about hong kong, what it means to be chinese and loyalty

stirringwind:

1. As we know, Hong Kongers are protesting against the latest news that they can only choose their leader from a list of candidates pre-approved by Beijing-  a troubling development because China had promised Hong Kong could keep its liberal democratic traditions from under British rule as “Two systems, one country”. The police have responded heavy handedly. 

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2. Some background. I am not a HK-er but I am a person of Chinese ancestry. My great grandparents were ethnic Han Chinese. 

  • They left China in the early 1900s in the wake of the political strife and poor conditions caused by the Opium Wars- caused by the British and other European powers. That same conflict that led to China being forced to give Hong Kong to the British Empire. But that doesn’t mean I support the Chinese government in Beijing. Because, the year is not 1860, but 2014 and so many other things have happened. Because blind loyalty is dangerous. Because buying into oversimplistic arguments that want to portray anti-Beijing dissidents as neo-colonialists and traitors to the “motherland” is a trap. Because sharing the same ethnicity doesn’t automatically mean you have people’s interests at heart. 

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  • Because contrary to what this post seems to assume, people from the same ethnicity can damned well oppress one another and rob them of their right to self-determination. 

3. You know what this comment below is calling Hong Kongers?

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A bunch of English dogs”. Because, yes, everything is soooo simple. Chinese govt good, West bad. Two legs good, four legs bad! “Dog” by the way, is often used pretty derogatorily as an insult in China. 

  • So because they disagree with Beijing, Hong Kongers are “dogs of the English” huh? How convenient. How convenient that they are supposed to support or be loyal to the Chinese Communist Party just because they look like them. So nothing about their policies matter. Nope, nope. The Chinese Communist Party treated Chinese people better than the British because they were also Chinese. So even though Mao caused a disastrous famine that killed anything from 18 million to 45 million Chinese, that’s still better than British rule over Hong Kong.

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  • So even though the CCP started the Cultural Revolution where millions of Chinese were subject to political witch hunts and accused of being “bourgeois anti-revolutionaries” and caused turmoil and strife that just severely damaged the country and destroyed its education system, destroyed or damaged numerous, treasured historical sites from pre-Communist China- it’s still better than British rule over Hong Kong. Just because.

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  • While all of this was going on, Hong Kong flourished by comparison. No matter how British rule had certainly problematic paternalistic elements, there was nothing on the level of what mainland Chinese were suffering. Although the circumstances under which Britain obtained Hong Kong were wrong (the Opium Wars), the fact is Hong Kongers were consequently shielded from the worst excesses of Communist China later and generally had it good under British rule. Is that ironic as hell? Yes, but it is true. With that history, any wonder why Hong Kongers resent the influence of the government in Beijing and tend to view British colonial rule more positively (a very, very rare exception)? 
  • So now, wanting civil and political rights, democracy = English dog. Nice. Nice how the rest of the non-white world that is democratic must also be “dogs of the English”. India, which won its independence by demanding and fighting for it from the British Empire, is evidently a “dog of the English” because hey, they’re a democracy too! Sorry Americans, y’all “dogs of the English” after all too, despite the Revolutionary War and stuff. 

4. I’ve seen a lot of comments claiming Hong Kongers are colonised. And disloyal to the “motherland”. And y’know what? All these claims of disloyalty are WRONG because they fundamentally forget… the CCP =/= CHINA.

  • THE CCP IS NOT CHINA. And all of us diasporic Chinese have no obligation to support them.
  • Because this political party has existed for barely 1/50th of China’s known, 5000 year old history. 
  • My Chinese heritage is in my name, my family’s traditions, the dishes we eat, how we celebrate Chinese New Year. Not the fucking CCP, which is the GOVERNMENT of China. China is bigger than the CCP. That’s why I can say I am against them. That’s why I understand why Hong Kongers say they preferred the security of British rule, as ironic as it all is. Because it was a fact that they were treated better by a foreign power than mainland Chinese were by their own government. Opposing Beijing doesn’t make me a colonial lapdog. It’s so easy for people to wrap themselves in the flag or history of an ancient civilisation and demand loyalty when it’s a LIE. 

being “chinese” is

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so much bigger 

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and older 

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than just loyalty to these people

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5. The reason Hong Kong doesn’t want to be “part of China” is in big part because of the CCP. They have NOT disowned their Chinese heritageGo there. You’ll see they speak Chinese dialects. They celebrate Chinese New Year. The food they eat is very much Chinese. Culturally, they’ve HARDLY disowned their heritage. Also, Hong Kong definitely benefits from increasingly wealthy, growing and capitalist China.

