Hong Kong’s student localists can achieve little without engaging Beijing
In recent years, localism has become the main political ideology of most university student unions, which emphasise that Hong Kong is different from the mainland.
Many such “localist” union officers are no longer interested in current affairs on the mainland, just because they do not support its political system. Union leaders argue that Hongkongers aren’t responsible for fighting for the end of one-party rule and for democracy on the mainland.
Reading news reports about all eight student unions of local universities again boycotting the annual June 4 vigil of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, I was reminded of the annual elections at my college union.
During the election forum, I asked the officers the reason for fighting for democracy for Hong Kong only. They told me that struggling for all of China was more “costly” than promoting “self-determination”, because the veterans’ efforts have been in vain despite their decades-long struggle. The officers also believe that Hong Kong should avoid any influence from the mainland.
Perhaps their frustration at the lack of democratic progress is just an excuse. Their irrational opposition towards all of mainland China has limited their vision.
I pray that the facts bring them back to reality. An increasing number of anti-Communist politicians are being labelled “separatists” and facing more intense political pressure, even if they do not support the independence of Hong Kong.
A good politician should have not just a good political ideology, but also a good strategy. Dissatisfaction with the mainland system can never change the fact that Beijing is the boss of Hong Kong. How can we achieve our aims for the city without engaging Beijing? I wonder how such naive radicals can contribute to our democratic progress.
Henry Wong, Kennedy Town