Lessons in history show how the truth hurts

Countries that built empires have a lot of pain to answer for, but as Chinese we can’t be too proud when it comes down to the past 200 years

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 October, 2017, 1:11am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 October, 2017, 1:23am

It’s in the nature of great countries and empires to do horrible things.

So if we deny our own cultural and racial heritage on the basis that our forefathers, or even grandfathers and fathers, had done unspeakable deeds, we would end up having no nationality to speak of.

I recently watched “the 10 most evil empires in history” on YouTube. There are the obligatory Imperial Japan, the Ottomans, Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and the Mongols.

The French and the Belgians also made the list.

Surprisingly, the No 1 spot was reserved for the British Empire, which according to the clip spanned 1783 to 1997, the last date presumably being the handover of Hong Kong as its last significant colony back to China.

For Hong Kong – part Chinese, part Western – destiny awaits

It’s not my purpose here to debate which empires are the worst in history. But what interests me is that, by and large, none of those peoples deny their nationalities. Many Mongolians and Turks are rather proud of their glorious past. Some Japanese and Germans may be ashamed of their imperial legacies, but few would deny they are Japanese or German.

As for the Brits and French, many still think they brought civilisation to the rest of the world, never mind those hundreds of millions dead.

This brings me to Hong Kong, and all those people who say they are not Chinese. Yes, Mao Zedong and his communist friends did horrible things.

The past 200 years of our history is not something to write home about.

Joe Chung: a Chinese who rejects all things Chinese

Still, I am Chinese and so are you. You may have the additional identity of being a Hong Kong person, but that doesn’t negate your being Chinese. When you go overseas, people will ask and then identify you as Chinese, even if you deny it.

Here’s an interesting online comment made by an Englishman: “re: ‘I am not Chinese syndrome in HK’. As a Brit, please allow me to say this: Hey HKers, please do not put our Union Jack on your flag, you are not part of us. We have nothing to do with you and we don’t want you. If you can betray your own country China you sure can betray Britain 1 fine day. Please go away. Thank you.

“These misfits are not getting any sympathy from the majority of people but contempt for their lack of self-respect and low self-esteem ... misguided, ignorant, unthinking ...”

Sorry, but the truth hurts!