The national security law has put Hong Kong in a state of austerity, where the rule of law and freedom have fallen, the special status has been canceled by the United States, the economic status is lost, the immigration wave and an outpouring of people and talent have been revived, schools have become brainwashing machines, and police are the enemy of the people. Everyone is scared, with zero trusts towards the SAR government (the public’s reaction to the Universal Community Testing Program was pure indifference), and hatred towards the central government. To truly protect national security, we ought to bring to justice the culprit of all of this chaos – Carrie Lam.
However, it is too early to dream. The CCP’s laws are used to consolidate the authority of the one-party dictatorship, and not to protect individual freedom and security. Carrie Lam is simply carrying out the CCP’s orders to strip people of rights, and prohibit freedom. The CCP cannot favor Carrie Lam, this executioner, enough, how would they let her be brought to justice? Yes, what Carrie Lam has done made Hongkongers hate the central and SAR governments, but the suppression of authoritarian rule is supposed to bring about hatred by the people, so why would the CCP mind? The more people hate, the greater the suppression, not a big deal. The national security law can convict speech of “inducing hatred” as an excuse for suppression. There is really no need to take the wording of the content of the national security law seriously. Whether “enforcement” occurs is purely a political decision.
The national security law has destroyed the rule of law, and Hong Kong is no different from fallen. Some say no, the national security law is only used to handle a small group of troublemakers who create political provocations. People’s livelihood and commercial activities will continue to be protected by common law, therefore the rights and freedom of the majority of the people will not be affected; Hong Kong not only will not fall, but will prosper and stabilize. Is that right? Now Carrie Lam says that Hong Kong has never had the separation of powers, only the division of powers, complementary and cooperating. Having smashed the basic principles of the separation of powers and checks and balances of the common law, where and how is the law protecting people’s livelihood and commercial activities? Are those who state that the national security law will make Hong Kong prosperous and stable truly naïve or are they liars who side with the bullies to feed on the weak? Not sure, but we know that Hongkongers are the victims.
Kevin Yeung said that Hong Kong never had the separation of powers, therefore there is the need to delete relevant contents in the textbooks of liberal studies, for they are false. Carrie Lam backed him further by stating that the three powers “perform their individual duties, cooperate with checks and balances”, which, needless to say, is to pave the way for the CCP to eviscerate the rule of law and implement autocracy. If it is “check and balance”, where comes “cooperate”? Obviously they were simply lame arguments, and the creation of new phrases with perverted logic. Yes, the “separation of powers” is rarely mentioned in legal vocabulary because that coexists with common law, and there is no need for repetition. Just like there is oxygen in the air, we say breathe, but rare to breathe oxygen, then does it mean that there is no oxygen in the air? Carrie Lam is dreaming to rule Hong Kong by linguistic tricks, but it does not mean that Hongkongers are all easily deceivable silly fools, that it only reveals that she has fallen into a hopeless degradation of an immoral inferno. Under her rule, how can Hong Kong not fall?
Once the legislature deviates from the common law’s general rule of just conduct, the law will become an invincible tool of lawless governance. If, according to Teresa Cheng, that the legislature and the administrative systems “complement each other and cooperate with each other”, there will be no check and balance on power, and the government will do as it pleases. This is exactly how dictatorship strips people of their rights and freedom. Xi Jinping stated that socialism with Chinese characteristics “must cleverly use the rule of law”, and will never follow the footsteps of Western “constitutionalism”, “three powers”, and “judicial independence”.
With the national security law, gone is one country, two systems, and Hong Kong has naturally embarked on the “legal path” with Chinese characteristics. Xi Jinping has never taken seriously the Basic Law’s ability to restrict the power of the central government. His requirement for Hong Kong is to “cleverly use the rule of law”, that is, the division of powers, complementary and cooperating, to build an infrastructure for dictatorship. Carrie Lam, the one student who was the top of her class every year, did it. How is Xi Dada not glad? Carrie Lam is such a great student of Xi Dada, she is once again number one for completely destroying Hong Kong’s rule of law. How is she not feeling giddy? What is Hong Kong, but Carrie Lam’s stepping stone to make the emperor smile?
