Chinese Officials Seek to Discredit Xi Jinping in Hong Kong
HONG KONG—The Jiang Zemin faction of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) appears to be trying to create so much trouble in Hong Kong that Party leader Xi Jinping will be forced to repeat the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre.
The Jiang faction would then be able to criticize Xi for his violent act and force him to step down, thus preventing Xi from purging any more Jiang faction members. Xi has already removed large numbers of former CCP leader Jiang Zemin’s supporters from the Party in his anti-corruption campaign.
Jiang lost his power over the CCP’s highest authorities when his successor, Hu Jintao, retired from his position as Party leader in 2012. At that time, Hu set a new rule that former Party leaders can no longer interfere with the work of the current leader.
Jiang no longer had the freedom to interfere with politics. At the same time, he lost many of his supporters, including his successor as head of the Jiang faction, Bo Xilai, who was imprisoned.
In an effort to regain power, the Jiang faction has been plotting various ways to eliminate Xi: assassination, a coup, or another incident like the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
The current political turmoil and protests in Hong Kong are all part of the Jiang faction’s plan.
Hong Kong Is the Battlefield
Zeng Qinghong, a core member of the Jiang faction who was in charge of Hong Kong affairs, appointed Leung Chun-ying as Hong Kong Chief Executive in 2012. Although the city-state is meant to have a high degree of autonomy from China, Leung is known to be an underground CCP member and Jiang supporter.
This allowed the Jiang faction to drag Hong Kong into Beijing’s power struggles. The faction’s goal is to put Xi Jinping into the situation of former CCP Premier Zhao Ziyang, who fell from power after the Tiananmen Square incident.
On Aug. 31, the Party’s National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee denied Hongkongers’ wish for true universal suffrage for their next chief executive election, enraging Hong Kong citizens. Tens of thousands of college students went on strike, and more civilians have joined the massive protest that is now known worldwide as the Umbrella Movement.
The Hong Kong government had the protesters assaulted with pepper spray and tear gas, thinking this would force them to retreat. Instead, more people came out to join the demonstration.
Prospects of the CCP ever granting democracy to Hong Kong are bleak. The CCP has been manipulating the city-state’s chief executive elections and appointments of core members of its leadership ever since Hong Kong was handed over to China from Britain in 1997.
Furthermore, the CCP has controlled Hong Kong society to a certain extent through groups such as the Executive Council, Commerce Chambers, and Association of Hong Kong Professionals.
This time, however, the CCP purposely chose to disrupt Hong Kong with the election issue, since this issue would quickly trigger growing dissatisfaction in the society.
The CCP’s fourth Plenary Session, a meeting of its leadership, takes place Oct. 20-23. More Jiang faction loyalists are expected to be purged then, so the faction has gone to great lengths to create chaos in Hong Kong before then.
Last week the dialogue that students were originally supposed to have with Beijing was cancelled by Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong Government Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Oct. 9. The Leung government has further increased the social tension, and the Hong Kong Federation of Students has announced a new round of civil disobedience.
According to foreign media, on Sept. 28 Xi angrily refused the request of Jiang faction member Zhang Dejiang that Xi clear the protest site by force. Xi said he would not deploy the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) garrison in Hong Kong, and he let Leung deal with the situation instead.
On Oct. 3, Leung sent his underground CCP supporters and mafia to attack and harass the masses of protesters. Some of the thugs pretended to be pro-democracy protesters and purposely started a fight with the pro-CCP protesters in the street, trying to stir up the situation.
The denial of true universal suffrage and the Leung government’s violent suppression of the Umbrella Movement are the results of careful deployment by Jiang and Zeng for the past two years. They intend to throw Hong Kong into turmoil and create trouble for Xi.
Xi has fought back by sending large numbers of secret agents to Hong Kong to expose the identities and backgrounds of Jiang faction members there.
They collected Leung’s information, including his connections and supporters inside the Hong Kong government, police force, and mafia. They also publicly exposed those who provoked protesters in the streets.
Why Hong Kong?
The Jiang faction chose to disrupt Hong Kong for several reasons.
One is that Hong Kong is an international metropolis and world financial center. Almost all foreign media have agencies in Hong Kong, so when something happens in Hong Kong, the news is broadcast globally.
Another reason is that Zeng Qinghong has fostered a large number of underground CCP organizations and triad forces in Hong Kong during his nearly 20 years in charge of Hong Kong affairs. These forces are handy for deployment.
In addition, Hong Kong is a special region under the principle of one country, two systems that governs its relations with China. It is protected by the core values of freedom, democracy, and rule of law inherited from its British colonial period.
