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Jul 02

A survey: did Britain purposefully create a “democratic” fervor in Hong Kong leading up to the 1997 hand-over?

Written by dewang on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 at 5:40 am
Filed under:-mini-posts, politics |
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Chan wrote the article, “Topics on Democracy (Part 1) — Democracy War Game,” and he argued that Britain purposefully created a “democratic” fervor in Hong Kong leading up to the 1997 hand-over.  I think it would be really interesting for all FM participants to answer this yes-no survey and see how everyone responds.

(One thing I have come to realize is the debates on here are going way fast most of the time. I think everyone needs to slow down a lot and focus on specific points. Judging from the comments, this Fool’s mountain is huge – trying to move it fast is not going to work!)

If you would like to comment, PLEASE stay narrowly to this question as to why you say “yes” or “no” or if you agree with Chan’s reasoning.  I sincerely would like to move this debate forward and look forward to your response.

[poll id=”2″]

EDIT 20090703
Guys, please see Chan’s comments below that his issue is not with the U.K. government, but rather with the democracy “campaigners.” I thought about ways to “correct” this post, and thought it best to explain here. “Britain” should be replaced by “democracy campaigners” to be fair to Chan’s post. My aplogies, Chan.
Guys, please see other comments if you like of the issues they raised with this poll.


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87 Responses to “A survey: did Britain purposefully create a “democratic” fervor in Hong Kong leading up to the 1997 hand-over?”

  1. Raj Says:

    huaren, that question is rather one-sided and suggests the answer. It would be like Taiwanese people being faced with the following question:

    “Does China aim to destroy Taiwan’s democratic institutions after unification by installing a puppet regime and censoring political discussions?”

    Of course, I know the result will be a resounding “yes” because it’s easy for Chinese people to blame us for Hong Kong’s desire for political reform. The truth, that it’s down to Hong Kong people’s expectations not being fulfilled, is (for some reason) too hard to accept.

    I’d like to see some evidence to back up the allegation in the first place. Chan didn’t even seem to know that there were pro-democracy protests/campaigns before 1997….

  2. huaren Says:

    Hi Raj,

    My view is anyone reading the question and decide for themselves.

    1. If they don’t accept the premise that there was a “fervor”, I think they are intelligent enough to vote “no” (as you probably have).

    2. I did a search on Lexus Nexus – the number of articles in the U.S. in the couple of years leading up to 2007 on Hong Kong with “democracy” in them grew exponentially. I admit I did not do this search for U.K. media, but I doubt there would be a difference.

    Hence, I truly believe there was a fervor.

  3. MutantJedi Says:

    The overriding issue for my Hong Kong friends leading up to 1997 was uncertainty. In the early 80’s, they had witnessed the ending of the Cultural Revolution (in 1976). In the late 80’s, they witnessed 6.4. What was going to happen to the Hong Kong way of life after 1997? Some of my friends decided to stay in Canada. Some of my friends decided the best thing for Hong Kong was for them to return.

    Interestingly, democracy was rarely discussed. Money and business, of course, were discussed. If there was a “fervor”, it was more about would Hong Kong continue to be Hong Kong or would it get crushed under the metaphorical treads of CPC tanks? Aside from 6.4, democracy just wasn’t big on our radar.

  4. Charles Liu Says:

    MJ, I agree with you.

    Leading up to 1997, Vancouver BC was enjoying a housing boom because of all the Hongkongese moving there in fear of the reversion of sovereignty. Shortly after the hand over and nothing happened, many people went back to HK for the post reversion boom, leaving the Vancouver housing market in a 5 year long slump.

  5. kui Says:

    Charles.

    I think something similar happened in sydney. When we were buying our first home in Sydney south, we went for many inspections. Many owners were Hongkong people. The reason for selling was “going back to Hongkong”. There was no housing market slump here because of Austalian government’s new “First Home grand” (7000 dollars for first home buyers) and large numbers of migrants from all over the world.

  6. Chan Says:

    Oops.

    Hi Huaren and all. I was about to retire from debates. But thought I should come in to clarify something.

    My article wasn’t meant to target Britain in any way. I was trying to target the so-called “democracy” campaigners who choose to target China but not the West.

    I have nothing against Britain at all. I chose the HK example simply because I was originally from HK myself.

  7. Raj Says:

    huaren (2)

    I did a search on Lexus Nexus – the number of articles in the U.S. in the couple of years leading up to 2007 on Hong Kong with “democracy” in them grew exponentially. I admit I did not do this search for U.K. media, but I doubt there would be a difference.

    Hence, I truly believe there was a fervor.

    The question is not whether more people were concerned about politics in Hong Kong after 1997, the question is why that was the case (if true). Could you clarify how you voted and why?

  8. barny chan Says:

    The only logical position, given the existence of Hong Kong Basic Law Article 45, is that the UK and China jointly created a democratic fervour leading up to 1997.

  9. S.K. Cheung Says:

    I must say, with a question posed in this way, on a blog such as this, replete with all manner of selection and responder biases, the result is closer than I would’ve guessed.

  10. barny chan Says:

    The thread would be more revealing if a pre-requisite for voting was stating the reasoning behind your belief

  11. TonyP4 Says:

    I was born in Hong Kong. I classified myself as the first generation of HK (the refugees were not born in HK) and the current youths (20-40) is the second generation – it is for my illustration only and not for debate. We took the British education and ruled by Brits.

    HK has been exposed to the west for a long time, so it is quite democratic and nothing Brits could do to influence these two generations, especially with the unrestricted internet.

    Financially Brits did a lot of new constructions including the airport to benefit themselves and will be paid for by HKers after the take-over. I have a hard time to convince folks of British descents that HK was not made prosperous by the Brits, but by its special location and the business folks from Shanghai originally – not to mention the millions of hard working and willing refugees. Brits did provide a stable environment (from time to time China gave some troubles) and ironed out corruption effectively. These could lead to better business environment.

    So far, China tolerates HK’s democracy. It may be important to set an example to lure Taiwan. Hopefully in next 10 years, China would be more democratic herself. I’m optimistic from the slow but steady progress of democracy movement in last 30 years with the exception of TSM.

  12. Raj Says:

    Tony, glad to hear you voted “no”. At least some people here have their heads screwed on right.

  13. huaren Says:

    Hi MutangJedi,

    Thx for chiming in. I think what you said makes sense. I have bunch of friends who are from Hong Kong and I think they share similar sentiments as you described. It was mostly about that “uncertainty.”

    “If there was a “fervor”, it was more about would Hong Kong continue to be Hong Kong or would it get crushed under the metaphorical treads of CPC tanks? Aside from 6.4, democracy just wasn’t big on our radar.”

    I know in the U.S., this was a major theme in the media leading up to the 1997 hand-over.

    Hi Charles Liu,

    Thx for affirming MuntantJedi’s comments and for the bits on Vancouver.

    Hi kui,

    Interesting bit on Sydney also.

    Hi Chan,

    I am so sorry for the incorrect distinction. I will correct the main article the best I can. Another thing I’ve learned is with this kind of poll, I indeed should be extremely careful. I myself think generally the U.K. government and China are getting along – my issue too is with the “campaigners” or as I refer to elsewhere in my comments, some of the NGO’s.

