This is Hong Kong

I love Hong Kong and have loved her for half my life—I think I might have been born there in a previous life (and San Francisco too, because when I was there for the first time I felt an endless familiarity).

I barely read the news these days, but make an exception for Hong Kong. If I love her, I have the responsibility to know what’s going on there.

A few weeks ago, the Beijing government passed the National Security Law. It’s the central government’s way of curbing (ending?) dissent and squashing the rebellion on the ground. It’s working. Self-censorship is already happening. Protest-friendly restaurants that used to be a part of the “Yellow economic circle” have retracted their support. Publishers are scared. Many Hongkongers, offered the chance to relocate to the UK, want to leave. An angry, vocal city is finding herself silenced.

I never imagined Hong Kong—so vibrant, so loud, so proud—could be silenced.

But many are still fighting. Bend the knee? They would rather die.

So let’s wait and see what happens. The story hasn’t ended yet. History can surprise us when we least expect it.

A tale of two cities

“We can either accept the death of Hong Kong’s way of life as a consequence of the new security law, assuming – wrongly – that we are impotent to do anything about it. Or we can hear the cry of Hongkongers – repeated again and again over the past year and most recently just yesterday in polling stations across the city – and take a stand.

A stand that makes it clear to Hongkongers that even if Beijing and its puppet Chief Executive Carrie Lam refuse to listen, the world hears them.

A stand that says even if we cannot immediately “liberate” the city, we can at least make the Chinese Communist Party pay the highest possible price for breaching an international treaty, breaking its promises and destroying Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms.

A stand which says clearly to Hongkongers that even though they may be entering into “the worst of times,” their convictions inspire us to work for “the best of times.”

A stand that says the world knows that even if One Country, Two Systems is dead, it is now “A Tale of Two Cities.” A city increasingly under the grip of the brutal, mendacious, repressive Chinese Communist Party while a free, open, vibrant city still beats in the hearts of ordinary Hongkongers. A city that is increasingly dead in its institutions, governance, and autonomy versus a city that is as alive as ever in its people’s hearts.”

Full article here.