An Open Letter to Hong Kong

September 29, 2014

From: Ulf Olofsson – resident of Hong Kong

1 October 2014 footnote: It has been brought to my attention that this letter has been used by anti-Occupy Central groups to show that foreigners too are “against the violent protesters”. I am not part of any anti-movement and do not endorse any such opinion. Based on the hundreds of comments this open letter has generated I understand that it appears as though I’m pro-police and anti-protesters. This is very far from the truth. This open letter may come across biased towards the police but that is mainly because of what I experienced personally at a specific (and limited) location and with specific (and limited) social media feeds. The examples I bring up are only meant to serve as anecdotal perspectives towards treating each other with more respect and tolerance and does not intend to push any political agenda or take a stance for or against either the police or the protesters. Though the comment section is long, if you want more clarification I invite you to read my responses and then it will be very clear as to where I stand and what I’m trying to accomplish. – Ulf

2nd footnote 1 October 2014: Apparently my open letter has been translated into Chinese and is being circulated. I appreciate someone taking the time to do so, but I have not been sent a copy, nor have I had someone verify the translation who knows both English and Cantonese well. If anyone has a link to the Chinese translation or knows who did it, please forward me the link or information. Thanks.

Update 1 October 2014 10:30 pm: Someone whom I don’t know translated my open letter into Chinese. Apparently the translation is a bit rough around the edges but relays the gist of my English original. I’m sharing it here for those who have a hard time getting through the English version. Just please don’t expect me to answer in Chinese or being able to read any Chinese comments https://www.facebook.com/HKInsights/posts/694472653981944?fref=nf.

I was personally in Admiralty yesterday afternoon and early evening and followed minute by minute the events that unfolded as the public protesters clashed with police and tear gas was used. My social media feeds (and those of my wife’s) were in hyperdrive. The overwhelming majority of posts and statements were not about the resolve to stand up for a more democratic Hong Kong, nor did they cover any organized direction from anybody. What they did cover however were statement after statement, photo after photo, video after video with one unified message: The Hong Kong police are the evil scum of earth!

Where violations against the law occurred, and where human rights violations happened and were uncalled for and excessive force was used, yes, please take swift and just action! I am not however going to address the right or wrong doing of the Hong Kong police force as far more qualified people than I can do so. I am going to address that those targeting the police instead of the real issues, the real targets, will get Hong Kong and its citizen absolutely nowhere, and if anything will only have a damaging and regressing effect. Note that I state “targeting” and am not disputing the fact that you are angry about what the police did.

I’m not from here, but I do live and work in Hong Kong and have done so for a little more than 4 years. I’ve been around – 20 years in the U.S. and 20 years in Sweden where I was born and raised. I’ve been to most of Europe, Central America as well as South Africa and mainland China. I have a pretty darn good idea of the rest of the world and therefore am able to view Hong Kong from a different perspective than maybe many local citizens. This is not a “right” perspective but is offered as a different perspective.

Not just because I’m not a native here, but because I can compare Hong Kong from personal experience to other parts of the world which gives a broader perspective. I have two friends who are connected to the Hong Kong police force. One is an active officer who was on duty last night. The other one is recently retired. The active officer happens to be a person I really respect. Some of my friends when growing up in Sweden were in the police force. As part of making documentaries I’ve met and experienced police forces in several places of the world.

I experienced the LA riots in 1992 first hand as we helped form a human chain to protect our building. Yesterday I both spoke to and observed various police officers in length. I asked one officer when he started his shift. He said, “5 am.” I asked when it will end. He said, ”When it is over.” By this time it was about 5 pm and he had been standing in 30 degrees heat, in pretty much one location for 12 hours. He had another 10 or so hours to go.

Among the dozens of faces I observed I saw fear, anxiety, worry, and sadness – probably the same type of emotions that went through all of you as the day progressed. As I was talking to a police officer, a young Cantonese guy walked up to me and told me not to talk to the police as they all lie. He asked me in an accusatory way, “Where are you from?” Followed by, “You know nothing!” As I made it clear to him that I was going to continue to speak with the police officer, he walked away proclaiming, “F__k you, you piece of shit!”

Standing there in the midst of the crowd, at least at my particular location, one message became much impregnated into my mind. It wasn’t a message of unity and solidarity. It wasn’t a message about the need for democracy. It wasn’t even a message about standing up for your rights and be heard – the only unanimous message repeated by the crowd was a volley of anger and personal insults of the worst kind hurled at the police from the protesters – and this was before any drastic police action had taken place.

My phone was literally getting heated up from the constant notifications from friends scolding the police on Facebook. The public was understandably angry and so became the police. Orders were issued and there were the clashes, tear gas, etc. Terrible – yes!

I could start to list faults from each side, but my purpose in writing this open letter to you has nothing to do with finding faults. I’m not even trying to defend the police. I’m trying to make a point that what I experienced last night can be best summed up as a mob mentality with those people involved in the observations above (not the protesters as a whole.) It was a sort of social contagion where a concept or idea (in this case about the police) spread like wildfire once it had been stated.

One positive aspect I will acknowledge was that many came together despite long ours of threat of police force and stood resolute to be heard and noticed towards a somewhat common cause.

But I do want to ask you this: If you had been standing outside for 12-14 hours in 30 degrees heat in full uniform trying to do your job while getting berated by verbally abusive people for hours, how would you behave and react? Some people argued that any police officer with a conscience should have quit their job after July 1st. Really? And then what? Anarchy? Others argued that they shouldn’t have followed orders. Tricky argument…

According to several international studies Hong Kong is considered one of the safest cities in the world to live in and it has the third lowest murder rate in the world. Does this maybe have something to do with its police? Per a UN survey in 2006 a full 90% of Hong Kong citizens considered that the police did a “very good job” or a “fairly good job.” So the police became one of the best to one of the worst in less than 8 years? Probably not, but evidently it has gotten worse in later years.

