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Mainlanders don't all view Hong Kong the same way (chinafile.com)
126 points by hardmaru 53 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 80 comments



Just an anecdote. I went to Beijing to watch the Olympics while I was in high school. During a volleyball game, I sat next to a local Chinese boy about my age and started talking with him.

Apparently, at some Chinese schools, they give all of the students an English name. Kind of like how American schools give you a Spanish name for Spanish class. His name was Adolf. I asked him if he knew any other famous Adolf's. Of course, he did.

I asked him about why the Chinese cheer so fervently against the Americans, even when they're not playing the Chinese. He said it was because Americans were friends with the Japanese. To play devil's advocate, I told him that the Americans fought the Japanese in WW2, significantly helping China, and dropped nukes on the Japanese. He told me it wasn't enough, the US should've eliminated Japan from the map.

I don't think my sample size is representative but I think it's a warning of how strong nationalism can be. In the US, we have relatively free flows of information and we still have a dangerous nationalist movement. I imagine it's much stronger in China where the government actively encourages it.


You have to take into account that Japan was the ISIS of Asia. Bayoneting babies, sex slave, medical experiments on humans. In South Korea still dislike of Japan is greater than North Korea. And Japan is got off mostly free after ww2 unlike the German trials


Sure, there were no public trials to provide a catharsis for the crimes against humanity, still though, two atomic bombs on major cities vaporizing babies, men and women alike doesn't sound like 'mostly free'.


Sometimes you just have to send a very strongly worded message in the form of nuclear fallout in order to get the point across. I don't think the Japanese would have given up as easily if a not insignificant portion of their country wasn't turned to glass in an instant.


Yeah, and it took 2 nukes! Plus the firebombing which killed just as many people.


>Apparently, at some Chinese schools, they give all of the students an English name. Kind of like how American schools give you a Spanish name for Spanish class. His name was Adolf. I asked him if he knew any other famous Adolf's. Of course, he did.

I spent some time teaching English at a Chinese university and this just brought me back.

You see you can't just make up new words in Chinese like you can in Latin based languages. In English I could type "menseratanos" here and even though you have never seen it you can (at least try) to pronounce it based on the individual letters. But Chinese doesn't work this way since you can't make up a new Chinese sign and just expect people to know what it represents.

So to create names Chinese people combine existing words and end up with names native Americans used to have: "Grey wind", "Yellow sun", "Good Fortune" etc... Of course these all have more meaning to them in Chinese but you get the point. And therefor it is common to let Chinese people pick their own name for English class and... it is absolutely hilarious. Since they usually have as little exposure to the Western world as someone in the West has to the Chinese you will be left with a class named, and these are all real examples from my classes:

- Beyonce (for a boy).

- Vladimir

- Putin

- Vladimir Putin (would refuse to be called Vladimir or Putin).

- Fog (as in tiny water droplets)

- Adolf Hitler

- Justin Bieber

- Michael Jackson

- Morning (the time of day)

etc..

The Adolf Hitler kid I actually told to change it. When asked why he picked it he said: "he is great king". (after asking: he meant 'conqueror').

All in all living in China for a while is a fantastic experience.


This adolf hitler kid got me good, it was some rular area? Do this kid have any grasp of western culture?


Sichuan, Chengdu. Not rural but inland. Their grasp of Western culture came mostly from Hollywood, Music, Basketball and the news.

I actually debated it with other English teachers and some also had Adolf Hitler in their classes. So they might just be trolling their teacher, but many sincerely don't have the same ideas as Western people. They know Hitler because it is mentioned in History classes during WW2. But they definitely don't see him as the apex figure of all evil like people in the West.


The anti-American sentiment draws from the Boxer Rebellion and the Eight Nation Alliance that sacked the Summer Palace as well as America's support of the KMT during WW2. In the eyes of the Chinese, America eliminating Japan in WW2 doesn't absolve itself of its past grievances (nor its present ones i.e. playing world police and inserting itself into the South China Sea disputes).


In contrast I really think the root is an anti-Japanese sentiment instead of an anti-American one. For many centuries Japan had been considered a poorer and less powerful empire than the Chinese empire. But the Japanese had a successful Meiji restoration and surpassed China in industrial production and weaponry in the late 19th century. The Chinese lost a war to Japan. They still feel resented. The anti-Japanese sentiment goes further than the WWII.


