Home > Analysis, history > To the Victorian British Empire, Hong Kong was a ‘notch’

To the Victorian British Empire, Hong Kong was a ‘notch’

Every June 4th, the British press tries to indoctrinate the view that Hong Kong was a grand and benevolent design in “freedom and democracy” under threat from Mainland China. There was never such a design. As perspectivehere points out for us in the book, “Collaborative Colonial Power: The Making of the Hong Kong Chinese,” by Law Wing Sang, who teaches at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, the Victorian British Empire saw this territory very much as a ‘notch’ in a great oak. Below, he explains.

JJ :
Wow, that’s a very interesting book, will definitely check it out as well.

Here’s a fascinating and revealing passage from the book (page 9):

“A Victorian saying went like this: by acquiring Hong Kong, Great Britain had cut a notch in the body of China as a woodsman cuts a notch in a great oak he is presently going to fell. As a “notch,” Hong Kong, seized by the British navy in the First Opium War (1840–1842), has possessed a value that can never be measured in terms of territorial conquest.”


Not being familiar with woodcutting and felling trees, it took me a little while to appreciate the evil genius of this analogy. Cutting a notch is a standard tree felling technique, as these links describe:

Notching Theory for Felling a Tree

How to Notch a Tree so it Falls in the Desired Direction

The notch is the means by which a tiny woodsman – with an ax wielded by hand – can bring down a mighty oak tree many times his size. Trees are not literally cut down by the woodsman; rather, the woodsman cuts a notch into the base of the tree trunk, and lets the height and weight of the tree bring itself down.

It seems that the Victorian British view of the strategic value of Hong Kong was not merely its usefulness as a commercial and naval base, but also as a notch by which Britain would eventually topple the “great oak” represented by China.

  1. Black Pheonix
    July 9th, 2012 at 18:25 | #1

    I still remembered how the last British governor of HK tried to “bootstrap cold start Democracy”.

    Later I studied HK’s Constitution, and found it to be a complete mess. It looked like a mutation that doesn’t even feel British or American or Chinese.

    Of course, right after the hand over, HK had the controversial “Right to Abode” lawsuits, which had to be finally settled by the mainland Chinese Supreme Court, a decision that provided much relief to the HK residents who worried about a potential mass influx of mainland Chinese.

    Which only illustrated that “democracy” was not up to snuff to make the hard choices, and Britain just messed up the system for their own amusement.

  2. perspectivehere
    July 10th, 2012 at 09:05 | #2

    Ten years ago, W. Travis Hanes III, Ph.D. and Frank Sanello, published their highly readable popular account, The Opium Wars: The Addiction of One Empire and the Corruption of Another (Sourcebooks 2002).

    The first two paragraphs of the Introduction are well-worth excerpting – they put the Chinese experience of these events in meaningful perspective for modern-day readers, especially Americans:

    Introduction: Chemical Warfare

    Imagine this scenario: the Medellin cocaine cartel of Colombia mounts a successful military offensive against the United States, then forces the U.S. to legalize cocaine and allow the cartel to import the drug into five major American cities, unsupervised and untaxed by the U.S. The American government also agrees to let the drug lords govern all Colombian citizens who operate in these cities, plus the U.S. has to pay war reparations of $100 billion—the Colombians’ cost of waging the war to import cocaine into America. That scenario is of course preposterous and beyond the feverish imagination of the most out-there writers of science fiction. However, a similar situation occurred not once, but twice in China during the nineteenth century. In both cases, however, instead of thuggish Colombian drug dealers, it was the most technologically advanced nation on Earth, Great Britain, that forced similar conditions on China.

    Carl von Clausewitz wrote, “War is diplomacy by other means.” If the Prussian military theoretrician had studied China’s Opium Wars with Britain, he might have added that substance abuse is another alternative to diplomacy, and in some cases, more effective than war. The two wars of 1839–1842 and 1856–1860, collectively known as the Opium Wars, which pitted the British and later the French Empires against the Qing Empire are conveniently forgotten or largely ignored in the West today. Yet for the Chinese and others, the conflicts remain embarrassing symbols of Western imperial domination, with repercussions that have lingered to the present day. The conflicts remain embarrassing symbols of how shabbily the West treated the East for centuries. Some might argue that this cavalier behavior and colonial mind-set continue to this day with the American embargo of Cuba and the presence of British troops in Northern Ireland. Previous books on the conflicts published in the West tend to be filtered through the eyes of Eurocentric historians who downplay or ignore critical issues about the two wars, which ended up legalizing a devastating narcotic and allowing Western powers to colonize an advanced civilization.”
    *****End Quote*****

    So often Westerners wonder why Chinese bring up the Opium Wars – they happened so long ago, what is relevant about them?

