In 1997, when the Western Press unanimously proclaimed the death of Hong Kong, it was economically about 1/5 of gigantic motherland. It turned out the celebration of HK’s death had been premature. China has not taken a penny from its rich son, but instead helped it survive SARS, the financial tsunami, and supplied tourists whose money is welcome, but physical presence daintily despised by HK’s second generation nouveau riche.
1. HK as a financial hub of China would be ruined, and the internationalisation of RMB delayed. To the masterminds of the protest, it’d be mission accomplished.
2. It would unfairly penalise the absolute majority of HK which is against Occupy Central. At the time of writing, an Anti-Occupy Central petition has collected more than 1.51 million signatures in just a few days, all with ID card number for verification.
3. Without the legal foundation of a national security act, it’d be extremely difficult to regain the lost territories of mass media, education, and the rule of law. HK will deteriorate, not recover, after Occupy Central.
4. Economic penalties will result in social frustrations. In the next round of OC, the agitators might actually be supported by the majority.
Hong Kong needs a decision soon, followed by reasonable, magnanimous, but firm actions. Beijing’s macro-intervention will be unavoidable from here on; might as well make it open and legal. Further dithering, praying for the delusive universal answer, would not only be futile, but detrimental to Hong Kong, and the historic experiment of ONE country, two systems.