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Opinion | Western-styled democracy not a model for Hong Kong

The rioters in Hong Kong in 2019 were no different from those who stormed into the US Capitol on Jan. 6 this year, who were violent and against the law, says Chow p ak-chin, President of Wisdom Hong Kong.

By Chow Pak-chin, President of Wisdom Hong Kong

After the chaos that consumed the Capitol Hill and other places in the United States on Jan. 6, the opposition camp in Hong Kong — particularly their young members — hopefully have finally become disillusioned by the now obvious failure of a Western political system they try to implement in Hong Kong.

Since the National Security Law came into being on June 30 last year, the opposition camp has been running around like headless chickens. Some have announced their retirement from political life, while others have left Hong Kong under various guises.

As for the small handful of opposition leaders who continue by design or by default, they face the prospects of law enforcement if they run afoul of the law.

Beijing has been unwavering in its determination to bring all and sundry to account, if they continue to step on the red line, especially when it comes to matters of sovereignty and foreign intervention.

Perhaps even more disappointing to their long-time supporters, some of these lawbreakers have not had the courage to face the legal and political consequences. They have chosen to abscond and seek asylum as fugitives in Taiwan and some Western countries, where they have been shamelessly white-washing their subversive activities.

On Jan 6 this year, rioters stormed the US Capitol building in defiance of the then-President-elect Joe Biden's election victory. Protesters already present at a Trump rally marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, broke through police perimeters, and breached the building.

Over the course of several hours, rioters vandalized and looted the building. Capitol Police evacuated those they could. Among the evacuees were the then-vice-president Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — whose office was ransacked by protesters — while those that the police couldn't reach were advised to barricade themselves in rooms to await assistance.

A number of media outlets condemned the actions of the rioters as acts of sedition, treason, and domestic terrorism.

Does this all sound too familiar?

On what Biden called the "darkest day" in US history, in which five people died — including a Capitol Police officer who was beaten by protesters and a protester who was shot by police — and many were injured, the US government found itself held at gunpoint — in a literal sense — to the whims of domestic terrorists.

So how can the US government stand by and support the actions of radical protesters in Hong Kong who have also been holding the city to ransom with continuous and deliberate acts of violence?

Firebombs, smashing up restaurants, shops and street facilities in public places, and physical beatings — even against the police — have no place in a civilized society, and as Pence asserted, "Violence never wins".

The rioters in Hong Kong were not as peaceful as the West believes them to be. They have been using violence to terrorize Hong Kong society and they need to be called out on their abhorrent behavior. They are no different from the rioters on US soil.

Here's the bigger picture: The US is broken — morally, socially and politically — and their way of doing things is broken.

A country that prides itself on freedom and democracy elected, through a very elaborate electoral system, Donald Trump to demonstrably the highest political position in the most powerful country in the world, someone who in the last four years sprouted a "tsunami of untruths" — roughly 20,000 according to the Washington Post.

Even at the 11th hour, he still refused to concede that he lost, while the rest of the world — including his own political allies — had accepted that his time was up.

While the majority of the world is breathing a sigh of relief that Trump's reign has come to an end, we must question how he came to power in the first place. The answer is that a political system that has not evolved with the times allowed it to be so.

The electoral college, which dates back to the birth of the US, ensured Trump's 2016 electoral victory over Hillary Clinton. Even though Clinton secured 2.87 million more votes than Trump overall, his victory in some pivotal states is what won him the presidency.

It was abundantly clear that many Americans didn't want Trump to win, but an archaic voting system allowed him to win; is this really true democracy at work?

While we may be seeing an end to this unfortunate era, it appears that much too much damage has been done over the past four years.

It goes without saying that the Trump administration has done an appalling job at tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, where it continues to lead globally with the highest number of confirmed cases at 24.5 million infections and over 400,000 deaths.

The United Kingdom ranks fifth in COVID-19 deaths and infections globally and has reported record-high hospital occupancy rates of COVID patients that are far worse than those seen in the spring of last year, which was the height of the pandemic.

As a result, cancer operations have had to be postponed and most COVID-19 sufferers have to be turned away from hospitals as the country's national health system is ready to burst at the seams anytime now.

The US and the UK have slowly allowed themselves to become global laughing stocks as their so-called "preventative measures" have allowed this virus to spiral out of control.

Many people have died as a result of these two nations' failings, and unfortunately many more will continue to die as a result.

This much is clear: The opposition in Hong Kong should desist from looking to these Western "democratic" nations for solutions. The scenes in the streets of their inner cities, the Capitol and their hospitals are not exactly model answers.

I can only hope that the opposition camp and our youngsters will see these Western nations, their political systems and politicians for what they are and accept that we need to work out our own designs.

It is a harsh reality, but it is a reality that has become more and more apparent with each passing day. Beijing is taking decisive action to ensure that our city does not fall into the same abyss and restore order to the pandemonium that has overtaken our city. We need to fully support their efforts and do what is clearly best for Hong Kong.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of DotDotNews.

(Source: China Daily)


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