Saturday, 28 February 2015

Wing Wing: Destroyers of Ancient Civilisation

Destroyers of Ancient Civilisation
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Edited by Vivian L., Written by 翼雙飛 (Wing Wing)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/02-27-2015/21438 


ISIS terrorists released a video on YouTube on 26 Feb, saying that the Prophet Mohammed ordered them to get rid of the statues and relics in the Mosul Museum in Iraq. Statues  and artefacts with 3,000 years of history were smashed with sledgehammers and electric drill; broken pieces shattered over the floor. Over 100,000 manuscripts and books were burnt, Observer reported.

Countless relics, monuments and books had been destroyed by tyrants and warfare throughout the history of mankind. If you look at examples in Chinese history, the oldest is probably Qin Shihuang's "burning of books and burying of scholars"; Cultural Revolution is another winner if you look at more recent times. In the Cemetery of Confucius, not a single piece of ancient stone tablet is currently intact -- all has once seen varying degrees of sabotage. But those are the lucky ones -- you can still somehow restore the carvings by putting the pieces together. But many other historical artefacts have suffered a fate far worse: thanks to the Cultural Revolution, many ancient architecture, antiquities and books have virtually vanished into thin air.

When a person dies, one's intellect ceases to exist; what's left of one's existence is one's works, where one's thoughts and ideas are carried through to generations beyond his own. Among all creatures, human beings are the only species who consciously keep artefacts that were passed down by their ancestors, and who are willing to even risk their lives for the sake of preserving these embodiment of humankind's wisdom. People hid books at the risk of their lives during the Cultural Revolution; and now there are "protectors of ancient civilisation" who dedicate themselves in saving manuscripts and antique in Syria.

Human beings are different from animals because we do not only aim at fulfilling physiological needs, we strive for esteem and self-actualisation, in Maslow's words. We pass on books written by our ancestors, as they are meaningful for our children. We pass on artworks that portrayed our times to our children who then pass on to children of their own, so that they can appreciate and understand the times of their fathers and mothers. We maintain and protect exquisite architectures, as they are built by our ancestors, and our offspring can learn from them. Without them carrying our wisdom, how can knowledge be accumulated? How can history be remembered?

You might wonder, ISIS is far away from Hong Kong; the Cultural Revolution is already half a century ago -- how do these things matter us? Yes, they certainly do--because the exact same thing is happening in Hong Kong. In the MTR Shatin-Central Link construction site at To Kwa Wan, excavation unearthed an ancient well and numerous historical artefacts dated back to Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1276-1368) dynasties. But MTR has rejected the in-situ conservation proposal to keep the monuments exactly where they are located because of the extra cost and time incurred to preserve the site while the construction continues. MTR also admitted to having destroyed four wells and over two hundred relics so far. Although the Antique and Monument Office (AMO) said they have recorded before the destruction of such monuments, they failed to notify the public until such incident was reported. How meaningful or not meaningful are those monument? AMO might not even know, because we will never be able to restore the destroyed monuments.

Too many invaluable monuments had been destroyed, and what we can do is to sigh. If we did the same mistake, if we care only about "money" and "progress", so much that we rob our future generations of irreplaceable pieces of history only to build a new railway line, how then would we face our next generation?

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Atsuna: Why Do Chinese Suffer From Global Discrimination?

Why Do Chinese Suffer From Global Discrimination?
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Written by Atsuna
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/02-25-2015/21402 

(Reads: Arrogant locusts; not considerate, get lost!)
(Source: aTV)
Chinese people are good at “the pot calling the kettle black”.

Such country (which “rule by law” is above all) is more than eager to teach Hongkongers “rule of law”. The party is above the country; politics supersedes everything in China; yet they are criticising Hong Kong being ‘over-politicised’. The incident of Eugenia Ye, the failed proposed social secretary of Smarties (HKUSU), was criticised as ‘politicising universities’; combatting smugglers in Shatin and Tuen Mun was criticised as ‘political stance superseding rationality’. Later, condemnations towards urination or defecation might be criticised as being too ‘politicised’.

It would be too troublesome if everything has to be politicised. But CCP treats Hong Kong as a colony (though dare not to admit), and HKSARG plans to betray Hong Kong under its manipulation, being politicises is actually a way to protect ourselves. Chinese people felt otherwise, because the Newspeak of CCP does not only abbreviate things, but also distort meaning of words. "Wenming" (文明) is not being civilised, but rather not to be “locusts”; "lingdao" (領導) has nothing to do with leadership, but chiefs who can earn extra benefits and bribes; so, “politicised” does not really matter to political stances, but rather, a synonym of “discriminating we Chinese”.

There are a lot of rich people, and they are not stingy at all. But they might wonder, “Why am I hailed in China when I spend a lot, but despised in anywhere else?” Some rules are implicated when you want to earn money in China – the core one being “having guanxi”. If you want to have guanxi, you flatter your superior. They are well-trained as they are guanxi masters when they drink a lot. Hongkongers lose in this aspect. But when they are out of such jungle of money, they know few about the real world.

They don’t know why Tibet is poor but westerners still welcome Dalai Lama; why Japanese are always reporting the adulterated food; why Hongkongers are not accommodating enough to allow them to urinate and defecate. They live in a country where normal logic does not work. When you are censored in every aspect, all common sense are no longer common. Democracy, human rights, rule of law, public hygiene, transaction are not almsgiving – they might have heard of these but might not understand. So they cover up their ignorance with void reasons. So even if China rises, they might be the most susceptible Hercules. If you disagree with them or say something they can’t understand, “it’s discrimination”.

In the Shatin anti-smuggler protest, Ms Chen from Shenzhen said that those who oppose smugglers are “angry teens” (fenqing 憤青), and those who oppose Individual Visit Scheme are miso-affluent. She does not know the GDP per capita of China is 7 000 USD, but that of Hong Kong is 38 000 USD. During the Umbrella Revolution, Chinese ate their melon seeds inside the “GFW” and said “these are schemes by foreign forces”. You have to know, ignorant people like to express their views too, but they just don’t know what they are talking about.

Lewis Loud: Pan-dems Should Exterminate Themselves As HK's Survival Ranks First

Pan-dems Should Exterminate Themselves As HK's Survival Ranks First
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Edited by Karen L., Written by Lewis Loud
Original: http://dadazim.com/journal/2015/01/die-and-reborn/ 



"It is a menace for the ones who are endangering the society to cheat death." says Confucius. Martin Lee and the last-generation politicians all fall into this category. Up to the present day, Martin Lee still sticks to his all-time standing dish, saying that Xi Jinping, with de facto power, is dedicated to reform, which makes Lee himself "hold a gleam of hope" over CCP's concession on the matter of Hong Kong's constitutional reform. Enough is enough. This aloof-from-the-reality politician should better stay retired, but rather be such a menace in the society ever again.

During the class boycott in September 2014, Martin Lee said to the Hongkongers, "The democracy you're now fighting for is not only for HK but also for the 1.3 billion people in mainland China." People like Martin Lee and Szeto Wah who are either underground CCP members or people born without clearheaded minds support democratic reunification. They claimed that Hkers owe it to the mainlanders to do so since we were lucky to escape from the disasters under PRC's regime. These politicians have contributed quite a lot on China's plan gobbling up HK.

In 1989, these "democratic reunificationists" were expecting the "reform and opening up" being led by the "open-minded faction" of Zhao Ziyang, so that China and Hong Kong could share democracy and freedom. Those students from the patriotic universities were too naive to ask these questions in the letter to Zhao, such as "Will there be democracy after the 'reunification'?" This is a remarkable pathetic page of Hong Kong history. You may wonder what connected "anti-colonialism", "patriotism" and "democratic reunification" all together. The answer is the Chinese-style servility — "No matter whatever it takes, virtuous leaders will appear someday to uphold the justice and to solve all problems for good."

These "democratic reunificationists" were more than happy to see "reunification", and to wait for China's fulfillment the pledge of implementing democracy in Hong Kong, though such promise is supposedly not happening anyhow. Just as Zhao Ziyang who was knocked down at home for the rest of his life, democracy within China is but a flash in the pan. Democratic reunificationists, democrats and the bunch of people from the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) have thus lost their reputation. 

They have been pro-China from the very beginning which justify their opposition over HKers participation in the 1980s' negotiation — Due to the blind belief of the hierarchy of Chinese ethics that takes a virtuous leader to decide everything else.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China (HKASPDM) gained support sticking it to the Tian'anmen Massacre. Recently. The organisation recently launched a zero-awareness petition campaign to mourn Zhao Ziyang. This is how their ideology works — Crying for Zhao Ziyang, the "open-minded" leader who once almost had the chance to become a virtuous leader. Some of the members from the organisation become politicians, and claimed that they will fight for the democracy of HK. This is nothing but a lie, an utter lie.

The pan-democrats in Hong Kong are standing still on their stance — supporting China in "an open-minded manner", in which they cry for the Tian'anmen Massacre and support "rebuilding a democratic China". When the human rights activists in China praise them, they are happy as a clam. When the colonisation and bullying of Hong Kong is undergoing, they rather choose to pretend nothing has ever happened, or worse, rebuking Hongkongers in return.

