Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Hong Kong's timeline to dictatorship

Hong Kong has seen two pivotal moments that sealed its fate on the path to dictatorship; the nomination of Xi Xinping as the ultimate ruler of the CCP, and C.Y. Leung’s nomination.
Xi marked an era of return to the worst of what communism can be in terms of suppression of freedoms and the implementation of and authoritarian regime. C.Y. Leung, in his desire to ensure the best potential outcome for himself, also turned-out to put in place changes, and question democratic institutions.

"The SAR as a local government does not have complete executive power and legislative power ... [It] is not in the broad sense a government that consists of executive, legislative and judicial powers.
(…)
The Basic Law that we often talk about is a law passed by ... the National People's Congress. Thus, can we superimpose a concept of separation of powers as found in other countries?”
This was widely echoed by the pro-Bejing apparachicks:
“Fan, a member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, also said there was no ‘separation of powers’ in Hong Kong. She said the phrase is only used by pan-democrats”
“The Deputy Director of the Basic Law Committee, Elsie Leung, says there's no ‘absolute separation of powers’ in Hong Kong. (…) In an exclusive interview with RTHK, she said while there is no stipulation in the Basic Law that a separation of powers exists here, the fact is the executive, legislative and judiciary do have their own jurisdictions with sufficient checks and balances between them.”

“Leung has shown little hesitation in threatening – or resorting to – abusive litigation against his perceived opponents. In 2013 he threatened to sue the Hong Kong Economic Journal after it ran an op-ed by Joseph Lian Yi-zheng that purported to highlight Leung’s connections with triads and raised the possibility that he, or connected individuals, could be subjected to shuanggui (Party disciplinary investigations). Earlier this year, Leung again threatened to sue a newspaper – this time the pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily – for discussing a secret payment of HK$50 million from Australian company UGL. Jose Carlos Ugaz, chairman of Transparency International, panned the libel threat against Apple Daily as “ridiculous.”
More significantly, there are signs that Leung’s administration has invoked litigation in order to shift blame for politically unpopular decisions to the Judiciary. The occupation of part of Mongkok district during the Umbrella Movement ended not through the invocation of the police’s public order powers, but after an ostensibly independent group of taxi and minibus drivers obtained an injunction – a cynical move to disguise a public law issue as a civil dispute. More recently, the government’s last-minute application to bar two localist politicians elected to the legislature from retaking their oaths of office is a clear abuse of a process that runs counter to established constitutional principles and precedent.
(…)
A hallmark of Hong Kong politics under CY Leung has been the proliferation of pro-government protesters. Prior to the Leung administration, such groups and demonstrations were ‘extremely rare;’ they now form an entrenched part of Hong Kong’s political landscape. With them has come an upsurge in violence against pro-democracy protesters, as well as members of the press. As with violent Trump supporters, there are no signs of official connections between the government and its supporters’ conduct. Yet, the police have been accused of selective enforcement – for example by allowing anti-Occupy mobs to operate with impunity.
(…)
Leung and others in his camp have also been adept at exploiting xenophobic sentiment. Some of their vitriol has been directed at “foreign” (i.e. not ethnically Chinese) judges on the Court of Final Appeal – judges whose status on the Court is protected by Article 82 of the Basic Law. However, much more invective has been directed at individuals who seek protection under the Convention Against Torture. Pro-government politicians have stumbled over each other to smear asylum seekers as “fake” refugees or advocate internment in offshore camps. Leung outdid them all. Speaking after his 2016 Policy Address, the Chief Executive suggested that Hong Kong might withdraw from the Convention Against Torture over the ‘problem’ of ‘fake’ refugees.
(…)
Allegations surrounding Leung’s receipt of a payment of HK$50 million from UGL have proven to be an albatross around Leung’s neck since 2014 when The Age first exposed the payment. Leung has repeatedly stonewalled on the issue – and, as mentioned above, even threatened to sue the Apple Daily over its discussion of the UGL scandal.
Yet, even this may pale into insignificance compared to strange goings-on at the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the city’s corruption watchdog. In July 2016 Rebecca Li, the acting head of the ICAC’s investigative unit, was abruptly removed without explanation; senior investigator Dale Ko resigned days later. ICAC Commissioner Simon Peh attempted to quell speculation by declaring that he, and not Leung, made the decision to fire Li. Yet suspicions persist that Peh – who is accountable to the Chief Executive – removed her because of her investigation of the UGL payments. Peh subsequently panned the allegations as “slander” in a letter to democratic legislators, but declined to meet with them to explain the circumstances behind the abrupt personnel changes.”

