The U.S. (and Utah) should give Hongkongers a new home

Hong Kong police released pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai on bail 48 hours after being arrested under China’s new security law. As he told Fox Business, Lai is accused of “colluding with foreign powers.” The Hong Kong media tycoon’s arrest should concern even those of us here in the U.S.

The new security law is an opportunity for the U.S. to assert its place as a bastion of exactly these freedoms that China is limiting. The U.S. should offer refuge and asylum for those who share democratic values and face arrest and imprisonment under the new security law.

Many Utahns already have a connection with Hong Kong. Since the 1950′s, thousands of Latter-day Saint missionaries have served in Hong Kong. The church has had a temple there since 1996. In turn, thousands of native Hong Kong students have studied in Utah universities. Many have stayed to work for Utah companies and raise their families.

China’s new National Security Law revokes many protections that Americans and Hongkongers hold dear. As Lai pointed out, the law allows the police to raid businesses without search warrants. That the people of Hong Kong revere American values and treasure their freedoms every bit as much as most Americans do is shown in the past year of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The question is how to provide refuge to those in need?


Read the full Op-Ed by Josh T Smith at the Salt Lake Tribune

CGO scholars and fellows frequently comment on a variety of topics for the popular press. The views expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center for Growth and Opportunity or the views of Utah State University.