Straight Talk with Kurt Tong (26.2.2019) - Full Transcript

Straight Talk with Kurt Tong (26.2.2019) - Full Transcript

MC: Hello I’m Michael Chugani and this is Straight Talk. With me today is the US Consul General, Mr Kurt Tong. Thank you very much. Now, Mr Consul General, you were here about a year ago. 

KT: About a year ago, yes. Thanks, Michael.

MC: In that year, a lot has happened. Since you last came, we’ve had the trade war, we’ve got legislative councillors who were disqualified, we’ve got a national anthem law and we have a congressional report that said we should reassess the Hong Kong Policy Act. I’m going to start off with the trade war because just yesterday President Donald Trump said okay, negotiations have gone well and he’s going to delay the tariffs for a while. Now, Mr Consul General, a lot of people say, critics say that the trade war was not necessary, and it was America’s way to try and suppress the rise of China. Would you say that was true?

KT: Well, thanks Michael and thank you for having me again this year. It’s been...I enjoyed...it’s a really good opportunity to have some dialogue. The situation with the ongoing trade negotiations, I would characterize it as “we’ve entered a second overtime”. We’ve had a brief first overtime for about two days and then the president, as you said, has indicated that he’s going to postpone raising US tariffs for a period of time while we have future negotiations. I think the US continues to have high expectations for these talks. There's a lot of very important structural issues that we’re now substantively engaged on. We have a clear agenda and there is a reason to think that we can actually have a significant breakthrough in improving the nature of the US-China economic relationships, which the US as you know had a lot of points of dissatisfaction with. So, I’m hopeful that these negotiations would go well and that is pretty much the intentions of the talks...the tariffs you know, are an action-forcing event. They focus the mind and they help China understand to the degree of which the US really consider these problems that are buildup in the nature of the US-China economic relationship to be very serious.

MC: Was it necessary? Because people say that it’s hurt both the US and it’s hurt China, it definitely has hurt Hong Kong, and that it could’ve been settled without tariffs, and that by imposing these tariffs, President Trump is trying to, I asked, again to suppress the rise of China.

KT: That’s clearly not the case. We’re not trying to suppress the rise of China, we’re trying to interest China and create incentive for China to focus on significant problems that are...

MC: Have they been playing unfair?

KT: Who?

MC: China. In trade.

KT: Yes. Absolutely. It’s been an unfair...
MC: In areas like technology transfer, forced technology transfer.

KT: Unfair and non-reciprocal on trading relationship in the way it’s been structured, and particularly, as with respect to technology and investment. So, we focus the mind through tariffs and have had negotiations. This is not uncommon in global commerce or trade negotiations. 

MC: Sure, now the thing is that I’m going to link that with the Huawei issue, with the arrest of a senior Huawei official. 

KT: Well, that’s the wrong thing to do, because they’re not linked.

MC: OK, they are not linked. But you know, it’s been said that the two are separate. I understand that but people, critics look at it as one whole thing. You’ve got the trade war, you’ve got the arrest of the Huawei official and then you’ve got the US trying to stop Huawei into dominating 5G. All these things combined…

KT: Well, critic... 

MC: ...will give people an impression that they’re trying to suppress the rise of China.

KT: Right, and those people, those critics are incorrect. There's no linkage between the Huawei technology issue, the specific case against Mrs Meng [sic] or the ongoing bilateral trade negotiations. These are separate things and that’s the way the real world works. Now, there’s a talking point that is being issued by the Chinese side that the United States is interested in containing or suppressing China.

MC: Right.

KT: That is a talking point also intended to create leverage and motivate people to…

MC: You’re not trying to do that? You’re not trying to do that? The US is not trying to do that?

KT: That’s right. We’re trying to resolve specific problems in specific ways using specific levers. When someone breaks the law, you have a law enforcement action. When there’s a technological risk, that will be considered debated and as you seen there's been a lot of countries considering the right way to deal with the risk mitigation, with respect to technologies coming out, particularly 5G. And in trade area, trade investment area, you have a negotiation. If you need to create leverage in order to have that negotiation, you create leverage and have a negotiation. This is how the real world works.

MC: Okay, I’m going to bring the issue back to Hong Kong now because we’re in Hong Kong and I think one of the things that concerns a lot of Hong Kong people, especially businesses in Hong Kong. Is that congressional report that came out that said that because they see Hong Kong’s autonomy is diminishing, perhaps it’s time to reassess to giving Hong Kong a special customs status, right? Now, you have said, Mr Consul General, that they’re not going to take...the US is not going to take back the Hong Kong Relations Act for the time being, is that right?

KT: So, the most important point to make is...and you’ve said all the way from trade negotiations to the Hong Kong Policy Act, there’s no relationship between those issues as well. 

MC: Yes, of course. It’s a separate issue.

KT: It’s entirely separate issues and the Hong Kong Policy Act is a piece of US legislation that allows the United States to treat Hong Kong differently than it treats the rest of China for purpose of the US law. That will continue as long as Hong Kong continues to be substantively autonomous in those various areas of US laws. So, I think...again it’s a much more legalistic, methodical, scientific conversation that is often portrayed. So...I think that we will issue another report again soon, coming out of the State Department, the consulate assisted in the creation of that. It will report the reality of Hong Kong…

MC: What is the reality, Mr Consul General?

