While penning this column, we do not know yet what happened at the so-called Hong Kong Town Hall meeting; and that is a disclaimer to guard ourselves from a situation mounting by the minute, and from the chance of a miracle. Chief Executive Carrie Lam called upon Hong Kong people to show up and openly debate the grievances that led to months of civic demonstrations, sparked by that notorious Extradition Law.
Perhaps because of the possibility that such an invitation to a candid dialogue could go astray, CE Carrie Lam went for the safe small-circle of 150 speakers randomly picked from a pool of the first 20,000-strong registered citizens. We underline randomly.
We do not anticipate a cool soothing session; we do not believe the get together comes to imply some undesirable outcome, either. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive cannot suffer another public blow to her face. Anyway, things seem to go through other channels.
On the eve of the 70th anniversary of China´s Communist Party celebrations, all parties are aware that a fresh round of protests would be a discomfort to…all parties. That is why, to defuse the situation, Beijing called upon a political heavyweight and high cadre in the local deputy commissar of Foreign Ministry. Song Ru`an set the boundaries of the imbroglio: China believes Hong Kong has the tools to scale down the situation; and acknowledges the natural difficulties of the “one country, two systems” given its unprecedented nature.
Despite the shades of ambiguity marring Song remarks, it is natural to believe that the Central Government is not preparing any type of intervention on the ground, and, more than that, is prepared to tolerate, or ignore, a certain degree of protest activity during the 70th anniversary.
As we stated above, this is the 3-months of “be water” protest episodes moving and unfolding by the minute that came to separate the waters. Today that rough demagogy – the one that breeds only in an environment where the contradictory is not permitted or taken into consideration – is of no use.
A few examples to illustrate the low grade argument, dwindling by the day, Hong Kong residents seem to be fed up. The pro-democracy movement lacks the legitimacy of the working class, since it breeds exclusively from the privileged university crowd. Like 2 million residents marching for the rights granted in the Basic Law. And who confronted pro-democracy protesters in Mong Kok, lumpen proletariat?
The incredible narrative of the brutal protesters violently attacking the police and security forces, that way discrediting the pro-democracy movement, thus democracy itself! The longing for that primordial Rousseau moment of naivety justifying the will to protest on behalf of the noble savage.
And we can go lower on the downward spiral, but we close for an ingenious fake and absurd syllogism: to protest for democracy in an assertive manner is not the best option for those who want more democracy within the second system!
If we were to take the prophetic assessment of Albert Cheng that the idea of One Country, Two Systems is already finished…we will be out of water.
The final notes go to that paramount intervention of Fu Ziying demanding that the Macau members of the CPPCC voice “real opinions” to the Liaison Office. Director Fu urged Macau members of the CPPCC to speak the truth.
Evidently it was not a good day for the Macau representatives. That aphorism comes to mind: in “war” truth is the first casualty.