Because Hong Kong is over 8,000 miles from Harrisonburg, it is easy to overlook the protests and turmoil there. Hong Kong was a colony of England until 1997, except for a brief period of being under Japan’s control. That’s when Hong Kong was returned to the governance of China. Deng Xiaoping, came up the catchphrase of the moment: “One country, two systems.”

It was agreed that Hong Kong would continue to have its own languages, its own currency, legal and legislative system. Citizens of Hong Kong have individual rights that are different and more open than the citizens of Communist China. With all these differences, Hong Kong returned to China in 1997.

The “One country, two systems” agreement was to be enforced for 50 years, until 2047. In February, a bill allowing extradition of criminals from Hong Kong to stand trial in Communist China was proposed in the Hong Kong legislature. While this bill was in response to a murder in Taiwan, citizens of Hong Kong saw the bill for what it was — a chance for Communist China to tighten the screws and gain control over Hong Kong’s independent judiciary.

What was Communist China trying to do? A look at how China absorbed the country of Tibet in 1959 gives some insight. The former head of Tibet, the Dalai Lama said this:

“The ultimate Chinese aim with regard to Tibet, … seems to attempt the extermination of religion and culture and even the absorption of the Tibetan race...Besides the civilian and military personnel already in Tibet, 5 million Chinese settlers have arrived in eastern and north-eastern Tso, in addition to which four million Chinese settlers are planned to be sent to …Central Tibet. Many Tibetans have been deported, thereby resulting in the complete absorption of these Tibetans as a race, which is being undertaken by the Chinese.” [74]

In 1959, the young Dalai Lama and many of his supporters were driven out of Tibet. Ethnic Han Chinese moved in and the communist government took an active role in erasing the Tibetan culture and people.

In 2003, the Chinese introduced a sedition act making it easy to ban speech and assembly in Hong Kong. In 2014, the Chinese tried to assert control over political candidates with only officially approved candidates allowed to run for office. Both times, protests erupted, and the new rules were not enacted.

In his book, Eat the Rich, P.J. O’Rourke visits Hong Kong just before the turnover in 1997. He is amazed by the success of Hong Kong:

“Hong Kong has no minimum wage, no unemployment benefits, no national health program…the unemployment rate is below 3 percent.

“Hong Kong has endured repeated refugee influxes. They have no forests, mines, or oil wells, no large-scale agriculture…Hong Kong even has to import water.”

What is the secret? Freedom! After World War II the British administrator to Hong Kong helped establish a system where government left people alone. They established unbiased courts, promoted fair contract enforcement and laws that applied to everyone. They established national defense and an effective police force. The bureaucracy was known to be efficient.

The result? The world’s freest, fastest growing economy snuggled up against the world’s most repressive dictatorship. With these kinds of neighbors, conflict was bound to happen.

There are over 7 million people living in Hong Kong. In June, almost 2 million people took to the streets to protest the encroachment of communist rule on the tiny island. The people of Hong Kong can see what is coming.

Communist China keeps 10,000 army troops in and around Hong Kong. More could be moved in quickly. Students from mainland China who attend university in Hong Kong are embracing freedom and liberty. Some have joined the protestors. This has caught the attention of the leaders of the Communist Party.

You see, the real natural resource in Hong Kong is the people. Their affinity for freedom and free-market capitalism, along with a system that allows the creative energy of 7 million people to be unleashed, is the cause of Hong Kong’s remarkable success.

In his book, P.J. O’Rourke has a simple solution — offer the citizens of Hong Kong immediate citizenship in the United States. Of course, we could ask our Pacific Rim neighbors to help out. Perhaps we could accept 4 million refugees from Hong Kong and ask the Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians to pick up the balance.

Imagine the message sent by freedom loving people to the world’s most repressive communist regime. When given the chance, the world’s most creative and energetic economy pulls up stakes and heads for America.Imagine what this economic engine could do in the United States. This is a solution worth pursuing.

Douglas Wright is a dentist who lives and works in Rockingham County.

(14) comments

R B Tate

Hong Kong was a great place for R & R, while under the British. Wasn't there an agreement that the Chinese would keep the old freedoms in place when they took over in 1997? Could the British possibly try to regain control because of a broken contract?


Dr. Wright usually has pretty good points (you know, for a conservative), but this isn't one of them. Aside from the issues already raised, what makes you think these people would want to relocate to the other side of the globe? Would you?


LVW, First of all, thanks again for taking the time to read my article and give it some thought. Even thought we often do not see eye-to-eye you always give my ideas some thought. I wonder about your question. The protesters in Hong Kong, as a rule, appear to be the youngest residents. Of course not all 7 million will want to emigrate but what if we could get 2 million volunteers to come to America. These are industrious people who know how to look for opportunities. Also, other small countries like Bangladesh and Malasia are thinking about signing on for construction projects funded and built by China as part of their one silk road project. These countries will see the young flee Hong Kong and may pause to do business with Communist China. I see this as better than sending in the 82 airborne. Again, thanks for reading.


Dr Domino: Unlike some of the usual suspects here, I am not inflexibly opposed to immigration. And unlike some of my liberal brethren, I would definitely prefer to have 2 million industrious immigrants than 2 million others. But I just don't think it is realistic to expect people, young or not, to move across the world and leave behind everything they know. I suppose this country would have the best change of attracting them, but I still think it's a very hard sell. And again, thanks for writing.


Would I want to relocate to the other side of the globe to escape the iron fisted rule of communist China? Absolutely.


