The Road Not Taken by Margaret Ng 吳靄儀

該內容僅提供英文版。

The Best China

 

The following essay is part of ‘Hong Kong Apostasy’, a China Heritage series that takes as its focus the 2019-2020 Hong Kong Protest Movement. The protests remain, in essence, a rejection of the Official China of Xi Jinping, and his predecessors, as well as being a celebration of Other China, or The Best China, precious realm, both real and imagined, that has repeatedly been ignored, misunderstood and repressed by the Communist party-state.

Our humble bellies have ingested a surfeit of treachery,
eaten their fill of history, wolfed down legends —
and still the banquet goes on, leaving
an unfilled void in an ever-changing structure.
Constantly we become food for our own consumption.
For fear of forgetting we swallow our loved ones,
we masticate our memories and our stomachs rumble
as we look outwards.

— from P.K. Leung 梁秉鈞, ‘Cauldron’
trans. John Minford and Can Oi-sum

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Lee Yee (李怡, 1936-) is a veteran journalist and commentator who has has been writing about Hong Kong’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China for over forty years. His work has featured in Hong Kong: The Best China section of China Heritage from 1 July 2017. During the Hong Kong Uprising of 2019-2020 he has expressed his views, his concerns and anguish, in the regular column that he contributes to Apple Daily, a leading independent media outlet in the city founded by Jimmy Lai (Lai Chee-Ying 黎智英, 1948-), one of the fifteen pro-democracy advocates arrested on 18 April 2020.

As Lee Yee recently observed:

These days, Hong Kong people are very much of a mind when it comes to protecting the value of freedom and the rule of law. It is the same when it comes to the view of both authoritarianism here and totalitarianism in China itself. As the Communist authorities have directed the local authorities to arrest men and women such as these — remember, they have consistently been the most mild advocates of democratic norms in the territory — they have, in effect, wiped out what remained of a middle ground. Now the only choices open to Hong Kong people are: align yourself with a totalitarian regime or rise up to resist and oppose it. There simply is no Third Way.

在維護香港固有的自由法治的價值觀方面,對抗專政極權再沒有分哪一派。中共既然把最溫和的民主派都指為港獨並予拘捕,那麼等於摧毀中間路線,香港人的選擇若不靠攏極權,就只有起而反抗,再沒有其他去路。

Lee Yee, ‘The End of Hong Kong’s Third Way’

In the following essay Lee Yee briefly traces the extraordinary journey taken by a unique Hong Kong path-finder — the celebrated lawmaker, barrister and author Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee 吳靄儀. In doing so, Lee refers to and quotes from Ng’s 1983 essay, ‘The Forked Path: Compromise or Defiance’ (reproduced in full below), which was published just as the Anti-Spiritual Pollution Campaign on the Chinese Mainland reminded those involved with the People’s Republic at the time about the abiding political and intellectual underpinnings of the Communist authorities in Beijing. (Although that mini-purge proved to be relatively short-lived — it was widely derided in China, as well as being blithely dismissed internationally — it had a profound impact on my own thinking. This was reflected in a two-part essay that I published in the mainstream Australian media in December 1983-January 1984, for which I was roundly criticised by a slew of bien pensants. See ‘Spiritual Pollution Thirty Years On’, China Heritage).

As I have mentioned in earlier chapters of ‘Hong Kong: The Best China’, I first encountered Lee Yee in October 1974. In July 1977, he invited me to relocate to Hong Kong from the Chinese Mainland and to work with him. As a translator and writer (mostly in Chinese) active in the Hong Kong literary world for the next fifteen years, I learned a great deal from Lee Yee, as well as from numerous independent-minded cultural figures, thinkers and friends who, along with the rich offerings of the local publishing industry, were to guide my evolving understanding of Chinese history, appreciation of Chinese culture and wariness about Chinese politics. I read Margret Ng’s ‘The Forked Path’ shortly after it appeared in late 1983. However, it would be another twenty-five years before I had the good fortune to meet her. Unlike even some of the most celebrated ‘elder democrats’ on the Hong Kong scene, Margaret has, over the decades, been clear-eyed and steadfast in her principled political, social and cultural engagement in Hong Kong, and Chinese, life. Still, it is sobering to read Lee Yee’s recent observation that:

‘The arrest of Margaret Ng on 18 April 2020 was something she had an intimation of all the way back in 1983.’

