Explainer: what is Benny Tai's "10 steps to burn with us"

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Benny Tai Yiu-ting has previously written about a ten steps to “laam chau” in April, last year which was published in local news media as well as on his Facebook page.

These “10 steps” has again come to light in view of the massive National Security Law sweep on Wednesday morning, where over 50 pro-democracy activists have been arrested by police, including Tai himself.

The term “laam chau” is commonly used by local protesters in last year’s anti-extradition protests to signify a mutual destruction with the government, best expressed with the slogan “if we burn, you burn with us”.

Tai made a prediction for 2020 - 2022, that there will be ten steps to Hong Kong’s mutual destruct route which include pro-democracy camps winning a majority seats in the Legislative Council last year, Chief Executive forced to resign due to Budget bill being rejected twice and international sanction towards the Chinese Communist Party.

The first step is estimated to begin between July and August last year, whereby the government will widely disqualify pro-democracy candidates eligibility to run for the Legislative Council general election. Pro-democracy party will then have to replace candidates with “Plan B” candidates.

Tai estimated the second step will take place in September last year, many Hongkongers will vote for pro-democracy candidates and they will obtain 35 or more seats at the Legislative Council. 

He explained that this is because citizens will be irritated by the “interruption” from the Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office of the State Council and the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR. As well as the mass disqualification of pro-democracy candidates.

The third step, which will take place in October last year, Chief Executive and Department of Justice will begin judicial procedures to disqualify pro-democracy lawmakers. However it takes time for the Courts to process the procedure so pro-democracy lawmakers will continue to lead Legco as a majority.

He wrote all funding proposals submitted by the government to the Legislative Council will be rejected by the Council between October last year to April 2021 this year, marking the fourth step. 

The annual Budget from the government will be rejected by the Council in May this year. The fifth step estimated that the Chief Executive will then dissolve the Legislative Council and maintain the government’s regular operation through provisional appropriations.

A re-election will then take place after Legco dissolved. For the sixth step predicted to be in October this year, pro-democracy camp may have to send their “Plan C” candidates to run for the election because their “Plan B” have been disqualified. However Tai wrote that the pro-democracy camp will still obtain 35 seats or more in the new Council.

For the seventh step, estimated to be in November this year, the newly elected Council will refuse to pass the annual Budget again, Chief Executive must then resign in accordance with Basic Law and the government will come to a standstill.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress will announce that Hong Kong enters a state of emergency in December this year according to the eighth step that Tai wrote. 

“The Central government will directly apply national security law to Hong Kong, dissolve the Legislative Council, a Provisional Legislative Council will be established, the next Chief Executive will be selected through consultations held locally, many leaders of pro-democracy camps will be detained,” Tai added.

Protests on the street will become more intense within Hong Kong society after December this year, Tai wrote in the ninth step. 

“The suppression will be very bloody, Hongkongers will launch a general strike on three fronts (suspension on work, classes and markets) which will lead Hong Kong society to a standstill,” Tai wrote.

For the last step, Tai wrote western countries will impose political and economic sanctions on Chinese Communist Party after January next year.