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Friday, June 14
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

Hong Kong still matters

The People’s Republic of China has had protests against its tightening hold over Hong Kong for several days now.

For quite some time, the policy of “one country, two systems” has been considered the embodiment of the Beijing perspective toward Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong.

The idea is credited to Deng Xiaoping who was, at one point in time, the leader of China.

The idea is as simple as it sounds.

Hong Kong is a part of China but it operates under a different system of governance.

For example, Hong Kong has been spared the socialistic and totalitarian rule of the Communist Party that has held the people of China firmly in its iron grasp since the so called great leap forward (more like the great leap ?backwards).

And thank goodness for that.

Hong Kong is free and vibrant.

For 20 years, it has maintained the coveted position of the freest economy in the world (first on the Index of Economic Freedom) by the Heritage Foundation.

The Heritage Foundation ?releases an annual index of countries in order of their economic freedom and opportunity.

To give you a little perspective, the United States is ranked 12th.

One would think that China would want to support what may be its greatest asset, in terms of prestige and reputation.

But now China seems to be moving away from the policy of two systems, toward a policy of one system, one rule, one government and one people denied ?self-determination.

In the simplest of terms, Beijing has begun to try and control Hong Kong. How?

By limiting who the people of Hong Kong can elect as their Chief Executive (the equivalent of the U.S. president).

Originally, a council of about 1,200 people, some predisposed to democracy and some not, would select candidates to run for Hong Kong’s highest office and then there would be a peaceful democratic election.

Now, however, Beijing has chosen that a committee made up of its loyalists will select the candidates, and then the people ?will vote.

I have been to both Hong Kong and mainland China, and I have to say that these events have ?sickened my stomach.

I have always hoped that Hong Kong, a place where freedom exits and all the wonderful things that come with it, would influence those in Beijing and not the other way around.

We consistently hear that China has place on the world stage, this may or may not be true — I do not know. But what I do know is China is not a force for good, for freedom and for democracy.

The truth is they are bullies, and Hong Kong is the prize they are after.

Let us all hope that the protests work, that the bully is dissuaded and that Hong Kong is forever free.

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