Mr. LVW, I do think I get the point you are alluding to. I am sure that most Hong Kongers would prefer to remain in their own culture. That is why when large groups pour into an area they tend to import with them their own culture – usually to the detriment of the host culture. Again, it is a natural inclination. Are they really to be blamed for doing so? I don’t think so. For decades people from alien cultures have been given a green light to pour into America by those who stand to gain politically and financially by selling out the American People – especially the working families of America.


Mr. Wright, if the U.S. government were to import 4 million ‘refugees’ from Hong Kong they would undoubtedly want to establish themselves in one or perhaps a couple geographical locations. It is a natural thing to do. These locations would undoubtedly already be inhabited by American communities. Though some may think so, America is not a propositional nation. We have a heritage. It is a Western and a uniquely American heritage. Nor are we a mere economic market in which all else is subordinated to GDP. So, it is somewhat ironic that you would advocate the U.S. government do the same to those American communities that Communist China did to Tibet.


I agree with parts of your post Donald. I also can see valid points in Mr. Wright's letter. If we are going to be importing people into the United States, I would like for it to be people who love and cherish economic and religious freedom rather than importing people who bring with them drugs, gangs, and criminal activity. still, your point is very valid. I like the culture in my community, and don't wish to see it change as a result of mass immigration without assimilation, particularly, immigration that is forced by the heavy hand of government.


Prodigalson, Thanks for reading and replying to my article. I guess my idea was not so well explained. I do not propose forcing ANYONE to immigrate. I only asked, as PJ O'Rourke suggested in 1997, we issue a green card to anyone in Hong Kong who wants to immigrate to the United States. Please read my post to Donald. Thanks again for reading and commenting. PJ O'Rourke's book is called; Eat The Rich. It is funny and informative. You may enjoy reading it. Best to you.

R B Tate

I don't think I'd take immigration advice from someone who said he wrote a 4 1/2 page letter, including 3 1/2 pages of the drugs he had abused, in order to avoid military service[wink]


Thanks for clarifying Domino. Your letter was very well written, and in my opinion, worthy of consideration.


I Agree, Mr. Prodigalson, it should be the required mindset for those we allow to immigrate into America – along with fluency in English – with emphasis on fluency. Add to that an 80 percent reduction in legal immigration (meaning those who are coming here to apply for citizenship), and elimination of the TPS program which has basically been a scam making a mockery out of the T in TPS, restrict birthright citizenship to children having at least one US parent, immediately deport anyone illegally entering America or overstaying their visa, freeze the H1b and H2b work visa programs and require the current visa holders to return to their country of origin when their visa expires, deport illegal aliens already in the country, and encourage self-deportation by drying up the employment opportunities by charging, convicting, and jailing employers who have shown a pattern of hiring illegal aliens (it is a federal crime), fining boards of directors the equivalent of 25 percent of their individual net worth so that they will not be tempted to use the CEO as their scapegoat, and fining the company 50 percent of the previous year’s net income before taxes, the fines being used to pay the illegal alien workers a tidy severance package for a new start back in their own country and covering the cost of returning them to their country. Once in place there can and will be rare exceptions made individually on humanitarian grounds and on specific individuals very useful to the American People (subjective though that may be). After a 3 year period results can be reviewed and adjustments, if any, can be made. Some will think I am being a bit restrictive, others will think I am being too lenient. I would suggest that after 50 years of the intentional destruction of the American working family through mass importation of cheap foreign labor and the weaponizing of foreign cultures to dilute our Western heritage, a 3 year pause and evaluation is not asking too much. Just my opinion.


Donald, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. On the East coast you may say have a "Western heritage" but if you were to visit cities on the west coast you would see vibrant and large asian communities. I did not have enough space to further outline my ideas but several places in the USA are urban decay zones. Places like inner city Baltimore, Newark, Comptom, Ferguson could use a little help from new residents. I would propose allowing these new Americans opportunities to live in the worst of our cities. I think they would transform these places overnight. As to your last comment; the Communist Chinese FORCED the Tibetan people to leave Tibet. We would only invite those in Hong Kong who wished to freely immigrate. That is a HUGE difference.Some studies indicate we have perhaps as many as 20 million undocumented immigrants living here. I did not think 3 or 4 million more would be so bad especially if they were self sufficient.


Thank you for your clarification, Mr. Wright. When I wrote that we would be doing what the Communist Chinese did to Tibet, I was referring to their importation of millions of Han Chinese into Tibet, resulting in the destruction or sublimation of the Tibetan culture in Tibet. The same would be true of importing a flood of Hong Kong citizens into an American community – though it may be mitigated if the communities impacted were already Chinese American (I cannot say for sure as I am not sure of how different the Chinese American culture in places like New York’s Chinatown is from the culture of Hong Kongers).

As for non-Western enclaves in America, using Asian cultural enclaves as an example, they exist within a country whose founding philosophy was that of Western Man and whose institutions where founded and built by Western Man regardless of what part of America one is in. I do not consider culture and heritage to be synonymous.

I am also going to have to disagree with your suggestion that a flood of Chinese be sent into “urban decay zones” (This usually means black neighborhoods). This will simply displace or sublimate Americans who are black – in other words destroy their community and replace it with a non-Western community. I think if sending in businessmen and entrepreneurs were the answer, Black businessmen and Black entrepreneurs would have long since done so. Better to eliminate the pathologies in these “zones” so that the Black Americans living in these areas can go about their lives in peace.

I agree that 20 million illegal aliens is bad. Adding 4 million more is just adding to the problem. I assume that you did not intentionally imply that providing green cards to 4 million Hong Kongers was the equivalent of a “undocumented immigrant”. Thanks for your response.

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