Read more: China, Hong Kong double down on extradition bill
Chinese model not attractive at all
The Hong Kong people want to be at least like the Taiwanese people. At the moment, they are merely demanding the legal situation to which the People’s Republic has committed itself.
Beijing has hardened the fronts and blames the US for the escalation of the protests. That is, of course, wrong and propaganda. I have seen it myself and spoken to a number of Hong Kongese: What they want is a Western democracy, as practiced in Taiwan, Germany and the US. The Chinese model, even if President Xi says it quite differently all over the world, is of no interest for them.
On the contrary, Hong Kong has had enough of Xi Jinping. The “president for life” also has many enemies in his own country because his actions have cast doubt on China’s ability to sign contracts and have thus affected the economy. For people in the free world, the hope remains that the Chinese will move away from President Xi and his course.
*Alexander Görlach is a senior research associate at the Institute on Religion and International Studies at the University of Cambridge as well as a senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and honorary professor for ethics and theology at the University of Lüneburg. He has also held a number of scholarly and advisory positions at Harvard University. He holds PhDs in comparative religion and linguistics and is a guest columnist for several publications including The New York Times, Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung and business magazine Wirtschaftswoche.