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This protester calls himself “Bruce’’
We’ve hidden his face and obscured his voice to protect his identity
He’s one of the millions of Hong Kongers taking to the streets
Many people here are wearing face masks
People are hiding their identities
They fear that the government will press charges
What started as a protest against an extradition bill...
...has become the most serious challenge...
...to the Communist Party’s authority...
...since the Tiananmen Square protest three decades ago
As the demonstrations enter a third month...
...neither the government nor the protesters is willing to back down
Police fire tear gas, rubber bullets...
...and use their police baton to hit the protesters
But it’s not enough to deter the demonstrators
So what happens now?
This is a real nightmare for the Communist government in Beijing
They can either crush Hong Kong...
...or they can tolerate being defied...
...in a way that undermines everything...
...about their whole structure of government
They have no good choices
Hong Kong is one of the most important financial centres in the world
And it has a unique status
It’s a city in China but it’s not entirely Chinese
It has its own currency...
...its own passport…
...its own legal system
There’s even a boundary between Hong Kong and the rest of China...
...and you need a permit to cross it
This is all down to its history
In 1842 Hong Kong was ceded by the Chinese to the British...
...after the first Opium War
But in 1997 Britain gave it back to China
Hong Kong people are to run Hong Kong
With one important condition...
...for 50 years Hong Kong was to be governed...
...under what is known as “one country, two systems”
The chief executive who runs Hong Kong...
...would be appointed by a pro-Chinese committee
But the city was guaranteed a high degree of autonomy...
...with its own government, legal system...
...and economic independence until 2047
Over the past decade those rights have been eroded
Fuller democracy, promised as part of the handover agreement...
...has yet to be granted by China
Yellow ribbon means come back, come back democracy
Emily Lau was a Hong Kong politician for 25 years
Today she still campaigns for democracy
Things have deteriorated fast...
...particularly since President Xi Jinping came to power
So people are very concerned
We want freedoms, we want personal safety...
...we want the rule of law
China’s grip has got ever tighter
In 2012 the government tried to install...
...a patriotic pro-Chinese education system
Then five Hong Kong booksellers...
...who sold material banned in mainland China disappeared
In 2016 pro-democracy opposition leaders...
...were thrown out of Hong Kong’s parliament...
...for insulting China when swearing their oaths
And then in February this year...
...the government introduced a bill...
...which would have allowed extradition to the mainland
Very few people in Hong Kong imagine there’s going to be...
...full-on, Western-style democracy
But they are very angry about the way that...
...what they believe they were promised...
...was something much more accountable where...
...you’d have something close to universal suffrage
The basic social contract...
...between the people of Hong Kong and their government is breaking down
All this is fuelling the protesters’ anger
The invisible hand from China...
...are getting more visible
They are putting more controls on Hong Kong’s autonomy and democracy
Hong Kong is not China
People will say to you, “We know that 2047 is coming one day...
...but we don’t want it to happen now”
As the protests get larger and more violent...
...the chance of China intervening increases
Beijing has made thinly veiled threats to send in its military forces...
...the People’s Liberation Army
Those who play with fire will perish by it
At the end of the day, they will eventually be punished
A few weeks ago nobody seriously thought...
...we could see another Tiananmen Square in Hong Kong
Now you can’t rule it out
In 1989 a student demonstration in Beijing ended in massacre
Hundreds, maybe thousands, were shot dead
For the Chinese government...
...the Hong Kong demonstrators are defying the authority...
...of a Communist leadership that cannot tolerate defiance
For President Xi Jinping...
...his kind of north and south, his east and west, is the absolute authority...
...and total control of the Chinese Communist Party
And anything that threatens that must be crushed
They are afraid that it could be very infectious...
...and they don’t want to see such marches...
...in the other parts of mainland China
Another fear is some protesters’ demand for full independence
But military intervention would be a very risky strategy for Beijing
Hong Kong for all its woes...
...is still a very rich world financial centre
To roll troops into that kind of financial centre...
...would be an economic catastrophe
In 1993 Hong Kong’s GDP accounted for...
...more than a quarter of mainland China’s
Today China’s remarkable rise means that Hong Kong’s...
...economic output makes up less than 3% of the mainland’s
But Hong Kong remains important for China
Multinationals use it as a launch pad to the mainland...
...and it gives Chinese companies access to the rest of the world
So we are very special
We are a window for China to look to the outside world...
...as an international city with all our connections
It’s very valuable to China
So how the turmoil is resolved matters to more...
...than just the people of Hong Kong
The government there said the People’s Liberation Army may be deployed
But if that’s the case, the game is over
If China uses lethal force...
...then you would see an economic crash
There’s 85,000 American expatriates in Hong Kong
You would see them fleeing for the airport
This all comes at a time when China and America...
...are waging a trade and technology war
Bloodshed on Hong Kong’s streets...
...would make relations deteriorate even further
Beijing is now blaming outsiders for the trouble
We’ve seen remarkably explicit...
...state-media commentaries telling the people of China...
...that these protests are not just radical and violent...
...but are also orchestrated by foreign forces
The Chinese government resolutely opposes...
...any foreign forces attempts to intervene in Hong Kong affairs
For the Chinese Communist leadership...
...what’s happening in Hong Kong is evidence...
...that as China rises as one of the world’s most powerful countries...
...that the West is using every means possible to divide and to frustrate China
For China the situation has become much more than a dispute over a law
It’s become an existential threat
Bruce and the other protesters are holding their breath
I still worry what happens next...
...because the situation could deteriorate very rapidly
China’s Communist rulers must choose between two mortal dangers...
...the collapse of economic stability and prosperity...
...or the acceptance that protests can limit the Party’s absolute power
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香港反送中:中國面臨的威脅 (Hong Kong protests: what's at stake for China? | The Economist)

240 分類 收藏
王語萱 發佈於 2019 年 10 月 10 日
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