    Hi Raj, barny chan, S.K. Cheung, TonyP4,

    Thx also for chiming in. I will respond to your comments later today.

  14. hongkonger Says:

    “HK has been exposed to the west for a long time, so it is quite democratic and nothing Brits could do to influence these two generations, ”

    What Tony said is very truth. Britain took and took. They occupied and did whatever was necessary to plunder and to enrich themselves, and then abandoned the majority of their subjects with a useless BN(O). As for the cheap shot follow up remark by British-Raj, I can only shake my head to.

    Ever wonder why the majority of Hong Kongese – if not for it being a mandatory subject – remain disinterested in learning English?

    Frankly, as Tony, BC, Chan, Kui, CL, Huaren imply, most Chinese Hong Kongers don’t give a damn about democracy: “my issue too is with the “campaigners” or as I refer to elsewhere in my comments, some of the NGO’s.”

  15. raventhorn4000 Says:

    BC,

    “The only logical position, given the existence of Hong Kong Basic Law Article 45, is that the UK and China jointly created a democratic fervour leading up to 1997.”

    So long as you understand that China made no promises of any kind about the future of that “democracy” in the Basic Law.

    Then I don’t know where the “fervor” came from.

  16. pug_ster Says:

    I agree with Hongkonger #14 as the UK just took and took before the handover and they want to exert their influence after the handover. What better way to do it than to introduce democracy? I have no doubt that Hong Kong would be like the recent election ‘problems’ in Iran. It is not that Hong Kong is not ready for democracy, it is just that there are just too much outside influences going to happen if Hong Kong is allowed democracy. Personally, the current status quo within Hong Kong is good enough.

  17. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Chris Patten actually did most of it on his own, without approval from UK or China.

    Hence, much of what he did were nullified upon handover, because the changes were not approved in the Basic Law of HK.

  18. barny chan Says:

    TonyP4 Says: “China tolerates HK’s democracy.”

    But HK isn’t democratic. It’s run by, and for the sole benefit of, a small group of tycoons at the expense of ordinary people.

    hongkonger Says: “Britain took and took. They occupied and did whatever was necessary to plunder and to enrich themselves”

    Politically, I have nothing but contempt for Brit colonialism, but the reality is that under Chinese rule the city’s tycoons have been allowed to exploit the local population even more extremely than they did before 97.

    “Ever wonder why the majority of Hong Kongese – if not for it being a mandatory subject – remain disinterested in learning English?”

    The two primary reasons for this are poor teaching methods and xenophobia. The city’s Chinese elite are happy to see English standards fall because it helps preserve the status of their own native English speaking, Western educated, children.

    I made the following comment on another thread but nobody responded, maybe people will here: The reality is that key players in the democracy movement like Szeto Wah were thorns in the side of the colonial regime while the city’s anti-democratic tycoons and administrators were happily shining Brit shoes in return for self-advancement. It should bring shame on Beijing that they appointed Donald Tsang as Chief Executive despite the fact that he was such a key colonial collaborator he received a British knighthood. In a slightly different time a man like Tsang, who literally got on his knees before the British royal family to receive that knighthood, would have done well not to be facing a PLA firing squad. The same applies to the city’s robber baron tycoons who seamlessly moved from being colonial stooges to Chinese super-patriots in return for being allowed to continue their exploitation of the territory’s ordinary people.

  19. pug_ster Says:

    Barny Chan,

    Szeto Wah was there for the best interest for the people in Hong Kong before and after the handover. Donald Tsang and probably other super patriots like Jacky Chan are probably there for their interest in Hong Kong, not the UK.

  20. raventhorn4000 Says:

    BC,

    I don’t know why you hold such contempt for “British Knighthood”.

    Lots of Americans have gotten Knighthood, including Senator Kennedy. Doesn’t mean he’s collaborator.

    If you are judging people by a title (which Tsang doesn’t even use any more), you are being xenophobic.

    The British gave him a Knighthood in 1997, just before the Handover. And if China agrees to the importance of Tsang as a civil servant, what’s your problem?

    By your logic, China should have thrown out the Basic Law too because it was a deal with the British.

    You are picking on things that the British and China actually agreed with??!! While you want form of “democracy” in HK, that British and China didn’t agree on??

    Ridiculous logic.

    “Robber baron”??

    I might dislike rich people, but you are just repeating your pointless whining. Get over it. “Democracies” ARE run by “robber barons”! That’s reality!!

  21. barny chan Says:

    pug_ster Says: “Barny Chan, Szeto Wah was there for the best interest for the people in Hong Kong before and after the handover. Donald Tsang and probably other super patriots like Jacky Chan are probably there for their interest in Hong Kong, not the UK.”

    I believe that Tsang, Chan, and the city’s tycoons are concerned with nothing but their own individual interest regardless of the UK or China. Szeto Wah has bravely weathered the abuse both pre and post-97, whereas Tsang and the tycoons have licked whichever boots will reward them; they’re the modern day equivalent of the Chinese merchants who collaborated with the Brits during the opium wars.

  22. huaren Says:

    Hi Raj, #7,

    Could you elaborate? I am sorry, I am having trouble understanding your English.
    I obviously voted “yes.” Simply because I knew Chris Patten and previous governors were appointed by Britain. All of my sources of news of the 1997 Hong Kong hand-over were U.S. media, and I knew the intensity on “uncertainty” and “democracy” grew very rapidly leading up to 1997. As I have explained, I did some homework on Lexus Nexus to further confirm what I knew.

    Hi barny chan, raventhorn4000, pug_ster, hongkongker

    Thx for chiming in. I really don’t know much about these tycoons, so will try to learn from your exchanges.

    Hi S.K. Cheung, #9
    Sorry, I wish I had been more careful about this poll. Next time, I think I might just consult you guys in the general thread or somewhere so we can come up with a poll question more “neutrally.”

    However, I think you are smart and recognize that this “sentiment” exists. This poll at least says “something” about the readers views on FM.

    Hi barny chan, #10,

    If I did that, wouldn’t more people holding Raj/S.K. Cheung perspectives find the poll even more problematic?

    Hi TonyP4, #11

    Thx for adding that perspective.

    “Brits did provide a stable environment (from time to time China gave some troubles) and ironed out corruption effectively. These could lead to better business environment.”

    Even though I don’t know much, but my gut feeling is this is accurate and the British deserve recognition for it.

    Hi Raj, #12

    You are being pretty disrespectful to those who do not agree with you – this is to your own detriment. I hope you would try harder to comply with the new rules of conduct.

  23. barny chan Says:

    huaren Says: “Hi barny chan, #10, If I did that, wouldn’t more people holding Raj/S.K. Cheung perspectives find the poll even more problematic?”

    I don’t see why they’d object. It would ensure that the rationale behind the vote was revealed, rather than a vote that was made purely according to either pro or anti-China sentiment.

  24. huaren Says:

    Hi barny chan, #23,

    Okay, then let me know how this sounds as my rationale behind the vote. After that, I’ll append to the post as another “EDIT”.