Leung is also the instigator of the oath-taking legal reviews, and the demand for Bejing to re-interpret the Basic Law (although these were done behind closed doors).

C.Y. Leung left a poisonous climate of thinly-veiled authoritarianism which Carrie Lam does not seem willing to change. Unless the Hong Kong population demand change and takes the street to do so, nothing seem to indicate that this slow-progression towards CCP-styled dictatorship is going to abate.

I thought it would be relevant to try to forecast what kind of incremental changes we can expect from now to 2047 and beyond. Then, what I believe would be the proper way to counter-act, or at least to diminish their impacts.

2018-to-2047:
  • C.E. forces the passing of Article 23 in its strictest form. (1)
  • Political parties advocating Hong Kong independence are banned. So is the promotion of independence in any form. It becomes punishable with 6 months jail-term. (1)
  • National education curriculum is part of the school curriculum, does not include anything negative about the Communist party (2)
  • Hong Kong resident jailed for kneeling during the anthem at Seven's game. Carrie Lam says that the law is clear and that Hong Kong must apply the rule of law
  • Beijing interprets the Basic-Law and state that separation of powers is not guaranteed by it and therefore, the mainland’s model applies. (3)
  • HK executive frequently intervenes and influence court cases. (3)
  • National education curriculum increasingly include reference to the great achievements of China (2)
  • Hong Kong legco passes law forbidding debate on Hong Kong independence throughout the school system, all the way to universities (1)
  • Bejing states that, according to Article 23, it must prevent the spread of seditious ideas on the Internet, and propose to extend the great Chinese wall to Hong Kong. (1)
  • Foreign judges are not allowed to practice in Hong Kong
  • Increased political influence into the workings of ICAC.
  • ICAC regularly used as a tool to suppress political dissent.
  • Protesters are denied right of assembly based on Article 23. Protest leaders are routinely jailed as a result. (1)
  • PLA soldiers in uniform in the streets of Hong Kong

Post 2047:
  • Legco is fully appointed by Beijing
  • Corruption is rampant in the ranks of government officials
  • Yuan is fully convertible across China
  • Hong Kong lawyers frequently get arrested for ‘promoting’ interpretation of the law that are in opposition with Bejing’s
  • Hong Kong uses Yuan as currency
  • Mandarin is the primary language of education in Hong Kong
  • Capital punishment is re-introduced in Hong Kong
  • Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the official economic model for Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong is a second-tier mainland city

(1)
Bejing’s useful idiots response is:
“Hong Kong is the only place in the world without a national security legislation,” Wang said. “It’s a major weakness in the nation’s overall security, and it has a direct impact on residents.”
Filter out the noise, and the message from the mainland is simple. There can be no political progress or improvement in governance without enacting the national security legislation as outlined in Article 23 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution.
You may or may not have electoral reform – a version of which was vetoed by the opposition in 2015 – with Article 23 legislation. But you will never have electoral reform without it.
Criticise all you want but the central government is not a liberal democracy, so you are barking up the wrong tree demanding that it behave like one.”
(…)
Or the opposition can drop its opposition to Article 23. In exchange, demand Beijing relaxes its restricted framework on electoral reform and accelerate the pace of reform for both the chief executive and Legislative Council elections.”

We see here Lo’s naivety; why would Beijing relax its framework on electoral reform? It has been quite happy to re-interpret the basic-law whichever way gives it more power. Actually, quite the opposite, Bejing has quite clearly shown signs of how it will pressure Hong Kong to use the law:

“An adviser to Hong Kong’s leader has defended a former Beijing official who urged city residents not to cross a legal line by challenging China’s socialist system, saying it was not a hardline stance.
(…)
Qiao Xiaoyang, in the city for a week-long tour, appealed to Hongkongers on Saturday to back the Communist Party.”
“And some say advocacy of Hong Kong independence is protected by freedom of speech. Conspiracy and incitement to split up the country is just freedom of expression? No such reasoning would be acceptable in any part of the world.” (False)
“Since Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty, some people in the city have openly opposed the socialist system in China. This contravenes the Basic Law, and is unconstitutional. In accordance with the Basic Law, which draws its power from the constitution, no person has the right to oppose the country’s fundamental system.
(…)
The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Therefore, the leadership of the party is also part of the constitutional system. When one respects the constitution, upholds the constitution, and abides by the constitution, one should also respect, support and follow the leadership of the party.”

