The rip best illustrates Chinese attitude towards Hong Kong

Hong kong flag being ripped apart

This photo from Appledaily Realtime, captured the moment when the leader of the pro-China thug group, “Caring Hong Kong Power”, Ms Sum Chan (陳淨心), ripped the British Hong Kong flag apart, during a rally outside the venue of third consultation forum of the Chief Executive on policy address and budget at Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon today.

Sum Chan was one of the many so-called “New Immigrants” who migrated to Hong Kong. The large influx of Chinese immigrants from mainland China has sparked debates on their sense of belongings and their loyalty to the identity as a Hong Konger.

These new immigrants were suspected of being the spies from the Communist China sabotaging the Hong Kong society, while the large influx of these new immigrants since the handover has caused severe scrambling of social resources. As the Hong Kong SAR Government has no right to scrutinize these immigrants nor has right on refusing to accept them as Hong Kong citizen, such policy is being widely criticized as the attempt to colonize Hong Kong, just like what the Chinese Communists has been doing in Tibet and Xinjiang.

The British Hong Kong flag has in recent years become the symbol among local political activists against Chinese intervention of Hong Kong. Under the Joint Declaration signed between the United Kingdom and China in 1984, “One Country, Two Systems” was a promise of China towards Hong Kong to keep its own systems and way of living after the handover. Though China paid lip service by claiming that “One Country, Two Systems” has been honoured all the time since the handover, China never stopped from intervening Hong Kong by picking puppet Chief Executives and broke its promise to deliver universal suffrage to Hong Kong citizens. Legal verdicts showed tendencies in favouring Chinese than Hong Kongers. Under such circumstances, the mood of nostalgia is widespread among Hong Kongers, who will prefer the return of the Queen. The Union Jack is the symbol of this sentiment shared by many of the locals, but of course, not those “New Immigrants” like Sum Chan, who received distorted education of patriotism by Chinese Communists. Blinded hatred towards “Western Imperialism” of these new neighbours reminded Hong Kongers of the Red Guards and Boxers.

So the rip of Sum Chan demonstrated that she was an alien among the locals, an invader against Hong Kongers, who despised the British colonial Hong Kong, and despised of the citizens who grew up in that period. Such rip was a provocation to Hong Kongers who treasure the systems of modern Western civilizations, a declaration to eradicate the locals with the “New Immigrants”, the new colonists with full support from Peking.

sumchangukflag

According to the Laws of Hong Kong, ripping the national flag committed an offence under “National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance”:

“A person who desecrates the national flag or national emblem by publicly and wilfully burning, mutilating, scrawling on, defiling or trampling on it commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine at level 5 and to imprisonment for 3 years.”

Many social activists were convicted under this section in the past demonstrations for burning or damaging the “national flag”. National flag, of course, refers only to the flag of the People’s Republic of China. So Sum Chan was free from any offence by ripping of the British Hong Kong flag

That is exactly why Sum Chan could rip the flag before the locals with a smile of despise: she was perfectly ok to rip the colonial Hong Kong flag, while locals took the risk of being arrested by doing the same towards the Chinese flag.

This rip is therefore a perfect reminder to the Hong Kongers the essence of Chinese colonization in Hong Kong.

CY Leung’s Road to Dictatorship

The Chief Executive, Mr. CY Leung, attended a meeting with locals at the town hall of Tin Shui Wai on 11 August 2013, a new town at the North-Western part of Hong Kong. Tin Shui Wai has been renowned as the “City of Misery” in recent years, for it being the numerous social issues, including domestic violence, mental illness and suicides. Tin Shui Wai has been the beachhead of immigrants from Mainland China since the handover of sovereignty. According to CY Leung’s speech, the meeting aimed to listen to the opinions of the locals.

The meeting inside the town hall was relatively peaceful, compared to the standoff between CY Leung’s “supporters” and the protestors outside the hall, which finally led to quarrels and physical violence. Video tapes recorded how CY Leung’s “supporters” attacked the protestors in front of the police. Police officers at the scene witnessed the crimes, but took no actions at spot to arrest the attackers.

This meeting was obviously not an improvisational one. It has already been more than a year since the date of inauguration of the third Chief Executive. Over the year, Hong Kong citizens found themselves fooled: the numerous blank cheques, from solving the problem of housing supply to helping the poor, the cheques promised by Mr. Leung turned out as dishonoured. With his popularity kept sliding and his cabinet members resigning one after another after their involvement in scandals, CY Leung’s impotence has even caused the anxiety of his Communist bosses.