— Geremie R. Barmé
Editor, China Heritage
24 April 2020

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Related Material:

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I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

from Robert Frost
‘The Road Not Taken’


‘When the rule of law is imperilled are you just going to walk out, or will you stand and fight?’ — Margaret Ng. Source: The Stand News, 18 April 2020

***

Margaret Ng’s Way
吳靄儀的道路

Lee Yee
李怡

Translated by Geremie R. Barmé

 

In the wake of the rounding up and mass arrest of fifteen prominent Hong Kong democracy activists on 18 April [2020, discussed in my previous essay, ‘The End of Hong Kong’s Third Way’China Heritage, 22 April 2020], the Taiwanese writer Joyce Yen [顏擇雅] posted some comments about Margaret Ng [吳靄儀], one of those arrested, on her Facebook page.

In her post Yen included links to two old essays, the first of which — ‘Aren’t We Also Patriotic?’ — was published in The Chinese Student Weekly in November 1963 when Ng was only fifteen years old. [See: 吳靄儀, ‘我們不愛國嗎? — 一個英文書院學生的自白’,《中國學生周報》, 第590期 , 1963年11月8日.] The other appeared twenty years later, in December 1983, in Ming Pao Monthly under the titled ‘The Forked Path: Compromise or Defiance’. [See: 吳靄儀, ‘妥協與頑抗——擺在眼前的路’, 《明報月刊》1983年12月號,《本土新聞》2016年7月16日再版, reproduced in full below]. In the context of those two very different eras Ng’s essays reflect a particular and noteworthy Hong Kong perspective both in regards to the nation and in relationship to the question of patriotism. They also provide an insight into the path taken by one very particular individual.

4.18大圍捕後,台灣作家顏擇雅在facebook上特別談到吳靄儀,分享1963年她15歲時,在《中國學生周報》的一篇投稿〈我們不愛國嗎?〉,又分享她1983年在《明報月刊》發表的長文〈妥協與頑抗:擺在眼前的路〉。從這兩篇文章,可以了解當年關懷家國的香港人,如何一路走來的背景。

With the aim of influencing high-school and university students, and more generally the young people of Hong Kong [in the early years of the Cold War], the United States Information Agency funded the founding of The Chinese Student Weekly in 1952. It was produced under the imprimatur of Yu-lien Publishers and edited by Yü Tê-kwan, one of the many cultural figures who had relocated to Hong Kong from the Mainland in 1949 [having fled the advancing Communists during the Civil War]. Later editors included such notable figures as Hu Chü-jen, Te Chen and Lum Yuet-hang. Regardless of that American connection, the name of the journal reflected the real interests of its editors: young Chinese.

In 1963, the Weekly published a number of essays that were critical of the ‘slavish anti-China’ attitudes common among students at the leading English Academy in the colony. As a fifth-year student at the school Margaret Ng declared in her riposte to those articles that:

‘I’m not the kind of “fawning sell-out” that you’ve been talking about. I’m no slave to foreigners lacking any sense of my own country; much less am I one of those despicable types who ignores where they have come from.’

She went on to say that,

‘Some people tell me that they find me very polite, but I always reply: “We Chinese observed propriety strictly.” … I never let an opportunity go by [to express such views]. So you tell me, Friends, aren’t I patriotic enough for you?’

