My Take

Hong Kong's love for China is more filial than erotic

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 September, 2015, 2:02am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 September, 2015, 2:02am

Should we love China in a filial or erotic way?

Advice coming from the Executive Council of the Hong Kong government has been frankly confusing.

Council member Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun sparked lively online debate yesterday after she likened the need of young people to learn about the nation to falling in love and getting married.

"It's like dating and getting married," she said in an interview published in Wen Wei Pao and Ta Kung Pao.

"Before falling in love, there should be preliminary and in-depth understanding and then a search for common ground."

This sounds a bit like an arranged marriage, which in a sense it was when the city merged with the mainland in 1997.

Meanwhile, Leung Chun-ying had a John Kennedy moment of "ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country".

The chief executive said Hong Kong people focused too much on their rights and not enough on their duties and responsibilities to the nation.

"Hong Kong has a high degree of autonomy but at the same time it has responsibilities to the country as a whole," he said.

"It is a question of following the Basic Law and striking a balance between rights and duties and also our high degree of autonomy and responsibilities to the country."

Leung was, no doubt, responding to criticism from Chen Zuoer , the former deputy head of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, that Hong Kong had not been properly de-colonised.

Since Beijing's representatives have been drawing a line in the sand and cracking multiple whips to reinforce the message, Hong Kong officials, if not Hong Kong people, have had to join the echo chamber.

But between eroticism and filial piety, I think I would pick the latter as the less gruesome choice.

After all, in local Cantonese political discussions, we often refer to Beijing as ah yeh, grandfather. One always has obligations towards the old man, even if it means just paying lip service.

Some grandparents demand much; others very little.

Beijing has been quite demanding of late. When that happens, grandchildren need to tread carefully.