Anti-Japan is more about the atrocities committed during WW2. Anti-America is more against the imperialism China experienced during the "century of humiliation".


America supported both the KMT and communists, not to mention the soviets, during WW2. They didn’t really fall out with each other until the Korean War (at the start of which they decided to fully support the KMT after giving up on them after the war).


Could you imagine if China was under democratic rule, like Taiwan today? It really gives me a sinking feeling knowing that there was a better option, and it might have won if the Japanese hadn't attacked China, and if the Soviet hadn't been allowed to fuel the CCP. Such a historical misstep.


Chiang Kai Shek was no saint, he wasn’t pro democracy. USA pressure on Taiwan had a lot to do with how the island evolved after Chiang’s death (and his son happened to be a bit better than dad). Korea had a similar evolution, actually.

The soviets were involved in fueling both the CPC and KMT, actually, in the early days anyways. The KMT even got lots of help from Germany before they made an alliance with Japan.

While China would definitely be different, it’s not clear it would have been better.


You know the main purpose of nationalism in China is to justify goverment decrees right? They don't hate other countries by heart spontaneously, not like those in the US.


> I don't think my sample size is representative but I think it's a warning of how strong nationalism can be

Unfortunately, that's the kind of things you can hear anywhere in the world.

> I imagine it's much stronger in China where the government actively encourages it.

I wonder... I have a colleague of mine who grew up in a communism country. According to him, most people back then didn't really buy into government propaganda, which contrasts with modern democracies which rely on more subtle propaganda (Chomsky's "media control").

I really have no idea, it could well be that Chinese are on average less nationalist/warmonging than Americans for instance.


> on average less nationalist/warmonging than Americans

Less warmongering on average, but get them on the topic of Japan and things change. Vastly more nationalistic on average, and with a much larger population that is way more homogeneous in their politics and nationalism than you've ever seen anywhere in the US. Source: seven years in China.


I got the same anti Japan vibe talking to thirty plus years old postgraduates from China but as I expressed to them I was hopeful that the younger generation would be kinder. Doesn't look like that's happening soon enough.


Just watched this which calls CPC a mafia... Interview with Miles Kwok by Kyle Bass https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cwXifDaCjE


Nationalism aside as a Chinese citizen I believe all educated Chinese citizens should be grateful to the protesters in Hong Kong for the sole reason that these protesters are directly challenging the CCP (which is an extremely rare thing to happen in this day and age without the direct involvement of another superpower). It may be wishful thinking but I believe through direct confrontation like this CCP will learn and improve and reflect on all the shit it has done (just to name a few: the Tiananmen massacre, the disinformation campaign against Falun Gong and Jiang’s subsequent use of Falun Gong as a scapegoat to fulfil his political needs leading to more killings and screwed-up things like organ harvesting, the suppression and killings of the Tibetan culture and people, the on-going internment camps in Xinjiang, the kidnapping of Gui Minhai and others related to the Causeway Bay bookstore, etc) which collectively, in direct or indirect ways, lead to the pandemonium in Hong Kong today.


Only if HK didn’t protest against mainland tourists before. A lot of them has strong prejudice against mainland Chinese making it easy for Chinese government spin the people against these protesters.


» Only if HK didn’t protest against mainland tourists before.

Well yeah. China PR wants to pack Hong Kong with han people. This is no secret. They did the same with Tibet as well.


Hong Kong is packed with Han people. Hong Kongers are not ethnically different from other Cantonese.


HK is already "packed"... Gov want to dilute/infiltrate to increase political effectiveness. Tibet is less packed. Different story.


Without all the facts, mainlanders will never be in a clear position to make a proper decision. That's how the system is designed.


Isn't this exactly the point of view that the article is arguing against?


There seems to be a subtle distinction: The point is not that mainlanders can't or won't see the truth, but that their ability to make informed decisions is being undermined. The article argues that many mainlanders are doing their best and making good decisions despite being undermined by their government... but there's certainly a lot being done to stop them.


To be fair, even with the facts I doubt the average person would ever be well-informed enough to make a proper decision. Governing should be a full time job done by professionals. Imagine if Apple were run by its users...


