A “white paper” issued by China reiterating its control over Hong Kong was intended to intimidate not only the former British colony, but also Taiwan, local activists said yesterday, adding that this intention needs to be recognized.
Exiled Chinese dissident Wang Dan (王丹) said Beijing choosing to release the paper on Tuesday was undoubtedly an attempt to browbeat Hong Kongers planning an occupation protest next month into scrapping the demonstration, called “Occupy Central [District] with Love and Peace.”
“This patronizing posture has betrayed Beijing’s apprehension over Occupy Central,” he wrote on Facebook. “If Hong Kongers are frightened into submission this time, they will be slaves from then on. [I] hope that, instead, they defy the white paper by showing even more courage and solidarity.”
Such targeted coercion from China should be palpably felt by Taiwan, student activist Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) said, warning that although it is about Hong Kong, the Chinese State Council’s paper was written with an eye on Taiwan.
“After all, the paper’s text says that China’s ‘one country, two systems’ policy ‘means there is only but one China and under this premise the mainland adheres to the socialist system while Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan may retain their capitalist systems over a long time to come,’” said Chen, one of the leaders of the Sunflower movement against the government’s handling of the cross-strait service pact.
“And the ‘one country, two systems’ policy implemented in Hong Kong is an experiment that the Chinese Communist Party is conducting under its aim to one day achieve reunification with Taiwan,” he said. “That is clear from [the overlapping paths] trod by Hong Kong and Taiwan — the Free Independent Travel Scheme media monopoly and the CEPA and ECFA,” Chen said, referring to the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement and Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement that Hong Kong and Taiwan signed with China respectively in 2003 and 2010.
Chen urged Taiwanese to read into what Beijing said about the “outside forces” that try “to use Hong Kong to interfere in China’s domestic affairs” and “act in collusion” with the territory.
“Beijing dreads us ‘colluding’ with Hong Kong to form a united resistance,” he said. “As I have said before, Taiwan has long been independent, which means defending its autonomy and consolidating its democracy are one and the same. We support Hong Kong’s democratic movement because [Taiwan and Hong Kong] face the same threat.”
The paper saying that “China’s central government has comprehensive jurisdiction over all local administrative regions, including the [Hong Kong Special Administrative Region]” is “an evident snub to the 1997 Sino-British Joint Declaration,” said Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), an associate researcher at Academia Sinica and leading figure in the Sunflower movement.
“It is also a public reminder to Hong Kongers that they are no longer [politically] valued since the territory is now owned [by Beijing],” he added.
Huang said President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has no concern for the nation, otherwise it would not insist on “shoving Taiwan into a fiery pit” after witnessing the Chinese government’s arbitrariness in making good on promises.
As of press time, Ma had not made any comment about the policy paper and Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) yesterday said the party lamented the silence.