The only way to deal with the bully, is to blunt its instrument of torture. Therefore, the only way for Hong Kong to escape the ever-closer clasping grip of the Chinese dictatorship, is for us to make into law an Article 23 that proscribes its abuse. Something akin to the Canadian sedition law would be desirable in my opinion. It would also give the courts a clear interpretation of the basic-law which protects freedom-of-expression.

U.S
Sedition laws were passed during time of war (1918). Furthermore, Brandenburg v. Ohio affirmed in 1969 that seditious speech in itself, even the advocacy of violence, was not sufficient for condemnation unless it constitutes an imminent threat.

Canada
In Canada, sedition is covered by article 59 of the Canadian criminal code.

Seditious words
59 (1) Seditious words are words that express a seditious intention.

Marginal note:Seditious libel
(2) A seditious libel is a libel that expresses a seditious intention.

Marginal note:Seditious conspiracy
(3) A seditious conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to carry out a seditious intention.

Marginal note:Seditious intention
(4) Without limiting the generality of the meaning of the expression seditious intention, every one shall be presumed to have a seditious intention who

(a) teaches or advocates, or

(b) publishes or circulates any writing that advocates,

the use, without the authority of law, of force as a means of accomplishing a governmental change within Canada.

Germany
There’s no real anti-sedition law in Germany

U.K.
Section 73 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 abolishes sedition and seditious libel. This came into effect from 12th January 2010.

India
Has anti-sedition laws that date back from its colonial past. And it is highly controversial as it is mostly used to suppress dissent from the political discourse.

(2)
I believe that the best way to handle this situation is to be vigilant, to agree on the need for a mandatory national education curriculum, and for schools to define the curriculum together, instead of waiting for it to be imposed by the government.

(3)
Separation of powers need to be defined de-facto as part of the implementation of the legal framework. It should be defined and referenced as such in legal documents. Any changes by Beijing would then become obvious and likely to generate significant popular backlashes

(4)
Pan-democrats need to swallow their pride and accept the first step towards a more democratically elected C.E., which is to accept Beijing’s nomination committee as it was proposed, associated with a condition that the nomination procedure be reviewed every 4 years

In closing, the quote below sums-up what is the most dangerous frame of mind in the current discourse:
"Freedom of speech is not an absolute. It is subject to limits in practically all human societies. Sometimes such limits are justified; other times, not.
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution, in rendering free speech almost an absolute right, is an outlier. Many people admire it from afar. Then again, it’s much easier to deal in absolutes than having to acknowledge nuances and conditions.

It seems to me a far greater achievement for societies that have managed to balance free speech with the need for public order and social consensus."

The fact is that all modern, open societies, which also are the richest incidentally, all have very, very few restrictions to freedom of speech, usually centered on libel, hate speech, and advocacy of violence. The public order argument is almost always the argument of autocrats and despots…

Friday, March 09, 2018

China's war on pollution

Very interesting article from Bloomberg.

"China is cracking down on pollution like never before, with new green policies so hard-hitting and extensive they can be felt across the world, transforming everything from electric vehicle demand to commodities markets."

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-china-pollution/








Monday, March 05, 2018

Land use Hong Kong

A bit of a data dump...

"We are an important force in stabilizing Hong Kong."
- Leung Fuk-yuen, chief of Tai Tong village in Yuen Long
Read: We ensure the status-quo and support Beijing. We do not care about high property price as long as we can keep making millions on the back of the overwhelming majority of Hong Kong population.

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/article/1545665/its-our-right-say-new-territories-leaders-fighting-keep-small


--------------------------------------


“'Only 24 per cent of total land (size of 110,000 hectares) in Hong Kong are developed land, with the rest being greenery, including country parks, farm land and land for other uses,' said Wong in a luncheon meeting on Thursday."
http://www.scmp.com/property/hong-kong-china/article/2102572/can-reclamation-resolve-hong-kongs-housing-problem


That is exactly what makes Hong Kong a unique place in the world, and what makes its mass transit work.

