Taiwan and HK united in resisting China
Taipei Times 2014.9.14
By Paul Lin 林保華
In June this year, Beijing released a white paper entitled The
Practice of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ Policy in the Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region.
It spelled the death of the “one country, two systems” policy and
a “high degree of autonomy” for Hong Kong.
On Aug. 31, the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s
Congress announced Beijing’s decisions on universal suffrage in
Hong Kong, and the following day Hong Kongers gathered in a protest,
prominently displaying the Chinese characters for “civil
disobedience” on the main stage.
On the same day, the Taiwan-based New School for Democracy and
another 20 Taiwanese civic groups held an international press
conference to show their joint support for Hong Kong’s Alliance for
During the event, Hong Kong City University political science
professor and convenor of the Alliance for True Democracy Joseph
Cheng (鄭宇碩), and University of Hong Kong Faculty of Arts student
and Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) secretary-general Alex
Chow Yong Kang (周永康) participated via video conferencing.
During the conversation Chow said: “In the future, Hong Kong’s
younger generations will never again believe in talk about one
country, two systems, a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong or
Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong, nor will they talk about the
return of democracy anymore.”
“What they will talk about is determining their own fate, that the
people of Hong Kong will decide their future for themselves,” Chow
In other words, Hong Kong’s young people will never again place
their faith in Beijing. They will follow their own path and decide
their own future, Chow added.
The HKFS and Scholarism, another student activist group, have both
been active in Hong Kong’s civic movements pushing for universal
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tends to exercise more self-
control when dealing with students to avoid making itself look bad,
but in the end, the party could not help itself from lashing out.
As the members of Scholarism are only high-school students, it would
not look good if the CCP attacked them, so instead it chose to come
down on members of the HKFS, who are tertiary students, and the
CCP-led media have referred to them using derogatory names.
Over the past few days, Chow’s talk of deciding one’s own fate has
been attacked by left-wing newspapers as representing “Hong Kong
Independence.” Are Hong Kongers really just meant to be slaves of
What is more, self-determination is a basic human right as outlined
in the UN Charter.
The UK government is preparing for a referendum to decide whether
Scotland should be an independent country — due to take place on
Like the UK, China is also a permanent member of the UN Security
Council, so how should they be punished for openly acting against
the UN Charter?
Civil disobedience is not necessarily the only way to independence,
nor will Chow’s talk about Hong Kongers deciding their own future
lead to the territory’s independence. It is simply a matter of
promoting peaceful and rational non-cooperation.
As well as protesting in the streets, on Sept. 3, a Hong Kong
cartoonist who goes by the alias “White Water” posted a cartoon on
Facebook showing nine ways that Hong Kongers could boycott Chinese
products: not using banks invested in by China, boycotting products
from Chinese electronic companies, refusing to use Chinese social
media Web sites and software, not buying shares in Chinese companies
mainly operating in China but incorporated overseas, not traveling
to China, not using China Mobile’s services, not buying Chinese
electronic goods, not watching Chinese television programs and not
drinking Tsingtao Beer.
Before 1997, some of my friends in Hong Kong had already started
refusing to purchase clothing made by the company of businessman and
“patriotic monster” Tsang Hin-chi (曾憲梓).
If “patriotic” businesspeople or media outlets in the territory
start making unreasonable statements, the boycott could be expanded
to include these outlets.
If the CCP continues its oppression in the territory, the sense of a
distinctively local Hong Kong identity will only grow stronger among
Taiwanese can also start to resist China in their own lives by
saying no to the CCP.
For example, they could choose not to purchase products made in
China and consider boycotting shares in and products made by
Taiwanese companies close to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his
confidantes, just as they boycotted HTC’s products when HTC Corp
chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅) made inappropriate statements. From
here, the desinicization can be further expanded.
Paul Lin is a political commentator.
Translated by Drew Cameron