No Interval in Critical Moment: On Hong Kong Protest
Since 12 June when the Hong Kong police began to suppress Hong Kong demonstration violently, Hong Kong constitutional movement has been lasting for over two months. Peaceful demonstrations occurred in different districts of Hong Kong every week which end with bloodshed due to the violent crackdown by the police. Hong Kong police shoot civilians with tear gas, bean bag rounds and rubber bullet, arrest and torture citizens. A protestor was even allegedly blinded. The police even tolerate the triads to attack any citizen passing by in Yuen Long on 21 July, which should be considered as a terror attack. Although the Hong Kong government and police have already committed serious humanitarian crimes, international pressures are still very mild while the means of Hong Kongese for self-defence are too moderate.
One must study history to find a solution for Hong Kong. After two protestors had been killed during the 1987 June Struggle in South Korea, there was an outbreak of a nationwide demonstration, which attracted international attention. To make sure that the Seoul Olympics Game would be held smoothly, the South Korean government finally amended its constitution and allowed direction presidential election. Similarly, Ukrainian finally forced the pro-Russia president Yanukovych to resign at the cost of the death of over 70 people in 2014 Euromaidan revolution. No one wishes to see protestor to die. However, only death can stir up human’s moral passion. Everyone hates to see death, especially the death of the just. Like South Korea, Hong Kong is a Confucian society which emphasises moral passion. The wrath caused by moral passion is our strongest weapon against the tyranny. Moreover, moral passion can easily be conveyed all over the world through media. We need international pressures on both the Chinese and Hong Kong government so that they have to make concessions. Comparing with South Korea and Ukraine, the current protests in Hong Kong are too peaceful. Although we have already paid a significant cost, it cannot compare with the enormous sacrifice of Korean and Ukrainian protestors. There is a large room for improvement.
However, while Hong Kong is in a critical moment of history, some pan-democrats try to cool down the anger of Hong Kongese and pull the social movement back to the period before 2014 Umbrella Revolution. They call everyone not to wear any gear for 18 August assembly and protest and do not attack anyone. That’s ridiculous, for all conflicts since 12 June were caused by the violent crackdown of protestors by the police. How should one blame protestors for being unpeaceful or irrational who only wear masks and hamlets for self-defence? Blaming the protestor’s act of self-defence is against the will of the people and should be condemned as reactionary.
Other pan-democrats suggests that ‘we should not inflame the Chinese Communist Party’ or ‘we should not embarrass the United States’ and ask for an interval for radical resistance and even a suspension of peaceful demonstration. They were afraid that the endless demonstration may scare the neutral voters which affect the coming district council election, so they try to cool down the current movement. They claim that if demonstration continues this weekend, China may have an excuse to send army or police from the mainland to Hong Kong for a crackdown, and the United States will be embarrassed if the protestors injure the police or the triads. That’s nonsense. Whether there is protest or not, whether the protest is peaceful or not, Chinese army can enter the border anytime without any reason, for they have already done the same thing in Tiananmen square in 1989. Chinese Communists are mentally retarded and cannot be predicted rationally. By contrast, the officials of the United States are calm and rational intellectuals. Their decisions would not be affected by the subjective feeling of embarrassment. If they felt embarrassed, they should have already felt it in July when Hong Kong protestors waved the Star Spangled banner. However, the United States never blame the protestors. Instead, now Mr Trump invites Xi Jiping for a personal meeting on Hong Kong crisis. For Mr Trump has two major concerns: firstly, the presidential election is approaching and the majority of American support Hong Kong democratisation, and secondly, the American enterprises in Hong Kong are worried about the accelerating corruption of One Country Two Systems.
However, there are two cases that we may lose American’s supports for Hong Kong democratisation:
I. If we give up before the Hong Kong government has made any concession. Any ‘suspension’ or ‘downgrade’ of protests will result in less attention on Hong Kong crisis from American, just like when the world lost interest in Hong Kong by the end of the Umbrella Revolution in 2014.
II. If the protest is misled to be an Anti-American movement. Currently Hong Kong protestors wave the Star-Spangled Banner because they embrace American values of democracy and freedom, which gains commiseration from American; however, if some politicians hijack the movement and turn it into an anti-American movement or insult the Star-Spangled Banner, American citizens will be angry with Hong Kongese.
There is no interval in a struggle. Communist loves initiating class struggles, but now they are suffering from ethnic struggles. If we relax, Hong Kong democratisation dies and we all shall be prosecuted. We must fight for our survival with the Confucian spirit of ‘perishing with the tyranny’ and fight against the Communist Party until the end of the world.