5 March, 2024


HK Pan-Dems Stand-Off Against 1.3 Billion Chinese

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

On Sunday 31 May I wrote that over 6 months of rioting and lawlessness in Hong Kong made it inevitable that China would enact tough legislation. Even readers opposed to the Chinese CP who side with HK’s demonstrators (agitators, militants, whatever you call them) have to concede that the gloves are off and it’s a fight to the finish. Militants are determined to fight to the end, the Beijing determined to end it. Radicals are geared to bring HK to a standstill in an open-ended hartal, Central and HK governments will not tolerate any more civil disorder. Lately protesters launched out on the “independence for Hong Kong” road, an invitation to a civil war. To use a rough analogy, it is like LTTE vs SL Govt; whichever side you support the end has to be victory for one side or the other. 

In using the LTTE-SLG analogy, I am not saying anything about terrorism or human right’s violations. Even if both sides had fought clean it would have end in victory for one side. Neither would or could give in on secession (Eelam). When HK’s rioters made nonstop hartal, that is fierce confrontation their strategy, laws curbing “secession, subversion, terrorism, foreign interference and behaviour that threatens national security” was the inevitable response. You may have your allegiances to one side or the other, no matter, but Newton’s Third Law on action and reaction is as predictable as night follows day.

However, scratch below the surface and you see a starker reality. The volcano is not Pan-Dems and insurgents versus the Chinese Communist Party. The elephant in the room is 1.3 billion people. There is zero sympathy in China for the Pan-Dems or the protesters; to a man the 1.3 billion are opposed to the “trouble makers”. I visit Chinese universities and have friends close enough who won’t tow the party line in personal conversation. Not one has a good word for the hartal. “These fellows are mad or foreign inspired; they have had it too good for too long; they are being treated too leniently”.

This has frightening practical implications. Tibet and Xinjiang have had inward population movements with state encouragement. About 7% of the population of Tibet and 40% in Xinjiang’s are Han Chinese – the biggest Chinese ethnic group. These percentages are proxy for the willingness of large numbers to move to other parts of China if the opportunities are good. HK is an attractive destination but Mainland migrants are strictly controlled to 36,500 a year. If the flood-gates open it will transform HK’s demographics. If rioting restarts the obvious option is to encourage loyal Chinese citizens to settle in HK. There will be a political transformation especially if Party loyalists are given preference. The membership of the CCP is 75 million, the population of HK 7 million. The cards are stacked against HK if it is so foolish as the take on the 1.3 billion across the border. It is easy for China as it will require administrative adjustments not legislation, but demographically and sociologically so extreme that it will only be a last option.

Chinese nationalism is on the boil; it is not being stoked by the government. In circumstances such as now it is ‘normal’, though the animosity is less fierce the Sinhala-Tamil-Muslim race hate, Sri Lanka’s staple for three generations. Why are HK people anti-Mainland? First, they are anti-communist (parents or grandparents fled during war and feminine in the 30s and 40s, or the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s). Second, HK people think they are superior to Mainlanders since on average they are richer and till recently better educated (not so now; China is intellectually-scientifically and culturally ahead of HK). Third, they have fashionable Western mores and greater familiarity with English. Petty things count in the recesses and dark corners of the human mind.

The last point is US threats to revoke HK’s status. Will the city become an economic war-front between Beijing and Washington? HK enjoys financial and trade privileges with the US which have benefited China too since its goods tranship HK. Mainland IPOs financial deals are processed in HK banks. But Washington knows Beijing will not back down so it will do something to save face with its allies, but no more. HK’s Pan-Democrats have made their bed of thorns and have no option but to lie on it, alone and without their American pants. Trump is too busy saving his own skin from activists of the type he so wantonly encouraged in Hong Kong.

