also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who became the founder of the People’s Republic of China after communist forces won an extremely bloody civil war. He ruled as the leader of the Communist Party of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. Today on October 1, 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of modern-day China being established. 

Today China has grown to be one of the most influential countries in the world. With the world’s second largest economy following the US’, and with its influence spreading across the globe from East to West, it’s hard to see anyone that would be willing stand up against Chinese control. 

But a group has. 

Hong Kong, a special administrative region in the southeast of China, previously under control of the British Empire until 1997, has been rocked by protests since early June, many of which have created very violent clashes between those that are protesting and the police. 

When and why would you ask did these protests start? In the month of June, Hong Kong released an extradition bill, that would have made it possible to extract people from Hong Kong to China. This is where the Communist party controls the courts. The main fear for many Hong Kong people is that if this bill was passed, it would be used by Chinese authorities to target ‘political enemies’ and bring upon the end of the “one country, two systems” policy that was given to them for their independence. This bill would be able to inflict punishment upon those which conflict with the Chinese government’s “agenda”.  

After weeks upon weeks of protesting, Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, finally removed the bill only a few weeks earlier on September 4th . Although the bill was removed, protesters still wanted more changes brought, these requests are: 

1.) Withdraw the extradition bill 

2.) Have the government no longer use the word “riot” when talking about the protests 

3.) Drop the charges against those arrested for protesting 

4.) Have an independent police inquiry due to extreme police violence against protesters 

5.) Universal suffrage, which means establishing a democracy where the people’s voices matter 

 

As Beijing celebrated the 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule in mainland China today, thousands of protesters marched in Hong Kong against the Chinese government. On Tuesday video footage showed an officer firing his pistol at close range at Tsang Chi-kin, an 18-year-old high school student. The police confirmed the shooting, saying the officer had fired at Mr. Tsang in self-defense. The teenager underwent emergency surgery and health officials said his condition was critical early Wednesday. 

While the police have used tear gas, batons, and rubber bullets to combat protesters, the use of a real gun is the first of its kind. This will likely add wood to the fire of the anti-government unit. 

“For Hong Kong people, there’s nothing to celebrate today,” said Bonnie Leung, who was the former Vice Convener of the Civil Human Rights Front. “China has a habit of silencing people during ‘celebrations’ like National Day to create a cosmetic peaceful scene,” she said. “It might work in Beijing, but it would never work in Hong Kong.”