Imagine Apple were run by professionals! They'd employ sweatshop labour, charge exorbitant prices, and control a colossal pile of cash for which they cannot find a use.


And somehow completely fail to listen to their users when their users tell them that a working keyboard is a necessity in a laptop :)


To be fair, even with all the facts and being well-informed, I doubt a mainlander would risk all the trouble they'd get into for supporting HK.


And what exactly is a "professional" governor?


Talk about anti-democratic.


Democracy is fair, not efficient.


That is hilarious given the lack of efficency of every alternative seen so far.

The trains running on time is a myth - because the time they arrive is defined as "on time" all while denying reality.


Almost all companies are governed by dictatorships.


From what i gathered 140 million mainlanders travel abroad each year. and 140 million mainlanders return to China.

That tells you enough people vote with their feets, wallet and voice.


What do they see when they travel abroad though?

A large portion (if not a majority?) of those 140 million travelers go through organized tour groups, where they jump from attraction to attraction, staying half an hour or so to take pictures before rushing back to the bus to head to the next stop.

This French photographer was allowed to join such a group and it's fascinating:

http://www.slate.fr/grand-format/touristes-chinois-europe-je...

Choice quotes from the photographer (translated):

"Costs are cut on everything. For 10 days, we ate Chinese food for lunch and dinner. Before I started this project, I thought that tourists always ate Chinese food because they weren't curious. But cheap backroom cafeterias are imposed on them, where the meal (often inedible) costs 5 euros per person. We only took 10 minutes to eat, and I'd always be the last to finish. After Paris, we were supposed to sleep in the "French village" of Dijon [original is in quote because Dijon is a large city]. But the hotel was situated along the highway, at Sauvigny-sous-Bois [about an hour away from Dijon]. That night, with Lan, we decided to take two people to Relais Fleuri, a nice restaurant next to the hotel, without the guide, so they could discover French gastronomy. When we got back, the guide was really upset. The next day, I got an email from the agency saying that if it happened again, I'd be kicked out from the group."

"The majority of guides are not there to teach. When Chinese tourists go back home, they haven't learned much; in fact, stereotypes tend to be reinforced [...] a few of them complained about the [Chinese meals], and that they wouldn't visit markets, for instance, but those criticisms were very limited. It's a shame, because the only contact they have with French people is at the register, when they buy something."

"I was shocked by how resigned people were. You're not supposed to disagree with anything. The guide was considered like a boss whose orders had to be followed, and who should never be contradicted. Ours was 34 years old, and went into tourism for money. But he didn't know anything about Europe, and spent the whole time telling cliché anecdotes about cities. He even got monument names wrong! His only goal was to sell additional options, such as gondola rides, to get a bonus."


Learning takes time.

I had an Indian coworker once who freaked out at the airport because the cab driver was black. This was his first trip ever out of his small town in India (late 90s). He was carrying a bit of cash and was worried he was going to have his throat slit. By the time I worked out the reasons for the panic attack, he had already cheesed of the cab guy. When there is a culture clash, these kind of misunderstandings can happen so easily and spiral out of control fast.

The regimented guided tours isn't a bad thing as a first step. I have a lot of Chinese friends who are way past that "first contact" phase who are well traveled and know much more about the world than I do. It just takes time.


The article suggests that for many on the tour, this was a once in a lifetime kind of trip.

"For many, it was the first time they traveled abroad, and the last time they would travel to Europe. This trip was a little bit like a trophy."

I'm not sure how much these trips cost compared to the average Chinese salary, but it would make sense - I know that many Americans have been to Europe once - as a graduation gift, or honeymoon, for instance - and could not justify a trip like that with any sort of regularity (combine high prices and few vacation days; and then when you start having to include kids etc., forget about it). More "regular" vacations for the Americans that can afford it would be other places in the US, or perhaps resorts in Mexico/Canada/etc (the Chinese equivalent would be countries in southeast Asia that are cheaper - both in airfare and local expenditures - than Europe).

Sure, all of my SF coworkers go to Iceland and Japan and Patagonia for vacation, but this is a very small, privileged portion of the population we're talking about - not at all representative of the broader US population.

This report [0] is quite telling: in 2016, 80 million Americans traveled abroad - 45 million of which went to North America, and only 13 million went to Europe.

