Happy New Year! I hope to find you well.
What can we hope for 2021 based on what happened this past year?
When whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang was forced to sign a document on January 3, 2020 admitting to spreading rumor regarding 7 SARS infections in his December 30, 2019 social media chat, it signaled the beginning of Beijing's coverup of the Wuhan virus.
Dr. Li famously wrote, "There should be more than one voice in a healthy society." His death brought out Tianamen 2.0 when netizens sounded the call, "We Want Freedom of Speech". The Beijing government was so alarmed by such countrywide expression for freedom that they not only rescinded the reprimand against Dr. Li but made Dr. Li a hero hoping to quell the anger of the people.
In the early days of the virus in Wuhan, courageous independent journalists Chen Qiushi, Fang Bin, Li Zehua and Zhang Zhan went into Wuhan to report on the situation there. They soon disappeared.
While Li Zehua was released, Chen Quishi and Fang Bin continued to be detained.
On December 28, Zhang Zhan was sentenced to four years in jail for "picking quarrels and provoking trouble."
Fang Bin, in one of his video had said, "The Cruelty of the virus is far less than the cruelty of tyranny. The source of the virus is tyranny."
In explaining his reason for going to Wuhan, Chen Qiushi said, "I long for a societal system that should I become a victim, the world will respond and the spirit will answer."
The Beijing government not only continued their coverup of the virus, their foreign minister openly accused Italy as well as the United States being the source of the virus. While such accusations are typical of the Beijing government's modus operandi to promote nationalism giving their people an enemy to target, it backfired when other governments, especially Australia, began to call for investigations into the origin of the virus especially on the possibility of the virus having escaped from the high level P4 Lab in Wuhan.
Hong Kong National Security Law
The Hong Kong National Security Law became effective on July 1, 2020 and began Hong Kong's precipitous fall to become another city of China.
The promise of One Country Two Systems for 50 years ended after only 23 years.
The protests in 2019 may have precipitated Chinese Communist Party's decision to implement the National Security Law, but with the Wuhan virus pandemic, it was the perfect condition for China's President for Life Xi Jinping to follow his 2012 Document #9 plan which specifically targets western values of democracy, human rights and freedoms as the perils facing the CCP.
While Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam may celebrate the passing of the National Security Law as a way to stop protests in Hong Kong, especially some of the more violent incidences triggered by police brutal actions, Beijing's fear is more the behind the scenes support for the young Hongkongers by the Hong Kong populous.
Tiananmen 2.0 as mentioned above cemented Xi Jinping's fear that Hong Kong's struggle for democracy would further influence Chinese citizens if he does not cut off such western Universal values from Hong Kong.
In the 1997 Visual Artists Guild documentary "Hong Kong in Transition", ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s36epkE1etc ), Peter Fan, a businessman commented that, "The biggest concern on Hong Kong's future is that there is no guarantee on the eventuality of Hong Kong. The three pieces of documents that Hong Kong relies on its future: the Basic Law, the Joint Sino British Declaration, and the Memorandum of Understanding; those three documents are international documents between two sovereign countries, once Hong Kong reverts back to China, all matters involving China becomes domestic matters." Peter Fan's fear is of course now quite apparent.
If there is a silver lining to the Wuhan virus, it finally opens the eyes of western democracies to the duplicity of the Beijing government as to their willingness to sacrifice their own people in order to present a utopian face of the country. While in the past such as the Great Famine of 1958-1962, the victims were the Chinese people themselves, now the victims are worldwide.
For Hong Kongers, it may be the best of time to face the eventuality of Hong Kong when the world recognizes that unless they work together now to confront China on the Universal Values of western democracies, it may be too late in the future.
Visual Artists Guild Memorial to Victims of Wuhan virus as part of Pasadena Doo Dah parade: