8th March, 2014
Quit Fantasising that China Would Allow Hong Kong to have Universal Suffrage – Hong Kongers are the One that Can Save Hong Kong
This year, Premier Li Keqiang changed the tone of the Communist Party’s annual report regarding Hong Kong, by not mentioning “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong and Hong Kong retain high degree of autonomy” – two guiding principles that have been repeatedly stressed since the handover in 1997. Such change has triggered public concerns and people worry that China has revoked these two key policies in the Basic Law. The so called guiding principles of Hong Kong’s autonomy have changed, and “One-Country-Two-Systems” is the only thing that remains in Li’s report. In other words, China wants to implement two-systems in Hong Kong but it would be China’s people governing Hong Kong under China’s system.
The explanations given by the China mouthpieces and pro-China camp do not make sense either. Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and China Central Government’s Liaison Office both said that not mentioning “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong and Hong Kong retain high degree of autonomy” is because Li wanted to shorten his report. However, in a report that takes two hours to read in which around 200 words were dedicated to Hong Kong and Macau, only these few words were deleted for the sake of shortening his report! This “explanation” causes nothing but confusion.
Many pro-China individuals further explained that these two guiding principles are something that “goes without saying”. Wang Guangya, Director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said “One-Country-Two-Systems already implies Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong and Hong Kong retains high degree of autonomy”. Zhang Xiaoming, Director of the Liaison Office, said that, “One-Country-Two-Systems is the overall concept and there is no need to spell out its details every time.” Maria Tam Wai-Chu said that these two principles are as natural as breathing and there is no need to talk about it all the time… There are lots of “polite remarks” throughout CCP’s annual reports every year, for example “under the leadership of CCP and comrade XXX, people of different ethnic groups in the country will…”, no one would ever misunderstand that China is under the CCP’s leadership, but the report always stress this point year after year. It is CCP’s golden rule to repeat what is important and things they insist on “every year, every month and every day”.
Based on Wang Guangya’s logic, not mentioning does not mean it does not exist. Is this true though? Sometimes it is. For example under Basic Law’s Article 158, the Court of Final Appeal is the body in Hong Kong that can seek an interpretation from the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. However, former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa went to seek for NPC’s interpretation and NPC has repeatedly interpreted Hong Kong’s law without the Court of Final Appeal seeking them to do so – this is because Basic Law does not specify that NPC cannot interpret laws without Court of Final Appeal seeking them to. However, sometimes Wang’s logic does not work! For example, CCP and HKSAR Government think that because Basic Law Article 45 does not mention civil nomination and political party nomination, these two nominations are not specify in the Basic Law so they “do not exist” (are not allowed). Whether something that is not mentioned exists (is legal or allowed) depends on what the leaders of Chinese Communist Party want – after all, China is a rule by law country, so everything is according to those in power.
Media in China praise Li’s for his practicality as he emphasised that “those we cannot do are not included in the report”. With this in mind and the fact that the two guiding principles are omitted in Li’s report, it is a logical deduction that Li thinks that “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong and Hong Kong retains high degree of autonomy” are things that cannot be done so he is only being practical for not including them in his report. Why did the pro-China puppets rushed out to explained that “not mentioning does not mean it does not exist”? This is simply an attempt to stablise the sentiment in Hong Kong, and encourage the people of Hong Kong to continue its fantasy – Hong Kong will have democracy and will continue to enjoy autonomy.
Lam Tai-fai, a member of the CPPCC, thinks that Li’s report was based on thorough considerations, omitting these few important words (the two guiding principles) sends a very strong message, China government have doubts and worries about the effectiveness of “Hong Kong people administrating Hong Kong and high degree of autonomy” because HKSAR Government’s administration has been facing a lot of challenges and conflicts in the society heats up. This is very true, but China fails to see the core of all these problems. The real reason for Hong Kong not being able to fully implement these two principles is not the lack of capable individuals to lead Hong Kong, but the absence of an elected government which is endorsed by the people. Without people’s support, there is no way Hong Kong could enjoy high degree of autonomy and all Hong Kong has is a government that only follows the directions given by “one-country”. This is also the core reason for Hong Kong’s situation to degrade continuously and becoming more and more a rule by law following the example of “One Country”.
China will not allow democracy and universal suffrage to happen in Hong Kong. In the eyes of CCP who rules China and are obsessed in power and money, they only want an “universal suffrage” that they can control – by selecting a number of candidates for the people of Hong Kong to select, an “universal suffrage” with China characteristics. Coupling the recent comment* made by Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of NPC Standing Committee, and Li Keqiang’s convenient omission of the two guiding principles in his annual report, there is only one conclusion to be drawn: Hong Kongers should quite fantasising that China will allow Hong Kong to have a true universal suffrage nor to have high degree of autonomy. We shall stop listing to the pro-China puppets’ made-up excuses for the CCP, and ignore CCP’s so-called criteria that CE candidates have to “love China and love Hong Kong”. In CCP’s mind, the definition of “loving China” changes all the time: during the Cultural Revolution, if you refuse to praise Cultural Revolution, you do not love China; but after Cultural Revolution, if you praise Cultural Revolution, you do not love China. There is no way anyone could be seen as “loving China” when the definition of it changes every time they present it.
Therefore, Hong Kongers should abolish all their fantasies over China and CCP, and demand the full implementation of the two principles, “Hong Kong people administrating Hong Kong and Hong Kong retains high degree of autonomy”, as they are defined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and Basic Law. Civil nomination is the nomination method that has been proven effective in our direct elections throughout all these years. No matter what CCP and Hong Kong Communists say, Hong Kongers should continue to do what is right for Hong Kong and continue to work on achieving our common goal.
By Lee Yee
Zhang Dejiang’s comments: Hong Kong’s political reform has to match Hong Kong’s constitutional position and situation, Hong Kong is operated under “One-Country-Two-Systems” which means Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy that is given by China and Hong Kong does not have complete autonomy; Hong Kong’s universal suffrage is something that is offered by China’s Central Government but not something that any organisation or individuals fight for; Hong Kong cannot adopt any Western democratic election system or Hong Kong will suffer from “sickness” and falls into a “democracy trap” and worst suffer from catastrophic consequences.