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Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 01:16
'Liberate Hong Kong' is a separatist movement
By Kung Chi-ping
Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 01:16 By Kung Chi-ping

Events that rolled out in the past four months as part of the “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” campaign are more than enough to demonstrate the separatist nature of the political movement. It is by no means a pure expression of political beliefs, but a radical separatist movement guided by a full agenda and aimed at the clear objective of achieving Hong Kong independence through violence.

Political slogans of a social movement essentially reflect its core objective. Slogans played an important role in propagating, instigating and rallying supporters in all uprisings, including the independence movements in the Baltic States and Catalonia, the “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine, and the Arab Spring in the Islamic world, as well as the “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” in Hong Kong. Hong Kong protesters have adopted a host of slogans in their current campaign, but it is “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” that has been the most popular among opposition politicians and supporters. It is also most similar to the slogans adopted in those “color revolutions” in terms of the political backgrounds and objectives — all are subversive and secessionist in nature.

It is obvious that to “liberate Hong Kong” is to subvert the People’s Republic of China’s sovereignty over Hong Kong by violent means

An integrative analysis of what has happened in Hong Kong in the past four months will readily expose the separatist nature of “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times”.   

Historically speaking, “liberation” has always been associated with the changing of a regime. For instance, Dr Sun Yat-sen’s “Expel barbarian lords, liberate the Chinese nation” served as the slogan of the Chinese Revolution. The meaning of “liberation” remained unchanged till this day. One would wonder which regime the protesters are intending to change and what kind of political system they want to set up when they yell “liberate Hong Kong” 22 years after its return to the motherland. Some opposition politicians have painstakingly argued that by “liberate Hong Kong”, they are actually suggesting “returning to the past”. That is nothing more than self-deceiving nonsense. “Returning to the past” is no different to “restoring British rule”. In other words, to “liberate Hong Kong” is to deprive the People’s Republic of China of its sovereignty over Hong Kong. Isn’t that an act of subversion?

The subversive and separatist nature of Hong Kong protesters’ slogan is more obvious in its English version. By using the word “liberate”, they are equating their violent rampages with those national liberation movements the world had witnessed in the 20th century. The fact is there is no so-called Hong Kong nation. Who are they supposed to liberate? And from whom are they being liberated? It is obvious that to “liberate Hong Kong” is to subvert the People’s Republic of China’s sovereignty over Hong Kong by violent means.

History tells that “revolution” has close association with riots and wars.

Nowadays, the term “revolution” might have taken on some new meanings in certain aspects, but its core definition of “forcefully toppling a government” remains unchanged. Examples are ample: The “American Revolution” refers to a revolt that expelled the British government; “color revolutions” resulted in regime change in quite a few Eurasian countries. And all revolutions invariably involved violence.

In Hong Kong, a member of the opposition camp who condones violence differentiated “revolution” with “protests” by categorically pointing out that the former involves the change of regime. This is exactly what the rioters aspire for — building an independent state separate from the motherland.

“Liberate Hong Kong” explains the fundamental objective of this riotous movement; “revolution of our times” shows the separatist nature of the movement. Had rioters only chanted this slogan without taking any action, perhaps the saga could still be masquerading under “freedom of expression”. However, countless incidents in the past four months prove that this is not just a slogan. Rather, it has been accompanied by shockingly violent rampages, which have unreservedly revealed its target and purpose.

Under the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times”, a plethora of illegal activities against national sovereignty have been carried out since mid-June. On July 21, hordes of rioters defaced the national emblem outside the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as they besieged the building, the wall of which was spray-painted with this slogan. Since June, at least nine cases of arrests relating to setting the national flag on fire have been reported. Whenever the national flag was burned, the slogan was chanted. In the past four months, criminality against the national flag and national emblem, which symbolize China’s sovereignty over the HKSAR, was largely present. What’s more, the mobs were reading out the “Draft Civil Charter of Hong Kong” and announced the establishment of a “provisional legislature” on Sept 30; the “Hong Kong Provisional Government Manifesto” emerged on Oct 4 when the rioters also called for the incumbent government to be overthrown. The so-called “Hong Kong national anthem” and “Hong Kong national flag” later appeared in various forms amid the reverberation of the separatist slogan.

Not only that, the slogan has induced an ever-increasing level of violence, which appeared in the form of weapons like Molotov cocktails in almost every riot. On Aug 1, the police raided a unit and arrested seven men and a woman on charge of “possession of offensive weapons”, unauthorized possession of explosive substances and unauthorized possession and distribution of oil containing cannabis. Among those arrested, apart from Andy Chan Ho-tin, who is the head of the ill-fated Hong Kong National Party, the other seven people belong to the Hong Kong Indigenous party. All of them are avowed separatists whose political views and agenda are self-evident.  

The above facts serve as evidence that the fundamental objective of “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” is to overthrow the existing constitutional system and subvert China’s sovereignty over the HKSAR. Tony Chung Hon-lam, convener of pro-independence group Studentlocalism, previously explained how to “liberate Hong Kong in this revolution” on his Twitter account; that is, to promote Hong Kong independence until the “Republic of Hong Kong” is formally established. This fully exposes the core motive of the slogan.

No sovereign state in the world would ever allow the existence of illegal movements aimed at toppling the government, let alone admitting secessionist politicians into the political establishment. It is the SAR government’s unshakable duty, as well as the patriotic Hong Kong residents’ obligation, to unmask the true nature of “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” and help curb the spread of separatism across Hong Kong. There is no room for compromise when it comes to safeguarding national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. Hong Kong must and will never allow politicians championing a separatist campaign to gain a foothold in the SAR’s political establishment through elections.

This is an excerpt translation of a Chinese-language article published earlier in Ta Kung Pao.

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