Life is not getting any better for those in Hong Kong seeking independence or better treatment from mainland China, according to a former major general and influential mainland defense researcher.
“The central government’s policies for Hong Kong are very satisfactory. If you are still not satisfied, then there won’t be any better policies,” said Jin Yinan to a group of local journalists.
He added that the mainland will now be focusing on the “one country” policy more than ever, while pulling away from the “two-systems” ideology that emerged five years ago, when Hong Kongers protested against the mainland’s shelved proposal to introduce national education into the school curriculum.
Jin acknowledges that sentiment for independence is very much alive in Hong Kong, even comparing it to that which fueled China’s Cultural Revolution, but he said it would bring no change. He pointed to Hong Kong’s anger toward Beijing’s recent steps to curb independence advocacy, and its move to disqualify two local lawmakers for their anti-China stance during their oaths ceremony. However, Jin says retaliation would “not shake the central government’s resolve, no matter how immense and painful the backlash might be among independence seekers.”
Moreover, he says the mainland would encroach greater on the lives of Hong Kongers. He noted that Beijing often takes a hands-off approach during times of conflict in Hong Kong to let the city work out its own issues.
“But there is no open sky even though we have taken a step back. We can’t take a step back on issues of major principle,” Jin said.
Jin is a retired major-general who once headed strategic research at the National Defense University under the People’s Liberation Army.