In the past nine days, there have been three very large demonstrations in Hong Kong against Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s handling of a legislative bill of extradition to China. The bill would require the courts of Hong Kong to extradite someone accused of a crime committed in mainland China. Citizens of Hong Kong fear that such a law could be gravely misused against them since courts in China are not as fair as they are in Hong Kong.
But first let’s get some history. Densely-populated Hong Kong, with nearly 8 million people, is a series of islands offshore from mainland China. It became a British colony during the mid-nineteenth century. Britain had a 99-year lease on this territory. Then it was transferred to China in 1997 with the agreement that Hong Kong would have a separate administrative government and economic system. This arrangement is called “one country, two systems.” But many Hong Kong citizens have chafed under China’s partial control of it. And Hong Kong obviously is not a communistic region as China is.
Yesterday’s demonstration in Hong Kong was estimated at 2 million people. Many of them wore black as a sign of serious protest. Last Wednesday, that demonstration was estimated at 1 million. So, these demonstrations have been growing in numbers. The people gathered mostly around government buildings, especially the legislature. Wednesday, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets. One elderly protestor, while hanging a protest banner from some height, fell and died instantly.
Ms. Lam, under these protests, suspended this extradition bill which legislators had been revising. But many of the protestors have been calling for the bill to be withdrawn. Protestors have also been demanding that Ms. Lam resign over this. She made a public announcement of partial contrition Wednesday. She said she was open to criticism and would seek humility. But that seemed to be unsatisfactory for many.
Reports say China officials are concerned about these Hong Kong protests, yet they claim to have not applied pressure on its governing officials about this bill. The thirtieth anniversary of the Tianamen Square massacre just occurred a few days ago. Chinese officials don’t want anymore demonstrations due to fear that their people could rise up likewise in China.
I have thought for a long time that Communism cannot survive. Way back in college, I had a political science professor who believed strongly in the eventual dissolution of communism. And I then attended one anti-Communist crusade in Houston. But since the mid-1970s, I have believed that this may be indicated in the Bible.I have posted about this before. My next book features the dream-vision Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar had. He lived in the sixth century BC. He had this dream and the Jew Daniel interpreted it. It is all recorded in Daniel 2 in the Bible. This dream is a statue of a man, with his body parts made of different metals. It represents a prediction of future Mediterranean empires: Babylonian, Media-Persian, Greek, and Roman. His feet are made of iron and clay (Dan 2.34). And “the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom . . . so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. . . . so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay” (vv. 4143).
Ever since the mid-1970s, when I bought G. H. Lang’s excellent commentary, The Histories and Prophecies of Daniel, I have believed what Lang says about these feet and toes being made of iron and clay, that it refers to democracy. And I believe the feet and toes are symbolic of a revived Roman Empire, except that it will encompass all of the territory of the three previous empires, thus most or all of Europe, all of the Middle East, and all of North Africa. This will be the Gentiles’ final, great empire that the final Antichrist will rule.
So, I believe this entire dream in Daniel 2 is a prediction of all time from Daniel’s time down to the very end of the age. The dream is also about a stone falling upon the feet and toes of the statue, turning them to dust, and it blows away. That stone is the kingdom of God coming instantly from heaven to destroy the Antichrist and his kingdom. I believe we are living in the early part of the feet and toes portrayed in this dream vision. So, my reasoning is that if this final Gentile empire embraces democracy, the rest of the world likely will as well.
About fifteen years after I first learned this, the Communistic Soviet Union collapsed and a loose form of democracy has replaced it. I think the same or a similar thing will happen to China. It’s just a matter of time before my political science professor will be further proved right. But it is interesting that China’s communistic system has adapted somewhat in recent years by embracing a form of free-market capitalism. Yet peoples’ desire for freedom cannot be suppressed forever. If China does ever succumb to truly be the peoples’ republic, it will coincide, but not be a fulfillment, of the predicted democracy indicated in Daniel 2.