KT: ...situation and autonomy. The reality is that Hong Kong continues in many ways, in many areas to enjoy a high degree of autonomy but there are issues on areas for concern, in particular this last year 2018 was not a particular good year for Hong Kong’s autonomy. There were signs for increasing pressure put on Hong Kong’s political space and some unfortunate events have happened in 2018 which created a sense that Hong Kong may be losing some of that grip on autonomy. So, I think the report is likely to reflect that fact but also will be fair in assessing the overall balance of the pros and cons with respect to autonomy. 

MC: I’m going to try and pin you down on that. Now, the last time you were here, you said that the emphasis seems to be less on autonomy and more on “One Country”. That’s what you said last time. Now, you’re saying a new report is coming out…

KT: It’s required by Congress…

MC: Sure, right. And things have happened, unfortunate things. I think what you meant was that you’ve had candidates being disqualified to run in elections, you’ve had a foreign journalist expelled for hosting a talk at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club by a pro-independence party. Then you’ve got people in Hong Kong saying free speech has limits, you cannot even talk about independence. You, when you were last here, you said, free speech is free speech, right? And as long as it’s peaceful, it should be allowed, right? Now, you are now saying that the new report, as required by law, will come out soon, and it will reflect these things. How strongly will it reflect these things that the autonomy is now under threat?

KT: Well, the report is yet to be issued. You know, I don’t want to lessen your enthusiasm for actually reading it when it comes out. But the point that matters is that I think there’s been a trend in the last few years and in 2018 in particular of emphasis on “One Country” in ways that impinged on the realization on the full benefits of “Two Systems”, and the autonomy, the high degree of autonomy that Hong Kong is supposed to enjoy under the Basic Law.
So the thing that concerns me is that concern from the mainland side about politics in Hong Kong. Hong Kong politics is different than mainland politics and that’s… I understand that it’s uncomfortable for the mainland. But that kind of pressure that’s being applied can impact the political sphere in Hong Kong in a narrowing political space, that a deeper concern for US interests is that it could actually, over time, start to influence the economic spheres as well. And really this year, we’re experiencing… we’ve enjoyed the 175th anniversary of our consulate, we’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on what our consulate is about, what the US presence is about in Hong Kong? When you really dig into it, a lot of it is about economic ties, trade, investments and business. And if that political atmosphere changes to a sufficient extent, it ends up hurting the business environment that would be very problematic I think for everyone involved, for the United States, for China, for Hong Kong people certainly and even for the region.

MC: Okay. Quick break. See you soon.


MC: Thanks for staying with us. This is Straight Talk. With me is Mr Kurt Tong, he is the Consul General of the US. Now, Mr Tong, before the break, we talked about the US Policy Act, I think that’s one thing that concerns a lot of people in Hong Kong. And you did say that what concerns the US is that, as people see autonomy eroding, and more focus being put on “One Country”, rather than “Two Systems”, it could then spill to affecting business ties, the business atmosphere, and that concerns the US because you have got a lot of companies in Hong Kong that do business here, right?

KT: Yes. A huge presence.

MC: Exactly. Now, you know last year when you are here, you did say and I will say it again that you felt that emphasis is now more on “One Country” than “Two Systems”, and autonomy is eroding. A new report is coming out again, and I’m sure, even though you won’t tell me what it is, it is still being done, I don’t think that it will say “everything is fine”. I am sure it will say that “things are not fine”, right? Now, how much worse does it need to get before the US congress says “okay, now we must take a serious look at whether we should give Hong Kong special status”.

KT: So, there is no autonomy meter, right? And it’s not…

MC: That I do know, but Mr Consul General, you have said that…

KT: Let me…

MC: Okay.

KT: It’s not… so my point being that it is not a black or white question. And the report and what not will be very careful to be fact-based, to be careful and assessments, and make sure that we get our stories straight. The Hong Kong Policy Act provides a legal framework for a variety of activities and cooperation, application of US law, to the relationship between the United States and Hong Kong. The likely way that things will happen going forward is that there will be, some scrutiny of the various aspects of implementation of that law. And if there is autonomy in those areas of application, then it will continue just fine. And I expect that mostly the case in most areas going forward. In a specific area, bilateral activity, like say law enforcement cooperation, things are going great, Hong Kong is showing a high degree of autonomy, Hong Kong is acting like a “Two Systems” special place, then the US will continue to treat it as such.

MC: But what areas do you feel that autonomy is eroding? 

KT: Well, in the biggest implication, I think it’s in the political sphere again, that political activities have been constrained, you talked about some of the negative events with respect to the freedom of expression, over the past year…

MC: Will those things be…

KT: And that’s the concern. So that is the general background, and then when you consider the Hong Kong Policy Act and US-Hong Kong cooperation, in some ways it's more specific to various activities.

MC: Do you expect, I know this is like you don't know yet, but do you expect that when the report comes out, it will be more critical than the one before?

KT: Well, I think, given what I have told you about our assessment of the previous year, I think that could be the case, yes.

MC: It would be more critical than the one… because the one before drew a very angry response from Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive, right? So, you said the new one coming out will be even worse? 

KT: It’s an uncomfortable thing for one government to make a report about the activities of another government.

MC: Sure.

KT: Or either the Hong Kong government or the mainland government. That’s an uncomfortable thing, people sometimes react to that. I get it, we are required by law because of these special circumstances of “One Country, Two Systems”. And being allowed under US law to apply these special positive aspects of a unique relationship.

MC: Well, I’ll ask you…

KT: We are required to report on it, and we will report on it, and people might not like what we say, but we…

MC: But it’s the US law, so you report on it, right? Now, I am going to ask you one more question, and then I will move on. Now, you think the report will be worse than the one, well, more critical than the one last year, right? Okay, fine. Now, can I assume that it will be more critical because in that year, you have had candidates being disqualified, you have had a journalist being expelled, you have had a political party being banned, and then the insistence that you cannot even talk peacefully about independence, if you do you will no longer be able to run for elected office again. Are these the things that will make the report more critical? 