    And yet, like the African Atlantic slave trade, Native American genocide, the Great Irish Famine, the 1857 Indian Mutiny, the Holocaust, the US Civil War – these events touched so many lives and impacted subsequent events with far-reaching consequences down to today, despite having occurred many decades or centuries ago.

    Without an understanding of the Opium Wars, it would be impossible to make sense of China’s subsequent modern history.

  3. Zack
    July 11th, 2012 at 01:37 | #3

    so why, i wonder haven’t the British apologised to the Chinese? In the context of the return of hong kong, you’d think there’d be some Brit MPs who’d be making moves for a formal apology, the way the US Congress apologised for the China Exclusion Act.

    Or Will the Chinese Navy have to torch British cities to teach the british a lesson in civilisation?

  4. perspectivehere
    July 11th, 2012 at 15:58 | #4

    In the First Opium War (1840-1842) it seems the commercial interests of two wealthy British businessmen (i.e., opium merchants, or as we call them today, drug dealers), William Jardine and James Matheson, were behind the effort to convince the British Parliament to send in the British military to support their business, in contravention of Chinese laws. They seem to have also paid the British media to influence public opinion to support their cause because of “patriotism”.

    There is a familiar modern ring to all this – wealthy private businessmen promoting their own business profit interests by lobbying government to intervene militarily overseas (effectively using public military resources as their own private security force), while using the media to gain public support, playing up the theme of benefit to vague general goods, such as “protecting national honor” or “promoting freedom”.

    See Benjamin Cassan, “William Jardine, Architect of the First Opium War”

    “History often overlooks the first Opium War, which was fought from 1840-1842. Not only did this war mark a major transition in Chinese history, opening up the isolated empire to foreign markets, but it is also gives insight into the foreign policy of the British Empire during the nineteenth century. Most historians who have written on the subject, however, focus largely on the controversy surrounding the opium trade, instead of on the war itself. Some have even labeled the British Empire of this period as drug pushers, and blame them for the opium addiction of millions of Chinese. John K. Fairbank, a renowned scholar on the war, referred to the British opium trade as, “the most long-continued and systematic international crime of modern times.”

    Opinions like these do not look favorably upon the actions taken by the British Empire, and begs an obvious question: why would the British involve themselves in such a controversial trade, and why would they go to war for it? Historians differ on why Britain went to war in China. Some believe Britain waged war in China to preserve and expand its trading privileges there. Others theorize that the war was a result of the British wishing to defend their honor after Lin Zexu, the Imperial Commissioner, destroyed 20,000 chests of British opium. While each of these theories has an element of truth, neither takes into account the role played by the man who, in a real sense, was the driving force behind the war: William Jardine, a British opium merchant. First, along with his partner James Matheson, Jardine owned the company that was the largest importer of opium into China, thus supplying the catalyst for the war.

    Also, after amassing a large fortune from the opium business, Jardine used his wealth and influence to sway the opinion of both the public and the government towards war. And finally, through meetings and correspondence with Lord Palmerston, Jardine masterminded the military strategy that would be used in a successful campaign against China. He even helped determine some of the demands that were to be met by the Treaty of Nanking. Despite this evidence, some historians maintain that Jardine’s role in the war has been exaggerated. Perhaps this is because they believe the Opium War would have been fought in a similar manner without Jardine’s influence, or simply because they overlooked the details of his involvement. Whatever the reasons, a close examination of William Jardine’s actions leading up to the first British-Chinese Opium War shows that not only has his role been far from exaggerated, but in fact not has not been emphasized enough.

