Asia Research Institute

Dr Andreas Fulda on the 'Northern Irelandisation' of Hong Kong - Interview with Al Jazeera


Dr Andreas Fulda appears on Al Jazeera.

Dr Andreas Fulda has provided continued commentary on the increasingly dire situation in Hong Kong. He argues that 'One Country, Two Systems' is history and that the Hong Kong SAR government has imposed martial in all but name. You can watch his full inteview on Al Jazeera Newshour from 31 August on Vimeo.

In the five-minute interview Andreas argues that "we are witnessing a very dangerous escalation. It must be pointed out that not just the Hong Kong SAR government is to blame, actually it is the central government in Beijing, they clearly from day one have welcomed an escalation."

Andreas further explains that "Reuters broke the story yesterday [30 August 2019] that Chief Executive Carrie Lam offered to fully withdraw the extradition law but was told off by the central government. In effect, what we are now having is a local government that is not in charge. And worse still, what we are witnessing is basically a city that is being governed by martial law in all but name."

"We have seen some worrisome signs of a reinforced PLA garrison; the mainland Chinese People Armed Police is now active in Hong Kong, they are kind of disguised as Hong Kong Police Force; and of course very worrisome other developments happened (...): the mass arrests of pan-democrats; activists have been beaten by thugs; we have seen the declaration of a de facto curfew; so all of the people who are out and about today, in theory at least, they could all be arrested for unlawful assembly. We are witnessing really a very dangerous escalation right now and the blame should be put squarely to the HKSAR government and the central government in Beijing."

In response to the likelihood of a further clampdown Andreas points out that "(a) lot of long-term Hong Kong watchers are actually quite concerned that this is entirely their tactics: they [the HKSAR government and the central government] want to see this kind of images. There has been speculation that the Hong Kong government may impose the Emergency Regulations Ordinance which would give Chief Cxecutive extraordinary powers. She [Carrie Lam] would be able to single handledly put this Extradition Law into effect. In a way these kind of images, as graphic as they are, as captivating they are for TV cameras, in a way they play into the hands of the central government. And so there is a real concern that we will see a very harsh crackdown over this weekend and in a way this crackdown has already begun."

In light of de facto martial law in Hong Kong Andreas highlights that "'One Country, Two Systems' has ended. It’s basically history. We have now firmly transitioned towards 'One country, One System'. And what that means is that a challenge to the Hong Kong SAR government is a direct challenge to the central government. Everyone understands what that means. I have said from the outset that this is indeed a challenge to the central government and it has implications for mainland China."

"This underlines the danger that the top leadership may come down, or may have already made the decision to crack down on the pro-democracy movement. Of course that would be a grave mistake, because that would then lead to a situation, not necessarily like Tiananmen 2.0, but it would most likely lead to a situation as we have seen in Northern Ireland for example, a very protracted and long term kind of struggle against outside rule.”

Andreas has also tweeted about de facto martial law in Hong Kong from 31 August (31,359 views) and the transition to 'One Country, One System' from 30 August (29,691 views). 

Posted on Wednesday 4th September 2019

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