Thursday, 7 December 2017

Nicole Wong: The False Song of Chinese Nationalism

The False Song of Chinese Nationalism
Written by Nicole Wong; originally on Comitium Volume 3 (publication of Hong Kong National Party)
Originally from issuu

Tanni / EJInsight
When Hongkongers first realised that their fate currently lies in the hands of the foreigner, when the first call for Hong Kong Independence was voiced, and when the Hong Kong National Party was first convened, the resounding rebuttal was that of a familiar question: “Are you not a Chinese as well?”  All too familiar indeed is the question, for not only is its contents a cliché, but its accompanying features: the moralising and patronising tone, the aged and wrinkled face, and the underlying sincere belief from the accuser that all parties engaging in the heated debate are, beyond any doubt, Chinese.  The PRC members are Chinese, the Hongkongers are Chinese; the pro-Establishments are Chinese, the pro-Independents are Chinese; you are Chinese, I am Chinese, we are all Chinese.  It is as if the fabled Golden Headband of Journey to the West's Monkey King has come to life, and with the familiar words, the inescapable Chinese identity binds us all to our predestined obedience to our Chinese colonial masters, who are, as we are reminded by this very instant, our beloved brothers in the Sinic brotherhood.

Thus smugly does the self-assured Sinic accuser disarm, without any self-awareness of Stockholm Syndrome, any threats to the imposed Chinese identity.  Those politically engaged amongst you might have noticed that this “call to linked arms” is no novel rhetoric.  Indeed, long since before the sovereignty of Hong Kong was handed from the Brits to the Chinese in 1997, whenever the separate identity of Hongkongers was ever raised, there came inevitably the self-assured, “patriotic” rebuttal: “Are you not Chinese?” And how effective it was in shutting down all discussions!  In an age where both the pro-Beijing and the pan-democrats believe they are merely squabbling brothers born of the same beanstalk [Though it must be said the illusion runs far deeper for the latter.], it is easy to see why the curse is so effective --- to claim you are somehow a different national identity from those with which you share the same nationality is a patently absurd idea.  It is not until very recently when Hongkongers realised that it is the premise of this curse that is the absurd detail: the age-old lie that Hongkongers are “Chinese”, for the specific definition of “Chinese” that this curse implies.  The opposition stops here, though, and most “localists” are content with substituting it with a murky self-identification of “Hongkonger”, after which we observe a mess of competing bikeshedding: whether “Hongkonger” is an ethnic-national identity, civic-national one, or both; when the “historical immigration cut-off” line should be drawn for “Hongkongers” to be considered natives; and so on.  None has recognised and attempted to lob off the chief supporting leg of the argument on the other side: the curse of “Are you not a Chinese?” is allowed to flourish even to this day, because the Hong Kong public still implicitly believes in, in one way or another, the false song of Chinese nationalism.

The “Chinese”: a national identity built on self-defeating ideas

There are many ways to dismantle the lie of Chinese nationalism.  One could observe how it is no more than a continuation of an imperial subject identity, given a modernist and fashionable name when the ROC and then the PRC adopted the idea from Europe.  This particular thrust has been explored by past publications on Comitium by analysing the intentionally woolly definition of the word “Chinese” written in the Chinese script.

The very same word could mean,
1, the pseudo-biological ethnicity of Han Chinese;
2, the legal nationality of a PRC national;
3, the cultural identity of a Chinese transcending legal nationality; and
4, the romantic idea of a single cultural tradition, presumably unbroken for millennia, found in the East Asian territories that are within today's PRC borders. 
The absurdly wide range of definitions contained within this single word has given rise to such claims from a certain Member of the National People's Congress, Michael Tien Puk-sun's mouth, “Just look at our skin [colour], if we weren't Chinese I don't know what we are” (definition by biology) to be followed by “the Chinese nation has its history spanning millennia.  Now I don't know if you've read any history,” (definition by romantic tradition) “but this whole thing is as simple as stating 'my mother is a woman'!” (definition by popular consensus) “When you go travelling, you fill in the nationality field with 'China' and not 'Hong Kong'” (definition by legal nationality).  At no point does the nebula of definitions attempt to be consistent with itself, with different facets thereof carted out when the situation calls for it --- its principal aim is to remind the audience that they are Chinese.  The Chinese nationalist-reminder thus selects its victims with utmost abandon, for anyone with the most tenuous claim to “Chinese”-ness, perhaps by some distant grand-grand-grand uncle who lived in a conquered province under the (Mongolian-ruled) Qing Dynasty, could still be lassoed in to become just as “Chinese” as the bloodline heir to Old Confucius by the interwoven mess that is “Chinese national identity”.  And once that association is mentioned, the Chinese nationalist-reminder grows full-blown into the Chinese nationalist-curse, for it is within that narrative that any such identified “Chinese” are duty-bound to follow the leadership of the current “Chinese” regime, i.e. the PRC.  That these wildly varying and at times self-conflicting definitions could be played out at will to form an unassailable and messy whole is precisely how the call to Chinese nationalism is no more than a utilitarian chain whose purpose isn't to define a nation, or a nation's people, but to subjugate whatever audience it may lay claim to.  Were this mess of what constitutes a Chinese to be taken seriously, the identity of a “Chinese” would be most schizophrenic indeed.

One could likewise observe how the idea of a Han Chinese identity would fall apart pretty quickly on both ethnic and civic/cultural grounds once you factor in the observable effects of geography on the centuries of interbreeding (and lack thereof), both in blood and language, so much so that the language of the Cantonese is mutually unintelligible with the tongue of the Fujianese, that the funeral customs of Sichuan would look alien to the most accepting Shanghainese, and that the adage of “All Chinese look alike” is indeed a racist generalisation, for no inhabitant of this East Asian land would be unable to differentiate the telling physical differences between a Beijingese and a Hongkonger.  All these, of course, could be wily dismissed by those who (mis-)follow the school of thought where nations are imagined, and thus as long as the ruling Beijing and the majority of her followers imagine Hongkongers to be part of this “Chinese” whole, it is democratically just to accept that, yes, Hongkongers are “Chinese”, too.  All the more lamentable is the reality, in fact, when it is not only the Beijingese, but also a substantial amount of Hongkongers, who buy into this line of thought.

“Chinese nationalism” fails to be nationalism at all

What, then, could the Hong Kong Nationalists offer as a rebuttal?  The answer is simple: Chinese nationalism fails as nationalism.  That is to say, Chinese nationalism is not nationalism.  To support this argument one might need to devote several lifetimes' work into defining “what is nationalism” academically, which is commendable as an intellectual pursuit on its own, but infinitely unhelpful to the situation that Hongkongers are facing with our limited time, quickly running out.  Thus sweeping away all academic considerations on the clinical definitions of nationalism and focusing on the most important thing at hand --- the people of the nation --- one arrives at a common thread that permeates through all definitions: that nationalism is a supreme uniting force for the people, by the people, of the people.  It is a noble call to arms, a sense of camaraderie with those with whom you know you share a common ground.  It is a promise that someone you might not know personally has your back covered on matters important.  And most importantly, it is an exclusive force, for it defines clearly its criteria for inclusion, and from it do the nationals derive their shared pride --- whether in culture, in blood, or in myth.

