Time for the CCP to come out of the shadows

  • The Chinese Communist Party understandably wanted to lay low in Hong Kong during a period of transition after the 1997 handover
  • Surely it’s time for the nation’s ruling party to be allowed to operate like any other political party in Hong Kong
PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 November, 2018, 7:00pm
UPDATED : Friday, 30 November, 2018, 10:08pm

The Chinese Communist Party understandably wanted to lay low in Hong Kong during a period of transition after the 1997 handover of sovereignty. But after more than two decades, it’s time to come out of the shadows.

Meanwhile, the People’s Liberation Army should consider accepting recruits from Hong Kong. As it would be purely voluntary, why shouldn’t young people in Hong Kong be given the option to serve their country?

If Beijing increasingly wants to make its views known to the Hong Kong public, it’s perfectly legitimate to let the party operate like any other local political party, with the ability to accept members, receive donations and campaign in elections.

It is, after all, the nation’s ruling party. The city’s historical circumstances that made it necessary for the party to operate clandestinely during colonial rule and to adopt a low profile after 1997 no longer apply.

It’s high time for Beijing to let the party register under Hong Kong’s Societies Ordinance.

This question came up in the legislature this week as pro-Beijing legislators rounded on the Hong Kong government.

Recognise Communist Party as China’s rulers, Hong Kong legislators say

Wong Kwok-kin, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, asked: “Why can’t the Hong Kong government be upright and frank in recognising that the Chinese Communist Party is the ruling party in China?”

Fellow traveller and lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu said: “Being a CCP member is nothing shameful. The CCP is the ruling party in China and its existence and operation in the city can surely go above board.”

But they are barking up the wrong tree. Clearly, the Hong Kong government is completely passive in this hypersensitive matter and will not move a finger without indications from the north.

Ho even suggested amending the Societies Ordinance to exempt the party from having to register in Hong Kong. But why can’t it register under the ordinance and function like any other normal political party here? Even the ruling party is still a political party.

The central government and its representatives in Hong Kong are always saying people here need a better understanding of the mainland and to “love Hong Kong, love the nation”.

Well, one significant and logical step is to offer the option for Hong Kong people to join the party and/or the army.

Ho is right: why should anyone hide his or her party membership as if it’s something “shameful”?