Saturday, 27 December 2014

Atsuna: Sheep in HK, don't boast about your plumpness in front of lion

Sheep in Hong Kong, don't boast about your plumpness in front of lion
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Written by Atsuna
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/12-01-2014/19860 
[When the article was published, the Umbrella Revolution was not ended yet.]
(Source: PassionTimes)
Lu Xun said, "It does not matter if a lion brags about its big size. But it does matter if the subject becomes a pig or a sheep." Hongkongers, you better boast less about how "rational and peaceful" you are. It is the Communist Party you are facing. You may regard the HKSAR Government as no more than a puppet. Nonetheless it carries the violent genes of its "Northern Overlord".

How long has CY Leung taken over Hong Kong? Two years only has the Hong Kong Police transformed back into "jerks with badges" at the old times, or become Chinese-style "Gong'an" (police) or "Chengguan" (city management squad) who beats up dissidents and protesters. If you still, under such circumstance, decide to brag how peaceful and rational you are used to be, you are just confessing to the Communist that we are simply docile objects without bargaining powers.

Even if all 7 million people in Hong Kong took to the street, the HKSAR Government will not slightly budge. It is not Gau Wu (Translator's note: another form of occupy movement) generating the public pressure that would have led to their submission? To them, it is no more than wandering around the streets and resuming work the next day after that?

Many people think that China was among the victors in WWII, but not Japanese. They rather attribute their defeat to USA instead due to the admiration of the strong. To the same reason, they have always looked down upon China. In Chinese view, Japanese only respect stronger countries and belittle weaker ones. And the Communists herself in China "goes the extra mile". Not only do the Commies want to admired the stronger ones, they want to fear the weaker ones — that's the core value of the Chinese communist regime. Upholding peace and rationality, like us, will be treated as weaker ones in the eyes of such authoritarians.

In the entire Umbrella Revolution, only a single piece of glass was broken. Somehow the shattered glass triggered many criticisms. The Yellow Ribbons condemned such "violence" for that behaviour ruined the moral high ground of the Umbrella Revolution. And they felt shameful to have broken foreign media's high expectation.

Hong Kong calls itself as an international city, whereas there is a lot of room for improving its "internationalisation". A slip in the "English proficiency ranking" by some Western private education institution is enough to set Hongkongers moaning and groaning.

Hongkongers long for aura of morality as children without independence long for praises — more shining it be if the giver belongs to foreign media. It would be fairly nice if we can achieve democracy and freedom in a peaceful manner. But any reasonable person knows that won't be the case, but purely sheer fantasy. Inevitably, there is bound to be "violence" against an authoritarian regime. Look at the Ukrainians as an example. You would not find any Western media to condemn them as being not peaceful enough given their extreme situation there.

Whenever brave warriors charge the police, people at the back will discourage them and ask them to "be calm, and refrain from provoking police officers". I won't say all of them are turncoats. I believe that they want democracy as we do, but they are just cursed to implement "Peaceful, rational, non-violence, non-swearing" spirit regardless of the situations.

To be honest, everyone might once be a leftard. People as such condemn the government, be part of a peaceful and rational demonstration, and check in on Facebook. Altogether, they regard themselves as being on the moral high ground. But as you spend more time to understand politics, people as such will eventually reduce to "radical localists". The clock of Hong Kong is tickling. Unchanged for 50 years, a joke indeed. CY Leung getting the post, comes with faster speed of "merge and acquisition".

From leftard to "radical localist", it takes time. We have no time. Hongkongers need to have "genetic mutation" if we want to live. From sitting there and waiting to be arrested (Occupy Central), to bearing with tear gas and truncheons at the beginning of the revolution, and now producing self-made shields, charging the police, throwing eggs and stuff to the police - two weeks ago, you dare not think about it. But it is just "the fittest of survival". It's okay not to charge in the front line, but at least stop saying "Don't charge!". Because you are facing an authoritarian regime. Your peace and rationality might not anger them; you are just "exempted" from being beaten immediately, but your rights may be deprived politically anyway for such evil regime. Not charging, that's fine; but you should be ready to scramble protesters with the police. Protect everyone who dares to charge, because attacking is the best defence. Without them, we are just plump sheep in the eyes of lion.

Peace and rationality is equally important to genuine universal suffrage - these are important universal values we hold dear. But as sheep do not flaunt their plumpness in front of lion, you have to be sober in prioritising things when the authoritarian is greedily showing its own desire over Hong Kong. In such critical moment, upholding "peace and rationality" is just a slow suicide which makes you feel good about.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

PassionTimes: Popularity of police plunged, notoriety irreversible

Popularity of police plunged, notoriety irreversible
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Written by Editorial Team of Passion Times
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/12-22-2014/20146 
(Photo: Passion Times)
HKUPOP had a poll on the degree of satisfaction on the police force of Hongkongers. The results reveals that the degree of satisfaction has dropped to a new low since 1997, with only 29 points. Ming Pao had a coverage on 22nd Dec. After analysing the data from HKUPOP, Ming Pao said the degree of satisfaction youngsters aged 18 to 29 decreased from 40 points to -41.7 points. In other age groups, middle-aged people between 30 to 49 dropped from 51.4 to 30.4, while people over 50 has slightly dropped from 56.8 to 55.


As CY Leung tackled political issues with the police, which then lost its political neutrality. Under Andy Tsang, a hawk-style Commissioner of Police, the reputation of police has plunged greatly. For example, when blue ribbon thugs attacked occupiers, the police just let them go. At the same time, at conspicuous places in police stations, blue ribbons were everywhere, and it is hard not to imagine the thugs are related to the police force. Besides, the police framed a female reporter from PassionTimes for attacking police officer when she was sexually assaulted by people from blue ribbon gangs. Selective law enforcement cases are simply uncountable. Andy Tsang did not punish those who did not follow Police General Orders and show his sophistry. It is doubted that whether Hong Kong Police is doing things in mainland Chinese ways.

After all, when the police used inappropriate violence, had covered up for blue ribbon thugs, selective law enforcement and sophistic explanation, people has shown their stances in such poll - Hongkongers no longer trust the police force, and it is hard to resolve the relationship between the police and civilians in the long term.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Choi Chun-wai: HK-China Relationship in Post-Occupy Era

Hong Kong-China Relationship in Post-Occupy Era
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Karen L. and Poppy, Written and edited by Sam Choi Chun-wai 蔡俊威, Chinese version edited by Fong Hiu-ying 方曉盈, Originally on Ming Pao (This article was published on 7th Dec 2014)
Original: Pentoy 


(Photo: Passion Times)
When the occupy movement reaches an end, the focus seems to be blurred. Police is again utilised as a tool to solve political problems, and the main theme switched from political reform to police-public confrontation - the happiest third party would be CY Leung and his cabinet. Under such circumstance, Hong Kong has become more "messy", and thus someone will be much more trusted by Beijing. Since the "conversation" with the students, the authorities have started to stop defending, and start attacking. In terms of political reform, the government does not need to think too much. The authorities smeared at such political campaign that the world is watching. Looking at the disintegration of such campaign, it just did unveil the disguise of respect.

What is more important is that: the moment the focus is blurred, the moment HK-China relationship has entered a Post-Occupy Ice Age. China will impose more radical policies, and so things will get worse. To Hong Kong, Beijing has a love-and-hate-and-scared attitude. Love: Hong Kong is a tool for China to develop; Hate: many Hongkongers' minds have never been "unified"; Hate: the political power and awareness in Hong Kong might enter China, faltering the authoritarian regime. Now, Beijing feels Hongkongers are not "obedient", therefore Beijing wants to accelerate in the speed of "reunification of Hong Kong". CCP will not mind to use the worse tactic: "to grab Hong Kong in its hand, never mind forsaking the "old Hong Kong"."

