Hong Kong Separation AnxietyPosted: March 12, 2015
Beijing Assails Student Democrats as Revolutionaries
China’s Communist Party frequently rails against “splittists,” with the usual targets being the freedom- and independence-minded people of Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang. Now China’s parliament is adding Hong Kong to its enemies list, using the pretext of last year’s pro-democracy marches.
“In his annual Policy Address in January, Mr. Leung attacked his critics for harboring secessionist sentiments, citing as evidence the undergraduate magazine of Hong Kong University, which published an article on ‘Hong Kong people deciding their own fate’ and a book called ‘Hong Kong Nationalism.'”
“The movement and the expression for independence of Hong Kong will not be tolerated,” third-ranked leader Zhang Dejiang declared last week in the Great Hall of the People. Days before, General Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of the general staff, told a state magazine that last year’s street protests were “a Hong Kong version of a color revolution,” akin to the popular movements that toppled several post-Soviet governments a decade ago.
“Mr. Leung was widely ridiculed for the feebleness of the charge, yet now top leaders in Beijing are echoing it.”
These aren’t the first time such charges have been leveled. In October, during the first weeks of Hong Kong’s 75-day demonstrations, a commentary in the official People’s Daily argued that the protesters’ true aim was independence, while senior Politburo member Wang Yang warned of “color revolution.” But Beijing then muted such claims—at least until Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying revived them.
In his annual Policy Address in January, Mr. Leung attacked his critics for harboring secessionist sentiments, citing as evidence the undergraduate magazine of Hong Kong University, which published an article on “Hong Kong people deciding their own fate” and a book called “Hong Kong Nationalism.” Mr. Leung was widely ridiculed for the feebleness of the charge, yet now top leaders in Beijing are echoing it.
Painting Hong Kong’s democrats as separatists and revolutionaries suggests that hardliners want to close off the possibility of compromise. An even tougher crackdown is now more likely….(read more)
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