Let us ask, then, what are the effects of the question, “Are you not Chinese?” upon the accused Hongkongers.  It is not a noble call, but a condescending subjugation of the Hongkonger identity.  It is not a celebration of camaraderie, but a shaming order for compliance and obedience.  It is not a recognition for common ground, but an admission of a lack thereof.  It is not a promise of support, but a threat of public guilt.  And most damningly, it does not evoke pride in Hongkongers, but instead demands submission and self-deletion.  The question is not so much as a reminder of Sinic brotherhood but a memo on Sinic domination.  To tell a Hongkonger he or she is Chinese is anything but a nationalistic call --- Chinese imperialism is alive and well, and no matter of rebranding can the leopard change its spots, oppressive blemishes and all.

Monday, 14 August 2017

[HKUSU Undergrad] Max Chan: Despise Imaginary Freedom, Fight the Regime Until the End

Despise Imaginary Freedom, Fight the Regime Until the End
Translated by Natalie Lung, written by Max Chan Sze-chai 陳思齊, edited by Chen-t'ang

Photo of 國民教育家長關注組
One Country, Two Systems is an evil tool for the United Front: The Chinese Communist Party knew in the first place that it has no legitimacy in governing Hong Kong, hence it “bestowed” freedom on Hongkongers through One Country, Two Systems. This creates legitimacy to govern and causes us to let down our guard, gradually weakening our willpower to rebel. We should not be so naïve to think that the CCP would grant us rights. When we are willing to recognize CCP’s governance and accept the rights given to us in One Country, Two Systems, what follows is even more yokes—chains that imprison freedom and the soul. We, the imprisoned, can only struggle to survive.  

All Freedoms Are Imaginary

Why have Hongkongers gained nothing even after nearly 30 years of fighting for democracy? Apart from being bound by the evil barrier that is the concept of “Greater China”, there is indeed too many Hong Kong people who are restricted by imaginary freedoms to do anything further.  The freedoms we have been enjoying are all imaginary. In fact, under the fantasy land that is One Country, Two Systems, many things we thought we owned don’t exist anymore.

For example, Hongkongers keep saying there is “separation of powers”, but the CCP never intended for Hong Kong to have separation of powers in the first place. Chinese Communist Party mouthpieces like Li Hou, Zhou Nan, Xu Jiatun, Lu Ping, Hao Tiechuan, Zhang Xiaoming, Zhang Dejiang have in fact stated that Hong Kong is executive-led. For example, Zhang Dejiang once said, “The political system of the Hong Kong SAR is not one of separation of powers, it is an executive-led system.”

In other words, separation of powers has been Hongkongers’ fantasy all along. The Basic Law has given Hong Kong too many restrictions: the judgement of disqualified lawmakers Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung’s appeal is proof that the status of principle of non-interference and separation of powers are not as stable as everyone thought, and what we own now is all within the confines of the Basic Law. The judgement reads, “the supremacy of the Basic Law means that no one—the legislature included—is above the Basic Law.” You could, of course, argue that this is sophistry, but the ruler’s sophistry is the reality that we are facing.

There is no doubt about the rule of law and judicial independence. Without crossing the line of the regime, the judiciary is no doubt independent, and judgement of the court is of course fair, just, and impartial. But once the line of the regime is crossed, the so-called rule of law that Hongkongers are proud it is unscrupulously trampled by the regime.

The Ng Ka Ling case in 1999 already shows that Hong Kong’s courts stand little chance against the interpretation of Basic Law by the NPCSC. The Court of Final Appeal’s initial interpretation of “rule of law” is as such: “What has been controversial is the jurisdiction of the courts of the Region to examine whether any legislative acts of the National People’s Congress or its Standing Committee (which we shall refer to simply as “acts”) are consistent with the Basic Law and to declare them to be invalid if found to be inconsistent. In our view, the courts of the region do have this jurisdiction and indeed the duty to declare invalidity if an inconsistency is found. It is right that we should take this opportunity of stating so unequivocally.” 

But the sections about the NPCSC in this judgement has later been challenged by CCP minions, and the Court of Final Appeal eventually decided to give in and released another judgement in the following month: 

“The Court’s judgment on 29 January 1999 did not question the authority of the Standing Committee to make an interpretation under Article 158 which would have to be followed by the courts of the Region. The Court accepts that it cannot question that authority. Nor did the Courts judgment question, and the Court accepts that it cannot question, the authority of the National People’s Congress or the Standing Committee to do any act which is in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law and the procedure therein.” 

The attitude toward the interpretation of the Basic Law reflected in the two judgements are a far cry from each other.

Under the decree of the CCP, so-called rule of law has been distorted to the point of being unrecognizable. Using the same logic, if the bottom line of the regime is crossed, the freedom and rights stipulated by the Basic Law could be retracted at any time. The right to vote, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly are just strange bedfellows. One Country, Two Systems merely creates an illusion of freedom; the cornerstones and core values of Hongkongers are just a defenseless fantasy under the cruel oppression of the regime.

Shaking Off the Illusion of Freedom

To put it simply, imaginary freedom equates to no freedom, and this is the reality. As unembellished and cruel it is, we must accept this reality, thoroughly rejecting the legitimacy of the governance of this regime. Not doing so would result in being forever imprisoned by these fantasies and living a life that is not free.

In face of increasing encroachment of the CCP in recent years, a small number of Hongkongers have finally become aware that if we want to seek after genuine democratic freedom, we must first throw off the yoke set up by the regime, then someone would risk universal condemnation, stepping into what common people see as a no-go area—separatism. Some examples are Undergrad’s Hong Kong Nationalism and Hong Kong National Party’s advocacy of “a self-reliant nation, an independent Hong Kong”. But the scope of political censorship has expanded: candidacies, LegCo seats, and Lunar New Year fair stall licenses have been denied due to political advocacy, and even today’s peaceful assemblies cannot be tolerated.

Does this mean we ought to be deprived of freedom just because the idea of independence crosses the bottom line of the regime? Hong Kong independence goes against the first article of the Basic Law. Article 158 stipulates the NPCSC’s right to interpret the Basic Law. There is no doubt that all decisions have been made in accordance to the law, but is it just? Hongkongers have become too obsessed with the defenseless “rule of law” and “judicial independence”, which creates obsession and frenzy toward legality, rationalizing all irrationals.

Nearing the point of life and death, we should stop continually persuading ourselves to accept the acts of the regime and the boundaries drawn up by the Basic Law, and resist till the end. Why should we be imprisoned by the political prison established by an authoritarian regime, and treat freedom as a gift from the regime? Why should we have to surround ourselves with fear and trepidation and be worried that the regime might take away our freedom? Shouldn’t humans be born with freedom? When we have deprived of our inherent rights, our resistance should be respected. Taking back our due rights and determining our own future is the historical mission of our time. Therefore, we should no longer hold the mindset of “defending the rule of law” and “defending separation of powers”—we fundamentally do not have rule of law and separation of powers, we have nothing, hence we are not defending the system, but we are building a new one on our own.

The Reason for Independence

Hong Kong should be independent because reality tells us that, the CCP had decided not to give Hong Kong democracy from day one. Imagine a colony asking an authoritarian suzerain for democracy. This is not negotiation, but is as unrealistic as “asking a tiger for its skin”. To China, Hong Kong is only a gear in the state apparatus. And the only duty for the gear is to give impetus to the country’s development. Granting Hong Kong democracy means giving an opportunity for the gear to reverse, which could cause the whole apparatus to break down.

Why would the Communist Party be so foolish to set itself on fire?