    William Jardine was born in Lochmaben, Dumfriesshire, Scotland in 1784. Coming from a wealthy family, he was fortunate enough to attend Edinburgh Medical School where he studied to be a doctor. After he graduated in 1802, he took a job with the British East India Company as a ship surgeon. Besides adhering to his medical duties, Jardine engrossed himself in the trade business. Taking advantage of one of the East India Company’s policies, which allowed its employees to trade in goods for their own profit, Jardine eventually learned the trade business well enough to attain a job as junior partner for several different merchant houses. By 1820, Jardine decided to go into business for himself and settled in Canton, committing himself to trade in China. …His partner James Matheson, also a Scot, had entered in to the Canton trade around the same time as Jardine. …In 1828 the two men joined forces, and by 1832 they had founded Jardine & Matheson Co. The men quickly engaged in the lucrative, though illegal, opium trade and began importing the drug into Canton. In the season of 1820-1821, 4,224 chests of opium were shipped from India into China. By 1830-1831, the year Jardine and Matheson entered into the trade, the total chests shipped increased to 18,956. Jardine and Matheson alone had disposed of more opium than the entire import of 1821 in their first year.

    In 1833, Jardine and Matheson got their wish when the British Parliament abolished the East India Company’s monopoly. The following year, 40 percent more tea was shipped to Britain than the year before, and as expected the sale of opium continued to soar. Between 1830 and 1836 the amount of opium chests shipped into India went from 18,956 to 30,302. Certainly Jardine and Matheson profited considerably from this growing demand for opium. This huge influx of opium into China, however, did not go unnoticed by the Chinese Emperor, and in 1836 he issued an edict banning both opium importation and use. That same year the governor of Canton, Deng Tingzhen, arraigned nine prominent merchants on drug trafficking charges, William Jardine was among them. Jardine simply ignored the order and went unpunished.”

    More to come.

  5. perspectivehere
    July 12th, 2012 at 11:00 | #5

    The story of William Jardine, Architect of the First Opium War, continues below.

    “By 1837, it was clear to the Chinese government that Jardine was prominently involved in the opium trade, and they took measures to expel him and other unnamed “barbarians” from Chinese soil. Tang, the governor of Kwang tung and Kwangse, Ke Lieut, governor of Kwangtung, and Wan, Commissioner of Maritime Customs at the Port of Canton, issued an edict ordering that “Jardine and others” be expelled from the country. Though the Chinese officials recognized that other merchants had contributed to the opium importation, and wished for their expulsion as well, they apparently saw Jardine as the biggest threat, and therefore the only one worth naming.

    The Chinese government’s struggle to suppress the importation and distribution of opium within their borders continued in 1838. At the time Elliot was appointed, the number of Chinese addicts was estimated to be anywhere from four to twelve million. Some officials even began to recommend legalizing the drug, arguing that it would be profitable if it could be taxed. The Emperor took a different route, deciding that the opium trade should be completely stopped, and any offenders severely punished. To enforce this edict the Emperor appointed Lin Zexu, a well respected scholar and government official, as Special Imperial Commissioner. One of the first things Lin did following his appointment was to write a letter to Queen Victoria in an attempt to appeal to her moral responsibility in controlling her subjects’ activities. Lin seems to directly attack Jardine and the other British merchants when he writes:

    “There appear among the crowds of barbarians both good persons
    and bad…there are those who smuggle opium to seduce the Chinese people
    and so cause the spread of Poison to all provinces. Such persons
    who only care to profit themselves, and disregard their harm to others.”

    Unfortunately, the Queen never received Lin’s letter because it was lost in the mail. The Times of London, did find it, and printed it, but to no avail. After receiving no response to his letter Lin decided to take more drastic measures. In March of 1839, while in Canton, Lin demanded that the European merchants hand over all of their opium and cease in trading it. When the merchants refused, Lin quarantined the foreign communities and had all of their factories surrounded by troops. Later that month Elliot arrived in Canton in possession of 20,283 chests of the British Merchants’ opium valued at 2,000,000 pounds. The merchants had given Elliot the opium under the assumption that he intended to safe guard it, and were appalled when they soon learned he had surrendered it to Lin. Elliot insisted he had acted on the behalf of the British community quarantined in Canton. After Lin had confiscated all of the opium, he ordered all of the merchants who had engaged in the trade to leave China. Complying with Lin’s wishes, the merchants left Canton along with Captain Elliot. Once they had left, Lin had all of the confiscated opium destroyed by dumping it into Canton Bay.

    After the opium had been destroyed, Elliot promised the merchants that they would be compensated for their losses by the British government. Parliament, on the other hand, never agreed to these measures, and thought that if any reparations were paid to the merchants it was the Chinese government’s responsibility to do so. Frustrated with the reality that any repayment for the lost opium seemed unlikely, the merchants turned to William Jardine. Jardine, who had left Canton just prior to Lin’s arrival, had been developing a plan since he received word of Lin’s actions: to force compensation from China with open warfare. For his plan to succeed however, Jardine would have to sway the opinion of both the public and the British government.”

