Less than one month ago, on December 17, 2006, in the Hong Kong Democratic Party (HKDP) chairman's election, Albert Ho Chun-yan was swept into office in a landslide victory and became the fourth Chairman of the party.
Ho was the party's former vice chairman and is a Hong Kong legislator. In August last year, because of his strong stand on China's human rights issues and Hong Kong's democratic reform, Ho was attacked by three men armed with baseball bats, who were suspected of working for the communist regime (CCP). As the new leader of the oldest party in Hong Kong's political history, where will Ho lead the party after he assumes the leadership from his predecessor, Lee Wing-tat? Recently the Epoch Times interviewed Ho to find out.
Largest Opposition Party in All of China
“After I was elected, although many people told me their many differing expectations, I want to say that my direction is very clear. I can and will cooperate with many different kinds of people, people that have different opinions than me, but I will make full use of the whole party's political power.”
“The most important point is we have the dream of a democratic China. Some people believe they only need to take care of Hong Kong. We believe Hong Kong's success will push all of China to walk towards democracy, this is why Hong Kong is an important place.”
“The Democratic Party is very small; we only have several hundred party members, 80 District Council Members and 9 Legislative Council members. It is small compared to all of China; it's not even the biggest party in Hong Kong.”
“But, our Democratic Party is the biggest and most organized opposition party in China. You see, such a small party is actually the biggest opposition in China. This is most important.”
“Hong Kong's local democratic movement is also the most organized and powerful democratic movement in all of China. Hong Kong's Democratic Accountability System is an example for all of China.”
When asked, “As the biggest opposition party in China, do you feel any pressure?” Ho answered, “Definitely, even if I am only handling Hong Kong affairs and do not concern myself with matters in mainland China, as long as you continue to allow party members to participate in activities organized by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, as long as you continue to take part in candlelight gatherings and activities that promote democracy in China and call for an end to the one party dictatorship, you are already seen as an outcast and an enemy of the communist government.”
It's Meaningless to Carry Illusions About the Communist Regime
“Many people think that if you communicate with the communist regime, relationships with the CCP will improve but I find this is the case if you compromise your principles, otherwise whatever you do is useless.”
“Besides, shaking hands with CCP officials does not mean that they accept democracy in Hong Kong, so is there any use for these formalities? Even if they could accept, but on the condition to forsake our conscience, I would not accept this, nor would I even go so far as asking them to accept democracy in Hong Kong. These are simply illusions.”
China's Human Rights Movement Is Facing Its Most Difficult Period
It was Wednesday when the interview took place. Ho still continues his Wednesday hungry strike, which was initially part of the relay hunger strike initiated by renowned Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng in Beijing in the beginning of 2006. Because the [hunger strike] campaign has died down, many people have forgotten about it.
This journalist asked, “Have you thought about stopping your hunger strike?”
Ho smiled and answered, “Many friends have already forgotten, sometimes even my wife, but when she remembers, she will cook a meal for me after midnight. I won't stop. Once I decide to do something, I will continue to do it.”
“Currently, it is the most difficult time for the mainland's rights protection activities. Currently all channels for mainland Chinese to seek appeals for human rights abuses have already been blocked. Local corrupt officials blatantly suppress human rights advocates.
“Currently, people talk about clean politics. I believe that Hu Jingtao's faction might be considered relatively clean, but the whole system is corrupted.
“A campaign to clean up the government makes these people look for quick gains even more, otherwise there will be no gains left to be made. Hence they will definitely suppress human rights advocates, and suppress the lawyers that represent and help them.
“Why are people like Gao Zhisheng, Chen Guangcheng, Guo Feixiong and Zheng Encong placed under surveillance and detained? Because the communist regime is very afraid that these human rights lawyers will obstruct them in seeking gains, and stop them from reaping the greatest profits in the shortest time period.”