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  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 10:48pm
Beijing White Paper 2014
NewsHong Kong

Former justice minister defends white paper, warns city will be 'doomed' if it engages in 'colour revolution'

Ex-justice minister says she understands why central government is concerned over meddling in city and warns against any 'colour revolution'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 June, 2014, 6:58pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 June, 2014, 8:43am

Beijing is concerned about the possibility of external forces at work in Hong Kong and the city would be "doomed if a 'colour revolution' takes place", a former justice minister warned yesterday.

Elsie Leung Oi-sie, now deputy director of the Basic Law Committee under the National People's Congress, defended central government against pan-democrats' criticism that it had reneged on its promise to allow the city a high level of autonomy.

Leung spoke out in the wake of controversy surrounding a white paper stressing Beijing's control over Hong Kong under the "one country, two systems" policy.

In the paper, Beijing warned that national security would be jeopardised if Hong Kong was not ruled by "patriots".

"The central government is worried about the country's situation," Leung said on Commercial Radio. "Hong Kong is such a free city, and many non-residents can [engage in] activities here, so [the white paper] says we have to stay vigilant about whether external forces are meddling in Hong Kong's internal affairs.

"Hong Kong would be doomed if we engaged in a 'colour revolution'; in fact, intense movements have been on the rise recently, and I think [Beijing's] worries are not groundless."

Colour revolutions, so called because the organisers would use a particular colour to signify their movement, took place in eastern Europe in the early 2000s.

Leung did not elaborate on why Hong Kong might go down a similar path, but she is understood to be targeting the Occupy Central campaign, which threatens to mobilise 10,000 people to block traffic in the financial hub as a last push for democracy.

She reiterated her worry that the Occupy plan would end in violence - but rejected concerns that military force would be exerted on the civil disobedience action, as happened at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.

"Some people are very scared that the [Chinese] army would repeat the political upheaval of June 4 - but it won't. The local garrison would [be mobilised] only if the SAR government asked the central government for help, and then it would be limited to the purpose of maintain public order," Leung said, citing Article 14 of the Basic Law.

Occupy organiser Benny Tai Yiu-ting said worries about subversion were similarly unfounded. The movement "has never challenged the country's sovereignty" nor the "one country, two systems" policy, he said.

"We have never tried to [engage in] subversion … We are only fighting for genuine universal suffrage," Tai told the RTHK show, City Forum.

The debates about the white paper and electoral reform also drew a response from Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah.

In his blog, Tsang wrote that the white paper was "released mainly because the central government needed to give a comprehensive statement, as a minority of the people have a vague and one-sided understanding of the Basic Law".

"It was not modifying its policy on Hong Kong," he added.

Tsang also wrote that he hoped people could fully express their opinions on reform, as that would be "the first step" to achieving consensus. Democratisation would bring a "fundamental change to Hong Kong's governance, and it has great implications" for the city and for China as a whole, he wrote.


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This article is now closed to comments

Dai Muff
Not naive. Just dishonest.
The only "external force" operating here is from the North. What Hong Kongers want is what we were promised under the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. To imply we have to be tricked by foreigners into wanting Beijng to keep its word is disgraceful.
"Some people are very scared that the [Chinese] army would repeat the political upheaval of June 4"
Did she just admit the PLA was running its citizens over with tanks? She needs to be fired.
It really says something about how low an opinion the CCP privately has of itself if it fears that "external forces" in a city of 7 million can "destabilize" a nation of 1.3 billion.
Of course, the CCP trots out these tired phrases as a matter of routine, and if you say something enough times, regardless of how stupid it is, I guess it assumes a meme of its own for those who are less discerning. And when you can falsify such nonsense into truisms in the way the CCP has fashioned (good job on the CCP's part on that one), it simply invites further continued use as a justification for oppression. This is really at the heart of the CCP special sauce: make people accept that the CCP is somehow indispensable; conjure up fear about anything that is different by invoking historical insecurities about foreign domination; use that fear to reinforce the indispensability of said CCP. Quite a masterful "how-to" on authoritarian rule. And now that playbook gets foisted upon HKers. Oh joy.
For a generation, 6/4 was a day of infamy for the CCP within China. I wonder if 6/10 will go down as a day of infamy for the CCP in HK. Thankfully, HKers retained at least a tiny modicum of "special treatment", in that their beat-down was bloodless.
Ah, 'external forces'. What a term that is.
Per China's view, it stands for any kind of foreign influence that can somehow lead the country's development towards something different to the CCP's vision. Foreign espionage and manipulation fit the bill, but then Chinese government can accuse any sort of foreign ideas, cultures, religion and history to be weapons of these 'infectious outside forces', and they'll censor, punish and intimidate to keep these ideas at bay.
Frankly, if a country were actually competent in running itself, it wouldn't have to clamp down on the latter things in the first place.
Hong Kong is doomed if it does not do anything. See you on July 1!
Dai Muff
They DO keep pulling her out of the deep freeze. God knows why. Her comments carry no weight whatsoever with anyone who is not already a fellow traveller.
I wish these retired senior govt officials would stay in retirement and STFU.
Dai Muff
Ah, you reveal your true colours, and that you are indeed a "fellow traveller". And you don't read the Basic Law too closely. "Universal suffrage" does NOT mean "your choice is my brother or my uncle". Hong Kong will not be governable unless the Chief Executive has a broad mandate. I'd have thought even you apparatchiks would have learned this by now. All we want to do is elect our own mayor. And have the right to run for the post.
Almost no one in HK is looking for a revolution here akin to what happened in the Arab nations or the Ukraine. They just want to choose their government and for their government to listen to them. They are bothered by the constant interference in supposed autonomy that was agreed by the Masters as well as the view of the current executive that its job is to squelch dissent against what those who direct them want of HK. No one is talking about storming the barricades. What they want is a government that listens and they are entitled to that. Could you seriously see a revolution in HK? 7 million people with no weapons against the PLA. Come on.
Dai Muff
And June 20th - 22nd.



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