War on Ideologies

It is an ideological problem at the end of the day. Therefore, as the first step, in the forseeable future, China will enlarge and enhance such front struggle and turn it into a long-term war. The strategic order on cultural front of CCP, "strengthening our on base and occupy others' bases as well", will be extremely followed. Oversea Version of People's Daily once issued an article, saying "'Anti-road-occupation' is just only the prelude of the struggle, and 'anti-Occupy-Central' is a long-term war in decades and decades." The clearance of the police is just a palliative way, and the root is the ideological scramble (to strengthen the understanding of HK-China relationship based on Beijing's interpretation, and grab the right to re-interpret on the Western values which are deep-rooted in Hongkongers' minds), including "requiring the entire members of public in Hong Kong to reacquaint "One country, two systems" and the "Basic Law", and to recognise the importance of being national sovereignty, safety and development as Chinese citizens, and the rights and duties of the public."

The ideological war can be achieved through certain ways:

Education: Dyed in Red

First, Beijing will embark on education. They will snatch the dominance in reinterpreting the history and core values of Hong Kong.
Ideologically, how the knowledge is produced and transmitted can be a threat and a weapon. Knowledge and information can alter the recognition of the public towards the society, the world, the politics and HK-China relationship In education, the regime will relentlessly get the current education system down.

In achieving this goal, Beijing will further "change" the school and civic education in Hong Kong. The Liberal Studies (LS) in NSS is criticised to be the culprit to make the students be pan-politicisation and to provost the occupation. Some pro-Chinese groups and LegCo members have already listened to the orders, and suggested to "revise" or even to cut down the LS subject, not to mention adding more "materials allowing students to learn more about One Country, Two Systems and our motherland". Even, the Education Bureau has to adopt a less politically sensitive translation on the term "critical thinking", from 批判性思考 to 明辨性思考 (Translator's note: The former one has more 'criticising' meaning, the later one has more 'distinguishing rights and wrong' meaning. Anyway, such revision is the result of Regina Ip's question in LegCo).

The more critical field is actually on the tertiary education and academia - places where knowledge is genuinely produced and transmitted. Few years ago, Joseph Lian Yi-zheng, a Hong Kong scholar and columnist on HKEJ,  mentioned such concern, which aroused certain discussions then. Undeniably, CCP already started in this field. More and more Chinese scholars entered tertiary education institutions, undermining the productivities of Hongkong-based knowledge (and undeniably, there are Chinese scholars who are Hongkong-based). The phenomenon of mainlandisation of Hong Kong society actually took place much earlier in the academia. As the breeding ground of ideologies and places with academic freedom, the tertiary education has "turned red", to some extent. It is said that employing overseas returnees, or haigui, mainland scholars should be put on the first priority, and there will be a lot of "funds for study" in order to keep them here. On the contrary, the local scholars have less "lebensraum" in their studies. Recently, some scholars in China even condemned tertiary education in Hong Kong is much "pan-politicised" (Translator's note: Don't look at me, it just means politicised, but Chinese people loves getting simple things complicated), and that implies Beijing wants to suppress the teaching-and-learning of the "political side of Hong Kong". Lian even pointed out the "Party branch secretary" ruling universities might be within a stone's throw. We might refer to the experience in Macau (Translator's note: the rector of University of Macau, Zhao Wei 趙偉, is the only university chief in Hong Kong and Macau who comes from Mainland China). Once we look at the staff establishment of the faculties, the mainlandisation problem is a worse case - this is the key.

Besides culling the local knowledge production, these people also rely on the interlocking ecological pyramid. On the students side, according to the University Grant Committee (UGC), under the internationalisation policy for local tertiary institutions, UGC-funded institutions can allow 20% non-local students, including China and overseas, to take bachelor degree courses, and there are no restrictions for graduate school courses. In the past three academic years, around 80% post-graduates come from China. It is often discussed that the reason for mainlandisation is the plunge of local applicants, and therefore graduate schools take up more Chinese students. But if local scholars are no longer cherished, then due to various reasons including political ones, their upward mobility is halted, and therefore the ecological pyramid breaks down. Don't we need to face the origin of such problem? In humanities subjects, the case is worse. Less and less projects are Hongkong-based. It means universities, which supposed to be our base for academic study, no longer aim at nurturing intellectuals who have Hong Kong roots. Now, it is often said that Beijing lost the confidence of the entire generation Y of Hong Kong. But if we lose the knowledge generation which is based on Hong Kong (including how and what to write in the history of Hong Kong), then we will lose the autonomy of interpreting Hong Kong. And if we lose our subjective consciousness, we will lose each and every generation of Hongkongers.

Infiltration of United Front in Creating Conflicts

Secondly, Beijing will create more conflicts though abundant of infiltration of united front. Many highly-orchestrated people join the script of anti-occupy Central since the idea of Occupy Central has been mentioned. What we learn from history is that the more people being orchestrated, the more torn and bipolar the society is. In the post-occupy era, Beijing will further pit parties against one another, and more groups in both sides (pro/against China) will be formed. We can see that when the new generation is so ‘reactionary’, Beijing will capitalise youth issues to organise united front tactic in order to create a new generation that complies with Beijing.

Besides the united front, a "closer" population integration policy also helps to speed up the establishment of a new generation and vote rigging. We cannot ignore the Beijing’s infiltration of professionals. Without a doubt, there are plenty of mainlanders who live in Hong Kong consider the interest of Hong Kong the most important. But looking back at the strategy Beijing to Hong Kong, we cannot rule out the possibility of China infiltrating Hong Kong. The famous ‘Tsang Siu-fo case’ proved that the Communist party is good at infiltration. During the 50s, Tsang was a reliable officer in the police force and one of the first ethnic Chinese to be promoted to Scotland Yard to receive special training. He made it to Assistant Superintendent of Police within 11 years and worked in 'Special Branch' (Hong Kong’s CIA). He was also selected as a bodyguard for the then-governor of Hong Kong, Sir Grantham. Such elite has been found to be a spy inside police and British military Hong Kong to gather colony and British military intelligence for the Chinese government. Now, with policies allowing mainland Chinese students staying in Hong Kong after studies, those who listen to Beijing will further percolate into the sectors of education, law, finance, medical and other professionals, and even take part in Hong Kong’s politics.

Construct An Instinct of Self-censorship

Thirdly, a phenomenon of trepidation is about to breed in Hong Kong – self-censorship. Aside from education, moulding a social voluntariness of self-restraint is another example towards the spitefulness of ideological struggle. During the occupy movement, farces with citizens "pledging allegiance" are staged in turn. Be it forced or otherwise, all the personages among billionaires and businessmen have to declare their political status. In the predictable future, this allegiance culture will not settle with civil servants sitting on the rail. Only will those robots leaning to the party's favour survive. A considerate number of disciplinary forces and service departments have publicly stated their support for the government during the time, revealing the discomforting direction of politics in the mist. This might be a loophole for Beijing to politicise the whole bureau in Hong Kong.

What is worse lies in Hongkongers' inner fear of repercussions declaring "incorrect" political statement. Such highly infectious virus originated among the public figures, and then spread to the professionals. To the present day, it has already started to breed among the commoners. Many citizens are frightened of being "banned", or "literary inquisition" (not only being illegal, but also being labelled by Chinese authorities). Some even worry that their personal information will be sent to mainland China, or thus be blacklisted. Dithering comes first when deciding to file reasonable complaint against those ruffianly police's attack on civilians.

