• wethepeopleofhk

CCP's illegal annexation of Hong Kong

Updated: Jun 2, 2020


Under the one party rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) China's National Peoples Congress (NPC) on Thursday 28 May 2020 passed it's resolution for a National Security Law for Hong Kong (HK).


This National Security Law passed by NPC is a breach of HK's Constitution the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong.


On the issue of HK the democratic world currently seems to be at a loss for a unifying strategy and narrative to counter the authoritarian CCP's continious denials of it's obligations under the rule of law for HK.


Russia’s 2014 land grab in the Crimea was termed at the UN 'an illegal annexation'.


By collectively recognizing that this is an illegal annexation of HK by China's CCP this will ensure that democracies worldwide respond quickly and appropriately.


HK people, in unity and support of the Joint Declaration and their civil liberties, continue to non-violently protest based on their strategy of "攬炒 = if we burn you burn with us" while waiting patiently for September 2020 Legislative Council elections (see below).


We the People of HK suggests that a referendum needs to be held asap with multiple options for action to be agreed upon by HK people. Because of numerous breaches by China's CCP a HK referendum acted upon would allow the Joint Declaration to continue.


Pepe and Jeremiah B.




The world should refuse to recognise Beijing’s direct rule over Hong Kong


Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) 31 May 2020. Gray Sergeant. (Bold format added).


“Scenario One: riots in West Berlin, buildings in flames, the East German fire brigade crosses the border to help. Would you press the button? The East German police come with them. The button? Then some troops! More troops, just for riot control they say. Then the East German troops are replaced by Russian troops … Button? When the Russian troops won’t go they are invited to stay to support the civilian administration, the civilian administration closes roads and Tempelhof Airport. Now you press the button?”


Salami tactics, so succinctly described here by Yes, Prime Minister, are not the mere product of comic writers. Devastatingly deployed by Hungarian Communist leader Mátyás Rákosi, and other Soviet stooges they enabled Moscow to consolidate their grip over Eastern Europe after the Second World War.


(Russian Invasion – Salami Tactics | Yes Prime Minister)


Taking control one piece at a time has its advantages. The slow dividing and subtle subsuming of the opposition results in them being left holding half a stick by the time they have clocked on to what is happening. Even then, after they have realised what is one more thin slice? Or another? Or another? Until there is no stick at all.


Clearly the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have taken notes. If not from the tribulations of the Right Honorable Jim Hacker then at least their Stalinist forebears. Just look at Hong Kong today.


If Hong Kong is dead then its death has been a slow one, with many (premature) obituaries written. The unilateral imposition of Article 23 on the people of Hong Kong may not be the final death nail. Even with the introduction of this anti-subversion law, Hong Kong will still be much freer than the People’s Republic – admittedly an uncomfortably low bar if there ever was one. Its implementation is a fundamental attack on Hong Kong’s autonomy and a potentially irreversible turn for the worse. Yet it is still hard to say it is the end, this after all is the trouble with salami tactics.


A broken promise on Universal Suffrage here, and a few abducted booksellers there. The barring of political candidates, the expelling of elected lawmakers, the routine arrest of pro-democracy activists and the steady escalation of police violence against protestors. More recently still, Legislative Council coups and ominous statements from the Liaison Office. Now Article 23. All have raised the question: is One Country, Two Systems over?


This is an interesting inquiry, no doubt. Yet if the death of One Country Two Systems has occurred or is imminent then the more pressing question which must be answered is: what is to be done?


It is a question which has been asked many times. During a House of Lords debate, last year, Lord Patten reflected on a talk he gave in Hong Kong back in 2016. Afterwards, one student told him: “It’s all very well, Governor Patten, you coming along and making those sorts of remarks, but what happens if the Chinese continue to squeeze us? What will the rest of the world do? What will you do in Britain? What will the United States do? What will Europe do? What will you do personally?”


“It is a very good question”, Patten concluded as he wrapped up his speech. He is right. A good question and, given how events have unfolded, a pertinent one. Moreover, a bloody difficult one to answer. Solutions are difficult especially against an enemy as powerful as the CCP.