《中國學生周報》是60多年前美國新聞處資助的友聯出版社旗下刊物,以中學生、大專生及青少年為對象讀者,由49年後從中國南來香港的文化人余德寬等在1952年創辦,其後有胡菊人、陳特、林悅恆等主持編務。雖有美國背景,但從刊物名稱可見,主事者抱持中國情懷。1963年,周報刊登了幾篇批評讀英文書院學生的「亡國奴」心態,吳靄儀身為英文書院的中五學生,在這篇投稿中表示:「我並不是你們筆下的亡國奴,不是目無國家的媚外者,更不是不思所源的喪心病狂的人」;「有人說我有禮貌,我答道:『我們中國人對禮是很嚴的。』……我沒有放過任何機會。朋友們啊,你們說這是不是不愛國呢?」

Of course, this sounds rather immature to readers today, but back in that era when the English Academy was truly brimming with a pro-foreign, even slavishly superior arrogance, it is noteworthy that a young female student like Margaret Ng was expressing her sense of national awareness and pride with such clarity.

現在讀來也許有點稚氣,但在那個時代,英文書院有濃重的崇外氣氛,而這個年輕女孩已經有了中國民族意識的覺醒。

Following the Hong Kong Riots of 1967, and as the British colonial government made a concerted effort to improve the administration of the territory, residents of Hong Kong began to develop something more than an identity that was merely based on a vague attachment either to China or to England.

Ng who, having been born here, was herself a native of Hong Kong, completed her doctoral studies [at Boston University where she wrote a thesis titled ‘Three Theories of Despair: the Confucian, the Catholic and the Freudian’, having previously been awarded a Bachelor of Law by Cambridge University] and closely followed the Sino-British negotiations over the future of the territory and became a frequent commentator in both the Chinese and English-language press. For a time, she was even the deputy editor of the prestigious Ming Pao Monthly magazine.

其後經過六七暴動,港英有了經營好這城市的管治意識,香港人也開始有了對香港本地而不是只有對中國或英國的認同感。出生於香港的吳靄儀,完成博士學位,1983年中英談判香港前途,她在中英文報紙撰寫評論,一度在《明報》擔任副總編輯。

When Ng published that other essay in December 1983, Sino-British deliberations over the fate of the territory were settled and it was known that, in 1997, the territory would come under the sway of the People’s Republic of China. Apart from those who chose to emigrate, quite a large number of others were, as they psychologically prepared themselves for the inevitable, were also thinking of various ways to preserve those very things that made life in Hong Kong possible, as well as aspects of life that they treasured in particular such as certain fundamental rights and legal autonomy. This is the backdrop against which Ng’s essay ‘The Choice Before Us: Compromise or Determined Resistance’ appeared. It was a time in which many were hopeful that something that was spoken of as a ‘democratic repatriation’ would be possible.

[Note: This was during the ‘honeymoon’ phase of Beijing’s ‘Open Door and Economic Reform’ era under the triumvirate of Deng Xiaoping-Hu Yaobang-Zhao Ziyang.]

吳靄儀1983年12月發表那篇文章時,中英談判大局已定,1997年香港肯定要轉移主權,香港人除了移民之外,相當一部份人在無奈接受現實之下,盡量想辦法保持香港人珍惜、香港賴以生存的制度、權利和自治結構。這也就是接受「民主回歸」者的思想背景。

By contrast, Margaret Ng enjoined on her readers a clear-eyed perspective on a more distant future. People had to accept the unavoidable fact that, once Hong Kong came under the sway of the Beijing, they would all be Chinese citizens living under the tutelage of the Communist Party. Under no circumstances should they fool themselves into believing that they would truly be living in an environment in which ‘Hong Kong People Administer Hong Kong’ [as the Communists repeatedly assured them throughout the 1980s and 1990s], or that after 1997 the place would actually enjoy a ‘High Level of Autonomy’ [similarly claimed by Beijing and its surrogates in Hong Kong]. That was because, Ng emphasised, for the Communists power was the be-all and end-all; it was not something that could possibly be ceded to anyone else. The Communists, she told her readers, had never practiced any recognisable form of democratic governance, at most they propounded a sham labelled ‘democratic dictatorship’.

