Special Report: The battle for Hong Kong’s soul

Greg Torode, James Pomfret & Benjamin Kang Lim | 30 June 2014 | Reuters

“The real cabinet is the shadow cabinet,” said one source close to Leung [HK’s puppet leader]. “The chief executive’s office can’t do without the Liaison Office’s help on certain matters.”

Before the 1997 handover, the Chinese Communist Party focused on courting businessmen, academics and activists to secure influence and loyalty. It has now become more assertive, attempting to isolate party enemies, silence critics, and deliver votes.

A legacy of the earliest days of Leninist communist revolutionary theory, the United Front Work Department’s mission is to influence and ultimately control a range of non-party groups, luring some into cooperation and isolating and denouncing others. “The tactics and techniques of the United Front have been refined and perfected over the decades and we are seeing a very modern articulation of it in Hong Kong.”

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Beijing’s Catch-22

Mark C. Eades | 25 June 2014 | U.S. News

Simply put, Beijing is caught in a Catch-22 situation that it cannot win, and that observers in the West should take great pleasure in watching it flounder about with. Hong Kong is a no-win proposition for the dictators in Beijing — allow democracy to take root in Hong Kong and risk losing control of mainland China, or crack down on democracy in Hong Kong and risk losing Taiwan.

All of which should prove deeply satisfying to anyone not committed to the notion that eternal Communist Party rule is indispensable to China’s future. Hong Kong’s democracy movement presents the vision of an infinitely better China than that the dictators in Beijing have to offer. That’s what those old buzzards are afraid of, so let’s enjoy watching them squirm.

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Occupy Central with Love and Peace

7 Aug 2013 | International Political Forum

Occupy Central with Love and Peace, or Occupy Central in short, does not refer to the Hong Kong version of the anti-capitalistOccupy Wall Street movement in 2011. Nor is it a romantic title of a melodrama. Instead, it is a proposed civil disobedience movement which would take place in Central (the CBD), Hong Kong in July 2014.

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Holding Out in Hong Kong

Ian Buruma | 6 December 1997 | ChinaFile

Chinese values do not adequately explain the peculiar alliance between mainland Communists and the local tycoons, who still want Hong Kong to be run as a profitable colony, albeit under a different master. Opportunism is part of it, to be sure. Most Hong Kong tycoons have been cultivating guanxi with the Communist patrons for years. …Tycoons and Marxist commissars are bound by more than opportunism, however. They share a deep conviction that everything can be reduced to economics, and that liberal politics is a hindrance, at best. As the distinguished lawyer Gladys Li put it to me: “China’s view of Hong Kong is business, business, business.”

The formula for the future status of Hong Kong, “One Country, Two Systems,” has a history of deceit. The phrase was first used in public by Deng Xiaoping in 1984. But the concept is very close to the one applied to the Autonomous Region of Tibet in 1951. Tibet was to be kept separate from China, to allow “feudal” Tibet to catch up with communism. Hong Kong must remain separate from China for fifty years to allow Communist China to catch up with…capitalism? In both cases, the “existing political system” would (will) not be altered. We know what happened in Tibet. We don’t yet know what will happen in Hong Kong. But one issue involving deliberate deceit has yet to be openly discussed: the role of the Chinese Communist Party. What will the New China News Agency be doing in Hong Kong after June 30? Surely not just reporting the news. Will senior people in the Hong Kong government declare their membership in the Communist Party? Which system would they be serving? Who will be accountable to whom?

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