Never mind that Hong Kong has consistently ranked higher than the US in terms of freedom and economy, the problem is that the development of Hong Kong has been choked by the 4 Big Family tycoons that have a monopoly in terms of land grabbing and therefore dictate the terms and prices of property, as well as retail, electric, gas, and transportation.
In short, Hong Kong is the smaller sized New York, with hyper capitalistic policies that caused the Gini coefficient to be going upwards, which again somehow the rioters blamed on China or the lack of political representation and universal suffrage. This is despite rejecting the one that was proposed by the National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2017 since many people worried that it only gave concessions to people who are “Pro-Beijing”, while “Pro-Democracy” politicians could be left out of the electoral process with the push for reform. The fact is, the parties that supported the riots pushed for independence of Hong Kong, thereby wanting to split Hong Kong from China which could potentially destroy the continuation of Deng Xiao Ping’s proposal of 1 Country 2 Systems, which Hong Kong people have benefitted from since the end of British colonialism in Hong Kong.
Nevertheless, the discussion and the framing of the riots has more sentimental reactions from western media and pundits including the NYT, The Guardian, WAPO, and the other western-based publications. They praise “activists” like Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and Denise Ho, who have talked to senators like Pelosi, Schumer, Rubio, Cruz to push their bipartisan bills that sanctioned those who have “oppressed” the protestor’s rights for freedom of expression. However, looking the other way around at examples like their country having one of the highest incarceration rates per capita, at the Flint water crisis, the Black Lives Matter movements, the problems with inequalities of the rich and the poor, the staggering low wages of the working class, ridiculous healthcare policies, various political mistrust between political parties, etc – then the coverage is quite different.
That was around the same time when other parts of the world were having their own riots but received significantly less coverage than Hong Kong. This includes countries that had genuine protests due to the poor economic structures, neoliberal policies by the IMF, and World Bank which siphoned millions and millions of dollars into the hands of the rich elites. Even the overthrowing of leaders, including in Ecuador, Haiti, Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela, even France, a country that had the yellow vest campaign for over a year, have had protesters receiving much more brutality than the Hong Kong rioters.