Pan-democrats’ shameless exploitation of oath saga has brought the NPC down on us
Beijing’s intervention will further erode the authority of our courts, and may not have happened if the pan-dems hadn’t egged on their localist allies
Trust is a scarce commodity these days. But we all know that all-out antagonism of Beijing is just a lose-lose proposition.
That’s why there needs to be a modicum of respect between the two sides. This is just so we won’t trigger a confrontation that will spiral out of control.
But of course, we have done just that.
Or rather, secessionists Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang have done it for us. When you wave a red flag in front of a raging bull, don’t be surprised if you get gored.
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress looks set to intervene this week in the row over the two localist lawmakers’ swearing-in debacle, with an interpretation of the Basic Law.
If it does go ahead, it is deliberately sidestepping the authority of Hong Kong’s High Court.
It is also ignoring the Leung Chun-ying government, which clearly prefers to obtain a local court judgment before inviting a mainland response.
Now it looks like the committee won’t even bother to wait.
Everyone knows nothing angers Beijing more than talk of independence and secession.
It’s one thing to write about it in campus magazines that no one reads, or to shout about it in street protests.
It’s something entirely different, as far as the central government is concerned, when you swear allegiance to the “Hong Kong nation” in a formal oath-taking ceremony in the legislature while using insulting language against the Chinese nation as well. Put that down to the folly of youth. Idealistic young people, however misguided, usually deserve a second chance.
What I find more unforgivable is that pan-democratic groups, with the exception of the Democratic Party, have shamelessly been exploiting the oath-taking controversy to open another front in their war with CY Leung and the central government.
If the two localists have received no support, they might have been forced to apologise or at least shut up.
Instead, they have been goaded on by pan-democratic groups like the Civic Party to grandstand.
From a childish display of defiance, we are likely to get another NPC interpretation, and further erosion of our courts’ authority.