20th April 2013
<Editorial: Review and Forecast of Hong Kong’s Anti-Communist Ideology>
After the 4th June 1989 (Tiananmen Square Massacre) China was under a shadow. Even though there is silence in China, Hong Kong is still thundering about the incident.
Following this brutal clamp down, and the stepping down of Zhao Ziyang*, the people’s movement in China was crushed. At the same time, Hong Kong’s anti-communist ideology, dominated by “Unification of Greater China” supporters, was hit substantially due to fear of reprisals. In their view, given that the handover of Hong Kong’s sovereignty was inevitable, hosting 4th June Vigils in Hong Kong could still help push forward China’s democratic movement. Every year, at the 4th June vigil in Hong Kong, the crowd would shout slogans like “build a democratic China”. The mainstream anti-communist group wants Hong Kong to be the powerhouse of China’s democratic movement and urges people to pass on this belief to their next generation. They want Hong Kong people to be educated about the events of 4th June, feel sadness about the outcomes, and draw inferences about how social movements can achieve success from this incident. The mainstream anti-communist ideology is: “as long as China has no democracy, Hong Kong cannot have democracy; Hong Kong’s call for democracy can push forward China’s democracy”. This in turn formalises the tie between the fate of Hong Kong and that of China.
* a key leader in China who was seen to be open and strive for political reform
After the SARS pandemic and the attempted enactment of Article 2*3 in 2003, Hong Kong people began to feel, and to fear, Hong Kong-China integration. 500,000 people (or roughly 10% of the 2003 population) took to the streets to protest against Article 23 that year. Not only did this demonstrate that when Hong Kongers are united they have the ability to fight against the “super power” of Communist China, but it also showed that if the people of Hong Kong are determined to defend their rights that are protected by the rule of law, they could have a different fate of the people in China: Under the national security law in China, people in China have no rights but Hong Kong people dared to fight for their rights when they faced down Article 23.
* they can be detained indefinitely without trial or even without charges being brought, for example
After the major and internationally high-profile protest in 2003, Communist China’s interference to Hong Kong began to intensify, which also changed the anti-communist ideology in Hong Kong. Shortly after the protest came a series of social movements aimed at cultural preservation. When the people of Hong Kong began to fight to protect colonial-era architecture, the yearning for the good old days began to emerge.
2009 was the year when Hong Kong-China conflicts began to intensify: In 2003, China began its individual visitor scheme*, and the scheme evolved to “multiple entry visa scheme” in 2009. The livelihoods of Hong Kong people worsened during this period. According to the latest statistics, in January 2013, the total number of visas issued via the individual visitor scheme, allowing Chinese to visit Hong Kong reached 1,200,000, a 50% year-on-year increase. In 2009, the anti high-speed-train project originated by netizens directly targeted those who only want to fulfill the demands and comments given by the China government and completely ignore the interest of the people of Hong Kong. Since then, social movements that are against Hong Kong-China integration and China’s dilution and absorption of Hong Kong began to flourish: anti locusts; anti anchor babies; anti North East New Territories development, anti smuggler#; anti formula powder raid; anti national education.
* this scheme allows individuals to visit Hong Kong once per visa with a maximum stay of 1 month via a very simple visa issuing process
# although mainstream newspapers have taken up calling those who bring goods from Hong Kong to China “parallel traders”, the nature of their action is illegal as they avoid tax in China
Professor Wan Chin’s city-state autonomy theory began to blossom: the emergence of the “Hong Kong Autonomy” movement, the re-appearance of Hong Kong’s colonial flag* in the 1st July protests for consecutive years#. The city-state autonomy movement and Hong Kong autonomy movement have clearly declared that they are not seeking Hong Kong independence, but to promote Hong Kong’s complete democratic autonomy. The lack of participation of political parties in these major social movements seems to suggest that politicians were not aware of the boom of an independent sense of nationhood (native consciousness), which has practically dominated all websites in Hong Kong, particularly popular amongst the younger generation. The local democrats (as opposed to the Greater China democrats) do not object to the support of 4th June memorial activities, they also support the release of Liu Xiaobo, Ai Weiwei and Zao Lianhai, and are angered by Li Wangyang’s “suspicious suicide case”. However, the fact that they stand with the Greater China democrats on these issues is purely because of their sense of justice, not because they relate these with the situation in Hong Kong. In other words, the younger generation in Hong Kong do not find the communist-party-sponsored redefinition## of the 4th June incident an important issue.
* this includes both the official pre-1997 Hong Kong flag and the dragon-lion flag created by the Hong Kong City-State Autonomy Movement
# 1st July has recently become the day for major demonstrations in Hong Kong
## China’s government has declared that the 4th June massacre was a “small scale anti-revolution (in communist ideology, the communist state is one of perpetual revolution against bourgeois values) riot”
At the same time, China has given people false hope after false hope in the past 20 years. Not only that there has no political reform, the regime has become more and more autocratic. The “privileged capitalism” formulated by the privileged stratum in China has become the major structural obstacle to China’s political reform. 80% of these corrupt “elite” in China are contemplating, transferring their assets overseas if they haven’t already done so. Hong Kong has become the conduit for these privileged individuals’ cash exiting China. Under this type of political structure, Hong Kong’s press freedom, rule of law, clean governance and existing systems, including company registry, have become stumbling blocks to the corrupt officials and their relatives in China. Therefore, Hong Kong’s core values are most certainly the enemies of Communist China’s privileged stratum.
Looking at the political structure in China, the continuing erosion of Hong Kong’s political and financial structure, and the booming of Hong Kong’s local independent sense of nationhood: the anti-communist ideology in Hong Kong is gradually detaching from the unrealistic belief of “the inseparable fate of democracy in Hong Kong and China”.
Will focusing pressure in domestic politics help realise democracy in Hong Kong? The chances are slim. However, if we are to wait for China’s government to grant democracy to Hong Kong, the chance is non-existent. The key about persevering despite the limited chance of success is that it puts the people of Hong Kong on the moral high ground of modern civilisation: including freedoms, rule of law and democracy. We all have a free soul, and the system we fight against is rigid.
The scholars who initiated “Occupy Central” are Greater China Unification supporters. Proposing “Occupy Central” shows that they are no longer interested in allying with the lobbyists sent by Peking, in a way they have joined the locally-focused anti-communist ideology, although discrepancies between different schools of thoughts still exist.
Lee Yee (a public affairs commentator in Hong Kong)