Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon believes the Hong Kong protests are the most “important event” happening in the world right now.
“It’s monumentally important. Number one, remember the whole world has bought into this lie that the Chinese people are not ready for democracy, that the Chinese people can’t govern themselves,” Bannon told The Epoch Times in an interview. “I keep saying it’s the most racist thing I’ve ever heard, it’s unacceptable that the world’s capitals and the world’s media and the world’s established order have bought into this.”
Tensions started in Hong Kong when a proposed bill would have allowed for transferring people to China for trial. Critics believed this legislation would hurt semi-autonomous Hong Kong, and said that residents transferred to China might not receive the same political rights.
To show their displeasure, more than a million people in Hong Kong took to the streets June 9 to protest this proposed bill being pushed by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Quickly, the protests became violent as police and demonstrators clashed.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 5, 2019
Protest of mothers in Central, Hong Kong. 07.05.2019 pic.twitter.com/4HYrZ0Mu0w
— Xyza Cruz Bacani (@XyzaCruzBacani) July 5, 2019
another friday evening, another Angry Mums Protest in Hong Kong. pic.twitter.com/ctnR89txST
— isabella steger (@stegersaurus) July 5, 2019
“You are seeing democracy at work there. I mean look at the young people in Hong Kong that have stood up to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in particular. This is not about an extradition bill, this is about the sovereignty of Hong Kong,” Bannon said.
He referred to the CCP as “gangsters” and “criminals” when talking about the communist party controlling China.
Hong Kong became a part of China in 1997 when the British handed it over after 150 years of rule. Part of the handover agreement was “one government: two systems.” This meant that Hong Kong would have a high degree of autonomy while being a part of China.
Residents in Hong Kong have displayed huge protests against China before. In 2003, an estimated 500,000 people demonstrated against a security bill that they believed to be a threat to their freedoms.
More recently, protests happened in 2014 when the country proposed changes to election rules.
Many of the ongoing protests are led by young people. Only 3.7 percent of Hong Kongers between the ages of 18 and 29 identify as “Chinese,” according to the Hong Kong Free Press. This is the lowest rate since 1997.
Bannon thinks it’s “amazing” this protest is driven by young people. He also noted that these protesters are Christians who want “freedom of speech,” “freedom of assembly” and “freedom of religion.”
The former executive chairman of Breitbart thinks the conflict has more to do with sovereignty than extradition.
“It’s really about sovereignty, and that’s why I think it’s so important. I think historically, this is an inflection point. Hong Kong is going to resonate very deep. Look, it’s the reason Xi went to Korea. He said, I’ll see you Hong Kong and I’ll raise you Korea, just to let you know that Trump and people know that he’s still in charge,” he said.
Also in the interview, Bannon heaped high praises on President Donald Trump, comparing him to Ronald Reagan.
“President Trump I think is very much the Reagan of our present time. He believes in peace through strength, he believes in people,” he said.
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