Sent on 1 Sept 2014
Representative Nancy Pelosi,
Thank you for standing up for human rights in China over the years and, in particular, meeting Mr. Martin Lee and Ms. Anson Chan in early April, 2014 to hear the update on the urgent political situation of Hong Kong.
We represent a group of American citizens who have roots in Hong Kong. In solidarity with the pan-democrats we are writing to plead for your earnest engagement with the Chinese government. We anticipate that on Sunday August 31 the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress will issue rules to degrade the committed universal suffrage (as laid out in The Basic Law) to become an rubber stamp for candidates pre-selected by the central government.
As an illustration of the boiling dissatisfaction of the residents of Hong Kong, this June, a civil referendum was conducted by the Occupy Central organization. About 800,000, or, one fifth of Hong Kong’s registered electorate, took part in the poll. 700,000 of them advocated an “international standard” based nomination process. This was followed by a large turn-out for the annual July 1 protest on the streets.
Ever since the handover from United Kingdom to China in 1997, aspects of rule of law and freedom in Hong Kong have eroded. Media self-censorship, oppression to opposition voices and even physical harm are rampant. Hong Kong is the last line of truth and freedom in China. If she falls both political and economic stability of Asia will be jeopardized.
In fact the United States has significant political and economic interests in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is its 9th largest exports trading partner with a trade surplus of 36 billions in 2013. Such interests are built on its respect for the rule of law. Only if the rule of law continues can residents’ freedom be protected and the economy continue to flourish. A free and fair election is an important part to keep the institution intact. As such, the United States has a direct interest in Chinese government’s compliance with its pledges to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy and the realization of its commitment.
As American citizens we highly appreciate the universal human and civil rights enjoyed here. We hope that with your help we can defend these basic rights in Hong Kong which could soon to be eroded further if no action is taken.
Charles Chi Cheung
Northern California Hong Kong Club