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Latest comments

  • 4

    Prof Kumar is trump is suffering by the same rebelling is promoting in Hong Kong. Prof. Kumar is confused. What happened to his common sense? President Trump is saying the rioters and looters are lefts, but the Protesters are American democrats. I don’t know if Prof Kumar is watching TV to comment on American present Civil War. 99% of the protest is staged by White Americans but the ones killed is African American. But he says if you talk to a Chinese Main lander, nobody accepts Hong Kong people position. Then how come the white Americans are supporting to Black American’s equal stands and protesting for them? How one reconciles these two words. He says Hong Kong people feeling superior to Chinese on Phony issues. But he doesn’t want to accept it is for the independent feeling the free Hong Kong people have in contrast to Chinese slaved mentality people.
    He last time wrote Hong Kong is befitting from China. But if you look at GDP graphs, after 1970s, Hong Kong GDP starting to fall below Singapore, but until that it had a minor edge over Singapore. When he thinks from the side of left, he cannot understand how a rich country, which is ruled by poor country, can benefit from poor country. Can one pour water into a higher level?

  • 0

    “Newton’s Third Law on action and reaction…” is among laws of science that are most misinterpreted by laymen. Prof. Kumar David?

    • 0

      In science, scientific method is used, but in social sciences, research methodology is used.

      Social sciences are not precise like physical science. Even biological sciences suffer from this unpredictability.

      Statistical methods and Probability are widely used in social sciences.

      Nobody laughs at Prof Kumar David When he uses statistical methods in his articles.

      Newton’s Third law of motion is widely used by laymen without any scientific background just to impress their readers.It may not be exact, but tolerable.

      • 0

        Research methodology cannot justify vulgarization of a precise scientific law.
        Even people who are supposed to be scientifically trained use such distortions with little thought. But I expect some respect from any scientist for profound laws of science.
        One may call it anything but desirably not pin it on Newton. The man had no such thing in mind.
        I challenged KD’s flattening of the COVID-19 curve for its poor statistical basis.The curve he used to describe the dying out of the infection rate was fundamentally flawed as it was meant for a single event infection and not multiple event cases, as in Sri Lanka and India.

        • 0

          I have found out the reference
          The Capitalists Will Sell Us the Rope with Which We Will Hang Them
          A quotation about imprudent greed and near-sightedness has been attributed to three prominent communists: Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Karl Marx. Here are three versions of the statement:
          • The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.
          • When it comes time to hang the capitalists, they will sell us the rope.
          • The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.

  • 0

    Prof Kum seems to maintain and enliven his “grey matter” by writing anything and everything but not technical solutions to people’s problems which he is well competent to do so. Well! That is his choice and freedom which we all must respect. In short what Prof. Kum says is that the attitude and action of “Hong-Kong’s protestors” is not supported by the effective majority in the mainland even though they may not toe the government or party lines. How ironic when Prof Kum drags the “SLG-LTTE” comparison. Just as much as some of the “non-communist” Chinese academics voice opinion that the HK-protests can be foreign inspired to create trouble in the guise of “freedom fighting” how many in Non-Northerners of Sri Lanka, who are not “Government voices” expressed opinion that LTTE is a foreign inspired operation in the name of freedom fighting? Clearly HK-protestors have shown some strength. It is foolish for them to persist. They must change for the better in keeping with their original objective of being within an SAR. A large majority “freedom-fighters” lose their original objective and go beyond to commit suicide. So did the LTTE in graduating to separatism and terrorism murdering Rajiv Gandhi.

  • 0

    Prof Kumar David

    Some nonconformist observations!

    One- country two- system is an innovative concept beneficial to most countries mainly Hong Kong, China,UK and USA.

    There will be issues and problems, but ultimately all these issues will be tackled with new order and new equilibrium will be established.

    The threat of 13 billion Chinese united behind the communist regime is not realistic and a decisive war will break out resulting in conclusive victory to China is highly unlikely!.

    Please remember our Marxist forefather –Hegel’s theory on transformation of Quantity and Quality which was validated at various settings,

    Moreover China is following an enlightened foreign policy in line with her local socialist market economy.

    China makes threatening noises expecting the enemy to pull back, but when the enemy is ready for a real confrontation china meekly withdraws to fight another day.

    China has grown from Mao’s days and interesting days are ahead!

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