Our Hong Kong Foundation, founded by the Bejing and Heung Yee Kuk supported Tung Chee Wa says more reclamation is needed. I call bullock!
--------------------------------------

Farmland

Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., Henderson Land Development Co., New World Development Co. and CK Asset Holdings Ltd., are sitting on land banks holding more than 1,000 hectares of unused farmland. These could yield 500,000 new homes over the next 25 years according to CLSA Ltd.’s CEO Jonathan Slone. But developers say the government charges them very high premiums for converting farmland to residential use. One option the task force is considering is a public-private collaboration where the government would cut those premiums and help pay for roads, water and other infrastructure serving the sites, while the developers provide some affordable public housing.

Brownfields

Revamping use of of so-called brownfield sites on private land in the New Territories, currently occupied by a smattering of open air storage facilities, warehouses and carparks, could free up 1,300 hectares of land. The plan would involve relocating these sites into multistory industrial structures, reducing the amount of land they occupy by two-thirds. Lawmaker Kenneth Chan said on Radio Television Hong Kong on Feb. 22 that part of the government’s projected HK$168 billion ($21.5 billion) budget surplus for the year ending March could be spent on building these new structures.


Monday, January 22, 2018

The U.S' 2018 National Defense Strategy focuses on China and Russia


"The central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by
what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers. It is increasingly clear that China
and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model—gaining veto authority
over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions.
(...)
Concurrently, Russia seeks veto authority over nations on its periphery in terms of their governmental,
economic, and diplomatic decisions, to shatter the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and change
European and Middle East security and economic structures to its favor. The use of emerging
technologies to discredit and subvert democratic processes in Georgia, Crimea, and eastern Ukraine
is concern enough, but when coupled with its expanding and modernizing nuclear arsenal the
challenge is clear.

Another change to the strategic environment is a resilient, but weakening, post-WWII international order. In
the decades after fascism’s defeat in World War II, the United States and its allies and partners
constructed a free and open international order to better safeguard their liberty and people from
aggression and coercion. Although this system has evolved since the end of the Cold War, our network
of alliances and partnerships remain the backbone of global security. China and Russia are now
undermining the international order from within the system by exploiting its benefits while
simultaneously undercutting its principles and “rules of the road.”
(...)
The security environment is also affected by rapid technological advancements and the changing character of war.
The drive to develop new technologies is relentless, expanding to more actors with lower barriers of
entry, and moving at accelerating speed. New technologies include advanced computing, “big data”
analytics, artificial intelligence, autonomy, robotics, directed energy, hypersonics, and biotechnology—
the very technologies that ensure we will be able to fight and win the wars of the future.

New commercial technology will change society and, ultimately, the character of war. The fact that
many technological developments will come from the commercial sector means that state
competitors and non-state actors will also have access to them, a fact that risks eroding the
conventional overmatch to which our Nation has grown accustomed. Maintaining the Department’s
technological advantage will require changes to industry culture, investment sources, and protection
across the National Security Innovation Base.

States are the principal actors on the global stage, but non-state actors also threaten the security
environment with increasingly sophisticated capabilities. Terrorists, trans-national criminal
organizations, cyber hackers and other malicious non-state actors have transformed global affairs with
increased capabilities of mass disruption. There is a positive side to this as well, as our partners in
sustaining security are also more than just nation-states: multilateral organizations, non-governmental
organizations, corporations, and strategic influencers provide opportunities for collaboration and
partnership. Terrorism remains a persistent condition driven by ideology and unstable political and
economic structures, despite the defeat of ISIS’s physical caliphate.

It is now undeniable that the homeland is no longer a sanctuary. America is a target, whether from
terrorists seeking to attack our citizens; malicious cyber activity against personal, commercial, or
government infrastructure; or political and information subversion. New threats to commercial and
military uses of space are emerging, while increasing digital connectivity of all aspects of life,
business, government, and military creates significant vulnerabilities. During conflict, attacks against
our critical defense, government, and economic infrastructure must be anticipated.