KT: You have cited some important examples of what we would consider negative trends in autonomy in Hong Kong’s political space.

MC: So those were the issues that will make the report more critical? 

KT: Again, I hope you look forward to reading it.

MC: But then the point will not be reached. In your opinion, as Consul General, the point will not be reached for the Congress to say “we are going to take away the Policy Act”?

KT: Well, the act will require another act of Congress to change, and I haven’t seen anyone suggest that.

MC: Alright, okay. Now, I am going to move on. We have got another thing here now that a lot of controversies, an extradition proposal from the government, stemming from an alleged murder case in Taiwan, involving a Hong Kong person.

KT: Right.

MC: Now, you know, the funny thing is a lot of people in Hong Kong, politicians saying “fine, let’s have one with Taiwan”, but they’re worried about having one with mainland China, right? And the reason being that if you allow that, then Beijing can demand to have this or that person to be extradited for political reasons, right? Now, the US and China, you do have a treaty, right, the US and China, you have a…

KT: No.

MC: You do have one.

KT: With Hong Kong.

MC: With Hong Kong? Not with… I am sorry, yes. You have one with Hong Kong, but not with mainland.

KT: Because of the Hong Kong Policy Act…

MC: Exactly, right.

KT: and “One Country, Two Systems”.

MC: And that came about 20 something years ago with Hong Kong, right? 

KT: We had one predating the handover, but that agreement is remained enforced, again because of the Hong Kong Policy Act allowing us to do that.

MC: So, are you worried that you have one with Hong Kong, and then if Hong Kong said “could you please extradite this person to Hong Kong?”, is the US worried that if Hong Kong has one now with mainland China, then that person upon arriving in Hong Kong, the Chinese government can say “we want that person over there”. Does that worry you?

KT: Well, here is the thing, I am going to give you a careful answer on this, I think the details in this kind of thing really matter, and so I am not prejudging the likely outcome of Hong Kong’s deliberation about what to do with respect to fugitive transfer, vis-a-vis mainland, vis-a-vis Taiwan, and also I don’t want to prejudge what the US reaction would be, because it really depends upon the details and how these things are implemented, in terms of the carve-outs protection for individuals, and with respect to possible fugitive transfer or extradition. So, we will just have to wait and see. There is a possibility that if it is structured in certain ways, then that could have some impact on the implementation of our bilateral arrangement between the United States and Hong Kong. But I don’t want to prejudge that.

MC: Sure.

KT: We are just going to wait and see what happens.

MC: Okay. We have just got a couple more minutes. The Greater Bay Area, some details have been announced. Yet again people say that this is going to even further worsen Hong Kong’s autonomy. Does that worry you?

KT: I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.

MC: Do you think it will?

KT: I honestly don’t know. I have carefully read the framework that was announced. Let me put a more positive spin on it. I think the Greater Bay Area initiative does create some significant opportunities to reestablish momentum around the reform and opening process for the Chinese economy, using once again, as was the case 40 years ago, and during that 40-year Reform and Opening period, we have heard so much about lately, that to use south China as a place that shows the way to the rest of China, in terms of economic reform and opening. So, a Greater Bay Area initiative that would most excite foreign businesses as well as foreign governments would be one that, in a sense, pushes reform and opening process and the kind of global best practices and rules-based systems that are prevalent in Hong Kong and Macao into Guangdong. That would be great.

MC: Not the other way around?

KT: That would create enormous opportunities for foreign business as well as Hong Kong businesses, as well as mainland businesses, everyone would be happy. So, I really think that, again, the devil is in the details on this, and there weren’t that many details so far. They haven’t announced.

MC: Yeah, they are working on the details.

KT: And if at the end of the day, it’s just some slogans and some bridges, then that’s kind of a neutral outcome, it doesn’t really help open up China, but it also doesn’t really pose a big problem for Hong Kong.

MC: Okay. I have got one minute left. The last time you were here, I asked you free speech is free speech, and you said you can use it even if you promote independence as long as it’s peacefully done. Do you still stand by that?

KT: Well, that’s our approach in the United States. There has been a lot of discussion around flags and anthems of late, and in the United States, you can burn flags or misbehave during the national anthem, people don’t like it when you do it, it’s considered impolite, and not good. 

MC: So free speech is free speech, even for independence?

KT: Certainly, it’s legally protected, free speech.

MC: But for Hong Kong, you think it should be allowed, you can speak about independence peacefully?

KT: Well, our interpretation of freedom of expression is that it’s a boundless thing, and people should be allowed to express themselves as long as they are not specifically hurting another person.

MC: Okay, I have got to end it right there. Thanks. See you next week. Good evening.


Lewis Loud: Love for China Complex

Love for China Complex
Translated by Karen L, edited by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, written by Lewis Loud
Original: https://thestandnews.com/politics/%E4%B8%AD%E5%9C%8B%E6%83%85%E7%B5%90%E7%B3%BE%E7%B5%90%E7%9A%84-%E9%96%8B%E6%98%8E%E6%B4%BE-%E5%8F%AA%E6%9C%83%E5%8A%A9%E9%95%B7%E4%B8%AD%E5%9C%8B%E6%AE%96%E6%B0%91/ 

During the winter peak flu season, Hong Kong doctors called for the abolition of the one-way permit scheme, as the family reunification (which allows 150 mainlanders to settle here daily) has overloaded the city’s health care system. It was not to incite hatred against mainlanders, but to voice discontent with manpower shortage.