[Note: The ‘people’s democratic dictatorship’, enshrined in both the original 1954 and the revised 1982 Chinese constitution, claims that the vast majority of citizens of China’s People’s Republic enjoy ‘democracy’ while an extreme minority needs to be subjected to ‘dictatorship’. That is to say, the Communist party-state represents and acts on behalf of the People, while employing a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ to repress all forms of reaction, thereby preventing a return to the so-called ‘bourgeois dictatorship’ of the past and the negation of the Communist Party’s version of socialism.]

吳靄儀1983年文章指出,長遠來看,香港人要看清楚,就是要接受共產政權,做個共產制度下的中國人,不要自己騙自己可以港人治港、高度自治。因為,對共產黨來說,權力最重要,權力絕不容許讓渡,共產黨從來不實行民主,實行的只是虛假的「民主專政」。

That is why, Ng went on to argue, the only ‘way out’ for Hong Kong was independence. She did observe, however, that:

‘all of those who are proposing various clashing models for the future governance of Hong Kong do, nonetheless, share one thing in common, and they make a point of stating upfront, that is: “Of course, Hong Kong could never be independent.” In other words, although there is a widespread awareness of the concept of Hong Kong independence as such, equally common is a shared fear about even discussing it.’

According to her analysis at the time, Hong Kong already enjoyed all but one of the key elements that could make independence viable. The single caveat was that ‘China simply won’t allow it’.

因此,她認為只有香港獨立,才是唯一出路。但在當時,「提出各種解決香港前途方案的每一位論者,幾乎都開宗明義先說『香港當然不可能獨立』。由此可見──香港獨立這個意念相當普遍,但害怕這個意念的現象也相當普遍。」

不過,吳靄儀分析了「香港獨立」的條件,認為所有都不是問題,唯一不具備的條件,就是「中國不容許」。

When Local Press [a new independent media outlet advocating Hong Kong identity] reprinted Ng’s essay four years ago, the author remarked that at the time of its original publication [in late 1983] not a single person had reacted or taken up a discussion of her proposal.

四年前,「本土新聞」轉載吳的這篇文章,她說當年這文章出來後,沒有任何人回應過。

I lived through that same period [in the 1980s] when there was a considerable debate about and resistance to the idea of a ‘return’ [to the Mainland. Note: the ‘return’ of Hong Kong to ‘the motherland’ was a blatantly anachronistic propaganda formulation since Hong Kong, and the New Territories, had been ceded to the United Kingdom by the Qing Empire in the nineteenth century and, therefore, as such the colony could only rightfully be ‘returned’ to the (now-long-defunct) Qing government. It could, however, dutifully be ‘handed over’ to the Chinese People’s Republic, a polity that only dates from 1949]. I experienced for myself the widespread lack of interest in the issue. After that, Margaret Ng turned her energies to the law and legal matters. With the formal establishment of the One Country, Two Systems governance framework [from 1 July 1997] she was singularly devoted to preserving the rule of law in Hong Kong. As a member of the Legislative Council [as I pointed out in ‘The End of Hong Kong’s Third Way’] she abstained from a vote [on a motion advanced by the then Chief Executive C.Y. Leung] related to Taiwan Independence. She did so not as an expression either of her support for or opposition to the issue itself, but because abstaining from a vote reflected her strict adherence to appropriate role and mandate enjoyed by members of the Legislative Council. On the Fulcrum, the autobiographical account of the eighteen years that Margaret Ng spent on Hong Kong legislature, offers in great detail the considerable lengths she went to in her support of the legal proprieties possible under the One Country, Two Systems framework. In that book she observed:

‘Neither optimism nor pessimism is a meaningful concept for me. The fact of the matter is that Hong Kong is my home. I decided to stay here [after 1997] and that’s why I am determined to do my utmost for this place.’

