This report has been developed by Fitzpatick Jones-Thomas and Sultan H. Khane II for Bazaar Daily News.
The situtaion in China is so dire — that the Chinese government has reportedly turned to social media in a desperate attempt to shift the troubling narrative about government actions. The situation first broke out earlier this year after exec Carrie Lam, uh, announced a bill that would allow HK citizens to be sent to China for prosecution.
As one would expect, news of the bill did not go over well with Hong Kongs’ residents. To add important context to why Hong Kongers fiercly and staunchly defend their freedom from mainland China, their history actually goes back to when the United Kingdom forked over HK indefinitely.
It was in fact one of the most important times in Chinese history. Hong Kong ‘s rich and authentic history dates back to 1842 — when at the time it became a part of the British Empire and its colonies. The transference of land happened during what is known as the Opium War.
When the region became a special administrative area of China, it in fact, set off a political war that would go on to last for centuries. As China would go on to develop itself into a global superpower, Hong Kong sought to maintain its sovereignty from mainland China.
The acts of defense would help China and its decades worth of dictators eventually develop what would become known as the “One China Policy” (in this case, also think of areas like Taiwan).
China ‘s problem with Hong Kong is that it in fact actually will remain a special admin region of China at least until 2047. During that year, the region either will see its separation expire and it will become part of the mainland — or it will risk everything to keep officials out.
The references to 2047 surround the fact that mainland China agreed decades ago that Hong Kong would remain independent from the central government for at least 50 years. Those 50 years, per records, are up in 2047 leaving the fate of the beloved territory in serious limbo.
What started the political unrest?
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WHO IS CARRIE LAM?
Consider her the de-facto leader of Hong Kong, the woman who essentially calls the shots and enforces the law (in the western world we call that a President). Lam tried to introduce the bill (see above) originally in January-February. When protest unfolded over the bill, Lam rescinded (partially) the bill in a bid to quell the unrest. But to the surprise of many, it emerged weeks later that Lam did not actually fully quash the bill.
This has led to great suspicion that Lam intends to revive the bill, possibly with or without support from Hong Kongs’ residents. The idea of such happening is both frightening to residents as it is politically consequential for HK ‘s government. A bill allowing residents of a separate territory to be extradited to a region that otherwise single-handedly makes people disappear like Houdini — it’s only logical as to why residents are concerned.
The bill in part is what led to the social media misinformation campaign by mainland China and Beijing.
China’s misinformation campaign backfires
In August, social media networks revealed that they had discovered [and on a large scale] government backed efforts to spread misinformation about Hong Kong and those protesting against Beijing.
The discovery led to thousands of reported accounts being banned from social networks around the world. China had been caught using the accounts to try and paint the protesters as straight-out dissenters causing nothing short of violence and total chaos. But as many photographs have already represented, it is in fact the government that is in fact causing much of the violence.