Kuala Lampur, Sept. 15 -- Like so many others in the region and wider world, I looked on with sadness as I saw Hong Kong's protests escalate from peaceful rallies to daily clashes.

This was no ordinary bout of public protest; this is a fight for Hong Kong's survival as an entity distinct from the legal and administrative framework of mainland China.

Basically a fight for the one country, two systems agreement under which sovereignty over Hong Kong was transferred from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China in 1997.

Recent moves by Beijing have undermined the one country, two systems framework with Beijing increasingly exerting influence on matters like security and education.

The breaking point was a proposed extradition...