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An open letter to the pro-democracy leaders of Hong Kong

By Chin Jin - posted Monday, 20 June 2011


Hong Kong has played a crucial role on several occasions in modern Chinese history. From the Sun Yat-sen revolution to the Anti-Japanese War, the civil war between the Communists and the Nationalists, the return of Hong Kong and Macau and especially during the June 4th massacre following the 1989 Chinese democratic movement. Hong Kong people from all walks of life have strived to carry out arduous rescues during these difficult times. Furthermore, in the past two decades since the Tiananmen crackdown, it has only been Hong Kong that was able to summon hundreds of thousands of people in memory of this tragedy on each anniversary. The rest of the world has totally forgotten the bloodshed.

If we summarize the endeavors of Hong Kong people in modern Chinese history in a few words, it can be like this: "Hong Kong people strive to save not only themselves, but also whole of China'. This is because Hong Kong people were the only Chinese people who were able to breathe relatively free air to preserve the Chinese national identity. In other words, Hong Kong people are the small minority of the Chinese who are living in a relatively free society and have maintained a strong sense of Chinese national identity.

The Jasmine Revolution initiated from Tunis has triggered waves of social change in the Middle East since the beginning of this year.

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This revolution not only puts an end to several decade-old dictatorships, but also makes the surviving autocracies shiver with fear. It is natural for mainland China to have been affected by this political tsunami, encouraging the Chinese people to act accordingly.

However, the extremely cautious Chinese authorities have of course quelled any slight commotion. And once there were online announcements calling for people's gatherings at a certain venue at a certain time, the arriving attendees would find themselves severely outnumbered by the armed police and the plainclothesmen. The internet itself is also heavily subjected to blockade by the authorities.

Therefore, it is easy to predict that there is hardly any possibility for Chinese residents to rally for the cause of the Jasmine Revolution due to the factors that happen within China. The situation in Taiwan is more subtle. The Ma Ying-jeou nationalist government has long been content with the status quo, they have lost the courage to compete in Chinese politics and they have abandoned their moral responsibility to the 1.3 billion mainland Chinese residents.

On the other hand, the Pan Green Parties are mainly focused on local affairs and are lukewarm about promoting a political change in mainland China. Looking around the world, we can find that Hong Kong is the only place on earth that can potentially mobilize the Chinese people to make a breakthrough to change the Chinese autocracy. If Hong Kong people would stand up for their fundamental rights, ie full democracy for Hong Kong, including direct election of the Hong Kong chief. And following in the footsteps of North Africa, it will encourage all Chinese residents to stand up for democracy, for Hong Kong people are also Chinese. Our homogeneity is much higher than that of the Middle Eastern countries who initiated the Jasmine Revolution. The resonance that is caused by our homogeneity can never be eliminated or underestimated.

It can be said that, if the civil discontent within mainland China is a potential explosive, then Hong Kong is the fuse; if mainland China is a motor engine, then Hong Kong is its starter; if the monolithic Chinese communist dictatorship is as strong as Achilles, then Hong Kong is his heels.

Professor YU Ying-shih, a highly prestigious scholar in America who graduated from New Asia College in Hong Kong, published an article about two months ago, entitled 'Hong Kong People shall be on Alert'.

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Professor Yu revealed in this article that the Chinese Communist Party is planning to launch a reform of administrational regions, increasing the number of provinces to 50, and including 3 metropolitan regions, namely Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The metropolitan area of Hong Kong will consist of Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai. Therefore, Hong Kong will no longer be an independent administrative region according to this plan, nullifying Deng Xiaoping's promise that the socio-political status of Hong Kong would not be changed in 50 years. This denying a general election which had been proposed by the communist authority, and even making the Hong Kong Basic Law void.

Contemporary Hong Kong has followed China to a historical crossroad.

If Hong Kong people stand up at this moment for their full liberty and democratic rights that will not merely result in the democracy of Hong Kong, but of the whole of China. If Hong Kong people hesitate, they may miss the golden opportunity of Chinese democratization, and also witness the vanishing of the partial liberty and democracy that they currently have.

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About the Author

Chin Jin is an M.A. graduate of the University of Western Sydney and Chair of the Federation For A Democratic China, Australia.

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All articles by Chin Jin

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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