When Hong Kong celebrated the 20th anniversary of its return to China earlier this month, President Xi Jinping was also here to officiate at the swearing-in ceremony of the special administrative region’s new chief executive.
“Localists”, true to form, were also busy before, during and after the president’s visit. It was obvious that while they benefit from the SAR’s continuing freedom, democracy and rule of law under the “two systems” they have no hesitation in turning a blind eye to the supremacy of the “one country” when it suits them.
These activists need to be reminded that without the introduction of the visionary “one country, two systems” policy by the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, who knows what Hong Kong would have been like over the last 20 years?
While many citizens were having an enjoyable time with celebrations organized throughout the SAR, a lot of pro-localism activists were busy expressing their bigoted, deluded views frequently via the world’s media. They do this without any hesitation or shame! No doubt they have only one goal and that is to denigrate what the SAR has achieved over the last 20 years. They have very biased views about the Chinese mainland; they also have a tendency to misinterpret its history. Of course, they want other people to accept only their definition of “democracy”. Their personal and political objections to Hong Kong’s current situation are obvious for everyone to see. Over the years, they have always claimed the democratic and moral high ground. And they are ruthless to anyone who opposes their own twisted views. Moreover, these people are always on the attack. But hypocritically, these activists ignore the democratic rights and freedoms of their opponents.
There is a Chinese saying which can be roughly translated to “seek common ground while reserving differences”. This should be the maxim for everyone who wants a better and more harmonious future for Hong Kong
For some of them, behaving this way is more about carrying out a personal vendetta than having rational political discussions. With some of them, it is pretty obvious they are being manipulated. Their nonsensical pronouncements are totally unreasonable; they are clearly puppets controlled by forces both local and overseas. Their motive is to promote deceptive lies about Hong Kong. They are trying to paint a “doom and gloom” picture of the SAR to influence public opinion. They are also trying to influence the world’s media with a distorted interpretation of events. They even go as far as promoting illegal, impractical demands for the SAR. These include abandoning the “one country, two systems” principle. They offer extreme and delusional proposals. These include that Hong Kong should consider returning to colonial rule under Britain or that the SAR continues to enjoy “two systems” without adhering to “one country”. Some even advocate turning the SAR into a totally independent political entity!
Xi, in his speech, stressed the importance of everyone in Hong Kong respecting the “one country, two systems” principle. He also stressed that “making everything political or deliberately creating differences will severely hinder Hong Kong’s economic and social development”. One hopes these localism activists finally realize that making all debates “political” only damages Hong Kong’s future stability and prosperity. It will also hurt the long-term prospects of its citizens.
There is a Chinese saying which can be roughly translated to “seek common ground while reserving differences”. This should be the maxim for everyone who wants a better and more harmonious future for Hong Kong.
The author is director of the Chinese in Britain Forum. He was the first ever Chinese British citizen to be elected mayor of the Greater London Borough of Redbridge (2009-2010) and served as a member of the city council for over 10 years.