Hong Kongers Shift Focus of Protest to Chinese Regime

By Penny Zhou

After a month of mass protests in Hong Kong and no response from the Hong Kong government, protesters are shifting their focus to mainland China.

According to organizers, more than 230,000 Hong Kongers marched on Sunday through two Hong Kong locations popular with mainland tourists.

It was the fourth large-scale protest in the city in a month. The protests escalated to mass demonstrations in June after the local government introduced a bill that would allow anyone in Hong Kong to be extradited to the mainland for trial in China’s courts that remain under the control of the communist party. But now, it’s not just about that bill.

Protesters are reviving their long-standing calls for direct elections in Hong Kong, echoing back to the Umbrella Movement protests for universal suffrage in 2014.

This demand shifts the focus of the protests from the Hong Kong government to Beijing, reflecting Hong Konger’s increasing frustration with the Chinese communist regime, and its encroachment on the city’s civil liberties and autonomy.

“Under its dictatorship, whether it’s Hong Kong or the countless cities in mainland China, we are all under the suppression of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” Hong Kong resident Nathan told NTD. “We must not isolate ourselves. We must come together to resist this tyranny.”

Although Hong Kong residents can elect around half of its legislators, the leader is elected by a largely pro-Beijing electoral committee. Hong Kongers accuse current Chief Executive Carrie Lam, and her recent use of police force in the protest, of being a puppet of the CCP.

“The totalitarian regime we are facing is the most evil,” Hong Kong resident Nicole told NTD. “No matter how much we get from this fight, we won’t regret it … we must persist.”

According to some estimates, nearly a third of Hong Kong’s 7.3-million residents have taken to the streets in the last month to protest.

Organizers say their fight will continue until Lam withdraws the extradition bill. More marches are expected this coming weekend.