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Love China or Leave Former Beijing Officials Tell Hong Kong

Recently two former Beijing officials who previously handled Hong Kong and Beijing relations warned against the spread of pro-Hong Kong independence forces in Hong Kong. The comments were made after Beijing government's failed attempt to push through the national education curriculum and the appearance of the British colonial flag of Hong Kong in several protests to defend the city's autonomy.

To love China or leave

In a letter on 12 October 2012 to the South China Morning Post, Lu Ping, the former director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Office claimed that:

Lu Ping: Love China or Leave. Image from the House News. Non-commercial use.

These guys who advocate for Hong Kong independence are sheer moron. Deprived of support from the mainland, Hong Kong would be a dead city. Do they know where the water they are daily drinking comes from?

He went further in an exchange of email:

Those who do not recognize they are Chinese should look at what is written on their passports or they should renounce their Chinese nationality. …Our country, which has a population of 1.3 billion, would not be bothered losing this handful of people.

In other words, Love China or Leave. Lu Ping's former deputy, Chen Zuoer, resonated with his comment and said separatism has been spreading like a virus in Hong Kong.

The officials’ blunt comment, in particular the implication that Beijing could shut down water supply and turn Hong Kong into a dead city, has outraged the locals. Financial news commentator, Yau Yickseng, pointed out [zh] that China has been taking advantage of Hong Kong's water contract – a 30-year water supply agreement that is 6 times more expensive when compared with local arrangements in order to help a big state-owned company, GITIC, restructure its debt during the Asian financial crisis back in 1998:

GITIC是如何重組債務呢?…東江水正是在這樣的背景下被注入粵投,作為拯救方案的核心部份,令粵投可以繼續生存,債權人接納重組方案。而當時港府與粵投簽訂的30年供水協議,是負責經營輸港東江水的公司粵港供水(控股),估值可以高達22億美元的關鍵,債權人最終收貨。

…香港今年花在東江水的成本,約為每立方米4.32元,數倍於供給東莞的東江水價格0.5元,亦高於供給深圳的價格0.96元。

How did GITIC manage to restructure its debt?… The Dongjiang water supply project was injected into GITIC's core business in such context as to persuade the loan creditor to accept the debt restructuring proposal. The 30-year water supply agreement signed between Hong Kong government and GITIC was up to USD2.2 billions, that's why the loan creditor accepted the proposal.
… This year the money spent on Dongjiang water in Hong Kong is HKD4.32 per cubic meter, many times more than when compared with the water supply cost in Dongguan (HKD0.5) and in Shenzhen (HKD0.96).

To create a straw man for cracking down on local social movement

The House News, a new citizen news portal in Hong Kong, ran an editorial [zh] explaining why the former Beijing officials wanted to pinpoint the so-called independence movement in Hong Kong:

A few colonial flags appeared in a rally against the development of Northeast New Territories in September 2012. Photo from Hong Kong City-State Autonomy Movement's Facebook Page.

1)嚇窒本土社運:七一有近四十萬人上街反梁振英,七●廿九有七萬上街反國教,九月初十二萬人包圍政府總部,社運抬頭已成勢。一旦將社運與港獨拉上關係,自然會令一般中產群眾有戒心,因港獨並非香港主流。

2)為日後廿三條立法造勢:港獨蔓延、嚴正對付,究竟所指為何?要禁止煽動分裂國家行為,自然要靠廿三條立法,一旦指鹿為馬成功,將城邦自治運動及網民舉龍獅旗行為紥成「稻草人」來攻擊,製造港獨已實際存在並蔓延全社會的假象,順理成章,自然為立法禁止煽動分裂國家行為鳴鑼開道。

3)壓止政制公投:上次五區公投運動,已被標籤為搞港獨,估計今屆關於2016立法會及2017普選行政長官安排,勢必再次觸發政制公投運動,而規模可能比上次更大,必須及早防範。

1. To intimidate local social movement: In the last July 1 rally, there were around 400 thousand people who took to the street against C.Y Leung (the current city major). On July 29, there were around 70 thousand people who rallied against the implementation of national education. In early September, around 120 people surrounded the government headquarters [against national education]. Social movement has become a popular resistance force. To connect social movement with Hong Kong independence movement, will set a barrier between the middle class and the social movement as the mainstream never believes in Hong Kong independence.

