Editorial: Let the candlelight in your heart fill Victoria Park and illuminate the world | Apple Daily Hong Kong
By Li Ping
The 31st June 4 candlelight vigil in Victoria Park warmed the hearts of the Tiananmen mothers — “illuminate our difficult path.” The 31st June 4 candlelight vigil in Victoria Park demonstrated to the international community the Hongkongers spirit — “illuminate the name of Hongkongers.” This year, on the night of June 4, there will be no more floods of candlelight, no more sea of people in Victoria Park, akin to the empty chair at Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony. It was a heartbreaking scene that brought tears to the eyes. However, the empty chair enacted the image of the unyielding Liu Xiaobo in his pursuit of freedom. An empty Victoria Park will still be filled with the candlelight in the hearts of Hongkongers, filled with the empathy of Hongkongers toward the friends and family of the June 4 victim, and filled with Hongkongers’ determination and passion in the pursuit of democracy and freedom.
Ending one-party dictatorship was the CCP’s original intent
The June 4 candlelight vigil in Victoria Park has always been considered a symbol of Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems”. As the candles are extinguished this year, it is precisely that yet another light has been put out in one country, two systems. Although the authorities cited the excuse of epidemic prevention and not national security law as a means to cancel the vigil, and although Carrie Lam is evading publicly sentencing the slogan “end one-party dictatorship”, Hong Kong’s pro-CCP politicians and the CCP’s government scholars have been clamoring on and on about banning the Hong Kong Alliance and the Victoria Park candlelight vigil. Moreover, the authorities have made plans to deploy a 7,000-strong team from the police force as prevention. These are all examples of how the freedom of speech and of gathering once enjoyed by Hongkongers and guaranteed until one country, two systems are no more, just like the candlelight in Victoria Park.
The criticism towards the Hong Kong Alliance’s slogan “end one-party dictatorship” as “subverting the regime” is not only an ignorance toward the CCP’s history and the initial intent of the party, but it is also a criticism of the existing political system in China. Carrie Lam, a remnant of the British Hong Kong era, simply does not know her CCP history well. Now she must follow the instructions of the General Secretary of the party, Xi Jinping, to study the history of the party earnestly, to understand fully that ending one-party dictatorship is, in fact, the original intention of the CCP. Even if she has to handle a million things a day and has no time to spare for the party history, why not hop on the mainland site Zhihu to learn a thing or two, and perhaps read up on the compiled “CCP media’s anti-dictatorship speeches”.
Let’s take a look at two stanzas. This came from an editorial published on the CCP mouthpiece Xinhua Daily: “Restricting freedom and suppressing people is totally what the Japanese, the Germans, and the Italian fascists do. No matter how you spin it, there is no way anyone who has ever experienced the fruit of freedom to be able to taste any sweetness of democracy.” Today, with the banning of the Victoria Park candlelight vigil, is the CCP allowing Hongkongers to taste the sweetness of democracy?
Clearing Victoria Park would not clear the history of candlelight
Another quote from an important speech by Liu Shaoqi, former president of China, stated: “It is a malicious rumor and slander that the Chinese Communist Party wants to seize power to establish a ‘one-party dictatorship’. At present, the key to promoting democratic politics is to end one-party rule…therefore as long as this issue persists, state affairs will inevitably be in the hands of one party; talented people cannot participate; and good advice cannot be implemented.” See, ending a one-party dictatorship was the original proposition and intention of the CCP.
As for the current political system, the Chinese Constitution states that it is multi-party cooperation and political consultation system under the leadership of the CCP, not a one-party dictatorship. Isn’t the Hong Kong Alliance slogan of “ending one-party dictatorship” shooting blanks? Pro-CCP politicians, government scholars, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, why wouldn’t you all just let go, instead of attracting double, even triple the attention toward this “empty chair of Victoria Park” from the international media?
The obvious thing is that the clearing of Victoria Park on the night of June 4 will neither clear the Victoria Park candlelight embossed in the hearts of Hongkongers, nor the Victoria Park candlelight that illuminated the history of the world. It only means that the candles of Victoria Park will be lit in the hearts of Hongkongers. Moreover, there will be a lot more people wanting to light this candle in their hearts than in previous years. This will only result in a deeper commemoration of June 4, and a stronger yearning for freedom and democracy.
In December 2010, the imprisoned Liu Xiaobo was unable to attend the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony, yet his empty chair touched the world, rekindled the memory of June 4 for those at the venue, and encouraged the determination and passion in the pursuit of democracy and freedom. Tonight, on the night of June 4, Victoria Park will be another empty chair that will reveal the truth that there is only one country, one system in Hong Kong, and that the candles Hongkongers light for June 4, for democracy, and for freedom, will live on and eternally illuminate our hearts.
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