Since I moved to Hong Kong 4 years ago I have never been robbed nor have I heard a gunshot. When living in LA I would hear gun shots almost daily in some parts of the city like South Central. When I was new and not familiar with getting around in HK, where many public on the street would walk away from me when I asked, every police officer I ever encountered gave me the directions I needed, and often with a smile.

Personally I have a hard time grasping how the police can stand dealing with the rotten bottom of society day in and day out, night in and night out. Sometimes I don’t understand why they haven’t lost all faith in humanity. Especially after the night shift street patrol comes home with piss and puke on their uniforms after having been threatened, captured on mobile video and called the worst imaginable names. But I’m very thankful that they are there when I’m sleeping; that they are protecting me and my wife; that they remove the drunken drivers and the pigs that make millions selling drugs to our youth.

Is there corruption in the police? Probably to some degree. Are there bad police officers? Most likely – just as there are bad people in every group in existence on the planet today, and throughout history. The police protect, help and put order into things. That is undeniable.

But sometimes, as in any other activity, there’s an emergency or even catastrophe and things go out of control. Like last night when protesters suddenly charged the barricade of police to gain entrance to the street. Sure, in retrospect it is easy to say, “They should have been calmer; they shouldn’t have used tear gas; they should have found a different solution, etc.” I’m glad I wasn’t one of the policemen that got charged. Not because several of them got hurt and had to be given immediate medical attention. But if I had been charged by an angry crowd after enduring 12 hours of public berating in the sun, I know one thing – I had seconds to make my decisions. In those seconds I may not have had time to go through all the politically correct protocols but I would react pretty much on instinct and I would have most likely not made the most objective decisions, especially if I was angry as well.

In retrospect it is very easy to criticize. Social media and the news media are percolating with police criticism at the time of this writing. For 4 years I lived in the state of Florida, U.S.A. The police in Florida have very different instructions than here in Hong Kong. If there is any threat to someone’s life they shoot. And if they shoot, they can shoot to kill without consequence to the officer. I’m not mentioning this because I think it is right, but to give a different perspective if what happened last night would have taken place in Florida or many other places with completely different rules and values.

In the last several months dozens and dozens of various organized protests have occurred around the world. I am not talking marches for climate, etc – I’m talking about protests, usually against the government or some of their actions. Not one was peaceful and hardly any of them had zero casualties. Some had many casualties.

Currently there is a debate as to the use of rubber bullets and tear gas. I don’t know the answers as I am not a riot expert. But I do know that this debate is not something media and social media should carry out AGAINST the police who patrol our streets day in and day out.  That debate should be directed towards those responsible to make decisions.

If we continue to only blame the police the outcome contains no winners. The correct targets are the senior officers, the politicians and those they answer to. As I mentioned before, what I observed yesterday and still am observing through social media is this social contagion where a large portion of the public is following the apparently socially correct attitude – hate the cops! Wrong target!

Where was CY Leung in all this? He was hunkering in his bunker only issuing some politically correct PR statements amounting to nothing. What is a Chief Executive, the top leader of Hong Kong doing hiding instead of guiding and leading his people? The students demanded his presence and demanded to be heard. No response from the region’s leader… He’s a correct target but not the only one. The police received their orders from CY Leung. Not even sure how much Beijing and the China Liaison office played part in this.

I want to make clear, I’m not writing this open letter to criticize the protesters or the people of Hong Kong, but as I’m living and working here I wanted to say something because I know that those aspects of social contagion that I witnessed will not have a good outcome. If you disagree with your Government or in this case both the Government and the decision handed down from Beijing regarding Hong Kong’s democracy, I agree that actions such as non-violent and organized protests and simply not participating in the system you disagree with (such as not going to work or school) could be effective actions to take.

Thousands and thousands are doing that tirelessly right now and my respect is with you!

However, hurling insults at the police for hours on end and demonizing them all throughout news and social media (just as with the police using uncalled for and excessive force) will not help your situation or Hong Kong as a whole. I want to have and live in a better Hong Kong. I know you do too. I hope you can consider what I wrote despite it being an emotional topic and review your own outlook and participation in how you act towards each other and the situation with more tolerance, respect and understanding.

Thank you, Ulf Olofsson

381 comments

  1. […] to do. This includes (a) criticizing civil disobedience as an “ineffective” tool; (b) dictating tactics for political reform; and (c) telling people how unproductive their emotions are. Here’s […]

    1. I see I created quite some stir in you 🙂

      1) I’m not a rich expat. 2) Since day 1 in Hong Kong I have tried to integrate with the local societies and by now the majority of whom I call friends are locals. 3) I may not have the personal experience of someone who have lived here their entire life, but does that mean that I shouldn’t involve myself on the local level and does that make me ineligible to have and form and express an opinion? If your answer to that is yes I can only assume you are not very fond of democratic ideas, as in a true democracy opinions, of whatever kind, can and should be expressed. 4) I’m not dictating anything. I am expressing a view. You and anybody else can take it or leave it – that’s the beauty about views – you have a choice to listen and see if it is something for you, If it’s not then skip it. Simple!

      Hope you have more important things to engage in than getting upset at other expats who DO give a shit!

  2. Wai Ling Lim · · Reply

    I suppose there is a reason for the widespread controversy over and public disapproval or even resent at some police actions, as of today…. The negative images of the police etched in people’s mind does not come from nowhere…. This is sad.

  3. Wai Ling Lim · · Reply

    The use of unproportional amount of force and brutality on the protestors (or even the passerbys) have been clearly captured in many published videos and photos. The repeated verbal tactics attempted by the police and some government loyalists in trying to steer the public away from the truths do only to raise more doubts on the authority’s tact and integrity, rather than clean its name.