Déjà vu, is it? When we hear mainland Chinese dare not say anything under frequent suffering of injustice, we can't help but wonder. Yet it is an instinct developing naturally under the life in authoritarian state. In the minds of mainland Chinese, continuously do they consider "Big Brother is watching you" in making every decision, including the slightest ones. Such worriment is rather natural indicating that the program of self-censorship has been rooted in their minds. In the now of Hong Kong, it shows footprints of white terror that is supposed to exist only in authoritarian states. Undoubtedly Beijing will oversee its proliferation to exclude possibility of malfunction. All of these come down to the very question we have to think through – if it goes in Beijing's way, how will Hong Kong become in the Post-Occupy Era?

The CCP Has Unveiled The Disguise of Respect

Maria Tam, a member of the Committee for the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR, once said that the autonomous right of Hong Kong SAR is just slightly higher than that of the those Autonomous regions in mainland China.

Wang Lixiong, a specialist in the Tibetan sovereignty debate, also shared his view on "One Country, Two Systems" in an interview based on the CCP's administration experience in Tibet, that the "Two Systems" has always been an expediency during transition, and never does the respect for the people involve.

It will be a no-going-back mono-route once the CCP can have full control over Tibet with assurance. What post the disturbing atmosphere is that both the CCP's officials and the state-owned media started to respond voices from Hong Kong society with disdainfulness since the 1 July protests in this year. Those used-to-be formulae, such as "we respect the compatriots from Hong Kong to express themselves freely" and "their request should be heard", are no longer on the table. Cutting to the chase, the CCP has unveiled the disguise of respect.

This hostile nation against anyone getting in the way. For the sake of its rise, it by all means achieve this goal. Some online posts in mainland China websites show that one of the views people there have for the big-scale outbreak of the occupy movement, is "an act of conspiracy between some international powers against China and some local powers which look for resuming colonial Hong Kong". While Beijing, without a trace of hesitation, announced that Sino-British Joint Declaration has been nullified, it is time for us all to ponder what should the HK-China relationship be during the subsequent post-occupy era.

In Beijing's eyes, it is the love-hate system in Hong Kong that interferes with its rise. As mentioned above, it is necessarily straightforward that Beijing will in various ways eradicating British "brainwashing-and-trust-winning" construction of political culture – Hong Kong's existing system, culture, knowledge and value on the battle field of ideology.

It is the collapse of rites and music that fears Hongkongers the most. Take the 50-million-scandal man. Before the issue can be settled rightfully, the spirit of integrity has been "fixed". Added with Carrie Lam's defending as "The concept of "asset" is not clarified in the Basic Law" in the LegCo, there seems nothing left in the system anymore.

The Loss of Rebellion Sense Kills Room for Democracy

In analysing the post-Occupy era, it is not my aim to propose localism or to draw a clear line between insiders and outsiders. The article serves as a reminder that politics does not only confined to the political system.

The occupy movement purely intends to fight for the democracy of the system. No matter what the outcome be, it is inevitable that the post-occupy era will come to us afterwards. By the time, it will be Beijing's turn to play, yet everybody should know that her game, which we referred as "war" has never limited to the political system. Her ideal is to adopt full ideological struggle in Hong Kong.

If we only focus on one aspect, everything will be in vain if we lose other battles even we obtain democracy. The tug-wars between Hong Kong and China are in all fields. There are numerous examples for this: Puerto Rico was granted democracy and autonomy but their economy, education, culture and ideology were emasculated by the United States. Catalonia excels Spain in culture and economy but the water supply was once cut by Francoist Spain. Without water, autonomy is hard to achieve even for a strong region. Why did the Cross Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA) cause such a student movement in Taiwan? Because the people are afraid Taiwan would get too close with China and no longer have their autonomy. The obedient Macau is ruined in its original economy and ecosystem. Beijing is directly governing it without a scintilla of worry.

Under such era, there is no doubt that Beijing would fight more vigorously in ideology. If we lose the ability, willingness or awareness to defend, democracy will be nothing but a dream.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Atsuna: Hongkongers, are you ready for the first death?

Hongkongers, are you ready for the first death?
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Written by Atsuna
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/12-09-2014/19969 



Umbrella revolution is a Pandora's box - you can see who is bastard, who is not. When we are witnessing HK Police turning into ruffians, and CCP nullifying the Sino-British Joint Declaration, and you are still talking about "unchanged for fifty years"? You must be kidding. Right, we are about to enter 2015, the eighteenth year since the change of sovereignty. China is no longer China after PRC, Hong Kong is no longer Hong Kong after this revolution. Bastards are getting more important, ruffianly police are "maintaining the law and order", the authorities are continuously weakened - Hong Kong has reached a point of no return. Yet, some people are persuading for withdrawal, but their eyes are blindfolded - if we lose this time, the dark ages will fall upon us, and the evil forces will ring the death knell for our original Hong Kong.

Police abusing violence has become the sign of collapse of the civilised Hong Kong. It does not only represent the authorities have become a tool for political suppression, it also declares "2+2-5", as in George Orwell's 1984. If you are on the "right" side, you have the right to rape "rule of law". Ruffianly policemen beat protesters' heads with their batons, and surround you with their fists if you dare to "walk slowly", and even dare to say "say one more word and I will rape you in the police station" to female protesters. Although there are a lot condemnation on Facebook, these ruffians are not punished even they violated the Police General Orders (PGO) - not a legally binding document, and in other words, it is not illegal if they violated it, at most violation will be subjected to disciplinary actions. Wait, security chief Lai Tung-kwok still comes out from time to time on TV to support the police force ... Disciplinary action? Stop dreaming.

Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 is an act in UK in restricting the authorities of the police, and is completely shown to the public. In Hong Kong, PGO is not a legally binding document, and is not completely shown to the public, especially the part related to violence and use of arms - the police has continuously denied the public's access. It will be harder to lodge a complaint if the public does not know the line on using violence.

After all, police are part of the public. Even they are enforcing the law, they are still under the constraints of law. Even PGO is a paper tiger, beating and charging are criminal offences, but why these ruffians are still safe? Because criminal offences need to be investigated by police, after collecting the evidence(s), the Department of Justice will then decide whether to prosecute or not. In normal circumstance, if policemen did not get their job done (searching for evidence(s) and find out the perp(s)), their seniors will condemn them. But we have now entered the "era of new Hong Kong". Ruffians beating people - no prosecution; female CPPCC deputies beating policeman - not attacking police. We have no more rules, but "undermined rules" - see if you are on the "right" side.

We might be astonished when we see so many bastards in the police force, not because police had good characters before this, but because the revolution has opened a "broken window". Broken windows theory suggests that if some bad behaviours are not dealt with, then there will be more people following, or even aggravate the situation - example: not fixing a broken window will cause more people to break the window, or even an arson case. Although "Seven ruffianly policemen" beat Ken Tsang (the protester from Civic Party) are immediately suspended from their duties, the formal arrest procrastinated for a month. Pro-China brown-noses like Ann Chiang swiftly helped "raising funds" for them. We are not fixing the broken windows, and encouraged people to break more windows, so ruffian acts can often be seen on YouTube.