D100, media ally of pan-democrats, even said "If Chow Yun-fat becomes the Chief Executive, will you 'pocket it first'?". In their logic, the system is nothing at all and what matters is the presence of a good emperor. From HKASPDM to pan-dems, HKFS, D100, to Leung Kwok-hung (Long Hair, the patriot who stayed under the pretext of Trotskyite) — no matter what the political spectrum of the pan-democrats in Hong Kong is, left or right, they all tend to stand in the side of infighting losers in China. To clarify in a clearer manner, Hong Kong is never taken into consideration all this time.

So, the action of Richard Tsoi, a member from HKASPDM and Democratic Party, reporting Hongkongers' "discriminating conduct" over mainlanders and "unduly exploitation" of local welfare resources to United Nations. To people as Tsoi, they are in the illusion of implementing their own "duty and obligation". Pan-democrats are but the remnants of the "open-minded faction" in PRC infightings. Now, Martin Lee and Apple Daily is still having fantasies towards CCP. The difference lies only on the change of subject, Xi Jinping instead of Zhao Ziyang, who is a genuine dictator. In the eyes of these blindly patriots, there are always hope towards a dictator turning into some sort of benevolent leader.

If the pan-democrats are not exterminated, Hong Kong will never be released from the bondage. Some who propose a more inclusive attitude towards pan-dems is in fact casting doubts on the right of Hong Kong autonomy. If these people, embracing the idea of emperor's regime should be regarded innocent, then what can still be left for the dignity of Hong Kong? None. Pan-dems should exterminate themselves as Hong Kong's survival ranks first.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Law Pui-lam: Desinification and Hong Kong's Self-determination

Desinification and Hong Kong's Self-determination
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Edited by Vivian L., Written by Law Pui-lam
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/01-28-2015/20825 

(Photo Source: Reuters/BBC)
On 8th January 2015, I wrote "Desinification Is The Right Course" for my column on Passion Times. A reader said I failed to distinguish the party and the country, and that, the reader reckoned, was a common failing among localists. Apparently, this reader thinks that the CCP should be separated from China. I believe many people, especially those who are against the localism camp, think that the culprit of ruining China, Hong Kong and Taiwan is the Chinese Communist Party, not China. And we should rid the world of CCP, not of China.

When I was penning that article, I quoted an example from CCP's internal struggle. I pondered over the title and content of my piece, wondered whether it was best to eliminate any connotation of the Chinese Communist Party. In the end, I opted for de-sinicisation entirely as I concluded that one cannot talk about the wrong of the CCP without considering the wrong of sinicisation.

The problem of CCP is the problem of sinicisation
Technically, it seems reasonable to consider the party and the country as two separate entities. In short, the present China is ruled by the authoritarian CCP. We can overturn CCP, but we cannot overturn China.

But can we really separate CCP from China?

CCP seems to be easier to define, from the perspective of organisation or regime; but the concept of China is more complicated. In general, "China" is the country we talk about, but defining "a country" is much more difficult than that. [Translator's note: Country/nation/state are all 國家 guojia in Chinese.]

"Nations are notoriously difficult to define," George Kateb has claimed in his book Patriotism and Other Mistakes. In fact, the notion of "nation" includes tangible things such as territory, geographical landscape and historical sites; while it is also defined by people's memory, the history, culture, and interpersonal relationships (such as clans). According to Kateb, these memories, history, culture and interpersonal relationships are things that are glorified by the people and the subjective imagination of people.

Territory is more specific, but it is inherently bound to the ruling regime. Over the past 2,000 years, the boundaries of the Middle Kingdom have changed as the dynasties waxed and waned. The current mainland Chinese territory is the territory owned by the Chinese Communist Party - and the two are inescapably intertwined. That leaves the only things that can be ideologically separable from CCP being, perhaps, the geographical landscapes and the historical sites.

People might argue that the concept of China refers to things more intangible, like history, culture and interpersonal relationships. But these things are intricately tied to CCP as well.

Communism is a product of the West. But the workings of CCP, from organisations to operations, is closely connected to Chinese culture and interpersonal relationships. I have argued in my article "Impossible for China to Have A Democratic Regime", that the Chinese society, especially the interpersonal relationship in rural societies, is dominated by clans and families. In the landmark study of Chinese peasant society, China's Peasants, Potter and Potter also posited that the political struggles in rural China is but clan and family struggles. CCP has not changed the traditional interpersonal relationship, but rather it has carried the deep-rooted traditions forward. In fact, we can still understand the politics of CCP by considering the clanships among the cronies of Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Bo Xilai.

Governance with CCP characteristics
Such paternalistic clan culture translates as a top-down bureaucratic culture in the political sphere. "Parent-politics", or gerontocracy, not only had been the norm of Imperial China for thousands of years, it is also how CCP operates. We saw in 1989 Tiananmen mass movement that even Zhao Ziyang, the General Secretary of CCP at the time, the supreme high command of the party, had to succumb to Deng Xiaoping to call the shots!

Besides such interpersonal relationship, other cultural values are just as well deep-rooted. Some mainlanders I knew emigrated overseas to flee CCP. But when the subject of discussion falls on the legitimacy of Xinjiang to call for its independence as it has its own language, religion and culture, their dissent often are so hysterical that it borders on a complete loss of reason. During the Umbrella Revolution, I discussed the future of Hong Kong with a Chinese friend. He said mainlanders cannot fathom the idea of Hong Kong taking its political future in its own hands, not to mention being independent from China. Why so? It all boils down to "The Great Unity" invented by the Draconian emperor, Qin Shihuang.

"The Great Unity" has stirred up countless warfare and slaughters, as well as the prohibition of all regional and ethnical autonomy and self-determination. To realise "The Great Unity", CCP was adamant in taking back Hong Kong in 1997, and has been ever so fixated on seizing Taiwan. What is more horrid is that "The Great Unity" is not only a scheme of the rulers, but it is also shared by the common people. In fact, around the time of Hong Kong's handover in 1997, some Hongkongers joined the Chinese in demanding "reunification" and disapproving the proposal of an independent Hong Kong.

On the surface, the ideas of CCP and China seem separable. But examples above have already shown how closely tied the two are. When we are talk about "desinification", or proclaim that we are Hongkongers, and not Chinese, many still find it unacceptable. Kateb argued that what's at play is actually "patriotism" where a person identifies with his fellow countrymen, a certain group or a race.

It's more than just rejecting CCP
Yet, as Hong Kong's local identity blossoms, more and more Hongkongers identify themseleves as Hongkongers rather than Chinese, and support the idea of self-determination, Hongkongers are not merely rejecting the visible hand of CCP, but also demanding desinification--the removal of "Chineseness". These are all because Hongkongers are no longer contend with having an authoritarian regime that exercises parentalism over their heads, and dismiss "The Great Unity" altogether. Only when Hong Kong is desinicised can the city develop to be a rational, modern society and leap forward to the direction of nation-state.

Reference:
1. George Kateb (2006), Patriotism and Other Mistakes, New Haven: Yale University Press.
2. Sulamith Potter and Jack Potter (1990), China's Peasants: The Anthropology of a Revolution, New York: Cambridge University.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Chan Ya-ming: Lau Nai-keung - Forerunner of Hong Kong Independence

Lau Nai-keung - Forerunner of Hong Kong Independence 
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Written by Chan Ya-ming (former editor in The Undergrad, HKUSU)
Original: http://localpresshk.com/2015/02/forerunner-of-hong-kong-independence/ 

My friend sent me the remarks of Lau Nai-keung a while ago, but I almost forgot to write about this because of the plan of withdrawal from HKFS. And, I almost forgot to thank Lau Nai-keung, the CPPCC deputy, for bringing this up. We are not the only cohort of The Undergrad which mentioned "Hong Kong independence" (HKI). It is not unusual to see previous Undergrad members writing about HKI.

But have you every imagined Lau Nai-keung was also part of the "previous Undergrad members"? In 1969, Lau was the then assistant editor-in-chief, Chan Yuen-ying (the current Director of Journalism and Media Studies Centre, HKU [Translator's note: political stance - pro-China]) was the Editor-in-chief, and guess who is the publication secretary? Yes, the one who spends his lunar new year in jail, Rafael Hui (spelt as Raphael then). Quite unimaginable even now.

An article in 1969 The Undergrad, "From Refugees to the Independence of Hong Kong", wrote,
So-called intellectuals immediately rejected and said "it's impossible" when they hear HKI. But let us ask ourselves: this "impossible" might mean - technically it would be the best if it happens, but there are many technical difficulties, which are impossible to overcome. One might stop such imagination. Such view is but unrealistic self-deception.
Such perspective is so precise, and still valid, as it mentioned the mentality of Hongkongers towards HKI. And it continued, "If Hong Kong has to be connected with China, it is just an emotional need. It brings more harm than good, and independence is the best." This is what now the localists support - "HK-China Segregation", and such idea was in discussion four decades ago.

The author of this article signed his name as Wah Sau [Translator's note: A Cantonese idiom 狼過華秀隻狗 roughly means "More fierce than the dog of Wah Sau", a phrase to describe a person's aggressiveness and fierceness.]. Of course we cannot determine whether he wrote this article or not. But if he is the assistant editor-in-chief, then it had something to do with Lau if this article goes to print. Actually, it is no big deal to mention HKI. The Undergrad had much more radical views before, and one needs not to react so strongly to this.

As a forerunner of mentioning HKI in 1969 The Undergrad, Lau is now often mentioning The Undergrad on Ta Kung Pao or Wen Wei Po. He actually mentioned it four decades ago, and is it something new for him?

