The Hong Kong based newspaper Ming Pao published an article by Bruce Lui, a senior lecturer in the Department of Journalism at the Hong Kong Baptist University. The Chinese government’s “stability maintenance” expenditure last year was 1.37 trillion yuan (US$200 billion). It is expected that the actual cost of “stability maintenance” this year will exceed 1.4 trillion yuan.
China’s official defense budget for 2019 is 1.19 trillion yuan (US$180 billion). Lui said that the phenomenon of the stability maintenance expenditure continuously surpassing military spending shows whether the Beijing authorities purpose “is mainly to prevent people or to prevent foreign enemies.” Although most of the outsiders think that these maintenance funds are mostly used in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Sichuan, as a matter of fact, according to past years from the China Statistical Yearbook, the top seven provinces in year 2017 in terms of “stability maintenance” spending were Guangdong, Jiangsu, Xinjiang, Shandong, Zhejiang, Sichuan and Beijing, .
Guangdong spent around 121.4 billion yuan (US$18.05 billion), about 11 percent of the national total, more than twice that of Xinjiang province.
Lui’s article said that, after Chinese President Xi Jinping took office, Guangdong has always topped the stability maintenance spending, with an average annual growth rate of 13 percent. In recent years, it has increased at a rate of about 20 percent to 30 percent, much faster than the spending in Xinjiang.
He believes that Guangdong’s huge stability maintenance costs relate to Hong Kong. For years Hong Kong’s stability maintenance fund has come out of Guangdong. Intelligence, national security, military and research personnel from Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and even Zhuhai have been traveling to Hong Kong to collect all forms of intelligence and have launched operations. This has resulted in a constant increase in spending.
These personnel have exaggerated the situation in Hong Kong and the problem of Hong Kong independence so that they are able to obtain more manpower, material, and financial resources. “For those who can initiate a special project regarding Hong Kong independence, funds will be put in place.”
Lui pointed out, “Hong Kong people are deeply integrated into the Greater Bay Area. This area is not only an economic area, but also an important area for stability maintenance. Technology will keep you under surveillance without any trace.” “When Hong Kong’s people see the news of the Xinjiang Re-education Camp next time, can you think of some sort of “re-education camps” that are more expensive, invisible but more technologically advanced running around you?”
Source: Central News Agency, March 13, 2019