Hong Kong’s Real Patriots are the People Defending Democracy
‘Hong Kong’s patriots are people like my friends, Jimmy Lai and Martin Lee, who risk their safety to champion democracy. They’re the hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters who have carried the torch even as their countrymen have been imprisoned.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Hong Kong:
“On Friday, the Chinese Communist Party reminded the world what it thinks about justice, due process, and self-governance.
“Nine of Hong Kong’s most devoted pro-democracy advocates received harsh sentences. Their crime? Inspiring more than a million people to take to the streets in August 2019, to protest peacefully in support of basic freedoms.
“It was not the first time Beijing’s thin-skinned authoritarians had brought the hammer down on Hong Kongers. And sadly it will not be the last.
“China’s position is supposedly that, quote, ‘only patriots’ should be allowed to govern Hong Kong.
“Let’s review what it means to be a PRC ‘patriot’:
“Apparently, it means applauding Hong Kong’s new so-called ‘National Security Law’, cooked up by mainland partisans, and the political repression it enables.
“It means applauding saber-rattling and interference with civilian commerce in the South China Sea.
“It means cheering on the Communist Party as it uses invasive technology to repress dissent at home… and turning a blind eye to the detention and killing of religious and ethnic minorities in broad daylight.
“Well, the CCP is right that real patriots should be speaking out and leading in Hong Kong.
“They’re just wrong about who the true patriots are.
“Hong Kong’s patriots are people like my friends, Jimmy Lai and Martin Lee, who risk their safety to champion democracy.
“They’re the hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters who have carried the torch even as their countrymen have been imprisoned.
“I appreciate the voices across the globe who are calling attention to the plight of the real patriots and all the other groups in Beijing’s crosshairs.
“To the global business and government leaders who haven’t yet spoken out, I hope you are watching closely. If Beijing feels comfortable treating Hong Kongers this way, just think how little regard the PRC will show for basic international norms.
“I’m also grateful to our own American leaders who fight for basic human rights, including our religious freedom commissioners Tony Perkins and Gayle Manchin, who have themselves been comically blacklisted by Beijing, and rightly wear that as a badge of honor.
“I hope the Administration will add teeth to its tough talk on China and reassure our friends in Hong Kong that we have their backs.”