[文獻] 前途問題先聲:Peter Harris(1972.01) “The International Future of Hongkong”

Source: International Affairs 48n1, 60–71.

1970年代初,中共在聯合國提出把港澳從殖民地名單剔走,英政府與港媒接連出言淡化,惟港大政治系教授Peter Harris開聲警告:香港前途岌岌可危。
Peter Harris教授著作甚豐,在八十年代常撰文及受訪談香港政治和前途。

當時有些人相信條約就是一切,新界到期後港九仍可維持英治,少數人更以為新界可續租。但實情是要長遠發展,一定觸及新界問題以至1997年問題,金融商業活動將首當其衝受害。

Strictly speaking therefore, the legal position is that the New Territories will revert to … the Chinese government, whatever and whoever that might be, on June 30, 1997. In a sense, we are not so very far removed in terms of uncertainty of the future situation than were the signatories of the Peking Convention of 1898. For one thing, while the legal situation remains unchanged, the political situation is always flexible and no one can foresee either the likely attitude of the Chinese government in 1997 or who may be in power at that time.
Few persons would be so bold as to speculate what choices the Chinese government would make in 1997, for all the political choices remain with Peking... Some persons have argued that Hongkong can continue to survive even if it does lose the New Territories. In a sense, such a view is a refinement of the legalistic argument, for it argues that, even if the official Chinese authorities were to claim the New Territories in accordance with the Convention of 1898, they would still be bound by the earlier treaties of 1842 and 1860
Apart from the legalistic arguments which operate at the official level, there are a number of other assessments of the future of Hongkong. The assumption underlying most of them is that the New Territories problem does not constitute a separate issue, but is part of a package deal…Some support was given to this view in the Annual Departmental Labour in 1970. The Commissioner stated that “the New Territories is an integral part of Hongkong and must provide most of the industrial sites required by industry in the future”… Such a situation might categorically rule out any suggestion of a continuation of Hongkong's present status after 1997. Moreover, Hongkong’s banking and financial importance is likely to become less important, because the uncertainties of the final decade of the lease are bound to reduce confidence in the sensitive areas of business and financial activity. Hongkong's four stock exchanges must be among the first casualities of the 1980s.

在國際層面,港澳特殊狀況一直是蘇俄恥笑中共把柄。問題是,為何中共有能力攻佔香港,卻一直按兵不動?究其原因,香港可生金蛋賺外匯,而且更是中共牽制英美的政治籌碼。因為英美對香港都有部署,中共可以透過折磨香港,隔山打牛向英美施壓,或借香港向台灣打嘴炮。

In international terms, Hongkong's bizarre situation has not been lost upon China's rivals, friends and enemies. The Russians in particular have made sarcastic references to the anomalous situation in which a Communist country accepted the existence of colonies on its very doorstep. In a speech made to the Supreme Soviet in December 1962, Khrushchev made several particularly cutting references to China’s toleration both of Macao and of Hongkong...
Hongkong has, it could be argued, been an affront to Chinese pride long before it became the important inlet of foreign exchange which it has now become. Of course the Manchus did not then have the power to resist foreign devils, but the Chinese Communists do possess this power. Why do they not use it?
The answer normally given is economic, that China gains quite considerable economic advantages from allowing the British Crown Colony to exist on its doorstep...It must not be forgotten that "economism", the search for wealth before ideological truth, was one of the cardinal sins of the "heretics" of 1967. It was better to be "red" than "expert ", better to be full of revolutionary zeal and, if necessary, empty in the stomach. Yet Hongkong survived, pace the riots in 1966 and 1967...
It may be nearer the mark to suggest that Hongkong is essentially a political pawn in the game of Chinese power politics. It may perhaps be regarded as China's Trojan Horse in the American sphere of interest in Asia…To create a disturbance in Hongkong may be Peking's method of warning Britain that it was annoyed, not with the colonial government, but with the United States. The riots in 1952 and 1967 fall into this category. Hongkong could also be used as a sounding-board for Peking's exasperation with Taiwan…There is a grain of truth in the idea, for whenever the British suffered severe discomfiture in Hongkong they would react by impressing on their American friends a policy of greater caution...
The British policy of standing by the legalistic implications of the three treaties was spelt out immediately after the victory of Mao's forces in 1949…Mr. Harold Macmillan from the Conservative back benches asserted, during the debate on the Amethyst incident, that the Conservatives supported Britain's decision to remain in Hongkong and he described the colony as "the Gibraltar of the East". The authorities in Peking must have calculated many times the value to them of a military operation to absorb the colony-in terms of propaganda, ideology and finance. These calculations have not resulted in an invasion...If imperialism is a paper tiger, what is the good Communist to do when he is a subject in a colony whose existence is tolerated by his superiors? The bizarre nature of the situation is increased and enhanced by the active involvement of Hongkong's Communists in the commerciai life of Hongkong,..Hongkong's Communists have become just one other (albeit more highly politicised) interest group within the vast spectrum of interest groups which makes up the colony's political substructure...
The problem of ascertaining Chinese thinking on the matter of Hongkong's future may take the observer to written evidence as to what Communist China conceives to be its national interest in Asia. The areas which China itself claims may be divided into three parts:
(1) Lost territories, like Taiwan, the Ryukus, Bhutan, Sikkim, which are subject to recovery at some time. (2) Areas which were formerly states in tribute to China, such as Burma, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, described somewhat rhetorically by Peking as areas where Peking "refuses to sit idly by while helpless states are ravaged by foreign powers". (3) Areas of "just ambition", which have historical or race ties with China. These include Russian, Turkistan and the Maritime Provinces.
This list omits both Hongkong and Macao, which one might have considered to have been included in the first or third categories. It may be, as the Hoover Institution suggests, that this omission indicates a "degree of pragmatic flexibility " on the question of the future of Hongkong. On the other hand, the Peking authorities may not wish to categorise either Hongkong or Macao because the international future of these territories is as much a puzzle to China as to everybody else...
The United States had a cause to pursue, the global containment and defeat of Communism-whose world-wide encroachments constituted a major threat to the peace and security of what was called the "free world". The British were often seen by the Americans as either "soft" on Communism…or as more concerned with "trade" than with "justice "…until 1969, trade was prohibited between the United States and China, and American visitors were permitted to savour the delights of Hongkong, but had to ensure that they bought no goods which came from the mainland…In short, whatever might be the course of Sino-American relations, Hongkong would remain a dumping ground for American and Chinese surplus good…

