Translated by S. Chan
Last week, the Liaison Office issued a warning statement after I had suggested taking the ten steps to “mutually assured destruction (MAD)”. It looks like I stabbed the Communist Party in the heart again. I pointed out that the ten steps, as its name has suggested, would cause mutual destruction to both sides. I do not wish to see that happen, as I were just trying to make objective predictions of what would happen. If the Communist Party behaved so recklessly that it arbitrarily implemented full governance over Hong Kong and deprived Hong Kong people of their freedom, dignity and autonomy, then Hong Kong people who stand for their beliefs would be forced to take the ten steps towards mutually assured destruction.
Communist Party officials made misleading claims that the democrats wanted to seize power. “One country, two systems” promises Hong Kong people a high degree of autonomy, and the Basic Law promises universal suffrage, and Hong Kong people want the power be returned to the people. They are only asking the Communist Party to honour its promises, but the Communist Party has reneged on its promise first.
In the recent crackdown, the police arrested 15 moderate democrats for organizing or participating in illegal assemblies. In the past, the government would never target pro-democracy leaders on such grounds, but now it is doing so. The Commissioner of Police even said that if you don’t want to be pulled, you should not break the law. Apparently, the SAR regime is collaborating with the Communist regime and targeting all democrats, including the moderates.
From the anti-extradition movement to the District Council elections, the Communist Party has seen civil protests emerging. In terms of institutional design, even if the pro-democracy camp wins in direct elections, it still has to win seats in functional constituencies in order to get half of the Legco seats. The CPC estimates that FC voters, even if they support the pro-democracy camp, tend to be moderate. Therefore, the strategy taken by the Communist Party is to intimidate the moderates, so that they will stall the plan of fighting for more than half of the Legco seats, because once the democrats get more than half of the Legco seats, mutual destruction will definitely occur.
Communist Party betrayed Hong Kong & intensifed Hong Kong’s struggle
The pro-establishment camp launched an anti-MAD propaganda campaign with the same objective – that is, talking the moderates into parting with the radicals – to ensure that democrats cannot win half of the Legco seats. In fact, the Communist Party has adopted this divisive tactic time and again over the years. Now it is just using it again, but over the years, Hong Kong people have changed. Even those who have always been moderate and law-abiding have been forced step by step into civil disobedience and even valiant resistance. If Communist Party officials think that they can achieve their goals by re-using old methods, I can say that they are too ignorant and have underestimated Hong Kong people.
Just looking back to a few years ago, most democrat supporters were not that determined to work towards MAD. They were probably still very naive and believed that the CCP would give in under pressure. However, after years of suppression, the Communist Party has done everything it can. The shameless SAR regime has abandoned Hong Kong’s conventions, and cooperates with the CCP in suppressing Hong Kong people who make reasonable demands. As a result, more moderates have joined the radicals and become more radical. It was the direct result of CCP suppression.
Perhaps there are still plenty of moderate democrat supporters who do not really want MAD, but now the CCP treats all opponents as the same and suppresses them, moderates and radicals alike. If the moderates are not determined enough to stick to their values, they will be forced to kowtow. What’s even scarier is that even if we were truly willing to kowtow, the lawless authoritarian regime might still want us to jump off a cliff. So resistance is better than making compromises.
But we need not despair too much. Scholars on civil protests have compared between the protests around the world and found a golden percentage. It only takes 3.5% of the people of a place join in a united struggle to make successful transformations. This 3.5% actively and creatively deploy resources and methods to fight in street protests and elections. They may be a minority compared to the whole population, but they have enough power to bring about changes because their persistence is beyond imagination.
In Hong Kong, 3.5% means about 260,000 to 70,000 people. The pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong has been there for more than 30 years. After the past seven years, the number of people who have actively taken part in the struggle has certainly exceeded this figure. In other words, we have a solid foundation to change Hong Kong. Of course, what is holding Hong Kong back is the Communist Party which rules over 1.4 billion people in China. Perhaps 3.5% is not enough to change Hong Kong fundamentally. However, Hong Kong is different from other places because of its international connections. Hong Kong protesters can be a strong leverage if they can make good use of Hong Kong’s international status. Even 3.5% of the 7.5 million people can affect the great powers. Therefore, these hundreds of thousands of proactive people should capitalise on the opportunity to challenge the anxious Chinese Communist Party.
A line from the movie Unbeatable can best describe the situation of Hong Kong people:
“Don’t be afraid when you are on the stage. You’ll lose for good if you are.”