    1. It is true that uncalled for an disproportional force were used in many instances. You note these have been “clearly captured in many published videos and photos.” I would like to note that since Sept 28th these videos have been carefully selected, edited and distributed by pro-democracy advocates, adding up to about the same amount of propaganda that the Government loyalists are using to justify the actions as “necessary” and “lawful”, etc, etc.

      If one were to get a truly objective and unbiased view I think the answer is more towards this: Compared to most if not all non-dictatorial countries in the world, the HK Police Force acted relatively mildly during the entire Occupy Protest Movement, though some specific and uncalled for brutality did occur is some specific instances which should be met with swift and legal justice actions. The HK Government and their spokespeople have poorly responded to much public views and have lost even more public confidence. As I see it, they don’t understand or use western PR but rather keeps repeating statements of having done nothing wrong, which will only anger the public more while giving the impression the Government is not willing to listen to its people.

      That’s the way I see it.

  4. delefant · · Reply

    Joe Tan wrote

    “Hong Kong is the least affordable place on planet earth and things are only getting worse for most of us.”

    I’m not sure I agree with him and in fact it is highly misleading to say so.

    For example, health care. Hong Kong runs an excellent and extensive public health care system (41 hospitals. 47 specialist out-patient clinics, and 73 general out-patient clinics) alongside an excellent but expensive private health care system (13 hospitals).

    The costs of a public hospital are HK$100 per visit (less than US$13 per day).

    Here is what one guide to medical service wrote about HK public hospitals:

    “Most treatments in public hospitals are heavily subsidised to make them affordable for people who cannot afford good healthcare, are retired or too ill to earn an income. Besides these subsidies, some expats use public hospitals because of their levels of service and excellent quality treatment. Others complain about communication problems, bad food and long waits for out-patient service and appointment times. If you require follow-up treatment, you are unlikely to see the same doctor when you return. In summary, medical standards are high, but public hospitals are run for maximum efficiency, so you will only get the minimum of personal service.”
    http://www.justlanded.com/english/Hong-Kong/Hong-Kong-Guide/Health/Hospitals-in-Hong-Kong

    I think this is a more honest picture. Generalized complaining might seem the norm but the reality is that HK public medical services are high quality for what you pay. In fact, the government pays 85% to 95% of the cost. In 2012 alone, the government spent around HK$45 trillion (or US$5.8 billion) funding the public healthcare system.

    Non-residents of Hong Kong pay much higher rates, but this is reasonable, because HK should not make it easy for foreigners to fly into HK and get almost free treatment.

    There are a number of websites that talk about public vs private hospitals in Hong Kong. This article compares the health care system in HK vs the US, and shows that HK people have much healthier lives (longer life expectancy) while paying much less for health care.

    A single night in a HK public hospital costs HK$150 (about US$20.00).

    http://www.localiiz.com/article-page/public-or-private-a-comprehensive-guide-to-healthcare-in-hong-kong#.VDllvmBxD-g

    The quality of the medical care in the public system is the same as the private system, but the latter will have nicer facilities, smaller crowds and shorter wait times. But you pay anywhere from 10x to 20x the cost, so you expect it to be better.

    1. Thanks for clarifying though I think Joe’s overall comments names the situation in HK very well.

  5. Joe Tan · · Reply

    FRANKLY, I DON’T REALLY CARE IF IT IS DEMOCRACY OR NOT!
    For in the final analysis it is NOT the type of government, but the people running whatever form of government that matters. And come 2047, all this controversy about Democracy is going to be just so much nonsense, as we are going to revert to just being another city in China.

    What I AM concerned about is the deep seated problems existing in Hong Kong that has precipitated this chaos – and how both sides have taken advantage of the true spirit (and perhaps naivety) of our youth and perverted it to serve their own nefarious agenda.

    Socio-economically, Hong Kong has become so uneven, so rigged by the Elite in cahoots with the governments, that when they conspired to then even take away from all of us the right to elect our own CE, it was just one further travesty too much; the youth just gave up and took to the streets.

    But instead of us all trying to understand what really are the causes of our Fall of discontent and to work towards a solution, opportunists from both sides of the divide just further incensed BOTH the protester as well as the anti-protesters. The anti’s worried/being scare-mongered into thinking that they will henceforth not be able to even earn the crumbs that the Elite has thrown to them – whilst not recognizing the fact that such ARE only crumbs thrown out from their groaning tables.

    Everybody, PLEASE – step back one step, really think and do your part in all good conscience to pull us back from this chaos. And ForCrissakes, stop making demands and pre-conditions – JUST REALLY COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER.

    1. Joe, the way you summed it up is brilliant! I not only fully agree but it really summarizes the situation that is truly in place in HK regardless of vested interests and political agendas!

  6. Joe Tan · · Reply

    Truncated stream of consciousness – IMHO:

    – Hong Kong is the least affordable place on planet earth and things are only getting worse for most of us.

    – The trial of Rafael Hui/Sun Hung Kai, Donald Tsang’s freebie trips etc. all amply reveal just how much collusion there is between the elite and government.

    – Unless you are one of the unholy trinity of tycoons and the 2 governments, you are just being fed crumbs.

    – But it’s only the kids whose future it is, who rose to protest and are trying to do something.

    – This after trying time and again to make changes the proper way – i.e. electing the Pan-Dem’s who has revealed themselves as being the self-serving clowns that they are.

    – Taking away the promise of true universal suffrage was just the last straw and the youth are only using this as a lightning rod to rally support.

    – Unfortunately, secretive black hands has manipulated both the protesters AS WELL AS the anti-protesters to serve their own agenda.

    – Worse, the majority, instead of trying to really understand, just gets mad; having been swayed and fallen victim to their own baser instinct for self-preservation first and foremost.

    – Tyranny of the majority – incredible how easy it is to manipulate lemmings… No matter and whatever the system.

