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Hong Kong is dead

Visiting Hong Kong was one of my favorites since I made the first trip there in 2004. I did it eight times until now. I loved to stroll on Sai Yeung Choi Street South where people were very cheerful and energetic, to enjoy wonton noodles, steamed duck, and gwilinggao at restaurants, to get Nokia’s brand new and second-hand smartphones and accessories at mobile phone shops of the Sincere Podium building in Mong Kok, and to open and use a bank account of HSBC Hong Kong. I saw the Big Buddha at Ngong Ping, visited a prison museum at Stanley, stayed at a hotel of Chungking Mansions, worshipped at Che Kung Temple, had a fortune-telling session at Wong Tai Sin Temple, and extended my journey as far as Macau and Shenzhen. All the memories of those places were impeccable.

The last time I visited Hong Kong was a weekend in May 2019, when I got an Apple Watch at an Apple Store near the Hong Kong terminal. Although Apple Watches were available in Japan, the electrocardiogram feature, or ECG, was not available in Japan because of Japan’s regulatory barriers like bedrocks. To have the ECG function activated in the Apple Watch, you had to get to a country where it was available, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, or Hong Kong.

About a month later, an uprise broke out and protests spread throughout Hong Kong. Although there were demonstrations like the “Occupy Hong Kong” movement until then, that time’s protests were quite different. The city wasn’t what it was one month before. It turned into a dangerous and chaotic city where you were likely to be attacked by protesters and counter-protesters when you were just walking on the street.

In 2020, the free port city came to an end. Communist China interfered with the Hong Kong government and forced it to pass the national security law. Hong Kong has become completely part of mainland China.

I loved Hong Kong, but the city I loved is already dead. It is now completely part of mainland China, and it won’t be back to what it was before. I won’t be able to visit there any longer unless President Trump is reelected and persuade Communist China to free Hong Kong. Since I’m posting such an article, I might be arrested once I get into the land again.

By Masayuki (Yuki) Kawagishi

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