我經歷過當年抗拒香港「回歸」的整個過程,對吳所說的社會冷漠深有體驗。在這之後,吳靄儀就投身法律界,在一國兩制之下,盡自己最大的努力去維護香港的法治。她在立法會就反台獨動議投棄權票,不是意味她支持或反對台獨,只是嚴守香港立法會的職能分寸。她寫的18年在立法會工作的自傳《拱心石下》,盡顯她維護香港一國兩制下法治的苦心。她說:「樂觀與悲觀對我毫無意義,因為這是我的家,我決定了留下來,就要盡力而為。」

In her youth, when hardly anyone spoke about being ‘patriotic’, Margaret Ng declared her ‘love for China’. When she developed a mature understanding of China, she devoted herself instead to protecting Hong Kong. At a time when nobody was talking about ‘Hong Kong Independence’, she challenged the greatest taboo of all by talking about it. Later, following the cession of sovereignty to the Mainland, Ng worked tirelessly on behalf of the legal system of Hong Kong.

在吳靄儀少女時代,最少人說「愛國」的時候她「愛中國」,到了解中國之後就捍衞香港。在最沒有人提出「香港獨立」的時代冒大不韙而提出,又在主權轉移後全心維護一國兩制下的香港法治。

The arrest of Margaret Ng on 18 April 2020 was something she had an intimation of all the way back in 1983. The Chinese Communists have used their Hong Kong surrogates [that is the administration of the Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam] to prove yet again that under the auspices of totalitarian rule there is absolutely no place for true ‘patriots’, for people who really love Hong Kong, or for those who have and do devote themselves fully to maintaining government under One Country, Two Systems.

吳靄儀的被捕,一如她自己在1983年所料。中共藉港共之手,證明極權政治與真正「愛國者」、真正愛港者、真正和全身心維護一國兩制下法治的參與者,是不相容的。

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Source:


Appendix:

Below we offer the text of ‘The Forked Path: Compromise or Defiance’ 妥協與頑抗——擺在眼前的路 by Margaret Ng. It was originally published in the December 1983 issue of Ming Pao Monthly 明報月刊 and reprinted by Local Press 本土新聞 on 16 July 2016.

In light of recent developments, and of Lee Yee’s observations in the above, perhaps Ng’s essay could be subtitled ‘Chronicle of an Arrest Foretold’.

— Ed.

Source: Local Press, 16 July 2016

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妥協與頑抗——擺在眼前的路

吳靄儀

 

編按:今天港獨議題甚囂塵上,其實討論仍是晚了三十三年 。早在一九八三年,吳靄儀博士已發表過以「港獨」作為香港出路的文章,本刋為此專訪了吳靄儀博士,她指這文章出來後,沒有任何人回應過。我們感謝《明報月刋》授權轉載《妥協與頑抗:擺在眼前的路》一文。

很多人對中、英兩方香港前途談判的立場做過不同的分析,其中不乏中肯的意見。最可靠的看法大概是:中國堅持在一九九七年收回香港,最好不在危及香港繁榮安定的情況下收回;英國基本上同意要交出香港,但堅持認為如果硬性規定一九九七年交回,香港的安定繁榮勢必大受打擊。英方堅拒透露談判內容;鄧小平則一再公開聲稱談判範圍只限於一九九七年前的措施,九七年中國收回主權之後誰來管理香港怎樣管理香港的問題,「是不可談判的」。看來,中、英都在談「過渡時期」的問題;只是雙方對過渡時期應不應該硬性定出期限的問題上立場不同。

中國都會比香港金錢的畸型社會更理想?

