The Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU
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This is an outsider’s view of the ultimate insider issue. It is impossible to know how the Chinese Communist Party functions without being a party member. The reason I wrote this book is simply that I have always had a fascination for the Chinese Communist Party. When I was very young, I heard from my Cantonese nanny how China was very poor and the communists were “bad like everyone else”. That is not an untypical attitude about authority among the laobaixing — the common folk. My father, who came to Hong...
Introduction: The Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong — Time to “Come Out”?
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Writing about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Hong Kong is bound to be a sensitive subject because its presence in Hong Kong is still meant to be a “secret”, although one that everyone has known about for a very long time. It may still be politically incorrect to raise a subject that the CCP and Hong Kong political establishment prefer to avoid as a matter of habit and convenience. Yet, the CCP is the ruling party of China and there should be no issue about knowing more about party history, policies and activities...
1 - Party Supremacy and Hong Kong
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The key regime value of the Chinese Communist Party that Hong Kong has to contend with is the supremacy of the party. Marxism as a set of economic theories has never received much interest and attention in Hong Kong, and in any event, by 1984, China’s own economic reforms were beginning to depart from them. Thus, it was not Marxism that the party wanted to impart to Hong Kong but the regime’s views and values, which are rooted in the Leninist concept of party supremacy, more commonly referred to as...
2 - The Chinese Communist Party Tools of Co-optation and Persuasion
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One of the most important tools of the Chinese Communist Party is the “united front”. Originally developed in the early days of the party, it is a strategy to unite with all forces that could be united with the CCP in order to fight a common enemy. It is thus a co-optation strategy to bring as many people on side as possible, and coupled with propaganda, these were, and remain, the essential hand-in-glove tools to win the “hearts and minds” of the Hong Kong community throughout much of the time that the party has...
3 - The Earliest History of the Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong: From 1920 to 1926
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The story of the Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong may be said to begin with three men who started the irregular Zhenshanmei Magazine in 1920. Lin Junwei (alias Lin Changchi) was a school inspector with the Education Department, Zhang Rendao was a graduate of the well-known high school, Queen’s College, and Li Yibao was a primary school teacher. They wanted to report on labour issues and introduce basic Marxist principles to a wider audience. Some time at the end of 1920, they made a...
4 - Purge, War and Civil War: From 1927 to 1948
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It is far from well-known that there was a period of time when the Chinese Communist Party Guangdong headquarters was in the British colony of Hong Kong nor is the very important role that it played common knowledge. The party’s activities in Hong Kong entered a new phase in 1927 when Chiang Kai-shek embarked on the Party Purification Movement against CCP members all over China, throwing the communists into disarray. The ferocious purge started in mid-April, first in Shanghai and then...
5 - Hong Kong to the Chinese Communist Party: From 1949 to 1965
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Between 1949 and the eve of the Cultural Revolution, the colony of Hong Kong was an active united front and propaganda centre of the Chinese Communist Party. Hong Kong was also useful for the party to gather intelligence. The party could have made a move to take back the colony but Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai made a calculated decision that Hong Kong should be left in British hands because it could serve the party’s interest better that way during the early years of the founding of the People’s Republic. In...
6 - The Cultural Revolution and the Riots of 1967: From 1966 to 1976
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The 1967 riots were a critical event in the history of the Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong. They were the most radical and violent act challenging British rule since the labour strike-boycott of 1925–6. While there was much social discontent over relative deprivation in Hong Kong, which erupted in April 1966 over a proposed rise in Star Ferry fares, the riots that then ensued lasted less than a week. The 1967 riots were different — they went on for eight months, at the end of which the CCP establishment...
7 - The Taking Back of Hong Kong: From 1977 to 1984
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There were two central issues surrounding Chinese Communist Party activities in Hong Kong between 1977 and 1984. The first was for Hong Kong to facilitate China’s goal of rapid modernisation and the second was the party’s decision to take back Hong Kong in 1997. These were both extremely important to the CCP and Hong Kong matters had the very highest level of attention within the party. Hong Kong would indeed prove to play a very useful role in China’s economic reform with the longstanding policy...
8 - The Shaping of Post-Colonial Hong Kong: From 1983 to 1989
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The first words uttered by the Chinese Communist Party’s new representative in Hong Kong as he stepped off the train from Guangzhou were: “I am here for the reunification of the motherland”. Replacing Wang Kuang, Xu Jiatun arrived in Hong Kong on 30 June 1983, exactly fourteen years before the colony would become a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. In his role as the director of Xinhua Hong Kong, Xu was tasked with devising a strategy and an...
9 - Passage to Reunification: From 1990 to 1997
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The Chinese Communist Party wanted to ensure that the future Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government would be able to function without interference from subversive or unfriendly forces and for Beijing to be able to exert control should it be necessary. This outcome could only be assured if post-1997 power remains in the hands of patriots. A structure designed for control had to be put in place during the final years of colonial rule. The people who would work the system also had to be made...
10 - Reunification and Fashioning a New Political Order: From 1997 to 2009
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The return of Hong Kong marked the beginning of a new era of Chinese Communist Party activities. The zhuada fangxiao policy continued post-1997 to build the new regime and fashion a new political order that supported the imperative of “one country”. The CCP’s outlook and values began to seep through to Hong Kong’s political life. More Mainland institutions were officially established in the HKSAR and their key task was to support the HKSAR government. While they could begin to look directly at things...
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Page Count: 380
Publication Year: 2010