tirsdag 25. juni 2019

‘We have no other choice’: as China erodes democracy Hong Kong citizens prepare to leave

Elisa Wong had always thought she would move away from Hong Kong when her seven-year-old daughter reached university age. But the recent political crisis has prompted her to reach for an application form to emigrate to Australia now. “I must put in an application as quickly as possible,” the 45-year-old former manager at a bank said. “It’s hard to uproot your family and start again in a new country, but the upheavals in the past weeks have made up my mind.”

Hong Kong has been rocked by its biggest political crisis in decades in the past two weeks – millions have thronged to the streets in downtown business districts to protest a proposed law allowing for the the extradition of suspects to mainland China, where the Communist Party-controlled court system has a conviction rate as high as 99%. Many Hong Kong people were considering leaving before the recent political turmoil because of exorbitant property prices, high cost of living and notoriously intensive education regime. But the crisis which emanated from the controversial bill has stiffened the resolve of those like Wong to make serious plans to emigrate.