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  • Why don’t they want to be a part of China then? Because what they don’t want is this unaccountable political system that already causes a crapload of problems to mainland Chinese being imposed on them. Beijing tries to meddle in their affairs and threatens to roll back their long-held civil and political rights. Because unlike how Scotland has a Scottish Parliament, how Westminster has at least kept its promises to devolved power when Scottish people asked for it, Beijing now insists Hong Kong must choose its Chief Executive from a pre-approved list of candidates. Because it looks like they’re going back on their promise of “Two systems, one country” made when Hong Kong returned to China in 1997. 

6. China today is the world’s second largest economy because Deng Xiaoping and other more practical minded members of the CCP won a power struggle against the staunch Maoists in the 1970s- and ended its disastrous economic policies. But as much as they have reformed economically,politically, the authoritarianism from the Communist era is still there. And still causing a lot of problems. More reform is needed. Saying Hong Kongers should be loyal to a bunch of people just because they are also Chinese and that they are “English dogs” for preferring the system fostered under British rule, is the most shallow, the appeal to lowest common denominator in politics. Race and ethnicity based politics.

  • Nice try, but I’m not going to disregard reality and history, the reality that the Chinese Communist Party is so fucking problematic today in not just how it treats Hong Kong but mainland Chinese themselves even. How it treats Tibetans and the Muslim Uighurs. So the fact that their skin colour is the same as mine negates ALL THAT. What a load of nonsense. Throughout human history, some of the worst crimes have been committed by governments against their OWN people.

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  • Do you know how much further along and better off China could have been without those two decades of strife, political persecution and famines in the late 50s-70s? The economic progress in China today is because of REFORM. Because China started moving away from Maoist Communism. And they still need to move further away from the authoritarianism of the Communist era to fully realise the potential of their country. 

So, if you want to legitimately debate issues, sure. But this attempt at wrapping oneself in the flag to proclaim those angry with Beijing are “English dogs”, this accusation of Hong Kongers or diasporic Chinese of disloyalty, try harder. That’s a false paradigm. Our recognition of our ancestry and heritage is to a much longer history, not to some political party that has barely existed for 1/50th of China’s history that tries to make itself synonymous with an entire culture and civilisation. China existed long before the CCP was even an idea.

And that’s why I support the Hong Kong protesters even though my family fled China because of the Opium Wars. Because blind loyalty is dangerous. Because people who are of the same ethnicity are perfectly capable of oppressing one another. Because oppressor and victim can sometimes wear the same skin. 


stirringwind:

raaawrbin:

I feel like very few, or at least not many of the people of tumblr are aware of what is going on in my home country Hong Kong right now.

You guys gave alot of coverage and support when Scotland was voting for its independance, so I’m hoping you’ll all support the people of Hong Kong as well.

Right now, many of us are in a mass demonstration of pro-democracy against China. But wait a sec, isn’t Hong Kong China? This is a big misconception amongst foreigners, but please, we are far from being similar to China at all.

A little history class: Hong Kong used to be colonized by the British, and before you white-knights begin going all “them damn white racist ppl taking over another asian country” please don’t. We are thankful Britain took us under its wing and instilled in us values that I feel made us what we are today; that is, a democratic people with respect for free speech, amongst many things.

On the other hand, China is communist, with government controlled media and news. Google, instagram, facebook and many tv shows are blocked in China. It really is just a few steps from North Korea imo.

