2.9 Million Hong Kongers Coming to UK?
We will be aware, (if not what planet have you been on?), of the protests in Hong Kong. What have people in Hong Kong been protesting about? In a nutshell, protesting about China's tightening grip, on Hong Kong. The recent protests this year, have been caused, by this and what many see as a loss of liberty. Instead of being tried in China, many Hong Kongers, have been taken to the mainland, for trial (when they could have been tried in Hong Kong, itself).
Many protesters have been arrested, injured and even killed in clashes, with Hong Kong security forces. Many police too, have also, suffered similar fates. Unfortunately, many protests turn violent when those doing the protesting are not having their demands, met.
Hong Kong is fast becoming China's Palestine, although, others would argue, Tibet is, the treatment of the Uyghur is akin to the treatment of the Palestinians by Israel.
Many Hong Kongers not only want China, to preserve the democratic politics in Hong Kong, but they want, full independence. When the UK handed over Hong Kong to China, back in 1997, the Chinese agreed with the British, one nation, two systems.
The Hong Kong people though have sensed a lapse, in the British system, by the governing authority, headed by Carrie Lam. In its vacuum, they sense a creeping of the Chinese system of government coming in, slowly and surely. Once during many of the clashes between the Hong Kong police and protesters, Chinese security forces, from the mainland, appeared poised, to enter Hong Kong and put down the rebellion. However, it appears, the Chinese government was aware, the world was watching them, and didn't want a repeat of Tiananmen Square. Where in the 80s, protesters gathered in that square, in Beijing, for democracy. Thousands and thousands of people, stood, defiantly, even building a Statue of Liberty.
The Communist authorities could not let this challenge to their authority go unchallenged. So thousands of troops, firing as they went, (live rounds into the crowd) followed by tanks, stepped in. Thousands of people were killed and injured. One remembers the image of one man, unarmed, standing in the way of a tank. The tank could have rolled over him, but it didn't, but whichever way the tank went, to get around him, the man stood defiantly in the way. Such images of defiance, even though, one knows in man v tank, there's only one who is going to come off worst, are powerful images of defiance, indeed.
The Chinese government, has recently, passed stricter laws, to control Hong Kong. Many Hong Kongers, see this, as a further tightening of Communist control, over the former, British colony. Already, despite the dangers of COVID, clashes have occurred, with Hong Kong security forces. One man has been arrested for carrying the Hong Kong flag and calling for self-rule, for Hong Kong. A woman has been arrested for carrying a British flag. Under the new laws, protesters can face life in prison, for carrying out acts of defiance.
Both the British and Chinese have accused each other of breaking the 'one nation, two systems' agreement. Boris Johnson, announced, in the wake of the new Chinese crackdown, that 2.9 million Hong Kongers, were eligible, to come to the UK. The Chinese have reacted angrily to this. The Chinese Embassy in London said the UK had no right to interfere and Boris' statement was against international law. If the British kept pushing this, the Chinese would react, the statement from the embassy, continued. Later on, however, Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, later admitted, the British couldn't force the Chinese to let Hong Kongers, come to the UK.
Many on the right and even right-leaning Tories are criticising Boris for his encouragement of Hong Kongers, to come here. Many have said, with a looming depression on the way (because of COVID and lockdown) it is getting harder and harder for Native Brits, to find work, let alone, Hong Kongers. Australian Prime Minister has also offered sanctuary to Hong Kongers. Prime Minister Scot Morrison made this statement, in the wake of increasing tension, between Australia and China.
No doubt, many Hong Kongers, would jump at the chance to come to the UK and make a new life. It is understandable, why western democracies, would want to take in oppressed people, as the UK, has always done. Hong Kong Chinese coming here would be a benefit in many regards for our economy, sciences and other British industries. Like the Eastern Europeans, Indians, etc, they are mostly hard-working and would not just be becoming here for benefits. On the other hand, with a lack of jobs, the welfare system, the NHS, housing, (already, under strain), could the UK take on more people, on an already overcrowded island?