In Hong Kong’s district council elections on Nov. 24, the pro-democracy camp won just more than 81 percent of the seats, dealing the pro-Beijing camp a crushing defeat. The New People’s Party, chaired by Regina Ip (葉劉淑儀), failed to secure a single seat.
Ip, who worked hard to push for national security legislation during her stint as the Hong Kong secretary for security, was severely punished by voters for supporting police violence.
Although district councils have very little say within Hong Kong’s political framework, the pro-democracy camp has equated the elections to a referendum, and this carries far-reaching political implications.
The democratic camp is not resting on its laurels, and the Civic Party has said that young protesters are not to be forgotten, as the landslide victory came at the cost of several lives.
The elected councilors must not let their memory or the public down, and they must consolidate their support to make as much as possible of the victory.
After the elections, councilors-elect representing about 1.6 million voters rushed to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to rescue the students still trapped there.
However, Beijing sings the same old tune, as it always treats public opinion as its enemy, and the Hong Kong administration continues to serve the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The territory has a long and uncertain road ahead of it, and Western countries should not assume that the CCP has been taught a lesson. Faced with these peaceful, rational and non-violent elections, will the Chinese and Hong Kong governments change their policies and tell the officials responsible to step down?
The election victory was a result of pro-democracy camp unity, as those campaigning focused on safeguarding Hong Kong’s core values of democracy and the rule of law without calling for independence.
Even so, the pro-democracy camp — including well-known activist Leung “Long Hair” Kwok-hung (梁國雄) — was defeated in 12 districts due to internecine fighting.
According to a friend who closely followed the elections, Leung was running for a seat in the same district as a “brave” — a young activist.
Instead of trying to negotiate with the young candidate, Leung squeezed him out using his star power, and when the young man returned to the street, he was arrested.
This caused a lot of discontent among pro-democracy voters, who refused to vote for Leung.
Leung, who used to be the most radical pro-democracy activist, must move with the times as he deals with today’s young “braves.”
In the past, his comrade Lau Shan-ching (劉山青) was imprisoned in China for 10 years for trying to rescue a Chinese democracy activist in Guangzhou, but Lau has stubbornly criticized these “braves” for hurting Hong Kong’s image.
This is a common phenomenon whenever old revolutionaries confront new problems.
This raises the question of whether Taiwan will vote against pro-Chinese parties in next month’s presidential and legislative elections.
Just look at the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) list of legislator-at-large nominees: The KMT has actually put retired lieutenant general Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷) in fourth place, despite his calls for Taiwan to join hands with China against the US.
According to the Green Party Taiwan’s calculations, Wu would not be elected if the KMT receives less than 1.59 million votes in the legislative elections, and Taiwan would then be able to avoid the risk that Wu, upon entering the Legislative Yuan, would start offering the CCP Taiwanese and US military secrets.
Former legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅), who moves back and forth between the KMT and the New Party, was very excited to fly to China to promote cross-strait unification immediately after the New Party gave him the top spot on its legislator-at-large list.
That would place Taiwan in the same situation as Hong Kong and could well result in a repeat of the 228 Incident.
KMT supporters should seriously consider KMT vice presidential candidate Simon Chang’s (張善政) suggestion that they vote for other parties.
Democracy and sovereignty are Taiwan’s core values. Supporters of Taiwanese independence and Republic of China (ROC) independence should learn from Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp and join hands.
Rather than arguing about the nation’s name, they should work together to maintain its de facto independence, using “ROC, Taiwan” (中華民國台灣), and reject the pro-China parties that are working for unification with the People’s Republic of China.
Despite seeing what is happening in Hong Kong, these unconscionable pro-China people still call for “one China.”
Considering what they say and do, the possibility that they are doing it to help the CCP divide Taiwan must be seriously considered.
Paul Lin is a political commentator.
Translated by Eddy Chang
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