Letters to Hong Kong: ‘the final victory will belong to us’

Mainland Chinese language citizens, activists and writers have watched with dismay as Hong Kong, a town that used to be as soon as a haven of unfastened speech and political expression, turns into extra like the ones around the border. This is a truth they’re discovering all too acquainted.

3 months on from the release of Beijing’s nationwide safety regulation, a number of have shared recommendation, empathy and ideas thru letters to their opposite numbers in Hong Kong.

The nationwide safety regulation China imposed on Hong Kong in June 2020 has wrought profound adjustments at the area of greater than 7 million other folks.

From who truly runs Hong Kong now to the destiny of the pro-democracy motion and the way primary international corporations are grappling with the consequences of the brand new regulation, our journalists in China, Hong Kong, London, the USA and Australia have investigated how the exceptional crackdown impacts now not handiest Hong Kong, however the global. 

In addition to charting the brand new restrictions on freedoms and civil liberties, the collection seeks out voices of hope and acts of resistance – and asks what subsequent for Hong Kong, because it stands at a crossroads in its historical past.

‘They’re turning you into the folk you hate’

Expensive Hong Kong,

On 24 September Joshua Wong used to be as soon as once more detained. A bunch of reporters adopted him, their cameras flashing. As leaders of the democracy motion, their tales at all times make headlines.

I concern scenes like this at the moment are disappearing in Hong Kong. The police have revised laws who constitutes the media. It’s the similar keep watch over over press playing cards as in mainland China. Quickly the arrests of Hong Kong activists would be the similar as the ones at the mainland Liu Xiaobo, Ilham Tohti and Ren Zhiqiang. They’ll disappear with no point out within the information. Posts on social media and anything else that isn’t legit might be deleted.

Worry is within the air in Hong Kong. My pal Zhang Jieping, a senior journalist in Hong Kong, wrote: “When worry moves, speech is the primary to retreat.” After the nationwide safety regulation, those that have been hesitant to talk prior to will now now not discuss.

Even silence isn’t sufficient. Dwelling below totalitarianism calls for you to reside amongst lies, to hate those that convey threat, to reward your leaders, to really feel satisfied, to hate democratic international locations and love your autocratic motherland.

Lately, Hong Kong’s annual four June vigil has led to controversy. The reason being that some Hong Kong other folks dislike the best way that China is now, with mainlanders dashing to Hong Kong to shop for up milk powder and actual property.

‘Withstand till the top’: At the flooring with Apple Day-to-day, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper – video

If truth be told many of those other folks or many in their folks have been at the streets of the mainland of China 31 years in the past calling for democracy and freedom. It isn’t that Chinese language individuals are cowards and incapable. All are below totalitarian rule, suffering between lies, fraud, betrayal and sense of right and wrong.

If I’ve any exhortations to the folk of Hong Kong as any individual who has lived and resisted below the totalitarian energy of the Chinese language Communist birthday party for goodbye, is it this. First, see and face this impulsively deteriorating scenario – which would possibly nonetheless be worse than you assume. 2d, don’t consider that that is the existence Hong Kong other folks will have to be pressured to reside.

You will have to see that totalitarianism turns you into the type of individual you hate. A large number of other folks round you’ll be like that. Possibly, you’ll have to reside that existence partly however don’t surrender hope.

Even though everybody round you is silent and activists like Joshua Wong, Jimmy Lai and Agnes Chow disappeared from public view the best way Liu Xiaobo and Xu Zhiyong did – don’t consider that is actual existence. As I’ve written prior to:

‘Regardless of your function, don’t be drowned by means of the tide of historical past or let your independence be washed away. In those vital instances, you will have to be sturdy even though insignificant. You will have to be a unfastened dancer within the carnival night time.’

– Chang Ping, 52, Chinese language creator and journalist

‘I proceed to be impressed by means of the spirit of resistance’

Expensive Hongkongers,

About this time a 12 months in the past, I used to be in a detention centre in Shenzhen struggling bodily and mental humiliation inflicted on me by means of the Communist birthday party police.

This used to be as a result of I expressed enhance for the non violent and democratic combat of Hong Kong other folks. Closing July, I crossed the border into Hong Kong to wait an indication. After returning to Shenzhen, I used to be detained for 10 days. Out of significant worry I selected to escape and I’m now residing outdoor of China.

I by no means idea my first time in a foreign country could be as an exile. It isn’t simple for me to come back to a odd nation the place I don’t discuss the language and feature little cash. The entirety I as soon as depended on has disappeared.

However this is all. I’m fortunate to nonetheless be alive. From June final 12 months to these days, numerous younger other folks in Hong Kong which might be my similar age were subjected to violence by means of the puppet Hong Kong executive and the Communist birthday party of China. They have got been overwhelmed, detained and worse.