We may look at how Tibet fell into the CCP’s death trap. In 1951, the 14th Dalai Lama signed the 17-Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, a document like the Basic Law, with the CCP. At first, Tibetans naively believed that One Country, Two Systems was sustainable, but the 17-Point Agreement was sugar-coated poison, the CCP’s goal from day one was to deceive the people of Tibet using the Agreement, finally transitioning to One Country, One System. As days passed, Tibetans started taking notice of the Communist Party’s plot. Up until the Lhasa Uprising, the CCP had every right to deploy force to take over Tibet and carry out One Country, One System.

Hong Kong’s situation is like Tibet at that time. In only 20 years, the CCP’s real intentions are revealed as they bluntly referred to the Sino-British Joint Declaration as a historical document.

Be it “I want genuine democracy”, “democratic self-determination”, or “independence for Hong Kong” - it is impossible to beg with the CCP because these advocacies are solely political terms to the CCP—they all belong to the “subversion of state regime”.

We can therefore infer that if Hong Kong independence is described as not feasible by the pan-democrats, then the feasibility of fighting for genuine democracy is no different to that of fighting for Hong Kong independence. Since there is no way to achieve success by begging for democracy from the CCP, why don’t we fight for it on our own? Since what we have left are all infeasible options, where is the reason not to go after an option that could rid Hongkongers of CCP rule?

Pro-Independence Camp Must Admit They Lack Strength

The Chinese saying goes, “The feeling of shame is close to bravery”. We must admit that we lack strength and full awareness of our circumstances. We must put more effort to promote the thinking of the independence camp. 

Pan-localists gained a strong momentum after the New Territories East by-election. The independence camp, however, could not keep up after being hit by waves of political pressure. But we should not be disheartened nor deceive ourselves, and run away from the fact that we lack ability. Bluffing would lead us to misinterpret and miscalculate the circumstances and ultimately, to self-destruction. We should therefore accept reality and begin accumulating political energy again—that is the priority for the independence camp.

But one of the reasons many people are unwilling to admit the camp’s lack of strength is because they could not stand being mocked by the pan-democrats. “Aren’t you brave enough? When is the said revolution going to take place? When are you going to build the nation? These are some of the provocations the independence camp often receives. Perhaps it is because many from the independence camp have often criticized the pan-democrats for not achieving a thing having fought for so many years that they are unwilling to accept such mockery from the pan-democrats.

But if the independence camp wishes to continue growing, it must bear these provocations. As the Chinese saying goes, “lack of forbearance in small matters upsets great plans”, are we going to stage a violent protest on the streets to prove our bravery just because we were provoked? No. This is just foolhardy. With the sky-high cost of today’s protests, we now know that the Hong Kong communist regime would charge protesters with the offence of rioting, an ordinance that has been gathering dust. Conflicts with the regime would only create more wounds. I believe no arrested warriors would wish to see more members of the independence camp behind bars.

It is true that we don’t have yet the ability to be brave, to rebel, or to build a nation, but this is not something to be ashamed of. Precisely because our goal is grander than past generations—we are fighting for genuine freedom, and to be completely free from an authoritarian regime, to build a nation independently—our preparation process must be longer than any other resistance or movement, there are more reasons for us to build up our strength. 

The work of the independence camp has just begun. If we compare ourselves to the pan-democrats, who have been fighting for democracy for nearly thirty years, or the resourceful pro-establishment camp, there is of course a lot of catch up to do, but this is nothing to be ashamed of.

Time Will Be on the Side of the Independence Camp

I must come clean that my attitude towards the self-determination camp has been constantly changing. At first, I felt they were out-and-out politicians, taking out the “far-right”, “xenophobic” and “fascist” concept of “national” from “national self-determination”, distorting “national self-determination” into “democratic self-determination” to win the election. Though I still think “democratic self-determination” is abstract political jargon, even New Power Party’s Huang Kuo-chang said Taiwan’s independence camp had difficulty understanding “democratic self-determination” because he said “we wanted self-determination from the start, it should have been like this from the start.”

But now I believe that we shouldn’t exclude the self-determination camp so much. As much as you see them as politicians, but they indeed have been wielding influence they meant to wield, and it is not harming the independence camp in any way. In a highly politically polarized place like Hong Kong, people embrace peace and they wish to use peace to solve all problems and to use the gentlest of appeals to fight for democracy.

Back in the day, all Raymond Wong Yuk-man did was throw a banana in LegCo, which was met with much criticism. But occupying the chairman’s podium is now a common scene whenever there is an important vote.

Hu Shih once said “a trendsetter not a master made”; this may well describe Raymond Wong Yuk-man’s introduction of disruptive resistance to Hong Kong’s legislative politics. From this, we know that we have to constantly challenge Hongkonger’s moral bottom line to increase their level of acceptance towards protests. 

Wong said he does not support independence, but supports the notion of devising a new constitution made with the support of all the people. However, he encourages discussions about Hong Kong independence, because of these very same reasons. 

However, Hong Kong independence is clearly beyond Hongkongers' understanding at this point. If the existence of the self-determination camp can help increase Hongkongers' openness towards political ideals, they are beneficial to the independence camp. 

What’s more is that in the HKU forum on 1 July, Andy Chan said many so-called members of the self-determination camp don’t feel much different from those in the independence camp, which is a reasonable guess to make. No proponent of self-determination would say that “self-determine to be ruled by the mother country”, as they are often the ones oppressed by an imperialist or mother country, which explains their desire for self-determination, to break free and regain freedom.

Time will be on our side — as political oppression runs increasingly rampant, the independence camp will grow exponentially. 

The CCP is not only pointing fingers at the independence camp; attacks on the self-determination camp are also becoming more obvious. Six elected warriors have already been stripped of their seats, and there will be more to come. 

Furthermore, we can observe from state propaganda the CCP’s attitude towards the self-determination camp. The pro-establishment camp has also condemned the self-determination camp for colluding with the Taiwan independence movement. It is safe to say that the self-determination camp is no different from the independence camp to the CCP. The independence camp has lost freedom of assembly, which means the same could happen soon to the self-determination camp.

The Last Bastion of Defense

The police issued a formal prohibition letter to ban the National Party’s 30 June gathering, citing the event’s conflict with Article 1 of the Basic Law. It was as if a curfew was in place in Tsim Sha Tsui that night, with a heavy police presence. The gathering had to be cancelled and moved to Baptist University. 

We were angered by this, but it was all within our expectations. Andy Chan had predicted as early as August last year that the independence camp would one day be deprived of their freedom of assembly.

Putting resentment aside, the independence camp now must understand that in this era of constant political oppression, university campuses will be the independence camp’s last and sturdiest bastion of defense.

Although the police had invaded our HKU campus in the battle of Sassoon Road (26 January 2016), universities are halos and shelters of academic freedom after all, making it impossible for the machine of “maintaining stability” to enter university campuses overtly for the time being.
Defending HKU 

But how long can this aura and shelter last? The regime knows for sure that university campuses now act as a protective shield for the independence camp. Hence, since the beginning of the fall of Hong Kong to the communists, the regime has always wanted to capture universities, and the invasion into and oppression of campuses have never stopped.

Take HKU as an example, the Robert Chung Ting-yiu incident (July 2000) is irrefutable evidence of the clamping down of academic freedom. Another is the growing Communist influence in student councils. Just look at Wong Yiu-ying, the Hong Kong Tertiary Student Alliance, Ayo Chan Yi-ngok (2009 SU President), the messes caused by Tam Chun-sing (2012 Convocation Chairman) and Dan Chan (2012 SU President), and Smarties (February 2015)—the CCP’s attempt to infiltrate the HKU Student Union is self-evident.

