Three Directions of Pan-localists


by 曾焯文

Evil minds
Change good to their own nature. I gave all
He has; and in return he chains me here
Whilst my beloved race is trampled down
By his thought-executing ministers. –PERCY SHELLEY.

In Spring, 2013, having sojourned in Finland for five years, I epiphanically realized that my cultural identity was more Hongkong than Finnish. Seeing that Hong Kong was in a critical situation, on the one hand, and witnessing more and more Hong Kong compatriots waking up such that Hong Kong is still savable, on the other, I resolutely gave up my chance to become a Finnish citizen, and returned to Hong Kong in order to take part in the rescue mission. In the recent year, the Hong Kong Communist Government has arrested a number of social activists and arbitrarily disqualified democratically elected law-makers. On top of this, localist political organizations have engaged in internal strife, as a result of which the localist movement appears to be at a low ebb. However, as a Cantonese saying goes, “One has to gasp for breath a little bit even when one is hanging oneself.” Now the localist movement is just recuperating and regenerating itself. Once the localist camp and the pan-democrats form a pan-localist front, much more can be achieved.

Since China’s recolonization of Hong Kong is turning more and more intense, I suggest that the localists and the pan-democrats put down their biases, seek common grounds while reserving differences, and flexibly combine together as pan-localists, in order to jointly save Hong Kong. To me, the pan-localist movement had better proceed in the three following directions: one, locally rooted political realization; two, propagation of political knowledge; three, lobby of international support. The goal is to increase the Chinese Communist Party’s cost of ruling so that it will be difficult for it to devour Hong Kong quickly.

Locally rooted political realization: Set up community concern groups for ordinary citizens to join, with a view to decreasing their feeling of helplessness. The most important topic now is, of course, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area Plan, which was put forth by Premier Li Ke-qiang in March this year. When Carrie Lam, elected as the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong, went to Beijing in April this year, she was also instructed to promote the Bay Area Plan as her primary task upon taking office. Study on the Action Plan for the Bay Area of the Pearl River Estuary, the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, the Development of North-East New Territories, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, and Hong Kong 2030+, are all for realizing the grand Bay Area Plan, which will dissolve the boundary between Hong Kong and China, and liquidate Hongkongers.

Propagation of political knowledge: Learn from foreign experiences and also stress local studies. When our civilians are armed with knowledge, they will not be easily deceived. Foreign experiences involve political theories, judicial, educational, social welfare, and housing systems, history of post-colonial struggle, etc. Local studies include exploration of Hong Kong history and development of its systems from a localist perspective. For instance, quite a few items of the Public Order Ordinance were already abolished in 1995 because of their conflict with the Hong Kong Bill of Rights. They were, however, restored in 1997 by the provisional legislative council. In 1998, England passed the Human Rights Act, and in 2009, the common law offence of sedition was abolished on the ground that freedom of speech was protected in the UK under the Human Rights Act 1998. Offences like unauthorized assembly, unlawful assembly and riot under the Hong Kong Public Order Ordinance are in fact in conflict with the Hong Kong Bill of Rights, the International Bill of Human Rights and the Basic Law.

Lobby for international support: It is necessary to make the international world understand that Hong Kong has already become a sub-colony of Communist China, that Hongkongers are grossly exploited by the Hong Kong Communist Government and Beijing, so much so that the interests of the international society in Hong Kong are also affected. Moreover, efforts had better be made to help young resistance activists in Hong Kong who are most badly persecuted to obtain international help so that they may be able to pursue their studies or career in appropriate places.

We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. –WINSTON CHURCHILL