Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Maron: From Fear of CCP to Hatred to China - Why Separatism?

From Fear of CCP to Hatred to China - Why Separatism?
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, edited by Peggy L., written by Maron (瑪倫)
Original: http://www.passiontimes.hk/article/05-03-2015/22728/ 
(Due to cultural adaptation reason, certain parts are deleted or altered from the Chinese version)

(Kanzhongguo.com)

"Constructing a democratic China" has become a political poison; where "from fear of CCP to hatred to China" becomes a turning point of the paradigm shift in Hong Kong. It is not only a breakthrough from the traditional discourse of "Greater China fantasy", but also a key moment for separatism.

Collusion Between the Gov't and the People - Shared Destiny
Some democrats always fantasise about "the party and the country are different", "the CCP suppresses Chinese people", "Chinese people are not to blame", "Chinese people are nice" -- these are far from facts. The current China can be described as the "co-governance by the government and the people". Beijing "shares the fruit from growth and causes people to be more nationalistic" (through things such as property speculation and outward military expansion), so as to control the Chinese and mute them politically. Chinese people knows that the current government is no good - but after all, they themselves are after economic benefits - so they will not overturn it in an effort to avoid the possible risk in "post-CCP period" (since those very economic benefits will disappear after the establishment of a democratic China).

As a result, the Chinese people and the Chinese government become tacit partners -- economically, gain benefits together; politically, rot internally - so they become "a community of shared destiny". The dream of "constructing a democratic China" is but a dream, and some "Kongformists" have awoken. Yet, Joshua Wong still insisted that "our ties with democracy in China cannot be severed". Perhaps Beijing can allow Scholarism members to cross the Lo Wu Control Point borders - but as we know all they can probably do is quote China's political dissidents while sharing stories. The Chinese population has long been brain-washed by the CCP via its education system, and most are not receptive to Scholarism's message. Evidently, Scholarism and the pan-democrats do not fully understand China - their knowledge of it can hardly dissuade localists in Hong Kong, let alone the Chinese.

An Empire where the People Follows the Gov't

(Jeremy Yang/Kiss1030.ca)
Some left-wingers like quoting Haruki Murakami:
If there is a hard, high wall and an egg that breaks against it, no matter how right the wall or how wrong the egg, I will stand on the side of the egg.
The left-wingers often say we must forgive them, reasoning that the Chinese are simply brainwashed due to internet censorship. Unfortunately, these are inferior excuses. No matter how strong the effects of internet censorship can be, Chinese people will always think from the "Big Chinese Empire" perspective. Some Hongkongers like to call themselves "Chinese", but before that, one should know that the authority of acknowledging whether a person is a Chinese belongs to Chinese people.  When Kate Perry covered herself in a Taiwan (ROC) flag during a concert in Taipei, Chinese netizens were furious since they believed that the only legal flag for China is the Five-Star Flag.

In the case of constitutional reform in Hong Kong, no matter the validity of reasoning behind the call for "civil nomination" - Chinese netizens will say "regional people should obey the top-down order from the central authorities" and "Hong Kong has no right to argue with Beijing". I have criticised some Hongkongers fantasising about constructing a democratic China, for they have been neglecting the fact that "Chinese imperialism" exists. Even when China becomes a democratic country, the conflict between the Chinese and HongKongers will still continue - as they use their overwhelming advantage to decide upon affairs of Hong Kong. Separatism is not a one-off thing due to hatred to the CCP, but a long-term solution to protect Hong Kong.

Self-Indulged by Han-chauvinism; "Ethnic Minority" Indeed
One might ask: Why would Hong Kong still want a "democratic reunification" in the '80s after they witnessed what occurred in Tibet in '50s? The answer is nationalism - or "Han-nationalism", to be precise. Hongkongers (at least the majority of them) claim to be against the CCP, but few would oppose nationalism. The national identity of Hongkongers is nurtured by the "community of shared history" - where Hong Kong and China use the same language and share the same ancestral ties and history.

When you are immersed in speaking and reading Chinese as your navigate the education system, you easily identify yourself as Chinese. There exists a status pyramid in Zhonghua Minzu (Chinese nation), on which Han Chinese ranks the highest.  A lot of impact also comes from TV series and novels with ancient Chinese settings. For example: Han Chinese protecting their homeland and defeating "barbarian" Mongols and Uyghurs, or chanting slogans of "Oppose Mongols' Yuan, Establish Han's Ming dynasty" or "Oppose Manchurians' Qing, Restore Han's Ming dynasty". In reality, many Hongkongers do not care much for Tibetans or Uyghurs, and some may even see Han's governance over them as legitimate. This has caused a tragic identity crisis: Hongkongers - confused - think they have equal status like the Chinese. Some democrats might still think that there will be fair elections in Hong Kong under Chinese rule (no matter authoritarian or democratic).

Since the very beginning, Chinese and Hongkongers are nationalists - and have little understanding about democracy. It is impossible to deny that racial discrimination will still exist in a so-called "democratic China". The truth becomes more troublesome: Hongkongers (like the Tibetans) will not accepted by Han Chinese, and will be treated (are in fact, already are) as ethnic minorities (EM).  Further down the road, we will reflect upon the notions behind popular TV series and novels (many of which became extremely popular during the period when the British ruled Hong Kong and tended to promote the ideas of democracy and freedom) that confused the differences between Chinese and Hongkongers in fairly intense yet seemingly unobvious ways. These forms of popular media encourages the older generation of Hongkongers to see politics through rose-coloured spectacles while the younger generation does not - leading to an inter-generational rift. The values of nationalism that the older generation held basically sowed the seeds that cultivated false dreams of a so-called "democratic reunification".

Pointing the Fingers to China, Not Only CCP
Some democrats in Hong Kong say they "love the country but not the party". That sounds awfully wonderful, yet it is out of touch with the reality of China.

In the past, print media often hid the shortcomings of this perspective and allowed democrats to appear as ideal as ever. Yet with the rise of the internet, the democrats can no longer hide its shortcomings. Internet nationalism comes as people ask themselves whether or not it is possible to have their own national identity. Traditional media could no longer control public opinion as fiercely as they did before. The nationalism of Hong Kong (and Taiwan, for comparison's sake) shares a similarity: turning completely away from China. The democrats' weak efforts in the fight against White Terror are revealed.

Wrong Judgement in Democratic Movement
Cheng Chung-tai and Jack Lee triumphed against Lee Cheuk-yan in the "Greater China and Local Forum" (held by HKU's Faculty of Social Science), but they were unable to derive a clear conclusion and dissuade the "Greater China" faction. Cheung and Lee concluded that the plight of Hong Kong is not only because of the political system of China, but because China itself. Hong Kong cannot obtain democracy under an authoritarian China, nor can it enjoy autonomy under a democratic China. The ideal of the pan-democrats is but a fairy tale - as all it does is perpetuate the hopeless dream of spreading the message of democracy in China.

Albert Einstein once said: "Insanity is 'doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Hongkongers have had enough of the pan-democrats' empty slogans and ineffective tactics. It's time for them to stop being obstacles on Hong Kong's path to true autonomy and get out of the way.

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