1. I am cautiously pessimistic about the latest development in Hong Kong.
Although my view is currently fluid, I still think the best way to resolve the current political crisis peacefully is for the central government in Beijing to send a special envoy to talk with the people of Hong Kong.
2. On Thursday (October 2) night Hong Kong time, Chief Executive C.Y. Leung announced that his Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam will talk with one group among the demonstrators, the Hong Kong Federation of Students.
In itself, this is a welcome development; talking is better than not talking.
But I am cautiously pessimistic about this development for two reasons:
(a) I do not believe C.Y. Leung is engaging in good faith negotiation with the demonstrators.
(b) There is no one person or group that can speaks for all the demonstrators.
3. Two reasons why I do not believe C.Y. Leung is engaging in good faith negotiation:
(a) The demonstrators are not one unified group of people but are consist of three distinct groups plus a diffuse "mass" of people.
The three distinct groups are: Occupy Central, the Hong Kong Federation of Students, and the student Scholarism movement.
My interpretation of C.Y. Leung's instruction to Carrie Lam to talk to the Hong Kong Federation of Students only is that the talk is meant as a divide and conquer tactic.
(b) Before C.Y. Leung's announcement on Thursday night, there were already news reports that some people tried to dismantle the tents and barricades of the demonstrators in Mong Kok District.
As if on cue, scuffles broke out after the announcement by C.Y. Leung on Thursday night.
It is widely believed on the demonstrators’ side that C.Y. Leung's administration is behind this incident.
4. And then there is the major weakness for negotiations on the demonstrators’ side: There is no one person or group that can speaks for all the demonstrators.
When engaging in negotiations, one should talk with the person who has the power or authority to make decisions.
Who among the demonstrators can speak for the whole group?
It is because no one can speak for all the demonstrators that C.Y. Leung can use the divide and conquer strategy.
5. Until now, the central government in Beijing is pursuing a hands off policy and let the local government of C.Y. Leung handle the demonstrators.
If the goal of the central government is to maintain peace and order in Hong Kong, then continuing to let C.Y. Leung handle the demonstrators is a bad idea.
The divide and conquer strategy of C.Y. Leung will only lead to disorder and chaos.
It is quite obvious that C.Y. Leung does not have either the intention or the ability to resolve the current Hong Kong political crisis in a peaceful way.
There is no need to let the present situation drags out.
The best way to resolve the current political crisis peacefully is for the central government in Beijing to send a special envoy to talk with the people of Hong Kong.
BBC News. 2014a. Hong Kong protests: Student leaders postpone talks. BBC News China, Last updated October 3.
BBC News. 2014b. Hong Kong protests: Talks accepted amid protest stand-off. BBC News China, Last updated October 3.
BBC News. 2014c. Hong Kong protests: The key players. BBC News China, Last updated October 1.
BBC News. 2014d. 中國官媒首次報道涉及香港佔中行動消息. BBC中文網, October 3.
BBC News. 2014e. 香港學聯：擱置原定與特區政府對話. BBC中文網, October 3.
Philip Wen. 2014. Hong Kong protests: Key players from Joshua Wong to Leung Chun-ying. The Sydney Morning Herald, October 1.