PRC United Front strategy
The PRC United Front strategy is a series of coordinated efforts directed by the Communist Chinese Government centralized in Beijing to attain greater control over Hong Kong. To accomplish this aim, a number of different strategies have been used since the 1980s. Today the control is mostly done through manipulation of local elections.
Its public agency is the PRC's Liaison Office. Prior to revision of these policies, it was the Hong Kong branch of Xinhua News Agency. The Communist Party of China is the de facto driving force behind this office. The stated goal of this office is to afford greater control by Beijing over the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
In the 1980s Beijing tried to control the territory by absorbing Hong Kong's business elite into the United Front system. The business members were designated as "delegates" and "advisers".
After Communist China's Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the strategy was changed. Because the working and peasant class far outnumber the appointed government elite, Policy makers in Beijing realized they could not afford to let democracy take root in the general populace. They decided to manipulate the minds of the 2 million workers and ordinary wage earners in Hong Kong. They explicitly target the leadership of Kaifong associations, district boards and local municipal councils.
1990s to present
The group uses a Mao Zedong strategy described as:
|“||Isolate the enemy by winning the vast majority to the side of the revolution; then, through struggle, the isolated and now vulnerable enemy is destroyed.||”|
The front does not destroy democratic individuals (like Martin Lee), because the political cost of doing so is too high. It basically keeps the opposing parties divided so they are weak and non-threatening. In this case, the opposing enemy is Hong Kong's democratic party, because it represents the wishes of the people in a democratic society.
The united front coordinates the nomination and campaigns in the Legislative Council (LegCo) and local elections. Sometimes part of the party is listed as "independents" and run for elections. An example is Regina Ip in the 2007 Hong Kong Island by-election.
While the One country, two systems separate Hong Kong and Macau from Beijing rule, it attempts to swing voters away from the democratic parties to keep them weak. An example is The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, which was installed to target middle to lower class citizens in Hong Kong by gaining presence in the Hong Kong real estate market.
The front also rely on allies that have a grass root in Hong Kong's society. Some allies include:
- Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (HKFTU)
- Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB)
- New Territories Association of Societies (NTAS)