那麼,長遠來說香港會怎麼樣呢?英國不會也不能永遠擁有香港這個殖民地;「過渡時期」不管長短——到期之後,香港就要歸還中國;北京政府是英國及國際上承認的合法中國政權,把香港交還給北京政府是絕對不容置疑的做法。不妨做一個好的推想:英國的目標是要這個過渡時期過得妥當得體,不影響任何一方的利益,包括英、中、港及在港從事貿易投資的其他國家,不影響英國在國際上的聲譽,終而皆大歡喜,友善揮別香港。中國收回香港也極盼在順利情況下收回,既不損害利益,也藉此示範給台灣看。為了順利收回香港,同意歷史因素下所要求的「過渡時期」是可以的,甚至在一九九七之前,也可以完全不提改變,一九九七之後,更可以視為特區,准許香港擁有資本主義經濟結構,保持原有法制,實行高度自治主權(不知「港人治港」有沒有這個涵義?);但是這些寬容的做法,也只是「過渡時期」的一部份,過了十年、二十年、五十年,情況漸漸改變,香港終歸是中國共產政府統治的社會主義中國的一部份。所以今天的談判,姑勿論那一方佔上風——其實談判如果成功就不可能有任何一方「佔上風」之事!姑不論談判多麼成功,香港最終的政治命運是一樣的。當然談判成功的程度,對過渡時期裏香港人的生活,甚至對香港長遠的經濟命運都會有很大影響;光是這一點,已經足以證明談判成不成功是有其極大的重要性的。但是,他們對香港長遠的政治命運的影響,充其量是間接的、是不肯定的。

長遠來說,我們希望香港怎麼樣?這一點,討論的人很少。這也許因為香港人很現實,認為「長遠來說人都死了」「不可以預知的」或者「不可以改變的」事情不必去思量。但是香港的長遠命運並不是完全不可以預知的。肯定可以知道的是:中國政權今天是堅決穩固地操在中國共產黨手中;這個政權在中國大陸上日益穩固,五十年之後也不會比今天弱。「反清復明」是非分之想了。或者說,別說五十年了,就是十五年罷,十五年前的中共統治局面跟今天的中共統治局面分別極大。一九六八年文化大革命搞得如火如荼的時候,大家難道是想像得到中國大陸今天會這樣開放自由嗎?既然如此,誰會預知十五年後的局面會發展成哪一種境地?可能在民生、民權、自由開放方面,中國都會比香港金錢的畸型社會更理想。這種說法是有的,也是有人相信的。有人甚至相信中國到時不再是共產政府!但是這究竟是不是一個合理的推測呢?

中國不可能變成一個實行民主政制的中國

中國共產黨並非光在拿共產主義作幌子的;中國共產黨也不是掛共產主義之招牌做資本主義之生意。不正視和不重視中國共產黨對共產主義的認真態度的人只好咎由自取。共產黨的政治觀、階級觀、經濟觀乃至政治方法,都說得清清楚楚,絕不含糊;細讀近代史和中國領導階層的著作的人隨時會得到印證。政策方針是有彈性的,可以因為時勢需要而修改;某些情形下,中國還可以容忍異己;但是,基本的原則和最終目標則不得轉移絲毫。此外中國政府是一黨專政的政府。這一點也很重要。對黨而言,黨的權力是最重要的,是大前提,可以包容暫時性的、有限度的批評,踰與半吋就是要嚴格箝制、繩之以黨紀。共產主義從來不標榜民主;共產主義走的是「民主專政」——一種大不相同的路線。在共產主義統治下,中國未必一定是比民主政制統治貧弱;有人相信他們的治安就會好——有些人還相信寧枉勿縱!但是如果我們相信共產主義制度下會有更多民主競選、自由開放、公開批等情事,那我們就大錯特錯了。所以十五年內可以發生的變化很多,但變化不是漫無規限的。中國不可能變成一個實行民主政制的中國,中國也不可能變成一個流行自由經濟的中國,除非中國政府放棄共產主義。

這樣來說,如果香港最終的政治命運是成為中國共產政制的一部份,即我們根本可以預知「過渡時期」裏的基本方針,就是香港逐漸受同化。中國政府的介入會越來越多,香港會出現越來越多的中國大陸來的人。或者,區議會、市政局、乃至立法局及各類團體會多了一些親共代表;通行的名詞用詞會多用內地流行的一套;掛五星旗的建築物會越來越多等等。不然的話,又怎麼能叫「過渡時期」呢?難道要成為「暫時不便」時期加上「一齊改變」?