[0] https://travel.trade.gov/tinews/archive/tinews2017/20171026....


Strongly disagree. I'm Canadian-Hong Kong, grew up in Hong Kong, and have family in China. Chinese citizens (by which I mean only mainland China, and excluding Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan) need exit visas to leave the country and they're not necessarily easy to acquire; anecdotally, those in my extended family who work for the Chinese government are able to get it quite easily (having shown loyalty, willingness to serve, etc.) but those who don't won't get a visa so easily. Consequently we've had vacations where half the family had to cancel at the last minute: even though everyone had the same itinerary and tickets, and were clearly related to each other, some weren't authorised to leave.

I believe it's not a matter of "voting with your feet" so much as "if you don't have a good standing with the government, you aren't getting out in the first place". Anyway, even if you got out and couldn't get back in, the government would probably send people to "escort you back home".

In [the link that GuiA gives below](http://www.slate.fr/grand-format/touristes-chinois-europe-je...), the last slide tells of how the tourists have to surrender their passports; I wonder if the high number of tourists is because going through a tourist agency (all of which are state approved) is the easiest way to get an exit visa. I wouldn't be surprised if the agencies were held accountable for any bad behaviour or runaway attempts.

> À leur arrivée en Europe, les touristes donnent leurs passeports au guide, on leur dit que c'est plus sûr. Ils les récupèrent au moment de partir mais doivent les rendre au guide une fois en Chine pour dix jours à deux semaines afin de vérifier qu'ils sont bien rentrés. Il y a même un code de bonne conduite et les touristes sont encouragés à dénoncer les autres touristes qui se sont mal comportés en Europe.

My translation:

> On their arrival in Europe, the tourists give their passports to the tour guide — they're told it's safer that way. They get them back the moment they leave, but must give them to the guide again for 10–14 days once landed in China so it can be verified that they did indeed return from their trip. There's even a code of good conduct and the tourists are encouraged to denounce other tourists who behaved badly in Europe.

It's also worth noting that China doesn't recognise dual citizenship, and that Hong Kong citizens (not sure about Macau and Taiwan, but I wouldn't be surprised if this applied to them too) are considered mainland citizens once in the mainland. So I, for example, wouldn't be able to appeal to the Canadian embassy if anything happened.

Given that, even if someone stayed abroad long enough to gain a second citizenship, they'd have to give up their Chinese citizenship in order to avoid risking being "escorted home".


>Given that, even if someone stayed abroad long enough to gain a second citizenship, they'd have to give up their Chinese citizenship in order to avoid risking being "escorted home".

Sometimes even that isn’t enough:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gui_Minhai


Since I can read Chinese, I've been reading news coverage as well as opinions from both the English-speaking and the Chinese-speaking media. It is quite depressing to find that both sides are obviously biased. The Chinese news would emphasize isolated incidents of violence by the protesters during the protests, pontificate on it and publish op-eds analyzing the cause of the protests ranging from the failed economy of Hong Kong to the profound corruption of its youth. The English side of course would illustrate the use of tear gas and facial recognition technology by the police and paint the protestors as victims of an unjust and unsympathetic government whose independence and autonomy is chipped away little by little. Opinions aside, even just for the facts I'd like to think there's truth in both, but it really depressing that neither really wants to report the truth and the whole truth.


I think that kind of two-handedness is misguided and unhelpful. International media is openly reporting the violent side of the protest: brick-throwing, sticks, petrol bombs etc. Video footage of protesters beating away at police are openly displayed. Certainly, it is reported with the angle that the protesters have broad public support (as is true) and that they are the underdog fighting a justified battle against an increasingly oppressive regime (as is also true). But it is by no means one-sided coverage


I would not precisely segregate the bias of HK protest reports by language—some Cantonese (though very rarely Mandarin) outlets report news with protester bias, and vice-versa, there are English takes that sympathize with the police and/or mainland—but overall the lack of balanced reporting is frustrating.

That said, I have come to empathize with the disadvantaged side. When you have the information about the Tiananmen massacre, oppression in Urumqi, and everything else available through non-state-controlled sources; you see your home headed to join that system (a completely another country compared to 150 years ago); and you are facing a formidable entity well-versed in informational warfare and with extensive control over media—even if I condemn particular actions, I would find it hard to judge you for attempting to employ any means you find available, including one-sided reporting.

