Fleeing Hong Kong for Good

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryAs America struggles with the corona virus pandemic and attempts at reviving the economy, Hong Kong struggles with the pandemic, and increasing political repression. Many, many Hong Kongers are no longer content with just making money; they now realize that making money alone does no good if you can be locked up for just saying something the Chinese government authorities find inappropriate. So, many Hong Kongers are leaving Hong Kong for good. While many have been given abode in Great Britain, many more Hong Kongers are fleeing to Canada.

Before 1997, when Great Britain handed Hong Kong to China, over 300,000 Hong Kongers left and took up residence in Vancouver and Toronto where they bought second homes in case they needed to flee Hong Kong. After the handover, and when nothing happened to Hong Kong from 1997 to 2019, most Hong Kongers who relocated to Canada either returned to Hong Kong or shuttled between Canada and Hong Kong living part of the time in either of the two locations. It worked for Hong Kong, and it worked for Canada because of the increased business connections between the two.

But that all changed in 2020, when the Chinese government passed the national security law for Hong Kong. This law made even anything remotely like dissent a major crime in Hong Kong. At the same time, the Chinese government sent in the Chinese military and effectively ended Hong Kong’s local government autonomy which had been part of the 1984 agreement between China and Great Brtiain that guaranteed Hong Kong would have its local government and judiciary protected for 50 years. In this, the Chinese government could not have been a more bad faith partner.

So, Hong Kong residents have started voting with their feet. Those Hong Kongers who already have property in Canada have been quietly moving back to Canada permanently. Selling everything they had in Hong Kong, they are fleeing in droves. These people are now being joined by many other Hong Kong residents who are leaving for Canada for the first time, and who have no intention of ever returning to Hong Kong. This means a brain and financial drain for Hong Kong on a major scale, and the Chinese government has been threatening to make sure that people cannot leave with their money, or leave period. Regardless of what the Chinese government does, Hong Kongers will be fleeing for economic liberty and far above that political and social freedom now non-existent in Hong Kong.

Comments are closed.