It is expected to see organizations specifically serving new arrivals from China against the advocation of the medical staff, as well as to see some of the leftists take the opportunity to suggest importing more manpower from China.

Those fence-sitters could get along so long as the policy does not screw them over in a rather direct way. Most of these people choose to accept what the reality offers (the overcrowding problem in Hong Kong) however unpleasant it is, for it is a hot potato for anyone while turning a blind eye to it requires no effort.
("To reduce immigrants at the source." Gary Fan,
Claudia Mo, Roy Tam and Chapmen Tsang in front.)

The overpopulation caused by mainland migrant influx has been left unresolved for years. Early in 2013 when New Territories was first overrun by parallel traders, acrimonious debate over ‘cutting people from the source of immigration’ had divided the pan-democracy camp. Gary Fan, Claudia Mo and Roy Tam proved themselves non-rubber-stamped as they saw through the ‘family reunification’ presents the ideology placing mainland Chinese before anyone else. In other words, it is Chinese nationalism/patriotism.

From the 1989 Tian'anmen Square protests to the status quo, the development of Hong Kong politics has attached to ‘the love for China’. Though it is high time politicians on people’s mandate should break silence over the deadlock Hongkongers are facing, they could not preserve our Hong Kong if it means to upset mainlanders. Hongkongers’ well-being is long forgotten; all we hear nowadays are concerns about “this is just what the CCP hopes for” or “that would provoke the CCP”.

To pro-Beijing camp, the inflow of one-way permits holders serves the crucial purpose of national security to assimilating Hong Kong into China. Sharing the “general consensus”, pro-democracy camp tends to stand on the moral high ground, emphasizing how inhumane to compromise Chinese people’s benefits. If it occurs to you that actual allocation of resources is not included in the equation, it is because the camp has never been given real power to rule. The shady past of the “democracy campaigns” presupposes a conflict with local people and their interest. Though at the very inception it was the prospect of a democratic China that motivated them, there from the process derives the community rooted for Hong Kong itself which now comes to stand in the way of these Chinese nationalists. The beginning should predict the ending.

In this context of history, a Chinese idiom precisely describes pan-democracy camp’s political standing. Translated into “be spat on the face and let the spittle dry”, it suggests their fate-resigning mindset under Hong Kong’s political reality mingled with the “Chinese” self-identification that hails CCP in trusting it to be orthodox for the conception of China. Thus it explains why many of them are not convinced that Hong Kong is being invaded at the time of speaking, and is going to be handled as another Xinjiang, Tibet and Mongolia. It can also be found in them the chauvinism that generalizes neighbouring countries that can be traced back to the same ancestry to a part of one great China, the prerequisite of disapproving Hong Kong Independence by all means, and so forth.

Career politicians in Hong Kong are acquainted with the fact that crying out for “democracy” and “human rights” keep their seats; at the least such statement would not get them disqualified from the elections. Despite the former has no foreseeable future, the latter, namely Chinese migrants’ human rights, can be satisfied almost effortlessly with the solicitous help from pro-Beijing camp. Cases in point abound in public housing, social welfare, and this time medical services. Their love of China was respected during the colonial period, but with resources taken into account today, it has turned them into accomplices to exploiting Hongkongers’ welfare to the full. 

Under British rule, we used to honour democracy, freedom and human rights. Common virtues as such, sadly, have been rendered to some classic textbook examples in Critical Thinking 101. Sooner or later, the magic of verbal fallacies will fade and inevitably those “democracy-oriented” politicians’ influences will be overridden by their hardcore loyal pro-Beijing counterparts. A tragedy it is, but a sure price to pay with neither genuine Hong Kong identity nor support from China.


Yu Jie: “One Country, Two Systems” Lover and “Father of Democracy” Reveal Oxymoron

“One Country, Two Systems” Lover and “Father of Democracy” Reveal Oxymoron
Translated by Karen L, written by Yu Jie 余杰
Original: https://hk.thenewslens.com/article/112981 

When Martin Lee, “father of democracy” in Hong Kong, was interviewed in Taiwan, he commented that CCP shall consider reverting to the original blueprint for “One Country, Two Systems” as its tightening control over Hong Kong is costing Hongkongers’ sense of belonging and has slowed down the advancement of the system in Taiwan.

For a veteran politician and barrister, Martin Lee’s behind-the-times remark was so embarrassing that it cannot even level with those pseudo-reformists in mainland China. Trapped in a Sinocentrism/democratic-reunification ideology, he has lost touch on the pulse of China, Taiwan and his home Hong Kong. His time must have been frozen either before 1997 or 1989 to have granted him untainted confidence to such lovely speech. His past contributions and achievements are respected, but his speeches and actions preventing the new generation to move forward have made him an unjustifiable “father of democracy”.

Asking a Tiger for Its Skin
It is in Marin Lee’s ideal that “Hong Kong people rule Hong Kong”, “a high degree of autonomy” and “maintaining Hong Kong’s way of life largely unaltered for 50 years” are duteously embodied in Deng Xiaoping’s “One Country, Two Systems”. He added that Hong Kong people is losing faith in today’s central government as it goes back on its words and changes everything in Hong Kong. Living under the “great purge” in Xi Jinping’s regime, many, Martin Lee included, shows the very picture of missing the good old days, seemingly undisturbed by Deng Xiaoping’s doing in the Tian'anmen Massacre 30 years ago.

