立場新聞 Stand News

To fellow Canadians: Let us stand with Hong Kong and safeguard our national interests

2019/10/18 — 16:46

9 月 29 日反極權遊行(立場新聞圖片)

9 月 29 日反極權遊行(立場新聞圖片)

I am a Hong-Konger born and bred and have spent my teenage years in Vancouver. Since 2000, I returned to Hong Kong and have been living here up to this current day. I, therefore, would like to say a few words about Hong Kong’s current situation from a Canadian perspective.

Having actively taken part in the Umbrella Movement five years ago, I personally observed how the ruling model of the Hong Kong government has become increasingly similar to the Chinese government over recent years. The Hong Kong government has no shame of using fraud and deception to conceal from the people the true intents of its actions and to maintain its ruling. The political suppression of the young generation and the disqualification of pro-democracy candidates in elections in the name of the territorial integration, political neutrality and the rule of law serves as a perfect example.

Another representative example is the extradition bill introduced by the Hong Kong government earlier this year, amid Canada’s extradition of Huawei’s Meng to America. The Hong Kong government claimed that the bill aims to provide a legal framework to extradite criminal suspects, be they Hong-Kongers or Canadians, to Mainland China and Taiwan. The bill was proposed after the Taiwanese authority sought help from Hong Kong officials to extradite a Hong Kong man who killed his girlfriend in Taiwan. Despite the fact that the Taiwanese authority has firmly rejected the new legal arrangement, the Hong Kong government still emphasised the necessity of the change to settle this case. It is, therefore, very reasonable to expect that the Hong Kong and Beijing governments used the extradition bill as a negotiation tactic to force the Canadian and American governments to suspend the Meng’s extradition case. The proposal of this bill has led to hundreds and thousands of people flooding the streets of HK in the past three months, demonstrating their opposition to the bill. According to the organiser, on three occasions over 1 million people marched against the bill, and the latest public opinion polling shows there are 7 in 10 Hong-Kongers opposed the legislation. Despite the Chief Executive announced the withdrawal of the bill on Thursday 5th September, the protest is still not yet over.

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In the past 3 months, the government outrightly supported police brutality and excessive abuse of power, leading to many innocent citizens getting injured which included train passengers and pedestrians. Nonetheless, what is outrageous is the fact that the police bear no legal responsibilities for their unlawful and unprofessional behaviours. To put it simply, it would be unimaginable for us to be exposed to tear gas when dining at the Richmond Centre in Vancouver or to be suddenly beaten and arrested by the police when you’re simply commuting on the subway in Toronto. Moreover, it is abundantly clear that the police are in cahoots with the triads to instigate fear to the Hong Kong people. For example, only 2 people are charged with rioting in the mob attack in Yuen-Long subway station on July 21st, which left 45 people injured, with 1 in critical condition. Originally, the police arrested nobody and found no weapon after a group of gangsters attacked people indiscriminately on the train and at the station, including commuters, protesters, journalists and a lawmaker.

The root problem of Hong Kong today is the government’s use of the Chinese ruling model, a model which utilises violent threats to prevent its citizens from freely expressing their opinions. This is not just a challenge faced by Hong-Kongers but Canadians. The arbitrary detention of two Canadians on trumped-up espionage charges in revenge for the extradition of Meng clearly shows that China poses a great threat to Canada. China is using hostage diplomacy as an intimidation tactic to achieve its goal, a tactic only a rogue state like North Korea would use. Unsurprisingly, threats from China even appear in Canada, for instance, the disruptions initiated by extreme Chinese nationalists against the gatherings in Toronto and Vancouver to support Hong Kong protesters. To layout another incidence, the Tenth church in Vancouver was surrendered by pro-Chinese protesters who were waving Chinese flags - and may not even be Canadian citizens - while holding prayers for Hong Kong. One of those who attended the service said, ‘we would have felt unsafe to just walk out of the door’ without the police protection. The intimidation and threats are real and happening in Canada, our home. Early September, our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has openly spoken about the Chinese ‘pressure tactics’, which threatened the international community, even though he still wishes to look for a way to rebuild a constructive relationship with China or avoid an escalation in a diplomatic dispute. However, it will be naive if Trudeau government still believes that China can keep her word.

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Last year in Richmond, Vancouver, several Chinese candidates, who allegedly had connections with Chinese authorities, were accused of vote-buying. This raises concern over Beijing’s meddling in Canada affairs. This March a Tibetan-Canadian student and Tibetan activist, who is now the president of the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Students’ Union, became the target of the pro-China cyberbullying campaign. These few cases show that the Beijing government not only play by the rules that are very different from Canada and the west, but also meddles in the affairs of other countries and imposes its totalitarian value on the others. That is why Hong Kong people start calling China a ‘Chinazi’ - a word composed of China and Nazi.

Back in my high school in Richmond, I was told by my Year 11 History teacher that “Canada became an independent country when our troops captured the top of Vimy Ridge.” That was the Battle of Vimy Ridge in WWI, whereby Canadian soldiers fought overseas, not just because of our allies, but also because of our fearlessness and courage to stand up against authoritarian regimes. However, that was not just the past. It is happening right now, in this current day. There are many Canadians in Hong Kong who have gone on the streets, fighting shoulder to shoulder with Hong-Kongers, demonstrating the fundamental virtues of a great nation to which we belong.

About 300,000 Canadians have made Hong Kong their home. They do not need an evacuation plan. What they need are full support from Ottawa and a sanction on the Hong Kong police force and the government, like what America is trying to do. As the word “Chinazi” speaks for itself, the question for our prime minister is to be Chamberlain or Churchill. If Trudeau government is not ready for standing firm against China, the next one, I am afraid, will have no choice but to defend the country.

 

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