The University’s Council is the eye of the storm in recent years. The Council, comprising CY Leung’s supporters, cited ridiculous reasons to reject Professor Johannes Chan’s appointment as pro-vice chancellor; former student president Billy Fung and former external affairs vice chairman Li Fung Kei are facing legal charges due to their participation in besieging the council meeting at the Sassoon Road campus; and the Council’s recent rejection of reform—all of which are enough to prove the Hong Kong Communist regime’s desire to keep  students out of any discussion of university governance.

In addition, Cai Hongbin, a member of the National Committee of the CPPCC, was made Dean of HKU’s School of Economics and Finance this year. The communist regime’s desire to influence the senior management of HKU is all too clear. Vice-chancellor Peter Mathieson is about to leave and the search for a new vice-chancellor has also commenced. The new vice-chancellor candidate would certainly have a far-reaching impact on academic freedom, and if they are similar to the likes of Cai Hongbin, it would only take a day to destroy the University’s legacy.

Hence, I hope all HKU students would unite and resist the encroachment of the tyrant, to monitor the progress of university governance reform and the search for a new vice-chancellor. Hall life and running for as cabinet member post are no doubt diverse and exciting, and the report recently published by the Review Panel of University Governance and the Council’s Working Party is lengthy and boring, but if you are self-aware and proud of your identity as a member of HKU, you should come forward and defend the university. 

The first step is to understand; support comes next. What follows is participation—to save HKU from going downhill. I am very pessimistic and could not stop thinking that one day, the police could unscrupulously enter our campus, and the university could bar students from holding any activities or discussing and promoting Hong Kong independence. However, we must persist till the end no matter what, defending all those whose freedom and political rights have been deprived of, allowing university campuses to be their sturdiest bastion of defense. Surely, apart from HKU students, my hope is that my fellow tertiary schoolmates can equip themselves and defend higher education together.

Do not underestimate yourselves—each of us can make a change in society. College students are often the trailblazers of our time and they can always be found at forefront of advocating social change. Just look at China’s May Fourth movement and Taiwan’s Wild Lily student movement and the Sunflower student movement. College students often play the role of leaders and strive for social change. College students symbolize freedom of thought, and they are destined to become rebels if they enjoy freedom of thought in an unfree world. But once university campuses, a hub in which freedom of thought is nurtured, are occupied by tyrants, we would lose many of our free-thinking youngsters. Society would also lose a powerful force of resistance.

Fighting the regime until the end is our historic mission.

We must break free from confinement. Only people who have overcome their fears will truly be free.

Monday, 31 July 2017

[HKUSU Undergrad] The Price Paid After the Struggles

The Price Paid After the Struggles
Translated by pseudol, written by Deborah Tsoi [Undergrad May 2017, HKUSU]
Original: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4U2Gdqux68-ZTZZa2t0SzE3RUk/view 

Hong Kong 1956 riots
hkmemory.org; 1956 riots
On 1956 Double Ten Day (the National Day of the Republic of China), some rightists, supported by Kuomintang spies, rioted after their flags were destroyed by officers of the Resettlement Department. Crimes including arson and robbery, rape and murder were committed. More than 300 people were injured, including Fritz Ernst, the vice-consul of Switzerland in Hong Kong, and his wife. This was the deadliest riot in the history of Hong Kong.

1967 Riot
Apple Daily; 1967 riot
In May 1967, a labour strike was staged in an artificial flower factory in San Po Kong. Police opened fire on workers which sparked off rioting. The leftists, instigated by China’s Cultural Revolution, confronted the British Hong Kong Government by planting real and fake bombs all over Hong Kong: 1167 in total. At least 52 people died, including 10 police officers. More than 802 people were injured, of whom 212 were police. 1936 people were prosecuted for offences committed during the rioting.

1994 Whitehead Disturbance
A hunger strike launched by Vietnamese boat people in protest against the territory’s repatriation policy degenerated into rioting and acts of arson. A joint operation was carried out to clear the camp, with more than 100 officers and helicopters from Government Flying Service deployed. 500 tear gas canisters were fired by police and correctional officers who met strong resistance during the crackdown.

2000 Hei Ling Chau Disturbance
Around 400 local and Vietnamese inmates were involved in a gang fight at Hei Ling Chau Drug Addiction Treatment Centre. They threw hard objects at police and correctional officers and attempted to set fire to the prison. Tear gas was deployed to quell the disturbance. Multiple injuries were caused. About 20 persons involved were convicted of rioting and received prison sentences ranging from 2 to 10 years.



The court cases following the Umbrella Movement in late 2014 and the Mong Kok Incident in early 2016 have not yet ended. Demonstrators in the Umbrella Movement were charged in succession, having been arrested one by one and some are now facing heavy sentences. This is undoubtedly a year of discouragement and frustration. Charged and convicted protesters face imprisonment and the loss of freedoms. Instead of showing empathy, many people took positions against the protesters. Surely, they had to pay the price for their unlawful actions. However, what kind of attitude should we adopt? How should we look at them? Court judgments do not mean in any way that the rule of law and justice are upheld. Conversely, the courts can become a political tool. Biased and exaggerated news reports may not reflect reality, but give rise to misunderstandings which intensify echo chamber effect and social polarisation. When commenting on protesters, I believe members of the public should take their motives, circumstances and the social context into account to make a fair judgement.

After the Umbrella Movement
Just one day after the Chief Executive Election, a new chapter of political persecution was effected. All nine Occupy Central founders - Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Chan Kin-man and Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, lawmakers Tanya Chan and Shiu Ka-chun, the Democratic Party’s Lee Wing-tat, former leader of the Hong Kong Federation of Students Eason Chung Yiu-wah, Tommy Cheung Sau-yin and League of Social Democrats vice-chairman Raphael Wong Ho-ming - were charged with the common law crime of committing public nuisance. The maximum penalty for that offence is a seven-year term of imprisonment. The sentence for the common law offence is heavier than those for of public nuisance under the Summary Offences Ordinance and unlawful assembly under the Public Order Ordinance. The Civic Party’s Alan Leong suspects charging the nine for the common law offence is a political decision based on the higher maximum penalty. Some others also said that so doing aimed at evading the sensitive issue of freedom of assembly.

2016 Mong Kok Civil Unrest
Key words: Hawkers, Illegality, Glass, Bricks, Arson, Rioters, Severe punishment, Deterrence
Many people felt that while the protesters’ actions were too violent and threatened others’ safety, it was unforgivable for the police to fire warning shots. Therefore, they blamed both the police and protesters equally. The charges against 91 protesters in total included rioting, arson, unlawful assembly, assault on police officers, possession of offensive weapons and public nuisance. Several participants were convicted. One of them was sentenced to nine-month imprisonment for assaulting police and resisting arrest. Three (including one student from the University of Hong Kong) received a three-year prison sentence for rioting. Another will spend four years and nine months in jail for arson. Hongkongers were charged and convicted of rioting for the first time since rioting was made an offence in the 1970s.
The Mong Kok civil unrest was classified as a riot. Many people have questioned the heaviness of the sentences. After taking into account the background of the defendant, reasons of the mitigation plea and motives for committing the crime, could the judge impose deterrent sentences?

Motives behind the struggle
Judge Sham Siu-man said in his judgment that “Violence is violence and there is no difference. Should lenient sentences be imposed to those who expressed discontent with the government? Should they be imposed to those with loftier ideals even though the level of violence was the same?” It's impossible to generalise when discussing the various acts of violence: they cannot be viewed in black and white terms. If the court does not take motives and intentions into consideration when meting out a penalty, what is the point of making a plea in mitigation?