    – We in Hong Kong are ALL in the same boat and ALL suffering under how the elite, in collusion with the Governments, continue to screw all of us.

    – Suggestion: – please step back and try – really try – to think properly and then do what you in all good conscience should do. Please!

    1. Joe, for a truncated stream of consciousness, those are some very poignant observations and comments!

  7. Joe Tan · · Reply

    When will we all realize that both pro as well as anti-protesters actually share the total frustration we all feel at how dysfunctional Hong Kong has become? And that all this chaos is the result of most of us fearing that things will get even worse, unless we each “do our part?”
    Please recognize that there is no such thing as a perfect system of Government; Democracy per se is OK and even authoritarian governments CAN be OK – just look at Singapore! What makes ALL THE DIFFENCE is the people running whatever form of government is in place. Democracy is NOT going to be the panacea and the solution to all problems – our main gripe should instead be against the privileged factions with their own nefarious agenda taking advantage of all of us. And our clueless leaders AND perhaps even our own citizenry with our misdirected frustrations!
    We all should just concentrate on breaking up the unholy trinity of our Top Elite in cahoots with the Hong Kong and Mainland governments – because this is precisely what happens when Capitalism gets twisted by the manipulations of the unbridled hands of Authoritarianism.
    The Youth came out because they are just totally fed up – frustrated at how Hong Kong has become so unequal to favor ONLY the top; The antis’ fear for the crumbs they are still able to eke out, no matter how little and how hard-earned these are. So everybody just battle it out on the streets whilst Silent Black Manipulators just rub their hands in glee.
    I strongly urge all sides to stay calm and really examine what are the root causes of this Autumn of our discontent. The frustrated youth, sensing that they now do not even have the right to choose their own leaders, had seized upon Democracy as a lightning rod for united action whilst their REAL discontent lies much deeper and covers the whole gamut of grievances rampant under our unequal socio-political landscape.
    We as a society owe it to OUR youth – whose future it is – to really examine the root causes and help fix them. Please consider how we as a united society can pass along all the advantages and freedom we had enjoyed to our next generation. And as for our frontline authority, the level of restraint and professionalism you have shown IS the standard that all authorities around the world SHOULD hold themselves to. Please do not despair and give in to your frustration to escalate your reaction – you have gained and reinforced the admiration and respect from everybody. Keep it up!

    1. Joe, not only do I agree with you, but you have a great way of communicating, not just so someone like me will understand, but I think you would communicate right into the hearts of the youth of Hong Kong as well, and, not be received as an arrogant gweilo not knowing what he is talking about.

      You should really use your communication skills and write your own Open Letter as I think it will be listened to!

  8. delefant · · Reply

    Ulf
    This is a great post and over the last week I have come back here several times and appreciated the comments your readers have left. I think the large majority of commenters left serious and thoughtful comments, so this is a great forum for hearing peoples’ ideas about what is happening.

    One of the things which I think has not been highlighted enough in reporting about Hong Kong and peoples’ comments is the state of housing in HK, particularly for the lower-income 50% of the population.

    We see a lot of reports about the insane price of property, and think that this affects HK people equally. Actually, that is untrue. There are several tiers of housing in Hong Kong.

    There is public rental housing that applies to about 30% of HK people.
    Then there is government subsidized housing for sale that applies to about 16-20% of HK people.
    Then there is private housing that applies to the remaining 50-54%.

    We should consider the 3 million Hong Kongers who are lucky to live in government subsidized housing, known as “gong uk” (公屋)and “gui uk” (居屋).

    About 700 000 families, or 2 million people (29% of HK population), live in public rental housing “gong uk” (公屋). Rent is super cheap, ranging from HK$290 (US$38) to HK$3,880 (US$500), with the average renter paying about HK$1,550 (US$200) per month. The rent is adjusted based on one’s income.

    About 1.2 million people (16.5% of HK) live in apartments that they bought at subsidized prices “gui uk” (居屋). These units are substantially cheaper than regular private housing.

    In total more than 3 million of HK’s 7.2million residents live in government subsidized housing.

    They actually have a very good deal.

    The ones who have it harder are the 120,000 people (1.6% of HK population) on the waitlist for public rental housing, and waiting time is an average of 3 years.

    Because it takes time to build new housing, there is no quick solution for reducing the waitlist.

    HK’s first CEO, Tung Chee Hwa, had proposed building a lot of public housing when he came into office, but he met a lot of public opposition because of the fear that it would lower property prices, so the plan was scrapped. It’s too bad it wasn’t built, because it would have helped those folks on the waitlists.

    Perhaps a quick way to “ease the pain” for people who are eligible for public housing (based on low income) but are unable to get housing because of long wait list, is to give them housing credits.

    Just as a final comment on the bottom half of HK income earners. If they are lucky to live in public housing, then they don’t have much to worry about. Why do I say that?

    1. They pay very low housing costs, adjusted for income.
    2. They have virtually free health care in pretty good quality public hospitals. A visit might cost less than US$10
    3. Education is very cheap
    4. Public transportation is plentiful and cheap
    5. Low crime rate.
    6. Very low taxes.
    7. No sales tax.

    All the basics of living for the bottom half of HK are affordable.

    Actually, for a capitalistic society, Hong Kong has an excellent safety net for basic needs.

    This aspect of Hong Kong society is not very well known but is a key part of the what makes Hong Kong function well. It is also far better than most cities in places like the U.S.

    1. Thanks for bringing up this very factual aspect of the situation in Hong Kong!

      1. delefant · · Reply

        One additional point about public housing is that sometimes it’s free. In August this year, the government charged no rent for the whole month for all 2.1 million residents. See http://www.housingauthority.gov.hk/en/about-us/news-centre/press-releases/

        How many cities around the world do that?

