Hong Kong: A Land of Conflict

Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong

Colin Campbell, Staff writer

Recently, China has been trying to assimilate the democratic Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Hong Kong into becoming a full part of China, eliminating many rights the citizens of Hong Kong have had for years. This has resulted in widespread revolts with hundreds of people going head-to-head with riot police forces. Many have been arrested and as time has gone on, tensions have escalated to the point where some police have used tear gas and live rounds of ammunition. 

 

In the U.S., many large American corporations and celebrities are opposing  Hong Kong in support of Chinese government. There have been many notable examples of the censorship of those in support of Hong Kong, such as Blizzard Entertainment’s recent controversy with “Hearthstone” player ‘blitzchung.’ On a livestream, blitzchung yelled “Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our time.” 

 

After this, he was banned from professional “Hearthstone” play for a year and had all of his prize money taken. The two casters who were speaking to him had nothing to do with what he said, but were also banned. Blizzard Entertainment had received mass criticism for what they did, and instead of addressing it at the time, they made a version of their logo as if it were part of the Chinese flag, claiming “Chinese pride” on social media. Blizzard later responded by reducing his ban by six months and giving him back his prize money. After receiving backlash such as walkouts at the Blizzard development centers, boycotts, and protesters using a chinese “Overwatch”character in memes in support of Hong Kong, they apologized. 

 

The NBA had a similar scandal recently with Daryl Morrey, the manager for the Houston Rockets. He tweeted “Fight for freedom, Stand with Hong Kong” and was censored by the NBA because of it. The Chinese Basketball Association cut ties with the Rockets after and even LeBron James criticized him for “not being educated enough” and “not thinking of others.” 

 

Despite two very powerful companies, not to mention many others like Apple, submitting to China for economic gain, there are also others who have gone out of their way to show support for Hong Kong and it’s people.

 

“South Park,” and it’s creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are one out of two examples of standing up to the crisis in Hong Kong.In their 299th episode, “Band in China,” the show openly mocks and criticizes the Chinese government for influencing the censorship of Americans in opposition of their choices and decisions. Right after, China banned and erased all traces of “South Park.” Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of the show and voice actors for almost every character on it, made a sarcastic apology in response to this as an act of standing up against the actions of the Chinese government.

 

Another is the large opposition the United States government has had on the issue. President Donald Trump passed an order that withheld importing tasers and pepper spray to Hong Kong, which would limit the retaliation the Hong Kong police could have against protesters. Ted Cruz, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and several other politicians openly criticized Blizzard, Apple and several other organizations for their opposition of Hong Kong’s citizens’ freedoms. 

 

Many supporting China have exclaimed that it’s okay and that Hong Kong should be more assimilated, claiming Hong Kong has always been a part of China, even though it was a British colony until 1997. Several have also compared the Hong Kong protesters to Antifa (a portmanteau of “Anti” and “Fascism”).

 

Both Hong Kong and China have been violent in this recent conflict. The streets of Hong Kong have been riddled with tear gas, blood, and anger for months now without a compromise from either party.