作者預計,隨著美國總統尼克遜訪華,中共可無後顧之憂,對付蘇俄與日本。香港前途,則很大程度繫於與這強鄰關係,尤其中共在東亞在聯合國的勢力消長,此外,最直接當是港人對自身安危的考量,很多人過去逃難來港,倘若計唔掂數,很可能再次逃亡。

The projected visit of Mr. Nixon to China, provisionally set for February 1972…simply meant that China had resolutely announced that its principal enemies were henceforth the Soviet Union and Japan...
…there seem to be four particular elements in the situation on which the future of Hongkong as an independent city state appears to depend. First is its relationship with its giant parent…In the second place, much will depend upon the various positions taken by China in the United Nations. The entry of China into the United Nations in November 1971 has presented the Peking authorities with a forum in which they may claim to speak for the Third World. Yet China tolerates both Hongkong and Macao, which are colonial possessions, so the Third World States may well be tempted to ask awkward questions about their future status... The third element brings in the fact that many Chinese in Hongkong will have to make careful calculations about their future and the benefits to be gained from continuing to stay in Hongkong as 1997 approaches. Well over half of the present Hongkong Chinese "voted with their feet" to leave China either in 1949 or later and at least 10,000 still escape from the mainland every year. If they have to make another choice, would a new exodus take place, and if so where to? Even the Communists in Hongkong must be uncertain of their future if the mainland were to take over... The fourth element in the discussion concerns the role yet to be played in Eastern Asia by Hongkong if the United States " abandons " Taiwan. With Peking now seated in the United Nations, the place of the Second China may be nearer solution in the sense that Taiwan's position can become only weaker. Hongkong may well become what Taiwan has been-a Second China because of its wealth-at least until 1997...

餘論:老毛身後更難測,為奪權坐穩,人人喊左唱紅,矛盾原是永恆!

That Hongkong is a valuable asset is plain to see, but it is not economics alone which has permitted Britain to retain its control, as we have already suggested. The clue to this is to be sought in the laws of power politics and, to some. extent, in the simple fact of personality. Mao Tse-tung has ruled China for twenty-one years and Hongkong has been secure during this period. It may very well be, then, that after his departure, and even before 1997, the situation may change. His demise and removal may give way to a succession dispute in which each side tries to demonstrate that it is holier-than-thou in obedience to his memory (plus maoiste que Mao). The subjugation of the imperialist worm on the doorstep may be a small and simple way of establishing oneself in the corridors of power in Peking...To expect consistency, clarity and continuity more than actually is the case (and which is to a degree remarkable) may be too much. It was after all, Mao himself who wrote a famous essay in 1957, "On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People". That some contradictions remain, including the situation of Hongkong itself, ought perhaps to surprise nobody.

註:粗體為編者所加

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