    What happens next? How does Jardine convince the British government to wage war on China for the sake of his illegal and immoral drug dealing business?

    We shall see.

  6. perspectivehere
    July 15th, 2012 at 18:32 | #6

    Further to the story of William Jardine, Architect of the First Opium War above in comment #5 :

    “Among the public, some of the biggest opponents of the war in China were the Chartists, whose movement for social reform in Britain coincided with the first Opium War. The Chartist strongly opposed any military intervention in China, and even commended the response of the Chinese government toward the illegal opium trade. Chartists printed articles in pamphlets and newspapers to inform the public of the injustices of the British foreign policy in China. Taking up the cause in Parliament was Sir Robert Peel. Peel, who was the leader of the Tory opposition to the war, attempted to gain support for his position by reminding Parliament of the fiasco created by Lord Napier, as well as criticizing Lord Palmerston, who by this time had returned to his duties in the Foreign Office, for his mismanagement of the situation in China thus far. With strong opponents to the war influencing both the public and the government Jardine’s plan would not go unchallenged. To successfully combat these anti-war factions Jardine would have to carefully formulate a plan that would make a war in China appear to be both just and beneficial to the British Empire.

    Aware of this strong opposition, Jardine would first attempt to get the ear of the Foreign Office. To accomplish this he needed the help of John Abel Smith, a MP for Chichester. Smith, who had done banking in London for Jardine & Matheson Co., happened to be close friends with Lord Palmerston. Jardine wrote to Smith asking if he could set up a meeting with the Foreign Secretary upon his arrival home. Smith contacted Palmerston and he agreed to the meeting telling Smith that, “he was desirous of seeing Mr. Jardine, as he had many questions to ask.” In reference to Jardine he also added, “I suppose he can tell us what is to be done.” In October 1839, Jardine met with Palmerston and presented his ideas on the actions he felt should be taken in China. First, he suggested the blockade of all the principle ports along the Chinese coast. Once this was done the British could dispatch their fleets, which would easily put down any Chinese resistance to the blockade. After an easy victory the British could then force the Chinese government to sign a treaty that would ensure the repayment for the destroyed opium, as well as guarantee the opening of additional ports for foreign trade. The ports Jardine suggested to Palmerston were Foochow, Ningpo, Shanghai, and Kiaochow. Jardine also supplied Palmerston with a memorandum that outlined the size of the force that would be needed to enforce these demands. The following month several influential merchants, along with Abel Smith, sent a letter to Lord Palmerston elaborating on the details that had been already presented by Jardine. Every detail on the proposed expedition into China had been worked out, only an okay from parliament remained.

    After having expressed his ideas to the Foreign Office, Jardine then turned some of his efforts toward presenting his case to the British public. After all, the sentiments felt by the people regarding the situation could directly effect how parliament would vote on the matter. Seeing how successful the Chartist had been in presenting their views, James Matheson wrote to Jardine suggesting that he, “secure the services of some leading newspaper to advocate the cause,” as well hire some “literary men” to write up “the requisite memorials in the most concise and clear shape.” Jardine took Matheson’s advice and immediately had his views expressed in many British newspapers. These articles told a much different story than those supplied by the Chartist newspapers, claiming that the Chinese had wrongfully destroyed property which was not theirs, and in the process had directly insulted the British Crown. Further acting on Matheson’s advice to hire some “literary men”, it was probably Jardine himself who commissioned Samuel Warren, a best-selling British author, to compose a pamphlet in favor of the British merchants. In early 1840, Warren produced The Opium Question, in which he criticized both the Chinese emperor and Commissioner Lin, and threatened that after the Naval and military force of Great Britain crushes the “Ancient Fooleries” of their nation the Emperor would have a “new and astounding view of the petty barbarians, whom he has insulted, oppressed and tyrannized over so long.” The tone in both the newspaper articles and The Opium Question clearly show the manner in which Jardine intended to present his side of the argument to the public. Unlike the Chartist, Jardine steered clear on discussing the actual morality of the opium trade when presenting his side of the debate. Instead he attempted to appeal to people’s sense of patriotism, and called them to rally around the British flag in retaliation for the injuries that had been inflicted by the Chinese. The impact this technique would have on the public, however, remained to be seen.

