Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Cultural and Political Divide

China continues to twist the democracy movement into a radical action...
The divide between Hong Kong and the mainland is even greater now, thanks to Beijing being unmoved by the July 1 march.

According to Professor Lau Siu-kai, vice-chairman of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies and adviser to the central government, the massive crowds on Tuesday make it difficult for the government to change its stance on political reform.

Is Lau just saying that? Because things changed in 2003, forcing then chief executive Tung Chee-hwa to step down and for the government to rescind Article 23.

That's why over half a million people marched in the streets on Tuesday.

He even adds, "I'm worried the escalating confrontation between Beijing and Hong Kongers could result in bloody conflicts."

Really?

Is he scaremongering? Much like nationalistic paper the Global Times?

The state-run media is saying the sit-in demonstration that happened Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning is a threat to rule of law, and without it, "Hong Kong could sink into the likes of Ukraine or Thailand and all kinds of dangerous phenomena could happen", it said.

Really?

And the most outrageous thing is that mainland Chinese read these things and believe them.

I had an opportunity to hear some mainlanders voice their opinions about Tuesday's march, and they were amusing to hear.

One claimed they had read media reports outside of China that said there were concerns "such radical actions could hijack the whole 'so-called' full democracy movement in Hong Kong".

He seemed to parrot exactly what the propaganda machine has been churning out in the last few weeks. And it just shows how effective state media is in influencing the opinions of 1.3 billion people.

Another point he made was that the referendum last week did not represent the whole population. He said according to a survey by Lingnan University and another university in Hong Kong which is conducted in a more scientific way over half of the population will accept the conditions of the central government in Beijing for the 2017 chief executive election.

However he twisted the last point. More than half the respondents didn't think a public nomination of candidates for chief executive was against the Basic Law. Obviously state media missed mentioning this point and reporting fully on the survey.

A woman from Shanghai observed there were differences between mainlanders and Hong Kongers in the way they were brought up, saying, "protesting wasn't really something we were taught when we were growing up". She also said it was because Hong Kong people were western educated, insinuating it was something leftover from the British.

Hong Kong people didn't learn to protest in schools either! They were left with no choice but to march on Tuesday. It was not an impromptu protest like those at Tahrir Square in Egypt. The July 1 march was organized well in advance, with organizers getting the relevant permits, working with police and other authorities.

It was a civilized march -- hardly radical.

The propaganda machine is too big and powerful for Hong Kong people to battle against. Those who visit Hong Kong and see the freedoms we enjoy and the access to material and information they don't, make them realize what a special place the city.

They understand, but the vast majority are still spouting on command whatever Beijing wants them to say.

The battle of the minds continues...

2 comments:

  1. "Those who visit Hong Kong and see the freedoms we enjoy and the access to material and information they don't, make them realize what a special place the city."

    I sometimes wonder if many of the mainland tourists do -- because all they seem interested in is shopping! OTOH, the fact that on June 4, political and affliated groups received lots of donations in the form of Chinese yuan notes say that there are indeed some mainlanders who come over here and see and appreciate. And, of course, there are those who come over and decide/want to become Hong Kong permanent residents and/or use Hong Kong as a launching pad to move overseas!

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    1. HI YTSL -- Yes you are right! I was thinking of those who like to buy banned books here... But perhaps their visits here are so fleeting they really don't understand the freedoms we feel are being eroded...

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