The true nature of Deng Xiaoping is somehow embellished in Martin Lee’s thought. Xi Jinping’s leadership is despotism; so does Deng Xiaoping’s. Taking stock of the situation, the two paramount leaders have strategies employed differently from each other. In times of Deng Xiaoping, China was not yet one of the world’s most powerful countries, and it was still busying befriending everyone there was. He would be willing to sugarcoat the country’s ultimate goal just to wheedle Hongkongers into embracing the idea of Handover. Today, in the era of Xi Jinping, a would-be rise of power, the leader could not care less about throwing down the gauntlet to Hong Kong and the rest of the world. Xi Jinping was in fact going full steam ahead, not backward, to what Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping have planned for the future of China.

On 4 June 1989, it was by Deng Xiaoping’s direct order that the tanks and machine guns were brought in the Square to suppress the protests. He can be called a killer, murderer or butcher, causing the death of thousands of people on the spot without batting an eyelash. If he was to be trusted and given full recognition, holding the memorials year by year would be shooting the participants themselves in the foot.

Xi, Proud of Being a Dictator
“I believe Xi Jinping is wise enough to tell that violence is not the way out,” Martin Lee optimistically said as he appealed to the central government for implementing genuine democracy in Hong Kong. This could showcase, as Martin Lee suggested, Xi Jinping as an open-minded reformist leader. A fine line between being naïve/innocent and over-confident/narcissistic catches Martin Lee off guard, making him switch back and forth from a “patriotic remonstrator” to an “animal trainer”, and vice versa.

Similar examples are found throughout the history. There was Qu Yuan during the Warring States period of ancient China who felt extreme despair to the then political situation and took his own life as a form of expostulation. It was his point-blank refusal to admitting tyrant in authority that led to his “sacrifice”.

On an ancient Chinese text Han Feizi’s account, a man named Bian He found an invaluable piece of jade in Chu’s mountains, and made his offer to King Li of Chu. The King thought it was a mere stone, so he punished Bian He by having his left foot cut off. When Wu came to the throne, Bian He once again offered his jade to the King and ended up having his right foot cut off. Years later, Wu’s heir Wen was informed of Bian He’s grieving with tears for three days and three nights, and he sent his man to question Bien He. “I’m not grieving for my feet. I’m grieving for the wrongs that a precious jade is called a regular stone, as a loyal subject is called a liar,” Bian He replied. Possibly moved by his words, King Wen of Chu had his jeweler cut open the stone and surprisingly found a piece of pure jade inside. Upon seeing it, the King named the jade He Shi in honour of Bian He.

Yet from my years of study, the Xi Jinping Martin Lee has hoped for has come too far to being another King Wen of Chu. Gambling a pair of feet on such a leader does not have much chance to secure a promising future.

Hong Kong Independence Represents a Bright Time to Come
On the issue of Hong Kong independence, Martin Lee deviated from the spirit of rule of law to separate independence as a major part of democracy. The rise of such idea, in his understanding, can be explained by the lack of belief in “a handful of people” to strive for democracy in the democrats’ discipline. Without the central government’s approval and support, independence is “impossible to attain” and “not an option for Hong Kong”. All these get one to wonder what the “father of democracy” or his preferred “grandfather of democracy” is made of when he is convinced that the fruits of democracy can grow without the tree.

In Martin Lee’s theory, independence is like a pillow that disappointed Hongkongers fall on and shed tears on; if not under CCP’s oppression, there will be no need for the negativity-soaked pillow. More and more people beg to disagree as independence mirrors the entitled self-determination of any district plainly stated in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The awakening of the independence movement in Hong Kong shares the noble values with the rest of the world. It will be best for Hong Kong if and only if Hong Kong cuts ties with China.

Culturally and politically speaking, waves of hardships are to be encountered head-on and we shall stay strong. And there is still a long way to go before the campaign of Hong Kong independence surpasses theoretical grounds and propagation. Active exertions from our own kind are sufficient, while the realization of independence does not come easily unless big changes in the international environment (e.g. China’s disintegration) are involved.

If Martin Lee still feels that independence in Hong Kong stands without a chance, he might want to take a look at Edmund Burke’s speech on the Thirteen Colonies. When the Proclamation of Rebellion was issued to order officials “to use their utmost endeavours to withstand and suppress the colonial revolt”, the then member of the British Parliament criticized, “What advances have we made towards our object, by the sending of a force, which, by land and sea, is no contemptible strength? Has the disorder abated? Nothing less.” Burke was aware that “the removal of the causes of this Spirit of American Liberty be, for the greater part, or rather entirely, impracticable.” And he added, “I should hold myself obliged to conform to the temper I found universally prevalent in my own day, and to govern two million of men, impatient of Servitude, on the principles of Freedom.” These are what a “father of democracy” should have said to Xi Jinping.

Someday when most of Hong Kong is equipped with the “prevalent temper” that is “impatient of Servitude”, our home will make impressive strides in resisting China’s tyranny. By then, Hong Kong independence will be a feasible vision.


Lewis Loud: “HK's Father of Democracy” Not So Democratic After All

“HK's Father of Democracy” Not So Democratic After All
Translated by Karen L, written by Lewis Loud
Original: https://www.upmedia.mg/news_info.php?SerialNo=57126&fbclid=IwAR3XxwdJyEAopOcVAJpkUF0NrKCo3vBGoyHrqnwQpoTlcyHPD5xhW6Bki-o 
[Summary, not full translation]
(Photo courtesy: Citizen News/Ho Kwan-kin)
The deep-seated scholar-official tradition sanctifying “impress the emperor for practising the scholar's ideals” (dejun xingdao) is in another dimension where the populace of a country is given trust to contribute oneself to examining the political reality. To this day, the pro-democracy camp is more of incompetent yet loyal courtiers in imperial China; they give advice but know their place enough not to get “over the line”. The “democracy” they have been pursuing is a bestowment from the holy CCP rather than a common effort people would assume. Denying self-determination and separation, they are insulting the spirit of democracy, making themselves peers to the Pro-Beijing camp.

