2012 Report to Congress U.S.-CHINA ECONOMIC AND SECURITY REVIEW COMMISSION

I bumped into a Cantonese blog yesterday, and think this is a minor positive progress.

Approximately 30 pages in the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission Report are reporting on Hong Kong, a few key points are highlighted below:

1. Pro-Beijing parties enjoyed a financial advantage over their rivals, which enabled them to build extensive logistical networks to mobilize voters and exploit Hong Kong’s electoral peculiarities. (p.267)

2. Babies born in the territory enjoy the privileges of Hong Kong citizenship: access to the city’s superior health and education systems, and greater freedom to travel and settle inside and outside China.(p.267)

3. So-called ‘‘birth-tourism’’ quickly became a hot-button issue, with some going so far as to depict mainland Chinese as ‘‘locusts.’(p.268)

4. Censorship controversies at the South China Morning Post, one of Hong Kong’s most prominent newspapers, increased following the appointment of Wang Xingwei as editor-in-chief in January 2012. Mr. Wang, a former China Daily reporter, concurrently serves as a member of Jilin Province’s Political Consultative Conference, 424 a Chinese Communist Party-selected and -controlled organization. In June, he was accused of censoring coverage of the death of Li Wangyang, a well-known Chinese dissident. (p.270)

5. The city’s public schools were going to be required to begin teach- ing a course in ‘‘moral and national education’’ by 2015, which some called a thinly veiled ‘‘brainwashing’’ effort evocative of the Cultural Revolution.(p.272)

6. Beijing’s increasing influence in Hong Kong’s affairs calls into question the security of advanced technology products exported from the United States to Hong Kong.(p.273)

7. Congress reauthorize Section 301 of the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, which requires the U.S. secretary of State to submit an annual report to Congress on political, economic, and social developments in Hong Kong of relevance to the United States. This should include reporting on mainland interference in Hong Kong’s internal political affairs and Chinese efforts to leverage the territory as a platform for the internationalization of the RMB.(p.274)

8. Congress review the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 to deter- mine its continued applicability. In particular, Congress should review the security of advanced technology products exported from the United States to Hong Kong.(p.274)

9. Members of Congress, when visiting mainland China, also visit Hong Kong and that Congress encourage senior administration officials, including the secretary of State, to make visits to Hong Kong part of their travel.(p.274)

Glad to know that the US is monitoring Hong Kong closely, and I hope the US will actually react and stop the PRC from further interfering Hong Kong’s autonomy, and gradually Hong Kong can go independent!

Hong Kong’s unique history (and a bit of China)

To talk about Hong Kong history, we need to trace it quite a while back. Below is my attempt to make it as short and simple as possible…

China has always been a “multi-ethnicity country”. Han has traditionally be the ruler of China (of course the other “countries” in China are ruled by various ethnic leaders) – this is a very complicated subject, and this English website and this Chinese page show the map of China in all dynasty in history.

Now let’s look Ming and Qing.

Wu San-kuei (or Wu Sangui), a military general of the Ming empire was the direct cause of the fall of the Ming dynasty. Based on history, his obsession over his concubine, Chen YuanYuan, was the fundamental reason that he betrayed the Ming emperor.

Long story short, Wu opened the gate for the Qing army, resulting the end of Ming. Great Qing (大清), the last imperial dynasty of China, was established in 1644 by Manchu people.

Qing enjoyed a long period of prosperity, and the reigns of the Yongzheng Emperor (r. 1723–1735) and his son, the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1735–1796), marked the height of the Qing Dynasty’s power. During this period, the Qing Empire ruled over 13 million square kilometres of territory. However, towards the end of the Qing dynasty, the corruption and general addiction to opium caused enormous problem to China. The long-term weakness led Qing dynasty to an end.

During the Opium Wars, the Qing government signed multiple treaties with the western world – China calls these treaties “unequal treaties” till this very day (a personal note: I agree that there’s nothing for the western world to be proud of, but I cannot agree that these treaties are unfair. Let me quote a Chinese saying 勝者為王,敗者為寇 – basically it means: the winner is the champion and the loser only has oneself to blame.)

