Toronto Star – “I expected to be older when 2047 came,” is the darkly humorous meme that has circulated among youth in Hong Kong over the last week.
Teenagers here have grown up knowing that in their middle age, the Sino-British Joint Declaration safeguarding their city’s high degree of autonomy from mainland China would expire in the year 2047.
Suddenly, this could happen at any time.
A pro-democracy protester in Hong Kong told the Star via text: “It’s sinking in that for those of us who are still quite young, we won’t even have the next few decades to live our lives without fear. Now, we’re facing the reality that 2047 is here.
“There’s no more, ‘We’ll deal with that later,’ or ‘We’ll worry about that when we’re older.’ ”
In the last year, the young woman, who requested anonymity because of her fear of persecution, has been joining street demonstrations with her mother, donning masks and makeshift body coverings as their only protection against police tear gas, rubber bullets, bean bag rounds, water hoses and in some cases, live ammunition.
Protests have been part of life for Hong Kongers, ever since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” agreement, which requires Beijing to respect the autonomy of Hong Kong’s rule-of-law legal system for 50 years.
But China’s Parliament voted last week to bypass Hong Kong’s legislature to develop and enact national security legislation on its own for the semi-autonomous territory. The law would criminalize acts including “secession,” “subversion” and activities by “foreign forces” to interfere with Hong Kong.
Continue reading HERE.