While Hong Kong demonstrators were holding a rally on Dec. 1 to thank the U.S. government for its support, a lawyer from mainland China said he hoped that Hongkongers’ fight for freedom and democracy will bring a change in the mainland.
On Nov. 27, President Donald Trump signed two Hong Kong bills into law. One of the bills, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, requires the U.S. Secretary of State to annually review whether the former British colony is “sufficiently autonomous” from mainland China to justify its special economic privileges granted under the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992. It also authorizes sanctions on both Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong.
Approximately 6,000 people marched in the Dec. 1 parade, which started in Chater Garden, a public park in the Central District of Hong Kong, and ended at the U.S. Consulate with a rally to thank President Trump and U.S. lawmakers for their support.
American flags, pro-democracy slogans, and thousands of enthusiastic rally participants created a mind-blowing sight for any Chinese national from the mainland where parades and rallies initiated by non-governmental organizers are only granted in the constitution but never in reality.
A Chinese lawyer who had brought along his young child for vaccination in Hong Kong was deeply impressed after watching the parade. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, he told the Chinese-language Epoch Times that he is not misled by China’s fake news about the Hong Kong protests.
He said that many of his friends accept the Chinese state media’s labeling of Hong Kong protesters as “rioters.” But he has come to realize that the Chinese regime’s mouthpieces are by no means objective in their reporting, because he often reads overseas media by using special software to circumvent China’s internet firewall.
“Most Chinese people lack logical reasoning because certain parts have been missing in their education since childhood,” he said. “Think about it, if more than 2 million people participate in a movement, how can all of them be rioters? Moreover, it’s been over five months since Hong Kong protesters started this movement. It is very unlikely that a group of rioters would persist for this long. Therefore, I know that China’s media propaganda uses poor logic.”
He said China’s education system deliberately turns people into confused individuals who lack the ability to reason logically. “Within that education system, it is very difficult for a person to grow up having normal thinking and opinions,” he said.
He speculates that more than 90 percent of mainland Chinese are unable to see through the deceptive propaganda. “They really don’t have the ability to see the truth. Many believe the protesters are indeed rioters, and that they are the cause of serious social unrest,” he said.
“Even when I talk to some of my acquaintances who have received higher education and have earned advanced degrees, it is very difficult to help them understand that China’s propaganda about the Hong Kong protests is all lies. It may take a lot of time and patience to change their views. Or when they have a chance to travel abroad, they may gradually realize that China’s media is always very different from the outside world.”
In spite of mainland Chinese being victims of media censorship, brainwashing and disinformation, this lawyer is still hopeful that Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement will spill into mainland China, and bring some changes, “because at present, China is doing very poorly in regards to freedom, especially freedom of speech,” he said.
As to parades, it’s impossible to organize a grand parade in the mainland like the one he had just witnessed, he said. Although China’s constitution stipulates that citizens have the right to hold parades, local law enforcement always apply criminal and administrative laws to deny citizens the right to express their grievances this way.
“As a result, as for China’s constitution, it’s as good as not having it,” he said.
With reporting by Sarah Liang.