  9. Dear Ulf,

    Please accept my heartfelt compliment on a commentary that is sincere, objective and insightful. I have never been a politically conscious person and having left Hong Kong for Canada to pursue my education and freedom from my oppressive family in 1970, what little that I know about my birthplace is molded by childhood memory and a mosaic of opinions from various media. But what I do know is that even though I call Canada my home, Hong Kong will always have a special place in my heart.

    What Hong Kong needs with much urgency is not a democratic election but a responsible and effective government that acts instead of reacts to the woes and misfortunes of its citizens. We can all benefit from a little more social conscience from the real estate tycoons to profit a wee bit less so that poverty stricken people do not have to pay a god forsaken rent to live in a coffin sized room with no ventilation. And obviously more work has to be done to lessen the discord between mainlanders and Hong Kong citizens. The occupation of Central will in the long run destroy Hong Kong but it will do nothing for democracy. Like it or not, China is and always will be a communist country and she will only tolerate civil obedience and foreign inferences for so long, particularly when the former colony is losing its stronghold as the gateway to China. Right or wrong, there is no room for China to compromise. The activists in Hong Kong seem to be in love with the idyllic imagery of democracy but it is not the panacea of all evils. We live in a world where bloodshed and conflicts are caused by the aggression of human nature and not so much by our ideologies. Democracy, in very basic term, is merely the freedom to choose the yokes we wish to carry.

    Ulf, you called yourself a “foreigner” but what defines a true citizen of Hong Kong is not the color of your skin but the kindred spirit in your heart for this little wondrous place that you have chosen to be your home for the next little while and for which I am grateful.

    Sephen

    1. Thank you for your heartfelt comment! I agree with you that the target which will really create a more positive change is to insist on more responsible and effective government actions that benefit Hong Kong as a whole including its potpourri of factors – economical, cultural and political. China could only benefit from a smooth a prosperous Hong Kong so why would they be dead set against it. Anti-Mainland Chinese sentiment will not benefit anyone. One can still disagree with things in China without spreading campaigns against them, which is what will cause problems and a lessening of those values we currently hold dear and believe in.

  10. Policeman are trying to fulfill their job duties. I totally understand their current circumstances, the riots currently are not undercontol anymore, even became very insensible. Students are just strive for democracy and their dreams but the protest way maybe not acceptable for the majority of most critizens. That’s the root of contradiction between anti party and protestor according to my observations.
    I do hope that the leader of protestor can treasure the opportunity of discussion with government. Try to solve the discrepancy of policial stand. It is the right method to make our against meaningful.

    1. Vicky, though it is true that the police is just performing their job in a sense, they are also not making it easier when there’s so many individual cases of them being seemingly biased against the protesters versus the triad-hired hooligans. The fights that broke out in Mong Kok in the afternoon two days ago was not responded to well by the Hong Kong police. If the crowd became riotous why was the riot police only dispatched to that area almost a day later? These actions just add to the ongoing focus on the wrong-doings of the police and the government/China. Wrong-doings should be addressed but if it becomes the focus of people’s mind and the media, the further we get from a resolution to the current situation.

      What we need to focus on despite the biased behavior of the police in Mong Kok is the solution to the situation.

      It is clear that the people of Hong Kong as well as internationally there was a certain understanding of what Universal Suffrage would entail, which seemed to be agreed upon by the Central Party through various PR statements prior to 1997. Then the Basic Law was written and signed and agreed upon by all parties involved in 1997. It is written in such a way that the current decision isn’t actually going against what was written, but it does go against what was understood by most of Hong Kong (and Internationally) as far as what it meant.

      At this point one can argue its legality, etc, etc., but I don’t see any resolution coming out of simply protesting it. China issued a statement in the People’s Daily on the 1st of October saying among other things, “In Hong Kong, the channels of communication are wide open. Anyone who disagrees with the stance taken by the Standing Committee is more than welcome to use normal, sensible channels of appeal. To communicate, one ought not resort to extremes like “Occupy Central.” This is not communication, it is confrontation.”

      I guess it is possible this is simply a PR statement but at least it was said and can not be interpreted in many ways.

      What I’d like to see is for all leaders of all groups of Hong Kong coming together through communication and come up with a solution that can be acceptable for the majority of people involved and which can then be appealed to China. We should at least try. Maybe it will be some give and take for many sides pending on their views, but at least it is some steps forward. Just going against and against and against anything without also pushing a solution will always result in further aggression, suppression and a worse condition than before.

  11. Anthony · · Reply

    May I Share your letter for told somebody at Hong Kong people?

    1. Of course – it is an Open Letter.

  12. See how the victim of the occupation knee and beg for the students’ withdrawal. See how the students making false accusation of indecent assault as a tactics. I feel shame about our youth and sorry for our failed education.

  13. Ulf, to me what US or the Chinese Central Government can do is highly ideology based. But if you look at the details of these conflicts, like the decision and execution of IVS, promotion of myths that brainwash mainlanders and upset HK people – they are from some local authorities, either from the mainland or HK. There are men in the middle of the Chinese Central Government and the HK Government. The more they claim HK is unstable and full of conflicts, the more resources they will be granted. They create the conflict and they ask for resources to solve them, and this is a big business.

    And I am afraid of that they are already everywhere. Even in the police organization. People already got video of how one of those anti-protest crowds was organized in the police station:

    Yesterday many protesters got beaten up in MK by some anti-protesters. And there’s load of videos about how the police protected those anti-protesters after they broke the law.

    Who would be benefited from it? Those men behind, and no law can apply to them.

    1. OK Ivan, I do think there’s some truth to that.

    2. Ivan,

      Becareful out there, and tell your peers if any of them are manning MK. Also. I suggest that you guys pull out of MK, and concentrate at the at the main point. Democracy is in the heart of the person and it is a collect effort, you can only convince people of whom are open minded and you cannot convince a mob. I have been watching TV and paying close attention and is worried that you guys are at poor position even if you want to defend that position.