There is no doubt that the Umbrella Movement was a civil disobedience movement. Participants placed great emphasis on the long-term interests of the public in their fight for social justice. They hoped to force the regime to face public opinion and give a more democratic proposal on universal suffrage through practising non-violent disobedience. However, among those tens of thousands of participants, not all of them fully supported the philosophy of civil disobedience. Instead, many protesters were motivated to act by the firing of 78 tear gas canisters and so wished to collaborate with the students to face down the political machine. Their reasons changed with the environment. They had no choices to commit crimes but were unwilling to resign themselves to fate. The forcefulness of Leung Chun-ying encouraged more and more people to join the Umbrella Movement.

In the Mong Kok civil unrest, the motives of protesters were even more complicated.

Dissatisfied with the government’s crackdown on hawkers, some responded to the appeal made by political organisations and went to the scene to lend their support. Some took to the streets up in arms over the police firing of warning shots. Some bore longer grudges against the style of policing in Hong Kong while some were dissatisfied with the government. Unlike the relatively planned and organised Umbrella Movement, the Mong Kok Civil Unrest was more spontaneous and lacked proper organisation. The flames of violence flared up as conflicts escalated. Frankly, many of the participants were driven by emotion as they threw bricks and glass bottles. They relied on sheer luck to avoid arrest. However, even though we cannot articulate every protester's motive, they had in common a fight, not for personal gain, but for societal interests. Their actions, which attempted to protect other protesters, were altruistic.
Judge Anthony Kwok, who was responsible for the rioting case, stated that this riot was more serious than the Whitehead Disturbance. The obstinate insistence of the police was key in turning the mayhem in Mong Kok into a riot and added fuel to the fire. The clashes were completely out of control. The police hoped to clear the hawkers at an early stage and spoiled the pleasure of fishball lovers by deploying a Police Tactical Unit. Plainclothes officers brandished batons and used pepper spray against those protesting the clearout. In consequence, the protesters sought revenge by throwing objects at the scene. However, in the case of the Whitehead Disturbance, the lawyer for the first defendant in the Mong Kok clashes said, “Vietnamese boat people used self-made weapons to attack another group of refugees. Their acts were apparently premeditated.” The two cases were completely different in terms of motive.

Conclusion: How should we look at the protesters?
The court’s ruling is out of public control. However, instead of sneering, severing ties with the persons involved and rubbing salt into protesters’ wounds, I believe the public should sympathise with them and understand the difficulties of our society. A helping hand should be lent to those peers behind bars. 

Perhaps to many, protesters embracing the rule of “non-violence” is crucial. Yet, what is more important than to think about their reasons for taking risks?  It took time for protesters’ sentiments to develop. 

Persecution by the police in previous social movements, the suppression tactics of the regime in various controversies and the failure of "peaceful, rational and non-violent" protest movements culminated in the use of violence. These arguments do not aim to absolve those who cause harm to others, but to point out that the public should think and question whether the assumption that "as long as violent behaviours are involved, things become definitely evil" is correct. The degree of acceptance of various behaviours changes over time and in different contexts. Some people agreed the act of throwing bottles was shocking and disconcerting. However, does that not imply that the firing of shots by the police unlocked Pandora's box by promoting the use of violence? I believe people with a conscience would not make heartless and harsh comments after reflection.

In the future, the Hong Kong communist regime will seek to put the participants of the Umbrella Movement and the protesters of the Mong Kok Civil Unrest in jail. I beseech every Hongkonger not to blame the protesters. This extra burden of blame should not be added to their lot: rather, more support should be provided.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

[HKBUEB] What Is Agriculture in Hong Kong Indeed?

What Is Agriculture in Hong Kong Indeed?
Translated by Natalie Lung, edited by Chen-t'ang, written by Edith Lam (Jumbo, 48th Editorial Board of HKBU)
Original: http://issuu.com/_hkbusueb/docs/jumbo_48.1 [pp. 47-50] 2015 



A brief history of agriculture in Hong Kong

In the 1950s, immigrants from Mainland China (China) became the majority of Hong Kong’s farming population and grew rice for a living in Yuen Long and Fan Ling in the New Territories. Due to the development of new towns in the 60s, they shifted their focus to growing vegetables. The original agricultural labour force gradually decreased under urbanisation.

Ten years later, China lifted the export quota of vegetable produce to Hong Kong, thus forcing local vegetable farmers to pivot again—to fishing or animal rearing. 

In the matter of a few decades, land used for farming drastically dropped from the then thirteen thousand hectares to the present seven hundred or so hectares. Self-sufficiency rate went from a peak of 50% to today’s 2%. 

Agricultural land in Hong Kong today are mainly distributed in the north to northeast New Territories: Fan Ling North, Kwu Tong North, and Ta Kwu Ling; and the west to northwest area: Kam Tin and Pat Heung. 

From yesterday’s thriving agriculture to today’s financial and real estate industries, the Pearl of the Orient has replaced the fishing village—is the decline of agriculture merely a natural progression of history, or is it disregarding diverse, sustainable development?


Indispensable local agriculture

Why should agriculture be revived when Hong Kong has been heavily reliant on imported food for the last few decades?

The main reason is to attain a certain degree of food self-sufficiency; in other words, it is to reach a certain self-sufficiency rate.

Each country must have a food producing industry to minimise its reliance on imports and to reduce the effects of food price inflation.

During the 1967 labour strikes, hawkers and meat suppliers refused to deliver their goods; even pork and vegetables that had already been shipped from the Mainland to the train station in Hong Kong had to be returned. This lasted for four days. 

Since 60% of food came from Mainland back then, a shortage in the supply of agricultural produce emerged. Food prices soared twofold. But it was the self-sufficiency in farm produce Hong Kong had that pulled the city through the crisis. 

In 2012, the supply of Choi Sum from China dropped by three to four% due to a cold climate. Vegetable prices surged from five to six dollars per kilo up to twenty dollars per kilo. The public was forced to purchase expensive vegetables. 

With today’s agricultural labour force in the Mainland shrinking due to urbanisation, farmers’ wages would definitely increase. Coupled with the continuous revaluation of the Renminbi, it can be easily foreseen that Mainland vegetables would become increasingly expensive even without accounting for environmental factors. 

If Hong Kong continues to rely on China's vegetable supply without its own agriculture, the vegetable price would surely fluctuate.

Hong Kong also needs local agriculture to improve food safety. News about tainted food produce is not new. The import of contaminated vegetables from Dongguan in 2012 left many stunned; even after the matter was cleared up, members of the public still felt wary.

In 2015, Cable News uncovered a tainted vegetable smuggling incident where vegetables with exceeding levels of pesticides were directly shipped and sold at several wet markets, circumventing tests at the Centre for Food Safety. This was all unbeknownst to consumers.

If there is local agriculture, Hong Kong people could enjoy more produce that is grown on healthy land and on fertiliser whose source is clearly known, in turn safeguarding food safety.
Kadoorie Farm.

Land shortage: an obstacle for agriculture development

It is no doubt that land shortage is the biggest obstacle for local agricultural development. 

According to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Hong Kong has 4,523 hectares of farm land, but active agricultural land only amounts to 729 hectares, and only 298 of those are used to grow vegetables. 

People who desire to farm could hardly rent land in the New Territories. Although they could reach out to landlords and seek suitable land through the Agricultural Land Rehabilitation Scheme, the average waiting time is five years. Furthermore, the quality of farmland is uneven in quality. 

At present, there are 3,794 hectares of vacant farm land. Land ownership is concentrated among indigineous people and developers who have had no desire to rent the land out to farmers.