I do still get depressed every time I see attempts to fight bias with more bias.


> The Chinese news would emphasize isolated incidents of violence by the protesters during the protests, pontificate on it and publish op-eds analyzing the cause of the protests ranging from the failed economy of Hong Kong to the profound corruption of its youth.

You still haven't explained what 'truth' is missing from the english language news coverage. Pontificating about the "corruption of HK youth" and cherry picking isolated cases of violence sounds more like partisan hatcheting than actual news or analysis.

> there's truth in both sides

Most likely, but the truth rarely exists at the median of both 'sides', or even anywhere close to it. Enlightened Centrism(tm) is dangerously myopic.


I don't see any element of truth in the "failed economy" narrative. That's one angle that we really can get to the truth of without any media bias.

Are there any econometrics published from before the protests started that would indicate an economic cause? I haven't seen any but I also haven't looked hard enough to reject the premise.


I can clarify. The "failed economy" narrative was mostly about the rising income inequality among Hong Kongers. The mainland news media is trying to portray Hong Kong as having a mismanaged economy so that these young people engaged in protests have seen very little increase in real income but face tremendous increase in cost of living. And they compare it unfavorably to the situation in mainland China where they claim that the communist party has increased the well-being and wealth of everyone. There's some element of truth in it, but of course I find it exaggerated.


I know exactly what you mean. I have a friend on wechat from my time living in China. It is remarkable for me to talk with this person. He's not at all the belligerent nationalist type nor the insufficiently critical news-bubble type. Yet even he finds the narrative pushed by the news to be compelling. It's been a stimulating exercise talking with him without falling down the rabbit hole of dismissing each others facts by dismissing the others news sources as propaganda.

The 3 narratives I see are

  1. the organizers are sell-outs to the US and the followers are just stupid. Western imperialists want to split China again.  
  2. the protestors are rioters, violent mobs, essentially a zombie horde not a movement with demands that can be met.  
  3. the stated reasons for the protests aren't the real reason. the real cause is economic. (subtext: freedoms and democracy is intrinsically a Western thing and Chinese people asking for it are denying they're Chinese) 
Part of why I asked for data is because I'm being lazy and want to use the response in my other conversation. Engaging in debate as one person, when the other side has entire media outlets working for them, is kinda hard. Help me.


1.a Ask how much a protester is paid for participating. The number I've seen floating around is 3000 RMB. Then ask how much it costs to buy a million protesters. If they think that that's a reasonable amount, ask why they didn't simply buy every single Hong Konger for just slightly more. Hopefully they'll realize that most protesters aren't paid.

1.b The protesters' demands are all about changing the behavior of the local government. They have no reason to split from China unless the mainland government intervenes to prevent that change. As a bonus, consider that the current Hong Kong government is only in power due to the election system with functional constituencies put in place by the British to secure their grip on the city. In a way, China simply replaced Britain as the colonial power rather than freeing Hong Kong from colonialism. (On the other hand, this argument can backfire since Hong Kong would be even worse off if all former British institutions were replaced by their mainland equivalents.)

2. If all protesters were violent rioters, they'd have conquered Hong Kong by now. But the majority are peaceful and have even less power to stop the rioters than the police; whose indiscriminate use of tear gas and rubber bullets has hurt people who were either participating peacefully or just happened to be in the area. That's why they want an independent investigation of the police.

3. The economic situation may make them more likely to protest, but what they choose to protest is still something they care about.

Consider the protests that erupted at Nanjing School of Applied Technology in April [1], at Beijing Normal University's Zhuhai branch in June [2] or in Wuhan's Xinzhou district also in June [3]. Were those all for economic reasons? Also ask whether they were aware of these or any other protests.

[1] https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/4/28/n11220048.htm

[2] http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/6/11/n11315690.htm

[3] https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/7/4/n11363038.htm

(I'm linking to Epoch Times articles, but in each case you can find raw footage on YouTube searching for "南应", "北师珠", "武汉阳逻")

Finally, you should know that there just as you are here asking for help arguing with your Chinese friends, so are Chinese people asking on Zhihu for help arguing with their Western friends.


