Regarding the May 23 article “How China pounced on Hong Kong while the world focused on COVID-19,” when the coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan several months ago, the totalitarian bureaucrats in the Chinese Communist Party went above and beyond in an attempt to hide the disease from the global community. They mismanaged this attempt and ruthlessly silenced any and all whistleblowers that tried to warn the world about what was happening. The CCP helped spread the disease globally by allowing Chinese tourists to go abroad while at the same time halting domestic travel. And thus began the global pandemic.

As time goes by, more and more nations are demanding that China be held accountable for its actions during the early days of the virus. While there is no consensus on what actions should be taken, the matter of Hong Kong is a subject that should be considered.

While the world has been distracted by the coronavirus, the Beijing regime has been inching ever closer to crushing what is left of the democracy movement in Hong Kong. The timing is not by accident, as many around the globe voiced support for the Hong Kong protesters last year. Now with the eyes of the world diverted, Beijing seeks to assert itself completely over the region. This dastardly move must not be allowed to go unchecked.

Beijing's belligerence has been allowed to continue for far too long. The Chinese government assumes it can act with impunity: Chinese politicians strong-arm global organizations into denying Taiwan its rightful place among the nations of the world, while Chinese ships continuously disrespect Japan's territorial integrity. And now Beijing seeks to eradicate democracy in Hong Kong. This can't be tolerated.

The CCP needs to be held accountable for its disastrous handling of the coronavirus. The best way to do this at present is for the world to unite and stand by Hong Kong. Such a united effort would show Beijing that that the status quo is no longer acceptable. And it would serve as a reminder that the community of nations supports democracy over totalitarianism. This is a message that is sorely needed today.

Harold Ohayon

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.

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