Pro-free speech protestors are rallying against government censorship in Hong Kong as the government tries to pass a rule that would criminalize dissent in the former British terrority.
Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents took to the streets on the sixth anniversary of the handover to China of the former British colony. Their grievance: an “anti-subversion” law known as Article 23 that is expected to pass next week. Opponents fear it will become an instrument to stifle free expression and imprison dissenters.
China is headed on an immovable course towards more democracy. From the moment Deng Xioping began reforming the Chinese system the authority of the central government has been slowly fading away in the face of increased economic freedom. What the Chinese Communist Party has forgotten is the same thing that many in the United States forget: political freedom and economic freedom are two linked concepts. As people have increased economic freedom they will have more need for increased political freedom. Political freedoms are equally useless without economic freedom. In the end, China’s experiment with democratization cannot be turned back without tearing the nation apart. President Hu Jintao must realize that the only course that China can steer is one towards increasing freedom. If he attempts to turn back, the results will be far greater than the protests in Hong Kong.