The Treaty of Nanking, signed on 29 August 1842, The Qing government agreed to make Hong Kong Island a crown colony, ceding it to the British Queen “in perpetuity”. In 1860, the colony was extended with the Kowloon peninsula. In 1898, the Second Convention of Peking further expanded the colony with the 99 year lease of the New Territories.

A couple interesting facts:

  • When the western army went to China, people in Hong Kong provided food, water and many other supplies to the westerners
  • Many Han Chinese, according to other materials, supported the western troops

More to follow, this is only to explain the colony status of Hong Kong, and I’ll write more about what happened in more recent history…

Thanks for reading. Please leave comments.

 

President Obama re-elected as President of the United States of America

Today is an important day to the Americans, as well as the world.

Congratulations to President Obama for winning the election. His speech got me, and possibly many Hong Kongers, thinking. Not just the humanity in his speech, but a certain line caught my eyes in particular:

…That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight. And it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty, and we can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter – (cheers, applause) – the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.

Although I do not think that President Obama was referring to Hong Kong (very likely to be referring to the Middle East), it still touches me.

Hong Kong, a British colony for over a century and now a Chinese (as a country) colony (in nature). Americans are free to vote for the person who they believe will lead the country to a better future, yet Hong Kongers were never given (!!) such right. In any civialised country in the world, right to vote is almost granted. As a financial hub and an international place, Hong Kong people have never enjoyed this “privilege”.

There have been former PRC government officials commenting that there’s a “wave of Hong Kong independence” and it should be condemned. I have one question: why is asking for independence and democracy a crime?

Hong Kong may be too small to many of you in the world, but does that mean that people in Hong Kong do not deserve the right to elect its own government?

To go independent or not, should be determined by the people of the land. There is no doubt that Hong Kong needs a universal suffrage to elect its own government, there is no doubt that Hong Kongers have the right to vote for their future!

Whether or not we could survive as an independent country/state is one matter, but why people, often not Hong Kongers, always think and say that “it’s impossible so it should be not done”?

Once again, I congratulate President Obama and I wish him the best of luck! Four more years!

Bauhinia – an old song about Hong Kong. My motherland, my home, today and forever.

This old song is called “Bauhinia”, written by Sam Hui in the 80s – He’s a legendary singer-song-writer in Hong Kong. He’s written a number of extremely beautiful songs reflecting the real life of Hong Kong people. This is one of my favourites.

The video shows the amazing transformation of Hong Kong, a clip for a video competition made by Hong Kong people.

Here’s my attempt to translate the lyrics, hope you enjoy the video and the music:

Bauhinia by Sam Hui

Neon lights, shopping paradise. A free and prosperous city
A fishing island, weathered all sizes of storms. A tiny spot on earth that enjoys fame
In the East, a pearl shines
Foreigners are attracted to it, the one-and-only Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, the home of you and I – Hong Kong
Bauhinias blossom everywhere, eyeful of enchanting scenery

For Hong Kong’s future, we must have hope, find solutions together, to ensure its forever stability
Ahead of us is a broad road. Nothing for us to fear for. We have each other to weather any storms

In the East, a pearl shines
Continue to strive for Hong Kong’s future
Never stop developing, so it will shine even brighter.
Help each other, face challenges together
Ensure the forever blossom of our Bauhinia. Remain strong, Hong Kong!

Hong Kong will continue to be a paradise, because there’s always light at the end of the tunnel

洋紫荊 許冠傑

霓虹橙光,購物天堂,自由都市,百業繁旺,
捕魚小島,遍歷風浪,在地球一小角,卻負名望。
在東方,有粒珍珠閃閃發光,
外地人都嚮往要看看,這獨特社會香港,

在香港,你我的家鄉香港,
艷麗洋紫荊到處盛放,滿眼盡是好風光。
為未來香港,抱著希望,共謀方法,使它永安,
路仍康莊,那有驚惶,望齊心一致,再破萬重浪。

在東方,有粒珍珠閃閃發光,為未來香港再努力幹,
不斷地發展使它更光,互相幫,困境風浪一起去擋,
讓洋紫荊永遠盛放,永遠是原狀,香港!

願明天香港也是天堂,定能看得見一點曙光。