Localists must understand that by trying to be a rival city state to China, we simply have no future

We are already a kind of a city state, with our own border control, separate law, taxation, government, currency and international representation. Arguably we have more state powers than most European Union member states

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 March, 2016, 11:40pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 March, 2016, 2:59pm

Something the late political science guru Samuel Huntington said reminds me of Hong Kong’s attitude towards the mainland.

Where you read “Hong Kong” in the following, just remember he was referring to “Islam” in the original quote. So, with apologies to Huntington, let me paraphrase: Hong Kong people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power.

I was reminded of this while looking at a Post photo of the five stooges of localism: Horace Chin Wan-kan, a supremely mediocre academic, a sexist and xenophobe who is usually regarded as the spiritual father of independence-seeking localism; lawmaker “Mad Dog” Wong Yuk-man; and militant localists Wong Yeung-tat, Cheng Chung-tai, and Alvin Cheng Kam-moon.

For reasons that I find inexplicable, all five think Hong Kong represents values and culture that are superior to those of China. But for argument’s sake, let’s say we really are superior. What then?

We must therefore defend our values and culture. As Chin has argued in at least three books, turning Hong Kong into an independent city state is the only way to do it.

But to do that, we need to amend the Basic Law. And to do that, all five – and more like them – need to run and win seats in the legislature to form a big enough majority to rewrite our constitution ... If that’s their political strategy, good luck with it.

Our localists, and everyone else, know that in the last analysis, we are under Beijing’s thumb. That’s what irks them – to be lorded over by someone who is considered inferior.

That has always been so. We Hongkongers despised mainlanders when they were poor; now we despise them even more when they have grown rich, arrogant and more powerful than ever.

But how does becoming a city state shield us from “mainlandisation”, when we are already a kind of a city state, with our own border control, separate law, taxation, government, currency and international representation?

Arguably we have more state powers than most European Union member states. It’s just that as a quasi-city state, we must remain a satellite of Beijing. We enjoy our freedoms at its good grace.

By becoming a rival city state to China, we simply have no future.