Hong Kong , the British government handed over to China in 1997 after 157 years of direct rule. One country , two systems, was the agreement in the handover. In the Human Development Index of the World, Hong Kong stands at nine.
Demonstrations have begun in Hong Kong against China that would have permitted extradition of Hong Kong’s people to China, for prosecution of people accused of violent struggle against China and protecting Hong Kong's Independence of a sort. The move of agitation or protest against extradition of people was not implemented and the government of China , it is uncertain, will use it. That is a threat to Hong Kong 's residents of about 1 crore.
The Hong Kong chief executive has offered to hold talks with the agitators but continues to ignore the demands the civil disobedience participants have raised. Today the agitators are again supposed to gather at the airport.
President Trump of America has 'warned' China against the move to crush this agitation. A kangaroo type of courts are what the Hong Kongians are fearing and that's why they are against the extradition. Trump has warned of a Tiannamen type of assault on the citizens of Hong Kong. The fear of such a thing happening is remote though the Chinese have put their army men just miles away from Hong Kong. The move is widely watched by international media including Indian press. The Indian press has not had to deal with a kangaroo type of court despite India's emergency . Viewed in this angle what is happening in Hong Kong is no story for the Indian media having tasted the Emergency decades back, having supported the Emergency declaration wholeheartedly with the exception of Indian Express and a very few regional papers.
Now this is what the Indian media has to think especially on Kashmir related matters. The media is not permitted to report on Kashmir developments with the government threat obvious . Advani's words on how the media crawled when asked to bend is what I am reminded of.
How Indian media and our MPs and we the people respond to the moves in Hong Kong is worthwhile watching. Compare it with what they have spoken and written on Kashmir, how the world at large is reacting to it, is clearly speaking volumes about us a nation.
See how the Congress and the BJP have reacted to the Kashmir issue and the Hong Kong issue. The Hong Kong issue is not worth a shilling compared to the issues that we face . China may react to the Hong Kong issue using the forces it has and the world including US President Donald Trump and other cronies of his heading the government's in other countries can only watch. That is where the might of an independent state like China comes to attention. They can do what they will. The people at large can do nothing, not even Trump.
It's a tragedy facing the whole world. The mighty rules the roost. The downtrodden can only protest that too if the mighty permits that. This is what the world will witness. China won't resort to tough moves against the people of Hong Kong because according to the agreement reached before Hong Kong was handed over they can't do it. It's the world's problem to solve this issue. It pertains to almost all problems the various countries face.
The Hong Kong issue will have serious consequences for the state's business and tourism industry. The Hong Kong airport is one of the best in the world. Fearing a disaster to Hong Kong, industrialists have sought greener pastures in Australia, Singapore and the USA. This may widen as days pass by and China will have to take a step to solve this issue. It cannot be written off very easily. The coming days will see what steps China takes, what is the manoeuvre of the agitators, what is the reaction of Trump? Thereby hangs a tale.
Indian reaction to the crisis facing Hong Kong is also interesting in one context. Narendra Modi has improved his relations with China and the Congress and other opposition parties can't take a stand against it. The US- China relationship is becoming almost a war because of the trade disputes. This dispute doesn't end, for at stake is so many things and Trump is not a weak President. It remains to be seen how India will react to the dispute between China and America. China is going ahead with its time tested relationship with Pakistan and attempting a similar relationship with Sri Lanka. India has become a pawn player in America's hand; it happened two decades ago. It has become a subordinate of America.
Viewed in this angle it is a disaster for India as a country. Pakistan is playing a subordinate game in the US move on Afghanistan issue. The US wants to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan and Pakistan, China are cooperating with Afghanistan; they want the Afghan crisis to end soon. The US which has played a devious game is in talks with the Taliban. The world situation is indeed complicated!
( The facts and ideas expressed in the article are those of the writer. )