Hong Kong 's Return? Let's Return to Hong Kong Instead
By Jin Zhong
After governing Hong Kong for a century and a half, Great Britain transferred sovereignty of the colony to Communist China in 1997. Since then, there has been serious conflict between the concepts of “one country” and “two systems,” resulting in continuous struggle between the two social systems
China 's resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong was clearly imprinted with Deng Xiaoping's utilitarianism, which was aimed at coercing the British to withdraw, while winning over Hong Kong people with promises of a high degree of autonomy. The most important of the related promises was that of “one country, two systems.” How should we assess “one country, two systems” now? That has become a key concern.
The Communist authorities promised Britain and the local people that Hong Kong 's original capitalistic system would remain the same. It is clear that the crux of the issue lies, rather, with the political system, since the rapid shift of the mainland to capitalism has eradicated the problem of two different economic systems. So how have the Communist authorities treated Hong Kong over the past 10 years in the political context? They have replaced the original separation of the three branches of power with an “executive-led” system; interpreted Hong Kong's Basic Law in such a way as to veto the legitimate popular demand for universal suffrage starting in 2007/2008; monopolized the election of the Chief Executive through the imposition of a standard of “patriotism”; and have eroded press freedom with “united front” maneuvers….. The people of Hong Kong have never ceased to fight against Beijing 's interventions; half a million people took to the street in 2003, forcing out the Secretary for Security and ultimately then-Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa. The world was stunned.
Recently, the people of Hong Kong were infuriated with the remarks of the nominal head of the legislature, Wu Bangguo, indicating that the conflict between the two systems will continue. The failure of “one country, two systems” is exemplified in the recent criticisms by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the last Governor Chris Patten and other international opinion, as well as the unanimous resistance of the people of Taiwan to a similar “one country, two systems” model, which has foiled the Communist plot to lure Taiwan into submission. All of this prompts a fundamental reexamination of the so-called “one country, two systems” concept.
First, Hong Kong 's handover of sovereignty went against the will of the people. Before 1997, many public polls showed that the majority of the people wanted to “maintain the status quo,” and were unwilling to be ruled by a despotic government. (To this day, the proportion of local people who see Hong Kong as part of China and themselves Chinese citizens is still limited.) But the Communist government simply refused to let Hong Kong people have a say in the negotiations regarding 1997, much less choose their destiny through a popular referendum. Deng Xiaoping used the promise of “no change for 50 years” as a measure of expediency to coerce Britain into giving up Hong Kong (for example, in his talk with Thatcher) as well as to prevent a revolt by the local populace. In what way does this qualify as a “great invention”? The undemocratic nature of the handover was its fundamental flaw.
Secondly, “one country, two systems” violates the Chinese Constitution. The first article of the constitution “forbids any organization or person to sabotage the socialist system,” but the Basic Law provides for the “implementation of a capitalist system.” This outrageous exhibition of rule by man indicates that the “one country” of China can interfere with and suppress “two systems.” For the last 10 years, this is exactly what has happened. At the same time, “two systems” has never infringed on the “one country,” and Hong Kong people have never made any such demand in terms of sovereignty, military installations or foreign relations.
Finally, and most crucially, the Chinese Communist authorities, being dictatorial by nature, simply cannot tolerate Hong Kong becoming a model of democracy under their rule. In the past 10 years, with the suppression of Hong Kong's democracy and freedom, the continuous infiltration and expansion of undercover Communists to the extent of appointment to Hong Kong's cabinet, and Wu Bangguo's declaration that all power belongs to Beijing, it has become increasingly obvious that “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong” is an arrant fraud, and that “one country, two systems” exists in name only. Instead of celebrating the “return to China ,” we should fight for the returning to Hong Kong of the autonomy promised in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.
June 30, 2007 Hong Kong