Since Hong Kong’s democratic movement began some three decades ago, Hong Kongers have relied on Beijing’s good will to achieve democracy, says democracy advocates Joshua Wong (left) and Jeffrey Ngo (right). But instead of a fully democratic legislature and a directly elected government, all we have received is increased interference from Beijing to limit our freedoms, they write for The Wall Street Journal:
It’s time to advance our struggle to achieving the right to self-determination rather than mere universal suffrage under Chinese rule. The people of Hong Kong must challenge the legitimacy of our existing constitution.
In response to China’s erosion of Hong Kong’s democratic institutions, they note, “some radicals in Hong Kong have been quick to instigate xenophobic and nationalistic sentiments. But this is unnecessary. Neither sovereignty nor nationalism are prerequisites to self-determination.” RTWT
For anyone puzzling over why China reacted so swiftly and severely to block two pro-independence politicians from taking their seats in Hong Kong’s legislature, Xi Jinping’s ’s expansive idea of sovereignty is a good place to start, The New York Times adds.
“What could have been handled in a moderate fashion,” said Michael C. Davis, a former law professor in Hong Kong who is now a researcher in Washington, “became a constitutional crisis, affording Beijing an opportunity to advance its sovereignty agenda.”
Or as Richard C. Bush, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, put it, “Instead of ignoring independence and localist sentiment, which Chinese leaders should have done, they shone a spotlight on” it.
Please join the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) for a briefing with Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong, who gained international notoriety during the 2014 pro-democracy “Umbrella Movement” in Hong Kong. Wong is at the forefront of a movement seeking greater democracy and self-determination in deciding Hong Kong’s future and an end to the Chinese government’s erosion of Hong Kong’s promised autonomy under the “one country, two systems” policy—an erosion most recently seen in Monday’s decision by China’s legislature to prohibit two anti-Beijing legislators in Hong Kong from taking office.
Joshua, along with fellow student activists including Nathan Law, launched a new political party Demosistō in April 2016. Law was elected to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council in September, along with several other young candidates, and at the age of 23 is the youngest lawmaker ever elected in Hong Kong. Joshua has found it increasingly difficult to speak with other democracy advocates, as both Thai and Malaysian officials have blocked his entry, reportedly under pressure from Beijing.
Congressional-Executive Commission on China
A Conversation with Joshua Wong about Hong Kong’s Democratic Future
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
2:00 – 3:00 PM
Capitol Visitor’s Center, SVC 215
To RSVP or for further information, please contact Scott Flipse, the CECC’s Director of Policy and Media Relations at Scott.Flipse@mail.house.gov or 202-226-3777.