Although Lau said "to HKI supporters, the government has to be tough 'orally and physically'", kind of bringing white terror, that cohort of The Undergrad members enlightened the latter members on the courage and imagination of mentioning HKI. They had contributed a lot. I must thank Mr. Lau Nai-keung for his contribution in mentioning HKI! Please let him know that I have expressed my sincere gratitude!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Chan Ya-ming: Dared to Be Separated - No Stress, No Reform in HKFS

Dared to Be Separated - No Stress, No Reform in HKFS
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Edited by Karen L., Written by Chan Ya-ming (HKFS full member, Year 3 student in HKU)
Original: http://localpresshk.com/2015/02/change/
Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution #umbrellarevolution #umbrellamovement #645z
(Photo source: Pasu Au Yeung)
[Translator's note: HKU has already withdrawn from HKFS at the time this article is fully translated. Even we cannot do anything to overrule the decision, it is vital for all of us to understand the whys, and what are in front of us, so that we can prepare ourselves to the challenges ahead.]

I have studied in HKU for several years, and this is my first time speaking as a full member of Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS). I almost forgot I have such an identity, so do many of my classmates in HKU. It is understandable though, as all HKU students become full members of HKFS automatically since day one there, and the fees are handed yearly as a habit, so naturally it comes a born-to-be identity that no one realise its existence.

The referendum on whether HKU students should withdraw from HKFS makes us all think upon the following two questions which I suppose there is no easy answer to many: What is HKFS? What are the rights being a HKFS full member? Truth be told, before the withdrawal discussion started, I, too, have no idea where the answers lie. But now, as a member member, I hope the following I am about to say can shed light on the matter, so that you vote according to the sense.

Most students started to realise there is an organisation called HKFS since 28th September 2014 but only a few precisely understand its system. For the test of the people, the impression over HKFS merely focuses on the "Five Leaders of HKFS". On the stage of the occupied area, they spoke with moral halo. At the time, their halo, so as their authority were unprecedented. But the question is, where does their authority come from? Theoretically, it should be empowered by us, the full members. But when and in what ways did we empower them with such authority?

Sec-Gen: Generated by Coterie Election
The "Five Leaders" include Alex Chow (Secretary-General), Lester Shum (Vice-Sec-Gen) and Eason Chung Yiu-wah (Standing Secretary of the Secretariat), combined with Yvonne Leung and Nathan Law (both chief spokespersons), who are elected as the presidents of the Student Union in HKU and Lingnan U respectively. Being not the presidents of the Student Union, the former three from the Secretariat which I assume most members have no idea what it is somehow hold the main titles. Why?

According to HKFS's Charter, the Secretariat is the supreme organ of the HKFS. Metaphorically speaking, the Secretariat is the counterpart of the HK government, and the Sec-Gen acts as the role of the Chief Executive of HKSAR. Knowing that the Secretariat is such powerful, it leads to another question — Were Chow, Shum and Chung elected for the positions? No. Before 28th September 2014, I believe most students in HKU do not know who is Lester Shum nor Eason Chung.

A Sec-Gen, without the foundation of a legitimate electorate, bearing potent responsibility on not only the enforcement of certain decisions, but also decision-making itself, resembles the selection of the CE. At the time when Alex Chow was elected as a Sec-Gen, he received some 60 votes — much lower than 689 (CY Leung). How embarrassing it is for an organ pursuing democracy?  Who were the voters? Ordinary members like you and I were not given the right to vote, but only the Delegation of HKUSU and other schools' SU have such a privilege.

The delegation of HKUSU this year includes Yvonne Leung and other four delegates, who by the way are not elected, but appointed by the HKUSU Council. Having a low legitimacy, the Council still is to vote for Sec-Gen on behalf on all full members.

That is to say, the Sec-Gen and other major posts in HKFS are elected through indirect election, rather similar to the existing election system of the CE in HKSAR. If the HKFS acknowledges the legitimacy behind the election of Sec-Gen, they are to acknowledge that of the CE as well. This is apparently at odds with our pursuit of democracy and freedom.

HKFS Cannot Even Represent Full Members
During the occupy movement, many said "HKFS does not represent me". Indeed, HKFS cannot represent all Hongkongers. Worse still, under its current system, it is no way that HKFS can even represent its full members. Full members should have the right to elect major positions, such as the Sec-Gen, and the right to monitor them. Without such fundamental rights, we have paid the fees for years for nothing. It is the top priority for HKFS to undergo an overhaul — establishing universal suffrage for major positions in the Secretariat. To fundamentally temper HKFS thus and so, democratic spirit is enhanced, the full members' hearts will stay, and above all, it will proved to be beneficial for later social movements.

After weeks of debates, I would say I do not entirely agree with the points made by the Withdrawal Concern Group, nor the claim that HKUSU can be on a par with HKFS or the Scholarism. Yet, still, I hold my doubts over Alex Chow's claim that the internal reform of HKFS towards universal suffrage can solve all problems.

It is not Alex Chow's determination that makes me hold back, and in fact I do believe his spirit. But the fact that "power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely" implies that the reform can never be underway automatically. There is always conservative power and vested interests in an organisation. In the world history, it is seen that reforms often take place due to external pressure. And for a person who is about to retire from the seat, how is he going to guarantee this promise?

It Is Now the Time for Reform
Without this referendum towards the withdrawal from HKFS, people would not know about the pedantic system long existed in this organisation, nor have the chance to express their dissatisfaction over HKFS's performance. We should know that the referendum is a pressure encouraging HKFS's internal reform. The extent of such pressure hinges on the votes of supporting withdrawal. If there are too few, the motivation to reform will remain low. There is no need to worry rapprochement — According to the HKFS Charter, HKUSU is free to come and go.

It is the era of reform. Before the huge project reforming Hong Kong, we should start with the HKFS. The problematic system in HKFS has existed so long, and it needs to be cure through such a surgery. The malicious attacks towards the withdrawal are no more than CCP-style tactics. As students in HKU, we shall, with conscience and rational judgement, decide the future of ourselves, of HKFS, and of Hong Kong!

[Undergrad/HKUSU] Chan Ya-ming: The Final Generation of Hongkongers

The Final Generation of Hongkongers
Translated by HKCT Editorial Team, Written by Chan Ya-ming (陳雅明)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/01-30-2015/20873 

If there are people who still want to live their lives, then they should dare to speak, to laugh or to cry, to be angry, to criticise and to beat.
In this damned place, they combatted the damned era!
Lu Xun

Lu Xun once said the Chinese history can be split into two dynasties: One is an era when people crave to slaves but fail to do so; another is an era that people can temporarily be slaves. That is to say, in the past few thousand years, being slaves is part of China's history. Affecting by the history, Chinese can only be slaves somehow. There are many kinds of Chinese in Hong Kong as such, and some even forgot their identities as human beings when they are too indulged in the roles.

Half of the history of Hong Kong is also about being slaves. Youngsters in Hong Kong no longer want to continue this pathetic path, so they scream for self-determination and attempt to start a new page in history. Youngsters in Hong Kong opt to embrace the rights one should have as an ordinary person, but the regime has turned them down without the slightest hope left. Those who act are arrested; those who speak are lambasted publicly. I couldn't have imagined the world has degenerated as such, and it is out of my expectation that the lambasting will fall on The Undergrad [Translator's note: it is the magazine produced by HKUSU].

CY Leung criticised The Undergrad and made open the names of our Editorial Board. It is similar to the "struggle session" during the Cultural Revolution, creating white terror apparently. After the Umbrella Revolution, CY Leung did not reflect upon the relationship between him and the youngsters, but rather, he provoked us again and again — asking us to further our career outside Hong Kong, and now lambasting The Undergrad by using tactics and thoughts from the Cultural Revolution. Starting a comprehensive political suppression and ideological control, CY Leung "tackles" all of the existing youth issues.

Since the founding of The Undergrad in 1952, the magazine is accommodating and inclusive. Opinions towards the future of Hong Kong have often been treated as radical. In the late 1960s, there were already articles discussing the Hong Kong Independence (HKI); and in the early 1970s, an article, on the contrary, said the complete solution to Hong Kong is to go for socialism completely. These students are now well-known leftists. Did the Governor at the time criticise them in public? In the late 1960s, there were articles criticising the problems found in the colonial administration, and Governor Sir Trench replied the editorial board in a decently-written letter, entirely different from what CY Leung did these days. No wonder some youngsters reminisce about the colonial era once in a while.

CY Leung does not show the demeanour a politician supposed to have, but rather take things out of context. J.Y. wrote "HK Independence from A Military Perspective", and CY mentioned it during the Policy Address 2015 press conference, saying this article describes how can Hong Kong set up an army just like Singapore. Either Leung did not read it seriously, or he read it and distorted it deliberately. If he did read it not in a casual manner, he can certainly get the conclusion: none of all "army-building options" is viable at the moment.

The Editorial Board did not write it for conspiring the movement of HKI, but rather, we found no discussion on this topic. Even one does not agree with the stance of HKI, there should be freedom of discussing HKI. But articles without the value of "name-and-shame" will not be mentioned by CY Leung. To The Undergrad, the freedom of speech is more important than one's political stance. It is certainly a surprise for all of us that the Chief Executive of HK can be this narrow-minded not to tolerate a word of a student magazine.