    My rationale behind this vote was simply to further the debate started by Chan on his democracy article. Based on my personal experience, U.S. media played up the “uncertainty” and “democracy” angles during the run-up to the 1997 hand-over of Hong Kong. I have no doubt the U.K. media had this same phenomena.

    The creation of this democracy “fervor” by the democracy “campaigners” specifically around this hand-over of Hong Kong’s sovereignty to China from Britain means that these “campaigners” are more interested in attacking China rather than promoting democracy itself. Otherwise they would have had tried creating this same “fervor” during any time within the 150-years rule under the British.

    Knowing the views of FM’s readers on this issue will help us move this overall debate forward.

  25. barny chan Says:

    huaren, your rationale ignores the existence of Hong Kong Basic Law Article 45 and the statement: “The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.” The fact that this was jointly ratified by both the UK and China means both countries share responsibility for the “fervour” and that media attention was inevitable.

  26. Raj Says:

    huaren (22), I would argue that you were pretty disrespectful to Britain and Hong Kongese by having this lob-sidedly worded, accusatory poll. You can say that was not your intent, but I can equally say that I did not intend to be disrespectful towards people who did not agree with me, rather show my disbelief in how they voted.

    (23)

    Most people here will have already voted, so it would be wrong to re-edit the message especially by tampering with the question. It’s also too late to have a prerequisite of people explaining their rationale as Barny suggested. So if you want to improve this poll you will have to ask the admin to re-set the voting, change the question/explanation and delete all the comments.

    Barny (25 and 27) makes excellent points. One huge reason for more democracy protests after 1997 was the expectations the Basic Law gave them. The increase in reporting unsympathetic to Beijing was the stalling on bringing in universal suffrage.

  27. barny chan Says:

    Regarding the western media response to Article 45, and specifically the statement I quoted above, it was, in the main, complimentary towards the Chinese commitment to universal suffrage in HK. This positive coverage only altered in tone when it became apparent that the CCP was backtracking.

  28. FOARP Says:

    This really is a new low for this blog. Holding a meaningless vote on a question so blatantly loaded without, you know, actually discussing anything. With one click people get to dismiss any acceptance whatsoever that the continued existence of pro-democracy sentiment both now and in 1997 in HK might have been genuine. Tell you what, next time just put a one line question “Do you agree with the following sentence: ‘China good, foreigners bad'”.

  29. barny chan Says:

    FOARP, yes it’s low, but a new low? I don’t think so. Fool’s Mountain seldom deviates from the path of demonising the west whilst finding ever more creative excuses for the excesses of the CCP. At heart, it’s a thinly sugarcoated racial supremacist blog.

  30. Michael Says:

    Chris Patten’s reform of the functional constituencies to give all Hong Kongers the vote was a popular move with the people of Hong Kong, but not the plutocrats who run the cartels that still control the city. I find it odd that many supposed Hong Kongers in this thread seem to oppose this move. You were given a say in the running of your own city but you would prefer to relinquish this right and hand it over to unelected business cartel operators, civil servants and other shoeshiners. Please yourself.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if Thatcher had pushed for more democracy in HK, but she was gone by the time Patten was appointed. What exactly would John Major gain from promoting democracy in HK? He was a former HK banker who sought better ties with China, not to upset Beijing.
    If you think there was a conspiracy to democratise HK by the UK Foreign Office, you only need to look at the reactions of the establishment China hands in Whitehall like Percy Cradock, who loathed Patten and what he did.
    I would also like to know what the UK is supposed to have plundered from Hong Kong. You can complain of being under represented (though you seem to prefer that) but you can hardly complain of being over taxed.

  31. FOARP Says:

    @Barny Chan – I guess to be fair to S.K. Cheung, Steve, BMY, Allen (most of the time), and others who post here, it should be said that it isn’t always like that. When the sainted Tang Buxi started posting here it was actually one of my favourite blogs. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I found a lot of BXBQ’s posts to be racist, that I found Charles Liu’s reposting without comment or apology of death-threats against the lives of the people who drafted Charter 08 disturbingly fascistic, and that I found the endless hijacking of threads by people pushing conspiracy theories deeply tiresome. All I can say is that this kind of article has grown to be the rule and not the exception. This is a pity.

  32. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Please. Lighten up people.

    There are plenty of conspiracy theories on both sides. SKC, BC included.

    And this blog is the “democratic forum”, where all such opinions are tolerated.

    If you can’t deal with the opposing opinions in here, how much “democracy” can you actually tolerate in the real world?

  33. raventhorn4000 Says:

    ” “The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be selected by election or through consultations held locally and be appointed by the Central People’s Government.[1]” ”
    “ “The method for selecting the Chief Executive shall be specified in the light of the actual situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.[1]”

    I see no “backtrack” in this promise. There is no timetable.

  34. huaren Says:

    Hi barny chan, #25

    My question there would by why weren’t the “campaigners” lobbying for the residents right to select a Chief Executive by universal suffrage while under British rule?

    From a practical standpoint, return of sovereignty of Hong Kong definitely means the Chinese government would like Hong Kong to be loyal to China. I think any sane person on this planet would expect that. This is particularly important especially in the early transition periods. “Ultimate aim” means some time in the future on a time-table the Chinese and Hong Kong people find acceptable.

    I think for the “pro-China” side of this particular debate, the “campaigners” forcing this issue and trying to create a “fervor” around it is the issue.

  35. huaren Says:

    Hi Raj, #26,

    Again, I simply cannot understand you. Sorry.

  36. huaren Says:

    Hi FOARP, #28,

    At FM, you are allowed to express your opinion. Just look at the poll results thus far – this sentiment is very real. Dismissing it unfortunately means nothing.

    For people who really don’t care about what the Chinese think, I’d expect them to behave the way your comment #28 tells me. 😛

  37. huaren Says:

    Hi Michael, #30,

    “If you think there was a conspiracy to democratise HK by the UK Foreign Office..”

    Again, I apologize for messing up the poll. As Chan explained above in his comment, I think his issues are with the democracy “campaigners.”

    My personal view too is that China, U.K, U.S., E.U., etc are normalizing, and between government levels, there are no conspiracies. Otherwise what would explain the expansion in trade, increased ties in all aspects of society, etc., etc..

    This “slip” in using “Britain” in place of “democracy campaigners” is something I realize very easy to make in my mind. I suspect this kind of distinction are often messed up too on “the other side” of this kind of debates.

  38. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Holding a meaningless vote on a question so blatantly loaded without, you know, actually discussing anything.”

    LOL. Big shocker, that’s how “democracy” works. 3 choices, no substantive discussions, that covers just about every election.

  39. Raj Says:

    Raven (33)

    The fact that there is no timetable is irrelevant. You seem to be arguing that if China brought in direct elections 1 day before Hong Kong’s special political status ended, China would have honourably discharged its duties. Well you can think that all you like, but Hong Kong people don’t agree with that.