It is therefore not difficult to imagine that CY Leung is trying to grasp every chance available to regain his popularity. The meeting at the town hall of Tin Shui Wai turned out like a personal showdown of CY Leung, or more seriously, a declaration of war against those opposing him, than a sincere meeting to listen to the opinions of the residents in the new town.

In CY Leung’s speech, here were several important highlights:

  1. The Chief Executive demands the Secretary of Education to submit a report over the incident of primary schoolteacher Alpais Lam Wai-sze shouting abuse over the police in Mongkok on 14 July 2013, to see what effects of her action would cause on the quality of teachers, quality of education and impacts on the juveniles;
  2. The Chief Executive fully backs the police in the dispute in Mongkok on the said date. He praised the professionalism of the police force in enforcing laws in a just and fair way, as well as their self-restraints in handling conflicts with citizens. Yet the government will not tolerate anyone to take chance or abuse on police officers’ self-restraint attitude;
  3. Political parties that reported the suspected corruption cases to ICAC of the cabinet members Franklin LAM Fan-keung and Barry CHEUNG Chun-yuen owe them an apology. ICAC has dropped the prosecution procedures due to lack of evidence, yet the political parties abusing the system never apologize either in private or public.

The attitude of CY Leung in his speech was apparently provocative, despite its lack of logic in his statements. It sounds weird for the Chief Executive, the leader of a city, to intervene into a storm in a teacup. And surely, policemen owe lots of apologies to those arrested who are later found innocent. This meeting of CY Leung is more like an arranged show time for him to hit back against the media and his political opponents – verbally and physically.

two leungs

Instead of building up the consensus and lessening the gap between the pro-Beijing and pan democratic camps, CY Leung is deliberately enlarging it – this is the traditional “Divide and conquer” tactics used by communists under power struggle. By escalating the tension between opposing parties and by provoking large scale physical violence and conflicts comparable to the one in 1967, the Chief Executive may get an excuse to proclaim the intermission of the Basic Law and the enforcement of the National Law, which means to an end to the “One country, two systems” and a possible military rule. Of course, whether this will become a reality depends heavily on the view of the Central Government on the strategic position of Hong Kong.

The actions of CY Leung’s “supporters” outside the town hall echoed well with such hypothesis. As CY Leung failed to deliver his promises made during election campaign, even the pro-Beijing camp kept distance from him and was reluctant to lend full support with their political resources. CY Leung chose Tin Shui Wai for several reasons. First, it is rather a distant district from city centre, so the number of protestors could be kept minimal. Second, CY Leung noticed the rather strong political power of indigenous inhabitants in the district. The political power in the rural region had close links with the triads. Video records showed the thug-like individuals gathering outside the town hall, all of them wearing surgical masks. Some tattooed men attacked the demonstrators who shouted slogans demanding the step-down of CY Leung – in front of the police officers. Appledaily reported that these “supporters” of CY came from nearby villages and public estates of the district. (You may find the English version at theRealHongKongNews) Leung Che-cheung, Chairman of New Territories Association of Societies, who hosted the Town Hall meeting on the day called in supporters a couple of days prior to the meeting to rally. These thug-like “supporters” were said to be gathered by a number of powerful triad-related individuals in the district. And of course, these “supporters” were paid for. The link of the Chief Executive with the triad has long been criticized since his running for the Chief Executive election 2012. Finally, Hitler gets his Rohm.

hitler and rohm

So here comes the vicious cycle: the more popularity you lose, the more reliance on the triad-link supporters and armed force to rule. The more reliance on them, people further lose their confidence. Of course the Chief Executive doesn’t care, only if he can become a dictator and keep Hong Kongers silent.

The social antagonism of Hong Kong is at the highest point since 1967 riots. Hong Kongers may have to get prepared that the worst is yet to come.

The Watershed of Freedom of Speech in Hong Kong: the Persecution of Ms Alpais Lam Wai-sze

Few could imagine a minor quarrel in the street turned into a wave of persecution, and marked as the watershed of the freedom of speech of Hong Kong.

On 14th July 2013, Sunday, the Mong Kok pedestrian zone was as crowded as usual. The booth of Falun Gong used to exist in the zone for many years without attracting the attention of many Hong Kong locals. Yet on that day, the booth was barricaded by Hong Kong Youth Care Association Limited (HKYCA, 香港青年關愛協會), a pro-Beijing organization with many vagrants as its members, usually dressed in pale green uniforms. HKYCA was notorious for stirring up various conflicts with Falun Gong and engaging in violent activities since its establishment, comparable to the Red Guards in China during the Cultural Revolution.