It is a pseudo-statement when leftist mouthpieces accuse The Undergrad of supporting HKI. The Undergrad is only a campus media, with political discourse or news reports at most. We explore in different thoughts and no action has been taken. How can this construct the implementation of HKI? We are not like some officials, who receive foreign capital. We have no support nor connection to "external powers". Thus how do we possibly "conspire the movement of HKI"?

George Orwell sees through these tactics adopted by the authoritarians, who aim to fool the people with lies one after another. It is no news for the authoritarians to utilise sophistry and "newspeak", like "War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength" in order to make believe. Sophistry is prevalent since Leung sworn in. Now that The Undergrad merely discuss the possibility of HKI without any action, but have already been accused of conspiring it. It incarnates the newspeak of HKSARG that talking about HKI is equal to conspiring the movement of HKI. These are but silly illogical sophistry, which you can immediately crack it with a few steps of analysis. No offence, but it is rather dim-witted for those who fall for these lamb excuses.

People who brown-nose the CCP will ask people to show their loyalty by answering the "correctly" on the matter of HKI. Some pan-dems are more than eager to show that they are "clean", and said they have nothing to do with HKI. "Before answering questions, one should understand the keywords in the question" — that is something a secondary school student can easily manage.

When faced such interrogation, it is not wise to "sever ties as soon as possible". Why don't we ask our dearest CY Leung or Andrew Fung in return of their definition of HKI? And what is in their minds towards Taiwan current status? An independent rule from China? If they regard Taiwan not as an independent place, then undoubtedly The Undergrad stands for no HKI notion.

If to them HKI means to have its own army, they should know that The Undergrad does not have such proposal as well. But If HKI to them, means to have certain kind of political system and democratic election without the manipulation from the CCP (such as civil nomination), then YES, The Undergrad has supported this from the very beginning. The key is: Aren't pan-dems pursuing a democratic election which CCP couldn't rig? Our September 2014 edition, with the main theme of "The Democracy and Independence of Hong Kong", was written partly because some leftist mouthpieces frame "civil nomination" as "HKI"; the pan-dems and some newspapers were afraid of tags of HKI, and so they severed ties with localism.

In the eyes of CCP, elections it couldn't rig will be considered as trends of HKI. If pan-dems are still avoiding the topic of HKI, any proposal of "genuine universal suffrage" will be considered as "supporting HKI". When CY actively mentioned HKI, it is timely to ask him whether nomination counts as supports to HKI. But the pan-dems just do not prompt that question. If CY says "No", it would be just right as the civil not nomination will be clarified as irrelevant to HKI. Case solved. If CY says "Yes", his "HKI" is merely nothing but civil nomination. What on earth, in this way would "HKI" scary you away? Nothing, right?

The Hong Kong Nation Discourse (also translated as Hong Kong Nationalism) or the issue of HKI is only discussed within some small circles. Some may not even dare to think about it, and HKI is definitely not a mainstream idea. The one who put HKI to headlines of mainstream media is CY Leung. He has stimulated the imagination of HKI to Hongkongers and wrongly assumed that he has his own freedom of speech to say whatever he likes to whoever he is to blame. But he seems to forget he himself as a CE, acting as an authority will bring about political consequences as a result of his actions. Dominating the political agenda and suppressing opposition voice will be likely to happen.

The Undergrad might activate few drops of discussion, but CY Leung is capable of triggering a wave of support towards HKI once he says the opposite. After his criticism against The Undergrad, the topic of HKI has suddenly become a mainstream topic on everybody's tongue. Some may even chant slogans such as "Brilliant is Leung Chun-ying; replace Xi Jinping", and hail CY Leung as the "Father of Independence". I am afraid the only person in Hong Kong who is capable of implementing HKI would be CY himself.

Meanwhile, some pro-China minions betray Hongkongers to curry favours with its masters by giving some ridiculous remarks. They suggested that before the legislation of Article 23, Basic Law, the State Security Law should be tried or implemented partially in Hong Kong. It is predictable that if a Chinese Law is introduced, the other will follow and then a trend will be formed. In this case, befor 2047, we will have no choice but to live with "Chinese-style socialsim" in Hong Kong.

Such speeches are not merely gibberish from small officials, but were endorsed by Tung Chee-hwa, the Vice-Chairman of NPC. Tung said, "Legal grounds are there for the introduction of Chinese law to Hong Kong". Before 1997, the national leader maysay, "Well water does not interfere with river water, and the vice versa". Nowadays, some traitors are ruining Hong Kong by "pouring sewage into the well".

Launching the White Paper, making the August 31st Decision in NPCSC, criticising the "conspiracy of HKI" in Policy Address and introducing "State Security Law" in Hong Kong — these are all as Mao referred to "contradictions between ourselves and the enemy". CY Leung and his minions are dedicated to launch a political struggle, to suppress all opposition voices, and even, at the expense of One Country, Two Systems.

After the Umbrella Revolution, a question was asked online: After this, how can young Hongkongers carry on their lives? And the answer to that was "Endure it or commit suicide." When one has been enlightened, and yet no path can be seen, he suffers even more. This generation has lost the patience to tolerate this can't-be-more-ridiculous system as the last generation did, and they all intend to live a life with dignity. But now are there alternatives other than seeking for an afterlife?

In "In Memorial of Liu Ho-chen", Lu Xun mentioned that Liu was a student of the Peking Women's College of Education majoring in English and was shot dead at the age of 22 due to the petition to the Beiyang government during early years of ROC. Lu Xun said, she was a youngster who died for China, instead of surviving with shame. For youngsters with ideals and aspirations, they do not turn a blind eye to the tyrannic regime. Witnessing HKSARG getting more lunatic, our generation of the umbrella era will not step back. Somehow it gives me the feeling that it is CY's intention to turn us all Liu Ho-chen. Correct me if I am wrong.

At the end of the article, Lu Xun said "Those aimless survivors might see light in the tunnel of the colour of blood, but real hero(in)es will be more dedicated and march forward." The time is on the side of youngsters. The fate of Hong Kong and youngsters are intertwined and interconnected. If the youngsters step back, then there will not be another generation for Hong Kong. It is time we decide for our own fate, the fate as a human-being. Arise and fight for Hong Kong!



Related content:
[Undergrad/HKUSU] Chan Ya-ming: The Scream of Our Generation
[Undergrad/HKUSU] Keyvin Wong: Localism: Hongkongers' Only Salvation
[Undergrad/HKUSU] J.Y.: HK Independence from A Military Perspective

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Atsuna: Commoners Can Be Accomplices of The Authoritarians Too

Atsuna: Commoners Can Be Accomplices of The Authoritarians Too
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Written by Atsuna
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/02-14-2015/21191 


If the "political correctness" indoctrinated to the minds of some Hong Kong or Taiwan celebrities, they will be backfired by those mainland "fans". Chapman To once said in his Facebook page, "Some unreasonable mainland netizens were born in the 1990s, those "fans" of celebs should be youngsters who should be supporting their idols unfailingly. Or at least in normal countries, they should be those least interested in politics. Although there were many student campaigns in the track of history, they criticised the authority. Chinese youths are more peculiar, mentioning the national interests all the time and linking the party's interests to themselves.

Arthur Schöpenhauer once said, "The cheapest sort of pride is national pride, for if a man is proud of his nation, he has no qualities of his own of which he can be proud. Otherwise, he would not have recourse to those which he shares with so many millions of his fellowmen. But every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can [be proud adopts], as a last resort, pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and glad to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, this reimbursing himself for his own inferiority."

So it is more than understandable when Chinese youth can turn a blind eye on things like Liu Xiaobo and Chen Guangcheng. Be calm over injustice (such as illegal land acquisition by the government, using backdoor 'guanxi' benefit their jobs or studies and be utterly patriotic than the Blue Ribbon thugs. The silence is finally broken -- to defend for the national interests. Sort of a compensating, isn't it? But they simply stop thinking and let the party decide on what to speak.

In Zhang Yihe's book. She wrote, "A scholar thinks that, 'If the subjects follow and get used to the method of thinking pig the rulers, then they are accomplices." Chinese get hysteric when they heard Taiwan independence, Hong Kong independence, Tibet independence, or Xinjiang independence. They do not even ask why. If some people even dare not to curry CCP's favours, such as putting a cap on IVS, they just became the "spokespersons of the Chinese Foreign Ministry" with evil faces. Their "enthusiastic attachment" to politics are but beyond one's imagination. It is hard to imagine they live in a country where "Communist Party" becomes a banned searching keyword on Baidu.

Milk formula? Poison. School buildings? Jerry-built. High-speed rail? High-speed accidents. Money and Guanxi? All fixed. People's lives are under the "Russian Roulette", depending on one's luck. Youngsters know the corruption of the country, and the problems in the Communist Party, but when the national interests is involved (high-rank officlas' interests, to be specific), they get "untied". People say "Where they sit affects how they think", but in Chinese logic, leaders decide how the people think. Or else why commoners think of the national interests all the time as if they were cadres?

So stop saying Chinese tourists are commoners. Ask them their views on TWI or HKI, or curb on IVS. You will know they are "accomplices", as Zhang said. When there are disasters upon Hong Kong, Chinese netizens enjoy a lot with Schadenfreude. Leftards are pinpointing at "fascist Hongkongers", but why did they turn a blind eye to hate speech from the Chinese people? Wouldn't it be too scoundrel?

