◎ 金 鐘
By Jin Zhong
This magazine whole-heartedly welcomes the arrival of 2007, which marks our 20 th anniversary. There are just too many people we need to thank for the long-term survival of a non-mainstream hard-news magazine in Hong Kong to the present day. Numerous writers, reporters, friends and fellow journalists have given us their assistance, contributions and encouragement in various ways. Some of them are in Hong Kong , Taiwan , the United States and other various places overseas, while others continue to live under a suppressive, risk-bound system. There are also the editors, reporters and staff members who have served this magazine over the years; they sailed through the storms with us, sharing our joys and hardships. And as we have said many times before, we thank Hong Kong with all our heart, and are deeply grateful to this non-mainland city, which has bestowed upon modern China a sympathy and caring that no other place can match. It has let us take refuge and pursue our dreams in safety for the last 20 years.
Looking forward from Hong Kong, the biggest event of 2007 will be July 1, the tenth anniversary of its reversion of sovereignty to China . That day ten years ago, which changed the history of Hong Kong, and the tears and the downpour that dominated the hand-over, remain in our memory as vividly as yesterday. We are glad that the one-party dictatorship has not had its way in Hong Kong as it has had on the mainland, but we have witnessed the enormous humiliation that people have suffered here. When this highly civilized intern ational metropolis asked for universal suffrage to be implemented 10 years after the hand-over, its Beijing masters dared to say conditions “are still not ripe.” The people of Hong Kong have been forced to accept the heavy price that accompanied the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed in 1984. But this has also made people here realize that it is inevitable for Hong Kong to shape a common destiny with the mainland. The guarantee of Hong Kong's freedom ultimately lies in the democratization of China .
The second note-worthy day in 2007 is the fiftieth anniversary of China 's anti-rightist movement, launched in June 1957. An “overt plot” in the eyes of Mao Zedong, the movement was an unprecedented conspiracy to persecute people on the basis of their views, conceived and commanded by Mao with the crucial assistance of Deng Xiaoping as front-man. Millions of well-intentioned and naive intellectuals were thrown into an abyss of sufferings with no way out. The movement not only destroyed individuals, but also severely damaged the human resources of the country by making everyone mortally afraid of speaking the truth, turning China into a country of hypocrites till all eternity. It is pathetic that Deng, extolled as the engineer of China 's opening up and reform, never explicitly reflected on, much less apologized for, his key role in the anti-rightist movement. But perhaps this is not surprising, given that Deng continued his anti-rightist role during his 20 years of rule after the Cultural Revolution by repeatedly suppressing any trend toward liberalization.
The third day to watch for in 2007 is the 17 th Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party to be held this fall. Since the Communist Party is a dictatorial party, monopolizing national power and resources, its meetings are inevitably a matter of public interest and concern. This magazine has on more than one occasion in the past divulged inside information about the power struggle surrounding the plenum. The recent anti-corruption crackdown imposed by Party bosses Hu Jintao and Zeng Qinghong actually involved a power struggle with the camp of former Party chief Jiang Zemin. As pointed out in this issue, renshi zhiding quan , the power to designate succession at the top, is an exclusive new concept. The revelation of this power solves a puzzle that has bewildered observers: the authority of the first generation leaders was no less than that of god. Deng was able to designate Hu Jintao as the “alternate generation successor,” that is, the top man after Deng's successor stepped down, and no one dared refuse him. But if that is the case, where does the authority of people like Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao come from? It can only be from their own hands. Being totalitarian, can their rule be anything but dictatorial? We did not exaggerate in our last issue when we compared the systems on the two sides of the Taiwan Straits to heaven and earth. Political campaigns on earth bumble along in chaos, while dictatorship provides a paradise for its rulers.