During this current crisis, Patten has drawn support from international parliamentarians against the imposition of Article 23. The message is clear, breaching the Sino-British Joint Declaration will have consequences for the People’s Republic of China’s global reputation. If One Country Two Systems is further eroded then Britain, and its allies, should ensure that the rest of the world knows Beijing’s word counts for nothing. This is an extremely welcome intervention. As are the suggestions from my fellow Hong Kong Watch co-founder Benedict Rogers, who has highlighted Magnitsky-style targeted sanctions and alterations to the status of British National (Overseas) passport holders as just two concrete steps the British government could take in response.


Anyone can join the “Something Must Be Done” brigade or, for that matter, write an opinion piece (guilty as charged). So having the above suggestions are a real boost to the credibility of the international effort to defend Hong Kong. They take into account an understanding of the policymaking process and the levers foreign governments have at their disposal. Yet understanding this has its own constraints. With it, there is also a pressure to lower demands to something that governments of the day may find somewhat reasonable. Instead of calling for what should be done or what can be done, instead, options which governments might consider are proposed. After all, nobody likes shouting into a void…


… but here goes nothing. If we reach a point in the future when the threat of shaming has failed, and sanctions have proved futile, what next? Despite being an international treaty, lodged at the United Nations (UN), the Sino-British Joint Declaration has no enforcement or dispute provisions in the event of its breaching. In this case, should Britain, and its allies, simply accept Hong Kong under a One Country One System model?


No. From 1997, Hong Kong was promised a high degree of autonomy and that its way of life would remain unchanged for fifty years. This was the basis on which Britain gave the PRC the territory it desired. If Beijing no longer wishes to honour this agreement then Britain, and its allies, should not either. What is the point of liberal democracies constraining themselves with rules and agreements which the authoritarians of this world have already decided to ignore?


If One Country Two Systems is over before 2047, Beijing’s rule over Hong Kong should be regarded as illegitimate. How exactly this should be expressed I do not know (see, coming up with actual solutions is difficult!).


Until 2008 the British government did not explicitly recognise the PRC’s sovereignty over Tibet but instead its suzerainty. While an obscure distinction, and according to its critics anachronistic one, it did affirm the belief that Tibet was distinct from other provinces within the PRC. Thus it expressed the belief that Tibet should be granted some level of autonomy, that is without any fifty-year end date. Moreover, the acknowledgement of this relationship served as a basis for talks between Beijing and the Dalai Lama.


Inspiration may also come from the international communities response to Russia’s 2014 landgrab in the Crimea. Here the British government have repeatedly condemned the Putin regime and have refused to accept this “illegal annexation”. This view has also been expressed in a vote at the UN General Assembly.


While neither example fits the Hong Kong situation perfectly they could, I hope, be a starting point for discussion.


Surely democratic governments across the world can do better than the French who have told the CCP that they respect the PRC’s sovereignty and have “no intention to interfere in affairs of China’s Hong Kong” – so much for President Macron ‘champion of the liberal international order’. Or for that matter measures, such as America’s revoking of Hong Kong’s special privileges, which only treats the territory more and more like just another PRC province. Which surely is, in the end, precisely what the CCP wants.


(HKFP)



Is the Hong Kong Protest going to succeed?


Source: 14 November 2019. Original Chinese text written by Mr Cheng Lap, a newspaper columnist.


Strategy: To destroy the economy of Hong Kong and damage China's plan to use Hong Kong as a money-printing machine, eliminating the chances for any plan of development made by China.


攬炒 = if we burn you burn with us; also know as scorched earth policy and mutual assured destruction


先理解香港抗爭的大戰略,香港抗爭者的戰略叫作「攬炒」。


You must understand the general strategy of Hong Kong Protest. The strategy used by HK protesters is 攬炒 = if we burn you burn with us.


可能很多人以為,香港抗爭者的目標,是要與政府和解,或者是像臺灣一樣的政黨輪替,或者香港民主化,或者在軍事上全滅警方與解放軍,或在議會宣告獨立。這些都不是正確的,也不需要那樣做。如果做到當然好,但抗爭者的戰略並沒有建基於此。


Many people thought that the goal of Hong Kong protesters is to seek a compromise with the government or seek party alternation similar to Taiwan or democratization in Hong Kong. Or even eliminate the HK Police or PLA and declare its independence. But these are not the correct way to do it or even the necessary way to the Hong Kong people. It would be wonderful if these things happened but the strategy of Hong Kong protesters is not based on these goals.