    China was given wiggle room by not having a timeline as a gesture of good-will. The Chinese government has abused that right by delaying for no reason other that it isn’t sure Hong Kong people will vote the way they want to. The idea that Hong Kong isn’t ready, as some people try to argue, is a joke.

    Moreover, if China continues to have a “well there’s no timeline so we can do whatever we like” then fewer countries are going to trust it to live up to its promises in the future – China’s word will mean less than it should do.

    huaren (35)

    What don’t you understand? You can understand most people here and write in decent English. I think you can understand if you try hard enough.

    If you think you’ve made a mistake with this blog entry, ask the admin to delete everything so you can start again.

  40. huaren Says:

    Hi Raj, #39,

    I meant, I really have a hard time having a conversation with you. Its like there are too many beats skipped or something.

    And I am not sure if you understand what I say, but from your comments, say, in #39, there is no way I would want to ask admin to delete this post. I don’t understand how you come to that.

    This is another example of us not communicating.

  41. Hemulen Says:

    pugster made an interesting admission here:

    It is not that Hong Kong is not ready for democracy, it is just that there are just too much outside influences going to happen if Hong Kong is allowed democracy. Personally, the current status quo within Hong Kong is good enough.

    In other words, Chinese nationalists want to prevent the rest of the world from influencing HK and China, but they are happy to avail themselves of democracy where it exists and promote “Chinese interests” there. Sorry, but that is an asymmetry that cannot go on indefinitely. Sooner or later, China will have to open up, or else…

  42. Raj Says:

    huaren (40), you’ve insulted my country and a city that remains dear in many of our hearts by implying that:

    a) Britain was involved in an anti-China conspiracy;
    b) Britain did not give Hong Kong democratic freedoms prior to 1997; and
    c) Hong Kong people are being manipulated and aren’t asking for democracy because of how they feel.

    I’m not sure how you could expect me to be satisfied or passive with that.

    I recognise that you say you’ve made a mistake, but the insult is still there in the title and in the poll. If you want to communicate with me, perhaps you should start by explaining why this shouldn’t be deleted.

  43. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    Fact that there is no timetable, means there is no agreed up time.

    That’s what we call in law a “aspirational statement” that has no legal effect of any kind.

    Read through US laws and treaties, there are tons of those languages.

    ALL people should know the meaning of their laws. False grand expectations do not create rights.

    “Moreover, if China continues to have a “well there’s no timeline so we can do whatever we like” then fewer countries are going to trust it to live up to its promises in the future – China’s word will mean less than it should do.”

    Yeah, sort of like the “promise” of “there is only 1 China”, but UK and US still sell weapons to Taiwan??

    At least China kept to what it agreed to on HK. If some people want more faster, Not in the promise.

  44. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    It’s historical fact that Britain persecuted anyone in HK suspected of being “Communist”, and deleted all references to the Opium Wars in HK textbooks.

    If you are bent on using your delete power to censor unfavorable opinions of Britain, I think admin should consider your threats as abuse of privileges.

  45. Raj Says:

    Raven, you’re ignoring the fact that China was and still is expected to allow direct elections. That’s why the document uses the words “shall have”. You can hide behind the lack of a timetable all you like, but you’re still hiding instead of justifying the delay.

    Yeah, sort of like the “promise” of “there is only 1 China”, but UK and US still sell weapons to Taiwan??

    Where did the UK ever promise to not sell anything with military applications to Taiwan and what is it selling to Taiwan? The fact we only have full diplomatic relations with Beijing does not mean China gets to control our foreign policy. If China doesn’t like the relations we have with Taipei it can withdraw it’s ambassador from London. Hong Kong doesn’t have that option with China.

    As for the US, it agreed to reduce arms sales to Taiwan provided that China reduced its missile stockpiles for use against Taiwan. China only keeps increasing its arsenal, so you can’t complain when the US sells weapons to counter that and China’s wider military build-up.

  46. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    What “delay” if there is no agreed upon time table? Your expectation based upon what? Your own made up time table?

    China will determine the “gradual” process. That’s the promise.

    “Foreign policy” means UK has to deal directly with 1 Chinese government authority on export of weapons to China. Otherwise, UK is violating Chinese “sovereignty”. It’s basic “sovereignty” law. 1 promise of recognition of 1 sovereign for 1 territory of China includes the exclusive dealing promise with that 1 sovereign.

    If that’s how you interpret “promises” for UK, then I say it is evident that UK is bent on distorting all promises.

    As for US, your statement of that agreement is fictional. China agreed to no such compromise.

  47. Raj Says:

    The delay is that direct elections can be brought in immediately. There is no need to wait – ergo there is a delay. Delay doesn’t require there being a timetable – look the word up in a dictionary.

    You still haven’t told me what weapons the UK is selling to Taiwan. Foreign policy means dealing with things outside of UK jurisdiction. We get to decide what our foreign policy is. If it’s that Beijing does not have jurisdiction over Taiwan then that’s tough – unless we’re bound by any document that says otherwise.

    I forget why the US expected China to reduce its missile stockpile, but it wasn’t party to the transfer of Hong Kong so it’s irrelevant anyway. If you have a problem with US arm sales, write to the White House – it has nothing to do with this matter.

  48. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    “No need to wait”? says who? I don’t think China promised to let someone else decide that.

    Your “no need to wait” is a personal determination, China didn’t promise to bring “democracy” according to your assessment of “no need to wait”. China promised to assess that for itself.

    UK sold chemical weapon components to Taiwan in 2003. “foreign policy” cannot be in contravention of existing promises. If that’s your idea of “foreign policy” for UK, then UK’s promise means squat.

    “Document”? how about repeated public promises of UK government that there is only 1 China and Taiwan is part of it?

    I have problem with your idea of “promises”, and your obvious bent to distort all rational and legal meaning of Laws.

  49. Raj Says:

    I am entitled to my opinion about whether there is a need to wait or not. Why don’t you tell me why you think there is a need to wait?

    What the hell, where did you get this nonsense about us selling chemical weapon components to Taiwan?! Do you have credible evidence that suggests Taiwan even has such a programme?

    When and how did the UK say Taiwan is a part of the PRC? I wouldn’t agree with it, but it would be helpful to know all the same.

    As for your allegations about HK textbooks and persecution of suspected Communists (let me guess, during the Cold War), what does that have to do with my authorship rights? China censors its history books, so does that mean no Chinese people has a right to post here?

  50. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    You can have your opinion. Doesn’t make it a rule of law. And Not meeting your “opinion”, is not breaking a promise.

    http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/cra0505.htm

    “Among the countries to which Britain is selling chemical warfare technology is Iran – a regime labeled as part of the ‘axis of evil’ by President Bush. Others include Libya – long seen by the west as a state sponsor of international terrorism; Israel – which is involved in one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent times; and Taiwan – a nation which has been on the brink of war with China for decades.”

    Their “opinion” is as good as yours.

    UK signed the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam declaration, agreeing that Taiwan is part of China.

    *as for the FACT of UK’s persecution of political opponents in HK and changing of Textbooks, means that UK was not interested in Democracy in HK!

