Healing more elusive for HK than US

Editorial | Mary Ma 9 Nov 2020

The US presidential election is all but over, despite Donald Trump's lawsuit threat.

Most foreign governments have broken their silence - albeit not immediately tweeting to congratulate Joe Biden.

They certainly were aware of Trump's pending legal move, but also knew that the US Supreme Court would unlikely decide against any action to deny Biden the victory.

It's a political judgment - while they may not have wanted to be the first to congratulate Biden - who pronouced it is time to start the healing - they did not want to be the last to send the message.

But it will make no difference whether Trump concedes defeat or not. As each day passes, he will quickly become part of American political history. That's politics and reality.

For one, it was the first time in memory that Hongkongers were monitoring the election just as nervously and anxiously as the Americans.

As with many Americans, some viewed the election as a competition of hatred, rather than one of reason.

On the one hand, there were masses so desperate to kick Trump out of the White House that they turned a deaf ear to Biden's alleged corruption scandal.

On the other hand were masses of a similar size who were so obsessed with Trump, including his anti-communist agenda, that they were blind to his often tyrannical personal style that went against common democratic practice.

In Hong Kong, ever since the government attempted to introduce a bill to allow extradition to the mainland, many people have been living in a state of frustration.

The imposition of the national security law on the SAR left many opposition activists feeling suffocated.

And the recent arrest of a former RTHK journalist for looking up car registration information while doing investigative reporting only deepened the shock.

So people of different ages looked elsewhere for help and fell into the same ideological trap as both critics and supporters of Trump.

They mistakenly looked to him for assistance and ignored his often undemocratic way of doing things.

So what is in store for Hong Kong now?

Given that his hands are tied by the Democratic Party's hardline agenda on Beijing, Biden may not remove Hong Kong government officials already placed on the sanction list - but neither will he put any more on the list.

Will he restore Hong Kong's special trade status during his term? It is difficult to say.

Even if he does so in defiance of an anti-Beijing Congress, the trade status is no longer viewed as safe as before since there will be another presidential election in 2024.

If a hardliner is elected, will there be a swing back to the Trump policy? That is always a concern to employers here.

Biden calls on Americans to heal their wounds. Indeed, Hong Kong has to act to heal its wounds too. The election may be over, but the dust hasn't yet settled.

Americans will have to depend on themselves to solve the looming and unprecedented crisis. Likewise, Hongkongers have to reflect and rely on themselves to end a crisis of their own.

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