Unification by Violence
The unification of China is sustained by violence. Different nations and groups in the country share no consensus to live together; they are just forced to do so. Long suppressed hatred will grow again with the decline of the violent power. Peaceful breakup should be the best scenario. If someone must unify them, however, the process will be extremely violent. The dissolution of the Soviet Union was rather peaceful; most nations in the country could coexist with the others peacefully. That was not the case of Yugoslavia; everyone knows how violent it was.
The current violent power is strong enough to sustain the unification, but it will not last forever. The later that day comes, the more hatred will accumulate and the stronger will be the reaction. Another resolution is to grant votes and democracy, but even that will be too late. In that moment, all the trusts have been consumed, hatred is widespread, and that’s the problem more than mere democracy.
The Problem of Democratization of China
When China becomes a democracy, the first question is: how to solve the problem when the privileged group faces the challenge of the mass? This is just a question more than the choice between “democracy” or “totalitarianism”. It is a choice between “a totalitarianism which benefits me” and “a fair democracy to the mass which will deprive of my interests”.
Totalitarianism is, of course, not the answer, problems will unveil someday. But it is nevertheless a temporary solution to keep the problems underground.
The seed of democracy can only grow in China when the democrats come to realize the fact that electing a President by the 1.3 million population is meaningless, and why is it so.
China is a vast landmass in geographical sense. Such landmass encompasses multiple regional centres and economic systems, forming a vast empire. How can you ignite the spark of a revolution in different regions of China, from Beijing to Nanjing, from Shanghai to Guangzhou to Chongqing, to make the people act together simultaneously?
Such revolution is just impossible. Without the mechanism to act together, there is no united action. Depending on random and individually-initiated actions lead more to internal conflicts than united actions. If there had been such capability for different regions to act together, a powerful political organization should have already emerged. In China, there’s just no such leader or such powerful organization. A powerful organization is the basis to the revolution.
No matter how the people revolt, in the case of a vast empire, it is just a group who share the same interests opposing the other, such revolution will not create fairness or justice. The revolutions under such context will only benefit a group of winners to become the privileged class.
For democracy, it seems that the question is how many people really understand its mechanism? If no one knows how it works, revolution can only lead to a non-democratic government named as a democracy.
To conclude, a vast empire cannot democratize just by civic movement. An empire will dissolute, breakup, but not democratize. To reestablish the political power which is powerful enough to rule over such vast landmass, the fastest way is to inherit the political structure of the empire.
Therefore, my point is nationalism (in Chinese officials’ sense, its separatism) is the prerequisite of democratization. Under the current context, democratization is impossible for China.
To form a state with 1.3 million population as a “Republic” is a weird idea. This can only lead to the emergence of an overwhelming privileged families conglomerate, which turn the state into a family business and destroy its foundations.
The Probability of Independence
If someday Guangdong became independent, it would not be the result of self-initiation. The result would more likely be the only choice under an unfavourable situation. In a world where you find no one respect your rights, and that you are the only one who can protect your rights, then you have only one choice.
If there was such a thing as Lingnan (嶺南, a geographical term roughtly equivalent to the lands of Guangdong, Guangxi and parts of Hunan and Jiangxi) independence, it must be an unwilling and painful choice. This would not be a happy scenario, as its founding fathers would be under huge pressures and endure great sufferings. If someday the situation deteriorates, such choice will become inevitable. It is just a way to find a new world.