Dear Catherine West,
I am writing to convince you that Britain should get involved in the Hong Kong crisis as soon as they are able to. As I’m sure you are aware, people are currently protesting in the streets of Hong Kong in an increasingly violent manner to maintain their human rights and democracy. If these protests were peaceful, I would be all for them but the fact of the matter is that they are not. People are getting hurt and even killed, with police using tear gas and increasingly brutal violence to control protestors. Surely as a country we cannot continue to allow innocent people to be hurt, especially when we are in a position to step in and help.
I am aware that violence began when the Chinese government attempted to make a rule allowing criminals in Hong Kong to be sent to China to be put on trial and, undoubtedly, sent to prison (the courts in China are controlled by the government as, as a result, fair trials are not usually common with the vast majority of those tried in court ending up imprisoned for their ‘crimes’). Why should we get involved? Well, we have a shared history for one thing. After all, Hong Kong was ruled by Britain as a colony for around 150 years! When we gave Hong Kong back to China, we did so on the promise that the Chinese government would agree to ‘one country, two systems’. This means that the democracy and human rights in Hong Kong, as well as the economy, would be maintained for a number of years rather than having to submit to Chinese laws and censorship. It is evident that this agreement is not being kept to and, as per our promise, we have a responsibility to do something about this.
I am sure that you believe in the importance of standing up for human rights- as I do- and that you are eager to make a change so that the citizens of Hong Kong are able to keep the democracy that they so value. I know that there are many people who agree with me, for example Man Kei Tam (the director of amnesty international in Hong Kong) who said, “We believe everyone should stand up for human rights, and we call on governments to protect people’s human rights when they are under threat.”
If Britain get involved in the situation, perhaps the violence in Hong Kong can be minimised, if not eliminated completely. The more countries get involved, the more likely China is to listen and to stop what they are doing. Not only do we need to put a stop to the protests, we also need to ensure China is sticking to its side of the agreement rather than slowly but surely changing Hong Kong into a copy of itself. If you are looking for more practical ways to assist, you could advise the government to stop supplies of crowd control equipment to Hong Kong, at least in the short term. This equipment is currently not being used in the right way and is only fuelling more violence- which I am sure is something you do not want.
After reading this letter, I know you will see the importance of raising awareness of this issue with the government so that we ensure Hong Kong keeps the freedom it deserves.