「一廂情願」妥協的幻想

當然,對於本來就相信共產主義的「愛國人士」來說,這是天大的好事,熱切盼望的大事;但是這樣的人在香港並不算很多。土生土長的「還算青年」的一輩中對香港的歸屬感一般都信當濃烈。香港未必真的那麼十全十美,但是跟別的地方一比,好處只怕多一些。面對九七問題,有些人以移民的方法逃避;但也有不少人不願意這樣做;其中比如「匯點」組織裏的人贊成他們心中的「港人治港」,還有就是潛力頗大的一些社團領袖,相信即使不是「港人治港」,也準備發起團結本港居民,培植他日中國接收香港的時候與中國政府談判的力量。他們一方面相信沒有別的路可走,另一方面又相信會有組織的條件下,跟中國當局談合作條件是可行的辦法。他沒有希望藉此盡量保持香港人珍惜、香港賴以生存的制度、權利和自治結構。易言之,他們願意作出有限度的妥協以維持大局,維持基本利益。

這個目標用心良苦;但是這個目標實際不實際呢?看來即使委曲求全,也未必會有多大的成功希望。最大的原因是地位不對等的兩方,絕不可能真正坐下來講條件,結果只好是勢力薄弱的一方據理力陳己見,聽由掌權的一方決定一切。如果決定不符合勢力薄弱的一方定要求,那麼,他們是該抗拒呢?還是該妥協?不準備抵抗的話,只好一步步妥協,直到完全聽掌權的一方的裁判,唯命是從。準備妥協而不考慮抗拒的人,又可以有多大的談判力量呢?所以說自私的妥協,比如近來頻頻上京的鄉議局一類的團體,如果他們認為可以跟中國講好條件保障他們的利益而不顧香港全局命運,那麼,他們的想法未免太過一廂情願了。

但是,最重要的還是一點;即使妥協真的成功,那也不過是「過渡時期」而已,維持五十年大概還說得過去,要是你老是不踏上社會主義的路,那根本就失去「過渡時期」的用意了。長遠計仍是要拿定主意,接受共產主義社會政權,做個共產制度下的中國人。那麼,現在就要看清楚不要騙自己,更不要騙取別人的支持。

獨立是「唯一出路」

反之,如果不願意接受妥協的後果,唯一可做的就是絕不妥協。但是,要做到絕不妥協,要堅持長遠保留香港現有的一切特殊有利條件,保留一切居民現有的權益自由,保留目前這種不受中、英政府干預的實際自主,則事實上只有一條路可行,那就是獨立。這樣一來,堅決不願接受共產政權統治的香港人可以繼續做香港華人了;不願意「英國人在統治三十年」的一些大學生可以不必受英國人庇蔭了;要治港的港人也可以放手大治了;預備組織民間力量的領袖也有了明確的目標了。舞固然可以照跳,馬固然也可以照跑,連法治也可以繼續推行。高等英國人請回祖家去,不然就留下來做一個同舟共濟的普通香港人;熱愛中國政權的人請回中國去;願意在資本主義社會拼老命搶奪遍地黃金的人,更可以在這裏以青春作賭注去賭他一賭。

「香港獨立」不成的原因

搞「獨立」是冒大不韙。這點誰都知道。頑強如鐵娘子,也不得不說:「要不是中國的緣故,香港早就獨立了。」新華社香港分社的許家屯可以容許不同思想背景的人同入愛國陣營,却不能容忍不支持統一的人。提出各種解決香港前途方案的每一位論者,幾乎都開宗明義先說「香港當然不可能獨立」。由此可見——香港獨立這個意念相當普遍,但害怕這個意念的現象也相當普遍。

事到如今,「冒大不韙」也要分析一下。「香港當然不可以獨立」的理由有三點:

