15th April, 2014
What Chinese Need Is A Plague
***Before you judge this article, please read the Editor’s Note at the bottom***
In 1894, Black Death struck Hong Kong. The British Hong Kong Government launched a campaign to kill rats, and gave USD0.15 – USD0.20 for each rat being captured, in order to improve the public hygiene. Given the momentary awards, it would only make sense for rats to be extinct in Hong Kong. However, the campaign had to be abolished because a lot of people decided to buy rats from overseas in order to make money.
Hong Kong ethnic Chinese back then shared the same mentality of Chinese (in China) nowadays. If a hundred years ago, there was not only black-market slavery trade but also international tourism (as a trade/industry), many Hong Kong ethnic Chinese would have voluntarily cramped themselves in tiny rooms, insisted that they were the victims and demanded the hotel owners to compensate them (please find the reference stories here and here). Fortunately, thanks to the “intolerance” of the British Government, no Hongkongers would do what they had done in the past – using means that are against reasons to make profit.
In the 19th century, British assisted ethnic Chinese and allowed them time to improve their living environment. However, because ethnic Chinese back then had no solid financial ability and had no idea about public hygiene, they had always believed that British were picking on them deliberately, and refused to appreciate the effort British people made. During that period, many military officers and government officials from Britain often got sick and many died in Hong Kong, for example once half of the Indian soldiers arrived Hong Kong died within a few months. Before the Black Death struck Hong Kong, the British Government could not pin point on the real cause of the widespread diseases, but believed that British and Indian British caught diseases in Hong Kong easily as they could not adapt to the local environment and that diseases were particularly fierce in Hong Kong. One of the key Health Bureau (term the editor could not verify as this article is published) advisors Dr William Aurelius Harland who died in Hong Kong proposed to the first governor Sir John Bowring that the government needed to install sewage system, speed up garbage processing and conduct town planning rigorously. However, given the limited resources the Hong Kong Government had, his proposal was not followed through.
The second Governor Sir William Robinson established the Public Hygiene Committee and built Pok Fu Lam Reservoir based on the committee’s recommendation in order to provide fresh water supply in the area. The public hygiene problems in areas that ethnic Chinese lived were not resolved throughout the time when Governor McDonald, Governor Kennedy, Governor Hennessey and Governor Bowen were in office. Only after 1887 when Sir George William Des Vœux became the Governor of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Government finally managed to pass the Public Health Ordinance bill to tackle all public hygiene problems. This bill essentially forced to decentralise ethnic Chinese who were living in Tai Ping Shan area (i.e. near Sai Ying Pun) in order to reduce the risk of contracting viruses and diseases. This policy, however, did not gain any support amongst the ethnic Chinese, instead it triggered the rage of ethnic Chinese. Ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong, eventually, protested against the “White Devil” for “interfering Chinese’ internal affairs and intended to destroy their Chinese community”, even Chinese businessmen, led by Sir Kai Ho, also thought that the British Hong Kong Government did not respect ethnic Chinese’ culture. The bill eventually took over a year to be passed. This in a way sowed the seed of the infamous Black Death pandemic.
Ethnic Chinese are very smart, and they often pride themselves for their smartness. When the policy was first in placed, they managed to find another loophole: ethnic Chinese businessmen with financial flexibility began to acquire Western buildings, and reconstruct them into Chinese style buildings (closer proximity between units), which were let to ethnic Chinese who “suffered” from the new policy in the name of “helping their countrymen”, and made a good fortune. However, because of the massive difference between ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong (who are very different from Hongkongers nowadays) and Westerners, the environment and hygiene Westerners lived in was affected by the influx of ethnic Chinese drastically. This was when the “racist” British Hong Kong Government had to announce the “The European District Preservation Ordinance” in 1889, an ordinance is still being “criticised as a policy of racial segregation” until now, which specified that ethnic Chinese were not allowed to live in the area between Caine Road and Wellington Street (an area that was populated by Westerners).