[Undergrad/HKUSU] Keyvin Wong: Localism: Hongkongers' Only Salvation

Localism: Hongkongers' Only Salvation
Translated by Poppie, Edited by Chen-t'ang and Karen L., Written by Keyvin Wong
Original: http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/realtime/news/20150114/53334481 
[Translator's note: Keyvin Wong is the former vice editor-in-chief of Undergrad, the Editorial Board of HKUSU. CY Leung has criticised the writer for his "wrong interpretation on Hong Kong’s constitution position" in the policy address.]

Localism was stranger to many, while lately it has become a heated topic in Hong Kong. The discussion towards one’s identity and subjectivity has then been introduced to the society. This article attempts to analyse the origin of localism ideology, its evolution, and thus the importance of this emerging idea.

The Rise of Chinese Elites — Building Imagination of A Nation
[Translator's notes: the “Chinese” throughout the article is translated from "huaren (華人)". It indicates people with Chinese origin, not just those born or live in mainland China. ]
In the last century, to the minds of many, Hong Kong is a British colony happened to locate in China. Yet, according to Eric S.Y. Tsui's City-state: 12 Books to Unlock the Local History of Hong Kong (《城邦舊事──十二本書看香港本土史》), in which the author quoted Professor Robert Anthony’s words, Hong Kong was a maritime Chinese society long before the possession of British army. What is worth noting is that this society was looked down upon by the mainlanders and the authority due to Maritime Ban [Translator note: a ban on maritime activities, intended to curb piracy, was proved ineffective.] imposed during the Ming Dynasty. The status of Hong Kong remained low until the Yongzheng Dynasty.

When the British army landed in Hong Kong, there were a few thousands habitants on the island. It was not densely populated but neither isolated as stated in the colonial history. Before the Opium War, the nearby waters were the bases of smugglers. The residents in Hong Kong assisted the Hongs [Translator's note: foreign business trading companies at the time] to surreptitiously transport products such as opium into mainland China.

During the Opium War, the coastal residents supplied the British Army with food and water. The Chinese who worked with the British then received benefits from the colonial government as the first elite class after the British started their rule in Hong Kong. The local capitalist class composed by compradors and businessmen therefore emerged gradually given the improvement of the business environment.

The gender ratio in Hong Kong started to balance since 1860s. Some scholars interpreted it as an increasing number of Chinese perceived Hong Kong a place to settle. The capitalist class of Hongkongers dominated the economy since 1870s and established an elite caste identity that differentiated from the others. Although these Chinese-origin elites were gaining more wealth, they still cannot escape from the foreigners’ discrimination. For examples, English schools refused to admit Chinese children; Hongs discouraged the staff to marry Chinese and the government made a law to ban Chinese from living on the Peak, etc. Being repelled by the foreigners and unreconciled to settle as any other ordinary people, the Chinese elites reproduced various clubs in an attempt to create an upper class social circuit that only belonged to Chinese.

They followed the model of western clubs and at the same time introduced local elements in them. Take the Chinese Recreation Club as an example. One popular leisure activity in the club was playing Mahjong. This group of upper class Chinese built an identity for local elites. They belonged to the Chinese community but were different from ordinary Chinese. They did not obey the West blindly as the pseudo-foreigners did.

In 1925, Canton-Hong Kong strike broke out in support to Shanghai’s Anti-imperialist patriotic movement. The Chinese elites at the time regarded it as a conspiracy of both the communists and the Guangzhou government. Thus they started to voice their opinion and even utilised some special agency force to stop the strike.

The strike was undoubtedly a remarkable phase for the Hong Kong ethnic ideology. The Chinese elites’ actions showed that they were loyal to their home Hong Kong and the colonial system rather than China. During the 20th century, nationalism in China was extremely popular. The Chinese elites surely loved China but only to the extent of its traditional culture, but not the imperial government itself. These elites emphasised the difference in economic systems between China and Hong Kong and indicated that Hong Kong, as a pioneer would lead China to the modern era. They reckoned Hong Kong as a more competitive and better place due to its system and experience as a colony.

The Hong-Kong-elite style of patriotism has emphasised the Hong Kong-China segregation and the protection of local interests. Indeed the British brought Hongkongers discrimination, however given the fact that freedom and rule of law are introduced along the way, Hong Kong became a refuge for mainland Chinese during the time of Qing government’s high-handed policy on the Han Chinese and established a symbol of breaking the old system. This is why we should not assertively deny the colonial history in the first place when it comes to localism, as if what Ackbar Abbas said: “The history of Hong Kong, in terms that are relevant to what it has become today, effectively been a history of Colonialism.”

Benedict Anderson wrote in his book Imagined Communities: Reflection on the Origin and the Spread of Nationalism that nationalism is an imagined political community. Therefore politics is an interpersonal relationship in people’s imagination. It is an imagination itself, not a fiction, in which we create the definition of the idea of “nation”, its constraints, and its regime. Thanks to the capitalism, as Anderson said, the popularisation of media and publishing can offer a sense of community to massive readers, through novels, papers, spaces as such, etc.

Anderson believed that the Independence Movement in South America around 18th and 19th century is the very first start of the nationalism wave. Most of the advocates came from the slaves’ masters, whereas the Southeast Asia’s independence movement in the 20th century was initiated by the cultural elites in colonies. Such class-biased localism from the elite class was shaped into nationalism. It was later promoted to the public through the national education and by the arms race among the countries. Since the development of Hong Kong, the different lifestyles in between Hong Kong and other Chinese cities have been witnessed. The elite class formed during the time is the initial imagined community of Hong Kong.

Rightists vs Localism — A Rivalry of Generations
The People's Republic of China was founded in 1949. At the time, the border blockade between Hong Kong and China was imposed. The economic development of the two had since been different. After 1949, China refugees who fled to Hong Kong became the majority of the population in Hong Kong. Some of them viewed Hong Kong as a temporary place to live in and still held the hope to return to the motherland someday with wealth. Similarly, some viewed Hong Kong as a stepping stone to stay away from China. While at the same time, to few exceptions, there is no choice but to settle down in Hong Kong because in their minds, their China no longer existed after it fell under communist’s control.

Since then, the fate of Hong Kong Chinese differed from those Chinese ruled by the communist party. Excluded the PRC, Hong Kong became an independent community where the ideology of localism started fermenting. 1967’s riot caused by the violent Cultural Revolution in China triggered the civilians’ shift of belief from China to the colonial Hong Kong. Until the 1970s, the baby boomers who were born and raised in Hong Kong became the main population of our society. Along with the economic take-off, the social welfare policy, urban infrastructure and administrative absorption of politics implemented by the colonial government, this new generation started to view Hong Kong as their home.

Meanwhile, the popular culture of Hong Kong also provided the locals with a critical symbol of local identity, as the local television, films and popular music industries developed rapidly. However, it is without doubt that the baby boomers are meant to be the “conflicting group”. Surely they found it hard to embrace the common destiny with China. Nevertheless, they had witnessed the corrupted side of the colonial government. Added with Marxism’s influence, which swept all over the schools in the West, students there viewed China in the Cultural Revolution as a role model and the nationalists in Hong Kong were even more loyal to the Communist China. For the baby boomers who received tertiary education, they felt more contradictory about their identity given the influence of Chinese nationalism.

When I was reading Eric S.Y. Tsui’s articles, I learnt that there was once a HKU student, who is called Kangwan, contributed to the Undergrad. “I am 'Hongkonger” is the title of the student’s article, in which he criticised the Chinese nationalism in student movements. The writer indicated that “Those who were born and raised here, being educated in HKU, and using the money of the taxpayers in Hong Kong – they only “empty-talk” about patriotism. They turned a blind eye to all the inequality and unreasonable situation that happened to the four-million Hongkongers. What kind of patriotism is that?” He then went on challenging the Chinese nationalists and mentioned that “If we don’t face the problem right here in Hong Kong, all the chanting of 'rebuilding China', reunification and cultural burden are but self-deceiving daydreaming.” In English, he expressed his own recognition to localism, “China is but an empty shadow, Hong Kong is concrete… Hong Kong is much more authentic to me than China.”

Not surprisingly, this localist article was heavily condemned by nationalists, which pressured Kangwan to write another article to clarify his patriotic mind. During that time, some students believed that the plight in Hong Kong will be solved only if China becomes stronger. Such “patriotic faction” (國粹派) focused only on the China’s situation but was indifferent to the social issues in Hong Kong. At the end, those who advocated focusing on local issues formed “social faction” against the “patriotic faction” until the latter one fell in 1976 along with the Cultural Revolution.

Together We Reject Being "Communised"
The sovereignty issue of Hong Kong came into surface in the 1980s. Hongkongers has since struggled with anti-communisation. The majority of society was keen to remain unchanged and to exchange sovereignty for the right to rule. There was also proposal of joining the Commonwealth. Apart from this, some students who studied abroad suggested Hong Kong independence (HKI) but was disregarded by most Hongkongers as they deemed such proposal unrealistic. Among them, more people opted for emigration. Generally speaking, Hongkongers shared the idea of anti-communisation and refused to be ruled under the “One Country, Two Systems”. However, driven by the Chinese nationalism ideology, the student activists and the Democratic Party supported the democratic reunification during the Sino-British negotiation.