Martin Lee Chu-ming, the “Father of Democracy”, too, expressed his presumption on many occasions that the Hong Kong Independence bandwagon would calm so long as Xi Jinping returned to Deng Xiaoping’s leadership style and restored the democracy under “One Country, Two Systems”, though it never seems to occur to Lee that CCP would be more welcomed to flash its winning card to Hong Kong people than handing over real power and acting as a titular head. Considering that missile tests were launched by CCP at the time when Taiwan had its first direct presidential election in the history, it goes without saying that they are aware that democracy in real terms IS independence. 

Imagining that there is a directly elected HKSAR government which is genuinely responsible to Hong Kong people, certain policies (e.g. dealing with the population overload) will be regulated so as to protect the benefits of the citizens. Fair decisions as such will compromise China’s interest for its part; granting Hong Kong democracy, therefore, remains to be a far-fetched hope.

It is the self-proclaimed democrats’ superficial knowledge over Chinese culture that leads them to believe Deng Xiaoping’s “relatively moderate” leadership is the way out. Not knowing that China’s political philosophy has long been an infinite loop—the means of winning is not necessarily about being just and honourable, but ironically enough, those are employed as counter-argument when one loses—democrats conveniently take the old practice of Deng Xiaoping for the solution. However undogmatic he might seem to be, Deng Xiaoping did what he had to sustain CCP’s power. The illusional freedom and open social environment that followed were by-products after all for he had decided to settle them by violence. Even though being high up in the rank, the leaders in China are merely pawns under the development of the country. Someone assertive has to follow up what Deng Xiaoping has left behind, and the person can be others if not Xi Jinping.

“One Country, Two Systems”, by the same token, does not exist to preserve Hong Kong’s special status, but as a buffer to gradual assimilation (Basic Law provides that the current system will remain unchanged for 50 years and the details stay ambiguous). The democrats could let out a spate of nonsense and mislead us the policy is entitled to autonomy, but it still does not change the fact that the failure of the policy in our eyes is what it is meant to be.

Embracing the unification of the country, these “democrats” centre on moral judgment, but no practical problems like resource allocation. Martin Lee is no difference, and he would advise Hong Kong people in earnest not to exclude people from mainland China in discussions. But then again, isn’t it the people from mainland China who are the ones occupying our limited living space? Really, do we ever have a say in this?

Even the “liberal” politicians would call for Deng Xiaoping’s leadership, from which you can tell what is referred to as “liberal” is not liberal, and what is called “democracy” is a fake one. Sinocentrism had prevailed during the development of ancient China, and now, modern China is going backward to hail despotism as the ultimate solution. Nothing changes.


Lunar New Year Message from Chris Patten, HK Governor in 1995

Read by Christopher PATTEN, Cantonese voiceover by CHUNG Wai-ming












Good evening.

I think at the end of one year and the beginning of the next, when we're gathered together at home with our families and loved ones, all of us spend a good deal of time thinking about what's gone well in the previous year: the things we've really enjoyed, the jokes we've shared together, the ambitions that we've realised together.

And we look forward to a new year, to all the things we'd like to do, all the good resolutions we've made, all the things we'd like to succeed in.

Just as we think about that for our families, I guess we think much the same about our community, much the same about this wonderful city of Hong Kong.

Over the last year, despite the occasional ups and downs, we've managed to cope once again more successfully than I guess almost anybody else in the world could manage. There are economic troubles around the place, but Hong Kong has always shown itself, for decade after decade, to be much more capable at coping with all that than almost anyone else in the world.


Well, one or two newspapers and magazines and American think-tanks have given us a clue over the last year. One of them said that Hong Kong was the most business-friendly city in the world, another said that this was the freest economy in the world, another that we were one of the most competitive places in the world.

Because of all that, which is a huge tribute to your strength and courage and hard work, we've had year after year of economic growth, and we've been able - despite the problems elsewhere - to provide the resources to do the things that we want to do.

We've seen some of that in the last year. We've seen our social programmes developing. In particular, and - I think this is where you place so much priority - we've been able to do more for the young, and that's where our future lies. We've been investing more in kindergartens, in elementary and secondary schools, and in colleges, training colleges, and universities. That's so important to make sure that our young people have the best possible chance in life.

But we've also thought more and done more for the elderly. It's our elderly relatives, our elderly friends, who built Hong Kong, and they deserve the best of Hong Kong today. They deserve to share in some of our success.

It's not just money that matters in life. I think people want peace of mind, and we've done better than others - without being at all complacent - in keeping our city a pretty safe place to live in. We have a marvellous police force here in Hong Kong. I want to see that they always have the resources and support that they deserve. You give them a lot of that support, with the fight crime committees and so on. And with our help I know that Hong Kong will go on being one of the very safest places not just in the region but in the world.

So that's the past. What of the future?

We have to go on making sure that our economy can go on delivering the quality and standard of living that all of us desire. We have to go on developing our social programmes.

There are a couple of other things which I guess will matter very much over the coming year.