This unprecedented disaster in Hong Kong happens to coincide with the imminent disaster of the CCP. Born an optimist, I think Hong Kong can turn it around. The CCP is faced with crises both internally and externally, and its ruling authority is weak. On Sep. 3, Xi Jinping delivered a speech at a symposium to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the victory of the War of Resistance Against Japan, after which, twice in one week, he emphasized “never to agree to the decoupling of China and the United States”, “never to promise to separate the CCP and the Chinese people”. From these, it is seen that as the Sino-U.S. relations turn tense, and as the crisis of trade decoupling looms, Xi Jinping has been frequently screaming “never promise”. U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo talked about the CCP and the Chinese people separately, what a shock to the CCP, who hurriedly yelled, “The Chinese people are the ‘bronze wall and iron façades’ of the CCP. None of you dare to shatter it.” What an ass in a lion’s skin. It is clear that the CCP has no confidence in its own ruling authority, such a weak rationale for its governance, and the heavy sense of crisis of conditioned reflex.
The CCP’s heavy sense of crisis is understandable. The trade decoupling of China and the United States will not only be able trade, but that diplomacy, science, technology, culture, knowledge, and even information will be sanctioned, resulting in the loss of motivation for economic development. When the economy fails, there will be no way to improve people’s livelihood to sustain the ruling authority, thereby alienating the people from the regime, weakening the recognition of the CCP regime, and eclipsing the legitimacy of its leaders. Externally, the CCP leaders will be dwarfed, which will cause the legitimacy for their rule back home to be questioned, and thereby risking the CCP’s dominance to rule. Xi Jinping and his authority of one has singlehandedly trapped the CCP in this dilemma, it is simply unimaginable for his leadership position.
In the face of this unprecedented danger, the Sino-U.S. relations are very tense, with the cold war situation already formed, and some are even worried that this would turn into a hot war. The prospects are uncertain, and investors are deterred. Coupled with the epidemic’s blow to the economy, enterprises collapsed and the unemployment rate soared. The crisis of the eruption of social unrest is imminent. Even if the decoupling of foreign trade does not happen immediately, after the painful experience of the Wuhan virus, the Western camp has been awakened, enlightened, and clearly seeing the true face of the CCP, and disgusted by its brutal wolf-warrior stance. It is definitely rethinking about trade with China to reduce its dependence on Chinese production. China’s economy is only getting worse.
Everyone has witnessed how the CCP has gradually curtailed its wolf-warrior rhetoric and put on a friendly stance in an attempt to repair the Sino-U.S. relations. Wang Yi’s trip to Europe was an attempt to win ties, such that even if the Sino-U.S. relations deteriorated, the European Union could be its backing. However, that was proven to be too difficult when Wang Yi did not put away his wolf-warrior mask in time, and kept his strongman arrogance and attitude when he pointed fingers, lectured, reprimanded, and even threatened the European Union officials, how extremely revolting. Not only did the Italian Prime Minister refuse to meet with him, but the German Foreign Minister expressed serious dissatisfaction toward him. When the mayor of Prague in the Czech Republic penned a letter to Wang Yi, foul language like “fuck” and “shit” was used. How obvious is the E.U.'s stance towards the CCP? Wang Yi had originally planned to win over the hearts of the European Union, but it was as if the CCP was not in a situation unfavorable enough, that he has made enemies all around. Xi Dada’s team is truly rotten to the core and spiraling out of control. Under the rule of Xi Jinping, is China far from spiraling completely out of control?
(Jimmy Lai is the founder of Next Digital, which publishes the Apple Daily and Next Magazine in Hong Kong and Taiwan.)
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