Joephy Chan has more than 140,000 subscribers on her posts on YouTube. I was not one of them until last Sunday when a friend sent me a link in which she gave an update on the riots in America which had spread to over 30 cities following the involvement of four Minneapolis police officers in the arrest of African American George Floyd who was confirmed dead later. She was critical of the American double standard on reporting the street violence in Hong Kong which had rocked Hong Kong for so long since June last year. In particular she questioned whether US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would call the current riots in America “a beautiful sight to behold,” a phrase Pelosi had used to describe the violent protests in Hong Kong last year. Joephy pointed out in particular that only three days after Floyd’s death, many city mayors had deployed National Guards and called for Federal support and military assistance, while Trump had openly warned that looters would be shot. Since Sunday, Trump had offered to deploy troops to cities that could not maintain law and order, as curfews had been imposed many cities. When such responses at federal, state and city levels are put side by side with the very much restrained action of the Hong Kong Police over a very long period dealing with organized destruction and riots aided and abetted by foreign aids in institutional and monetary support, the contrast is stark and the conclusions should be obvious, particularly when police brutality was prima facie proven in America, following the arrest for murder or manslaughter of the Minneapolis police officer involved, while the Independent Police Complaints Council had cleared the Hong Kong Police of misconduct.
I don’t need Joephy’s video to come to the conclusion that she wants her followers and viewers to develop, nor do I think many of my level headed, reasonable and well-informed friends would come to a conclusion different from hers. She is a HKU graduate, a self-declared politician in the Sham Shui Po District, which happens to be where I live. I would vote for her if she runs for a SSP seat in the September Legislative Council election. The point is people tend to take for granted if not brush aside well-argued statements and documentations and would circulate frivolous and sensational articles, often without first checking the facts. Joephy lost her seat in the recent District Council election.
Meanwhile, China’s National People’s Congress has approved with overwhelming majority legislation on national security which seeks to “improve the legal system and enforcement mechanism of the HKSAR.” Such a move is indeed long overdue following the riots and social unrest in Hong Kong that had lasted over nine months. Hong Kong had a reprieve in the last three months for the wrong reasons, but scenes of the rioters trying a last ditch offensive against the Police and the HKSAR had re-emerged for everyone to see, and which is precisely the reason why we need such national security laws in Hong Kong so badly. On the eve of the NPC’s session to vote on the law, the rioters and opposition had threatened to block roads, burn MTR stations and cause as much disruption and destruction as possible. I find such threats played up by the electronic media and circulating in the social media disgusting and nauseating. They are an affront to the personal safety of the average law abiding citizens whose lives are inevitably affected and disrupted. I had a meeting followed by dinner around Admiralty that evening and Su booked a hotel room nearby after lunch, when ugly scenes began to develop from Causeway Bay to Central, to save me having to negotiate back home afterwards and to save her the worries over my personal safety.
The knee jerk responses from the West are predictably and blatantly childish and naïve and definitely not worth repeating, but the media would never miss any statement or tweet from Trump. Indeed, none of these once-upon-a time allies would care about Hong Kong, the people who live there or their future. Politicians and in the case of Trump, a clumsy and relentlessly selfish businessman, are motivated by self-interests, which is why there can be no permanent friends or enemies in politics. We are at the beginning of a roller coaster ride – it will be exciting and breathtaking and may not be for the faint hearted – but I am confident Hong Kong would weather and come out of the ride stronger than ever.