Editor’s note: Reproduced from Reddit, an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website.
A group of mainland Chinese posted an open letter on Reddit on Sept. 5 to thank Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protesters for their relentless efforts in fighting for freedom. The letter was written in Chinese and below is an English translation.
We are a group of mainland Chinese who grew up and received an education in communist China. Since the Civil Human Rights Front of Hong Kong (CHRF) launched the first anti-extradition bill protest on March 31, we have been following the situation in Hong Kong closely. We would like to express our deep admiration for your courage and perseverance, and our sorrow for the price you have been forced to pay. At the same time, as Mainland Chinese, we would like to thank you for all that you have done! Thank you indeed—you are not only fighting for the freedom of Hong Kong, you are fighting for freedom for us as well.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been ruling China for 70 years. In these 70 years, the CCP has waged ruthless political campaigns one after another, and as a result, the uncompromising courage of the Chinese people has slowly whittled away. In today’s China, few people dare to speak out the truth, the wicked hold power, and freedom is more than ever unreachable. As mainland Chinese, we cannot see hope, nor can we even express the frustration and pain we feel deep inside. But you have given us hope, when we realize there are people like you. In this nearly-hopeless land, you help us realize that at least there is one territory where there is hope. Your bravery, righteousness and defiance in the face of political oppression shine through—the very traits we have missed seeing in China for so long. Just like the mighty Lion Rock (a mountain in Hong Kong that looks like a crouching lion when viewed from the west), you will never bow when facing a tyrannical government.
30 years ago, when Beijing was in great danger, it was you who gave us the strongest support. But 30 years later, when you need our support the most, what you got is the misunderstanding and cynical words from many mainland Chinese. As fellow Chinese citizens, we feel ashamed. However, we want to let you know that there is also a group of Chinese who support you. We, too, dream of one day living in a healthy society characterized by an independent judiciary system, social justice, freedom and democracy. We, too, dream that the light of modern civilization will one day shine on every mainland Chinese. We understand that when Hongkongers fight for freedom for themselves, they are fighting for mainland Chinese as well.
Unfortunately, as mainland Chinese, we cannot openly join you in your fight for freedom. We do not even dare to disclose our names. Please forgive us for our cowardice, but we want to let you know that you are not alone, and there is a group of mainland Chinese who stand behind you and cheer for you.
We also hope you will exercise caution in everything you do and cherish your own lives, for when there is life, there is hope.
Signed by an anonymous group of mainland Chinese on Sept. 1