「攬炒」戰略的核心,在於經濟。我看到臺灣不時都會有人說解放軍來就完蛋了,但香港的抗爭者在抗爭初期,就已經說得很清楚:不怕解放軍,最好你立即就開坦克進來,對香港射飛彈。


The core of the mutual destruction strategy used by Hong Kong people is the economical aspect. Many Taiwanese (or people from other countries) feared that if PLA is deployed Hong Kong is doomed. But at the very early stage of the protests, the protester already stated one thing: they do not fear the military, it would be even better if PLA comes in town with tanks and shooting missiles.


可能你會疑惑,為何不怕解放軍進來殺光你們?


You may wonder why people of Hong Kong are not afraid of getting massacred by PLA?


這的確會重創抗爭者,但因為能化整為零,逃到海外,重創並不等於全滅,而這也會同時重創香港的經濟,香港政府的信譽,以及香港的銀行與金融系統。這些會影響到中華人民共和國的信貸,以及所有的海外計劃,也就是說會動搖中國的海外戰略,特別是一帶一路。


If the military is used to suppress the protest this will indeed destroy the protests and thousand will be killed, the very foundation of the protest will be decimated. But it does not mean that things will end, this gives a chance for Hong Kong people to retreat overseas and build up strengths there. Although the protests will stop, at the same time the economy of Hong Kong will suffer heavily due to the use of military, together with the reputation of Hong Kong government and Hong Kong’s banking and financial system. This will also affect the credit system and all overseas strategic plan of China, especially the One Belt One Road project.


自然有些人這時候會冒出來,說香港對中國已不重要,說上海或深圳可取代香港之類,這時就該面對數字。金融中心說建立就建立的話,中國應該會在延安搞金融中心。


Naturally, some people will claim that Hong Kong is no longer important to China but just a mere city, Shanghai or Shenzhen can easily replace Hong Kong’s role as a new financial centre. But the reality is cruel and if you look at the numbers you will know that you cannot just build up a financial centre anywhere, otherwise, CCP will build a financial centre at Yanan (one of the core territory of CCP pre and during WW2, the foundation of CCP).


客觀數據是,香港銀行系統,目前對中國的貸款額,是40,000億港元以上,即是約新臺幣「16兆元」。而這個信貸系統,建基於香港的資產價值上,香港的資產價值崩潰,香港銀行的信貸能力就會受到威脅。同時,香港政府不斷開出大規模基建,去輸送利益給中國,這件事也受到了很大的波動,香港政府原本有一個「10000億」(港元)人工島計劃,計劃向中國購買大量海砂,若香港的經濟被抗爭影響,這些計劃都受到了妨礙。


Hong Kong's banking system have a loan of around HKD 4000 billion to China (approximately 15.46 billion TWD, or around 500 billion USD https://medium.com/@ecyY/how-much-loan-is-from-banks-in-hk-to-mainland-china-7d120a2e79fc).


This credit system depends on the asset value of Hong Kong, and if the value of Hong Kong declines the ability for Hong Kong banks to loan to China will be affected heavily. At the same time, the Hong Kong government planned lots of large scale infrastructures to be built in Hong Kong (white elephant) to transfer the money in treasury indirectly to China. There is a plan for Hong Kong government for instance to build an artificial island that costs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lantau_Tomorrow_Vision) 1000 billion HKD. It is planned to buy the materials from China and if the economy of Hong Kong is affected by the protests this will seriously hinder the plans for these white elephant project.


他們再怎樣崇拜中國的經濟成果,都改變不了人民幣並非能自由兌換的貨幣這個事實。而且,金融中心需要一個穩固有信用的信貸與法律系統去支撐,這正是中國一直以來都建立不了的東西:法治。可惜就是有些人單純到以為,香港之所以能成為金融中心,就只是因為多了幾個鬼佬(外國人),而不知道這需要一整個系統配套。


No matter how much China boasted about their economy it won’t change the fact that RMB cannot be exchanged freely. Moreover, a well established financial centre requires a well-maintained credit system as well as laws to support it. This is what China will never be able to build: rule of law. It is pathetic that some people think Hong Kong is a successful international financial centre just because there is some foreigners trade in Hong Kong, but what they don’t understand is that Hong Kong has a well-established system to support its financial sector.


