June 25-July 1, 2012
Editorial: Anti-Communist and Anti-Slavery
Translated by Lydia Ma
Hong Kong reverted back to China on July 1, 1997, a day that marked the end of British rule in Hong Kong and Kowloon as per the Treaty of Nanking and the Convention of Peking signed in 1842 and 1860 respectively. Just before that historic day, working-class Hongkongers joked that Hong Kong had become a “Rolls-Royce” under British rule. They added that as long as the “new driver” is careful while driving and avoids reckless collisions, the future should not be too bad. In other words, as long as the Chinese government (“new driver”) maintains the values and systems put in place by the British government (“old driver”) and does not intentionally seek to destroy the status quo, Hongkongers may embrace their new “motherland”.
It has been 15 years since 1997 and Hong Kong, also known as Fragrant Harbor in Chinese, has fizzled out. A lot of conflicts have been reported over the years between Hongkongers and Chinese mainlanders who have flocked to Hong Kong en masse. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, showed that 66% of Hongkongers felt that Hong Kong had fared worse under Chinese rule than British rule. More than 50% said that Hong Kong was worse now than when it was under British rule in terms of its economy, quality of life, and government rule.
When those who took the survey were asked whether they identified themselves as “Hongkonger”, “Chinese”, “Chinese Hongkonger”, or “Hongkonger Chinese”, 44% of respondents chose Hongkonger, 23% chose Chinese, 21% chose Chinese Hongkonger, and 10% chose Hongkonger Chinese.
Though colonized for a century by a foreign power, Hong Kong was never isolated. Though a “colony”, its people enjoyed democracy and freedom like many countries in the free world. Christian schools are popular in Hong Kong and 20% of Hongkongers identify themselves as Christians. They are ambitious, proud of their freedoms, and they hope to share these values with their fellow Chinese.
On June 4 of this year, thousands of Hongkongers flocked to Victoria Park to remember the victims of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989. Among those gathered at that park were family members of the victims and people who had been at Tiananmen in 1989. Each of them held a candle and paid their respects to those who had perished and. Their gathering together were not only attempts to remind the world of the reality of this gruesome massacre, but also calls to Beijing to disclose the truth behind this massacre. This assembly was also an expression of dissatisfaction at the ever-diminishing levels of democracy and freedoms in Hong Kong.
Christians in Taiwan believe that freedom and democracy are expressions of God’s justice. We also believe that autocratic leaders like to use violence and fear to enslave people. From Hong Kong’s experiences these past 15 years, we are grateful that the Black Ditch (aka Taiwan Strait) separating China and Taiwan has also acted as a barrier separating freedom and slavery. We sincerely welcome people from China to visit Taiwan and get a taste of freedom and democracy here. As for those plotting unification and seeking to ensnare Taiwan into the Communist fold, we say, “begone!”