Monday, 30 June 2014

Sending the Wrong Message

Beijing's white paper gave an unintended negative impression to Hong Kong
The 787,427 votes from the referendum were analyzed last night. About 42.1 percent chose the proposal from the Alliance for True Democracy, followed by Scholarism at 38.4 percent and then 10.4 percent for People Power.

And of the second question, 88 percent agreed that the Legislative Council should veto any reform proposal put forward by the government if it failed to meet international standards.

"Today should go down in the history of Hong Kong's constitutional development as the referendum was the largest scale of expression of public opinion in the city's history," said Benny Tai Yiu-ting, co-organizer of Occupy Central.

He said he would submit the results to Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

And we can imagine Beijing will be wondering what to do next.

A mainland source who was involved in drafting the white paper showed Beijing still needed to learn how to better communicate with Hong Kong.

"Judging from the reaction in the past few weeks, it has fallen short of the central government's expectations," the sources said.

"A substantial number of people are worried that Beijing intends to tighten its grip on Hong Kong and even take back some power from Hong Kong. Actually this is wrong.

"But there is a need for the central government to improve its communications with Hong Kongers in future. There is room for improvement in how we present messages.

"How can we explain our stances in a manner and style Hong Kongers deem more acceptable?"

Uh, how about never?

There are great number of Hong Kong people who fled Communist China. It was only two generations ago. Those in their sixties and older definitely remember how they fled to the city or via Macau.

They saw first hand the Communist Revolution, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. They came to Hong Kong to escape from persecution, the chaos and madness.

Some lost family members, property and assets to the Communists.

Memories like that are hard to wipe out.

Hong Kong was their safe haven. But with the approach of 1997 they were worried about seeing PLA tanks and soldiers marching down the streets.

However that didn't happen and so their fears were eased -- until now.

Why would they trust anything that comes out of the Communist Party's mouth?

So if the Chinese government can somehow undo over 60 years of nightmares, then perhaps it has a chance of winning Hong Kong people's trust.

But it can't so trying to rectify its PR image is a steep uphill battle.

All we can say is, good luck!

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