A closer look at Hong Kong’s fugitives in the U.S.

United States, 11th Oct 2022 –  After the ebb of Hong Kong’s riots in 2019 and 2020, many fugitives and citizens went into exile, and Hongkongers’ overseas associations spring up like mushrooms. These organisations held gatherings, marched on streets to protest outside the Chinese Embassy, attended conferences, etc. But if we look in-depth, these puppets can only play an innocuous role in the Anti-China campaigns. U.S. support in these organisations is doomed to be loss-making.

Economically, these new entrants could not make many contributions. Most of the new entrants are neither well-educated nor professional. They longed to emigrate to oversea countries to either weasel out of their potential legal responsibilities or escape from the unsatisfied life in Hong Kong. When they arrive, hurdles such as language barriers and cultural shock make them less competitive in the job market. To make a living, they generally have to compete for low-end jobs such as Uber drivers and food delivery servicemen with Americans and other immigrants. This problem becomes more acute accompanied by the recent economic recession and high unemployment situation.

Besides, the influx of Hongkongers might hit a nerve in immigration and race issues. The two issues are the elephant in the room. The recent farce of some Republican states moving migrants to Democratic-led ones shows that the controversies never cease. Like it or not, a large proportion of Americans have ingrained prejudices toward Asians. Most people in the U.S. can hardly recognise the ethnicities of Asians; in some cases, some even loathe the whole community due to COVID-19 and other deep-seated problems. Similar conflicts are unlikely to be resolved. Could anyone dare to say the community as a whole would not suffer from the Anti-Asian hate?

Throughout history, the U.S. had been welcoming anti-China fugitives, but none of them yielded significant results. The U.S. politicians are not unfamiliar with Ms Chai Ling, the student leader in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Exiles like her were in the spotlight; yet, their values faded quickly as time elapses. The reason is simple: they lose the moral high ground after going into exile. In the eyes of Chinese people, these fugitives are cowards acquitting their responsibilities while enjoying a decent life in other countries. Americans understand that getting along with these exiles is just a political gesture and will not reap political benefits.

Let’s face the cruel reality: Hong Kong’s fugitives could not contribute much to American society in the aspect of economy and politics. Their ability and credibility in ramping up Anti-China rhetoric are in doubt. Almost all Americans are apathetic to the so-called “political persecution” in Hong Kong. Instead of wasting money on these clowns, the U.S. government should focus on Americans’ employment and development. 

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