U.S. bill hurts business, but residents in HK will adapt to changes

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act into law. For some residents in Hong Kong, this bill isn't the right thing for Hong Kong as the U.S. claims it is. CGTN spoke to John, a financial sector worker from UK who has been living in Hong Kong for the past 28 years.

"It's ridiculous I think … I think he (U.S. President Donald Trump) has created a problem," he said, adding that "everybody's business is affected by it … this is affecting Hong Kong's ability to trade as an independent financial center."

John believes that the U.S. has been behind the protests and funding them. The United States has injected itself into the midst of a societal conflict by giving out financial aides and made this bill a part of the trade war between China and the United States.

For John, the entire Hong Kong protest is born out of "perception and bias" in Hong Kong, that the protesters and other residents do not understand each other's motives. The disconnection between the two sides is what needs to be discussed and reconciled. And the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act does nothing to heal the divide.

Ultimately, however, he believes this protest is created by the Hong Kong people, and it is the Hong Kong people who need to fix it. "Under the British, there was no democracy. They only introduced it very late in the day before the handover. I think Hong Kong has got more democracy today than it's ever had in the past," he said. 

Today, Hong Kong is the freest economy in the world, and it is still strong despite recent events. Hong Kong is a "big success story,"and "Beijing has been very good in letting Hong Kong get on with doing what it does." So for John, looking back to the British rule as some kind of "glory period" is wrong.

The problem is that under the age of social media and smart phones, everything is magnified, according to John. The British rule was nowhere near perfect, but problems are not seen instantaneously by the world. Now, "instantly anything happens, everyone knows about it," he added.

This problem is not limited to Hong Kong. Every country is dealing with this problem. "Hong Kong people have always adapted," said John. Whether it is the new age of the difference in perceptions, he believes that Hong Kong residents will "work out a way to adapt to these problems as they adapted to other changes in the past."

Is he concerned about voicing an opinion that does not agree with the protesters? John said: "Some people won't like it but that's life. I think one freedom that we have in Hong Kong is we all should have the freedom to express our own opinions." 

He has seen, through the decades he lived in Hong Kong, that the principle of freedom has always been applied to the city's residents under the "One Country, Two Systems" governing structure. "We do have the freedom to speak up, we do have the freedom to disagree, we do have the freedom to call out our government when it gets things wrong", he said. And Hong Kong residents should cherish them, even when some people are "trampling" on them.

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