(一)香港不能以軍事防守
(二)中國統一是神聖的大業,每一個真正的中國人都要奉為基本信條。
(三)中國不容許。

第一個理由在今天的國際政治經濟環境裏不能成立,因為國與國之間的經濟利益互相關連,唇亡齒寒,只要香港在國際經濟上有獨特作用,那麼,其他國家會出於自利而維持香港的完整地位。主要當然是得到中國同意,與中國保持友好關係——這當然跟星加坡和大馬關係的情形相似。所以,第一個理由不配合第三個理由是不能獨自成立的。第二個理由不是理由,因為講信條的人是不講道理的。中國為什麼要統一?七十年前,我們相信中國不團結是不能強大起來的;今天的中國不強大麼?中國版圖因朝代而異,為什麼今天就不可以有新的發展?所以說,不是講道理,是數人頭——有多少人相信,有多少人不信。第三個理由是唯一的真正難題。這是一個實際的難題。中國容許香港獨立的客觀條件是俱備的;中國不容許,香港就獨立不了。事實就是那麼簡單。

中國不能容忍香港獨立的原因是眾所周知的。第一就是為了面子:中國也信奉中國統一信條,但主要是把香港收回,一雪前恥;第二是為了台灣;台灣可以是一個潛在的軍事威脅。進一步問:中國有沒有可能改變態度呢?獨立的香港被中國管治下的香港更有機會保持繁榮,而香港對中國友善,可以促成中、港互惠。但是,中國會認為,獨立的香港會比殖民地香港帶來更大的恥辱。殖民地還可說是英國人持勢逼迫腐敗清廷割讓,獨立却等於是香港中國人公開表示不歡迎中國的政權。

更重要一點是:中國何必改變態度?中國政府堅信香港人絕大部份歡迎回歸祖國,再不然的話,還可以借重一下香港中國人強烈的民族意識;如果擺明只有兩條路,一是繼續做英國殖民地政府的順民,一是回歸中國,那麼,香港人絕不會公然站在洋鬼子那一邊!正因為這樣,「獨立」於是成了冒大不韙:一旦多出了「獨立」這條路,選擇就不是這樣明確了——起碼道德上講,香港人不一定認為獨立等於背叛了五千年中國文化。既然口口聲聲說「香港當然不能獨立」,當然也沒有人問「香港人是不是當然願望獨立」這個問題了;其實答案是什麼,大概絕不是中國當局想像那麼簡單。香港人是很實際的,這種沒有機會成功的事,香港人大概不會認真去想;大家也許都寧願妥協;但要是認為妥協根本沒有意義,那就要公開的問:大家是不是願意堅持不變到寧願獨立的地步?

我們只有自己的力量

香港人對共產政治的看法在過去的十年二十年中經歷了不少變化,大致上說,印象是變得越來越好了,而中、港的關係也越來越密切、友好了;從五十六十年代的恐懼和口誅筆伐,逐漸變成容忍和接受。這其中重要的原因一方面當然是中國政局逐漸穩定,對外逐漸開放,另一方面是雙方都有意避免強調敏感的政治上的分歧。「從大陸逃難來的」這一類說法固然不再有太多人說,甚至「大陸」一詞,大家都覺得不夠尊重而改稱「中國」了。但是,這並不表示這一代的香港人比以前更樂意在中國共產政權下生活。他們願意跟中國友善共存,互利互惠,但一旦重提被接管的可能性,香港人往日的抗拒就成了今日的反應了。

香港人的這種感受,中國認為既不可理解,也不可忍受。英國則認為可以理解,但不可以慫恿照顧——可能還會被英國視為要求加長過渡時期的因素之一。但是,最基本的政治現實,是香港終歸要歸還中國,而唯一公認的合法中國政權是北京政府;香港中國人如果不大喜歡中國的政權,那也就太抱歉了!就以目的含糊的「觀察社」來說,盡管他們可以不斷地向香港政府反映至少是他們一代的香港人的意願,但是,港府畢竟可以替他們做什麼呢?

這個世上沒有可以代替我們拿定主意的人;這是最幸運也是最不幸的一代,我們只有自己的力量。這股力量是微不足道的,但是我們有責任認清楚我們所要的是什麼。目前的邏輯是:我們不預備放棄我們認識的,用血汗心智塑造出來的香港。從政治上講,結論便是要求獨立。不願意走獨立之途,就唯有妥協了。

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