    In March, Parliament met to debate the question of whether or not to send a naval force to China. During the next few days, both sides of the debate clearly outlined their stance on military intervention. Those opposed to war continued to bring up what had happened during “Napier’s Fizzle” as well as discussing the moral ramifications that accompanied the illegal importation of harmful drug into China. Those in support of war presented their case in much the same manner as Jardine, insisting that it was Britain’s patriotic duty to defend her honor against the insults perpetrated by China. The debates closed with Lord Palmerston reading a petition that had been signed by representatives of important British trading firms in China. In the petition the merchants declared that, “unless measures of the government are followed up with firmness and energy, the trade with China can no longer be conducted with security to life and property, or with credit or advantage to the British nation.” This petition, not surprisingly, was headed with the signature of William Jardine. In the end patriotism defeated isolationism and the proponents of sending a naval force to China won with a vote of 271 to 262. Jardine’s efforts had no doubt contributed to this decision and he had finally gotten the war he had spent so much time promoting.”


    From this narrative, we can see how Jardine, an individual businessman, was able to influence the course of a “democratic” parliamentary decisionmaking process to make war on another country using:

    (a) money,

    (b) high level connections to government decisionmakers,

    (c) media promotion and writers-for-hire highlighting themes of justice and patriotism, and restoring of “honor” in response to insults by the target country, to justify the act of war against another country, and

    (d) disregard for the other country’s enforcement of its laws.

    No doubt this pattern has been repeated in the 170 years since the First Opium War. One of the important lessons to take away from this is the wariness and skepticism that one should bear towards media support of warfare.

  7. no-name
    July 15th, 2012 at 22:10 | #7

    The British only want to preserve the western way rather than ‘democracy’. The British massacred civilians and abused our women during the colonial period and then left behind many draconian laws and practices. Such laws and practices survive to this day in our present 21st century. For a whiff of this read http://www.scribd.com/doc/100093018 and make the right conclusion about ‘british democracy’.

  8. perspectivehere
    July 29th, 2012 at 12:08 | #8

    Recently there have been news reports of Hong Kongers who are opposed to the introduction of “national education” in the Hong Kong school system. The media reports that some Hong Kongers fear that national education means “brainwashing”.

    See for example, Thousands in Hong Kong education protest.

    “Thousands of Hong Kong parents and their children marched on Sunday against a plan to introduce Chinese national education at local schools, in a show of resistance to official attempts to shape the identity of the former British colony.

    Eddie Ng, secretary for education, said on Saturday that Hong Kong would introduce the curriculum aimed at fostering a sense of national identity starting in September and make it compulsory within three years.

    “We will do our best to provide a diversified range of teaching materials reflecting multiple points of view,” said Mr Ng, refuting fears national education would amount to brainwashing students about Communist China’s history. “‘Brainwashing’ is against Hong Kong’s core values and that’s something unacceptable to us,” he said.

    The government has stressed that the curriculum is intended to bolster students’ knowledge of Chinese current affairs, history and culture.”


    “Organisers handed out water along the route to combat the heat, and spirits were high, with demonstrators shouting slogans such as: “We want independent education back! We want critical thinking!” and singing nursery rhymes like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” with anti-national education lyrics.

    Eva Chan, one of the organisers, said teaching guides for national education contained a pro-Beijing bias that was “terrifying”.”


    Given these protests against national education, it is worthwhile to consider what education about China is like in Hong Kong as a result of British colonial rule. For this description, I cite this excellent 2004 essay: “When East Meets West: Nation, Colony, and Hong Kong Women’s Subjectivities in Gender and China Development” by Yuk-Lin Renita Wong.

    Professor Wong is on the faculty of York University in Toronto.

    “The discourse of East meeting West has become so taken for granted in descriptions of Hong Kong that it serves to conceal the historical processes of British colonialism in forming the identity of the place….

    The East meets West discourse resonates strongly with British colonial education policy, which from the 1950s on was designed to construct Hong Kongers as modern Chinese. Having seized Hong Kong in 1841 because of its strategic geographical location – from it, British merchants could trade with China without the restrictions on mobility they experienced in Canton – the British colonial government for decades crafted an education policy intended to produce a bilingual, bicultural elite who could function as middlemen between the British traders in Hong Kong and the merchants and officials of China (Luk, 1991; Ng-Lun, 1984).