Ruffianly policemen themselves are also a broken window. Although it is no longer news when they enforce act selectively, they now become free security for pro-China groups and its hirelings. They escorted Blue Ribbons thugs to go away despite they are red-handed, now they helped Chiu Luen (Chiuchow Associated Minibus Company, the pro-China minibus company which applied for an injunction in the court) to "look after" their terminus. Will it be possible if they bully Hongkongers for Chinese? Hard to tell! "New Hongkongers" and those across the border know where to exploit loopholes. There are more barbaric tourists since Tourism Board forced travel agencies to "kneel down". Police is legal to exercise violence. If they are sided, they encourage people to violate the law. In "New Hong Kong", dare you think about stability and prosperity.

Thomas Jefferson once said, "The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of constitution so the second one will not become the legalized version of the first." Ruffianly policemen are criminals under the protection of law. They mercilessly attack protesters' heads with batons. It is their luck we haven't had a person dead yet. But luck might be used up. Xu Zhiyuan, a Beijing writer, wrote a book called The Totalitarian Temptation, which, in the preface, reads: "In struggles with totalitarianism, one has to be intellectually and psychologically ready. Slight confrontation will not be effective." Because a totalitarian government cannot allow common sense. Actions like protest, hunger strike or peaceful occupation cannot force it to make concessions. If you are not daring enough, you will be counter-attacked severely. Although you might not be the one, the situation might not be controllable in the future. Hongkongers, are you ready for the first death?

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Yoyo Ko: Japanese and Chinese

Japanese and Chinese
Translated by Karen L., Written by 高慧然 (Yoyo Ko)
Original:http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/supplement/columnist/%E9%AB%98%E6%85%A7%E7%84%B6/art/20141118/18938294 

I have received several letters from my readers since the publication of my article Japanese Is Indeed Different. Polarised as they are – Little do some question its side towards Japanese respect on lives, while others sailed into my opinion of the ignorance of Japanese cruelty on Chinese back in the day.

It is commonly known that most of the Chinese are killed by Chinese themselves, so does the brutality they are subjected to. 

As for the how, it can be traced far back to the Song state during the Spring and Autumn Period. By the time, commoners exchange their children for that of the others as a source of food, whereas in our modern history, nearly 100 years ago, there were blood-soaked steamed buns recorded by Lu Xun. [Translator's note: Lu Xun, a leading figure of modern Chinese literature, described in his work Medicine that people at the time believed steamed buns which were soaked with human blood could save lives. That is why some traded them for money.] If we look closer, examples one after another are there in front of us since the establishment of the Red China in 1949. 

Affirmatively speaking, to me, Chinese is never ever a nationality which knows how to respect.

There is a significant difference on the nature between Japanese and Chinese. It is not that Japanese will necessarily be nice to the others, but they will, to themselves. Chinese, in the opposite, they make 100% sure to treat their people badly.

"Even a vicious tiger will not eat its cubs" was an old Chinese saying. Yet ironically enough, Chinese had evolved to feel at ease digesting others' children and to comfort themselves, "at least we’re not having our own kid."  

You should not rest on the conclusion that Chinese has abandoned such beastly behaviour. Instead, they have transformed it – some sell contaminated milk formula, some sell poisoned vegetables, some sell gutter oil. 

For the sake of economic development, today's Chinese demonstrate devastation on the land, water and air leaving no chance of survival for next generations. Isn't it another form of utilization to satisfy their appetite by consuming the future?

This is not a normal Japanese would ever do.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Atsuna: Why aren't there disciplinary teachers in universities?

Why aren't there disciplinary teachers in universities?
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Written by Atsuna
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/11-13-2014/19655 



At the recent Commencement Ceremony of Baptist University of Hong Kong (HKBU),  the Vice-chancellor (VC), Albert CHAN Sun-chi, refused to hand out graduation certificates to students who held up yellow umbrellas on stage. He told them they should "respect themselves".

As a CPPCC deputy, Chan believes there should be "big principles" by which a school develops itself. But should this "principle" be one of "illustrating illustrious virtue", or following instructions from the Communist Party like a flunkey? No wonder Confucius said, “Men of antiquity studied to improve themselves, men today study to impress others.” Now when it comes to getting education, acquiring knowledge plays second fiddle to learning how to make concessionary steps and to mentally "castrate oneself as if he is a eunuch".

After the ceremony, HKBU issued a statement saying participants should respect the views of others who were in attendance.. Tang Fei, the chairman of the HKFEW (a pro-China educationalist federation), said students should not deliberately embarrass other parties, as this was not behavior expected of people who had received higher education.

I do not know how can holding an umbrella be "not respecting those at the scene" nor understand how this embarrassed Albert Chan. Is he physically disabled? Moreover, exactly because students have received higher education, they should not tighten their lips and "consider the faces of the seniors". This might be a "solemn" response, but it is just hypocrites who go with the flow. Albert Tam, a fiction writer, says: "It is a VC's responsibility, not right, to hand the certificate to students. Students can refuse to receive it, but if the VC refuses to hand the certificate to them - then he's not doing his job."

Yet, many Hongkongers are "villagers" who are a long way to being mature, and who are afraid of the "crime” of being disobedient. They believe those "adults" who have the say are always right, and blame those "bad kids" who dare to challenge the authorities. In a society like this, a university might then need disciplinary teachers to nit-pick students on Facebook when they use foul language, or to withdraw the right of graduates to receive their certificate if they make a silent statement on stage.

And if that is still not enough? Better learn from the vast piece of land across the border! Liaoning Daily, a CCP mouthpiece, issued an open letter to all university teachers in China, entitled Teachers, Please Do Not Say China in This Way after a "decoy operation" in the classrooms of 20 universities in Shenyang, Beijing, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shanghai etc that lasted over two weeks. They reported that they found out most teachers acclaimed the separation of powers in the west, and treated "not entering the party" as a stylish thing. The editor wrote: "Being pessimistic should never be the 'main rhythm' of a mature society." But the reality says otherwise. The more mature a democratic society is, the more pessimistic criticism it will hear. In exuberant authoritarian states, on the other hand, you are bombarded by one-sided praise.

The end of the article asked teachers to "treat China well", because students were "sunflowers" who faced and listened to their teachers as the sun. HKBU and PolyU are just treating undergrads as secondary school students, while the place above Hong Kong is even blatantly treating them as primary school students who just happen to inhabit adult bodies. Because in their eyes, university is just a place to get a certificate. Their view is that students who are eager to learn just care about marks and grades because these will determine whether they can go on to a PhD or a successful career. They care little wether you are brave or charismatic.

Merely emphasising that "undergrads are just students", but not treating them as individuals in a fair manner, is the consequence of a place with the wrong ‘metabolism. Students should not listen to these Colonel Blimps.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Wing Wing: Will Well-known Italian Brands Act on Disinvestment?

Will Well-known Italian Brands Act on Disinvestment?
Translated by Karen L., Written by 翼雙飛 (Wing Wing)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/11-03-2014/19504 



I read a piece of article, named "Famous Italian Brands’ Disinvestment Panic" from Oriental Daily's headlines which is spreading everywhere on the Internet in this morning. In the paper's interview, Fabio De Rosa, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong & Macao, pointed out that since the start of the umbrella revolution, the sales of its members have taken a tumble.

He also warned that if the occupy movement sustains by the peak season of consumption in Christmas; some of its members will consider disinvestment in Hong Kong. At the end of the piece, Oriental Daily listed some celebrated brand members of the Italian Chamber, such as a.testoni, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo.

What struck me at the very first moment was confusion, given that social upheavals including overthrow of regime, social instability, demonstration, strike and occupy movement rather happen globally. It should stand as no surprise since Hong Kong is certainly not the origin, not to mention the most violent and severe one.

