Is Hong Kong the new Tibet

Government-in-exile: Hong Kong becomes the new Tibet

The Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay, sees clear parallels between the current events in Hong Kong and the Tibetan-Chinese conflict. "When you look at the Chinese occupation of Tibet and its consequences, you can see that this is happening again in Hong Kong," the 51-year-old told AFP news agency today.

China betrayed the Hong Kong people just as it betrayed the Tibetan people in 1951. At that time, China assured the Tibetans extensive autonomy. "One country, two systems, that was promised to Tibet," said Sangay. Instead, Beijing has violently undermined the freedoms of the former Himalayan kingdom. "You can see that now in Hong Kong: the people there have been promised basic rights, but what happens is a violation of all these provisions."

Contractually guaranteed rights

In 1984, China had contractually granted Hong Kong a 50-year autonomy status under the premise of “one country, two systems” when the British crown colony was reintegrated into the People's Republic. For years, critics have accused the government in Beijing of gradually undermining this status. The recently passed Hong Kong law, which has been heavily criticized internationally, which enormously increases the access of Chinese authorities to the financial metropolis, confirms this, said Sangay.

China has taken a similar approach in Tibet, said the international lawyer trained at Harvard University. "We were victims of a national security law." In 1959, an uprising broke out in Tibet, which China violently suppressed. The Dalai Lama, the spiritual head of the Tibetans, then fled to India and founded the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala.