China needs to fix itself before asking that Hong Kong be happy to integrate
- As long as China lags behind on human rights and democracy, don’t expect Hongkongers to be happy about the union
- Simple indoctrination about the benefits of integration will only be seen as an annoyance
I refer to your editorial, “Promote the benefits of integration with mainland” (November 25). Integration, along with fostering patriotism, though desirable, is not something we can rush. Purposely speeding up this integration will only widen the rift between Hong Kong youngsters and China.
Time should be given to youngsters to finally accept their given identity as a Chinese citizen, the same way China needs time to alleviate all of her undeniable social and environmental issues. Just over two decades ago we were living under British rule, which was a completely different form of governance from that of the People’s Republic of China. The fundamental values of Hongkongers and mainlanders are different: the ideas of democracy and capitalism are concrete and are the values we built our city on, unlike in China.
The one-of-a-kind “one-country, two-systems” policy that links the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region with mainland China already ensures an inseparable relationship. However, the foundations and development of the two have been as different as night and day, and simple indoctrination about the benefits of integration will only be seen as an annoyance.
Truth be told, the issues in China, including the limited freedom of speech and lack of privacy, make everyone halt their steps towards the mainland. Unless these issues are solved and faith in the PRC within the newer generation is restored, integration will not happen with the acceptance of Hongkongers at large.
As your editorial pointed out, Beijing should actively address the worries, seek solutions to the problems and open up the country, to gain trust from youngsters. That, in my opinion, should be done before any kind of promotion of national identity or patriotism is put in place.
It has been noted that Hong Kong, as a part of China, has the responsibility of promoting national development. I don’t disagree with that, but China shoulders greater responsibility in fixing all of its problems before telling other communities to integrate.
Hong Kong is a part of China, whether you like it or not. But it is equally factual that China is lagging behind on human rights, democracy and economic sustainability. Surely, someday we will merge, but let time do the trick.
The only way to speed this up is for China to fix its own issues, not by forcefully promoting integration in Hong Kong.
Andy Lau, Tsuen Wan