As many throughout Japan are enjoying stereotypical summer activities, a festering crisis continues to unfold next door. For the last several weeks, the heroic people of Hong Kong have been staging demonstrations and protests against Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her fellow Beijing sycophants. As the popular uprising against Lam’s proposed legislation that would allow Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to the totalitarian bureaucrats in China continues to spread, a looming disaster appears to be fast approaching.
It has been reported that China has labeled these protests “terrorist activities,” a sure sign that Beijing is preparing to crush the citizens of Hong Kong with ruthless abandon. History has shown what the Chinese government is willing to do in order to squash dissent: Tibet is strewn with the ruins left by Mao’s purges, the ghosts of Tiananmen Square still cry out for justice and the Muslims of Xinjiang are currently bearing the brunt of Beijing’s systematic repression. The warning signs are there for all to see. It is only a matter of time before Chinese troops enter Hong Kong. And when that happens, all hell will break loose.
What is unfolding in Hong Kong is a message to the world’s democracies. Japan and Taiwan should take particular notice of this as China’s ambition will not end with Hong Kong. Beijing’s ceaseless encroachment in the South China Sea is a direct message to Tokyo, and China’s desire to absorb Taiwan and force its citizens to bend the knee to the mainland is well known. It is therefore imperative that Japan, Taiwan and the rest of the world make it abundantly clear that the global community will not allow Hong Kong to be decimated. If China does enter Hong Kong, and if the world sits back and grants it free rein, then there is no stopping China from doing whatever it desires in the future. And while it is true that confronting China is a difficult affair, the alternative is far worse.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.