Keep foreign interference out of Hong Kong affairs

Pan-democrat lawmaker Ted Hui is inviting foreign governments to look into Hong Kong’s affairs but this will only provoke a hardline response from Beijing

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 January, 2018, 2:23am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 January, 2018, 2:23am

It’s bizarre that pan-democrats are always appealing to some mythical entity called the international community to protect Hong Kong and its people. You may be cynical and critical about your own government. But you should also extend your cynicism and scepticism to foreign governments, which care even less about you, whatever their sanctimonious public statements. Remember, Western democratic politicians only really care about votes and donations, and you can’t vote for them and I assume you are not a billionaire.

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If our city ever goes down the proverbial drain, there is nothing to be gained and much to lose for the central and Hong Kong governments. But how would our fate affect London, Washington, Tokyo, Canberra or Brussels? Not an ounce; it might even be “strategically desirable” in containing a rising China.

But such naivety is again apparent in the latest cri de coeur from pan-democrat lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung. It is indeed a core belief of the opposition.

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“I strongly believe it is the perfect time for the international community to look closely into Hong Kong’s current situation,” he wrote in an op-ed for Hong Kong Watch, a political NGO. “China’s meddling in Hong Kong’s internal affairs has become increasingly frequent and more obvious in recent years.”

Let’s get some nomenclature right: Hong Kong is part of China, so perhaps he should have written “the mainland”.

So China is interfering in its own territory. But to counter that, you want foreign entities to meddle in our affairs with the mainland?

I recognise that there is such an international doctrine as “responsibility to protect”, which legitimises foreign intervention, but only in extreme events such as massacres, genocides and famines.

Hui says Beijing is breaching the Basic Law, but which international body has the authority and power to adjudicate on this point other than Beijing and London on the basis of their Joint Declaration? It’s crystal-clear that neither government wants to revisit this decades-old treaty. Oh, and Donald Trump’s America?

Can Beijing’s power to interpret Hong Kong’s Basic Law ever be questioned?

Hui once protested against granting HK$250,000 to a district council to promote the Basic Law. So is he for or against our mini-constitution?

May I make a suggestion? If you want Beijing to lay off, how about conducting “rapprochement” to reach an understanding? It may or may not work. But appealing to foreign entities, governments or otherwise, will for sure provoke a hardline response from Beijing.