  51. Raj Says:

    Raventhorn, you still haven’t told me why there is a need to wait for direct elections in Hong Kong. You can repeat yourself until you’re blue in the face that China doesn’t have to do anything, but that isn’t going to win Hong Kong people over. Does China want to win Hong Kong people over, or doesn’t it care what they think? If the former, it needs to make good on its promise. If the latter then it should have the guts to say so, though of course that would make relations between China and Hong Kong very stressful.

    That news article says the UK is selling chemicals to Taiwan. Chemicals that even the article acknowledged can be used in peaceful economic business. So what, did China ask the UK not to sell any chemicals to Taiwan?!

    The Cairo declaration said that Taiwan should be returned to the Republic of China. That’s the government of Taiwan – the Republic of China. Taiwan isn’t mentioned in the Potsdam Declaration.

  52. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    You still haven’t told me why your “no need to wait” is any objective standard. You can repeat yourself until you are blue in the face. Your standard is meaningless to the promise China made.

    (You are the one making the assertion of “delay”, only to show that you are basing that purely on your own “opinion”. I think you are the one turning blue on your own baseless assertion.)

    China will take consideration of many factors, including HK people’s opinion into consideration. It’s not a choice that is so simplistic as you have made it to be.

    The article says CHEMICAL WEAPON TECHNOLOGY!

    Potsdam declaration stated “Cairo Declaration shall be carried out”.

    And Cairo declaration stated, “Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and The Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China.”

    There is only 1 Republic of China, recognized by UK, PRC.
    🙂

  53. Raj Says:

    Oh, Raventhorn, now you’re copying my comment style? How clever you are! Can’t you think of your own rejoinders?

    So what are these factors being considered? Let me guess – whether it thinks Hong Kongers will be obedient and vote for the parties they want it to?

    Why don’t you read the article properly? It says the following.

    “The products that Britain is selling to these nations are known as toxic chemical precursors (TCPs)….These TCPs are known to chemists as dual-use chemicals.”

    CHEMICALS, not chemical weapons technology!

    The People’s Republic of China is not the Republic of China – that’s why it has a different name! 😀

  54. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    Your comments of my “cleverness” are irrelevant.

    Your “guess” of factors are IRRELEVANT.

    Why don’t you read the title and the conclusion of the article? Their opinions are as good as yours.

    And your interpretation of “name” is also irrelevant. Obviously UK only recognizes 1 “Republic of China”, and that is PRC. The other is not a recognized sovereign of any territory. You might as well argue that “United Kingdom” and “Great Britain” are different names, and hence no promises are binding.

    Well, that’s your wrongful assumption of legal interpretation of laws and treaties. A nation’s name has no bearing on its legal rights from past treaties.

    Taiwan was “stolen from” China. It belongs to China, regardless of the name of China.

  55. Raj Says:

    Raventhorn, you have not offered one reason why Hong Kong should not have direct elections other than China thinks it doesn’t have to. Great, so China does the minimum required and never does anything for anyone that it doesn’t have to do. What a wonderful country you would have it be.

    The UK recognises the People’s Republic of China. Your argument that Taiwan is a part of China is false because it was suggested that it be returned to a different state.

    Ha! Don’t you know what the United Kingdom stands for? It’s “the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. They have always been the same thing, whereas the PRC and ROC became competing states.

  56. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    You have not offered any proof of your assertion that China is breaking a promise.

    And you have no proof of any kind to your new assertion that “China does the minimum required”.

    Your interpretation of treaty is simply wrong. Return of territory is to a country, The government holds on behalf of its people.

    Funny, I don’t see “Falkland” or “Southern Ireland” in that name. I guess “Falkland” and “Southern Ireland” are independent.

    ROC as a “competing state”? I don’t see UK recognizing that “competing state” as “sovereign” of all China.

    Competition over!

  57. Raj Says:

    Proof? You seem to dispute that China ever made a promise in the first place, or that if it did it was only a promise that would allow it to fulfill it 1 millisecond before Hong Kong’s special status expires. Clearly I can’t reason with an unreasonable person.

    My interpretation is perfectly correct, actually.

    I don’t see reference to any islands in the PRC’s title. So I guess all those islands China claims are independent too, right?

    As for your information, “Southern Ireland” (i.e. Republic of Ireland) IS independent and we recognise it as independent. Do you know anything about the UK?

    The UK doesn’t have to recognise the ROC as the government of all China to not acknowledge Beijing as having jurisdiction of Taiwan. Taiwan isn’t the capital or nexus of China!

    Sure, run away now you’re getting beat. 😉

  58. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    China’s promise is plainly seen in the Basic Law. Your assertion is beyond the language of that law.

    “I don’t see reference to any islands in the PRC’s title. So I guess all those islands China claims are independent too, right?”

    That’s your logic, not mine. 🙂

    “Republic Ireland”, I don’t see “Republic of Southern Ireland”. I guess they have a war with UK. 🙂

    “The UK doesn’t have to recognise the ROC as the government of all China to not acknowledge Beijing as having jurisdiction of Taiwan. Taiwan isn’t the capital or nexus of China!”

    I guess we know the Empty promises made by UK now in Cairo. Evidence by your own words. I’ll let the other Chinese people judge the emptiness of UK’s promises.

    🙂 Enjoy the “distrust” of your promises.

  59. Raj Says:

    Raven

    China’s promise is plainly seen in the Basic Law.

    Yes, to bring in direct elections. So your logic is that, because it doesn’t say when they should happen by, China doesn’t need to fulfill that promise. Ergo, by your logic, China only has to do the minimum and doesn’t have to do anything for anyone unless it is compelled to. Thanks for proving my previous point.

    That’s your logic, not mine.

    Actually, it’s your logic when you said:

    “Funny, I don’t see “Falkland” or “Southern Ireland” in that name. I guess “Falkland” and “Southern Ireland” are independent.”

    Can’t you even remember what you say? Or is there more than one person I’m talking to? It would explain why your posts keep getting two plus votes despite the fact there’s no one else posting. 😀

    I guess we know the Empty promises made by UK now in Cairo.

    Did the UK agree to Taiwan being returned to the PRC? No. It was the ROC and the ROC government controls Taiwan. We fulfilled our promise.

    Really you make this too easy for me. 😉

  60. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    UK ruled 150 years on HK without bringing “direct democracy”. If there was “no need to wait”, why didn’t UK do it prior to any negotiations of hand over with China? China can go another 138 years without falling behind that standard.

    🙂 Where was your “no need to wait” when UK had HK for 150 years?

    ACtually the logic of “names” difference is all yours.

    You can run from UK’s promises on your “minimum requirement” if you wish. We Chinese can see your squirming quite well from afar.

    🙂

  61. raventhorn4000 Says:

    UK territory of Anguilla had elected Chief minister since 1976.

    UK territory of British Virgin Islands had elected Chief minister since 1967.

    Funny how, UK never had a need for an elected Chief minister for HK!

