• Fri
  • Sep 19, 2014
  • Updated: 4:59am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 June, 2014, 4:12am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 June, 2014, 4:12am

Beware risk of challenging China's 'one country' concept for Hong Kong

You say one country, I say two systems. I am afraid there is no definite right answer to this debate. Only disaster awaits if we fail to reach an understanding and compromise over electoral reform.

The whole concept of "one country, two systems" is an artificial, even self-contradictory construct; it resembles a house of cards that requires all sides not to fight because it could easily topple. It is a bit of a confidence trick that is best left alone, not to be probed too deeply lest it fails to withstand close scrutiny.

Yet both sides are now testing each other, demanding recognition that their interpretation of the concept is the one set in stone. One side comes up with civil nomination, Occupy Central and the June 20-22 referendum. Now the other side has produced a white paper, in the name of the State Council no less.

Beijing is unequivocal about where Hong Kong gets its power, privileges and prerogatives. They all come from the central government. And what Beijing gives, it can also take away. Under this so-called unitary state theory, there are no inherent or "residual" powers for Hong Kong.

I am not sure this is right. At least that wasn't how the Basic Law and "one country, two systems" was sold to us.

But the pan-democrats of Occupy Central persuasion have also overstepped the mark by insisting Beijing should have no or minimal say in how the political system is to be reformed to bring about universal suffrage. This is not only unrealistic politically. If the central government is constitutionally empowered to approve the final reform package to be presented by the Hong Kong government, it's untenable to insist it should have no say in the process.

Who's responsible for this dangerous stand-off? We all are. But powers, once granted, cannot easily be taken back. Hong Kong is run more like a city-state than a city - with our own currency, borders and passports, legal and tax systems, fiscal and budgetary independence, and separate representation in many world bodies. Such powers are not something Beijing can take away without destroying Hong Kong. But would Beijing risk destroying the golden goose if its "unitary" power is seen as being challenged and undermined? Yes, it would.

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This article is now closed to comments

suewilliams321
The Chinese Govt should have more confidence in her recognised manifestly successful and benign sphere of influence both regionally/globally (unlike the malign influence of the much hated USA oligarchic govt). Call their bluff I say, the Golden Goose now nests in the Mainland, the economic/strategic significance of colonial island beachheads much reduced to dependent rumps. History moves on, but these restive gullivers are still trapped in their timewarp. The centre of gravity has shifted eastwards, back to the ancient Silk Route, as it was and will be. For pastures greener, those deluded demo idiots are welcome to look to old Kum San where an oligarchy awaits with its Patriot Act(2002), Homeland Security Act, and a militarised police force. Not too many takers I'll bet, when push comes to shove.
jenniepc
speaker use a method of communicating, that interferes with a legitimate government interest, etc.
Democracy is not just about elections. Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. However, if democracy is not structured so as to prohibit the government from excluding the people from the legislative process, or the example of Taiwan problem is executive branch, president, can accumulate too much power under ex-president Chen Shui-bein tenure, then it destroy the democracy.
**Final** Pg. 2/2
Jennie PC Chiang/江佩珍 06/13/14
jenniepc
Things that bother me is why Pan-democrats have never asked their basis of human rights or democracy under Britain rule. To me (Personal expression), like it or not, Pan-democrats or some Hong kongers just like puppy dogs wagging their tails and accept any fate their British masters manipulate them towards. The problem is that Hong Kong people feel that they themselves are superior to other Asians. But just like a puppy dog or subordinate place under British ruled.


I was born in a very rural village in Taiwan. My two great granduncles were killed by then the Taiwanese aborigines in order to build or to fight for their lives, beliefs and freedoms. I was educated in the United States and I am very familiar with US constitutional laws. I do realize that China legal systems may not as sophisticated as US. Some speech or human rights may have been violated in China due to its current judicial systems. However, based on my observation, Hong Kongers’ rights have not been violated after Hong Kong handled over to China.Yes, Freedom of speech or speech rights in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. The freedom of speech rights is not absolute; the Supreme Court of the United States has recognized several categories of speech that are excluded from the freedom of speech. For example if a speech that incites imminent lawless action, national security or if
**CONTINUING** Pg. 1/2
Jennie PC Chiang/江佩珍 06/13/14
321manu
"demand for chaotic free-for-all nominations and elections?"
---huh? Only some are asking for or insisting on "free for all" nominations. But nice straw-man argument by trying to direct your objection at the extremes while trying to tar everyone else. Is this the best you got?
Second, why are people even asking for free for all nominations? Have you asked yourself that, or are second order queries too complicated for you?
The objective was to ensure that a representative cross section of candidates could potentially stand for election. The main fear was that the nominee pool would be reduced to a group of CCP stooges. In order to achieve that objective, one (1) solution would be a wide open nomination process. That has been espoused by some; more have recognized that to be the goal, while also accepting there is more than one way to skin a cat. I realize this last paragraph is self-evident to anyone with a brain, but whymak is uniquely different in that cute and cuddly way.
I wouldn't say China cares about HK. CHina cares about being able to lord it over HK. China cares about being able to control HK and call it her own. But assimilating HK to the CCP way means HK will no longer be HK, and I can't see anyone who "cares" about HK to be advocating for that. But hey, isn't that your wet dream all along? It's certainly clear how you "care" about HK, and frankly, I could do with less of that stuff.
whymak
Minbao reported yesterday on something that Benny Tai said. He wants to hurt HK bad so that China would comply with his wishes. 佔中發起人戴耀廷曾經同人講過,佔中係要傷害香港,咁就能逼中央就範喎。 When questioned, he didn't deny it because he couldn't.
What conclusion do you draw from this cutting the nose to spite the face intent? A strong hatred for China, plain and simple.
Readers' comments below reflect exactly the same sentiments. Are there any constructive agendas on how to manage HK's political economy other than demand for chaotic free-for-all nominations and elections? NONE. Even in the most dysfunctional democracies -- and there are more of them than well functioning ones, political activists and candidates ask to be elected because they claim having strategies to rebuild government. Allowing people with nothing but hate and resentment to participate in a rational discussion is a travesty of speech freedom.
Ironically, even Benny Tai realizes that China cares for Hong Kong. How else do you interpret his confidence that China will accede to his blackmail by holding HK hostage?
Before any hate mongering reader attempt to reply to my post, ask yourself if you're not a knee-jerk cheerleader of Tai-Chan-Chu trio.
Dai Muff
You lie.
ngsw
I feel some people are trying to ruin HK just to humiliate Beijing.
xiaoblueleaf
Reality is that as China becomes "stronger", HK enjoys more benefits bestowed by the "parent" while suffering from the illusion that HK can be a separate part of China which HK is not. Such is the reality that HKers are living on borrowed time so value the 50 years or whatever are remaining while hoping China will change for the better.
blue
So are you telling us Hong Kong is another Congress Poland?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congress_Poland

"One country, two systems" isn't a new concept. It was used on a piece of Poland that was in a "real union with the Russian Empire" to create a protectorate. The Russian Tsar was Poland's sovereign.

Congress Poland lasted about 15 years before it lost its nominal sovereignty and autonomy and was absorbed to become a province of Russia. Is this Hong Kong's future? At least the SAR lasted longer than Congress Poland.
whymak
Totally irrelevant! If I ask you if you've eaten breakfast, would you reply that you have just beaten up your wife?

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