Beijing grapples with bogey man

There was a time when ‘Hong Kong independence’ didn’t exist. So Chinese officials had to  invent it. Chief Executive-at-the-time CY Leung highlighted the little-known concept as a looming danger in a policy address three years ago. If the plan was to fabricate or exaggerate a subversive threat, it worked. To many people who had never previously thought about it, separatism sounded like a brilliant and appealing, if idealistic or theoretical, solution to Hong Kong’s problems.

It became one of Beijing’s most popular local ideas!

But having contrived ‘pro-independence’, the mighty Chinese Communist Party must now fight and destroy it – and it almost looks as if they are panicking in fear of the bogey man.

Beijing and its local puppets have used supposed pro-independence thought-crimes to bar radicals from the Legislative Council. And they have now choreographed an absurd mass-freak-out (including an inane ‘shocked’ government statement) over academic Benny Tai, who mentioned independence as one of many hypothetical scenarios at a conference no-one would ever have heard of in Taiwan.

The United Front would keep special tabs on Benny for his role in Occupy (he still awaits trial for somehow instigating the Umbrella uprising) and as a chicken to be tormented to warn Hong Kong’s monkey-academics to keep in line. As a special target for demonization, he is a crap choice – a harmless podgy intellectual – but the CCP seem desperate.

Benny says he is being followed, and that if he crosses the border, it will be against his will whatever he apparently says at the time. This would once have sounded over-dramatic, but is now sensible.

Some good background to all this is here. A key point is that the government insists that talk of independence ‘goes against the Basic Law’ or similar wording suggesting it is illegal, but it has never prosecuted anyone. This is because to propose independence is merely to propose a change to the constitution (or to CCP policy, or to whatever) – it’s simply an opinion. Another is that Benny, disqualified lawmakers and many others who get the full United Front orchestrated mouth-froth treatment are not even proposing independence.

Beijing’s local officials are going overboard in whipping up hatred of dastardly splittists and their ideas. ‘Independence’ clearly scares the CCP (perhaps they are dimly becoming aware that it is a de facto reality in Taiwan), and they are visibly anxious to implement Article 23 or other national security measures that will set a precedent for the criminalization of opinions in Hong Kong (and thus censorship). The more agitated and impatient they get, the harder and more counter-productive it will be.

 

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7 Responses to Beijing grapples with bogey man

  1. We used to have Jew-baiting. Now we have Commie-baiting.

    My favourite though is Blogger-baiting.

    They or their friends always snap back

    Keep up the nostalgia.

  2. Old Newcomer says:

    If proposing a change to the Basic Law is illegal, then would that make the NPCSC Standing Committee members into criminals?

  3. hank morgan says:

    Somebodies in Beijing didn’t know who Senator Warren is and the power of her voice …

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-warren/senator-warren-in-beijing-says-u-s-is-waking-up-to-chinese-abuses-idUSKCN1H80X2

  4. pie-chucker says:

    Is suggesting such a level of government social spending such as to create a budget deficit for a couple of years illegal?

    Article 107
    The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall follow the principle of keeping the expenditure within the limits of revenues in drawing up its budget, and strive to achieve a fiscal balance, avoid deficits and keep the budget commensurate with the growth rate of its gross domestic product.

  5. LRE says:

    Article 39 of the Basic Flaw:
    The provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and international labour conventions as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force and shall be implemented through the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

    Article 1 of the ICCPR:
    PART I, Article 1
    1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

    So Hong Kong’s right to self-determination is enshrined in the Basic Flaw, even while it apparently strictly contravenes it…

  6. Old Newcomer says:

    @LRE – the catch there is “as applied to Hong Kong”. China could claim that as the Basic Law otherwise outlaws it, that clause does not apply to HK.

  7. Headache says:

    LRE, the Basic Law has that covered – reunification with China is “the long-cherished common aspiration of the Chinese people” – of course this includes HK’s ethnically Chinese majority.

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