  62. perspectivehere Says:

    Au Loong-Yu (born in Hong Kong in 1956 and a labour and antiglobalization activist), in this December 2006 interview for New Left Review, offers interesting perspectives on the period of British rule of Hong Kong from the 1960’s to the 1997 Handover and democratization.

    http://www.newleftreview.org/?view=2647

    ********BEGIN QUOTE**************
    “How was British rule viewed at this time?

    British rule in the postwar era can be divided into two periods either side of 1971. In the earlier period, there was a form of spatial apartheid—the Tai Ping Shan area was restricted to Westerners—and conditions were much more oppressive: working hours were long, wages low and strike activity ruthlessly suppressed by the colonial government. National oppression took a very visible form: nearly all high-ranking posts were occupied by Brits, and English was the only official language; at school, we would be refused permission to go to the bathroom if we didn’t ask in English.

    The British clamped down hard on the labour movement after the 1967 events—perhaps 4,000 or 5,000 trade unionists were sacked, and thousands put in prison. This took a toll from which the Maoist unions never recovered. Nevertheless, by the early 70s, pressure had begun to mount on the British, both from within and from without, to make some reforms in order to maintain any legitimacy. Hong Kong students and social activists were agitating for Chinese language rights, and against the possible transfer of Diao Yu Island to Japan. A key turning point came on 7 July 1971, when the colonial government harshly repressed a demonstration by radical nationalist youth movements. A wave of further protests ensued, and the government was forced for the first time to permit demonstrations. After that student groups mobilized with some success against official corruption, and in 1973 pressured the government into forming an Independent Commission, which continues to function. Externally, China’s rising international status—its assumption of a UN Security Council seat in 1971, Nixon’s visit and so on—was an important factor pushing the British into granting limited political freedoms.

    How and when were you radicalized?

    By the 1971 mobilizations around the Diao Yu Island. They were organized by young students, many of whom were beaten and hospitalized by the colonial police. The worldwide radicalization of the 1960s was late in coming to Hong Kong—it wasn’t till 1970 that young people began to respond to socialist or Marxist ideas, for instance. Though the CCP had lost much of its base among the Hong Kong workers after 1967, it benefited greatly from the upsurge in national sentiment among students and intellectuals. China, and its Maoist model, was seen as an alternative to British rule—though during the course of the 1970s the local CCP moved away from advocating the end of colonialism, in the name of stability. In student circles, the Maoists were constantly challenged by liberal currents and the radical left, notably Trotskyists and anarchists. The Chinese Trotskyists had had a presence in Hong Kong since the 1940s, while anarchism had become fashionable in the early 1970s. I followed lively debates in the papers between the two groupings, and read Marx and Trotsky as well as Marcuse and Fromm. I was attracted to Fromm’s humanism, and found Trotsky’s analysis of bureaucracy highly relevant to contemporary Chinese history. Many of my classmates became Maoists, but despite my youth I felt a strong aversion to the cult of personality. I joined the Young Socialist Group, which moved increasingly in a Trotskyist direction, but disintegrated in the early 1980s.

    What did you do after graduating?

    I finished high school in 1974, and worked in the offices of a British and then US trading firm until 1977. After that I spent two years working in factories, making garments and Japanese watches. I then enrolled at Hong Kong Baptist College to study Chinese, which I went on to teach in high schools until 1995.

    What was the response in Hong Kong to Tiananmen Square, and to the democracy movement more generally?

    The initial reaction was both horror and anger—including among pro-Beijing groups, though these repented their criticisms of the CCP soon enough. Many dissidents fled China in the wake of the repression, but they mostly went to the US, and so had little impact on Hong Kong’s political scene. The real effect of Tiananmen Square was to bolster the liberals in Hong Kong, who became dominant in the opposition camp—a position derived not from any innate strength, but from the degeneration of ‘really existing socialism’. The 1989 crackdown made for a glaring contrast between colony and mainland, which increasingly came to be seen as a barbaric, absolutist regime.

    Not that Hong Kong itself was an authentic liberal democracy, even by the time Britain’s ninety-nine year lease expired. For all the rhetoric, Patten did little towards democratization: prior to the 1997 handover, only half the seats in the legislative council were directly elected under universal suffrage. It was only the fierce opposition of the Chinese government and its backers in Hong Kong to such a small step that enabled the UK to garner some credibility. This was nothing new: in the early 1980s, when the colonial government began to introduce direct elections, the heads of the pro-CCP unions opposed it, claiming that ‘We workers only care for fan piao [rice voucher], not xuan piao [ballot]’. The CCP’s rigidity made Patten’s piecemeal democratic engineering appear more significant than it really was. In fact, London’s reforms simply served to ensure that in 1997, power was peacefully retained by the same set of mandarins as before, the colony’s Administrative Officers, only this time under the leadership of a governor appointed by Beijing, Tung Chi Wah.

    Nevertheless, there has been significant progress for Hong Kong Chinese since the days of my youth. There is now a clear agenda for universal suffrage and parliamentary democracy, which was totally lacking in the 1970s. The democratic movement in Hong Kong is important, since freedom of the press and assembly are the only weapons we have to defend our autonomy, and resist the political convergence between the one-party regime on the mainland, and Hong Kong’s mandarins and tycoons. Liberal democracy does provide working people with a space to resist, which is entirely lacking in mainland China. However, because of the dominance of liberal ideas, these democratic aspirations are never linked to social and economic rights. Even three or four years ago, the minimum wage was seen as a radical demand. Hong Kong society is very atomized: few people join political parties, social movements and trade unions are very weak, and it is difficult to mobilize rank and file members in any great numbers. Movements are often led by paid officials. Such a low organizational starting point makes it hard to wage a prolonged democratic struggle, and it seems likely that if full universal suffrage and parliamentary democracy arrived in Hong Kong, the same clique would be able to monopolize it.”
    **********END QUOTE******************

    There are a wealth of insights in his personal reflections which are useful to point out:

    1. Au-Loong Yu is emphatically not a CCP supporter. Yet, as this excerpt illustrates, he is also well-informed and critical about British suppression of dissent and “democratic institutions” during its rule of Hong Kong. I think this shows that to express criticism of British methods, intentions and achievements in its rule of Hong Kong is not necessarily a sign that one is doing so because one supports the CCP. There are more than two sides to these questions.

    2. The way the British responded to protests and riots was initially with violent suppression; then it provided economic benefits (like public housing); it was thus able to maintain social stability in Hong Kong. Most people in Hong Kong today look back to those times as pretty good; their standard of living was rising and there were economic opportunities.

    3. “Nationalism” amongst Hong Kong Chinese students and intellectuals (like the Diao-yu Islands protests) spontaneously occurred as a homegrown phenomenon – without necessarily being stoked by the CCP as a means of legitimizing its rule.

    4. Yu’s last three sentences show that, despite his activist positions, he recognizes that “democracy” (defined as universal suffrage and parliamentary rule) is not necessarily a cure for Hong Kong’s problems, as “it seems likely that if full universal suffrage and parliamentary democracy arrived in Hong Kong, the same clique [i.e., Hong Kong’s mandarins and tycoons] would be able to monopolize it.”

    This last point is why we must be cautious in too quickly applying “democracy” as a solution.