Some of the land has been hoarded for developers to purchase for the development of new towns; Some has been repurposed for illegal uses such as outdoor warehouses, container yards, chop shops, and waste recycling yards. 

In addition, Hong Kong has 803 hectares of brownfield sites—farmland that has been destroyed by construction waste and concrete. They could hardly be turned into arable land again as the environment and ecosystem around it have been destroyed.

Non-indigenous farmers also suffer from short-term leases. Most farmland is leased to farmers on a two-to-five-year contract, but building infrastructure like water canals, conducting water and land observations, and adjusting plantation methods take two years, and the instability of renewing a lease leaves people worried about not being able to breakeven before land is taken away from them. 

Under such substantial risk, farmers become reluctant to make long-term investments, indirectly minimizing the potential for agricultural development. 
Policies ignore the root of the problem

The new agriculture policy proposed by former Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in his 2015 Policy Address comprises four main goals:

The policy’s consultation document advocated the use of technology for sustainable agricultural development. It included several examples of modern agricultural production methods, such as organic farming, greenhouse production, etc., and pointed out how hydroponic farming practices in Singapore and greenhouse farming in London can raise agriculture productivity.

Agricultural organizations and academics believe that the government did not consider the long-term planning of agriculture development in the consultation document.

A major criticism was the absence of a target for self-sufficiency rate. The document mentioned the need for increasing agriculture productivity but it did not set clear metrics for such a goal. It criticises self-sufficiency rate as a metric that values quantity over quality, and setting such a target would instead cause productivity to drop, making it an unrealistic reference for food supply. 

As a matter of fact, many countries around the world have set goals for self-sufficiency. While China’s Ministry of Agriculture had required Guangzhou to set a self-sufficiency target of 50% or above for live pork by 2016, the Hong Kong government is avoiding the self-sufficiency issue that is causing huge ramifications on food safety.

The policy also did not account for the use of the 70 to 80 hectare farmland outside the Agricultural Park. 

Resolving the shortage and the deliberate destruction of farmland are key factors for developing agriculture. The aforementioned 3,000 or so hectares of abandoned farmland should be utilised to increase the area of active agricultural land and the output of crops. Meanwhile, the document did not propose a resolution to the brownfield sites issue that has arisen due to the government’s loose grip on illegal soil dumping, nor has there been any measures to crack down on such illegal behaviour.

Furthermore, the idea of the Agricultural Park has been criticised as unrealistic.

Nowadays, many farmers live in farmhouses next to their land in the New Territories. Such an arrangement allows them to care for their crops any time of the day, which could also reduce the time for travelling to and from the city.

But Agri-Park is an earmarked piece of land that would be leased out to farmers on 5-year contracts, and with no supporting infrastructure, it goes against the customary practice of farmers living and working on the same piece of land. Many problems will arise if the Agri-Park is built.

Academics predict that the agriculture fund would go to industry practitioners who own capital and large-scale vegetable markets, robbing small farmers of chances to improve their livelihood.

The funding scheme aims to reward high-tech agricultural production, such as the introduction of machinery and other modern methods, all of which cost a fortune and are impossible for ordinary farmers to afford.

Take hydroponic farming as an example. It is an indoors plantation method which uses nutrient solution and does not require soil. This way, crops can be arranged in vertically stacked layers. However, basic equipment costs $3 million—that is excluding energy costs. Small farmers who could not afford to employ technology in their farming techniques are essentially placed out of reach of funding assistance. 

On the other hand, vegetable farmers who moved up to China in the 1990s to grow their crops and may now have higher economic status may return to Hong Kong to become the main beneficiaries of the scheme.

Furthermore, the two overseas use cases of agricultural technology mentioned in the consultation report are not worthy of reference. 

The hydroponic techniques used in Singapore are highly energy-inefficient and cause destruction to the environment, not to mention their sky-high costs compared to organic farming. 

Hydroponic farming consumes much energy to power water pumping, lighting systems and the production of nutrient solution. If hydroponic farming is to be practiced on farm land in Hong Kong, there is first a need to remodel the land into concrete ground. Industrial farming methods and the use of chemical fertilizers containing heavy metals will then introduced. It is obvious that hydroponic farming is not an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way to grow crops. 

The document also referred to London’s 120-hectare greenhouse and its high GDP value, but the size of farms in the New Territories are only 0.2 hectares on average. Land over a hundred hectares is hard to come by in Hong Kong. 

These two examples are an indication for the government’s top-down mindset for development and ultimately, their ineptness to understand the reality of the agriculture industry.
What are the ways out for agriculture development?

The prospect of increasing agricultural productivity does not lie solely in large-scale plantation. Neither is the goal of Hong Kong’s agriculture development to produce the volumes that would allow for exports. Small-scale agricultural models—community or combined farming—may be more viable.

According to the Trade and Environment Review released by the United Nations in 2013, organic, small-scale farming is the only sustainable mode of agricultural development. 

Unlike industrial farming, the small-scale farming model share a more intimate connection with the natural ecosystem. Agriculture should not be seen solely as an industry that produces food, but rather, one that protects natural scenery, biodiversity, water and land resources.

In addition to resource-recycling, having agriculture in our society can help safeguard local food safety. Fresh crops grown by local farms could be delivered and sold at farmers’ markets on the same day. People could know where their vegetables came. If they were dissatisfied with the quality of vegetables, their feedback could be reflected to farmers directly. Communication between the consumer and producer can be increased.

Reusing residential and commercial food waste as fertilizers not only reduces waste, but it also ensures that the fertilizer is safe to use, which further safeguards the quality of crops. 

Academics predict that farming would resume on more than 3,000 hectares of idle farm land. Based on the degree of food consumption in Hong Kong, a 27% self-sufficiency rate could be attained.

Food waste is a severe problem in Hong Kong. Given that over one third of solid waste produced by the city is food waste, if food waste is reduced, self-sufficiency rate could reach an estimated 40%, which is enough to satisfy a certain degree of Hong Kong’s food supply.

But the new agriculture policies’ focus on modernization technology distances agriculture and the environment, and neglects the consequences of high carbon emissions and environmental pollution. 

Academics describe high-tech agricultural development as nuclear power: both have high production value, but the price of destroying the environment is something that the public can hardly afford to pay.

Agriculture and cities are inseparable; their development requires holistic and clear land planning. Relying on advanced technologies and putting off land issues can only do so much to solve the root problems.

“There’s no agriculture without farmland”

Facing shortage of farmland, some farmers believe the government should adopt policies that would encourage developers to release the hoarded farmland. For example, the Chinese government charges an idle land tax on land that has not been developed or falls short of the required ratio of constructed area to proposed constructed area. They could even reclaim the idle land.

Hong Kong should also adopt similar policies, encouraging developers to lease their land to farmers to avoid penalty. 

In addition, with the copious amounts of farmland being converted to other uses and to brownfield sites, the government should first improve its planning policy.

Each area of land on the plan has one of these two uses: “Column One use” refers to “uses always permitted” and “Column Two use” refers to “uses that would require permission from the Town Planning Board”, so land that has been earmarked as farm land does not necessarily serve the sole purpose of agriculture, but could also be used for housing or clubhouses.

Recently, some developers proposed three applications, including one to build 270 low-density apartment buildings and an international boarding school in the Tsiu Keng agricultural zone in Kwu Tung South. The proposal was accepted because farm land in the area in question has “school” listed under one of its “Column Two use”. 