抗爭者直接對經濟的損害,其實是有限的,但政府的反應,卻對於經濟有很大的傷害。


Protesters cannot directly damage the economy of Hong Kong, the real damage comes from the government itself.


比方說,政府縮短了公共交通工具的營運時間,經常封閉車站,在機場交通上予以留難,並在各個遊客區域放催淚瓦斯,警察有打傷或拘捕外國人與遊客,這些動作,都打擊各行各業經濟。首當其衝的當然是旅館業,接下來是飲食業、零售業,運用《緊急法》去隨便立法,降低了國際對香港的法治信心,而打擊了對私產保障與投資信心的評級。


For example, to stop people going to protest, the government shortened the operating time for public transport, constantly closing down metro stations. The police also fired tear gas in different tourist attractions and sometimes even hurt or arrested foreigners and tourists.

Such actions affect every single industry of Hong Kong regardless of your political opinions. The first victim of the government is the travel industry, then food and beverage and then the retail industry. When the government use the Emergency Regulation Ordinance to legislate the Anti mask law without any serious consideration, it affects the trust on the rule of law in Hong Kong and damages the rating on credit and protection of private property in Hong Kong.


相對於臺灣,《緊急法》就是香港版的《動員戡亂時期臨時條款》。這已經不能用「專制」來形容,直接就是三權合一的軍事獨裁體制。


Take Taiwan as an example, the use of the Emergency Regulation Ordinance is similar to the Temporary Provisions against Communist Rebellion during the martial law period in Taiwan. Or the Reichstag Fire Decree after the Reichstag fire in Prewar Germany. This is not a mere autocratic rule, but a military dictatorship with the legislation, administration and legal system as supports.


香港作為中國發展計劃的一個環節,他受到打擊,中國的計劃就會被打亂,從經濟能力上,長遠削弱香港政府與中國的力量。這才是「攬炒」的目標。


Hong Kong as a key element in the development plan in China can do serious damage to the strategic plan of China if Hong Kong is weakened. To damage Hong Kong economically and effectively weaken Hong Kong and China government in the long term, that is the real goal of 攬炒, mutual destruction.


這最終形成了長期遊擊戰略,這點自古以來就是弱勢方對抗強大帝國的做法,不論是荷蘭對抗西班牙、美國獨立戰爭、越南對抗美國、英國以私掠船對抗無敵艦隊,都是在正面打不贏,以對方的補給與經濟能力為目標。


Historically such long term asymmetric, guerilla-style warfare is a trick used by weaker countries against the huge empire, it is a battle between the elephant and ants. The Netherlands against Spain, American Revolutionary War, Vietnam War, Privateers used by British against the Spanish fleet, these are examples of weaker forces defeating a stronger opponent by disrupting its supplies and destroying its economy.


抗爭本身固然有代價與傷亡,但抗爭本身最大的功用,是引起政府激烈和過度的反應,去傷害自己。從這點看,抗爭明顯是在正軌上。那就是政府不斷做出一些短期或長期有害經濟與香港金融信用的反應。


There are serious costs and casualties for protesting, but the greatest effect of protest is to cause the government to overreact and hurting themselves in the process. In a hindsight, the protest is doing well as the Hong Kong government keep doing things that damage its economy and financial/credit system.


戰術上,抗爭者是凶險,以遊擊對抗政府的正規武力,但是在戰略上卻並非如此,警察每天對著市民施以暴力,上了世界各國的鏡頭後,香港對於各國的印象,就會更像利比亞而不是紐約。


Tactically it is dangerous for Hong Kong people, fighting a well trained and well-equipped police force. But strategically it is not, police brutality against ordinary citizens is not a very appealing sight for other countries. The image of Hong Kong is more like a warzone in Libya than a civilized financial centre like New York.


他們每一棍每個催淚彈,表面上打的是市民,實際上攻擊的對象都是香港與中國的經濟未來。


Every strike from their police baton, every shot of tear gas canister against Hong Kong people bring nothing but doom upon the future of China and Hong Kong economy.