    In respect of huaren’s question, I think it is an interesting question that really is in several parts and could be unpacked as follows:

    Original question: Did Britain purposefully create a “democratic” fervor in Hong Kong leading up to the 1997 hand-over while keeping the region “undemocratic” throughout much of its 150-years rule?

    Rewritten questions:
    A. Did the British government in HK create a “democratic” fervor in Hong Kong leading up to the 1997 hand-over?
    i. Yes
    ii. No

    B. If you answered Yes to question A, do you believe that the British government in HK did so in order to:
    i. create post-handover governance problems for the PRC?
    ii. promote one-country/two-systems by leaving HK with a fully-functioning government?
    iii. honor its commitment to the people of Hong Kong?
    iv. create a favorable image back home for Chris Patten as a failed Conservative politician?

    C. Did the British government in HK keep the region “undemocratic” throughout much of its 150-years rule?
    i. Yes, and they should be condemned for it.
    ii. Yes, but they had rule of law, civil liberties, free press and economic freedom plus clean government, so it was okay.
    iii. No; HK did not become a democracy because HK people were unprepared for it and did not demand it as they were busy making money and satisfied with life under colonial rule (save for a handful of leftist agitators in the ’67 riots) but that all changed leading up to the Handover as HK people matured by the 1990’s and “ready” for full suffrage and democracy, which was blocked by China.
    iv. No, and anyone who keeps bringing up these past issues is a CCP stooge.

  63. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Frankly, I don’t give a damn for UK’s motives in the specifics.

    I’m not interesting in assigning blame to UK, as long as UK understand that it is not an “innocent democratizer”.

    If CCP had not pushed the British government for negotiations, HK would still be in the hands of UK.

    Deng Xiaoping stood his ground against the British on these negotiations. And it took him and the CCP years to resolve the negotiation with the British.

    *Some people forget history and practicality too easily.

  64. Raj Says:

    perspectivehere

    raventhorn, so you’re saying that before we even knew there would be a handover in 1997 we allowed the press to flourish, freedom of speech, etc just to spite China?

    Yeah, sure if Deng hadn’t pressed the issue we would have renewed the lease – with his consent of course. That was the whole point – the city couldn’t be split in two (half being leased and half British). Certainly at the time continued British rule would have been supported by a overwhelming majority of Hong Kongese. Not sure what they’d want now, but who knows?

    One could easily say that if it hadn’t been for the British government there would have been no promise of direct elections and fewer freedoms that HK currently has.

  65. Raj Says:

    perspectivehere (62)

    Although your post is interesting, it’s a shame it came from the New Left Review. It’s not exactly a centrist publication. Whilst I’m not going to try to criticism everything he says, he seems to take the view that because democracy doesn’t quash business norms it’s insufficient or flawed.

    I think this shows that to express criticism of British methods, intentions and achievements in its rule of Hong Kong is not necessarily a sign that one is doing so because one supports the CCP.

    I’m not sure what would give you the impression many people would think that way. The HK democrats didn’t ask for democracy in 1997 – they’d been campaigning for many years before that.

    This last point is why we must be cautious in too quickly applying “democracy” as a solution.

    As I said, he seems to take a view that because democracy doesn’t overthrow the economic status quo then it’s not the final solution. Note he says things like:

    “Liberal democracy does provide working people with a space to resist, which is entirely lacking in mainland China.”

    It’s as if he thinks there’s a war going on. Resist what – capitalism?

    Even if one agrees with him, democracy is an excellent stepping-stone. Put it like this, if the UK had China’s level of rights then the New Left Review wouldn’t even be able to write that sort of material. Maybe Yu is being cynical that people like Donald Tsang would still win election (he would have done the first time certainly). But that’s life – you have to trust the common man to use his vote properly.

    On a side-note, although Yu doesn’t mention this, having talked to some radicals they’re actually fairly autocratic themselves. They believe in freedom, it’s just that because the “evil” establishment manipulates people then ordinary citizens can’t be left to have a secret ballot. Oddly enough the only uncorruptable people are radicals like themselves. Hmm….

  66. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “I’m not sure what would give you the impression many people would think that way. The HK democrats didn’t ask for democracy in 1997 – they’d been campaigning for many years before that.”

    People change, usually toward the middle.

    Or maybe, CCP is not as bad as the British in HK.

    🙂

  67. barny chan Says:

    FOARP Says: “@Barny Chan – I guess to be fair to S.K. Cheung, Steve, BMY, Allen (most of the time), and others who post here, it should be said that it isn’t always like that.”

    FOARP, my history here doesn’t extend to more wholesome and constructive days.

    My first post here was on the fantastically (and unintentionally humorously) titled “Are Chinese racist or simply politically incorrect?” thread, in which Allen wrongly (and, I believe, deliberately) implied that a journalist who’d written about racism in Hong Kong is a know-nothing, monolingual, westerner with a Chinese rent-a-wife, rather than what he actually is: a man born and raised and still living in Hong Kong, equally fluent in Cantonese and English, ethnically Indian, with an ethnically Chinese but American wife. When I intervened, despite more than 250 frenzied posts, not a single person had bothered to check whether Allen’s characterisation of the writer was accurate. Instead, it was just an orgy of justification of Chinese racism (sorry, “political incorrectness”) coupled with jibes about western hypocrisy (despite the target actually being Asian). Allen acknowledged his “mistake” (he couldn’t really do otherwise) but did nothing to correct the original post which still has the utterly misleading statement that “the author falls into many pitfalls that many Westerners make when it comes to Asian racism” in the first paragraph.

    Subsequently, I’ve occasionally commented here, but it’s impossible to spark a meaningful dialogue with people whose sense of Chinese identity triumphs over logic and fact.

  68. barny chan Says:

    Raj Says: “Clearly I can’t reason with an unreasonable person.”

    I came to the same conclusion. So did others. We now ignore him. Why not do the same and direct your energies towards those more deserving of your time?

  69. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Promises, promises, I have heard it all before.

    Try whining about polls you can’t change. Maybe Democracy is too much for you.

    Certainly are a lot of “unreasonable Chinese” people around here.

    Plenty more where I came from. That’s Democracy BABY!

    🙂

    Incidentally, I have 3 degrees from US, and worked in US, am I a “collaborator” now?

    At least I don’t sing the praises of a British Governor, and spit in the face of “robber baron” Chinese.

    I’m not that quick to judge people.

    Why some people are so quick to judge others is evidence of their lack of reasoning ability.

    All guts and slogans. Not enough “nuance”.

    🙂

  70. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “raventhorn, so you’re saying that before we even knew there would be a handover in 1997 we allowed the press to flourish, freedom of speech, etc just to spite China?

    Yeah, sure if Deng hadn’t pressed the issue we would have renewed the lease – with his consent of course. That was the whole point – the city couldn’t be split in two (half being leased and half British). Certainly at the time continued British rule would have been supported by a overwhelming majority of Hong Kongese. Not sure what they’d want now, but who knows?

    One could easily say that if it hadn’t been for the British government there would have been no promise of direct elections and fewer freedoms that HK currently has.”

    I think your admission of UK’s intent to keep HK is enough for my point.

