Credulous Westerners Underestimate China


26th November 2013

Credulous Westerners Underestimate China


Image: Matt Sesow

It is a well-known secret that there are lots of undercover Chinese Communist Party members working in Western media. Even without their help in distorting and concealing the real situation of Hong Kong, people from the rest of the world would have limited knowledge of Hong Kong. The majority of Europeans and Americans have no idea of where Hong Kong is – they might have heard of Hong Kong, but have difficulty understanding the differences between Hong Kong and China. Prior to the sovereignty handover in 1997, Hong Kong Connection*, a Hong Kong produced TV programme, asked people on the street in Britain if they have heard of Hong Kong. The majority of them had no idea. One lady knew about Hong Kong and asked, “is Hong Kong being given back to Japanese?” It takes diplomats who are experts of Asia and China to fully understand China, which is essentially an empire with dozens of races as opposed to what is generally perceived by the Western world, a nation state – in a nutshell, there is no single race called “Chinese”. US Consul General Clifford Hart visited Hung Shing Temple and many other heritages soon after he assumed his new position in Hong Kong. He understands Hong Kong and he had to studied Hong Kong’s history before taking his new role simply because he is a politician. In the eyes of any average Westerner, Hong Kong is merely a city in China.

Recently, Hong Kongers began to realise that China has been colonising Hong Kong, but the Western world probably cannot grasp this concept: In their minds, colonialism is a European concept and it had always been the East that was being colonised. In their minds, there is only one thing in the East that is related to colonialism: decolonisation. Therefore, it is impossible for many of the Westerners to understand that there can be – and is – colonisation now going on within the East. This is, perhaps, the naive interpretation Westerners have about colonialism. Such view is spread across the East as well: Chinese always bring up the Opium Wars in all sorts of occasions, but refuse to admit that China has become a colonial-imperialist. Many Hong Kongers and pseudo left-wingers hold such naive view as well: they still believe that China is in a weak position in an international sense (as historically China had always portrayed itself as the victim of the Western world’s “bullying”). These pseudo left-wingers and naive Hong Kongers believe that they are still living in the glorious days under British rule and refuse to face the reality that Hong Kong has become a second class colony of China. “Reasons” they always use are: Hong Kong and China “share the same culture and are of the same race” it is impossible for China to colonise Hong Kong! Whereas what is happening is assimilation through immigration! Their ignorance and inability to evaluate the facts are beyond belief.

When the Communist Party began its colonisation of Tibet, the current Dalai Lama was a teenage leader. After decades in exile, he told the public that Tibet tried to seek help from the West and the United Nations, but the “international world” was busy with the Cold War and Korean War, and had no time to deal with Tibet issue. In the eyes of the West, colonialism is a Western phenomenon which means a nation state uses violence against another nation state to take control of it. Since what the Communists did to Tibet happened within “China”, it cannot possibly be called colonialism. In the eyes of the West, since the Great Qing Empire’s administration was involved in Tibet, that means Tibet has always been part of China – therefore, Tibet issue is China’s “internal affair” in which they have no interest in interfering.

Hence, the West sees Tibet issue as a “human-right issue”. This is in fact a dangerous and somewhat hypocritical stance. As the West focuses on universal values and human rights when addressing Tibet issue, it neglects the fact that Tibet is being colonised by a different race and nation. Based on the stance the West general takes, the “conclusion” is: Tibetans will be living a carefree and happy life within the “Chinese” nation state when China democratises. However, they do not know the brutal truth that there is no “Chinese race” – Tibetans and “Hwa Yan (Hwa people, ethnic Chinese in English term)” have different cultures and are of different races. Tibetans have a more deeply rooted national identity than Hong Kongers, therefore they knew decades ago that a “democratic China” is not the solution to the Tibet issue.

China’s colonialism is two-fold: internally it is based on the desire of the government of the day – not subject of course to the will of the people, and externally is defended under the “same culture same race” and “China’s internal affairs” whitewash which the communists have become adept at using to leverage the West’s post-colonial guilt to their own ends. The Western world of course knows about the Tibet issue, but in general they can only categorise it as a human right issue. Obviously, they have even less knowledge about Hong Kong: it is impossible for them to view the conflicts between Hong Kong and China as issues between two races, and the majority of them use the term “Chinese” to refer to all people with “yellow” skin. Therefore, it is understandable for them to think “Some Chinese in Hong Kong are anti-Chinese, that’s strange!” Hong Kongers do not blame the Western world for not understanding these issues, but it is absurd to learn that many Hong Kongers do not see them either. These Hong Kongers think “We share a culture with the (PRC) Chinese and are of the same race as them. As Chinese, how could we possibly say ‘no’ to China Government?” Since they insist of being “Chinese” they should not complain about living in a “China” where abductions and scams are common. Dayo Wong Chi-wah, a Hong Kong stand-up comedian and actor, said at one of his shows in 1997, “Where is China’s colony? China!” Have you, Hong Kongers, not understood what Mr Wong meant after over 16 years of colonial life?

Editor’s Note:

*The interviews began at 9:53, second part of the programme is available here

**Editor’s interpretation


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