Academics pointed out that between 1997 and 2002, 1070 of the 1734 applications for land use change were successful, in other words, a 60% success rate. 

The government does not have regulations on the proportion of the land that is used for farming, and with the low threshold on land use change, zoning plans for agriculture exist in name only.

There also exists loopholes in Town Planning Board’s regulations. Private land that has been excluded from the Development Permission Areas Plan (i.e. the first version of the Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) cannot be regulated, leading to the rise of numerous brownfield site issues, such as the fly-tipping in idle farmland in Pui O in 2015. 

As for farmland that has been included in the district plan blueprint, the government has been ineffective in enforcement and tolerant of destructive practices. 

In fact, the above planning problems has been a topic of discussion for a long time, but government has been consistently indifferent, just as it has been in formulating the new agricultural policies.
Who’s gaining under this policy?

In Hong Kong Connection aired on 16 March 2015, the RTHK-produced Chinese TV programme on current affairs, Chairman of the Federation of Agricultural Associations of Hong Kong Chan Kin-yip pointed out that this consultation paper reflects on the feedback given from his group to the government on agriculture policy and the concept of Agricultural Park.

The organization, which was established in 2013 to push for sustainable agricultural development in Hong Kong, comprises all members of the Chief Executive Election Committee from the agricultural and fisheries sector. They make up 60 of the 1200-person committee, and was elected by 159 industry representatives. 

The agricultural and fisheries sector has been receiving subsidy from the Ministry of Agriculture of China since 2009. Between 2009 and 2012, they have received a total of RMB2.2 billion in subsidy. To become eligible for subsidy, fishermen have to hold a fishing permit in China. Successful applicants could receive RMB600,000 to RMB700,000 in fuel subsidy. 

In the second round of consultations on political reforms, the agriculture and fisheries sector supported the August 31st decision by the NPC.

Profiteering in the name of development
Kwu Tung North development plan.

Plans for the development of the northeastern New Territories started as early as 1996. The government led the application for land-use change of a total of 333 hectares of farmland in Kwu Tung North and Fan Ling North for residential or commercial use, which will be used for the new town extensions of Fan Ling and Sheung Shui. Land was taken away from near ten thousand villagers who were then forced to move away. Former Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po and his wife also became a target for acquisition, and was going to be compensated with over $10 million. The development was an estimated $120 billion project, building 60,000 residential flats, with private housing taking the majority. 

The establishment of this plan had to go through Environmental Impact Assessment, deliberation by the Town Planning Board, and appropriation by the Legislative Council before it could go into action. Since pro-establishment legislators take up the majority seats in LegCo, it is hard to have the real public opinion reflected, hence preparation period is the major battleground for members of the public to prevent the project from going forward.

The Town Planning Board has the power over land use planning but it is chaired by a member of the Development Board, its members are either government officials, government-appointed, or those who do not reveal their identity to the public. 

Despite having 90% opposition rate and a total of 50,000 appeal letters and proposals, the North East New Territories development plan was still approved by the Town Planning Board.

In June 2014, the preliminary budget for the plan was quickly approved as Finance Committee chair Ng Leung-sing was filibustering, the same day on which there were protests and clashes outside LegCo.

In 2015, the government officially moved forward with the North East New Territories in-situ land exchange policy, in which land in two development zones is planned for private development. Under the scheme, if the land is larger than 4,000 sq.m. and is owned by a sole landlord, the landlord could apply for land use change from agriculture to high value-added uses, such as residential or commercial uses, but these land sites have to be vacated before April 2016. 

Land resumption proceedings in North East New Territories was set to begin in 2017, but the establishment of such policy encourages developers to force farmers out as early on as possible. 

It is believed that the Ping Che area, an area that was originally in the NE New Territories development plan but eventually excluded, will be included in the North New Territories development plan. 
Conclusion

Agriculture development does not only concern the interests of rural residents. In fact, it is linked to complex political and economic interests, beneath which lies all sorts of evil and injustice. All we can hope for is unity among people and the courage to challenge the authority to protect our city.


HKBU Editorial Board Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/busueb 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Guo Wengui: Cross-border law enforcement in HK; PRC uses real estate to manipulate HK’s economy

Guo Wengui: Cross-border law enforcement in HK; PRC uses real estate to manipulate HK’s economy
Original: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 

Lau Ping 劉冰 @ Next Magazine, 3 May 2017

(1)
Guo Wengui made the entire CCP Politburo headaches, Interpol issuing a Red Warrant, and China’s Min. of Foreign Affairs to exert pressure to US congress for ending his tip-off programme on VOA. It is only him who will need the entire country’s force to deal with.

Also known as Miles Kwok, Guo said his family foundation controls over US$280 bn, enjoying lots of luxury products, cars, private jets, flats, etc. Challenging the Party is to “save his life, keep his money and revenge”, Guo claimed.

After the VOA programme was terminated, journalists and editors involved were either suspended or brought away by security guards. Guo disappeared in the press. Next Magazine found him, and he tipped off about HK.

Guo was a grass-root with low qualifications, but with good persuasion, he managed to gain a seat in the officialdom and the business world. According to China, he bribed the deputy minister of PRC Min. of State Security, and Party secretaries in Hebei and Henan have to listen to him. With these forces backing, he once called the shot in China.

Guo recently released two astonishing news - (1) President Xi Jinping does not trust CCDI head Wang Qishan and secretly asked deputy minister of public security to investigate Wang’s family and Meng Jianzhu (Secretary of Political and Judiciary Commission, Central Committee of Chinese Communist Party).

(2) Guo also disclosed an implicit relationship of HNA Group. Guo, in the programme, said Wang Qishan’s wife Yao Mingshan, and her nephew Yao Qing, hold shares of HNA Group. Wang Qishan’s father-in-law is Yao Yilin, once the Premier of State Council.

Guo became a globally wanted person, making him famous. China will soon have its 19th Congress. With such power battle, people are focused on whether Guo will keep tipping off.

TIP-OFF 1: MSS & MPS Officers Work in HK for Long Time
Next: You said Min. of State Security and Min. of Public Security have cross-border law enforcement in HK. What are the details?

Guo: Compatriots in HK are too honest. There are so many MSS and MPS officers working and investigating in HK. I know that at least there are long-term offices in China Res. Bldg., Causeway Bay and Fo Tan. At least 300 PRC officers are staying HK for law enforcement on a long term basis. They often go to search houses, knock people’s doors, check information in banks, stalk people, etc. This is already law enforcement in HK.

Some media said Ma Jian (former deputy minister of MSS) received two flats in Taikoo Shing from me. The two flats were opened and searched for times. You can think about that, was that HK police opening the door? Certainly not, who then? They must be from PRC, PRC cops are searching flats everywhere.

Before coming to the US, I was in HK and met these people frequently. Some from Beijing Public Security Bureau, from “Security Ministry”, intel people from General Staff Dept Session 2. At least few thousands work in HK.
- - -
Next Magazine asked him to prove. Guo said he has the info at hand but will disclose that to the public by himself later on.

Next Magazine asked HK police whether MSS and MPS officers have searched for evidence and enforce law in HK. HK police’s reply was “no comment”.

(2)

Guo continued to spill the beans - the high land premium thing by PRC consortia was actually a “sand dilution scheme”. PRC wants to dilute HK people with PRC people, and hope Chinese capital to take over HK’s economy and livelihood.

