Pro-Kuomintang camp (Hong Kong)
The Pro-Taiwan camp or pro-Kuomintang camp (Chinese: 親臺派 or 親國民黨派) is a political alignment in Hong Kong. It generally pledges allegiance to the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan, which has traditionally been governed by the Kuomintang.
|Ideology||Liberalism (Hong Kong)|
Three Principles of the People
|Regional affiliation||Pro-democracy camp|
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Being called as "Rightists", it was one of the two major political forces in Hong Kong during the first decades of the post-war period of the British colony of Hong Kong, competing with the pro-Communist "Leftists", but has gradually declined after the Republic of China's departure from the United Nations in 1971 and the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984 which decided Hong Kong's sovereignty to be handed over to the People's Republic of China (PRC). Today, it is generally aligned with the pro-democracy camp in Hong Kong and the Pan-Blue Coalition in Taiwan, which still mainly consists of the Kuomintang party.
The pro-Taiwan camp closely follows the Kuomintang's doctrines including Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People and the 1992 Consensus of cross-straits relations. It opposes Taiwan independence and also supports universal suffrage in Hong Kong. The only elected representative of the pro-Taiwan camp is the Democratic Alliance, whose chairman, Johnny Mak, occupies a seat in Yuen Long District Council.
The support base of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) has existed even before the founding of the Republic of China (ROC), as its founding father Sun Yat-sen was a medical student in the British colony of Hong Kong in the late 19th century and set up anti-Qing revolutionary organisations in Hong Kong. After the founding of the Republic, Hong Kong pro-Nationalist forces remained their close contact with the Nationalist revolutionary government in Canton. With the Canton's support, the pro-Nationalists and pro-Communists launched the 1922 Hong Kong Seamens' Strike and 1925 Canton–Hong Kong General Strike. In 1927, the pro-Nationalists gained their status as the Nationalist Party became the official government in China until 1949.
Early post-war periodEdit
The Chinese Civil War saw the influx of pro-Kuomintang refugees and former soldiers to Hong Kong who were driven from their homeland by the Communists. After years of exile and grinding poverty, many of them were steeped in bitterness and yearning for revenge against the Communists. The pro-Kuomintang triad members played a key part in the Double Ten riots, which was escalated from provocations between pro-Nationalist and pro-Communist factions in 1956.
The political scene in Hong Kong was split into pro-Nationalist and pro-Communist factions in the first decades of the post-war Hong Kong, of which both camps controlled various sectors from labour unions, schools, media to film companies. The largest pro-Nationalist trade unions was the Hong Kong and Kowloon Trades Union Council (TUC) established in 1948, which was the main rival of the pro-Communist Hong Kong and Kowloon Federation of Trade Unions (FTU). The pro-Nationalist forces also owned the Hong Kong Times which was founded in 1949 with an anti-communist stance and was regarded as a Kuomintang party organ. Many major newspapers at that time were also generally pro-Nationalist, such as the Kung Sheung Daily News, Wah Kiu Yat Pao and the Sing Tao Daily which used Minguo calendar until the 1980s or 90s. One of the most iconic pro-Nationalist neighbourhoods was Rennie's Mill, which was a Nationalist enclave in the colony until it was redeveloped into the Tseung Kwan O New Town in the 1990s on the eve of the Communist takeover of Hong Kong.
After the Republic of China's departure from the United Nations, the Taipei government lost a great prestige in the Chinese community. The pro-Nationalist forces also suffered a decline. The signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984 which decided Hong Kong's sovereignty to be handed over to the People's Republic of China (PRC) also resulted in the diminishing of the pro-Taiwan forces. In the 1990s it saw the two pro-Kuomintang newspapers Hong Kong Times and Hong Kong United Daily closed. The right-leaning Sing Tao Daily also could not be classified as a rightist paper anymore after a political metamorphosis.
The pro-Kuomintang camp also tried to participate in the elections as the colonial government introduced representative democracy in the 1980s but could hardly launch an effective campaign. In 1985, it saw the TUC representative Pang Chun-hoi occupied a seat in the Labour functional constituency along with FTU representative Tam Yiu-chung in the first elected Legislative Council of Hong Kong. Pang was generally aligned with the liberal cause in the legislature and served for three terms until he stepped down in 1995.
In 1994, the pro-Nationalists founded a political party 123 Democratic Alliance to contest in the 1995 first full Legislative Council election. Yum Sin-ling, the leader of the alliance won a seat through an Election Committee composing of District Board members in the last colonial Legislative Council on the eve of the handover.
Since 1997, the pro-Nationalist group has become a small faction within the pro-democracy camp. The Democratic Alliance led by Johnny Mak was founded in 2003 and cooperates with pro-democrat legislator Albert Chan in the 2003 District Council election. It was briefly affiliated with the radical democratic party People Power between 2011 and 2012. The other currently active pro-Taiwan political groups include the China Youth Service & Recreation Centre.
Notable pro-Taiwan organisationsEdit
- 123 Democratic Alliance (dissolved)
- China Youth Service & Recreation Centre
- Democratic Alliance
- Hong Kong and Kowloon Trades Union Council
- Hong Kong Chung Shan Research Institute (港澳中山文教研究總會, Kuomintang Branch in Hong Kong and Macau)
- Hong Kong Times (closed)
- Hong Kong United Daily (closed)
- Kung Sheung Daily News (closed)
- Sing Tao Daily (switched side to pro-Beijing camp after 1997 Britain handover to China)
- Wah Kiu Yat Pao (closed)
- Gleason, Gene (1963). Hong Kong. John Day Company.
- Chen, Hongyi (1986). Hong Kong in Transition. Oxford University Press. p. 430.
- American Consulate General (1956). Chinese Press Review.