(...)
Counter coercion and subversion. In competition short of armed conflict, revisionist powers and rogue
regimes are using corruption, predatory economic practices, propaganda, political subversion, proxies,
and the threat or use of military force to change facts on the ground. Some are particularly adept at
exploiting their economic relationships with many of our security partners. We will support U.S.
interagency approaches and work by, with, and through our allies and partners to secure our interests
and counteract this coercion.
"

"- First, rebuilding military readiness as we build a more lethal Joint Force;
-Second, strengthening alliances as we attract new partners; and
- Third, reforming the Departments business practices for greater performance
and affordability."
Lethality is already established and neither Russia nor China are anywhere close to compete on that front.
"Command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR).
Investments will prioritize developing resilient, survivable, federated networks and
information ecosystems from the tactical level up to strategic planning. Investments will also
prioritize capabilities to gain and exploit information, deny competitors those same
advantages, and enable us to provide attribution while defending against and holding
accountable state or non-state actors during cyberattacks."
That is closer to the mark. It might be that the various U.S. department are too segregated. I.e. U.S. needs to win the future wars the same way it won the Cold War; without a direct intervention.

"Uphold a foundation of mutual respect, responsibility, priorities, and accountability. Our alliances and
coalitions are built on free will and shared responsibilities. While we will unapologetically represent
America’s values and belief in democracy, we will not seek to impose our way of life by force. We
will uphold our commitments and we expect allies and partners to contribute an equitable share
to our mutually beneficial collective security, including effective investment in modernizing their
defense capabilities. We have shared responsibilities for resisting authoritarian trends, contesting
radical ideologies, and serving as bulwarks against instability."

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Society: two interesting articles

Colm Kelly and Blair Sheppard give a short historical recap leading to the current situation we're in today where there's resentment and increasing gaps between rich and poor. Then, they propose a few avenues for resolution:

https://www.strategy-business.com/feature/Common-Purpose-Realigning-Business-Economies-and-Society?gko=e57f6

In the following article, Sally Helgesen explains Cass Sunstein’s theories on how better societal and individual outcomes can be attained by "nudging" people to make better choices. All of this while keeping an individual's freedom to choose:

https://www.strategy-business.com/article/Its-All-Cass-Sunsteins-Default?gko=ab34c

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

letters@scmp.com : Enacting Article 23

from:Jean-Christophe Clement 
to:Letters ,
Mike Rowse
date:20 December 2017 at 06:41
subject:Enacting Article 23

I refer to Mike Rowse’s opinion piece published on Sunday, December 17th, 2017, where he proposes that the best chance for Hong Kong to get a favourable outcome on Article 23 is for us to draft it and set the terms… before Bejing does.
I believe he is entirely correct.
Here is the mandate: “The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.”

The treason, secession, subversion bits need to be toned-down so they will not be abused by Beijing. Similarly, the “ties for foreign political organizations or bodies” is too broad and therefore could encroach on freedom of movement and speech. Here’s my suggestion as to the spirit of what it could look like:

“Any act of treason, secession, or subversion against the Central People's Government through violent means or explicit incitement to use violent means, or theft of state secrets, are prohibited. Foreign political organizations or bodies are prohibited from conducting political activities in the Region. Political organizations or bodies of the Region are prohibited to establish formal ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.”

I would say it would be hard for anyone to argue for violence and formal ties. Yet if Beijing refused such a formulation, it would make their real intentions plain for all to see…

JC Clement


-----------------
About sedition laws in general, I'll let you ponder on the following:
"What is democracy if not a plot to change the power in place?"

Friday, December 15, 2017

The silent enabler

I always wonder what is the rationale Hong Kong residents have when they are faced with the evidence that China is progressively chipping away at Hong Kong’s way of life (freedom of expression, rule-of-law, separation of powers, etc. All the good stuff in a free society).

One of the pundits, Michael Chugani, has made his position clear in his SCMP comment on the suggestion that tickets for the Express rail might be payable in RMB:

