December 10, 2023

A message from Hong Kong: China is falsifying history

A message from Hong Kong: China is falsifying history

Opinion Message from Hong Kong

China visits history

Democratic activist Glacier Kwong

Democratic activist Glacier Kwong

Source: Getty Images

Beijing claims that Hong Kong was never a colony. This false statement aims to deprive the population of their right to self-determination. The two Western actors who helped shape this novel remained silent.

KAhead of the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China, new textbooks state that Hong Kong has “never been a colony”. This caused public outrage. And in Hong Kong’s legislature established by Beijing, a lawmaker said the statement was not new.

A government official claimed that “Hong Kong was not a colony before, even before the handover”. Public perception is distorted on this point. But in truth, it is the statements of these politicians that distort history.

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BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 11: Activist Glacier Kwong attends a press conference with Joshua Wong, a pro-democracy activist from Hong Kong during his visit to Germany on September 11, 2019 in Berlin, Germany.  Wong was recently arrested in Hong Kong on charges of inciting illegal demonstrations, although the court allowed him to travel to Germany and the United States.  (Photo by Carsten Cole/Getty Images)

Opinion Message from Hong Kong

Between 1842 and 1898, the Chinese Qing Dynasty ceded Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula to the British and leased the neighboring New Territories by three separate treaties. Hong Kong was under British rule until 1997.

Beijing’s claim that Hong Kong was never a colony is based on a highly problematic argument aimed at denying the right of the Hong Kong people to self-determination.

In 1972, under pressure from China, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 2908 by 99 votes to five, removing Hong Kong and Macau from the UN’s list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

As a result, the people of Hong Kong lost their right to future self-determination, which was their right according to the 1960 United Nations Declaration “On the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples”. China now claims that the United Nations voted against the people of Hong Kong exercising their right to self-determination at the time, when they had previously voted for the exact opposite – the right of all peoples under foreign rule to self-determination. .

silence in the west

This reasoning aims to prevent the people of Hong Kong from fighting for their basic rights. In this way, Beijing can claim that defending the right to self-determination constitutes a separatist tendency while giving a legal veneer to the ongoing suppression of civil society.

Neither Britain nor other members of the United Nations did anything to defend the human rights of the people of Hong Kong at the time. Even now, when there are flagrant violations of human rights, they do not take any action. Instead, they allow China to falsify history in order to stay in power.

Glacier Kwong takes turns writing this column with Joshua Wong. The two young activists from Hong Kong are fighting against the growing influence of China in their homeland. Since Wong is currently imprisoned, Kwong will continue this column alone for the time being.

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