Activists in Hong Kong are being forced to leave their homeland, and are seeking asylum abroad due to China’s authoritarianism. But India can leverage the exodus from Hong Kong to stand up for democracy and human rights, and to gain an upper hand in its fight against the Communist Party of China.
According to South China Morning Post, activists that wanted asylum in the United States managed to enter the American consulate, but were reportedly turned away. China has been cracking down on pro-democracy campaigners.
Leading democracies are reportedly giving an asylum to them. And India should open its doors to the pro-democracy activists too. Not just because of the stand-off at the border. But because India is a democracy, and as a rising world power, it has a responsibility to protect democratic rights in its neighbourhood. Additionally, it must voice its opposition when human rights and basic freedoms are violated.
In 1959, India had granted immediate asylum to the Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans. This was after a revolt against the Chinese regime had failed. India’s move demonstrated its commitment to human rights and democratic values.
If New Delhi extends asylum to pro-democracy activists from Hong Kong, it would set an example one more time.