In this incident, members of HKYCA used their banners to cover the booth of Falun Gong, which was their usual way to stir up conflicts. The Police did intervene. But what they did was not trying to separate the two parties to avoid further conflicts. They simply used police lines to surround the area. Pedestrians passing by were displeased with the way of handling by the Police. They denounced the Police of protecting the HKYCA instead of solving the conflict. The 8:52 duration footage recorded the whole incident. Among the pedestrians, a woman in orange skirt (later identified as the Ms Alpais Lam Wai-sze (林慧思), a teacher of Pui Ling School of The Precious Blood) scolded the Police of not taking actions against the HKYCA, applauded by many. Others argued with the Police of their ways of handling. The Police left the scene afterwards without taking actions to resolve the conflicts. After the Police left the scent, HKYCA members and pedestrians had physical conflicts. Police appeared again at the end of the footage to separate the parties.

But this is not the end of the story. Another video footage lasting for 5:32 appeared in the web around a week later, titled as “Police officers tactfully handling an outrageous teacher with calm”. This footage focused on the quarrel between the teacher Ms Alpais Lam Wai-sze and the police. In this edited clip, Ms Lam was presented as an outrageous woman losing her self-control insulting the police, while the Police was presented as calm and tactful. The whole incident as in the above paragraph, was intentionally missed out in this version. This version was widely shared among the users of Facebook and many netizens came to be misled of the story. Ms Lam was widely criticised by the netizens for shouting “What the fuck” against the police. The fire of criticism spread rapidly from the Internet into the reality.

ms lam

Many mainstream pro-Beijing newspapers quoted the edited version to criticise Ms Lam’s behaviour for swearing to the Police as a teacher. Wenweipo (文匯報), a pro-Beijing media, criticised Ms Lam as “ethically unacceptable to be a teacher”, “casting a bad example to the young generation”. Criticisms focused on her “What the fuck” statements without delving into the whole incident. Even the pro-democrat Appledaily quoted this version of story, only deleting it after being informed by netizens.

The edited version was later refuted by the netizens who had seen the 8:52 version. They suspected the 5:32 version was intentionally edited by 50-centers (pro-Beijing propagandists) to distort the whole story. They speculated that the 50-centers intended to suppress voices against the pro-Beijing camp. 50-centers were also suspected of responsible for organizing campaign of complaints to the school where Ms Lam as a teacher, demanding the school to explain on the matter and even fire her.

After understanding the whole story, public opinions turned to the side of supporting Ms Lam’s bravery against injustice. Many are sending letters and emails to the school supporting Ms Lam. Yet the society was quite divided on Ms Lam’s behaviour. Some parents worried Ms Lam would set a bad example to the children, others supported her for voicing out against injustice.

Under school and social pressure, Ms Lam signed a declaration with the school authority accepting of her “improper behaviour” in the incident, and promised not to do it again. She was able to keep her job. Yet pro-Beijing camp and the Police did not stop their persecutions.

On 27th July, the Junior Police Officers Association made a declaration denouncing Ms Lam’s behaviour against the Police in the incident, followed by a similar declaration from the Hong Kong Police Inspectors’ Association. Police’s stance lining with HKYCA was obvious, yet the Police claimed itself as “politically neutral”.

Banners with personal attacks on Ms Lam and funeral wreathes with Ms Lam’s name written were found outside her school, said Ms Lam when she was interviewed by Mingpao media. At this stage, this incident obviously developed into a political persecution, sending funeral wreathes is even a criminal intimidation. Yet we do not see the police trying to give a helping hand against intimidation.

“Hong Kong Parents Alliance” and “Hong Kong Action”, the affiliated groups of Pro-Beijing camp, are calling for gathering at Mong Kok pedestrian zone on 4th August at 1430 hours to denunciate Ms Lam. This reminds of the memories of Struggle Sessions during the Cultural Revolution. The netizens and radical democrats are calling for volunteers to gather there at the time to counteract against the “Red Guards of Hong Kong”.

The persecution of Ms Lam marks a watershed in the history of freedom of speech in Hong Kong. If the pro-Beijing camp succeeds in ousting Ms Lam and making the voices they don’t like to become silent. Hong Kong’s freedom of speech is under peril.