>Finally, you should know that there just as you are here asking for help arguing with your Chinese friends, so are Chinese people asking on Zhihu for help arguing with their Western friends.

Well the more the merrier. So long as the discussion is in the basis of sound arguments and not who can spam/upvote more, adding more people will only increase the quality.

In fact I wouldn't even call what I am doing arguing, as I haven't actually offered any position of my own on the protest and therefore have nothing to defend (yet). I guess you could call what I'm doing "hypothesis testing the Chinese state media narratives" (aka "calling bullshit").

Thanks for the links and ideas.


addendum: with respect to 1a I haven't seen it suggested that the protestors are being paid. I've seen it suggested that a few key organizers are being bribed and the rest are mindless followers. For instance the insinuation that Nathan Law got into Yale as "payment" for "helping to split China". How could I ever disprove that the CIA arranged someone to be admitted to Yale? Its an unfalsifible yet plausible claim. That's what makes trying to disarm it fun!


Regarding the mindless followers, there's still the question of why they're mindlessly following the protesters and not so much the counter-protesters waving the Chinese flag and chanting the national anthem.


Well, the problem is that the same could be said for Shanghai. Talk to any taxi drivers in Shanghai and ask what they think of the economy nowadays, same for people working in unskilled jobs, the gap is so big that it's extremely difficult for them to make a living. This was not the case 15 years ago but the gap has only increased since then with costs of living increasing faster than salaries for unskilled labors increased.

It is definitely a problem in Hong Kong and the rise of real estates prices definitely factors into that but isn't it partly also the Chinese government's fault which has increased immigration from mainland China to Hong Kong resulting in much higher real estates prices since the supply is constrained due to the small area Hong Kong occupies?

However, a lot of people protesting are also professionals who are making a decent living and are not only doing it for economic reasons



Well sure that's a start. But is 14% abnormal?

I legit don't know. I tried to find out just now and ended up on this wikipedia article.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_percentag...

This data set has a lot of N/A in it. I end up relying on the CIA estimate for basically all of them because no other column has data. Just for the sake of fair (albeit unscientific comparison) I'm picking out the stats from random first-world countries as I scroll through the list. I am using the second list titled "Population living below national poverty line"

    Canada: 9.4%  
    Denmark: 13.4%  
    France: 14.2%  
    Germany: 16.7% 
    US: 12.3% 
    Japan: 16.1%  
    Hong Kong: 19.9% 
So the CIA estimate is higher than the SCMP article. Maybe they are also overestimating the other countries, or maybe its just statistical variance.

Taking the data at face value, HK does seem to be above average in poverty, but likely within a standard deviation. HK is also unique in this list because its a de facto city-state. Perhaps when we break those other countries down per city we get similar results?

I'm not satisfied with the poverty line explanation. The protestors don't look to be poor people and we don't see such a degree of protest in other places with similar amounts of poverty.


The narrative that Hong Kong protests are primarily supported by poorer folks whom the economy failed in recent past goes counter to some recent reports—various Hong Kong accounting firms being requested to fire employees who express sympathy with protests, resignation of the CEO of Cathay Pacific (alleged to be a flashy gesture with which he admitted his support)—and to my anecdotal experience: among local acquaintances, those who don’t openly support the protests are either relatively not well-off or they agree with protesters on the goals but, like me, disagree on modes of action.


Compare Hong Kong to Macau.

They are in the same position, - Colonized by a European country and then returned to China, - Under one country, two systems - Speak Cantonese

but Macau’s GDP per person is almost double that of Hong Kong.

There are no protests in Macau.


Hong Kong has over triple the GDP per person as mainland China. If the relevant predictor is GDP per person, why isn't mainland China experiencing civil unrest?

If the answer is GDP growth rates, Macau has an insane boom-bust cycle with -20% growth in 2015. Why wasn't there civil unrest there in 2015?

If the answer is a more complicated combination of indicators and trends, you're going to have to spell it.


Macau is a fraction of the size of Hong Kong. I don't really think it's a comparison worth making in any deep sense.

- GDP: Hong Kong 341.4 billion USD, Macau 50.36 billion USD

- Population: Hong Kong 7,392,000, Macau 622,567


Fortunately with freedom of the press we're able to pick our news sources and many Chinese state-sponsored media are also published in English. I don't think Beijing's perspective is getting short shrift.