If you hesitate in resting your conclusion this way, a visit to Mong Kok will clear your mind. Jewellery shops in the occupied Nathan Road remain normal operations, only when the influx arrival of blue ribbons and police will force the shops into closing state.

How many jewellery shops are there in the world like the ones in Hong Kong could carry on business as usual even located in the occupied area? If this should be labeled as "turmoil" and can cause such a slump enough to bring withdrawal decision on the table, where should these brands settle themselves instead? Knowing that the level of instability in the rest of the world is far more astonishing, where should they go other than Hong Kong?

Internet is the key anyways. Put aside the deduction and go straight to the branches of the shops Oriental Daily mentioned.

The first one, a.testoni, remarkably set up a branch in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine in February 2012. It is known that the political situation there has grown tense with the Maidan Nezalezhnosti being the centre of protest activities and the city hall being occupied. Yet to the present day, a.testoni still has not backed out the business from Kiev.

Hong Kong's scale of demonstration pales in comparison with that of Kiev. It is predictable that there should not be many citizens and tourists able to purchase shoes during that coup period in Kiev, however, they have not made an uproar grumbling about the tough environment for business or the consideration withdrawing from Kiev.

The rest of the brands Oriental Daily mentioned are Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo. All of them have set up their branches in Bangkok, Thailand. Alternately, Salvatore Ferragamo even has six branches there.

No reasonable man would ever assume stability in Thailand. The government of Hong Kong has severally issued red and black Outbound Travel Alert System on the country due to Bangkok's regime overthrow activities.

In October 2013, Salvatore Ferragamo opened a new branch in Siam Paragon Shopping Center. And on 21 January 2014, Hong Kong's Outbound Travel Alert System on Thailand has leapt from the red one to the black one. The number of tourists there in February and March sank 8-9% comparing with last year's data while up to today, this branch still stays.

Even the Thailand's extent of putsch is not sufficient to make brands leave, in what persuasive grounds would Hong Kong's umbrella revolution be powerful enough to lead to brands' disinvestment? It adds more incredulity as the number of mainland tourists recorded during the Golden Week has shown a 1.55 % increase comparing with last year's data.

Tourists from mainland China still go shopping in Hong Kong. The difference there is that they shift to non-occupied areas. These Italian brands could make adjustments in places like Sha Tin or Tung Chung tying in the consumers.

The flood of counterfeits in mainland China has advanced numerous hearts towards pursuits of genuine brand products. Hong Kong, a city nearby, to international brands is a goose with golden eggs. Even the sales suffers a small setback, it is still more than profitable. If these brands leave for real, I doubt there will be another place much business-favourable and much safer.

For this reason, I would like to offer Paul Chun's movie quote to this Mr. Fabio De Rosa, "TRYING TO SCARE ME?"

Friday, 31 October 2014

Wing Wing: Her Beloved Hong Kong

Her Beloved Hong Kong
Translated by Vivian L., Written by 翼雙飛 (Wing Wing)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/10-30-2014/19460 

(Photo credit: Passiontimes)

Do you know someone like this?

She is young, probably in her 20s, and an avid photographer on Facebook and Instagram. The photos she takes, however, are but a compilation of mundaneness that the world can live without—selfies snapped at an awkward angle, afternoon tea in some fancy hotels, boat parties, boarding gates, group-selfies featuring a pack of pouting girls.

Then came the Umbrella Revolution. One day, out of the blue, this otherworldly young lady proclaimed on Facebook, “These occupiers are messing up Hong Kong. Please stop disturbing other people’s lives and destroying my beloved Hong Kong!”

That last remark practically drove me to madness.

Over the last few years, the residents of Sheng Shui have been forced to endure the ceaseless streams of Chinese smugglers “shopping” in the border town, carts loaded with smuggled commodity running over their feet, and their once quiet lives turned upside down.
A survey found that 10 out of 10 residents of the primarily residential northern district do not want the multiple-entry permits to be continuously issued to China’s individual visitors.

To these she has said nothing. She has not once blamed the smugglers for messing up Hong Kong or disturbing the lives of Sheng Shui residents. Her life of mundane extravagance continued on unaffected.

Besides the swarm of smugglers that have been snapping up daily necessities in bulk, Hong Kong has to entertain an impossible number of visitors from across the border. Over the past year, Chinese travellers accounted for more than 40 million arrivals into Hong Kong (during which period the whole nation of Japan only accommodated around 10 million visitors worldwide).

Hong Kong’s retail industry has been gravely distorted by this numbers game. Small, well-worn shops that have long been the locals’ lifeline—eateries, stationery stores, bookstores, grocers—have been replaced by high-end outlets that target tourists and jewellery chains that line the city’s high streets with windows full of gold.

With the floodgate for Chinese tourists wide open, Hong Kong’s world-class and only railway transport system has suffered constant malfunctions and outages, Hongkongers have even grown accustomed to waiting for the next train that they can never squeeze into.

To these she has said nothing. She has not once blamed the Chinese tourists for messing up Hong Kong or disturbing the lives of Hongkongers. Her life of mundane extravagance continued on unaffected.

Last year when HKTV was denied a free TV service licence despite being a more qualified candidate than certain existing licensee, Hongkongers protested against the government’s decision.

Not only was the decision made behind closed doors, the government ignored the demands to disclose the grounds for the rejection.

What has been the pillars of HK society—fair competition and just procedures—have been toppled by a system that relies on the mere words of certain top officials and under-the-table deals, essentially turning HK into an authoritarian regime.

To these she has said nothing. She has not once blamed the government for messing up Hong Kong’s business environment or disturbing the lives of businessmen and HKTV employees. Her life of mundane extravagance continued on unaffected.

Early this year, three pesticides have been removed from the regulatory list at the request of Chinese authority. That is to say, from then on vegetables containing said pesticides would be allowed to be sold in our markets, and be consumed by us.

To these she has said nothing. She has not once blamed the government for messing up Hong Kong’s food safety or disturbing the dietary affair of Hong Kong citizens. Her life of mundane extravagance continued on unaffected.

Now, thrust upon us is a phoney universal suffrage proposal that gives Hongkongers “the vote” to elect our Chief Executive from a few pre-selected puppets approved by Beijing.

Many people who care about Hong Kong want a genuine choice when choosing the one to lead the city, they wish to elect a leader who answers to the people’s needs and concerns. For that they have been hit by pepper spray, choked by tear gas, beaten by police batons, and have called the dusty roads in downtown Hong Kong home for the past month. To what end have Hongkongers endured all that? All for a genuine election, to stop a puppet government—one that is like Leung Chun-ying’s cabinet and the two before him—from ruining our beloved Hong Kong. We have lost enough. It’s time to take back what used to be us, what we deserve.

The occupiers are people who care about Hong Kong. They are willing to go to great lengths to save Hong Kong from a hopeless future. Meanwhile, those other people described at the beginning of this article have been blind to what Hong Kong has become. Their lives of mundane extravagance continued on unaffected. They have never cared, as if what goes on in the society has nothing to do with them. Until now. The people who care enough to speak up for our future are “messing up Hong Kong”, they say. What about the government that has been the culprit of a myriad social problems? They say nothing.

