spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Events subcategories:

Current events

* Historic events

Socialist Party major events


Historic events keywords:

11th September 2001 (16)

1926 general strike (18)

1945 Labour Party landslide (3)

1962 Cuban missile crisis (1)

Aberfan (1)

Bloody Sunday (6)

Brixton riots 1981 (1)

Chartist (7)

Chartists (9)

Chinese revolution 1949 (1)

East Germany 1953 (1)

Falklands (3)

Falklands-Malvinas war 1982 (1)

First World War (5)

France 1968 (15)

Fuel protests (4)

Genoa protest 2001 (7)

Germany 1919 (2)

Great French Revolution 1789 (6)

Great Unrest 1911-1914 (1)

Grunwick (9)

Gulf War (7)

Heath government 1974 (1)

Hillsborough 1989 (1)

Hiroshima (4)

Hungary 1956 (3)

Hurricane Katrina (9)

Iran 1978-79 (1)

Jarrow Crusade (5)

Korean war 1950-1953 (1)

Labour Representation Committee 1900 (1)

Lockerbie (1)

Madrid Bombings (2)

Malvinas (3)

Manningham Mills 1890 (1)

Militant Tendency in Liverpool 1983-87 (1)

Miners Strike 1984-85 (7)

Newport Rising 1839 (1)

Nicaraguan revolution (1)

Orgreave (27)

Palestinian uprising (3)

Paris Commune 1871 (4)

Pentrich (4)

Peterloo (9)

Poll tax (95)

Portugal revolution 1974 (1)

Russia 1905 (1)

Russian Revolution 1917 (10)

Russian revolution (82)

Second World War (6)

Shrewsbury 24 (6)

Spanish civil war 1936-39 (2)

Suez 1956 (1)

Teamster Rebellion (5)

Teamsters (2)

The Holocaust (4)

Tolpuddle 1834 (1)

Vietnam war (15)

WW1 (6)

Wall Street Crash (2)

Wapping (1)

Watergate (1)

Winter of Discontent (7)

dotcom bubble bursts 2000 (1)

Tiananmen Square


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1047, 19 June 2019: Trade union action can end low pay

Search site for keywords: Hong Kong - Government - China - Democracy - Tiananmen Square

Chinese regime's puppet government in Hong Kong pushed back by mass protests

An estimated two million hit the streets of Hong Kong, photo by Studio Incendo/CC

An estimated two million hit the streets of Hong Kong, photo by Studio Incendo/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Carr

Political pressure arising from a mass protest movement - including a demo estimated at two million people - has forced a humiliating climbdown by the pro-Beijing executive in Hong Kong over its infamous 'extradition bill'.

Similarly, a repressive national security bill - with its Article 23 banning parties deemed "subversive" by the repressive Chinese state - was also 'indefinitely postponed' following mass protests in 2003.

The current bill would allow political opponents of the Chinese state to be extradited to the mainland (although not tax evaders!), further eroding democratic rights in Hong Kong (HK). Executive leader Carrie Lam said she was suspending it indefinitely having stated that the bill had caused "much division". Her days as Beijing's political puppet appear numbered.

The Chinese 'Communist' Party regime of president Xi Jinping undoubtedly became alarmed at the size and determination of the mass protest movement, and especially its potential to radicalise the oppressed working class in mainland China.

Many protesters - who on 12 June braved tear gas and rubber bullets when HK police viciously attacked peaceful demonstrators outside the Legislative Council (Legco) building - are demanding the immediate scrapping of the bill and not accepting its postponement.

The postponement is obviously a delaying tactic by Beijing, which hopes to reintroduce similar legislation at a more opportune time.

Genuine democracy

The HK executive and half of the Legco is 'indirectly elected', ie chosen by Beijing. In 2017 Beijing succeeded in removing a number of democratically elected Legco members on spurious legal grounds.

Activists will now be seriously addressing how to develop the movement, not only to defend what few democratic rights still exist but how to establish a genuine workers' democracy.

The HK Confederation of Trade Unions, with a claimed membership of 190,000, called a strike on 12 June and announced a further strike on 17 June.

However, many HK self-appointed democrat leaders ally themselves to rotten western capitalist democracies - whose governments are typically dominated by pro-establishment and big business parties. The middle-class democrats of the pan-democratic movement that dominated the 2014 Umbrella Movement in HK have, since then, failed to achieve any reforms.

The 12 June mass protests, which brought the former British colony to a standstill, showed the potential for the working class, along with students and sections of the middle classes, to go further and elect action committees to build for further strikes that can sweep aside the rigged Legco, roll back the anti-democratic measures of recent years imposed on behalf of the Chinese regime, and fight for a democratic revolutionary constituent assembly and a genuinely democratic worker-led government.

Such a government would act as a beacon for the oppressed working class in China, as well as Taiwan, Macau, and throughout the Pacific region, to fight too for such a transformation.

Significantly, the mass protests in Hong Kong coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing by the Chinese Stalinist regime, then led by Deng Xiaoping.

Threateningly, days before the anniversary, China's defence minister General Wei Fenghe justified the brutal army crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1989 saying it "took measures to stop the turbulence".

This is a sober warning to pro-democracy activists in HK that it's vital to build a movement armed with a programme of revolutionary change to prevent brutal repression and to spread the movement into and across China.

As well as fighting for basic democratic freedoms, such a movement must fight to end the capitalist system with its massive, ever-widening inequalities between super-rich and working poor in HK.

Last year, according to Oxfam, the wealth gap in HK reached its widest level since records began 45 years ago.

It takes a poor person in Hong Kong an estimated three years and eight months to earn what rich households make in a month. In 2018-19 HK government spending on health, education and welfare was nearly 16% less than in 2003.

Ending such inequality means building a working-class movement and a democratically organised mass workers' party, independent of corporate capitalists, some of who allowed their employees facility time to participate in the recent protests.

Capitalist interests

These companies, ordinarily, will happily do business with rotten repressive regimes and ruthlessly exploit their workforces in order to realise profits. Their chief concern is to maintain a legal framework which doesn't impede their ability to freely exploit markets and labour.

However, if the US government ends HK's 'special status' then Trump's recently imposed trade tariffs on Chinese goods would also apply to HK businesses. And that could boost rival Singapore's business interests.

A working-class movement must also be independent of Trump's administration, and other western governments, which are content to work and conduct lucrative trade with a multitude of odious dictatorships around the world, including China, but will utilise Hong Kong's democracy protests as useful propaganda in their geopolitical struggle against Xi's regime.

A revolutionary working-class movement in HK, armed with a democratic socialist programme of ending capitalism and democratically planning the economy, would also link up with workers' struggles in China to aid the overthrowing of the brutally oppressive regime which exists there.







Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999