Based on history, we could easily find that ethnic Chinese has suffered from persecutory delusion for a long time, including the ethnic Chinese businessmen who supposedly were more educated and open-mined. They believed that not a single governor respected their “Chinese culture (crowding in a small apartment with poor hygienic standard even though there were better options available) and were adopting brutal policies in Hong Kong in order to suppress ethnic Chinese and were rarely just. They believed that being able to survive in a tiny area and at the same time raising their own live stocks was an amazing achievement because this was something that British could never manage. They also believed that because of such “amazing achievement” British people should understand and allow their lifestyle. However, what is the so-called “ethnic Chinese culture” back then? Eating dog meat, shouting at the top of their voice, and being content with an unhygienic environment are only a few examples. What was the typical lifestyle ethnic Chinese families had back then? A whole family jam-packed into a subdivided unit that is 6 feet by 5 feet, and a number of these units formed a flat. Lack of air flow, garbage everywhere, even live stocks are kept within this confined space: maximising the space to the absolute max at which insects and gems bred.
Bubonic plague took 2,500 lives was a logical result of the poor hygiene in Hong Kong back then. If ethnic Chinese did not insist on rejecting modern medicine and relied on traditional Chinese medicine, the British (Hong Kong) Government did not have to adopt extreme measures to “interfere ethnic Chinese’ lives from top to bottom with no respect (of Chinese culture)”. If the British (Hong Kong) Government had searched every ethnic Chinese’ family, quarantined all the suspected ethnic Chinese carriers, demolished Tai Ping Shan area, and cleaned the area from inside-out, the bubonic plague would not have spread in such a scale. British only wanted to help ethnic Chinese in order to indirectly improve the livelihood of Europeans in Hong Kong, but ethnic Chinese imagined and labeled British as racists and thugs.
To be fair, to apply “racial segregation” back then in order to protect Westerns’ livelihood in Hong Kong was a reasonable act. This was, in fact, not racial discrimination but a sensible and intelligent response to the situation. People who “discriminate against” ethnic Chinese and call them “China Pig” because ethnic Chinese do behave like a bunch of pigs – a group of people who could not join figure out the relationship between the consequences and their sub-standard behaviours, but it is not related to the yellow skin ethnic Chinese carry. If British back then were racist, how did Ho Tung move to the Peak? Ho Tung became the first ethnic Chinese that succeeded in entering the “Westerners’ world” was not because of his wealth nor because he sided with the Westerners. It was because he “evolved” and became an ordinary citizen who knew what proper manners and standard hygiene were, and really connected to the European civilisation in Hong Kong.
The species that would cramp 29 individuals in four small rooms would never understand what is wrong with their behaviours. Hongkongers could never educate nor influence them. Hongkongers are not as advanced as British in this sense, simply because Hongkongers shared a lot of bad traits with Chinese. What Chinese need is a plague, not the tolerance pseudo-left-wingers keep shouting about, and it is definitely not the Western world’s help. If we want China to improve, and Hong Kong to flourish, we should hope that whoever show mercy on them, and send them a disaster worse than a plague. By then, Chinese would be able to reflect on their sins as they sit to pray on the Chinese-style ark and be reborn.
逆嘶亭 is a blogger and author who contribute to multiple media on a regular basis commenting on Hong Kong politics and affairs. He is famous for the hidden metaphors, satires and ironies in his articles. This article was originally published on 逆嘶亭‘s blog on 15th April. Unlike most of the articles published on the blog, this one did not get published in mainstream media and online news platforms (the latter typically publish controversy pieces of his without fail).
The editor thinks that this could be an important piece for the outside world to understand the ethnic Chinese mentality and way of thinking, and most importantly reflects the severe discontent Hongkongers have against Chinese based on their uncivilised behaviours in Hong Kong, as well as the hopelessness Hongkongers feel about being labeled as the people who should be at the forefront to educate and influence Chinese in order to “correct” them or make them better people. It boils down to a common saying amongst Hongkongers nowadays “Hongkongers do not have the responsibilities to make Chinese a better people nor demonstrate to China how to achieve democracy – there are only 7 millions of us in Hong Kong, but over 1.4 billion in China”.