Others cannot solve our own problems

Opposition figures are wrong to think they can run to London or Washington to internationalise conflicts between Hong Kong and the mainland

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 September, 2018, 9:01am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 September, 2018, 9:01am

No well-functioning government in the world would tolerate outside interference.

Whatever you think about the central government, it is behind a well-functioning state. So, besides the historical sensitivity of Chinese to Western meddling, it’s just a function of the modern sovereign state to resist outsiders sticking their noses where they don’t belong.

The only states that have to tolerate outside interference are failed ones, where life is poor, nasty, brutish and short.

It’s a fundamental error among many opposition figures – such as Martin Lee Chu-ming, Anson Chan Fang On-sang and Joshua Wong Chi-fung – to think they can achieve anything by running to London and Washington, to try to internationalise cross-border conflicts and problems between the mainland and Hong Kong. Only we can resolve our own problems; and yes, I admit, they are legion.

I have some sympathy with the British government. Under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, it at least has a treaty obligation to keep an interest in the well-being of its former colony. Contrary to our last colonial governor Chris Patten, the light touch of the current Tory government, as articulated by Simon McDonald, permanent undersecretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in an interview with the Post, is exactly right.

Ex-governor Patten tells UK to speak up when ‘two systems’ undermined

If it wishes, Britain should set an example for the importance of the rule of law and democracy. But beyond that, its primary interest in Hong Kong is economic; trade and an open market with China are its real concerns.

As for Patten denouncing his government every few weeks for being dishonourable and not speaking up for “one country, two systems”, it’s really his own egotism talking. Cheered on by his friends in the local opposition, he is shouting in an echo chamber.

As for Washington, I have no idea why anyone thinks its interests in Hong Kong, obviously politically tainted, are in anyway legitimate, or even beneficial. Americans allow lunatics to own guns and kill children in schools. They imprison and kill minorities, mostly blacks and illegal immigrants, through a nationwide prison system, and brutal police and border control forces. Their dominant political party is beholden to corporate interests. Their elected president is totally unfit for office.

I am sure we Chinese could propose many solutions to help Americans resolve their national problems. They would all look good on paper, but only Americans can solve their own problems. Outside interests, rightly resisted as interference, would only make things worse.