Hong Kong localists now spout extreme nonsense

Independence is no longer enough for radicals; what they are now calling for is the complete disintegration of China

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 July, 2018, 3:20am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 July, 2018, 3:20am

Abandoned by mainstream pan-democrats, hounded by the authorities and ignored by the public, many radical localists have become increasingly extreme.

It’s no longer enough to demand independence for Hong Kong. Some activists are calling for the collapse of China and the Communist Party, and the merging of independence movements in Tibet, Xinjiang and Taiwan, and the unification of the Mongolias.

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Here’s an example, titled “The power of the peripheries: the need for solidarity in the face of China’s communist hegemony”, and published in the online Hong Kong Free Press.

“Hong Kong, Tibet, East Turkestan and Taiwan appear now tiny and now immense,” wrote Kong Tsung-gan, described as a writer, educator and activist living in Hong Kong.

“But in terms of the challenges they have posed to Communist Party rule, especially in the last decade, the peoples of the peripheries have an importance disproportionate to their numbers.”

Notice the writer refers to Xinjiang by the preferred name of Uygur separatists.

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The online Chinese-language Stand News recently ran an extended interview with well-known, China-born Mongolian cultural anthropologist Yang Haiying, a professor at Shizuoka University in Japan. The interview was conducted by the yellow-ribbon eminence grise Joseph Lian Yi-zheng.

Yang has conducted influential research exposing cruelties inflicted on Mongolians during the Cultural Revolution.

But Lian was more interested in asking leading questions ending in the conclusion that Mongolians are one people with a single unified culture with nothing in common with Han Chinese, and that Mongolia and the autonomous Inner Mongolia form a single natural nation.

Lian has been busy prophesying the coming collapse of China. Editorialising in Apple Daily, he imagined with glee China losing the latest trade war and what he called the second cold war. “Like the Soviet collapse, China could lose Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, Taiwan and even Hong Kong,” he wrote.

Lian teaches economics at Yamanashi Gakuin University, in Japan. He seems to have overlooked an obvious point.

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The collapse of the Soviet Union had little effect on the Western-led liberal economic order because its command economy was divorced from the rest of the global economy. The collapse of China would do irreparable damage to the world economy.

Still again, writing in The New York Times, in a column titled “Why are Hong Kong’s ‘localists’ on their own?”, Lian wrote: “They are trying to stop the barbarians at Hong Kong’s gate.”

But the barbarians are already among us. They are called “localists”; some of them even have PhDs.