Occupiers destroy “her” beloved Hong Kong, she says? Has she even cared enough to know what is going on in Hong Kong? To find out what people’s lives have become? I doubt she has ever truly loved Hong Kong as her home. “Love” spoken so frivolously makes me sick.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Passiontimes: Xinhua's “Op-ed” Slams HK Artists for Rooting for Occupy Movement

Xinhua's “Op-ed” Slams HK Artists for Rooting for Occupy Movement
Translated by Vivian L., Written by 熱血編輯部 (Passiontimes)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/10-23-2014/19369

 (Photo credit: Passiontimes)

China’s state media has set the tone on how the entertainment industry should do with the Hong Kong artists who speak up for Hong Kong. The editorial article by a commentator named Wang Mian starts with a Weibo tweet filled with cross-border hatred: “In less than a day, tens of thousands netizens have voted to boycott pro-‘occupy central’ artists and all of their work.”

The article mentioned local artists Denise Ho, Wong Chau-sang and Chapman To by name and criticised their support for the democratic movement since their action have ‘stirred up much anger’ because the occupy movement is something ‘disapproved by Hong Kong citizens and anyone with a conscience’.

The author reiterates the Messiah complex that is so firmly indoctrinated in the Chinese subconscious: How outrageous! These Chapman To’s challenge Beijing’s authority, and hold no regard for the Basic Law! They want to ‘have the cake and eat it too’, what a disgrace! You have let down your great Motherland!”

Wang argues that it’s only because of the Great Nation of China that people can enjoy prosperity in Hong Kong. The artists who support the occupy protest are going against the will of the people. I would salute you if you can find any logic in the statement.

Wang also describes the Chapman To’s as worthless bums who have no place in the Chinese market.

An “op-ed” is supposedly an opinion editorial, but clearly Xinhua begs to differ. Now China says their entertainment industry has closed the door on those who support democracy, but it actually looks like it’s the other way round.

Earlier this year, Wong Chau-sang has already closed his Weibo account; Chapman To has long avoided making movies for the China market; and Denise Ho is enjoying her lucrative singing career in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Wong Yeung-tat: Be Firm on the Street; Victory Comes After 1st October

Be Firm on The street; Victory Comes After 1st October
Translated by Quenthai, Spoken by Wong Yeung-tat (Head of Civic Passion and PassionTimes)


Be firm on the street; Victory comes after 1st October

It is another night already. At this moment, every occupied place needs more people come to support. Please do not easily call for retreat; nor should we narrow down or join the present points of occupation. They do nothing but harms. There were a lot of rumours yesterday which triggered fears. Still, the people are in an advantageous position. If we can maintain the three points of occupation and carry them through 1st October, it will be our victory.

Nor should we think too much about change of strategy and further action. Change would not happen in Causeway Bay, Mong Kok or Admiralty simply because of persistent occupation. The occupation will expand when there are a large number of participants; when the number contracts it needs defence and maintenance of the existing points. It makes no sense to retreat pre-maturely, before tear gas occurs again. Don’t believe rumours, or any information from the “commanders”. If even tear gas cannot frighten you away, it is a great pity to be made away by rumours.

Dawning is the time when willpower is the weakest; the same is for afternoon, when sunshine is fiercest. Bring more umbrellas and share tents to get it through.

After all, we are still in an advantageous position, and the success should not be done away because of something trivial. Avoid internal split; ignore those off-topic parties; don’t scold the others, don’t criticise their opinions, and don’t trust any rumours from any “commanders”. The movement is no longer under any centralised command, but self-governing.

Therefore, what is imperative is to maintain the momentum in Mong Kok, Causeway Bay and Admiralty. Don’t think too much about unnecessary change of strategy, because victory will come if what we are now doing can be maintained.

Tonight is determinative. We must keep it up. Any internal conflict should be resolved only after 1st October. After all, victory will follow our staying on the streets!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Wing Wing: Abuser of Power Got Abused

Abuser of Power Got Abused
Translated by NA, J. Wong, Vivian L., Edited by Vivian L., Written by 翼雙飛 (Wing Wing)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/09-29-2014/19033

(Photo credit: Passiontimes)

Under British rule, one of the greatest benefits Hong Kong had gained is the culture of working in accordance with rules and regulations. The British understood that men are weak and selfish in nature. Once they are empowered with authorities without restriction by rules, they will corrupt. It is impractical to expect men to exercise restraint and act on conscience and moral conduct without a comprehensive system for regulations. Readers can look no farther than China, a country with practically no working social system to restrict its people. The Chinese corrupt, abuse power and walk in by the back door. Had Hong Kong not been a British colony, our society might just suffer a similar fate.

To ensure police can execute their duties, policemen are authorised with more power than ordinary citizens. For one thing, they have the authority to check the identities of passers-by.  To avoid abuse of power abuse, the discipline and behaviour of policemen both on- and off-duty are monitored by the Law of Hong Kong and the Police General Orders set up by the Hong Kong Police Force. Offenders are liable to disciplinary actions.

As far as the legal regulations on the use of police power and on the execution of police duties are strictly followed, not only could police officers protect themselves amidst turmoil in the political environment, no one could question their authority. 否則,警隊就會把自己置於危牆之下。

According to information circling around the internet, "The Use of Force" stipulated under Chapter 29 of Police General Orders (PGOs)According to information circling around the internet, "The Use of Force" stipulated under Chapter 29 of Police General Orders (PGOs) [Translator's note: Some PGOs are inaccessible to the public, Chapter 29 is one of them] are as follows:

1. Police officers (POs) should exercise self-discipline and restraint when in contact with citizens.  Force should not be used unless there is an absolute need or when there is no any other alternative to complete the task legally.

2. Before using any force, a PO shall make clear to the subject of said force his identity and, whenever the circumstances allow, give a warning, and indicate the kind and level of force to be used.  Within the scope of practicality, it should be made possible for the subject to comply with the order of the police before any force is used.

3. The use of force must not be more than what is necessary for its aim(s); such force must no longer be used after achieving the aim(s); any force used must be reasonable in the circumstances.

Footages on the internet and the news show numerous occasions where police used force against protesters. Viewers will also take note of the types and uses of weapons employed by the police (batons, shields, pepper spray and tear gas), and decide for themselves whether or not such "force" is in accordance with Chapter 29 of the PGO above.

In light of loud outcries from the public condemning police brutality, Executive Councillor Fanny Law went with the flow and pointed her finger at the police. "The way the officers have dealt with the situation is the source of public anger. The police owe an explanation to the Executive Council," Law said in a radio interview, effectively clearing the government of any responsibility.

Speaking on behalf of the police, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations) Cheung Tak-keung denied responsibility on the part of the government and the senior officials. Cheung stressed to reporters that under any circumstances, use of force by the police is on direct orders of the commanding officers at the scene. I wonder what those officers say to that. I wonder if they will be able to quote a relevant law for every single order they have ever given to excuse themselves from responsibility.

A famous Chinese proverb goes like this, "When the crafty hares are exterminated, the hunting dogs will be cooked; When the partridges are gone, the fine bows will be put away."  In the bid to hunt down the crafty hares in the protesters, the police are at the disposal of Leung's government as hunting dogs. Now that the crafty hares are still out and about, isn't it a bit soon to dispose of the loyal hunting dogs?

Monday, 29 September 2014

[Undergrad/HKUSU] Letter to All Hongkongers from Undergrad, HKUSU (3)

Letter from Undergrad, HKUSU to All Hongkongers (3)
Translated by Quenthai, Edited by Vivian L., Written by 香港大學學生會學苑 (Undergrad, H.K.U.S.U.)
Original: https://www.facebook.com/undgrad/posts/260204060770639




(Original Chinese text follows the English translation)

Today, we witnessed with our own eyes a dozen Hongkongers locked hands to form a human chain on their own accord, occupying Harcourt Road. The move sparked others to occupy the busy hubs of Admiralty, Central, and Wanchai. Crowd of determined Hongkongers continued to pour in, surrounding the Central Government Offices. The support in the student movement we receive are truly heartwarming. We are proud of these heroes of Hong Kong.

