Wither Hong Kong

Now the Western media has quiet down on events from Hong Kong I would like to put in my 2 cents from a totally different perspective. I have lived in Hong Kong for 2 years from 59′ to 61′ before immigrated to U.S.. I guess those demonstrators will continue to make noises to a dwindling audiences without any real objective other than the total withdrawal of the extradition bill and/or resignation of Carrie Lam. Many have applauded the success of democracy and implied rebut to China, but probably secretly polished their passports to Canada or Australia.
When Deng designed the 1 country/2 systems and 50 years transition he was hoping that China will develop and Hong Kong will converge with China mainland gradually. In the 22 years China has developed beyond anyone’s dream and many cities in China has surpassed Hong Kong economically. Yet Hong Kong has remained trying to move away from China. From the China’s view point, the extradition bill is not that important, it’s nice to have for those who committed economic crimes like embezzlement be returned to China which has frequently occurred from Europe and other parts of Asia. Hong Kong being the gateway to Western financial center has gradually eroded in importance, and China likes to integrate Hong Kong with other areas in Pearl River Delta as Shanghai did in Yangtze River Delta. Many in Hong Kong relish their role like India’s Brahmans being under their colonial lords yet much above the peons from China’s interior. Their resistance to using Mandarin as official language to educational reform placing more emphasis of Chinese history and patriotism to insults to Chinese anthem and flag, incidents like against Chinese purchase of baby milk products to negative reactions to some tourist behaviors from China. Yet the clock is ticking toward 2039 and anxiety is rising in Hong Kong. Do they really think China will allow the crossing of red line of allowing HK independence party? Of course they use the noble concepts like democracy and rule of law to cloak their nebulous unease and lack of future choices. Their choice of being Hong Kongers and not Chinese only reveal their colonial heritage.
The governor of Hong Kong is essentially a caretaker with limited power. Hong Kong is dominated by the real estate tycoons that need to keep the price of housing high and unaffordable to most. The young people know that limits their prospective in life and are rebellious, yet they don’t know what they can do other than rebel against the Big Authority, not the real powers behind the scene. Hong Kong government can use some of the surplus to construct more public housing instead wasting it on periodic dividends of a few thousand dollars to everyone. Hong Kong is one of the lowest taxed city in the world. The high cost of housing means those who have an apartment of their own costing up to millions of dollars have invested on the concept of high housing price and will resist any proposal to lower the price. If those students really studied their quandary and start to demonstrate for affordable housing I am sure they will really hit on the nail on the head.

About N.M.Cheung

Chinese American, semi retired, age 65, Born in Shanghai, reside in NYC, left China in 59, Hong Kong until 61, then to U.S.

1 thought on “Wither Hong Kong

  1. I do have a couple of points about Hong Kong. First of all, this is a pretty good article about the negotiations between China and the UK before the handover as well as current extradition treaties with other countries.

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1139979689735278592.html

    One of the points in this article is that China’s main goal was to take over sovereignty of Hong Kong and has to make major concessions to do it. That means that China has to allow the Elites to run the city as well as maintaining the low taxed capitalist system there. China making a deal with the devil, so to speak has its consequences. The Elites within HK only cares about the Rich while the western paid pro-democracy don’t address rich/poor disparity. Pro-democracy uses the poor as pawn to protest against the pro-Beijing elites.

    https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/hong-kongs-extradition-bill-from-a-grisly-murder-to-mass-protests

    I thought that this is a good article about how this Extradition bill came to pass. All this conspiracy theories about tons of people getting sent back to China if this bill passes is just false. They even watered down the bill to exclude financial and white collar type of crimes, but only contain offenses including murder, polygamy and robbery but that got shot down too. Besides, even if someone is extradited, the person has to go thru some kind of procedure to get shipped out. IMO, this Extradition bill is hardly controversial at all, rather the western paid pro-democracy movement used it to go after pro-Beijing front within Hong Kong.

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