Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Another Reason to Love HK

Yu Jie's China's Best Actor: Wen Jiabao
One of the reasons why we love Hong Kong is that at times it stands its ground -- much to the chagrin of Beijing.

For example, there is rule of law here, freedom of speech and the press, and there are no such things as black jails and people being "disappeared".

And now there is another reason: The 4th annual Hong Kong Book Prize organized by RTHK and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department includes books banned in China, causing mainlanders to scratch their heads.

The short list includes China's Best Actor: Wen Jiabao by Yu Jie and a memoir of veteran mainland Aids activist Dr Gao Yaojie.

The 17 members of the panel are made up of academics, cultural critics and social-policy workers.

"I picked the critique of Wen for the list and I think it reflects the freedom of publication in Hong Kong," said Dr Hung Ching-tin, a member of the panel and a research fellow with the Hong Kong Institute of Education. "Hong Kong has preserved its unique value in transferring knowledge, which could be politically sensitive, to mainland citizens. It is sort of a knowledge export and re-import process."

In China's Best Actor: Wen Jiabao, Yu criticizes the premier for hypocrisy over democratic values.

Hung said the increased number of political publications in this year's list reflected the importance Hong Kong has in maintaining information flow to China.

"This chimes with an increasingly popular activity among mainland tourists: buying books banned by Beijing in Hong Kong as souvenirs," he said.

Meanwhile online mainland users of the social networking site Twitter were fascinated that Yu's book was included in an event organized by government bodies.

This just clearly illustrates "One country, two systems" at work, and because of that Hong Kong doesn't always have to obey Beijing.

1 comment:

  1. don't know how long this practice will be tolerated by beijing. the lord of the north is flexing his strong arm towards this little enclave slowly and steadily.