According to Law Wing-sang [Translator’s note: Law is an Assistant Professor in Lingnan University] and others, the Chinese government exploited the patriotism of the Democratic Party and deceived them into supporting the reunification proposal. With all the persuasion, united front strategy and the Greater China ideology, the Democratic Party fell into the “commitment” made by China and turned into advocating the idea of democratic reunification. At the end, the support went to the China side, whereas the history proves that the Democratic Party’s expectations were never met. Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984 confirmed the prospect of Hong Kong and led to a massive emigration due to the fear of communism. Given the comparatively stable political situation in China by 1980s, added with promises such as “One Country, Two Systems”, “High Degree of Autonomy” and “Hong Kong People Ruling Hong Kong”, Beijing managed to pacify the Hongkongers.

The Tian'anmen Square massacre in 1989 induced the sympathy and support from Hongkongers. What happened also led to another shift of localism. Some of the Hongkongers emigrated and those who stayed felt guilty as “survivors” and owed the deceased in Tian'anmen an obligation to promote democracy for the whole China. What was more noticeable was that the Pan-democrats started to view China and Hong Kong together as a community of shared destiny. They related the anti-communism in Hong Kong to the democratic movement in mainland China.

Greater China faction became the mainstream of Hong Kong even though there was bloodshed in 1989; Zhao Ziyang who promised “ruling Hong Kong with democracy is certain” was held house arrested since then. The economy achievements in both China and Hong Kong before the handover made Hongkongers forget their conflict in identity.

After 1997, generally, Hongkongers accepted their identity of being a part of Hong Kong, as well as China. Yet, Tung Chee-hwa’s government was criticised with poor administration that led to a recession in stock market. Dissatisfaction started to grow. It escalated in 2001 when Tung was re-(s)elected. The democratic camp scolded it as a coterie (s)election and pointed their finger to the Chinese government, who helped the formation of HKSARG. In 2003, as the SARS was transmitted from China to Hong Kong and caused a plague in the community, Hongkongers started to fear the problematic culture in the Chinese society.

Suffering from the fatal disease, Hong Kong’s economy collapsed. The grassroots bore the brunt of the doom, so as the middle class. The government at such timing attempted to pass the draft bill of Article 23. 500 thousands of people demonstrated and successfully forced the government to give the bill up. The protest showed the determination of Hongkongers to protect the rule of law.

Hong Kong 1 July march in 2003 also made the CCP realizing the rejected sentiment of Hongkongers, thus the CCP tried to enforce even higher-handed policy but it only caused the ideology of anti-communism to rise. Localism started to grow as a result and could be evident in the later cultural conservation movements, such as the Reserving Queen’s Pier movement in 2006 and 2007, and the Choi Yuen Village anti-eviction struggle in 2009 and 2010. Some of the Hongkongers strived hard for the conversation of the colonial heritages due to the nostalgia of the good old times during the colonial era. What is more important is that the new generation no longer view Hong Kong as a “borrowed place in borrowed times” but their very own home. They are determined to protect the history of this place and the memory created in this place.

HK-China Segregation Is of Utmost Importance
The Beijing government introduced Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) and CEPA in 2003 when the economy in Hong Kong was stagnant and there was strong dissatisfaction in the society towards the SARG. What is worth noting is that CY Leung claimed that the IVS was his idea during the 2012 Chief Executive Election debate. Now we know who the culprit traitor to Hong Kong is. The IVS later became multiple-entry permit in 2009 and led to a more suffocating situation for Hongkongers.

Localism gained more and more support with the emergence of D&G incident, Northeast New Territories development, allegedly underground-CCP member being elected as the Chief Executive, “national education” in 2012, “Reclaiming Sheung Shui” against parallel bootleggers, Chinese pregnant women occupying seats in hospital, increased number of doubly non-permanent [i.e. mainland] residents, shortage of baby formula, etc. We, Hongkongers, especially the young generation, realised that if we do not stand up to protect Hong Kong, the civilised society will no longer exist and turn into a vulgar Chinese city.

Han Han, an author from mainland China, once wrote an article about his experience in Taiwan. The article, Wind of the Pacific Ocean, praised Taiwan wholeheartedly because of the reservation of the finest Chinese culture and value. He was moved by the Taiwanese humanity.

“I am lost in the country I survive. The people in my country spent the previous decades to spread savage and lambasting and the later decades to spread greed and selfishness. Most of them were educated in this way. Our ancestors destroyed our culture, traditional values, mutual trust within people, faith and consensus but still no beautiful new world is built... Sadness is in me for I do not know if our next generation could share mutual understanding instead of hurting each other. I am lost in the time when I write this article I have to take into consideration if I have crossed some lines... We are indifferent to everything apart from our interests and the struggle between people. But luckily we have Hong Kong and Taiwan. Thanks to their conservation of Chinese culture, the beautiful side of this nation can still be seen. They saved the essence from being destroyed. They saved what we lost, which is where our pride is,” Han Han wrote.

Just as what Han Han said, the culture, legal system and freedom mean everything to a nation. That is the reason for Hongkongers to strive to protect Hong Kong from the giant Communist China even knowing that it is nearly impossible. The China we see now has stuck into a deep hole of bigwig capitalism. People are twisted under the extremist regime with no rule of law and freedom. The most urgent thing we should do is to save Hong Kong from falling into the same fate as China and reserve the beauty of this nation. Whether we can save China from its current situation is beyond Hongkongers’ consideration and capability.

Asking the Communist China to give up one-party dictatorship is simply daydreaming when it has formed a structural corrupted syndicate. We can no longer expect China to perform democratic reform. It has already been exhausting for Hongkongers to fight for its own universal suffrage, freedom and rule of law. Therefore it is rather hard to “export” democracy to China in order to change their inferior habit.

In the last few decades, those Chinese coming to Hong Kong were willing to blend in the local culture. They respected Hong Kong’s core values and cultural heritages. They studied Cantonese and English hard so as to integrate with the Hong Kong society. However in recent years, most of the problems in Hong Kong were induced by the conflict between “One country” and Hong Kong’s local interest and core value. Time has changed China. The simplicity you could find in China decades before has disappeared. What is left is the bigwig capitalism and the people who look up to power and money. It is the same as Han Han said — the savage, lambasting, greed and selfishness has been spread.

The solid voters for pro-Communist groups have been increasing over the years as evidence showed that the new immigrant groups helped absorb voters. The declining quality of Hong Kong is, if not all, due to the new immigrants. As much as Hong Kong has always been a migrant city, still, a migrant city specific for China is more than absurd. As long as China issues a single-way permit, there is no way for Hong Kong to reject. Localism does not imply isolating ourselves with self-imposed boundaries but the importance of us protecting our own core values in order not to be expelled by the inferior new immigrants. We cannot kick those who are already here out but at least we have to reclaim the approval authority on the new applicants. It is to prevent fake marriage in the excuse of family union [translator’s note: there have been numerous reports on Hong Kong-China fake marriages, where (usually) Chinese women get married to HK men and then come to HK for “family reunion”]. We should have the right to choose those who have the potential to be naturalised as our own citizens. The localism, whether in the form of Hong Kong Independence, city-state autonomy or simply reclaiming the authority of single-way permit, is about HK-China segregation.

Externally We Expel Sino-Colonialism, Internally We Get Rid of Traitors in HK
 Hong Kong’s radical localism is forced by the Communist China. The two generations after baby boom have no recognition to the identity as “Chinese”. What they truly value is the excellent culture and system of Hong Kong and do not want that to be plundered or eroded by an external colonist. In order to achieve such purpose, it is important to defend the autonomy of Hong Kong. Therefore, they advocate the policy of “Hongkongers come first”. However, this has encountered the the suppression from Communist China and also the unrealistic left-wings combined with Greater China democrats.

During the incident of combating parallel traders, doubly non-permanent residents, shortage of birth-giving seats in the hospitals and shortage of baby formula, all political parties in Hong Kong were either slow in response or did not respond at all. Those with no political background were the only ones who care about the fate of Hong Kong. However, most pan-democrats are driven by the ideology of the Greater China. They cannot get out of the constraint of “one country” and still are negotiating and compromising with the Communist China. The young generation now despise them.

Democratic party is the best example of the Greater China democrats. They keep betraying Hongkongers and betraying democracy [translator’s note: helping to pass the political reform in 2010, the Democratic Party failed to achieve the promises they made to voters. In 2012 LegCo election, they only won 4 seats] with the defence from the media. They still view themselves as the leaders of the present democracy movement after the failure in 2012 LegCo election, which shows their lack of ability to learn from experience. Whenever criticism towards them arises, they label them as strayed dogs.

Indeed, no one should ever be on the same path with this despicable and deceitful party. They are not entitled to fight for democracy for Hongkongers. They claim to be firmly reliable backbone but in fact they are nothing but the extreme opposite. Combined with the Hong Kong Professional Teacher Union (HKPTU) and the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China (HKASDPM) [Translator's note: the group that organises memorial vigil of Tian'anmen Massacre every year], they are the trinity of sin.

Here are some incidents of these groups have done: Before the June 4th memorial 2013, Ding Zilin, member of the group Tian'anmen Mothers, said that the slogan “Love the Country, Love the People” from HKASDPM was stupid. Tsui Hon-kwong, a committee member of HKASDPM and member of the Democrat Party, provoked public anger by saying Ding was showing sympathy to the Communist China because she was suffering the Stockholm syndrome.

