Liaison Office's Belligerent, Local Awareness RaisedTranslated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, written by Chan Ya-ming
Chan Ya-ming is the former editor-in-chief in The Undergrad, HKUSU.
Zhang Xiaoming overtly belittled the legislature and judiciary and lifted the status of the CE - this is in line with the policy of "Sai Wan/Western district ruling Hong Kong" (西環治港). But those Communists did not realise that what they did has just worsened the situation.
Before 1997, the Communist Party had a plan of three "reunifications": sovereignty, jurisdiction and people's hearts. The sovereignty was transferred in 1997, but the jurisdiction has not. Lots of measures have been done to "reform the jurisdiction": tightening of "high degree of autonomy" since 1997, "Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong" became "Party's people ruling Hong Kong" and the establishment of the Second Ruling Core.
As to people's hearts, or "youth work" in CY's words, refers to changing the mindsets of Hongkongers. It might take a few generation but this is what worries the Communist most. Since 2012, the Second Ruling Core of Chinese Liaison Office has floated to the surface in interfering the politics in Hong Kong. CY Leung is but a puppet carrying Sai Wan's order. The establishment camp is not managed by the CE either, instead, Sai Wan again. After the constitutional reform saga on 18th June 2015, the pro-Beijing camp directly went to Sai Wan and explain it to Zhang, not even explaining to CY Leung. Since a thoroughly-red person became a CE, the jurisdiction has been shifted to Sai Wan. The Second Ruling Core actually became the first.
By lifting the status of Leung, Zhang trampled upon the legislature and judiciary, as to further alter the jurisdiction. Now, the bête noire of Beijing is the right of denial in the hands of pan-dem in LegCo, or the bigger one being, not yet exercising control over the judiciary. In the eyes of Communists, the Judiciary is the political tool of the ruling class, and must be held in the hands of the Party. But in a short period of time, Sai Wan cannot control the judiciary. Belittling legislature and judiciary and lifting the status of CE to "being superior over the powers" is the way of Sai Wan in altering the jurisdiction. At the end, lifting the status of a puppet is to remove the autonomy and transfer the authority to the Party.
The main reason of doing so is because CY performed badly in opinion polls, and he has no friends in the establishment camp, and therefore has to rely on the Liaison Office to keep his post. But no only is he having a poor performance in public opinion, the pro-Beijing camp is dissatisfied by him. The Liberal Party recently became the antagonists of CY's opinion of "appropriately proactive". James Tien has become an opponent after saying Leung should resign. Leung reaps what he sows - after firing Tsang Tak-sing, the brother of Jasper Tsang (both are traditional leftists), Leung caused the schism within the pro-Beijing camp. This is something what Sai Wan did not foresee.
To the Party, "winning the hearts and minds" is the real reunification. Leung's governance is extremely in line with this, from National Education to using his authority against The Undergrad. After the Umbrella Revolution, Leung did not respond with carrot, but a bigger rod instead, and even said youngsters should leave Hong Kong for further development.
After almost a year, Sai Wan still keeps on lifting the status of a CE without legitimacy, causing further abhorrence among the millennials. The democracy path is completely blocked as Sai Wan rules. Youngsters are not the puppets of the Communists. By experiencing so much, they will think "One Country, Two Systems" is but a failure. Some softer pan-dem groups have their local discourse, and some others promoted Hong Kong Reform Discourse. Some non-localist students also wanted a referendum, as a reflection over the issue of the deadline in 2047. These are trends towards localism.
The Communist Party keeps on suppressing Hong Kong's democracy, and the failure of One Country, Two Systems by Sai Wan ruling Hong Kong are reasons of resistance among youngsters who support democracy, and thus strong localist sentiment has grown as a response. What a karma!