The Walkerville Weekly Reader

National Desk: Hard-hitting journalism from your completely un-biased (pinky swear!) reporters in Walkerville, VA.

Walkerville, VA
Monday, July 8, 2024
Carolyn Purcell, Editor

Hong Kong liberties safe

Last-minute pre-handover program by Britain and America safeguards Hong Kong civil rights.

While Hong Kong rights of association and petition have suffered since the Chinese takeover in 1997, experts say that China will never go door to door in Hong Kong as they have on the mainland--due mostly to a civil rights defense program instituted by Britain and the United States in the waning days of British rule.

“We knew we had no legal option but to turn Hong Kong over to the Chinese,” said British Ambassador Christopher P. Quentin. “But we had to do something to protect the Hong Kong people’s civil rights.”

At the same time that Britain feared for the liberties of Hong Kong, the United States was worried about the re-introduction of hundreds of thousands of World War II era military rifles from overseas. According to Ambassador Quentin, “the United States didn’t want these weapons, so we volunteered to take them off of their hands.” The weapons were handed them out in Hong Kong to anyone without a criminal record. Today there are over a hundred thousand World War II era rifles hidden in Hong Kong homes.

“We thought of this from reading Alexander Solzhenitsyn,” said Quentin. “He talks about how dissidents in Soviet Russia ‘paled in fear’ when Soviet police began going door-to-door to arrest government critics, sending them to Siberia.” Quentin said that Solzhenitsyn then recommended that future dissidents not surrender to authorities, but instead “boldly take up whatever is at hand and resist to the death.” In the face of such resistance, says Solzhenitsyn, “the cursed gulags would grind to a halt.”

“In all actuality,” says Quentin, “the gulags probably never even would have started. So we took Solzhenitsyn to heart, and we ensured that the Hong Kong people have the tools at hand to resist potential Soviet-style arrests.”

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