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SCMP DEBATE

Colonial flags a symbol of resentment, not a call for Hong Kong independence

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 November, 2012, 3:34am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 November, 2012, 8:28am

The display of colonial-era flags in recent protests is more about an anti-mainland feeling than a substantial movement for independence, most of this week’s SCMP Debate participants say.

The question arose when Global Times, a mainland newspaper run by the Communist Party, joined two former mainland officials in charge of Hong Kong affairs  to warn of growing “pro-independence” voices in the former British colony.

Lu Ping, former director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said in a letter to the South China Morning Post last month that advocates for Hong Kong independence were “sheer morons”.

Lu’s former deputy, Chen Zuoer, said the pro-independence force – which was “spreading like a virus” – should be handled firmly.

But Kennedy Wong Ying-ho, a Hong Kong delegate to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and a director of the China Law Society, said much fuss was being made of “people using freedom of demonstration to vent ‘nostalgic’ sentiment.”

Ray Yep Kin-man, a politics professor at the City University, says it would be “an exaggeration” to equate flying the flags with the rise of a pro-independence movement. 

Alan Hoo SC, chairman of the Basic Law Institute,  said protesters should instead be brandishing copies of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which set out the terms under which Hong Kong would be governed after its return to Chinese sovereignty.

Dr Horace Chin Wan-kan  – whose keynote publication last year advocating Hong Kong becoming a city-state has inspired thousands of online followers  – says his campaign focused on local identity, “just like those states, city-states and dependencies that keep their historical coat of arms after joining a republic”. 

A group calling itself “We’re Hongkongians, not Chinese” on social network site Facebook says that the colonial flag carries global recognition and legitimacy.

The group’s founder, Dickson Cheung,  said there was a spirit of “social-contract” upheld by many locals in which all kinds of interference by Beijing in local affairs was regarded as inappropriate. He says all exchanges  with the mainland “should be cut off”.

Allison Wang,  from Anhui province and now a City University student, said exchanges between mainlanders and locals were necessary despite the latter’s resentment against mainlanders like herself.

