An article in Foreign Policy (6-2-2019) entitled, Britain Failed Hong Kong - The U.K. owes Hong Kongers fighting for democracy a moral debt, authored by Milia Hau, a British foreign-policy researcher with a keen interest in the Indo-Pacific. She was formerly a research assistant at the Henry Jackson Society, where she worked on a number of issues relating to Asia. She has a Master of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge. At Cambridge, she wrote her World History thesis on the Anglo-Chinese negotiations over the Future of Hong Kong in 1982-84 Her thesis was deposited at the Conservative Party Archive at Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford and the Labour Party Archive in Manchester. Another article of Ms Hau entitled, ‘Second-class Britons? Why Hong Kongers should get UK citizenship’, was published by CapX.
Based on the above biography, it is not difficult to understand why Ms Hau would feel that Britain owes Hong Kongers a moral debt for fighting for democracy. Ms Hau is most likely a British citizen or one who desires to be a British citizen rather than being a second class citizen in a British colony deprived of the opportunity to be a Chinese citizen. Her present article obviously carries that philosophy without reflecting the real view of the majority of Hong Kong residents today who have so obviously benefitted from the restoration of Hong Kong from a British colony to a special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. Ms Hau’s article is written from a British perspective as claimed by the publisher. The Foreign Policy magazine certainly has the right to publish any opinion on ‘the Hong Kong Status Review’ since her return to China in 1997, however, the Foreign Policy seems to have a rigid position rarely publishing any submitted opinion which is in disagreement with its ‘official’ position. Thus this author would like to offer an oversea Chinese perspective on ‘the Hong Kong Status Review’ especially regarding ‘the Hong Kongers’ identity issue’ and ‘Hong Kong protest’.
Recently, a sizable protest occurred over the issue of revising the law specifying conditions for extradition of serious criminals with other regions. Hong Kong has extradition law and has extradition agreements with 20 countries or regions. The revision was triggered by a homicide case which involved a Hong Kong citizen who killed his girlfriend in Taiwan and escaped to Hong Kong to avoid prosecution since Hong Kong did not have extradition agreement with Taiwan, Macaw and the Mainland China. Hence the Hong Kong Administration initiated the above said extradition law revision to include the above said three regions. The revision process was rigorously conducted because it was bloated as a political issue by the Hong Kong protestor groups falsely alleging that the Mainland is tightening grips on Hong Kong. The final version has specifically defined the conditions for extradition applicable only to criminal cases where punishment exceeds seven years in prison (cases such as murder and rape) excluding political and economical offenses.
The Hong Kong protest over this extradition law revision had grown to be an emotional event involving hundreds of thousands of people protesting on the streets forcing the Hong Kong government suspending the revision case. Surely, a legal matter had been transformed into a political matter, thus raising many political commentators attention on the why and how it happened for what purpose. Ms Hau took the position that it was a democratic movement, Hong Kong people not identifying themselves as Chinese citizens, viewing their legal rights such as freedom of speech being striped away by the Mainland, and suggesting that the British had let down the Hong Kongers thus obligated to help them now to fight for democracy. Ms Hau was expressing her view, but I am not sure that hers is a British view whether she is a British citizen or desires to be a British citizen. It is laughable for any publisher or reader to regard her article as a British perspective since as she said herself, the British never cared about Hong Kong’s democracy when it was a colony. British could not accept all Indians (too large a population) as British citizens but could easily absorbed all Hong Kongers if Britain so desired. (Britain allowed a meager 50,000 immigrants or citizenship when Hong Kong was about to change status) No, Britain never wanted to accept all Hong Kongers except a few so called ‘elites’. The majority of Hong Kong residents may have desired the privileges enjoyed by being a British citizen during British rule, but the majority of Hong Kongers today certainly care less about British citizenship because they now have far more opportunities as a Chinese citizen compared to being a British citizen facing a shrinking Britain exiting EU.
Ms Hau did recognize that Hong Kong was a center and haven of international spies where CIA has a head-quarter employing thousands of spies. It is strange that she did not recognize the serious impact of the revised extradition law on the spies no matter what nationality or passport they hold. It is logical to conclude that the invisible hands responsible for turning the legal matter of extradition law into a political matter, (protests on the street where protesters are paid a couple of thousand Hong Kong dollars for participation), belong to the international (spy) organizations. They have the resources and objective to agitate unrest in Hong Kong, to promote Hong Kong independence, to cripple the Hong Kong Special Administration for a number of related goals, that is to stop the rise of China, to fail China’s ‘one nation two systems’ policy and to maintain Hong Kong as the spy center for conducting their covert work in Asia.
Prior to returning Hong Kong to China, the U.K. had ample opportunities to foster political reform to make Hong Kong as a shining star of democracy (it would be a lot easier than converting India with her multi-ethnicity and languages) but she chose not to or recognized no benefit to Britain. The majority of Hong Kongers did not have any knowledge nor experience of a democratic political system. In fact, the majority of Kong Kongers do not understand and appreciate that they now have the best of the world when compared to Singaporeans whom Hong Kong people admired and competed with in the little (economic) dragon race. Singapore has to spend sizable budget in defense for national security. She must be careful in maintaining a good relationship with China and not offending the U.S. She does not enjoy all the trade benefits with China as Hong Kong does. It is no wonder that some Singaporeans are laughing at ‘Hong Kong protest’ and the only people who cheered the ‘Hong Kong protest’ is the pro-independence Taiwan people. The same people who are used by the international spy organizations to agitate unrest in Taiwan. Did it ever occur to Hong Kongers why did American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) build a huge building in Taiwan with advanced facilities and underground passages? My interpretation is that the AIT is a backup plan in case Hong Kong as the headquarters of international spies is eventually terminated. This is also why the ‘Hong Kong protest’ was so organized and so well funded for protesting matters that actually benefit Hong Kong people in terms of safety and security.
Hong Kong people as well as world citizens should understand the real significance of Hong Kong protest.