'The Seeds Have Already Been Sown, They Need Time to Lie Fallow'

A commentary by Bao Tong
2014-10-04
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Pro-democracy protesters gather near the Hong Kong government headquarters in Admiralty, Oct. 4, 2014.
RFA

True patriots are those who say "no" to fake universal suffrage. They are "the ones who don't wish to be slaves" [in China's national anthem.]

So I am naturally proud of those who put the principles of "a high degree of autonomy," and "Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong," into practice.

So, transportation and some businesses in Hong Kong appear to have been paralyzed. We should ask who is responsible for this, and what has caused this state of affairs?

Some say it was caused by the Occupy Central campaign.

That's wrong. Occupy Central was forced into existence after the legitimate rights of citizens were denied them.

At the heart of the matter, the responsibility lies with bureaucrats acting on their own and not serving any master.

The same people say: "If the demonstrations continue, our political and economic system will be damaged. The thing we fear most of all is damage to, and loss of confidence in, Hong Kong's market. This sort of damage will be permanent, and we can't afford it."

Consensus view of history

Actually, if the National People's Congress refuses to rescind its [Aug. 31] announcement; if "one country, two systems," becomes "one country, one system," then Hong Kong's political and economic system will certainly be damaged, and that thing we fear the most, that damage to and loss of confidence in Hong Kong's markets will come about.

I have no doubt that one day, this view will have become the consensus view of history. But saying it out loud now, I don't think it has much chance of being heard. This will take at least a little time.

If I were one of the protesters, I would probably want a rest from the debate for a while.

The seeds have already been sown, and they need time to lie fallow.

No great task can be achieved all at once; they all need some time to gestate. There's no need to keep digging up the seeds to see if they're still growing every day.

Take a break, for the sake of future room to grow. For tomorrow.


Translation by Luisetta Mudie.

Bao Tong, political aide to the late ousted premier Zhao Ziyang, is currently under house arrest at his home in Beijing.

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Anonymous Reader

Bao Tong has a point. The peaceful protesters have sown effective seeds and have formed a vibrant contrast with the ugliness of their opponents who have often used violence to try to intimidate the protesters. A strategic withdrawal from the streets is worth considering; it would not preclude future protest actions. There is no need to insist on the resignation of CE Leung, merely a spineless and petty communist bureaucrat who will someday merely be a footnote in history.

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