On the eve of the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s 1997 handover to China, Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) urged Taiwanese to be vigilant of the development of bilateral relations between Hong Kong and China, which he said have turned from economic dependence to social conflict.
“With the bond between Hong Kong and China growing stronger, the [Beijing’s pledge] of ‘Hong Kong administering Hong Kong’ has became nothing but empty words. Hong Kong’s relations with China have gone from being highly economic dependent to social collision, then to making political concessions. Those are the lessons people in Taiwan as well as the government must be aware of,” Su said on his Facebook page yesterday.
The structural changes and economic outlook of the Hong Kong special administrative region still remain critical issues that need to be closely watched by the international community, he added.
To mark the anniversary, Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) arrived in Hong Kong for a three-day visit on Friday, but the supposedly celebratory visit has been met with crowds of indignant protesters and turned into a security issue, he said.
Another issue of great concern lies in whether universal values such as democracy, freedom and human rights have been rightfully and truly exercised in Hong Kong under the mode of “one country, two systems,” Su said.
“Former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) promised to keep Hong Kong unchanged for 50 years after unification, a once lofty promise that has became nothing but whispery sounds falling into the bottomless black hole of history. The words scoff at the [political] reality of Hong Kong,” Su said.
The ties between Hong Kong and China have become closer than ever over the past 15 years, but with greater economic dependence comes a stronger reliance and with deeper social exchange comes more clashes, he said.
“Although we are at a point in time when Taiwan can no longer avoid bilateral exchanges with China, the public should be vigilant and learn from the lessons Hong Kong has taught us from deepening its economic, social and political ties with Beijing,” Su said.
Translated by Stacy Hsu, staff writer