Jason Chow's Speech on Hong Kong National Party - “Defend for Democracy, Hong Kong Independence” RallyTranscribed by William, translated by William and Sidney, spoken by Jason Chow Ho-fai
[ The English translation is released under Creative Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 ]
|(Source: Undergrad, HKUSU Instant News)|
Hello everyone, I am the spokesperson of the Hong Kong National Party. Well, on the rally last Friday, I mistakenly said that I was the convener - actually, I am the spokesperson, alright. My name is Chow Ho-fai, so today we have such a large and peaceful gathering; many were displeased with peaceful gatherings, or perhaps doubtful, and that is because the Pan-Democratic camp has for the last nineteen years, squandered each and every chance when we had one. Peaceful assemblies were supposed to be a way to gather the crowd, such that we can wait for an opening to put up a fight on the streets or to launch an operation against the government. Yet the Pan-Democrats dismissed the crowd and send everyone home at the boiling point, time after time. Many a great opportunity never have the chance to become something.
Before I say what I am supposed to say today, let me talk about our publicity materials. I trust that everybody here must have received leaflets on the footbridge over there, when you came here from the Admiralty Centre. On one side, it just says “Independence!” followed by an exclamation mark. So what is it all about? If you are holding one, you can take a look right now. Actually, it lists the doubts that many Hong Kong people, many normal citizens have: how would it be possible for Hong Kong to become independent, or specifically, why does Hong Kong have what it takes to become an independent sovereign state. They always say, “if we declare independence, then you won’t have a water supply, and you losers would starve”. That is not true actually, Hong Kong does not rely on China much in terms of food supply. In fact, China is the biggest food importer in the world. As for freshwater, Singapore utilizes desalination and Hong Kong can follow their example.
Many said that they are going to let loose the PLA, but then they did not do that on the 28th of September, they just called the police. Why did they not do that is important - Hong Kong is a place that holds a lot of capital and property for Xi Jinping, his families and many more CCP higher-ups, as they shift their assets out of China. As such, suggesting that the PLA would march out and purge Hong Kong is preposterous and I do not believe that it could happen.
That PLA barracks over there, don’t have the wrong idea that it houses a whole bunch of tough, seasoned warriors. The ones are garrisoned in Hong Kong, are the ones who got here via “guanxi” (special relationships). Because life in the Hong Kong Garrison is wonderful, it is not taxing at all. Shall we Hongkongers be afraid of them? Of course not. Why haven’t Hongkongers make a breakthrough politically all these years? It’s because our greatest fear lives in us ourselves. Hongkongers lack the courage to face their fears. They think that whoever makes the first move will be suppressed, or even have their property raided and confiscated. This fear came from the June 4th incident, when the older generations witnessed, either on television or at the Tiananmen Square, the PLA slaughtering the people with tanks and armies. Then, of course I should be talking about the conditions that make Hong Kong independence possible. I will now start what I really want to talk about today.
Hongkongers have faced many difficulties and hardships in these nineteen years. Ever since the Handover in 1997, Hongkongers went from fighting for high ideals such as political rights, to struggling for basic subsistence like living space. What we are facing today, what many Hongkongers are facing today is not just the loss of political rights or freedom, but an existential threat. You Hongkongers would find it extremely difficult to rent a flat, and even a niche for your ashes would be a hard to come by. It’s hard enough to sort out the funeral rites in Hong Kong after you die, not to mention actually living here.
We have gone from the pursuit of democracy and liberty, to struggling for basic survival rights and space. Then what made Hongkongers live in agony for the last nineteen years? It was that fateful night in 1997, when Hongkongers and Hong Kong did not choose a road to independence and self-sufficiency, but they chose, or rather, those so-called intellectuals and elites chose for all Hongkongers, and also the next generation, to return to China. They think that “democratic return to China” is the right thing to do, they think it is the only proper and just course. And so Hongkongers, including our generation, and the future generations, have to bear the consequences. We have to struggle for our own most basic right to live and basic freedoms.
Actually what I am trying to say is Hongkongers absolutely have the ability to govern ourselves. I believe Hongkongers do possess the ability to create a happy society, and I believe Hongkongers have the ability stand amongst the West or Japan, amongst these countries and not be found wanting. Yet why do Hongkongers today have to worry about whether our nominated candidates would be disqualified, and feel gracious when they aren’t? Why have we sunk so low? Many people claim that there is something wrong with Hong Kong, but no, Hong Kong is fine. All the problems are with the Chinese, China is the crux of the problem. The Chinese government is the problem, not you Hongkongers.
Hongkongers have wasted too much time. You have done nothing at all in these nineteen years. By nothing, I mean that all you have done is participating in peaceful gatherings - there is nothing wrong inherently with the gatherings, but you gained nothing valuable from them. You did not start to organize the resistance back then when Hong Kong fell to China. That’s what went wrong. We have started late, we need to catch up. Many questioned how could we possibly realize Hong Kong Independence, or they say ordinary citizens would not take heed because they value their job more than their rights. My response is this: every Hongkonger have their own part to play in furthering the goal of Hong Kong Independence. Everyone can do something within their own abilities and positions, like Hitsujiko just said - if you are part of the middle-class, you can make monetary contributions or support the movement; if you are working in IT, you can help Independentist organisations build their websites, can’t you?
I am confident that every citizen have a role to play in promoting Hong Kong Independence. They each have the ability to contribute. Many people (mistakenly) claim: “oh, revolution must be a sudden outburst, it must be done with guns, there must be confrontation with the police, or throwing bricks”, so one and so forth. But revolution not only a sudden outburst of passion, it is also a rational and calculated move. Sun Yat-sen attempted a grand total of eleven revolutions in China. The eleventh time finally worked out, and that, the Revolution of 1911 was just a fluke - the Hupeh garrison was rotated into Szechwan. Still, without Dr Sun, or Huang Hsing and the Revive China Society, without them evangelizing the cause in the South Seas, without them spreading ideas about revolution, the revolution would have never occurred in the first place.
And now what Hongkongers should do in these long and brooding days, besides waiting for the oncoming revolution, is to spread the words. Talk to your colleagues, your parents, your friends - tell them why Hong Kong must become independent now, why Hong Kong Independence is the only way out for each and every citizen. The path to independence may be perilous, but look to those standing with you, look at those familiar faces. In striving towards independence, you will not be alone.
In these nineteen years the Pan-Democrats have preached the concept of democracy at rallies, but how many truly understand what democracy is? The Pan-Democrats have their interpretation, the Pro-Establishments have another twisted and tortured interpretation, yet I reckon that there are two concepts central to democracy: first, the people, that is the nation of Hong Kong; secondly, the sovereignty of Hong Kong. The Pan-Democrats always say that even under the dominion of China, we can still fight for democracy, but we can’t. The Electoral Affairs Commission deprived so many pro-independence candidates of their right to run in an election, this precisely shows that under the grip of China, you Hongkongers would absolutely not be able to call the shots.
Democracy is just self-governance, self-determination. Yet under the oppression of China, it can never be achieved by Hongkongers. Why we have to declare independence, is because we have to take back our sovereignty, before we can control our destiny. Many people say that “peaceful, rational, non-violent, non-profane” assemblies are useless, but I disagree, because this is the first time the idea of Hong Kong Independence is openly promoted to all Hongkongers in such a public manner and in such a large scale. Today is just a forum, a rally at this Tamar Park, a venue where we can exchange ideas. But I hope that in the future, in the foreseeable future, we can return to this place, not for another rally, but for every citizen to gather around and make our own Hong Kong’s Tennis Court Oath! Thank you everyone.