Many Hongkongers were taught to look down the mainland and they are not proud of their own country. If you read more of the history of how different acts were withdrawn since 1997, you will see whatever the local government did, they do not agree - for the sake of being proud of disagreeing "mainland ruled" government :-) They probably do not necessarily worry about their life because most of them spent their parents' money. So they spend time to ruin the place they live in to pursue the spirit what was taught.

The economical decreasing, which was assumed to be one of the reasons of the protests, seems actually caused by the attitude. Namely if a person always wants to find a way to be against his manager (politically), is he capable of developing his own benefit in a company (economically)? I doubt.

I have to say, this is a smart move of anti-mainland (or anti-CCP) people to leverage these brainwashed young puppets and lead the movement. But it is meanwhile not so smart that everyone who can read Chinese knows who's really leading it. To be honest, this movement is really nothing to mainland if you understood the history in the past 70 years how the country was managed to develop.

And yes, looking into the media in both sides would be a good thing to mitigate the bias.

Besides, "the truth and the whole truth" is a joke, don't be depressed :-)


Well what truth do you want? China wants to extradite Hong Kong citizens to China to stand trial. Hong Kong citizens want autonomy. This is a classic David vs Goliath battle.


The protests did start because of the extradition bill, but the bill has been dead for more than a month[0], yet the protests have not stopped. Can you see that the protestors are protesting about something else now? If the bill were the protesters' goal, they had already succeeded.

The situation is so much more complicated than just an ill-conceived bill. It doesn't help things when media (or other people) try to simplify things and frame it as something as clear cut as David vs Goliath.

[0]: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-china-48918096/carrie...


No, the bill is not dead. It's in stasis, but can be revived any moment. Your own link even says so explicitly: She stopped short of saying it had been withdrawn completely

Because of both the bill and the initial response to the protests, the protesters are now asking for the government (governor?) to step down. I can't say I disagree.


There seems to be a distinction between "withdrawn" and "dead."

Although the bill has not been formally withdrawn, on 9 July, Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam said she has stopped the amendment process and reiterated there is 'no plan' to restart this process in the Legislative Council, stating: "the bill is dead".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Hong_Kong_extradition_bil...


The U.S. Senate has killed many bills from the House not by voting on them and the bills failed to pass, but by not bringing them up for a vote. It's just procedural.


The U.S. senate isn’t run in the background by a totalitarian state.


That's the correct observation, as far as I can tell. Bias are everywhere, including here at HN.


There are some extremely strong prejudice and discrimination against people from mainland, it's similar to racism. mainland Chinese people didn't know this in the past however the past few years it became much more pronounced, this is especially true among the poorer people in HK. People who visited Hong Kong came back with very negative experience and words spread fast. There's next to 0 sympathy to Hong Kong in mainland today, if the PLA rolled in to quell the protest, half would probably cheer.


Exactly, as a mainland Chinese, I traveled to dozens of countries and districts. Hong Kong was the least place I wanted to visit. As a matter of fact, I have never been there except at only one time when I needed to stay there over night for a connection flight, and I chose to stay at the hotel in the airport. I think others' negative experience stands for at least 70% of the reason for my negative attitude to Hong Kong.


Does it matter what the mainlanders think? It's the communist party that controls China, not the general public.


Even in China, public opinion has a huge influence on the CPC, which is why they try to shape it at all.


The Party has over 90 million members.


A government without the support of its people generally gets removed by the people.


Dictatorships need a lot less popular support than democracies. Of course once that popular support evaporates, the regime change is a lot messier than an election.


Venezuela is a good example.


I think Romania is a better one as an example of a dictatorship rapidly changing.


That's right. The Chinese government and the 90 million Party members are drawn from the people. It's easy to dismiss all of them if that makes someone comfortable, but reality is rather more complicated than either "China is full of Communist drones, all of them" and "Government and people are on completely opposite sides one oppressing the other." It's a symbiotic and pragmatic relationship.


Sure, but do the Chinese people actually care about Hong Kong governance beyond what the Communist Party promotes? Would there be mass protests if the government just declared one country two systems is great and they’re going back to a strict interpretation of it?




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