Beijing has directed its “enough-is-enough” anger towards a small batch of rebellious Union Jack-obsessed Hongkongers who took pleasure in provoking the sovereign Motherland power into branding them unforgivable traitors calling for Hong Kong independence. First, the PLA responded with a weird military exercise staged in a remote corner of the New Territories. A hill was surrounded by Chinese soldiers shouting, “Lay down your arms and surrender, you are under siege,” in Cantonese—a gesture aimed at a particular target. Then two retired Chinese officials subtly reminded Hong Kong that its water supply could be cut off if the territory misbehaves—a threat reminiscent of the stand-off between the three Baltic states and Gorbachev in 1991, who threatened to cut off their fuel supply should they dare to choose to leave the Soviet family. But one of the two elder officials—who referred to those who advocate for Hong Kong independence as “sheer morons”—was found to have a granddaughter who was born in the United States and is now an American citizen. Also, the Union Jack flags in question were produced by a factory in Shenzhen, whose owner apparently didn’t mind that Hong Kong could one day declare itself a colony again, or an independent state, as long as its production bill was paid on time. Regardless, their “Big Thirst” plan could have a few technical problems in its implementation. Hong Kong is unfortunately blessed with a few reservoirs built by the Brits early last century. With the luck of a long rainy season, the city could survive without the Pearl River’s water resources for a while before the United Nations started to get concerned. In that case, the SAR government would get quite a headache drawing up the long list of business tycoons, civil servants and DAB party members who are too patriotic to be punished. Only die-hard separatists and Long Hair are to be denied access to potable water. But what about the ignorant and neutral majority, who have not heard about the Scottish referendum, and don’t have the vaguest clue what the word “independence” means? They would be allocated or awarded with a reasonable share of water until they learned to stand on the right side. This should be enough to deter the territory from sliding toward the dismal fate of proclaiming itself the Republic of Hong Kong, with the first elected president most likely a triad member with a tattooed back and kung fu training. He would no doubt have extensive administrative experience in drug-trafficking, nightclubs and massage parlors. HSBC might even be tempted to move its headquarters to the new capital, Mong Kok, to compete with the loan sharks. It’s not exactly a brilliant idea, especially since the triad members would be like a Republican Guard of Hong Kong. Faced with that nightmarish scenario, I would actually prefer the PLA soldiers, who look smarter in their green uniforms. Chip Tsao is a best-selling author, columnist and a former producer for the BBC. His columns have also appeared in Apple Daily, Next Magazine and CUP Magazine, among others.