First, one thing which helps to make Hong Kong distinctive and helps to make Hong Kong successful is the rule of law: the fact that we have fair rules that apply to everyone. Whoever you are, whether you're the Governor or whoever, the same rules apply. That makes this a particularly good place to do business, but it also provides some of the glue which holds our society together, and makes it more stable as well as more prosperous.

And we all know that we've got a historic task: to manage the transition through 1997 as successfully as possible. It's difficult for all of us to do that. But we want to work better and more successfully with our Chinese colleagues, because it's in all our interests to succeed in the great and unique enterprise which is represented by the transition to Chinese sovereignty.

I spend, as I think you know, a good deal of each week out on the street, visiting housing estates, schools, hospitals, factories, and places of work. Really, I think, getting to see almost everything in Hong Kong, and sometimes it seems getting to see everywhere. I'd like to thank all of you for your kindness and your courtesy and the warmth of your greeting whenever I've been out and about in the last year.

I probably haven't seen all of you, although it sometimes feels as though I have. For those of you that I haven't seen personally over the past year, I'd like to offer my warmest good wishes for the year ahead.

I very much hope that we will meet over the next 12 months. In the meantime, on behalf of my wife Lavender and my family, I wish everyone a very Happy New Year.

All of us, I'm sure, want for Hong Kong what we want, in the Year of the Pig, for our families. Kung Hei Fat Choy.


Two letters from Party of Liberty and Democracy H.K. in Mid-1970s

Two letters from Party of Liberty and Democracy H.K. in Mid-1970s
[note: Spellings in English are kept even they are wrong, but Chinese part is mostly corrected.]
662 Nathan Road 5/F.

INTRODUCTION: The Party is established at 4.2.1965 which we consider attemps to justify when colonial govt. habitually steamrolles Hongkong legislation/execution where no elected legislators/senators represent 5-6 millions people – dictatorship and depriven to instead for long time. In Hongkong the laws grind the poor and the rich man rule the law. A minority of vested interest that have in no way represented the people/materialistic public they claim to. They use the name of the people, it is true, but only to protect their own “sphere of influence” — like jealous vultures. It is obvious that colonialism and democracy can never be deemed compatible in any senses during the past. Colonialism (C.S./G.S./Chief Secretary = more Hypocrite) inconsistency with democratic principles only proves its worthlessness and should be discarded now. Violent demonstrations must be avoided as well as possible to us to fight for the bright future to Hongkong and its people.

AIMS OF THE PARTY: In accordance with good spirits of UN charter, Decision of De-colonialism of United Nations, Declaration of Universal Human Rights, Int’l. Laws and the British Policy etc. that both are tally with modern time and tide for de-colonialism in anyways also as well as the Queen Elizabeth II’s speeches before which emphasised as “We'll be allowing and aiding self-determination areas and people’s choice colonies to their final requests for self-government or independence which to ending the colonialism” thus we are strongly to be requesting the “Internal Self-Government" for Hongkong right now for betterment and constitutional reform to eradicate the serious evils in our community with a more helpful future for Hongkong and it’s people. (Formally request already made to Queen E-II, Prime Minister and the Hong Kong government on 1.1.1973 but long silent to now?!)

TOWARD CIVIC RIGHTS (TEMPORARILY STAGE): Problems must be dealt with by the local people, but the means to solves the problems are denied to 5-6 millions people/silent majority plus the hugh but heavily depriven and and oppression from the colonialism evils with nonsenses here nowaday so only the more and active civil-rights campaigns can save us during present situation with prices existed: this what is the Party’s “FOR PEOPLE COMMISSION” done for materialistic public now. The “FOR PEOPLE COMMISSION” works mainly involves helping people with various problems, such as resite, rehousing, compensation, living-on protection, welfare advancement, civic-rights expressing …….. especially ranging from those hut/cottage areas, hawker areas, fisherman areas …. and the outdated lower courts which lead to gross injustices within the impropriety and oppressiveness of criminal investigation and prosecution systems which already ruined many other innocent people before and after. We do our best to help them through civic-rights forms but under “struggle for existence“ as understood so fair-play is appreciated.

TOWARD SELF-GOVERNMENT: (INDIRECT/DIRECT ELECTIONS; PAID PART/FULL TIME SERVICES): The Party is a strong advocate of “INTERNAL SELF-GOVERNMENT” in Hong Kong as it is the only way to cooperate. What must be done now – which has been wilfully neglected over the years – is to educate or join the people to the benefits of self-government. There is no other course open to us, obviously that applications we may need to get units at R/Es. and resite areas for welfare advancement even for public opinion surveys or seats for suffrage/franchise which both received refusals to instead, save that of either taking a retrograde step by enforcing colonialism still further – entrenching? – or taking the path of violent demonstrations to achieve the means to implement self-government. There are those, however, that are convinced that direct action rather that education and peaceful reform is the way to change our community better – like the liberal and democratic ones – a place to belong with better living!

LDP-HK GENERAL: Organisation at a glance what's the shadow-cabinet as shown in the chart attached. Membership up to 1976 is 1,200 approx. and the fixed platforms will be enlarging as soon as possible within the branches established (more donation means more civil rights) as most of members is Chinese and they have to involved for China Unity basically so the party forces to such tendency as well too. Overseas fraternity/relationship and international friendship now are exchanged. The political future is bright and fine!
公函 一九七六年四月六日

  敬啟者:恭賀 閣下以眾望所歸榮選為英國新首相,本黨相信 鈞座定能貫徹大英精神且輔以前首相邱吉爾爵士為榜樣而力挽國內急劇危機的。
  此 致


Party of Liberty & Democracy H.K.
662 Nathan Road, 5th floor, Kowloon.