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likingming
Don't blame others. Don't blame China who is helping us a lot.
Blame your stupidity. Blame the HK Govt.
The HK govt has the mindset of making money and accumulating huge reserves from her own people. Apart from the Govt Associates (tycoons, civil servants, welfare dependants, licensed monopolies), all other non-associate ordinary people are most likely to be exploited.
HK is a rich financial centre for the rich and the vested interest. The majority poor have to suffer with long working hours (or two jobs) and live in poverty. Vote with your feet and leave HK for china where there is more opportunities.
likingming
Don't deceive yourself with the so-called core values
Democracy - it is moderation at best and majority tyranny at worst ! No smoking, dog eating, burqa.
Freedom - my freedom limits yours and vice versa.
Rule of Law - the disguise of Rule by Law
And these core values are to be betrayed as demonstated 12 yrs ago when we tacitly unethically and unlawfully deprived the rights of the 1.67m HK descendants mainlanders to unite with their families.
A Hong Konger
likingming: Best check the '50 Cent Party' rule book, but I don't think you can make more than ¥0.50 RMB just by triple posting nonsense. Also, I think the rules also say you can't get paid by making the mainland position look stupid in your posts. But, thanks, by showing how vapid and empty the ethnic nationalist argument is I imagine we'd be independent by the end of the decade. Thank you, you are our strength. :)
likingming
To assess to what extent have you been brainwashed in the 150 yrs colonial period, just ask yourself 3 questions
1.) Do you have an english name ? Charles, Peter, Elizabeth, Mary....
2.) Did you take the chinese language subject in HKCE (HKCEE) ? Pass or fail ?
(it was not necessary to take / pass the subject to climb up the official ladder by then. But it was a must for the English language subject)
3.) What did you declare your nationality when you apply for the renewal of ID Card, Chinese, English or BDTC ?
likingming
HKers have a lot to learn from Macau, Taiwan and South Korea
Macau - one fifth the size of HK and one tenth the population. Still she could deal with 13b mainlanders properly and most Macauers are proud of being chinese.
Taiwan - They insist mainland is part of Taiwan and most are proud of being chinese with 10% population have settled in eastern part of China. Most are young and capable.
South Korea - They are proud of being korean and are determined to unify their country one day.
HELP YOUR COUNTRY HELP YOURSELF
thenext
People holding BNOs are just poor foreign subjects of British and they are simply used to fulfill the British government's vested interests. There are many examples that those BNO holders not getting any citizenship rights in the UK and not even working visa in the UK. If they think having BNO is equal to British citizenship they should migrate to UK and give a try. All those mentally and psychologically foreign colonized people should opt to migrate to UK, probably the whites in the UK will then opt to transfer them to Falklands because there are already too many foreigners in the UK and there are a lot of resentment about them. Hong Kong's mentally colonized people will add another color in the resentment in the UK, and problem of resentment in Hong Kong will probably solved.
A Hong Konger
thenext: If you take your narrative and replace the words "BNO" with "SAR", "British" with "Chinese" and "UK" with "PRC" you'd explain our current situation quite well. Except, of course, for your absurd racial fantasies. It is precisely this vulgar ethnocentrism and hallowed approach to 'Chineseness' that is making an increasing number of Hong Kongers reject Hu Jintao's call "share the dignity and pride of being Chinese". Constantly I hear that as the best argument (often shouted): "Your are Chinese!" So what? What does it mean to be Chinese, exactly? You would insult 1.3bn+ people by telling me it means to shut up and do what I'm told? To accept that everything we've build can be taken away and to deny our history? And where is this 'dignity and pride'? I don't hear it coming from your words, or Lu Ping's or from badly behaved mainland visitors. I only see dignity and pride in the way we Hong Kongers behave, working quietly and hard in cramped spaces peacefully protesting for modest democracy and civil rights and in our shift towards a civic minded and kinder society while China overruns us. I personally take no position, but no wonder the numbers of people rejecting Chinese ethnic nationalism for HK civic identity is on the rise according to the HKU polls!
Camel
to be Chinese does not mean "to be told what do do and what not". to be Chinese is, not feeling ashamed of being Chinese and stop trying to be a white British. I am as well a Hongkonger and know very well how proud the Hongkonger are to have for example an English name, how proud they will get if getting compliments from Westerners how Western they are and less Chinese. To try to act less a Chinese around Westerners to avoid getting embarassed to be "recognised as a Chinese."
A Hong Konger
I have never in my life imagined being Chinese meant not being a "white British" and I have never seen reason to be ashamed of an ethnicity. But you describe an outdated element of HK that a few Hong Konger once felt (I can't imagine any still do) in relation to his / her self-doubt within a British colonial context, Ghandi wrote of this extensively. But today, whenever we get "embarassed to be "recognised as a Chinese."" (as you said) we usually mean recognised as nouveau-riche Mainlanders when travelling abroad ('God forbid!' I hear you mutter). I take certain positive British influence (e.g., rule of law, etc) to be a part of us and our major social institutions, not something to angrily reject, much like some positive elements from China e.g industriousness, but more importantly our worldly outlook and home-grown interpretation of that has given us a unique synthesis that allows us to maintain ourselves in this pressure cooker we call home. Better still it grows, and has become more reflective, less frenetic and money driven and seeks a rational identity. This is my pride. But that's HK, none of that has to do with actual 'Chineseness'. To me its an ethnicity, and is too board to define culturally hence, like 'Asian', it means little to me. Yet to question ones 'Chineseness' stops people dead with no retort, as if 'Chineseness' is the supreme state of nationalist authenticity. But what does it MEAN?! It seems to have no objective meaning. So why should we be part of it?
wwong888
camel. you are a racist through and through. what does race have do with this discussion?

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