The Corner


A Hong Konger Says Goodbye to the Town He Loved So Well

Journalist cover a march against the new national security law on the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain, in Hong Kong, China, July 1, 2020. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

In 2019, as events in Hong Kong came to a crescendo, I introduced some NR readers to Lok Cheung, a YouTube creator who has been something of a mini-celebrity among camera enthusiasts. He interrupted his normal flow of gear-reviews and tutorials in 2019 to deliver a powerful and haunting meditation on the value of the common law that Hong Kongers inherited as a legacy of British imperialism. Hong Kongers have free speech, freedom to criticize their government, and ultimately, freedom to pursue their own happiness in this life. What made his testimonial so affecting was this obvious sense that Cheung was stepping far outside his comfort zone to speak out in this way, compelled by his inner attachment to political freedoms that could no longer be taken for granted.

Now, he’s posted another video, announcing his imminent move to the United Kingdom as a holder of a British National Overseas passport. He was born into the British Empire and that still comes with some massively attractive privileges.

The first several minutes announce his upcoming reunion with a fellow YouTuber, Kaiman Wong. The two used to host a much-beloved channel together before Kai moved to the U.K.

But, as he turns to the political reasons for moving, once again Cheung gives another powerful testimony to the need for political freedom, and recounting what he did not appreciate about Hong Kong as a young person, but came to love as an adult. Every subject is at least mentioned, including the anticipation of his own survivor’s guilt. He says he can’t talk about everything, but his video points to many features of this coup against Hong Kong. How the Chinese Communist Party suborned what had been one of the most respected institutions in Hong Kong, its police force. And how now the Chinese government is introducing the rudiments of its social-credit system to Hong Kong. I have no clue if Lok Cheung would want the notice of American conservatives, but I can’t help it. I have no idea what his politics are day to day, but I know he cherishes some of the same freedoms I do. Can’t wait to see what he does next.


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