Citizens in the West are far more lucky than they realize. We hear about the struggles for basic freedoms that are taken for granted. It is absolutely necessary to focus on the struggles abroad to remind ourselves how fortunate we really are. Perhaps if news reports show these struggles for Democracy, then we could support our foreign comrades – the harsh reality of the life of freedom fighters could force the American public to abandon petty social justice fights and join together to fight for those around the world.
I bring this up because of the amazing power of China to oppose Democracy even outside of their borders! Joshua Wong is a young student leader best known for the pro – Democracy movement he was involved with in Hong Kong back in 2014. But hostilities against the young protester are not limited to China’s borders. Mr. Wong was on his way to Bangkok from Hong Kong on Wednesday to participate in a debate of students on the 40th Anniversary of the Thammasart Massacre. A fitting event that Wong visit an event that featured protests against a dictator by students who were actually murdered. When he arrived in Bangkok, his passport was taken and he was quickly deported back to Hong Kong after spending ten hour being illegally detained.
According to Thailand’s student activist group the “New Democracy Movement”, the detention of Joshua Wong was due to a letter China sent out. It appears that China is keeping tabs on their students and even demanding their neighboring allies to do the same. China defended the accusation saying that they, “…respects Thai immigration policy, and did not respond to inquiries regarding the existence of a letter…” China does very little to protect the rights of their citizens, and students like Wong, are especially in danger seeing as they cannot even leave their own country.
Many supporters were extremely worried about Wong being detained. It is no secret that pro-Democracy protesters mysteriously go missing. In the past, many authors and booksellers have gone missing only to return “reformed”. Chinese and foreign people have gone missing such as Lee Bo (British Citizen), Gui Minhai (Swedish Citizen), Lui Bo, Lam Wing-kee, and Cheung Jiping to name a few. Luckily, Wong did make it back to Hong Kong – whether that is better or worse than Bangkok is up to Chinese officials.
Stories like these are drowned out by petty social justice warriors and election drama – but if the West truly cares about Democracy world-wide, more attention is demanded.
“I’m not scared, because I know that I need to face the trial. What I mean is, I already expect I will need to pay the price…We are not seeking revolution. We just want democracy!” – Joshua Wong