Another very strange phenomenon is how much young HKers enjoy seeing signs of a Chinese recession. They think a weak Chinese economy would give them an opportunity to finally get on the property ladder. I don't have any information on this, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if the anti-Chinese sentiment was found to be the highest in HK than anywhere else in the world including Taiwan.
The HK government is now blaming the loss of tourists on anti-parallel trade campaigns and the UM while in fact it's more due to the strong HK dollar and the weakened Chinese economy than anything. Either way average HKers still think there are way too many Chinese "tourists" unless they work in retail, of course.
This message may be a little simplistic to a very complicated situation. I encourage you all to read more about what's happening in HK right now and what our police has done over the past 2-3 days from different sources. If you have the means, go to one of our protest sites to FEEL it. There were Chinese tourists who only went to "check out how a protest was like" ended up staying and supporting our students during their entire visit, skipping their shopping trips entirely. If you still think HKers aren't ready for democracy after you've tried to understand with an open heart, fair enough, but I'm sure many will be touched by the goodness the protesters have displayed.
It's okay if you don't support our cause, if you genuinely don't think the youngsters are using the right approach or democracy is the answer to this, but please at least try to understand why we are doing this, why our spoiled teenagers who have enjoyed the life of abundance and are pampered by their parents and maids at home are willing to risk their lives to fight for something noble.
When I was a teacher in HK, I never thought they were capable of something like this, ever.
Our students are scared, but they are more scared of HK being turned into just another Chinese city. Regaining control of our own destiny is our only hope.
The video Russell post has gone viral on HK social media. What the police did and/ didn't do over the past 2 weeks have broken the hearts of many HKers who grew up believing the HK Police were to be trusted. Because of the public outcry, the police has issued a statement saying it will conduct an internal investigation, but I think many HKers have lost faith in HK Police and doubt if justice can really be served.
I actually thought of writing about why we are protesting, what we stand for, how we are protesting, why we are so damn nice and peaceful, and even the conspiracy theories and how the HK/Chinese government's handling of this is a reflection of the power struggle of the Communist Party, but I think mainstream international media have covered those topics pretty well over the past 18 days. I'm not on the ground. I can only speak as a HKer who had once lost hope for a better future in HK, but now that I have witnessed the determinism and kindness displayed by our protesters, my hope is now reignited
Thank you very much for the interests. The reason I illustrated all the discontent in Hong Kong is to show why it is important for us to have democracy so that we can finally take control of our destiny and make policies that serve HKers. Yes, I understand my depiction may come across as “intolerant”, which is actually what the HK government has been using as excuse to tell HKers to shut up about all the Chinese-centric policies it has been pushing forward, but is it wrong to ask a government to put its own people first?
The problem with the Chinese presence in HK or even in Auckland, is that many are not assimilating. Most HKers, including myself, have grandparents originally from China, but our ancestors adapted to the HK culture at that time, learned Cantonese and worked hard to build HK into what it is right now. Most HKers don’t feeling negatively toward other people of Chinese descent like Taiwanese, Singaporean Chinese or Malaysian Chinese. The mentality many Chinese have, which is advocated by their state media, is that because they are investing in HK and “boosting” our economy, we should be thankful and let them bring their customs to HK. When I say customs, I’m not talking about celebrating Chinese holidays, I’m talking about the disespecting the rule of law, corruption, cutting lines, urinating in public (which is also a problem in other Asian cities like Singapore due to the increasing number of Chinese tourists), not giving seats to those in need on public transports. I can’t speak for all HKers in Auckland, but I’ve tried very hard to assimilate and learn more about the Kiwi culture. I even avoid speaking in Cantonese in public. Trying to appreciate and adapt to the culture of your new home is what I think every newcomer to a new city/country should do.
The major difference between the situation in Auckland and HK is that (Greater) Auckland is 4 times bigger than the entire HK, but there are 7 million people already living there. We can barely accommodate our own people with the housing and infrastructure we have, but the HK/Chinese government are continuously letting Chinese tourists come to HK to not only spend money but to take advantage of our system. Last year HK received 17 million tourists (66% Chinese). NZ as a country only received about 3 million. Many of those so called tourists came to HK are hired by gray market dealers. They don’t come to visit but to stock up our necessaries in bulk, to the point that even locals have a hard time finding what they need. Another huge problem is “anchor babies”. NZ doesn’t give citizenship to just anyone born in NZ unless one of the parents has NZ permanent residency or citizenship, but in HK anyone born there will automatically get PR. In 2001, only 650 babies were born to Chinese parents, but in 2010, the number rose 50 times to 32,600! Many Chinese parents use tourism as a disguise to take advantage of our welfare and health care systems. The children can enjoy free education, free healthcare and welfare even though the parents didn’t contribute anything to HK.
Our government has been doing next to nothing about all these. Every time a conflict arises, our government tells us to be “tolerant” because our government officials know the only way to secure their power is to please China. I also cannot agree with the gentleman who thinks the HK Police was the party solely responsible for firing tear gas at our protesters. I do not believe they would have done such thing without the approval from someone higher up.
And yes, HK had riots in the 1960s, which were very different and way more violent than the Umbrella Revolution we are having. Do you know who were behind those riots? Supporters of the Communist Party. HK was not perfect decades ago. That’s why the British set up ICAC, which turned HK into one of most uncorrupted cities in the world (next to Singapore I believe). HK was not perfect when the British left us in 1997 either, but after the handover things have only gone downhill. Our protesters aren’t asking for Britain to take us back or seeking independence. You might have seen the colonial flags flying around in previous protests, but its presence should be very minimal this time because the majority of the protesters know what they are actually fighting for–the democracy that we are entitled to--so that we can make HK a better place for our people.