      Remember you are the educated ones and the future of Hong Kong. Sometimes it best to take temporary shelter at safer grounds. I am been busy letting all my friends know, that safety comes first no matter the cause. You guys have the advantage, even though we might lose this one, and I am now confidence that our future will be better b/c of this movement.

      If you study China history, you should understand that and the civil war between the KMT and CCP and who won. Also ask all your friends to make sure you take off the yellow ribbons, they will make you targets in unfamiliar territory. Please pass this message on. I worry about the mob mental of the anti-side and consider as friends in this fight for Democracy.

      Please email me at mrwong39@gmail.com

  14. Thanks for your reply Ulf.

    To make myself clear – I never see mainlanders as locusts. I made many friends from the mainland when I studied in HK, and later when I worked in the mainland and the States afterwards. I love talking to them and most of them are smart, logical and respectful people.

    I didn’t say IVS did no good to HK. It was a big psychological factor to save the weak market. But how does it look in long run? What’s the real impact today? How much does an average HK person suffer from it, if he/she does not work for the hotel industry or the luxury retailers? From another prospective, a lot of HK people decide not to visit the Ocean Park nor the Disney Park because they are full of IVS tourists.

    And those HK people are not happy with – the IVS tourists. Not all of them. But many of them. To me, I don’t really blame them. I blame the policy that brings countless of IVS tourists to the small island every second, every day. The HK government has no control of it. This in principle sounds much like one of the tricks that the CCP is best at: 農村包圍城市. It’s the best way to neutralize local culture and create class conflicts. Think about this: the mainlanders who have the money to buy up things in HK are extremely rich, and who can get rich in the mainland? Either the ones who are really smart, or the ones who don’t obey law and order. Unfortunately it looks like many of the IVS tourists come from the latter category.

    It’s all these conflicts that lead to many things that happen today, including the OC. Average HK people are mostly money oriented, and 10 years ago they don’t give a shit about politics. What many people really ask for isn’t real democracy, but a reasonable government with reasonable policies. HK to separate from China? No the majority (and I believe many of the protesters) don’t really mean that. Some of them are just too angry. You know what I mean.

    To me, I don’t really believe the CCP will give real democracy to HK. What did we learn from the Anti Rightist Movement? It’s very sad that HK people don’t really read history, not even Chinese history.

    Regarding Singapore, yes we didn’t go ahead and implement the self water supply system, because the government decided not to do so some 30 years ago, not we couldn’t technically. We still need other things like foods and home supplies and whatever, and so do Singapore and many other countries in the world. Which country on earth can claim they have no major business with China? We don’t get these things for free, or buy at a discounted price as many others thought. We buy them at market prices. This is business and it’s totally fine. I just have a hard feeling when I hear mainlanders say they are “father” of us because they sell us water. Well I don’t call a shop owner father because he sells me something, even if it’s hard to find another shop for the same product.

    Sorry perhaps I just wrote too many random rants, but the thing I am truly worried about: who created these conflicts? Why did they do so? How are they benefited from it? Now the true harm done to HK is that HK people fight HK people. As the writer Man-tao Leung speculates, there’s a big Wei-wen machine who has been creating these conflicts between HK and China, and they won’t stop because they gain so much from doing so.

    1. Thanks Ivan,

      I think in many aspects we are thinking the same way. The one difference between Singapore and Hong Kong is that Singapore borders Malaysia and Hong Kong is connected to the mainland in the north, of which the passage in and out is 100% controlled by the mainland. The sea and airspace is also Chinese so if they really got pissed at HK, they certainly could either restrict or cut off our supply chains. In such (unlikely) event HK would turn into uncontrollable chaos within days. So they have that leverage.

      I agree with you on on the average political view of many Hong Kong citizens.

      From all that I’ve seen I’m almost certain Hong Kong is a pawn in some sort of geopolitical chess game between China and the US but there could be other unseen factors.

  15. Hi Ulf, since I read some of your arguments on how HK would go bankrupt without the Individual Visit Scheme, I want to share some other opinions with you:

    – HK has developed its own water infrastructure 30 years before Singapore has done so. Now Singapore relies on no other countries regarding water supply. The reason why HK buys water from the mainland is more of a political problem than a technical problem (1). Due the the poor qualify of the imported water, some already suggest that purifying the polluted water is more expensive than purifying sea water. I am sure we have something similar about electricity. Think about Singapore: it’s even smaller and has no resources yet they are looking so good.

    – According to some figures from the HK government, Individual Visit Scheme only contributes to 3+% of HK GDP. Of course there’s always implicit impact, but the believe that Individual Visit Scheme is the major source of HK’s income is just a political myth. The major contribution comes from finance, trade and other services. No doubt IVS is part the “other services”. But IVS has induced a great cost on daily lives of our citizen. Think about how the price of everything goes up and local stores forced to close because of the rent, how it’s much less enjoyable to go hang out in MK, CWB and TST. How much more time we spend in commute because of the crowd. These are cost induced on us. I am not sure the 3 or 4% of GDP worth it. And if you care, on the other hand, do you know how much HK people as tourists spend in the mainland? We actually spend way more than the mainlanders spend here (2).

    – I personally think SH or BJ still can’t replace HK for one or two things: the legal and trading system. It’s a complete package and it’s still one of the best in Asia. Why did Alibaba want to do IPO in HK before they went to the US? Why not SH? SH has superiors hardware and people, but let’s face it, no business people trust the legal system there. The westerns have learned some good lessions. Well I guess you may have read (3) as well.

    With all that being said, the fact that HK is part of China is not something we can change. A fact is a fact. But I just feel sad that the Chinese government loves to promote myths and introduces conflicts to its own people in return for the so called stability.