Chinese publisher falsifying history of Hong Kong

Translated from Apple Daily dated 20-07-2013

Not only the Japanese falsify history, so do some Chinese-funded publishers. “A Concise History of Hong Kong”, a book written by a scholar in the University of Hong Kong, was translated by Chung Hwa Book Co. (中華書局) into Chinese. However, it was later discovered that there were two different versions in circulation: one loyal to the original text, another had the sensitive criticisms on Chinese government deleted. The author, after being informed of the fact, claimed he was deeply shocked and disappointed. Chung Hwa Book Co. explained that the censored version was the “sample” separately produced for “fulfilling the intellectual property requirement of China”.

a concise history of hk

The author, Mr. John M. Carroll, was the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Hong Kong and professor of History Department. The original English version was published in 2007 by Hong Kong University Press. The Chinese version was published in July 2013 by Chung Hwa Book Co. It was discovered by media that there were two versions. In the censored version, criticisms to the Chinese government were deleted. The criticisms included that the Chinese government “is a more authoritative administration than the precedent colonial government”, most Hong Kongers “prefer British colonial rule than Chinese rule”, and “several hundred thousand protestors demanding the Chief Executive, C.Y. Leung, to step down”, and more.

Mr. John M. Carroll claimed that he did not know of the censored version until being informed by the media, he felt deeply shocked and disappointed in this matter. He reiterated that the censored version was different from his authorized version. He requested Chung Hwa Book Co. to explain on this matter and to stop the censored version from circulation.

Chung Hwa Book Co. explained that the censored version was not for sale purpose. It was the “sample” separately prepared for “fulfilling the intellectual property requirement of China”. Some of these samples were delivered for sale at its kiosk in the Hong Kong Book Fair by mistake. 37 samples were sold, the rest would be withdrawn from sale.

Our reporters approached other bookstores yesterday for investigation. Among them, the Eslite (誠品書店) staff claimed they have withdrawn the books from sale. Such testimony refuted the claim of Chung Hwa Book Co. that the censored version was mistakenly delivered to the Hong Kong Book Fair only.

Edward Snowden’s bet

Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, fled to Hong Kong after the leak of the secret information.

“Mainland China does have significant restrictions on free speech but the people of Hong Kong have a long tradition of protesting in the streets, making their views known.”

“I believe that the Hong Kong government is actually independent in relation to a lot of other leading Western governments.”

May God bless him if he had believed in the Communist propaganda and Western media  in portraying Hong Kong. Superficial impressions gathered from the media coverage on the mass demonstrations in Hong Kong may put his life in peril.

snowden

Mr. Snowden just may not know what is happening in Hong Kong. The reality is that the freedom of speech and demonstration is being curbed day by day. Not to say the failed attempt in 2003 in passing the Article 23 as a security law to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Chinese Government, protestors in demonstrations were often charged with more serious offences, and the police force is increasing aggressive in violating the human rights in suppressing the demonstrations, even with sexual assaults involved. If he thinks Hong Kong’s autonomy was safeguarded, it seems not the case. And don’t forget the extradition agreement between Hong Kong and the U.S. signed right after the handover. The Hong Kong government, with Beijing’s consent, has the lawful option to extradite him. If it was the real reason why Mr. Snowden chose Hong Kong, let’s wish him good luck.

Nevertheless, it is hard to believe that a 29-year old talented whistleblower is such a retard. The bet of Mr. Snowden seems to rely on the Chinese government. Curbing the freedom to the Hong Kong citizens is one question, while Mr. Snowden is a VIP and the storm eye stirring up the tides from Beijing via Hong Kong to Washington. Another possible scenario of the story is that Mr. Snowden makes a deal with Beijing – by supplying some valuable intelligence to Beijing in exchange of his safety.

Still, it is almost certain that Hong Kong will not be the last port for Mr. Snowden. A highly transparent society with sophisticated communications and transport system facilitates any acts to trace his tracks. The agents of the U.S. government in Hong Kong should already been acting.

It seems the news of Mr. Snowden is welcomed by the Mandarin officials. In the first place, it is a good chance for the Communist government to criticize the U.S. government of undermining the human rights of the U.S. citizens, with an agent defecting as the Obama administration failed to roll back the surveillance measures implemented by the Bush administration. To the Chinese officials, it is another good chance to demonstrate to the Hong Kongers her sovereignty, when this case will likely to be handled as a diplomatic issue. To put it more plainly, that is to take this chance the Hong Kongers again: “I am the real boss”, in view of the growing localism sentiments in the city.

With the Iceland legislator voicing out her willingness to assist Mr. Snowden to seek asylum in Iceland, let’s keep an eye and see how this incident will develop.