TIP-OFF 2: High Land Premium = “Sand Dilution Scheme”
Next: HNA Group from China bid lots of land sites with high price in HK in the past 12 months. It won sites in Kai Tak with extremely high prices, surprising the market. (Video clip: Over $27.2 bn spent on sites in Kai Tak)

Guo: They buy land sites in HK but not for development. This is “sand dilution scheme”. Firstly, send more immigrants to HK. Dilute HK people with PRC people, then there will be no more “HKers”.

Secondly, “diluting sand” financially. When PRC real estate tycoons take over, HK developers won’t have a chance, and only PRC will control the entire real estate market. Controlling real estate market is controlling the life of HK. He can make your prices slump by 50%, then HKers will commit suicide. He can also make prices surge to a level you can’t afford. Real estate is a real political conspiracy.

Half of the land premium paid by HNA Group were borrowed from local banks in HK. If they can’t repay, this is tantamount to “hijacking” with PRC banks. That would be “too big to fail”. HK’s economy will be hijacked, and the commoners dare not challenge it.

There will be a very huge catastrophe in HK, financially, politically and in terms of global reputation. There will be huge incident(s).

Next: What is the relationship between HNA Group and Wang Qishan?

Guo: Wang is backing. Wang is a shareholder, or else how can HNA Group bring hundreds of billions out from China? How is that possible? It is certainly abnormal. Of course, Wang’s family is HNA’s shareholder and boss.

In the past you may believe - would Wang and his family do that? No one would believe that. HK is under Secretary Meng Jianzhu’s hands. He can do whatever he wants under Meng’s control.
- - -
Next Magazine asked what proof do Guo have to certify the relationship between HNA Group and Wang, but he did not provide any concrete evidence.

(3)
With a heavy Northeastern accent, this super-billionaire also teased the second-generation rich in HK to please Beijing officials for their shelter. Guo said, “it is too pathetic and selfish, without regarding HK people’s overall interests”. After leaving China, he now lives in the US. He remained luxurious, and often post supercars and flats in the UK and the US. He boasted 29 cars, including McLaren P1, LaFerrari, Koenigsegg CCX, Apollo etc. Benz also designed a bespoke car for his safety.

He said he has three houses in Manhattan, NY. One was bought with US$80mn, with a gym room. Guo claimed that he will do gym 6 days a week, 2 hours a day. He posted a lot of exercise pics on Twitter.

TIP-OFF 3: Pathetic to See HK Billionaires to Please Beijing Officials
Next: Do you know billionaires in HK?
Guo: I knew loads of them. HK billionaires all go to Beijing and please officials, begging for their shelter (figuratively), but don’t forget - they are just used tools.

Second generation rich in HK are very arrogant to the public in HK, but they squat on the floor (figuratively) without dignity. Isn’t it pathetic? I knew a lot of rich men. Rich men in the past were well respected, but for their own benefits, they lost such dignity. It’s too pathetic.
- - -
Next Magazine kept asking about names of these rich men but Guo did not reply.

(4)
HK people believed the outlook is dim, and One Country, Two Systems cannot be realized. HK gradually becomes a normal city in PRC. There are some voices of emigration in recent years. Guo emigrated long ago, but he ridiculed HK people.

Guo said, “You want to emigrate, where do you want to go? Your home was grabbed, and you are leaving. You are not protecting your home and you are leaving. HK people’s minds are problematic. That is escape, not emigration”.

He urged HKers to voice their views and strive, as the situation in HK is sad.

However, Guo has emigrated to lots of countries. It is said that he has given up China’s household registration, and owns 11 passports, including US and UK ones. He also tweeted about having residency in Abu Dhabi. It is learnt that he has an HKID card too, renaming himself as “Guo Haoyun 郭浩雲”. In 2011, through a BVI company, he bought two super big houses in 20 and 22 South Bay Road, Repulse Bay. It is reported that his son, Guo Qiang, once entered the houses.

Guo kept posting his recent status, including his jogs and so on. It seemed that he doesn’t care about CCP’s suppression. Next Magazine contacted Guo through WhatsApp. His profile picture is a photo with him and Dalai Lama.

Guo said “I will, in a certain period of time, be loud about HK, not getting quiet. Just like things on the Mainland, if I speak up, I will be loud”.

His phone can only receive WhatsApp message but can’t be called. The journalist sometimes did not receive his reply even waiting midnight. When the journalist wanted to do a more in-depth interview, he said he will consider it as many media in HK are finding him.

(5, some duplicated parts have been deleted)

South Bay Road houses were reported to have illegal structures. Our journalist went there and discovered construction works are going on. The journalist asked whether Guo’s family is in there, but security guards blocked our coverage and cameras.

Guo can tip off such important intel because he has a strong “shelter” above. Former deputy minister of MSS Ma Jian, Party secretary of Hebei Province Zhang Yue and Henan Party standing committee member Wang Youjie were some of the “shelter sources”. Ma Jian was under probe due to corruption charges. Guo was a friend of secret police chief, so Guo left China and started his life in the US.

According to CCP, Ma was removed in 2015. In a video, Ma said he knew Guo in 2008, and Guo knew if he gets close to Ma, Guo’s business kingdom can be protected.

Ma confessed in the clip, “From 2018 to 2014, I used my authority and duty convenience to help Guo a lot on Guo’s own problem and his company operations”.

What is most ruthless? Guo also used a “shelter” - the secret service system to get rid of people he dislikes. Qu Long, former executive director of Beijing Zenith Real Estate (Zhengquan Zhiye, in Pinyin), was an underling of Guo. Due to business disputes, Qu reported Guo. Guo asked for help from Ma Jian and Zhang Yue. Ma and Zhang removed Qu with their authorities. They contacted Public Security Dept of Hebei Province. Chengde Court of Hebei eventually charged Qu of “illegal possession of guns” for 15 years. It is reported that Qu has been sent to Beijing for helping the probe into Guo Wengui.

Ma took RMB60 mn bribe. Ma confessed that around 2011, Guo bought two flats for me in Taikoo Shing, HK, with an area of nearly 200 sq.m.. He spent over HK$30 mn for that. In order to avert risks, the properties were under the name of my nephew, but the actual owner is Ma himself.

Ma also said I bought something in an old stuff market in HK, and I already paid over HK$90,000. Before I return, Guo’s assistant came by and gave me HK$100,000.

After Ma Jian was arrested, Guo claimed that Central Investigation Unit has sent officers to probe into this for times in HK, and even entered flats in Taikoo Shing. The blatant cross-border law enforcement was known by the property security guards. Next Magazine asked for detailed address.

Caixin Weekly once issued an article titled “Power hunter Guo Wengui”, revealing how he used his power and relationship to accumulate wealth. In turn, Guo argued Caixin’s editor-in-chief Hu Shuli had an unusual relationship with (Founder Group’s former CEO) Li You. Guo also claimed that Caixin Media is Wang Qishan’s camp member.

Guo’s Minzu Securities and Founder Group merged. Founder Group’s (former) CEO Li You and Guo had a good relationship, as they took the same private jet to countries. They became enemies when they are fighting for a director seat. After the break-up, they also revealed more. Guo also disclosed the relation network behind Li, including Hu Shuli and Wang Qishan. In Jan 2015, Li was detained due to insider trading. Two months Li was arrested, CIRC chairman Xiang Junbo was probed early Apr 2017. Xiang was the president of ABC, and it is said that Xiang approved RMB3.2 bn loan to Guo, so Xiang was dragged down and probed too.

The entire tip-off involved so many people, including businessmen and higher-ups, and even Politbuto members. This has become highly complex and sensitive. As Guo has been among the higher-ups’ network, and his backings were gradually arrested, every one became more interested in his tip-offs.