For the first time in 27 years, the Student Federation plans to stay away from the memorial vigil for the martyrs of Tiananmen Square. Hong Kong’s bishop emeritus told AsiaNews that the kids have great courage but they want to do “their own thing”. Regrettably, “they lack the maturity to understand that today more than ever we need unity and cooperation”. Hong Kong "is a part of China, and this brooks no discussion”.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Card Joseph Zen, Hong Kong’s bishop emeritus, spoke to AsiaNews about the decision taken by the Student Federation not to take part in the memorial vigil for the martyrs of Tiananmen Square.
For the prelate, a “great and long battle for freedom and democracy” is underway in Hong Kong. To achieve this goal, all social strata must be united; “unity and cooperation” are needed. Any leap of faith without thoughtful reflection is useless and unrealistic.
For the first time in 27 years, the student group has decided not to join the pro-democracy movement. The vigil, which is held overnight on 3-4 June in Victoria Park, draws hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens.
Led by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, Hong Kongers come together once a year to remind mainland leaders of their political and penal responsibility in the slaughter of students and workers in 1989, and to call for the latter’s rehabilitation.
For China’s Communist government, the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre were “counter-revolutionaries”, and the historical evaluation of the violent crackdown need not change.
In announcing its decision not to take part in the vigil, the Student Federation stated that its views are different from those of the Alliance, which seeks to “build a democratic China”.
For the students, it is more important "to concentrate on Hong Kong’s democratic development" without reference to the democratisation of the mainland.
For Card Zen, this "is unrealistic. Hong Kong is a part of China, and this brooks no discussion. These kids are doing their own thing, and refuse to listen . . . I feel sorry [for them], but we live in a free society.”
“What is sad is that they lack the maturity to understand that today more than ever we need unity and cooperation to win this great and long battle for democracy.”
The kids “claim that they are different from us old people,” the prelate noted. “They believe they have the winning ideas, which we are supposed not to have. Yet, without old people fighting for decades, Hong Kong would have been swallowed up Beijing” long ago.