It's the end of the road for 'Occupy Central' movement

Updated: 2014-11-05 07:30

By Leung Kwok-leung(HK Edition)

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In 1951 United States General Douglas McArthur, then commander of the United Nations forces in Korea, proposed taking the Korean War to China, whose People's Volunteer Army was fighting alongside North Korean forces against the US-led alliance to avoid such a scenario occurring.

The US Congress held a hearing to decide on whether or not to approve the plan. At the congressional hearing, General Omar Bradley, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified against McArthur's recommendation and made the now famous assessment: "this strategy would involve us in the wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy." Ultimately, McArthur was relieved of the command of UN forces in April 1951. His potentially disastrous plan was rejected.

History has an uncanny way of repeating itself. I believe it is doing this in Hong Kong with the illegal "Occupy Central" movement, which is being orchestrated and directed by external forces from the US and the United Kingdom, with the assistance of allies in the region. Despite an international media campaign to cheer the obviously unpopular "occupiers" on, the ill-conceived "umbrella revolution" is dying.

Here's why I believe this to be the case. First, "Love the Nation and Hong Kong" has always been one of Hong Kong's "core values". Even under British colonial rule, the great majority of Hongkongers never abandoned their patriotic traditions. This is an undeniable fact.

Second, most locals realize the Hong Kong economy would lose its global status if the city were ever to declare itself independent from the motherland.

Third, Hongkongers take great pride in their hard-earned success and despise those who threaten this in pursuit of their own political agenda.

Fourth, Hongkongers have always been law-abiding citizens who respect the rule of law. Now that the democratic guise of the illegal campaign has gone, more people have learnt what "Occupy" is really about. They have rightfully turned against it.

Fifth, external anti-China forces have greatly underestimated the political astuteness of Hong Kong people. They are now paying the price for this. It is important to realize that today's China cannot be compared to the China of the Opium War era, or even the Korean War.

Today, the nation of almost 1.4 billion has never been more powerful. It constantly grows in strength. As long as the central government stands firmly behind the SAR government, no one can change the reality that Hong Kong is a legitimate part of China.

"Occupy Central", according to its organizers' original plan, was initially intended to be a mass boycott of classes by university students. It then developed into illegal protests outside campuses, with some militant protesters attempting to provoke the police into suppressing the movement by force. Next, it planned to use public sympathy toward the young students to rally local residents in a strike in support of the "occupiers". Finally, it formally launched the main "Occupy" campaign to block traffic in the city's central business district and disrupt economic activities - particularly financial markets. This was to trigger investor panic so foreign corporations would pressure the central government into submission. Once the SAR government was forced to resign and the central government finally agreed to let the "occupiers" have "real universal suffrage", a pro-West Chief Executive could be elected to lead the SAR government. Hong Kong's "color revolution" would then be complete.

This original plan has yet to be fully revealed, but parts of it have been leaked by student leaders. Perhaps more damaging than any other revelation is that many "activists" attending the 2014 Oslo Freedom Forum on television boasted about details of preparations for the "regime change" campaign in Hong Kong. This was after successful color revolutions in 30 or so countries and regions around the world in recent years with new pro-Western governments. There are great opportunities for Western speculators to reap huge financial spoils of this "smokeless war" with China at Hong Kong's expense.

Unfortunately for the organizers and their cronies here the "perfect plan" did not succeed. This was because the leaders of the Hong Kong Federation of Students and Scholarism laid siege to government headquarters in Admiralty without consulting their "allies". This prompted the local "Occupy" organizers to announce an early start of the illegal campaign - much to the detriment of the original plan.

"Occupy" was supposed to trigger citywide riots or at least a general strike to shut down the economy until Beijing relented. But we cannot see even the slightest sign that it will succeed. Maybe that is why the student leaders refuse to call it a "color revolution". But without the support of most of society such attempts can never succeed - even with generous financial backing. "Occupy" has been a losing battle from the beginning. The future does not look any brighter. This is because the student leaders have challenged opposition lawmakers with a call for them to resign en masse to force by-elections, or "referendums", just as some of them did in 2010. But then this political stunt backfired. What chance do they have this time?

The author is a veteran journalist based in Hong Kong.

(HK Edition 11/05/2014 page7)