    1. http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-208-51751-1.shtml
    2. http://yuuji.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/prcupkeephk/
    3. http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-09-30/no-shanghai-can-t-replace-hong-kong

    1. Hi Ivan, Thanks for laying this all out. I have become familiar with the image of mainlanders as the locusts from a HK point of view. As far as the comparison to Singapore, having the infra structure necessary to process resources and having the resources themselves are two very different things. Hong Kong’s infrastructure is quite good, though not as eloquently set up as Singapore, at lest not yet. But my point was that we rely on raw resources from China. With a good political and economical relationship between the two, I am of the opinion that things can and will go pretty smooth and our differences (as we know it currently) benefits both parties. But should HK become a rebellious region, it is a fact that HK needs China more than China needs HK – undisputed fact at that. Should International aid and reworked trade agreements come to the rescue, I still don’t think a fully democratic HK not being part of the Chinese system will work. An isolated region in the midst of a different giant system. It’s a bit like Israel in the midst of Arabic countries. How peaceful has that been?

      Here’s another article detailing much of Hong Kong’s mainland tourism financial facts: http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2008-07-23/chinese-tourists-spend-big-in-hong-kongbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice

      The factors of over crowded places and transport are very valid concerns. When I stated that HK needs China’s business I meant purely financially. With recent laws passed which easily grants the right of abode if another mainland family member already has a resident status will make HK just way too crowded and will [is] presenting very real issues. Not to mention how easy it is if you have money to simply bribe some local immigrant official…

      But I think these matters are within HK’s own Government to control and regulate and I’m not so sure they are simply imposed on our society.

      As far as “With all that being said, the fact that HK is part of China is not something we can change. A fact is a fact. But I just feel sad that the Chinese government loves to promote myths and introduces conflicts to its own people in return for the so called stability” I agree with you and there’s much truth to this. I am of the belief however that the two systems working together for mutual benefit with a STRONG local government could possibly rectify this, at least based on official and over the table mandates that I know of so far. But that also involves not putting China in the International spotlight and becoming a nuisance to them, which is how the current Occupy protests must be coming across – including the factors of vested interest manipulations of the movement as well as the benign intentions of many.

      An end note to contemplate is the current international journalistic framing/expectation that Hong Kong is Tiananmen Redux. Hong Kong is currently a considerable problem for China, but it is no Tiananmen as far as I’m concerned. Looking back at 1989 the CCP was shaken to its core by a major economic and political crisis, a split leadership, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators camped out in the nation’s capital and demonstrations, violence, and factionalism in virtually all of China’s major urban centers while, on top of everything else, the Soviet Union — which was generally considered at the time the PRC’s military, economic, and organizational superior—collapsed in chaos.

      Back to 2014, Hong Kong – hopefully not so much.

      The U.S. is and has been very up front on painting China as an anti-democratic petard — and is actively encouraging the process. And most likely their aim is Hong Kong today, Taiwan tomorrow, as many strategists are well aware.

      “Best case”, for the US anyway, is the PRC commits some immense, irretrievable blunder in its handling of the Hong Kong crises, with major, debilitating effects in Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, and maybe even the Han heartland.

      But that’s not necessarily the best-case situation for Hong Kong.

      There is no conceivable scenario in which the US can project meaningful support for the movement inside Hong Kong. The best it can promise if things turn to shit is escape, asylum, and sinecures for the leaders.

      Wonder if that will be enough for the leadership or the people currently on the streets…

  16. Dear Warewhulf,

    I would like to let you know that the one country two system is only a temporary government in place that will last for only 50 years. In the year 2047, Hong Kong will lose the one country two system, that is in place. What is different between Hong Kong and China, I am sure you should know, besides Economic prosperity? As the time ticks we will head more and more in China way of government. By that time probably both us be dead or be so old that we don’t care.

    China as you probably know, the citizens doesn’t have the right to freely express their thoughts on their government. Nor do they have most basic rights. The country is heavy censored for the fear of riots or for sake of national security. The education curriculum is plan out by the government as to what can be taught and what cannot. For the past 5000, China has had unrest within it own country, which lead to the country be under developed. It was until these last 30 years, that China has any made any real progress.

    Maybe China will open up one day to Democracy. I will define it as this, since it has many meanings.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Abraham Lincoln speech during the civil war to free slavery.

    Democracy to me is not just the freedom of the body, but also the freedom mind and it is should be free of economic prosperity even though that will lead to survival of man. I give you some examples. What is the difference of Mao’s cultural revolution to that of Sun Yet Sen in regards to work for economic prosperity? What is the difference of both for education? What is the problem with censorship?

    Sun Yet Sen, the founding father of China, who had grown increasingly frustrated by the conservative Qing government and its refusal to adopt knowledge from the more technologically advanced Western nations, quit his medical practice in order to devote his time to transforming China. Was it just to build up China economic power and make China a nation of great importance in the future. Unfortunately, he lost his life before he can make any impact on the new nation he just help formed. His processor lost to Mao’s red army. So now in the year 2017, has China open up besides Economic prosperity? Does the people that travel from China to abroad understand what Sun Yet Sen intentions for China is?

    Is it better to be naive and uneducated, than to be educated without moral conscience, which is the decision of every individual rights to choose what they want to learn, or are we afraid of what we might become for learning what is censored?

    Were the Chinese of the past not tolerance to the Emperor of China and his court for the fear of losing their head that China has not grown until the last 30 years? Does importing many tourists to boost it’s economy for the country make it any morally right?

    They certainly were certainly very tolerant and obedience!

    Open your eyes, and look around you. I am sure the news last evening will confirm what will be the China of tomorrow, a country without moral conscience as the silent majority got feed up and start beating the students while the police just watch, all because we are losing money.

    Are you really for a system of human rights?

