Is Ronny Tong becoming Rita Fan mark II? Both are frumpy old women who have given up on their frizzy graying hair. Both spout pro-Beijing inanities that gullible media take seriously. The refinement is that while Rita was an unapologetic shoe-shiner who recited Beijing’s malevolent rants, Ronny purports to be some sort of neutral go-between honest broker who can bring the Chinese Communist Party and its Hong Kong subjects together in lovey-dovey win-win bliss.
Ronny is now inviting us to believe that if Hong Kong implements national security laws, Beijing might allow the city a more democratic political system.
There is no linkage, and no possibility of a quid pro quo, between the two things.
First, Beijing made it totally clear in 2014 that Hong Kong will not have genuine representative government. That is non-negotiable. Political reform cannot be part of a bigger trade-off because it doesn’t exist.
Second, Beijing officials are insisting that national security laws in Hong Kong are coming, and will restrict free speech. This is also non-negotiable.
The Xi Jinping regime is about strengthening Communist Party control throughout China. From a Leninist dictatorship’s point of view, it would be absurd to tighten its grip on Hong Kong through national security laws while sacrificing Party control over appointing the local government.
In their child-like naivety, mainstream pro-democrats essentially agree with Ronny but say the political reform should come first, then the national security laws. Both (assuming Ronny believes his ‘third way’ middle-of-the-road stuff) imagine that the CCP does ‘negotiable’, and will sit down to discuss a friendly, constructive give-and-take deal with hostile forces in an ex-colonial Western-infested blot that must be subjugated. Where do such delusions come from?