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Legislator Wu Chi Wai

2019-11-10
Dear Hong Kongers,
 
        The anti-extradition bill movement is now entering its sixth month. Not only did the government ignore the demands from the public, it has also turned a blind eye to police brutality. This has ironically united both peaceful and radical protesters and they are all motivated by the hope that one day they can take off their masks and celebrate the demands being met.
 
        Unfortunately, there is only one demand met out of five. An authoritarian regime watching over the shoulder of our SAR government complicates the situation which makes for a long way ahead for the remaining demands to be met.  
 
        When Xi Jinping met with Carrie Lam this week, he expressed a high degree of trust in her and fully acknowledged the work of her and her governance team. However, Chinese politics can be ruthless, one could still be stabbed in the back even though a moment ago one was highly appreciated by the leader. Lin Biao was formally recognized as Mao Zedong’s closest comrade-in-arms but was condemned as a traitor by the Communist Party. Hu Jintao was still praising Tung Chee-hwa for his work four days before the latter stepped down. History is bound to repeat itself. Hence how long Carrie Lam can stay in power is still questionable.
 
        The communiqué released after the fourth plenary session stated that the Communist Party would “uphold and improve the system of ‘one country, two systems’”, “govern the HK special administrative region and Macao special administrative region in strict accordance with the constitution and the Basic Law”, and “establish a sound legal system and enforcement mechanism for safeguarding national security”. However, the words “high-degree of autonomy” were not mentioned. In contrast, the emphasis of “governing HK” seems to hint that the Chief Executive will be tasked with the enactment of Article 23.
 
    Following Thursday’s meeting, Shen Chunyao, director of the Hong Kong, Macao, and Basic Law Commission, laid out the specific tasks and arrangements concerning Hong Kong, including how to govern Hong Kong in accordance with law, namely 1) enhance the system and mechanism over the appointment of the chief executive and principal officials in the SARs, 2) enhance the system over the interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People’s Congress, 3) establish a sound legal system and enforcement mechanism for the safeguarding of national security in the special administrative regions, and 4) support the special administrative regions in strengthening law enforcement.
 
        The selection and appointment system of the Chief Executive and principal officials are already clearly stated in the Basic Law, what more enhancement can there be? If Beijing fully supports Carrie Lam’s governance, why would they want to make any changes? Therefore, the so-called enhancement implies there is going to be a government reshuffle in the upcoming months.  
 
        Beijing’s national policy is increasingly leaning towards exercising overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong and they believe that the prosperity of Hong Kong can be maintained even when its uniqueness is gone. Beijing just doesn’t seem to understand that Hong Kong’s disappointment comes from Beijing repeatedly breaking its promises. Hong Kong is purely fighting for Beijing to keep its word. Needless to say, the mutual trust between the Central Government and Hong Kongers is hence in freezing point.
 
Since Hong Kong is an international city, if Beijing tries to take away the uniqueness of Hong Kong and adopts the same hard-line approach to people’s demands, Hong Kong could no longer keep our stability and prosperity. That will also stop the contribution Hong Kong can bring to the Mainland.  
 
        Beijing announced its plans to build Shenzhen into a pilot showcase area of socialism with Chinese characteristics not long ago. The announcement seems to suggest that Beijing would like to replace Hong Kong with Shenzhen. However, it will be difficult to transform Shenzhen into a hub of innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity with international influence if freedom of the press and information continue to be suppressed and the legal system continues to be rule BY law instead of rule OF law. Without adequate protection of freedoms and the rule of law, Shenzhen will never take Hong Kong’s place even if Hong Kong is dead.
 
        It looks like the future of Hong Kong is gloomy as we are sitting next to our mighty mother country. However, as long as Hong Kongers are still breathing, there will be a way out. In World War II, Axis Powers were once formidable forces but they eventually collapsed. USA and the USSR were in a Cold War for 40 years before the USSR collapsed. After that, the once fully controlled Eastern Europe was able to start a new life. History tells us that as long as we continue to criticize and fight against authoritarian regimes, justice may be late, but never absent. The process may be long but we will succeed if we have faith.

Letter To Hong Kong

                                                               
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