Hong Kong, June 30 (EFE) .- A few hours ago he was released from his last arrest for protesting against Beijing and he is remarkably fatigued, but Joshua Wong, the young man who leads the Chinese regime, does not give up. “Not everything is under the control of Emperor Xi”, he assures in reference to the president of the country.
The cameras chase him. With only twenty years, Wong has become one of the most influential young people in the world, making room in prestigious magazines such as TIME; and the foci that crowd today on him give credit for it.
“Start, start …”, urges Efe while the press officer of the party of which he is secretary, the liberal Demosisto, takes him out of a barrage of international cameras to bring him to his first individual interview in the afternoon.
Wong has a tail and little time, and is aware of it. “I have been illegally detained for 33 hours”, a clear and concise denunciation as soon as I started talking with Efe.
The young man and 25 other activists were arrested Wednesday after occupying a statue of the city. It was one day before President Xi Jinping arrived in the city for his first visit as head of state and it was his chance to make noise.
“Freedom for Liu Xiaobo”, the Chinese Nobel Prize winner conditionally released for terminal cancer; “democracy for Hong Kong”, were his claims prior to the arrival of the leader.
“We lost time in police station,” complains Wong. He and his other comrades reported today to the press that the agents “abused their power” by holding them for longer than necessary to avoid inconveniences during Xi’s tour of the city.
“But tonight I will be in the protest in front of the exhibition center”, where Xi will attend an event, warns Wong, whose rise to the top of political activism was confirmed during the “Revolution of the Umbrellas” of 2014, the pro-democracy protests where he played a central role.
Not everything is under the control of the Communist Party, according to the young man, but for the moment Xi is managing to avoid confrontation.
Although both share the same scenario, Xi will not cross paths with Joshua Wong or the demonstrations in favor of democracy and even independence that multiply in the city. The communist leader is focused on his goal: to celebrate the 20 years of Hong Kong in China after the return of the territory by the British.
But for Wong and his contemporaries there is no reason to celebrate, because the anniversary shows the “broken” promises of the regime.
When Margaret Thatcher’s executive returned Hong Kong to China, Beijing signed a series of commitments until 2047: among them, allowing the city to enjoy unthinkable freedoms in other parts of the country, such as judicial independence or freedom of expression, and guaranteeing suffrage universal in the future.
“We have the right to determine our destiny In the long term, the Hong Kong society will regain the right to elect its politicians,” the student leader affirms in an optimistic tone, despite the battles lost.
The “Umbrella Revolution” ended after almost three months of protests without achieving its goal, universal suffrage, and since then Beijing’s interference on the island has been increasing, according to liberal groups.
This has infected with pessimism many young people who participated in that movement and now consider leaving the city.
“If there was pessimism, Nathan Law would not have become the youngest deputy in history” of the Hong Kong Parliament, refutes the young man, in reference to his party partner, who got a seat in the Legislative in 2016.
“Young activism is the way out, it can still bring about changes in society,” he maintains.
With the new head of the regional government, Carrie Lam, who will take office on Saturday, Wong predicts that Chinese control of Hong Kong will go further. He is a “puppet of Beijing,” he says, but “we will try everything possible to make it clear that Hong Kong is not under his control.”
His goal is democracy and he says he will not stop until he gets it: “We do not want to have a case like that of Liu Xiaobo in Hong Kong.