Friday, 8 March 2013

Differences Remain

Yu Zhengsheng presses the flesh during a gathering at the CPPCC
Mainland Chinese officials think they know what's going on in Hong Kong, but they still don't get it.

Or rather there are some cultural differences that still haven't been ironed out.

Earlier this week Politburo Standing Committee member Yu Zhengsheng warned Hong Kong should not become a base for subversion, saying "opposition" and "centrifugal forces" could not be allowed to rule the city after universal suffrage was attained.

And now another fellow committee member Zhang Dejiang who will supervise Hong Kong and Macau Affairs as well as head the top legislature also lectured the city.

According to Xinhua, in a closed-door meeting with Hong Kong delegates, Zhang told them to help deepen the implementation of "one country, two systems" concept.

He said Hong Kong residents should have a fuller understanding it, as he was concerned some locals put more "two systems" ahead of "one country".

China is obviously irked that Hong Kong is not integrating into the motherland fast enough, or is readily accepting of Chinese rule.

These officials probably think the faster Hong Kong becomes like any other Chinese city then the tensions between locals and mainlanders will decrease.

But they still don't understand the fundamental problem!

Zhang Dejiang reiterates Yu's comments about Hong Kong
While Hong Kong people are Chinese, they are not mainland Chinese. They were born and raised in a completely different environment and context compared to their cousins in the north and Hong Kong residents are proud of calling themselves Hong Kong Chinese and speaking Cantonese instead of Putonghua.

Which is why some have chosen to go back to waving the colonial flag because it is the closest symbol they have to indicate they would like things to be the way they were.

And this shocks Chinese officials, who are warning Hong Kong residents, that doing such things is equal to subversion. "The Chinese people will not accept some Hong Kongers waving the colonial flag," Zhang said, quoting Yu.

Excuse me, according to "one country, two systems", Hong Kong has freedom of expression and waving a colonial flag is a person's free choice to do so.

Obviously it is the mainland masters who have no understanding of its 1997 acquisition and that its governance over the city that should remain unchanged until 2047.

By the same token Hong Kong people cannot comprehend the mainland with its opaqueness and its people with unsightly manners.

It's a huge divide both Chinese and Hong Kong officials don't know how to bridge... or perhaps both are too caught up in other internal issues to really get at the crux of the problem.

But really for the Chinese it's the integrity issue -- until its government is more open and transparent, and there is rule of law in the country will Hong Kong people even begin to trust them.

Until then they will continue to wave colonial flags and protest -- because they have the right and freedom to do so.

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