Photo Credit: Reuters
The greatest gathering of people in the nation has assembled in Hong Kong to pay homage to Queen Elizabeth II since China vehemently rejected huge demonstrations more than two years ago.
On Monday, 2,500 people gathered in front of the British Consulate. Hong Kong residents of all ages and geographic areas braved the sweltering heat, which reached 33 degrees Celsius or 91 degrees Fahrenheit, to show their support for the UK. The people sent flowers, frames, and notes addressed to the late Queen, who was known as the “boss lady” or “lady in charge” when the nation was a British colony.
Despite the fact that the event is just considered a means to honor the British Queen, some see it as a sort of protest against China, which has since banned large gatherings under a regulation that was passed in June 2020.
In Hong Kong, protesting was outlawed by the national security statute. Pro-democracy demonstrations have been essentially put to rest thanks to the legislation. Others claim that the law was passed under the pretext of a covid limitation.
The occasion has also come to address the Chinese Communist Party’s desire for Hong Kong residents to forget the period. It has also refuted the assertion made in certain local literature that Hong Kong was never a colony. Authorities instead call it “forcible occupation.”
It is refreshing to gather again
The attendees were delighted to have come. After many years, being a part of a large throng again was pleasant, according to Wing, who declined to give his full name.
“I feel angry that the Hong Kong government is not showing any respect properly (to the Queen). They’re scared of the Chinese government telling them off, but we were part of the colony,” he said.
Sylvia Lee, a different resident, stated that the passing of Queen Elizabeth was a sad day for the globe since she personified strength and stability for women.
“No one lives forever, and we knew this day would come someday. She was a respected figure, and the government during the colonial period made many contributions to Hong Kong’s development, especially in the 70s and 80s,” she said.
A symbol of protest for Hong Kong
At first view, the incident could only signify that China and Hong Kong support the Western nation’s grieving at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. It is reasonable to assume that it has been since John Lee, the chief executive of Hong Kong, and Xi Jinping, the leader of China, offered their best wishes to the United Kingdom.
But more than that, the general sentiment among the populace reminded them of previous pro-democracy demonstrations in the nation that criticized China.
Over a century has passed since Britain, and the UK began to connect. Hong Kong evolved and became a hub for the opium trade between China and Britain throughout the 19th century. For more than 156 years, the British occupied and administered Hong Kong. Unfortunately, they were given to China when they departed the country.
“It was (the Queen’s) empire that, in 1997, handed us over to China against our wishes,” stated Jeffrey Ngo.
“The feeling is understandable, given that the intuitive point of comparison is Hong Kong under Chinese rule. I respect their lived experience, albeit it’s not something I share. For me, the monarchy’s wealth and prestige are impossible to disentangle from the empire’s violence and expansionism.”