So what’s the problem here? Britain unfortunately had to hand back Hong Kong to China, but one of the requirements is that Hong Kong be allowed to operate as ‘one country two systems’, meaning Hong Kong should be able to have its own democratic government. But China has broken its promise. A while back, China tried to put a mandatory ‘national education’ curriculum in all our primary schools. We all know what that is; a communist brainwashing regime. And now, they have announced that in 2017 Hong Kong will be able to vote for its president; BUT only from 3 candidates hand picked by its PRO-BEIJING legislation.

As you can see, China is trying to takeover completely and turn us into another communist state.

Of course, we have taken to the streets. In a mirror if the Tiananmen protests, students have also stepped up to fight for our rights and our future, albeit in a peaceful protest of course. But the police force who have always been a friend of the people, are now responding with force, something that had never been done before in Hong Kong.

First it was pepperspray, then teargas. Then, armed forces came in qith rubber bullets. They warn they will come out with live ammunition soon if we do not get off the streets but the people continue to sit tight, disrupting businesses China so strive to takeover and make use of. It’s been 2 days now, but the people plan to continue at least till 1st October or even beyond. The significance is that October 1st is China’s National day, not ours, Hong Kong has not been granted it’s own National day.

Please spread the news. This is a country we’re talking about. These are my people.

You can join this event to wear yellow in support of my people on October 1st.

You can also read a more detailed explanation of what’s going down here and watch a live feed here.

Just to add on- Hong Kong is one of the rare examples where it genuinely did kind of end up being better off under colonial rule. And before I get jumped on for being a neo-colonialist- I’m saying that as a person with Chinese ancestry whose great grandparents left China because of the accumulated poor situation caused by the Opium Wars and political strife in the early 1900s. Do not dichotomise conflicts outside the world as “White people oppressing POC”. Yes Chinese people have been victims at the hands of the British, then the Japanese- but today the Chinese government is culpable in corruption and human rights abuses- even against its own citizens in the mainland. There were thousands of disturbances last year in China over various issues like land grabs, corruption and pollution. The government has also been oppressing ethnic minorities like the Tibetans and Muslim Uighurs. What you see happening here in Hong Kong is another pattern in the behaviour of an authoritarian government that really needs to be held more accountable.  

Yes, the Opium Wars fucked China up, but the Communists really ruined the country during the 1950s onwards with the disastrous Great Leap Forward. There was a horrible famine caused by state mismanagement- and by the end of it all, it’s estimated anywhere from 18 million to 45 million Chinese died. Far more than died in WW2. And then of course, the infamous Cultural Revolution where there were basically witch-hunts which just caused enormous upheaval and strife, where people were “outed” as “bourgeois” or capitalists or whatever and imprisoned, tortured and publicly humiliated. University students and professors were accused of being traitors. Even the Communist Party today acknowledges it was a complete disaster. While all of this was going on, by comparison, Hong Kong flourished under British rule.

The China you see today that is the world’s second largest economy is a product of Deng Xiaoping’s reform in the 1970s- which involved throwing out huge parts of the Communist economic policies to embrace capitalism- and putting a stop to the blind and rigid adherence to Communist ideology. Economically, China is in many ways very open to capitalism BUT politically, the government is pretty authoritarian still. And quite capable of oppression.

Do not lionise the Chinese government as this heroic “POC” country standing up to “white supremacy”, give them a free pass, or somehow think whatever they do cannot be as bad as Western imperialism. People with my skin colour are perfectly capable of oppression when they have institutional power. And they darned well better be called out for it. 






Song: Unknown... your balls were in a box by your wife's bedside table
Artist: UnknownJoe MacMillan
Album: UnknownHalt and Catch Fire
Played: 280 times

the-voice-of-lee-pace:

Lee Pace as Joe MacMillan in Halt and Catch Fire s1- ep2  ☼

Requested by coolbreeze35


mrsmoony86:

Intergalactic communications are down, Ronan has to rely on texting to call for reinforcements.

mrsmoony86:

Intergalactic communications are down, Ronan has to rely on texting to call for reinforcements.