6th April 1976.
Mr James Callaghan,
British Prime Minister.

Dear sir,
Please accept our congratulations on your success in the election as the new British Prime Minister reflecting the esteem and support of the public. We trust that you will follow the example of the late prime minister Winston Churchill in furthering the British spirit, to save the country from imminent internal crises.

At present in Hong Kong there exists exploitation and suppression in various forms. The Government has stressed that it will maintain the status quo and better its relations with Peking but, contentiously and morally speaking, Hong Kong cannot compare with the Portuguese colony of Macau as far as progress is concerned. The Government is cruel to the people and there are numerous colonial crimes. For the best interests and future of all the Hong Kong people, our party reiterates that the internal governing power be upheld and returned step by step to the people and this will be honoured in history. At least the government should not suppress the people's rights and deprive the citizens of the opportunity to take part in the administration.

We would like to draw your attention, to the correspondence we have received from the Colonial Secretariat, File No. COU 1058/75, Secretary for Home Affairs, File No. HAIB 1156/4 and Secretary for the Environment, File No. ENV 68/75/9. This correspondence ill-treats our Party and suppresses the people, depriving them of their opinion and rights.

Sir, we earnestly hope that the British Government, under your leadership, will extend its benevolent far and wide.

CHIU But-yeuk
Party of Liberty & Democracy H.K.
[note: the letter is from YAN Sik-man, not CHIU But-yeuk]
公函 一九七五年四月廿日
  敬啟者.陛下今次將於五月四日不遠千里而來,定有利香港乎。報載 陛下躬親勤政,日理萬機而富有傳統性的責任感及美德特徵,令人感動惜未能扱及英聯邦外的遙遠角落如香港是也,因我們七百多萬民眾還處此變本加厲、苛征重稅和假自由不民主且有非人生活式的英殖民地殘留劣態故能不為靜默的大多數或香港整體前途有感而發致有所反映且力為爭取乎。
  際此國際形勢大變而殖民地主義定要修善立功以贖前愆與中和清算前提下,加上本港民間冤情太重,好人難做與民不聊生多式惡性循環積壓中,後果不堪收拾的。為此,本黨用特籲請 陛下仁慈且例外地的誠意去考慮委任一個民間參政組織表現之「英皇御准護民使」一位予本黨之護民署,並賦有職權,一如古羅馬帝國朝代所設之護民官一樣。這實可媲美港督委派之「廉政專員」官方代表而能互相呼應,俾益民怨民生,如本願照准,良可賀也!
  最後提請陛下顧全在世界各大報章刊明之國會多次鄭重聲明表示決順乎當地民向民意而結束所有殖民地之演詞而諾許本黨在一九七三年元旦向 陛下要求之讓本港成立內政上之「香港自治政府」罷!另方面即終止對本黨歷來之歧視,幕後破壞及延誤壓制等致窒息公意民權,以昭公平和有風度!同時不應由老殖民地國如葡萄牙近來新作風專美於前啊!
自由民主黨總裁趙不弱 主席甄錫文聯呈
Party of Liberty & Democracy H.K.
P.O. Box 10501, Cheung Sha Wan Post Office.
21st April, 1975.


To: H. M. Queen Elizabeth II

Your Majesty,
          Your Majesty's visit to Hong Kong on 5th May from thousands of miles will definitely be beneficial to Hong Kong. According to press reports, Your Majesty is diligent and takes a personal interest in the administration, dealing with thousands of cases a day. Your traditional sense of responsibility and virtue are certainly most admirable. However, it is a pity that your beneficence does not reach remote corners of the British Commonwealth such as Hong Kong. We, over seven million (sic) citizens of Hong Kong, are still living in a British colony subject to lingering evils of exorbitant taxes, pseudo-liberty without democracy, where some people are still living inhuman lives, which are worsening daily. We cannot help but endeavour to reflect the views of the silent majority and on the whole future of Hong Kong.
          The major premise is the present great change in the international scene, which demands that colonialism be revised to atone for the past wrongs and to neutralise the effects of liquidations. Furthermore, there are numerous cases of grievances in Hong Kong. It is difficult to leave a decent life, and people are confronted with economic hardship and the pressure of vicious circle. The consequences will be disastrous. Therefore, we request Your Majesty to kindly depart from the usual practice and graciously consider the appointment of a "Royal Commissioner for the protection of the people" to the People's Protection Bureau of this Party, a people's political body. This commissioner will be endowed with powers similar to the tribunes of the ancient Roman Empire. He will compare favourably with the Independent Commission Against Corruption who is the government representative. It will certainly be a blessing, if this wish can be granted, so that they can render mutual support in order to redress people’s grievances.
          Lastly, we beg Your Majesty to take into consideration the several statements made by the Parliament, expressing is the termination of giving up all the colonies in compliance with the wish of the local peoples. These statements were published in the leading newspapers of the world. We also beg your majesty to accede to our request made on New Year's Day in 1973 of the establishment of an autonomous government in Hong Kong. On the other hand, discriminatory actions against this Party, sabotage, obstruction and suppression behind the scene to strangle civil rights and public opinion should be put to an end immediately so as to show impartiality and generosity. Meanwhile we suggest Your Majesty should not let the enlightenment of such old colonial countries as Portugal, to dominate the whole scene.
          We do wish Your gracious presence here would bring blessings to Hong Kong.

Yours respectfully,
Jointly presented by 
CHIU Put-yeuk (President)
(Signature )
YAN Sik-man (Chairman)