Lu Freedom attending a protest in Hong Kong

Lu Freedom attending a protest in Hong Kong. Photograph: Twitter

These days once I see peculiar younger other folks in Hong Kong on the net begging for the arena’s consideration I believe unhappy. Infrequently I cry. I will be able to believe their worry and sense of helplessness.

The sector has noticed and witnessed the epic and heroic combat of Hong Kong other folks to protect democracy and freedom. They have got persisted, sustained by means of their dedication to justice and freedom, love for his or her hometown, recognize for humanity, determination to what’s proper, their love for his or her brothers and sisters and the following technology. They’re now going through the brutal, hypocritical and inhumane Chinese language communist empire. I will be able to handiest watch from afar. The entire global is solely status by means of staring at.

I proceed to be impressed by means of the spirit of resistance in Hong Kong. This concept: “You’ll be able to kill me however you can’t defeat me.” The resistance has now not ended. The Communist birthday party’s merciless bullying could also be now not ended. Hong Kong these days is an island like West Berlin besieged by means of the Soviet Union, calling and looking forward to lend a hand. Hong Kong’s combat used to be by no means near to Hong Kong other folks. It impacts everybody.

A 12 months in the past, I walked from the Chinese language mainland to the streets of Hong Kong tremblingly, stealing away to steer clear of detection by means of the police. I stood shoulder to shoulder with protesters outdoor the West Kowloon prime-speed rail station. A 12 months later, I’m hoping the folk of Hong Kong can see that we’ve got now not forgotten. Justice will succeed. Glory and freedom will for sure belong to Hong Kong.

I write this letter to the suffering other folks of Hong Kong and to the entire freedom-loving other folks on the earth. So as to offer protection to my friends and family, I will be able to handiest select anonymity.

It is a letter of thank you and encouragement. It is usually a letter requesting lend a hand from global, a plea from an peculiar younger guy who misplaced his freedom and used to be pressured to depart his house. Please save Hong Kong other folks.

– Freedom Lu, 26, a Shenzhen resident now out of the country

‘You may have proven the folk of the arena your braveness’

As soon as stunning Hong Kong and beautiful younger other folks of Hong Kong, are you OK?

At this second, I’m extraordinarily unhappy penning this letter. Since nine June 2019 you may have proven the folk of the arena your braveness. You may have paid with years of your existence and freedom.

As any individual who resisted within the mainland, I’ve not anything however recognize and heartache for you. Every now and then that I’ve felt determined and pessimistic, your protests and the sound of your songs heartened me, and helped me pull myself in combination to combat once more.

Within the face of demons of violent manner, our movements are like throwing an egg in opposition to a rock. Even nonetheless, you stored going for greater than a 12 months. I consider your bravery and perseverance will encourage much more other folks to rise up and combat.

Hua Yong.

Hua Yong. Photograph: Hua Yong

It doesn’t subject if I’m from mainland China or you’re from Hong Kong. Within the face of demons, we’re all courageous rebels. For the sake of freedom, we will have to unite, status aspect by means of aspect, depending on every different and serving to every different.

Even if eggs are vulnerable they have got inside them existence. There might be an afternoon once we use our blood, formative years and existence to push down that wall. I consider the overall victory belongs to us.

Freedom in Hong Kong! Freedom in China! Victory of for the revolution of our time! Would possibly it come quickly!

– Hua Yong, 51, a Chinese language artist in exile in Thailand

‘We swam to Hong Kong for freedom part a century in the past. What now?’ – video

‘God is with us!’

I’m a Hongkonger in Hunan province.

Over time, I’ve been intently following the placement in Hong Kong and praying for Hong Kong. Any person requested me: why will have to we be aware of Hong Kong? To enhance democracy in Hong Kong is to enhance democracy within the mainland. Hong Kong other folks’s resistance is paving the best way for democracy in China.

We earnestly hope that Hong Kong will realise authentic common suffrage once imaginable. It’ll transform every other instance of democracy after Taiwan. Now that the folk of Hong Kong are pursuing democracy in such tough instances, all Chinese language other folks with a sense of right and wrong will have to enhance them.

Chen Siming, a Chinese political activist, in September 2019

Chen Siming, a Chinese language political activist.

There are lots of other folks in Hunan who enhance Hong Kong other folks. Around the nation much more individuals are supporting Hong Kong democracy. Even if some other folks were imprisoned for supporting the folk of Hong Kong, it doesn’t matter what crackdown, all simply other folks will proceed to enhance Hong Kong.

With recognize to the good other folks of Hong Kong! God is with us!

– Chen Siming, 59, an activist in Hunan province

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