Yet, the SAR government ignores the people's will. Riot police with guns and tear gas were deployed to tackle peaceful protesters, whom must have been akin to terrorists in the government's eye. Officers, you have been misled and manipulated. Please see with your very eyes: we are peaceful protesters, not a threat; we are only here to defend the democracy and freedom of our home.

This is a historic moment for Hong Kong. Hope is upon us. Officers, we are neither your enemies nor are you ours. We are both Hongkongers. We implore you to see how our home has been deteriorating. What we are doing now is to try our best to reverse the damage. We strive to give all Hongkongers a better Hong Kong.

Officers, for the sake of Hong Kong, and for your next generation, please join our strike and stop serving the authoritarian regime. Come and join us, be heroes of the people, don't be accomplices of tyranny.

Our fellow Hongkongers, the world is watching. What happened today will be recorded in history. We are not weak, nor are we apathetic. Students have already sacrificed so much for Hong Kong. We urge every Hongkonger fight this battle with non-cooperation, students, teachers, labour and market strikes, until democracy makes its triumphant return!

29 September 2014


〈香港大學學生會學苑告全港市民書(三)〉

今天,我們親眼目睹十多個香港市民自發拉成人鏈,佔領夏慤道,激起群眾奮起佔領金鐘、中環、灣仔等重要的交通樞紐,反包圍政總,支援學生運動,實在是香港歷史的偉大英雄。

然而,港共政權無視民情,出動防暴隊,手執長槍,亂發催淚彈,把和平示威者視為恐怖分子。警察們,你們都被港共政權利用了,睜大你們的眼睛,我們只是和平示威者,只是在爭取香港的民主自由。

香港的歷史時刻到了,希望來臨。警察們,我們絕不是你們的敵人,你們也不是我們的敵人,但我們都是香港人。你們有眼看見香港正逐漸淪喪崩壞,我們現在所作的,只是想力挽狂瀾,讓全香港人活在一個更好的香港。

警察們,為了香港,為了你們的下一代,請你們立即罷工,拒絕為極權服務,轉而站在香港人的一方,當人民英雄,不做極權走狗!

香港人,今天發生的事全世界也在看著,歷史亦會記下。香港人不是軟弱的,不是麻木的。學生為香港犧牲了,香港人也要全面發動不合作運動,罷課、罷教、罷工、罷市,直到民主凱旋歸來!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Wing Wing: HKers, Allow Me to Say Thank You!

HKers, Allow Me to Say Thank You!
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Written by 翼雙飛 (Wing Wing)
Original: http://www.vjmedia.com.hk/articles/2014/09/27/86316 


Rocky Yung 攝
Photographer: Rocky Yung@VJMedia
After days of class boycott, Leung Chun-ying still refuses talking to students (Who do he think he is? Even Jiang Zemin met the students).
Honorable students and citizens finally entered the Civic Square, which has been blocked by the government.

Thank you to those who entered the Square bravely. The reason goes without saying: You ment the fold of laziness and ignorance of the last generation, and I respect that solemnly.
Thank you to those who came to support in the midnight. I once had a bad impression for HK protesters being to squeamish and polite. Sing songs, clap hands and go home.
But this time, I have changed my mind. Policemen treated you as if you are cockroaches, spraying pepper spray without warning - but you are still protesting determinedly.
You raised your hands and let media see who are using violence; you used barricades to confront the police; you threw open umbrellas on the footbridge and protect demonstrators from pepper spray.
You let me see there are lot more possibilities for Hongkongers.

Thank you to those civil reporters, including those from online media and zest citizens. You showed the reality, instead of the biased reports from big TV channels and pro-government newspapers.
Thank you to those who cannot go in person, but use their time to share latest updates of the scene. You make people know how to get there, what to bring, and people are willing to buy supplies and pay the truck fare. These are logistics and support, and are important roles.

For those who slept early last (26th) night and did not know this instantly, but keep eyes on the society and op-eds, participate in government consultation and support students, thank you too.
If what happened last (26th) night is the seed, you are the mud. Without you, the civil disobedience could not germinate.

Thank you, Joshua Wong and Willis Ho. You asked protesters entering the Civic Square at your own risks.
You are both arrested, with Joshua being charged on Assault on Police Officers. How outrageous!

I can foresee there will be distorted "news", condemnation, or taunting. Please don't be afraid, you have to remember, they are many people standing by your side.

Masters of Hong Kong, thank you very much.

Monday, 22 September 2014

[Undergrad/HKUSU] China is Nobody's Master: Ming Chan

China is Nobody's Master
Translated by Vivian L., Written by 陳雅明 (Ming Chan)
Original: http://www.vjmedia.com.hk/articles/2014/09/17/85319



Don't despair,
not even over the fact that you don't despair.
Just when everything seems over with, new forces come marching up,
and precisely that means that you are alive.
 Franz Kafka, Diaries of Franz Kafka

On the last day of August 2014, we were all jolted awake from a daze of stress and anxiety. Life was as usual, but a shadow loomed large in the sky. On a closer look, people had turned into hideously large bugs. Distraught with despair, they hid in the shadows waiting for life to trickle away. Such is the despair I had felt on that day, not unlike the imagery in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis.

This is an era of hope and of despair. So much is about to happen, a historic revolution is upon usyet nothing is going to happen, or so it seems. We had hoped that one day, we would wake up to a different Hong Kong where we could enjoy real freedom; we had hoped that one day, we would gather in the Civic Square [Translator's note: The area in front of the Central Government Offices was dubbed civic square by student activists after the national education protest in 2012. The government calls it the Forecourt of East Wing.] to celebrate the triumph of democracy; we had hoped that we Hongkongers could decide our own fate. Yet the world does not go without a fair share of absurdityin a world dictated by an oppressive regime, no less. Any effort to resist oppression would be rendered minute and inconsequential. The clear-headed knows what needs to be done but having their hands tightly tied, they swallow their pride. The indifferent continues life in blissful ignorance, albeit only deceptively, existing rather than living. In a world such as this, how may Hongkongers imagine a future for themselves?

It would seem the chronicles of Hong Kong is nearing its end. Will Hong Kong's narrative, which started as a small village in 1842, end in 2047 when China's promise of one country, two systems ceases?  From a small fishing village to an international metropolis, Hong Kong has been proven an extraordinary example of a modern society. Will our generation see Hong Kong stoops to an ordinary city of the People's Republic? Will the Pearl of the Orient turn to dust in our hands? After WWII, the surge of immigrants who took refuge in Hong Kong's safety and stability had given the city an abundant supply of new blood. Born and raised in Hong Kong, they were the first generation of Hong Kong natives who planted their roots here and called the city their only homea home that they strived to change for the better. Since the 1970s, the younger generation of Hongkongers had ditched the refugee mentality of their parents' generation. They began thinking about Hong Kong's future: they participated in social movement and demanded political reforms under colonial rule while Hong Kong as a civil society began to take shape. From 1980 onwards, democracy became a common cause for Hongkongers both young and old.