19 retired and current teachers have formed the group Progressive Teacher Alliance in early 2014. They hope to run for the monitoring committee to reform the conservative style of HKPTU. Cheung Man-kwong, the current vice-president of HKPTU and member of Democratic Party called the PTA a radical separatism and the president of HKPTU, Fung Wai-wa, criticised that someone with ulterior motives wanted to infiltrate HKPTU. Power has the ability to turn people corrupted. The alliance of HKPTU, HKASDPM and the Democratic Party are as such. Elimination lies in the only road in front of them. It is irreversible thanks to the clear-mindeds in our young generation.

Left wings with foreign country passports are usually referred to “leftards”. They are dominated by left-winged ideology such as “equality, anti-discrimination and empowering the minority” without considering the actual political situation. They completely disregard the carrying capacity of our society and side with the new immigrants in the name of family reunion. They called Gary Fan, Claudia Mo and Roy Tam fascists when these three initiated a petition to urge the government to reclaim the approval right over single-way permits. They claimed that given the unjust one-child policy unjust, we should understand and tolerate when mainland pregnant women cause the shortage of pregnancy seats in hospitals. When simplified Chinese hacks Hong Kong, they claimed it to be a trend and part of the culture [Translator’s note: more stores have been using simplified Chinese instead of traditional Chinese to curry favours of Chinese tourists]. They said we should respect the cultural variety when the mainlanders urinate and defecate on the streets of Hong Kong. They asked the local mothers to switch to breastfeeding during the shortage of baby formula and said “It’s all about determination”.

The acts of those leftards and the Democratic Party are coherently identical. They are the biggest archenemies to Hong Kong apart from the CCP, HKSARG and their allies. We can solely sit on our hands unless they are eliminated. The population of Hong Kong is going through a “thorough replenishment” by the Communist [Translator’s note: 150 single-way permits are issued every day from China. It has been viewed as a way to dilute the Hong Kong local population]. If we are still not determined and robust to fight, the identity of Hongkongers will soon become history. Protect Our Land with Self-determination HKI is an inevitable topic when it comes to localism. The answer to whether Hong Kong should be independent varies. However, no matter how slim the chance is, we have to safeguard our right to advocate the HKI. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitutions told us that people in a civilised society has the right to legally overthrow the government, to advocate the secession of a country and to determine their destiny as long as these words are not brought to practice or the speech does not become part of such action (只要不付諸行動或言論不成為行動的一部份). If we believe Hong Kong differs from China and has the freedom of speech, we should therefore support and advocate the freedom of HKI.

If it is possible to advocate Scotland to be independent from Britain, and to do so in Quebec from Canada, why should it be banned in Hong Kong? Moreover, to this day, the HKI still cannot outpace the theoretical stage. If one agrees that Hong Kong should be independent, why fear? According to different polls added with the internet trend, there is more support to HKI in the younger generation. It is predictable that the more support of HKI, the higher chance the Greater China pan-democrat parties, the HKSARG or even the Communist China government will despise the new wave and take the new generation as daydreaming rebels. Still, what we can be certain is that the great new trend of embracing localism to fight for democracy will never be stopped.

It may seem desperate for everyone under the might, yet bear Lu Xun's words in mind: “Desperation is to vanity what desperation is to aspiration.”(絕望之為虛妄,正與希望相同). We might feel helpless at the moment.

The Soviet Union was once the biggest socialist country and was overthrown by the people. What stays on your mind will blossom someday. It depends on how much you are willing to strive for defending the localism. There are people who betray Hong Kong for political and economic benefits. There are also people who stand firm and are determined to follow their own principles. There were, on the contrary, several fleas when Hong Kong encountered crisis. Why? It was mostly due to the lack of localism’s ideology in mind.

Most youngsters are already capable of emigration, but they are determined to stay in their homeland. You may wonder the reason. Not everyone can get used to the life abroad, and more importantly, it is the awakening of localism that makes people stay. They see Hong Kong as their home and rather combat the authoritarian amid desperate situations than give away their own homeland. Right here and right now, there is no other exit to guard the autonomy of Hong Kong. At this critical moment, would you battle or be exterminated in the silence someday? Live or die, make your choice.


Related content:
[Undergrad/HKUSU] Chan Ya-ming: The Scream of Our Generation
[Undergrad/HKUSU] Chan Ya-ming: The Final Generation of Hongkongers
[Undergrad/HKUSU] J.Y.: HK Independence from A Military Perspective

Thursday, 12 February 2015

[Undergrad/HKUSU] Chan Ya-ming: The Scream of Our Generation

The Scream of Our Generation
Translated and edited by HKCT Editorial Team, Written by Chan Ya-ming (陳雅明)
Original: http://www.vjmedia.com.hk/articles/2014/09/17/85330 

(Source: Tinykylie)
Seventeen years since Hong Kong's handover to China in 1997, democratisation is still in stagnant water, and universal suffrage is still beyond Hongkongers' reach. But the time and tide have unified Hongkongers in pursuing democracy and genuine universal suffrage. At the moment, with constitutional reform in a pivotal stage, pro-Beijing politicians framed "genuine universal suffrage is tantamount to Hong Kong independence (HKI)". Some pan-democrats as well, afraid of the HKI accusation, insisted that "HKI is not an option. The only way out is to confront under the Two Systems." The problem is, if pro-China politicians, or even the Communist Party categorises genuine universal suffrage as HKI, presumably there will no longer be any space found for democracy in the gap between the Two Systems. In the end of the case, people will have no choice but to surrender the right of confrontation. By logical deduction, "yes man" is to be the one and only personality for oneself. Yet some Colonel Blimps from the pan-democratic side somehow unreasonably assumes that is referred to as "health"

Ambitious were these people supporting Hongkongers to determine the future for themselves before 1997, but what are left in their hearts these days? capitulationism and defeatism. Allow me to remind the ones who are with democratic spirit, it takes decide-for-your-own-fate self-consciousness to succeed. We cannot afford another U-turn, and it is reform itself having the ability to lead us forward. As long as we are not going to forswear the ultimate dream democratising Hong Kong, for now on, we should expel the ideologically forbidden zone these people have set for HKI since the stance of HKI, irrelevant to the matter of self-determination, might still have chances clearing a path for democracy.


Thirty-three years left for 2047: Time is the key

Li Fei claimed publicly that the civil nomination stands for no legality. It reminds me of Hong Kong's Unique Road to Democracy (《香港的獨特民主路》), a recent book written by Lau Siu-kai, who is the vice-president of Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies (CAHKMS), and also a pro-Beijing scholar. In the end of the book, there is a delivery of Beijing's "imperial edict" — "Based on my holistic analysis towards Hong Kong's democratic development, democratisation will eventually come someday. Yet it is noted that the endpoint will not be in the near future, and even if it does, Hong Kong will remain as a 'partially democratic' political entity. The reason lies in Hong Kong's nature – it will never be an independent state, but a region of China."

For some 200 pages, Lau insinuates that at the end of the day, Hong Kong will still hover without democracy, as it is tantamount to HKI. He even suggested that Hong Kong nowadays has already had its own democracy with "democratic centralism" characteristics. One will never be more surprise of what the CCP-employed "scholars" are going to say!. Yet, an invaluable insight will reveal when contrary thinking is adopted. According to Lau, after all, it is futile continuing the current track of democracy regardless of the time we spend. Then given the fact that Hong Kong is not an independent state, the day of democracy will not in any way arrive. That is to say, genuine universal suffrage being far-fetched to us is by going astray in the very first beginning. What the pan-democrats "fought for" were but mirage. No independence, no democracy.

Genuine democracy will not exist in an adoption of the Chinese-style, nor of the Hong-Kong-style. But assuredly the existence of Hong-Kong-style democracy does serve some purposes. Deng Xiaoping has once said,
"It will take another 30 to 50 years for China to approach a truly developed country, not surpass the ones at the peak. If we strictly implement the policy opening China to the rest of the world, then approximately within the first half of the next century, we will near the level of the developed countries. It is in China's vital interest to keep Hong Kong prosperous and stable. When we gave the figure of 50 years, we were not speaking casually or impulsively but in the consideration of the realities in China and of China's need for development."
The Basic Law is to be sound and valid merely for 50 years. According to Deng Xiaoping, the future of Hong Kong after 2047 depends on its worthiness to China by the time. Without a democratic system as safeguard, the future of Hong Kong will be under the swords of CCP. Democracy to Hongkongers is not some lofty ideal, but the only way out for survival, while the democratisation progress of Hong Kong has a time limit: 2047. The time is counting down every second. The CCP has continuously putting obstacles in front of our way to democracy, such as the distorted interpretation of the Basic Law, the ridiculously operated LegCo and so on.  It is a must for Hongkongers to realise the problems and to seize the now-or-never moment for changes.

Political scientists Jennifer Gandhi and Adam Przeworski indicated that authoritarian regimes often in the name of so-called democratic institution extend the lifespan of the administration. Generally authoritarian regimes reign without the mandate from the public. To "solve" this problem, they co-opt the representatives from the opposition camp and the potential ones into specifically designed "cages". By blending the opposites, chances of revolutions against the regime are expected to go down. As a matter of fact, such nominally democratic institution is a vital nutrient for the regime — covering people's eyes, and impeding genuine democracy. 

