Hong Kong is now facing the biggest disaster since Tung Chee-hwa (董建華) took office. A chief executive who blindly worships the authorities in Beijing and takes his cues from them is now finally in deep trouble after following the orders of the Beijing government and aggressively pushing for the anti-subversion bill mandated by Article 23 of the Basic Law. The Hong Kong government, which was initially scheduled to push the bill through a second reading at the legislature today, all of a sudden saw one of its allies -- the Liberal Party -- turn against it on Sunday evening. Tung immediately lost his control over a majority in the Legislative Council. He had no choice but to delay the legislature's reading for the anti-subversion bill.
Bryan Weng (翁松燃), a former professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, pointed out that maintaining China's stability, not Hong Kong's, is the rationale behind the Hong Kong government's neglect of the public's anger and its insistence on passing a law that poses a massive threat to freedom and human rights in Hong Kong. Weng's point should be considered by all Taiwanese. Since the June 4 Tiananmen square massacre of 1989, Hong Kong has become a major sanctuary and stronghold for exiled Chinese democrats. The Hong Kong media have also frequently run reports and commentaries inimical to the Communist Party of China. Such discourse has decreased significantly since Hong Kong's handover to Chinese rule in 1997, but the CPC still doesn't want to ease its grip.
Communist cadres, who are used to hearing eulogies from their subordinates and the general public, find such dissent very annoying and naturally want to get rid of it. Looking at the political history of the 20th century, the CPC's first and foremost mission after gaining power has been to annihilate freedom of the press and to seek control over public discourse. The CPC people are also very much into building personality cults that turn the party and its leaders into great benevolent gods, so as to maintain their grip on power by making the public stupid. Therefore, they find any criticism of the CPC's myths or suspicion of its policies extremely infuriating and intolerable.
From the viewpoint of Beijing, "political poisonous grass" is growing in Hong Kong under "one country, two systems" and the people of Hong Kong must sacrifice their interests for the sake of the motherland's political interests. Despite Beijing's promise to the British that Hong Kong would remain unchanged for 50 years after the handover, the promise has certainly been forgotten under realpolitik considerations.
The future political development of Hong Kong under "one country, two systems" is already very clear. A society that has long enjoyed a high degree of freedom will have to toe the line of a society that does not have that kind of freedom. Under the supreme principle of safeguarding CPC rule, the party's will override everything else, including freedom and human rights. Hence the free society will inevitably move toward an authoritarian one.
Through its agent, Tung, Beijing has been attempting to fight against democracy. Such attempts have finally triggered public anger which exploded in the form of a 500,000-strong protest. We would like to praise the people of Hong Kong for the brave step they have taken to express their will and safeguard their political interests. They have caused Tung to relent and given Beijing a taste of the power of public opinion. However, the event has also helped Taiwanese people concerned about politics to clearly see exactly what kind of drug is contained inside the "one country, two systems" bottle.