就像圍棋一樣,當注意力在中間的子的戰鬥時,高手已悄悄在外勢定好石把你圍住了。

香港就是投鼠忌器裡的老鼠,也許被攻擊,也許打不過人類,可是牠跑來跑去時,人類已打爆了大量有價值的器物。這個戰略,最後是以經濟傷害量度抗爭的成果,抗爭或許某天平息,但會有大量的後遺症以及永久傷害,會是中港政府與銀行系統需要承受的,他們將會在這裡付出代價。


Hong Kong is like a rat. It may not win against a human but when it started running around, the human already smashed the valuable stuff in their home just trying to kill it. This strategy used the volume of damage dealt with China to measure the successfulness of the protest. Maybe someday the protest will end but the aftermath and irreversible damage [done] to Hong Kong and China’s economy will make China pay [again and again].


很多人說要外國來救,或者出兵,或者人道支援,其實全都不必要,香港人在做的並不是等待救濟,而是主動破壞敵人的經濟。一般來說,外國只要向中國討便宜討利益,對中國趁火打劫,已經等於幫了香港人。他們不需要同情香港或給香港人任何愛,而只要像食腐肉的寄生蟲一樣盡量的自私取利就行了。


Many think that foreigners need to help Hong Kong or even provide military aid to Hong Kong, or at least humanitarian aid. But they are not essential. What Hong Kong people do are not seeking for help but to actively destroy the economy. If foreign countries starting to take advantages from China during these times they are indirectly helping Hong Kong people. Like a parasite slowly draining the life of China by exploiting it, there is no need to be empathetic or love Hong Kong people. Exploiting China while they are busy dealing with Hong Kong is the greatest help you can provide.


抗爭是否這樣就成功呢?當然也不是僅此。但要怎樣抗爭才算失敗呢?那就是抗爭完結之後,發揮不到「攬炒」的效果,香港的經濟不知為何完全不受抗爭影響,反而繁榮,如果香港之後經濟繁榮,香港政府和中國政府就會鬆一口氣,那抗爭就叫作失敗。


So is the protest successful if Hong Kong people achieve this mutual destruction? Of course not as there are many other things needed by Hong Kong to do. But one thing we can be sure of is that when the protests are starting to go quiet but the economy of Hong Kong remains unaffected and even grow stronger than ever, that’s a total failure for the protest.


這個身份,當然也是最重要的副作用。


Creating a new identity of “Hong Kong People” is an important side objective achieved by the protest.


這樣理解,那就會理解到香港抗爭是能成功,只是成功並不是很多人想像得那麼快,那麼簡單。在臺灣有民主制度,所以「成功」就是政黨輪替,但香港沒有民主制度,你期望抗爭的成功,就是突然取得政權,或者政府突然讓步,幾個月就打敗政府甚麼的,抗爭也沒那麼天真,但不等於不能以另一種方式去成功。有人說這對抗爭的年輕人而言是自殺,你看看抗爭現場的年輕人,跟他們談談他們的生活和家庭情況,在睡甚麼地方、做甚麼工作、欠下多少債務,你就會理解他們為何會這樣做。有些人甚至直接無家可歸,而為他們製造這處境的人又是誰?


Understanding the protest of Hong Kong in this way makes it more clear that the protest will succeed, just not that quick and simple. Since Hong Kong does not have a democratic system similar to Taiwan. For a democratic country, success means party alternation, the government step-down and a new government is established. However for Hong Kong to succeed means something much, much more difficult. You cannot expect the government to suddenly co-operate with the people, or the people finally have control over the government or defeating the government in mere months. But that does not mean that there is no other way around.


Some say that it is suicidal for young people to fight against the government, but if you really talk to people who participate in the movement, do some research and talk with them about their livelihood, what is their living condition, where they sleep and what work they do, you will understand why Hong Kong people are willing to risk everything to join the protest. Some people do even have a home to go back to, and who do you think is the one that makes such adversities.


政府說,你們沒地方住,就離開香港,你們沒工作做,就離開香港,既然政府已告訴你未來工作和住的地方都不在香港了,那對他們而言這又有甚麼分別?


The government and many politicians claim that if you don't like Hong Kong, with no place to live or no work to do go somewhere else, immigrate to other countries. If the government told you that your future home is not Hong Kong, what's the difference it makes for Hong Kong people?




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