Now you see the reason for HKSARG to promote "pocket it first" from time to time or to crave support of their version of "universal suffrage". Such fake universal suffrage not only appeases the representatives from the opposition camp, but puts all Hongkongers into the artifice of the soi-disant "one-person-one-vote", so that the regime of HKSARG can be lengthened. It is simple: when one has accepted an institution, the one has become part of the institution. When Hongkongers accepted the "one-person-one-vote" by SARG, they become part of the evil regime. Beijing will be more than happy to see all Hongkongers converting as part of the stability-maintenance (weiwen) machine.

This strategy of the CCP has been functioning well. In the LegCo, confrontational tactics have long been used for decades, while the pan-democrats have been integrated with such ludicrous council. Lau Siu-kai made his satirical remark on the pan-dems confirming the fact: 
"Although the opposition has long cast their doubts upon the legitimacy and lawfulness of the democratic system of Hong Kong and has constantly initiated campaign against the system, they have, to some extent, entered such establishment and have exercised the authority, status and remuneration endowed by such system. The opposition's determination certainly is not robust enough to overturn the existing system, not to mention most Hongkongers' unwillingness seeing this happens. As easily understood as it is, the democratic development will only be able to build upon the current foundation, and to reform in accordance with the special situation of Hong Kong. 'Democratisation with Hong Kong characteristics' will continually proceed in a relatively peaceful manner along the way. On the other hand the opposition will confront against it. Yet inevitably it will have to 'face the reality', to surrender in seeking benefits for itself and to pursue their aspiration within the establishment."
The more reliance on the confrontation in legislature from the democratic powers, the more active the pan-dems participate in the LegCo election, and the happier the CCP will be — the CCP knows eventually the democratic powers will dissolve in the establishment. Magicians are best in playing tricks and revealing them. So do the Communists. Vladimir Lenin, a Russian communist revolutionary once said,
"Of course, anyone would be in error who voiced the outmoded viewpoint or in general considered it impermissible, in all and any circumstances, to reject participation in bourgeois parliaments."
Entering the parliament means to subvert the parliament, yet the pan-dems "subverted" themselves before subverting the parliament. After vetoing the fake universal suffrage proposal, these people should all resign immediately - the democratic powers trapped in the establishment should be brought to the street. This, is what makes the SARG fear!

The CCP has consumed 17 years of Hongkongers. To the present day, people are still arguing the meaning of "broadly representative", "nominating committee", "nominating with democratic procedure" and "universal suffrage" from Article 45 of the Basic Law. Recently CY Leung has a "brand new" discovery, as he said the character wui (translator's note: it is pronounced as the word "committee" in Chinese) means that there should be a "collective decision". I guess after this, they might even start arguing the meaning of "'s" and "of" in the Article, and CY may re-inerpret and redefine the significance of these words for the sake of everybody. 

Didn't you see? The SARG often uses the provisions in the Basic Law to hoodwink Hongkongers, and ironically some people do enjoy being tangled with wordings of the Basic Law. Yet they seem to forget the right of final adjudication belongs to Beijing, and they are simply wasting time during the process. It is Beijing but no one else. There is no room for discussion in the first place. Hongkongers, let's focus on democracy instead of these meaningless minor wordings. We surely cannot afford another delay on the matter.


Theories are the prostitutes for CCP: all decisions are based on political measures
Recently, the pro-China camp often emphasise that China is a unitary nation without federation, so Hong Kong cannot implement a democratic universal suffrage without screening as any other independent political entities. But, by the sense of "HKI" and "independent political entity", both the CCP and SARG have not been settled with a straightforward definition, or deliberately leave the question unanswered. 

The key hinges on whether screening-free universal suffrage for the CE and the entire LegCo is turning HK into an "independent political entity". Sometimes Lau Siu-kai says "Yes", sometimes "No". After all, "HKI" and "independent political entity" are nothing but excuses to discourage Hong Kong from getting genuine universal suffrage.

Theoretically, the UK is a unitary government as well. Still, why can Scotland have its own elected government? I bet the CCP-beloved scholars will respond as "Western theories and experience cannot be applied in China". Now, what about this: the CCP is still using its theory of "One Country, Two Systems" on Taiwan since 1980s, and Taiwan now owns its army and democratic system. If "One Country, Two Systems" cannot even accommodate democracy, then how can it solve the Taiwan issue? It is not a matter of Western theories at all. This is simply about logic. Unless China sees Taiwan as a Western country, or else such words are not even going to make any sense.


As a matter of fact, the offering China has given Taiwan will allow Taiwan to keep its own army, government structure, personnel autonomy without sending officials to Taiwan [link: Only Chinese is provided], according to Qian Qichen. Max Weber defines "nation" as "the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force". "One Country" can allow armies from more than one district and so can Taiwan's political system be kept. Yet according to the logic of those from the pro-China camp, CCP is  somehow allowing Taiwan independence! If Taiwan accepts "One Country, Two Systems", CCP allows it to have its own army and democratic system - isn't this an "independent political entity"? I wish those theorists can be further explained.

When the Taiwan presidency election was held in 2000, Zhu Rongji was worried that the winner might be a Taiwan-independence supporter. He said, "As long as Taiwan recognises the one-China principle, the two sides of the Taiwan Straits may have dialogue. And the dialogues and talks can cover any topic." Within the same year, the CCP issued a white paper called The One-China Principle and the Taiwan Issue, which said, 
"Moreover, the Chinese Government acknowledges the differences between Taiwan on the one hand and Hong Kong and Macao on the other and, after peaceful reunification, is prepared to apply a looser form of the "one country, two systems" policy in Taiwan than in Hong Kong and Macao."
In this way, the framework of "Two Systems" can reach both extremes — be tightened or loosened. If there are more Taiwan independence supporters, it could be looser. Now Hong Kong has "returned to the hands of its motherland", it is a case tightening the practice of the principle. At the beginning, the CCP might still believe "Theories direct policies", but for long, it has put Marx and Lenin aside. To the CCP, theoretic problems are never regarded as problems and all of them can be tackled in a twinkle through politics and expediencies

Seeing that a communist party can work happily with capitalists, you will quickly learn the fact that to them, there is no theories cannot be dealt with. All theories are "rectified" by the scholars according to their masters' orders. When the decision changed at the top, the theories will "rectify" themselves at the bottom. If the CCP allow genuine democracy in Hong Kong due to some certain situation, these theorists under the CCP will follow orders.


Democracy and Localism against Communist Party

Among all points made by Lau Siu-kai, I in fact agree with one. The democratisation of Hong Kong has not been stimulated by anti-colonialism or independence movement, but rather developing within the "non-independence" political framework. He writes,
"The lack of anti-colonialism and independence movement cause a lack of infrastructure of mass mobilisation in the  Hong Kong's democratic movement ."
Yet, the analysis might be right at this moment, but not necessarily true forever. When Beijing shuts the gate of genuine universal suffrage in 2017, so the dream of many Hongkongers broken. There will come the shape-as-sword determination of the HKI movement. A sword has two edges - one edge is from a cultural perspective (defending local characteristics); another edge is from a political perspective (fighting for democracy). The tip of such sword will be the demand of Hong Kong independence, and the amount of mobilised mass would be unprecedented. This might have chances to "turn the chessboard around".

These are not daydreams. Even though most Hongkongers do not support independence, the main concern is just this one: Hong Kong cannot be an independent entity as there are economic constraints. These Hongkongers (especially youngsters) do not hold a Greater Unity view, and assume "HK and China must be inseparable". 

Benedict Anderson, a nationalism theorist, said the emergence of nationalism is often linked to the feeling of being humiliated. When Hongkongers felt their benefits and culture are being eroded, and their dream for democracy no longer exists, what cannot be possible? Indeed, without numerous support, it will be hard to achieve HKI. Here, imagine another extreme: When will it be like if most Hongkongers feel the need of HKI? How different will the path be? 

Lu Xun says, "
Hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is just like roads across the earth. For actually the earth had no roads to begin with, but when many pass one way, a road is made." In 1947, originally the 2/28 incident in Taiwan is not relevant at all with Taiwan independence, but people in the incident were framed by the KMT government as separatists and "schematic subversion". 2/28 then somehow became the main reason of TW Independence. Now that the establishment camp attempt to link up democracy in HK with HKI, someday they might regret of their actions.

Just as I was about to finish, I recalled a chapter in Lao-Tzu's Tao-te-ch'ing
"(The attribute of humility)What makes a great state is its being (like) a low-lying, down- flowing (stream); - it becomes the centre to which tend (all the small states) under heaven.(To illustrate from) the case of all females: - the female always overcomes the male by her stillness.Stillness may be considered (a sort of) abasement.Thus it is that a great state, by condescending to small states, gains them for itself; and that small states, by abasing themselves to a great state, win it over to them.In the one case the abasement leads to gaining adherents, in the other case to procuring favour. The great state only wishes to unite men together and nourish them; a small state only wishes to be received by, and to serve, the other.Each gets what it desires, but the great state must learn to abase itself."
Hidden in our own culture, this is explicitly the essence of "One Country Two Systems".



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[Undergrad/HKUSU] Chan Ya-ming: The Final Generation of Hongkongers
[Undergrad/HKUSU] Keyvin Wong: Localism: Hongkongers' Only Salvation
[Undergrad/HKUSU] J.Y.: HK Independence from A Military Perspective