22nd December, 2014
I Don’t Love China, So What?
By Yoyo Ko Wai-yin
Translated by T
Hong Kong’s pan-Democratic veteran Martin Lee asserted that the vast majority of Hong Kong is patriotic. I have no idea where he got this conclusion from. We can infer that the subject of his ‘patriotism’ was China. Clearly we already have enough research indicating that our majority do not regard themselves as Chinese. So how do Hongkongers who do not see themselves as Chinese love China? After the Umbrella Revolution, I am increasingly convinced that more Hongkongers love Hong Kong rather than China.
Martin Lee was once my idol and one of my ideal CE candidates. And his prestige as a barrister once implied, in the midst of the state and region, that his priorities lay with duty and responsibility, rather than abstract emotions. If emotions were the focus, then the state bears all the responsibility for loving its citizens, whereas citizens are not required to return the love. Respect for the Rule of Law, abiding the law, and fulfiling necessary duties are already sufficient for any citizen. If a state deserves respect, people will naturally be drawn towards it. Otherwise people will claim their love but never walk the talk, and quite honestly, flee. Just by looking at the reality in China, we can imagine how ‘patriotic’ the yes-men in the People’s Congress are by looking at their nationalities.
The state and the Party are inseparable in modern China. Just like a yin-yeung* in a cha chaan teng**, where the milk tea is inseparable with the coffee. I only like coffee but not tea, but all you have is a yin-yeung, and that’s the reality.
My next question is: if I don’t like either coffee or tea, and definitely not yin-yeung, can I do that? A free man has the right to choose whether or not to love something. I love neither the 5000-year-old burden-stricken historical China nor the one-Party-rules-it-all China. Alright?
*Yin-yeung: a classic drink served in Cha Chaan Teng loved by many Hongkongers – it’s a mixture of Hong Kong-style milk tea and coffee
**Cha chaan teng: independent local casual eateries scattered around Hong Kong, which serve simple and fast dishes ranging from stir fried noodles to localised Western meal like mixed-grill.