However, as talks of Hong Kong's future ensued between Britain and China, 1980s was also a time when many in the pro-democracy camp misled Hong Kong into the path of democratic return of sovereignty where the fate of Hong Kong was believed to be in lockstep with that of Chinano democracy for Hong Kong without a democratic China. Blinded by the unification of Greater China ideology, they mistrusted Beijing and hailed the one country, two systems policy as the utopian ideal for a self-ruling Hong Kong, only to have 30 years wasted on a fruitless journey. When Beijing blew the introduction of direct elections in the 1988 Legislative Council election, leaders of the democratic movement should have known democratisation did not sit well with the Chinese government. When the tragedy struck at Tiananmen Square in 1989, they, of all people, should have realised such a brutal regime that had the blood of innocent students' on its hands was not to be trusted. In dire circumstances, one may find it plausible to trust a woman of the street. Yet in absolutely no circumstances should one put his trust in the Chinese communists. After all this time, some who used to promote the democratic return ideology now accused Beijing of ditching democratisation promise. It is but a futile effort. A look at the Chinese communist party history would tell anyone that the jockey for power among party leaders almost always comes in the expense of ordinary people. Those who were naive enough to advocate a democratic return were but obliging pawns in China's connivance.

If the democratic return advocates have a change of heart now, they are either incredibly stupid or incredibly good at self-deception. In fact, it is not 'stupid' that can describe their bewildering action. They are simply contented with limited democratisation within the current systems where they now benefit. Their passion for a democratic Hong Kong was quenched by the paltry concession they have gained over the years of fighting for democracy they no longer believe in. Now that China has irrevocably ruled out a true democracy, Hongkongers must wipe away our despair with utmost clarity: democratic return is no longer an option; we must declare its utter failure and reject the notion altogether. The majority of the young proponents of democratic return idea back then have become veterans of the pan-democratic camp now. Although we have little hope of these old-timers having the ambitions they once had, we wish they could do as Confucius had taught, In his old age, ... he should abstain from acquisitiveness. Precious time has been wasted on the democratic return bull-crap. If politicians cave in to acquisitiveness and allow the phoney universal suffrage proposal to be passed for whatever interests in exchange, history will remember them as the culprits who ruined Hong Kong's democratic process. When the election plan tailored to Beijing's taste get vetoed, Hongkongers would be happy to see them pack up all their democratic return nonsense and make way for newcomers. Their times have passed. So long and good riddance!

Right now, we need to fend off all passive pessimism and blind optimism. We need to assess the current situation and review our history. Nobel laureate Albert Camus said in his Nobel prize in Literature 1957 Banquet Speech, Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself.

We need not follow the footsteps of our previous generation on our road to a democratic Hong Kong. Rather, it is our tasks to seek a new way and shoulder new responsibilities. No one knows whether the history of Hong Kong will end in the year 2047, but the duty to prevent our beloved city from destruction lies in our generation. Democracy is more than the pursuit of universal values, or an extra line of protection. The quest for democracy matters to the lives and future of generations of Hongkongers to come.

In 1982, China announced it will take back the sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997. At the time, Hongkongers overwhelmingly opposed to the handover. But then Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping cooked up an alternative reality where the people of Hong Kong desired unification with China. China also objected Britain's idea of Hong Kong as a three-legged stool and the proposal to include the people of Hong Kong in deciding its future, demeaning Hongkongers at every turn. 1984, the year of the signing of the unequal treaty Sino-British Joint Declaration, is arguably the most disgracing year in the history of Hong Kong. 2014, 30 years after the joint declaration, Beijing is attempting to demean Hongkongers one more time by forcing a phony universal suffrage proposal upon us. For 30 years, Hongkongers have suffered enough absurdity and humiliation from Beijing. From this day on, Hongkongers shall stand to defend themselves. Even we may not get back the democracy and freedom we so well deserve, we must rise and fend for our dignity. We must reject this Beijing scheme to control our future. Any legislator who gives the green light to Beijing's proposal is an enemy of Hong Kong. They will be condemned for years to come.

Some in the pro-establishment camp argued that Beijing's decision is final and irreversible, and for the sake of the whole society, we should accept the proposal. These people have been far too comfortable being flunkies of Beijing for too long. Beijing is a god to them. Beijing's decision is the truth above all else.

The same goes for the advocates of democratic return and the occupy Central leaders. All of their assertions have been made on the premise that Beijing's authority is not to be challenged. No wonder democratic movement has long been plagued with persistent irresolution and aimless manoeuvring, which would only result in, at last, the whole campaign going to ruin.

Compared to Beijing's denial of a free election, we are more disappointed with the occupy Central movement headed by Benny Tai and Co.  We are not disappointed with Beijing's ruling because we never held expectation. But with the occupiers, we are fraught with disappointment because we have had high hopes for the occupy movement.

Only days after China decided to curb free elections in Hong Kong's next leadership election, Benny Tai has backed down from his enthusiasm in the civil disobedience movement. Conceding failure before even trying to fight, Tai declared in an interview that the occupy movement would be unable to alter political reality.

The demise of the occupy movement may have dashed our hopes and exacerbate the grim outlook ahead of us, but it accentuated that any future rebellion adopting the occupiers' kind of peacefulness will be in vain. It also showed us how the democratic return proponents, Occupy Central trio all fall to their knees before Beijing  just as the pro-Beijing flunkies do  like a slave worships his master. It is ludicrous how one can claim to be pro-democracy on one hand and practises slavery on the other. It is like having a person who has no personal integrity nor the ability to determine what's best for himself and others clamouring for democracy. It's just wrong. China seems overbearing and formidable, not because it is a nation of stature, but because many have fallen to their knees.

Now, the democratic movement in Hong Kong lacks focus as the occupy campaign withers away and successors have yet to gather momentum.  Right now, Hong Kong needs a new direction. The democratic return ideology ought to make way for the Hong Kong democratic independence movement. It is a concoction of Hongkongers' longing for democracy and the demand for independence. During their fight for democracy through the years, the democratic return advocates rarely had a vision for an independent Hong Kong. They had pushed for decolonisation but never independence. Instead, they had relied on a totalitarian regime that is China to realise its promise to give Hong Kong democracy. This is downright absurdity. It is an absurdity called one country, two systems. The Hong Kong democratic independence movement declares that China is no master of Hong Kong. Hong Kong deserves the right to determine its own fate. In the face of absurdity, we choose not flight nor surrender. Camus believed that continuing to resist absurdity for as long as one shall live is the only way to freedom.

There was once a story that goes like this:
A primary one student asks his grandfather, The teacher handed us each a red scarf to wear today. She said the red scarves were made of blood. She told us to cherish it. But why does it only cost 50 cents to buy one in the store? His grandfather answers, Your teacher said so because the Party had said so. You say such things to survive. But no matter, in a month, you and your parents will move to Hong Kong and then you will be free.

1949 marked the point when Hong Kong and China went separate ways. During the Cold War, it was for freedom that countless Germans from East Germany risked their lives to climb over the Berlin Wall into West Berlin. It has been for freedom that Chinese from north of the border have crossed Shenzhen River into Hong Kong. Here, we refuse lies and speak the truth. Here, we can live with dignity. Now, our city has come to a pivotal moment. We cannot let our home go to pot. If we fail now, we fail the futurethe future that belongs to the children of our time.

At the end of Kafka's Metamorphosis, Gregor, the protagonist who has transformed into a large bug, dies. Despite his condition and the great despair it brings him, Gregor has struggled to live as he finds solace in his family. But eventually, his family grows so disgusted of him that they abandon him. His sister ends up resenting her brother and calls him a monster. Gregor has died of abandonment. Hong Kong may be more like Gregor than any one of us.



Ming Chan
Assistant Editor-in-chief, Undergrad, HKUSU