So if the bloody Tiananmen Square Massacre were repeated, it would be a heavy blow to Xi, and the Jiang faction could regain its power.
Pro-CCP Groups Create Chaos
During the 18th CCP National Congress in 2012, Jiang faction members Zeng Qinghong and Zhou Yongkang were afraid of being brought to justice for their violent persecution of Falun Gong in China. Thus they ordered Leung Chun-ying to oppose Falun Gong in Hong Kong.
The CCP-supporting Hong Kong Youth Care Association (HKYCA) was created for this purpose. For over two years, HKYCA members have slandered, harassed, threatened, and beat Falun Gong practitioners at Falun Gong information sites that raise awareness of the persecution.
Other pro-CCP groups were also founded, such as Caring Hong Kong Power and Voice of Hong Kong. All these groups participated in a march against democracy on Aug. 17 and attacked peaceful Umbrella Movement demonstrators in Mong Kok.
These incidents were meant to create hatred and intensify the situation in Hong Kong.
The Jiang faction also tried to re-legislate Article 23, which would silence anti-CCP voices in Hong Kong. Last December, radical activists from the group Hongkongese Priority broke into the PLA barracks, after which Jiang-supporting professor Wang Zhenmin urged the Hong Kong government to implement Article 23 as soon as possible.
However, the article was not passed due to resistance from society.
Suppression of Media
In order to spread the rumors they wanted, the Jiang faction had to suppress Hong Kong’s press freedom. After Leung took office, he speeded up penetrating and controlling the media using several kinds of tactics.
One tactic was using triads to threaten media workers. Thugs have harassed clients of the Hong Kong Epoch Times, vandalized the house gate of Next Media boss Jimmy Lai, and brutally attacked former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau.
Leung also suppressed media with economic means. Both Apple Daily and am730 have had advertisements withdrawn, and famous political commentator and radio host Li Wei-ling from Commercial Radio has been sacked.
In addition, Leung used administrative means. The chairman and founder of Hong Kong Television Network Limited, Ricky Wong Wai-kay, was not granted a free-to-air TV license. Wong’s internet TV was also called to a halt by the Leung administration’s selective law enforcement.
Leung’s suppression of local media has allowed the CCP-controlled media to continuously discredit the protesting students and use propaganda to slander the Umbrella Movement. At the same time, hundreds of CCP front groups are spreading rumors to discredit the protesters.
The Apple Daily newspaper became a victim of the continued stifling of media freedom. On Oct. 11, hundreds of pro-CCP protesters began blocking the entrance to the building of Apple Daily’s parent company Next Media, stopping the distribution of the newspaper.
Apple Daily obtained a restraining order from the High Court on Oct. 14. However, the pro-CCP protesters continued to stop the truck from delivering papers and cursed at the Apple Daily cameraman while police were present.
CCP Deliberately Angers Hongkongers
This year, CCP officials and Hong Kong pro-CCP figures have frequently declared their standpoints on the chief executive election in order to provoke Hongkongers.
For instance, NPC Standing Committee chairman Zhang Dejiang stated that universal suffrage must be in keeping with the reality in Hong Kong, and it must follow the Basic Law and the NPC’s decisions. He said the chief executive must love the country of China and love Hong Kong.
Around the same time, Peking University law professor Rao Geping denied each of the election plans suggested by Hongkongers: civic nomination, Party nomination, civic recommendation, and Party recommendation. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam commented that Rao’s denials were the final words on political reform, causing a wave of protests.
In March 2013, NPC Law Committee chairman Qiao Xiaoyang stated that the chosen chief executive must “love the country and love Hong Kong,” must not defy the central government, and must strictly follow the Basic Law and the NPC’s decisions.
On June 10, 2014, the State Council Information Office, controlled by another Jiang faction member, Liu Yunshan, released a white paper that stated Hong Kong only had as much independence as Beijing was willing to give it.
This triggered a new round of protests for true universal suffrage. Nearly 800 thousand citizens voted for democracy in a civil referendum, and 510 thousand took to the streets to protest on July 1.
According to an inside source, the white paper was a scheme by Zhang Dejiang and Liu Yunshan. They chose to release it on June 10, the same day the 610 Office security agency was formed by Jiang Zemin to persecute Falun Gong 15 years ago.
This date of release was after the June 4 vigil in Hong Kong commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre and before the July 1 protest march. It was carefully chosen with the goal of stimulating the situation in Hong Kong.
Translated by Michelle Tsun. Written in English by Sally Appert.