Lighter Shades of Patriotism

The Silk Road Journal – By Mahika Ming

Long before Chinese leaders including the late Paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping stated that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) should be ruled by Patriots once it is handed back to China after the 99 year lease to Britain in 1997, 14th amendment of the constitution of the United States of America (USA) clearly stated that USA should be governed by Patriots. It also states that a person cannot run for Congress, President, Vice President, or any office, civil or military, if s/he has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the state or has “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” The US system laid the foundation of Patriotism through effective methods such as getting students and young children to recite the pledge of allegiance every day at Schools. It is indeed a very a positive move towards building a stronger nation. According to Oxford definitions (www) a Patriot is a person who loves their country and who is ready to defend it against and enemy. In other explanations a Patriot is defined as a good citizen, statesman, volunteer and nationalist etc.

In Europe, the autonomous region in Spain Catalonia was having a rough relationship with Madrid. When Catalonia declared independence in 2017, Prime Minister of Spain took immediate steps to control the Catalonian local authority issuing an arrest warrant for its pro-independence leader. The Spanish Premier had powers under article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. It states that if a self governing community acts in a way that is seriously prejudicial to the general interests of Spain, the government may take all measures necessary to compel the community to meet said obligations or to protect general interests. Fortunately for Spain, when the Premier was hard on Catalonia their allies in Europe and USA were more interested about the Spanish National Interests and did not recognize views on suppression of freedom and undermining of democracy etc.

At the National Legislature Annual Sessions 2021 the PRC has proposed improvements to the democratic system of governance in HKSAR which was established after the handing over to China in 1997. Until 1997 the British never conducted any democratic elections in the region during the entire period of occupation from 1887 – 1997. According to the new developments Patriots will have a wider role in managing HKSAR as in USA and Spain. Therefore, it is their responsibility to safeguard the interests of their country which is the PRC. One may assume that lawlessness, anarchy and struggles for independence should be part of HKSAR as it is not being governed by USA, Spain or Britain at present but they will realize the right approach when they further study the constitutions of USA and Spain. Those who are misunderstood about; the one country two systems method (which was also promoted during the East Timor independence movement), and democracy in HKSAR during British rule should think more openly about the limitations of democracy and whether a country’s system suits it’s the ground reality to deliver for most of its people. As per USA Heritage Foundation, HKSAR economy is 2nd freest in the world in 2020 and freest before the 2019 unrest. As per World Bank, HKSAR was 3rd in the world on the Ease of Doing Business ranking. HKSAR students rank near the top in their reading and math skills as per Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The writer is an analyst with interests in the financial and sustainable development sectors with postgraduate exposure in the Far East ([email protected]).

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