    Your theory that UK would have given more “democracy” to HK is amusing, considering that UK had 150 years to do it, but didn’t!! Even before Deng pressed the matter of HK handover!!

    FACT is, UK did do it in the last minute. Want to see “performing the minimum requirement”??? UK in HK 1997!! Even the Negotiation of handover was pressed by CHINA!!

    You are in no position to whine about China’s “delay”. UK’s intent is clearly dubious from its conducts in HK. 150 years of history is more than enough proof.

  71. CK Says:

    “At least I don’t sing the praises of a British Governor, and spit in the face of “robber baron” Chinese.
    I’m not that quick to judge people. Why some people are so quick to judge others is evidence of their lack of reasoning ability. All guts and slogans. Not enough “nuance””

    Very well said, raventhorn4000 … Plenty of, in Western religious parlance “Pharasees and judgemental hypocrites” here.

  72. jael Says:

    I’m just curious – I get the impression that pretty much every commentator on this board (and bloggers?) are male. Are there any women out there at all?

    Also – What BC said at 69. Seems that every second thread ends up with someone dragged into a rapid fire exchange with r4000. If you find yourself getting caught up in one of these exchanges, please, take a moment to ask yourself if it’s a discussion really worth hijacking a thread for. They rarely seem to be. As the blog header says – A wise one knows moving mountains is beyond human power, but a fool has other thoughts…

    (from a devoted lurker. from whence I came there I shall return)

  73. CK Says:

    I thought it was good that drinking in public was prohibited when I first visited the “Free West,” even though it was a real shocker to me that a “free” country would still treat its citizens like kids in certain areas. With all their talks of PC in public and to the rest of the world, in private the toxic fumes of racism seem rather potent when I talked with the locals there, or even expats in China these days. Imagine what some of these expats really think of us Asians / Chinese!.

    Often I realyy don’t what to make of these so-called democratic first worlders. Like when a very eloquant and obviously highly educated Afican American told me that the American experiment is a failure and that the ruling Whites are constantly feeling threaten…whatever that means? Another, a Britisher explained to me that the bellicose nature of the Normans and Saxons which invaded the Anglos are very much part of theirt nature, hence the Euro-American imperialistic bends. That the “Whiteman’s burden” drive remain evident with their religious fervor in personifying of and the proslytizing of their massianic monotheistic (One World) faith.

    Bruce Lee, borrowing from Daoism advocated: “Be water my friend.” RV4000, what do you think of that philosophy as a very quintessential Chinese attitude? I feel the water is getting too muddy to serve its purpose of nature’s cleanser. As a mover and gentle sculptor, it is conteminating its own handiworks.

    Riding the xenophobic gravy train the West have long won many battles in many regions of the world with their cultural infiltrations. Case in point, the prolification of the English language training business, institution, educational reform & many popular urban trends in China. Look at us, goodness gracious — we’re communicating in an Anglo-saxon-french-latin based language!

  74. CK Says:

    I assure you there are other women posters.There is Miaka for example and another that escapes me right now.
    ” Seems that every second thread ends up with someone dragged into a rapid fire exchange with r4000. ”

    Um, that seems to be a great talent Raj has.

    LOL… I like your (from a devoted lurker. from whence I came there I shall return)…I think I shall do likewise. Ta ta…*pooff*

  75. barny chan Says:

    jael Says: “I get the impression that pretty much every commentator on this board (and bloggers?) are male. Are there any women out there at all?”

    I share your impression. It’s possible (given the all too often creepy attention that women receive online) that some female posters assume a male identity. More likely, it just reflects the male/female imbalance of the angry young nationalist movement; given past and current Chinese social values there’s far less motivation for women to join the fervour.

    Regarding you being a lurker, it would be a shame if you stayed that way – Fool’s Mountain badly needs new blood.

    Finally, I find it interesting that r4000’s declining pool of sparring partners appears to have led him to invent an admirer. I guess a rare moment of clarity led to the edit removing the giveaway ????s and !!!!s. It would be amusing if it wasn’t so sad.

  76. raventhorn4000 Says:

    BC,

    Your fantasies are amusing, though lacking in “nuance”. (Your word, not mine).

    all of your comments are basically all personal observations and judgments, little facts, little reasoning.

    you run away whenever someone actually have some more facts than you do.

    And now you are inventing fantasy stories about me. Isn’t that just typical of you?!

    How about some CAPS and !!!! for your long journey back to lala-land??!!!!

  77. raventhorn4000 Says:

    CK,

    Water is my element. I came from a family line of fishermen (on 1 side) by the coast of Shanghai.

    There is an old saying, “the whitest lotus flowers grow from the muddiest water”.

    We Chinese grow and adapt to new environments. That is how we survived countless conquests.

    I take no heed from silly insults. (But I’m perfectly capable of giving as receiving.)

  78. raventhorn4000 Says:

    LOL,

    BC,

    I also used “nuance”, maybe I invented you !

    🙂

  79. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000 #76-78:
    3 of your funniest posts yet…and that’s saying something. I have noticed that you’ve gone easy with the caps and the excessive use of exclamation marks of late, for which you should be commended. However, you’re still enamoured with single-sentence paragraphs. Might I suggest writing posts with fewer random thoughts, but to actually expend some effort to put some meat on the bones of the thoughts you do choose to share.

    On a separate note, please tell me you’re not trying to take ownership of a word. If you have a creative bone in your body, then try to come up with a new one, a la Stephen Colbert. Otherwise you end up like in #78…and you’ve been in that place a lot lately…even for you.

  80. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I also wrote “apples and oranges”, as you and BC have wrote the same thing.

    Maybe you are both my inventions. 🙂

    Maybe you are arguing with yourself.

    🙂

  81. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    I wish I was arguing with myself. It would be a much more intellectually-stimulating exercise. Alas, I’m stuck with folks like you. Play the cards you’re dealt, as they say. Maybe the dealer will shuffle soon…

    I see you’re still stagnated at the “random thoughts” level of existence.

  82. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    Inability to control your own imagination. Sounds like you need more meds. 🙂

    Playing cards? “dealer” shuffle? Congrats, you are inventing more and more imaginary friends to play with.

    That should be more “fun” for you, but if you call it “intellectual”, then you have no criteria.

  83. barny chan Says:

    SKC, you’re only stuck with him if you choose to be. Why not unlock antlers and engage with those who are actually interested in opening up, rather than closing down, the debate?

  84. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    Dude, do you not know basic English phrases? You’ve been in the states how long? More random thoughts as well, I see. Those must be available to you in perpetuity.

    To Barny,
    once again, of course you’re right. Must-put-fly-swatter-down.

  85. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Dude, do you not know basic English phrases? You’ve been in the states how long? More random thoughts as well, I see. Those must be available to you in perpetuity.”

    Random as you imagine it. It’s all you! Float your boats. 🙂 I only use language you would understand. God knows I don’t want to confuse you with more “learning” that you can’t make “sense” of.

    🙂

  86. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Wow wow wee…a paragraph! You go, boy. Those English lessons are really starting to show. Even you can do it!

  87. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I know I can, but you can’t still.

    🙂

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