Communist Party Factions Divided on How to Treat Hong Kong
HONG KONG—Faced with crowds of peaceful protesters in Hong Kong, the Chinese regime has turned to violence and threats to suppress the Occupy Central democracy movement.
On Oct. 3, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to disrupt Occupy Central using underground CCP supporters and organizations in Hong Kong. They aimed to force the students and demonstrators to leave the protest area through harassment, threats, and physical abuse.
CCP-organized thugs have assaulted and besieged protesters in the name of supporting the government and the “anti-Occupy movement.” They have called upon their fellow supporters to wear blue ribbons to oppose the protesters’ yellow ribbons, which represent true universal suffrage.
The thugs are trying to show the international community that they represent public opinion, hoping other countries will not support the protesters. At the same time, the CCP-controlled media has been slandering and discrediting protesters in an attempt to mislead the world.
On Sept. 28, Beijing allowed police to use pepper spray and tear gas to disperse demonstrators. The authorities thought they could quickly and easily clear the area and stop the protest by force.
Instead, more people joined the protest.
Beijing Creates Chaos
The CCP’s two factions, the supporters of former CCP leader Jiang Zemin and the supporters of current leader Xi Jinping, are divided on the issue of how to treat the protests.
On Oct. 2, the CCP mouthpiece People’s Daily publicly supported Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, a Jiang faction member.
The next day Leung began to utilize the mafia and underground CCP machinery, going all out to create chaos and disrupt the peaceful demonstrations.
Leung is carrying out the Jiang faction’s policy on Hong Kong: the more chaotic, the better. The goal of this is to create trouble for the Xi faction.
In the days since, mafia members have turned up in the Mong Kok and Causeway Bay protest areas. The CCP’s public security is said to have penetrated the mafia, patriotic organizations, New Territories’ leaders, and other CCP-supported groups.
The CCP threatened indigenous villagers in the New Territories who have the right to own a small house, requiring every household to declare its stance. The CCP has mobilized local inhabitants to oppose Occupy Central in various ways, including a campaign to support the police by wearing blue ribbons.
These efforts have divided Hong Kong people in order to set them against each other.
The violent attacks on protesters enraged Hongkongers further. Thousands of people rallied in Admiralty on Oct. 4 to oppose the violence. The thugs’ attacks have allowed Hongkongers to closely unite and better understand the CCP’s tactics.
However, the attacks have not intimidated the students. Although many public figures, including school headmasters, have appealed to students to leave the protest area, the students are still there.
Beijing Stuck, Divided
The Beijing authorities are unlikely to make a concession now for several reasons. One is that the results would be unpredictable, and another is the CCP’s nature as a dictatorship.
In addition, CCP leader Xi Jinping is under a political attack from the Jiang faction. This leaves him little room to maneuver in dealing with Hong Kong’s desire for democracy.
The CCP has agreed internally that the CCP’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) garrison in Hong Kong will not participate, and Chief Executive Leung can handle the situation on his own. There has been a rumor that the PLA garrison will be deployed to suppress demonstrators, but sources in a position to know have told Epoch Times that the military is fully under Xi’s control.
Xi has appointed one of his loyalists to command the PLA garrison, so Xi is unlikely to let the army take part in the situation or let Leung or the Liaison Office command the military.
Using the military to suppress the students would affect Xi’s international image, and all the efforts he has made since taking office, including his anti-corruption campaign against the Jiang faction, would be in jeopardy.
The sources have also revealed that the CCP is in an unstable state, so it would not easily deploy the army. Xi has passed the hot potato of Hong Kong’s protests to Leung. If Leung does not handle the protests properly, he will likely be forced to resign.
The CCP’s National People’s Congress (NPC) will likely not take back their decision against universal suffrage for the next Hong Kong chief executive election. However, they may make adjustments and lower the requirements for the chief executive candidates.
On Oct. 5, mainland Chinese media outlet Caixin.com published an article blaming the Leung government for the halt of Hong Kong economic reform policies. Caixin.com is considered the voice of Xi’s faction, and its evaluation of Leung is completely different from that of the People’s Daily.
Perhaps the timing is a coincidence, but also on Oct. 5 the Central Commission for Discipline and Inspection announced it was beginning a corruption investigation into People’s Daily.
Some think the condemnation of Leung by Caixin signals that Xi does not agree with the use of mafia to attack the demonstrators.
Translated by Michelle Tsun. Written in English by Sally Appert.