    When, in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party came to power in China, the colonial government immediately shifted the focus of its education policy to resist communist influence and contain nationalistic fervor in Hong Kong. The Education Ordinance was amended to enable the director of education to block or revoke the registration of any teacher. Worried that this legislation might draw international disapproval, the secretary of state for the colonies considered it important to emphasize that “these measures are being introduced for the defense of democracy and not as an attack on it” (Sweeting,1993:200).

    Legislative restriction on the political freedom of the colonized was thus framed as defense of democracy. This discourse remained pervasive through the 1990s, making it possible for the colonial government to represent similar repressive measures, such as the Public Order Ordinance, as safeguarding the freedom of the colonized from communist infiltration. In 1953, the Committee on Chinese Studies submitted a report strongly favoring a “culturalistic emphasis on Chinese studies to counteract the nationalistic and revolutionary fervor in the Chinese cultural textbooks from Mainland China” (Luk, 1991:65).

    The Chinese curriculum in the colony was developed to bridge East and West: “In Hong Kong, the meeting place and melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures, Chinese Studies should contribute towards the interpretation of China to the West and the West to China” (Report of the Chinese Studies Committee, 1953, qtd. in Sweeting, 1993:214). In particular, the report sought to cultivate “modern Chinese, conscious of their own culture and at the same time having a liberal, balanced and international outlook” (Report of the Chinese Studies Committee, 1953, qtd. in Luk, 1991:665).

    Under this colonial education policy, Hong Kong students were taught simultaneously to identify with the glory of Chinese civilization in the remote past and to develop a modern form of Chineseness that was intended to distance them from the neighboring society under communist rule (Luk, 1991). The approach fixed Chineseness in its tradition, while celebrating Westernness for its modernity. These historical conditions of the East meets West discourse significantly influenced the subject formation of Hong Kongers in general and of individual Hong Kong women in particular.

    In a critical anthropological account of this discourse in contemporary Hong Kong, Grant Evans and Maria Tam (1997) examine the configuration of ideas around this popular ideology. On one hand, Westernness is mainly associated with liberalism, freedom, rationality, egalitarianism, affluence, disrespect for authority, family breakdown, and immorality; on the other hand, Easternness/Chineseness is linked to familism, respect for elders, conservatism, authoritarianism, social order, and hard work. Evans and Tam suggest that this ideological discourse appeals to both local Hong Kongers and Westerners. When Hong Kong Chinese encounter Mainlanders, their differences can be explained by their Westernness; when they encounter Westerners, their differences can be explained by their Chineseness. Westerners, conversely, identify the modernity of Hong Kong with a familiar Westernness; any differences can then be accounted for by Hong Kongers’ Chineseness.”

    ******End Quote******

    We can see from this description that the “Chinese Studies” component of the British colonial educational system in Hong Kong was designed to create an intellectual and ideological barrier between Hong Kongers and communist China. This form of “brainwashing” was perhaps subtle, but seemingly effective.

    It is worthwhile for Hong Kongers to have an open discussion about the content of national education; but it seems the demonstrators are protesting based upon unquestioned assumptions that Hong Kong education currently provides an “objective” perspective on China.

    This shows a lack of critical thinking on the protestors’ part towards the education they themselves have received about China from British colonial rule – precisely what they are blaming on national education.

    The ironies abound.

    I think people in Hong Kong should put things in perspective and be thankful that it is only national education from China being introduced.

    In the U.S., American schoolchildren have to learn from textbooks approved by ultra-conservative Texas school boards.. Now that’s not brain washing; it’s brain muddying.

  9. pug_ster
    July 30th, 2012 at 06:46 | #9


    Hmmm, didn’t notice your post when I posted mine. I think Chinese people are more objective in terms of history because of the ‘Chinese Education’ than the Western counterparts. The fearmongers from the West has always has the assumption that democracy = good, and communism = bad and don’t understand why it is not always the case.

  10. Zack
    August 6th, 2012 at 10:57 | #10

    i’m sick of some HKers protesting this ‘education change’; Chinese should stick together the way anglos always stick together. Perhaps it’s because theChinese aren’t as race conscious as the anglos who obviously have a history of repressing people of different races

  11. tc
    August 6th, 2012 at 15:28 | #11

    One country two systems is stupid. Autonomous regions are equally dumb.

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