Tuesday last week was Oct. 1, China’s National Day. On that very day, a Hong Kong police officer shot a masked youth wearing black clothes. When the youngster’s mask was removed, he turned out to be a fifth-form student at a secondary school, equivalent to the second year of senior-high school in Taiwan.
Two days earlier, on Sunday last week, the Hong Kong police arrested a large number of black-clad youths, and when their masks were removed, one of them turned out to be a physician who works at a public hospital.
The crackdown is quite a contrast with the tolerance shown by police on July 21, when they connived with alleged triad gangsters who attacked people in a subway station.
On National Day, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) showed off its might with a massive military parade in Beijing, but what future can there be for a government that finds it necessary to join hands with gangsters to attack upstanding citizens?
Many people have been wondering whether Hong Kong could be the breach in the wall of the CCP regime.
Japan’s Meiji Restoration started in the Choshu Domain (modern-day Yamaguchi Prefecture), which had frequent interactions with Westerners. While the Tokugawa shogunate was trying to uphold its conservative order, Choshu was adopting Western ideas.
Similarly, China’s Qing Dynasty met its end in Guangzhou, which had a great deal of contact with Western nations.
While the Qing government in Beijing was fixated on the idea of building a strong navy, revolutionaries in Guangzhou were launching wave after wave of demonstrations and uprisings.
Eventually, Guangzhou turned out to be the breach in the wall of the Qing regime.
Hong Kong has inherited Western traditions of democracy and freedom. Young Hong Kongers, with little concern for their own safety, are determined to stand or fall together.
These pro-democracy advocates have made considerable sacrifice, but the outwardly powerful CCP regime is paying an even higher price.
The CCP has ruled China for 70 years. During the first 50 of those years, the Chinese people were mired in poverty and caught up in waves of political struggle.
The tens of millions of people who perished under the CCP’s misrule far outnumber those killed in China’s long war with Japan.
Fortunately, life in China over the past 20 years has not been quite so difficult. These easier time have been made possible by the policy of “reform and opening up,” which has allowed an influx of technology and capital from the West.
The CCP simply stepped aside so that Western technology and money could come in and make life a little better for those living in China.
If Hong Kong police oppress young people so much that Western nations respond with sanctions, could China’s prosperity continue without the investment and revenue that it has gotten used to receiving from them?
As soon as China’s economy slows down or goes into recession, the Chinese people might start to understand that the CCP stands in the way of progress.
If there had been no CCP to begin with, the Chinese would not have suffered those 50 years of hardship. Without the CCP, China would have developed long ago, just like Hong Kong did.
Who says Hong Kong cannot be the breach in the Chinese wall?
Mike Chang is an accountant.
Translated by Julian Clegg