2. To create a context for the legislation of Basic Law article 23 [anti-state sedition law]: to say that there is a spread of Hong Kong Independence movement and that the government has to guard against such force. What does it imply? To prohibit separatist behaviour in order to push through the article 23 legislation. Once they have succeeded in turning the autonomous movement and colonial flag into a “straw man” [enemy] and the illusion that the independence movement is spreading like a virus, it sets the green light for the anti-state sedition legislation.

3. To suppress the referendum movement for political reform: the last referendum movement has been labelled as an independence movement. Concerning the arrangement of 2016 legislative council and 2017 chief executive elections, it is likely that there will be another referendum movement and the scale will be much bigger. They are taking precautions.

inmediahk.net also ran an editorial [zh] commenting on the pro-independence “straw man”:

港澳辦與中聯辦,繼以「去中國化」來描繪香港的本土運動後,又以「港獨」來概括中港矛盾。「稻草人」果然好打,一些網友點出,若不製造出「港獨」巨獸,如何合理化香港的維穩費用,包括搞一批武鬥式「愛港」組織?如何把目前香港社會分化的亂局找來代罪羔羊,以免中央降罪?

Both the Hong Kong and Macau Office and Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong has been using the terms “De-China movement” to describe the local social movement and “Hong Kong Independence movement” to label the conflict between Hong Kong and China. The “Straw Man” is really an easy target. Some friends have already pointed out that the giant monster of “Hong Kong Independence” has been manufactured for justifying the “stability maintenance cost” in Hong Kong, including the militant system “Love Hong Kong” organization, as well as to look for a scapegoat for the chaotic situation and social division that they have brought to Hong Kong, to avoid the Central government from pinpointing their wrong doings.

Mainland Chinese netizens: Can Lu Ping disclose his family members’ nationality?

Not only Hong Kong people feel intimidated by Lu's comment, mainland Chinese netizens are also questioning Lu's moral ground as his daughter has been migrated to the U.S.A, while his son is now the advisor of Hong Kong Airport Authority. In a news thread in Kdnet forum [zh]:

@rubykwan: 原來魯某身體力行, 令其兩女不要做中國人! 要大家向其家人學習!
    此人入洋教, 家人都入洋籍, 正一”口中說不, 身體卻老實”的模範, 也很合符強國人人格.

@rubykwan: Lu is practicing what he preached. His daughters are no longer Chinese nationals and he wants others to follow his path. He believes in western religion, his family members are westerners. He did not disclose that but he is a typical example of a certain character of this strong country.

@KD阿郎:鲁平,能公布,敢公布你老婆儿子女儿孙子孙女的国籍?是否绿卡? 敢公布你的个人财产状况

@KD阿郎: Lu Ping, can you disclose your wife, your son, your daughter and grand daughters’ nationalities? Are they green card carriers? Do you dare to disclose your financial details?

@知足常樂:占了你的家還要趕你走

@知足常樂: They occupy your home and now want to kick you out.

@你可真逗:一贯的流氓习气,不反省自己哪里没做好,倒打一耙,还企图开除同胞的国籍

@你可真逗: typical character of thugs. They don't reflect upon their doings and now want to take away our brothers’ and sisters’ Chinese nationality.

@龔南遺孤:怎么会有这样的sb,难道嫌香港人还不够讨厌中央政府?你有什么资格赶走香港人?国家是由人民组成的,不是由政客组成的

@龔南遺孤:Such a stupid ass. You want to make Hong Kong people hate the central government more? How dare you intend to kick Hong Kong people away like this? The country is composed of people, not politicians.

@雲里月:现在香港人变成汉奸了!当年穷到没裤穿时,求大爷一样求别人回来投资。香港人不来投资,楼猪这货还在用树枝刷牙吧。

@雲里月: Now they want to turn Hong Kong people into traitors. When China was so poor, to the extent that people did not even have a pair of trousers to wear, we begged them to return and invest. If Hong Kong people did not return, pigs like Lu would be brushing teeth with tree sticks.

@dakache: 不想当中国人可以放弃中国国籍———-
【造句】:1、不想吃地沟油可以放弃进食
          2、不想吸污浊空气可以放弃呼吸
          3、不想接受一胎化可以放弃生育

@dakache: Those who do not recognize they are Chinese should renounce their Chinese nationality.
[sentence remixed]: 1. those who don't want to consume ditch oil should give up eating.
2. those who don't want to breath in polluted air should give up breathing.
3. those who don't accept one child policy should give up reproduction.

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