Speaking at a special webinar, ‘Hong Kong: The decline of democracy and how young Liberals can help’, organised by Young Liberals and Stand with Hong Kong, Layla Moran MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesman for Foreign Affairs and International Development said:
“There is enormous power in the power of the consumer. Whether it be HSBC or Tik Tok, there are other banks or platforms to use and other ways to do it. My first port of call of call is to say to people: ‘We can wait for the government to act, but there are also things you can do right now.’ Look at the banks, the apps, the shops you use, look to see if their supply chain includes human rights abusers like China and make other choices.”
After over a year of fighting for their right to freedom and democracy, the situation for Hongkongers fighting for their freedom has never been worse. In June, Beijing imposed draconian new National Security Laws on the city, severely restricting political freedoms.
Reflecting on the increasingly bleak situation, Francis, a representative of the grassroots campaigning organisation Stand with Hong Kong who was anonymised for their own protection, said:
“When China implemented the National Security Laws in Hong Kong without the consent of Hongkongers it changed the essence of the city. What the new laws have shown is that China is determined not just to silence the opinions of people in Hongkong but to hold them in an iron fist.”
Callum Robertson, Co-Chair of Young Liberals encouraged as many people as possible to show their support, saying:
“We need to reassess our entire relationship with Beijing, and we should start at home. We should start with human rights questions, we should start with trade deals, with public sector contracts. Every time something comes up with regards to [a business interaction with] China or other human rights abusing states we need to be questioning that.
“Trade ceases to truly be free when one state uses it as a cover to enslave their own people and, in this case, the people of Hong Kong.”
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