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Hong Kong localism and independence

If Hong Kong wants democracy, it must win Beijing’s trust

  • The central government will become magnanimous only when it is confident our government can crack down on acts that may harm the national interest or security
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 November, 2018, 1:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 November, 2018, 1:00pm

I am writing in response to Ronald Chiu’s argument, claiming that the Basic Law of Hong Kong is not meant to lead to democracy (“Hong Kong’s Basic Law is fundamentally undemocratic and must go”, November 3). Mr Chiu quoted several articles of the Basic Law and appeared to unveil the secret hand of the central government as interfering in the democratic progress in the special administrative region.

I would not deny the fact that local government officials have to factor in the central government’s reaction when they are implementing policies, especially if the policies involve issues that may concern or even pose a threat to the national interest (“‘Irreplaceable’: Xi praises Hong Kong, urges integration with China’s plans”, November 12). We may become pessimistic when we realise that Hong Kong people seem to have no bargaining power, no matter what point of history we are at, either under colonial rule or now as a part of China. If before we had to gain the approval of the Crown, now we need the green light from the Communist Party when we are drafting our policies.

Yet, I would say at this moment, gaining the trust of the central government is the only option to fight for democratic progress. The central government will become magnanimous only when it is confident our government is capable of cracking down on acts that may harm the national interest and security. Our chief executive seems to understand this rule. Pro-independence voices are being dealt with firmly under her stewardship (“Beijing shows softer side as Carrie Lam takes grip”, November 1).

You may ask, what if the Chinese government is so dictatorial that a revolution is inevitable? No one knows yet. But, before resorting to violent behaviour, why not wait and see?

John Yau, Kwun Tong