Monday 25 May 2020

The new Security Law is a great achievement of the Pan-Democrats

That headline is sarcastic. But true.
Beijing implementing a Security Law for Hong Kong (aka “Article 23 law”) is entirely down to the eruptions on our streets last year, and the calls for independence.
We in this family took part in the first “anti-Article 23” demonstration with 500,000 others back in 2003. The legislation was withdrawn and the Tung Chee-hwa government collapsed.
Since then it’s been on the back burner.
Until last year, when we were rocked by “anti Extradition Treaty” demonstrations, which morphed into anti-government riots. We’ve all seen the pix and vids, and in my case, I took part in the demos to see with mine own eyes.
Those led to more pressure for implementing of Article 23, which refers to a requirement of our mini-constitution, the Basic Law, to implement our own national security law, prohibiting acts of"
“... treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the central people’s government, or theft of state secrets … and to prohibit political organisations or bodies of the region from establishing ties with foreign political organisations or bodies”. [Here’s a primer].
Beijing had waited for 23 years, with no obvious overt pressure to implement Article 23. And the Hong Kong government did nothing about it, despite the clear requirement of the Basic Law.
Until now. 
Until now, because some some in the protest movement proclaimed: “Independence for Hong Kong”. And trashed Legco, and threw petrol bombs, and killed and maimed people. But mainly because they called for independence.
So, Beijing is moving now, during the current meetings of the National People’s Congress (NPC), because Hong Kong has been  unwilling or unable to do so. It’s method is a bit dubious, inserting it in Annex III of the Basic Law, but then again, it is the sovereign.
Me? I don’t like it. Not one little bit. I’m on Buddle’s side . I worry especially about the bit that says “theft of state secrets”. That can so easily be used against journalists who get a scoop. You’re done, son. And I do value the rights of Hongkongers to read and write what they like, unlike on the mainland. Colour me one of those worried by the legislation and “not liking it one little bit”
And my view is shared in the western media, which is agog with stories of China "strangling Hong Kong", this is "the end days" for our city, or the beginning of the end, or... take your pick. Pretty much universal slamming of what the NPC is going to do, from the international media, left and right and from government officials, on both sides of the Atlantic and all sides of the aisle.
But that’s not universal here in Hong Kong.
We have differences within our own family..
And there are many local working folks, working age, bringing up families, who are much in favour of this move by the NPC. Who are fed up with the violent protests. Who look forward to some peace on our streets.
Alex Lo thinks it’s a “masterstroke”. And, as Peter Krassel says it’s still “better than Singapore”. (while highlighting housing unaffordability as one of the drivers of the demos).
Many say what I say in the headline above: this was brought on by the Pan-Dems and their black-clad rioters on the streets. That is so patently obvious that it’s amazing people don’t see it.
An alternative could have been: talk to Beijing about universal suffrage. Don’t demand. Talk. Up until 2013 it was moving along the path to that. But pan-Dems, in a shocking case of taking aim and shooting themselves point-blank in their collective foot, chose to reject the moves, because the proposals were not 100% of what they demanded. They were 60%, but rejected. All subsequent drama comes from that.
So, that’s why this whole mess is their fault. Clearly. China would not have moved on Article 23 without the rioting last year and the ill-advised calls for “independence”. 
Still, I no like....