"Are you serious, Mr Secretary? Do you really want to pursue the folly of using China’s renminbi as the currency to buy express rail tickets in Hong Kong? Unthinkable as it may be for many Hongkongers, that’s exactly what Transport and Housing Secretary Frank Chan Fan said two weeks ago.
These were his exact words at a press conference about the railway’s logistics: “How about the kind of currency that we are [to be] using? Should it be the Hong Kong dollar or should it be renminbi?”
I can think of only two reasons for Chan’s astounding remark: he wasn’t thinking straight, or he is unfamiliar with the word “mainlandisation”.
Either way, it again proves that our officials have an inborn knack to shoot themselves in the foot.
Mainlandisation is anathema to many Hong Kong people. But it’s an inevitability that’s already eating away at the feel and culture of our city. Mainland developers have humbled local property tycoons in snapping up land. Mandarin has become a fixture in our finance sector. Even Hong Kong icon Cathay Pacific has lost its blue-chip status to a mainland firm on the Hang Seng Index.
Do we want to hasten the process by requiring Hongkongers to pay in renminbi for express rail tickets at West Kowloon?
The HK$84 billion Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail was built with Hong Kong dollars and paid for by local taxpayers. Its terminus is in West Kowloon, which will remain part of Hong Kong even after a section is placed under mainland jurisdiction.
Call me a localist if you will, but I am ruffled by the thought of having to pay in renminbi for a ticket on a railway built and paid for by Hong Kong.”

Sure, but these are details. The important part and the character of Hong Kong is not the fact that it is using the Hong Kong dollar to pay for a train ticket.

“Don’t confuse my brand of localism with that of the lunatics who equate it with self-rule. Independence is never going to happen, but drilling that into the brains of such people is mission impossible.

My definition of localism is accepting Hong Kong as a part of China but keeping at bay the kind of mainlandisation that dilutes our city’s character and culture. Many local stores, particularly high-end ones that cater to mainland tourists, already accept payment in renminbi.
But the express rail is not a store. It is a taxpayer-financed government entity intended to showcase Hong Kong as an international city efficiently linked to the world’s second-largest economy.”

Oh, so, now it is quite clear; for Chugani, mainlandisation is the irrelevant details. The big things that made Hong Kong what it is, he does not seem to understand or care for. What is now Hong Kong was the land nobody wanted before the Brits took it over, and then enshrined the principles of free enterprise, rule-of-law, freedom-of-the-press, freedom-of-expression, an independent judiciary, no communism… That is what makes Hong Kong what it is.
I am not saying that colonialism is preferable, that's not my point at all. But for sure, everything that a CCP-ruled China will be bringing is the antithesis of the Hong Kong character.

“But joint immigration at West Kowloon does scare many Hongkongers who fear being arrested by mainland officials on Hong Kong soil.
Opposition legislators have fanned this fear, insisting that joint immigration violates the Basic Law. They have used, and intend to continue using, every trick in the Legislative Council rule book to stall local legislation that will allow joint immigration.
Some in the opposition have even ridiculed the express rail link as a pricey showpiece that benefits business elites rather than ordinary Hongkongers.
Does Chan really want to throw them more red meat by considering renminbi as the fare currency? Such a move will play right into the hands of the opposition. What next, they will ask. Charging renminbi for plane tickets to the mainland? What happened to “one country, two systems”?
It is, of course, a given that passengers travelling from the mainland to West Kowloon should pay with renminbi. I don’t even mind if passengers to the mainland are given a choice of either currency.
But choosing renminbi as the only currency? No sir, Secretary Chan. Banish the thought here and now.”

See, that’s the crux of the problem with people such as Chugani. Either because of ignorance or naivety, he believes that his idea of the Hong Kong character will survive within China even if the core of Hong Kong political, economic, and legal system goes. It cannot, because it is the Hong Kong character! Let’s see how content Chugani is when the only thing left of Hong Kong is Cantonese opera and pineapple buns. 

As such, he is silent enabler; thinking that if we go quiet, the Chinese government is going to keep the status-quo. Unfortunately, the evidence of the past few years  support the exact opposite. And no, they are not all related to the Occupy movement (abducted booksellers rings any bells?)

I think that quite the opposite; China will accelerate the complete removal of the Hong Kong character unless the silent-enablers wake up and voice their dissent.

P.S. On a side-note, the SCMP has taken to refer to Hong Kong as a 'City' instead of a 'S.A.R.' lately…


2018-MAR-01: Another enabler, Alex Lo, reveals himself clearly in his latest viewpoint:
"The city’s limited democratic system cannot be reformed any time soon. But at least we can aim to maintain the status quo and not give Beijing reasons to interfere.
(...)
After all, it is our constitutional duty under the Basic Law to maintain China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and to realise universal suffrage in Hong Kong. This way, we may yet earn back Beijing’s goodwill, and lay the groundwork for future political reform."
http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/2134981/too-late-pocket-first-xi-seeks-abolish-term-limits