Kaohsiung Mayor and rising Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) star Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) visited Hong Kong last week. Hong Kongers already had a bad impression of Han after he made up stories about the Hong Kong Jockey Club, but this time he upset even more people by visiting China’s Hong Kong Liaison Office.
In Hong Kongers’ eyes, the liaison office plays a role similar to that of the office of the Japanese Resident-General of Korea, which dominated Korea before Japan annexed it and was the forerunner of the post-annexation office of the Governor-General of Korea.
Beijing does not yet rule Hong Kong directly, but it treats Hong Kong’s chief executive as a puppet, while the liaison office makes the real policy decisions.
When Western heads of state or senior officials visit Hong Kong, they meet the chief executive as a matter of courtesy, but they generally avoid causing public resentment by visiting the liaison office.
Why did Han choose to visit the liaison office? It shows that he and the people around him have let the promise of fame and wealth lure them into acting on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Many Hong Kongers think that Han is the vanguard for China’s invasion of free Taiwan. It should come as no surprise that Hong Kongers often pillory Han in online forums, especially considering how much the younger generation has shifted toward supporting independence.
Television news clips showed that the people who welcomed Han to Hong Kong were mostly of the older generation or Taiwanese businesspeople. Many of them sided with the CCP long ago.
For example, the 123 Democratic Alliance — a defunct party that represented the KMT’s remnants in Hong Kong — originally belonged to the democracy camp, but after it was dissolved in 2000, many of its members turned communist.
Tuen Mun District Councilor Ching Chi Hung (程志紅) is a case in point. She joined the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, which is no different from joining the CCP itself.
The only pro-KMT politician in Hong Kong who has stuck to his political beliefs is Yuen Long District Councilor Johnny Mak (麥業成), who has formed a small party called the Democratic Alliance.
All the others have changed to having standpoints that are either loathsome or ambiguous.
Anyone who cherishes Taiwan’s democracy and sovereignty is sure to dislike Han, but what about those who continue to cling to Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) statement that “gentlemen and bandits cannot coexist”?
What do they think of Han and his communist-friendly activities? How is he different from Fu Zuoyi (傅作義), the KMT general who defected to the communists and let the CCP’s army take Beijing without a fight, and who later became a high-ranking official in the CCP government?
The KMT’s talk of “safeguarding the Republic of China [ROC]” is utterly bogus.
As former premier and presidential hopeful William Lai (賴清德) of the Democratic Progressive Party says, Taiwan is already independent and its formal title is the ROC.
However, the KMT no longer wants the ROC; it does not even want itself. For the sake of power and money, it has become a part of the CCP.
Han’s words and deeds are cast-iron proof of that.
Martin Oei is a Hong Kong-born British political commentator based in Germany.
Translated by Julian Clegg
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