    1. Mr. Wong, I never intended for this to get so political. The original Open Letter applied to the situation as I experienced them at the time of writing it. Now, 6 days later the issues of real importance are very different and though I will always stand for greater tolerance and respect and fight generalized propaganda, those are not now the main discussions of importance.

      As far as China and human rights I agree with you, though there has been a steady improvement on that front. The Chinese as you know don’t like to lose face so how can the CCP take back things they have stated or acted upon earlier? Not easily and not likely. But they can ramp down its persecution in the present which to my observation has been occurring though they have a long way to go.

      As far as their ultimate aim and what will happen in 50 years? Whom am I to tell…

      As far as the political scene right now in the present we have a few factors which percolate with opinions. But let’s stick to what was stated.

      Here’s what Deng Xiaoping said about the Hong Kong rule in 1984:

      “Some requirements or qualifications should be established with regard to the administration of Hong Kong affairs by the people of Hong Kong. It must be required that patriots form the main body of administrators, that is, of the future government of the Hong Kong special region. Of course it should include other Chinese, too, as well as foreigners invited to serve as advisers. What is a patriot? A patriot is one who respects the Chinese nation, sincerely supports the motherland’s resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong and wishes not to impair Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. Those who meet these requirements are patriots, whether they believe in capitalism or feudalism or even slavery. We don’t demand that they be in favor of China’s socialist system; we only ask them to love the motherland and Hong Kong.”

      And here’s how that intention was implemented in Article 45 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, which became the effective constitution of Hong Kong upon reversion in 1997:

      “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.

      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.”

      Clearly, the PRC’s envisioned end goal of the democratic reform line is universal suffrage to vote for candidates put forth by a nominating committee, not universal suffrage in the nomination as well as election process, which is the Occupy Hong Kong movement’s demand.

      If the PRC government revised, promised to revise, or hinted it would revise this understanding to do away with its most important tool for controlling electoral politics in Hong Kong, the nominating committee, please let me know. Until I see such a statement, I will regard the “China broke its democracy promise” line as a poor attempt to give legitimacy of the Occupy movement.

      “We don’t like the Basic Law and want to overturn it after 17 years through street action” is, I suppose, a tougher sell than “China broke its promise” but, in my opinion, it’s more honest. And it is leaning towards a separate situation where full democracy or even autonomy from China are sought after, but that’s a different discussion for a different time.

      But currently the political and legalistic debate has largely been overtaken by the outrage that “the Hong Kong government teargassed its own people”, which, perhaps, is the place that the democracy movement hoped the debate would end up in the first place…

      1. Warewhulf you summarized the events which lead to the last few days very well. This is the ugly side of politics and this has been long in the makings.

        Unfortunately, we are at this junction for people who don’t really care and just want to run their business and the one’s who felt that a part of the trust was broken by government. The sad thing is there aren’t even a neutral party which can diffuse this situation before we get blow into the unthinkable. I watched videos from both sides, and sorry I have to say this, the anti-occupation movement are kinda scary.

        I doubt that the democracy movement want to go that direction of the government teargassing its people. But the problem that lies in Hong Kong is that China wants play a hand in carving the future of it, but it hasn’t won all the heart of all the people who want democracy which is adopted by most western countries. A centralized government that is not democratic playing a hand on Hong Kong and whom just show that things in a contract can be changed, just begs the question of what next?

        What is your private email, I would like discuss with you some possible solutions.

        1. Mr. Wong, the Occupy movement is and has been in the large majority peaceful though seemingly disorganized, unless this was an intentional ruse by Benny Tai… Regardless, they are not inciting any aggression in the most part, except for maybe silently by their occupy actions which affect business and commerce. One of the few exceptions is Longhair who have been very aggressive and anti-police this entire time through his social media feeds, and this is not helping the situation. I do admire the guy for his resilience, but at this moment he is not spreading much better messages than the hooligans. Maybe for a different “cause” but then again what will be the end result of making the crowd riotous?

          The anti-Occupy movements are nothing but aggressors – thugs and hooligans for hire as far as I can tell.

          You’re right – there’s no “neutral” factions. Most groups seem to have the attitude, “You’re either with us or against us!” and this attitude is creating a divide between Hong Kong’s citizens and that is never useful or helpful for running a successful country/region.

          I also doubt the people participating in the pro-democracy movement want to create a police clash, use of tear gas, etc. Most just want peace and their interpretation of what Universal Suffrage entails.

          I am however dubious that there aren’t unseen forces behind some of the planners and leaders of the pro-democracy movement that aren’t intentionally heading in that direction, unbeknownst to the innocent students and peaceful protesters. When I look this over and try to make sense out of it, I always arrive at that conclusion in the end.

          Maybe I’m too naive but it seems as if people had accepted the White paper handed down by Beijing without making a big fuss about it I don’t think Beijing will care to much how we run our business in HK. There is more CCP influence now than in 1997, but still the freedoms and rights in HK are pretty decent and I believe they could have been maintained while still be very much part of China. China does not benefit from having the HK citizens being at odds with the Central Government.

          Lots of conjecture here and I know lots of opinions. It is evident from some of the feedback here that if I say ANYTHING which isn’t in so many words “F__K China” then I’m an anti-democratic commie traitor…

          I think China has lots of issues which I don’t agree with personally, but they are also maturing on the international playing field, so much so in fact they will be taking over world dominance soon. I don’t want to have to fear them, nor agree with them in all aspect but rather work with them in a mutually beneficial manner. This I think would be possible with their idea of the 2017 election but with the current situation in HK I don’t think it will improve upon that and possibly make it worse as the message to Bijing in their words is, “This is not communication – this is confrontation.

          How much has been done to appeal or try to communicate through proper lines to get this sorted out. China is saying, “please go ahead”. Some argue that’s empty PR talk. I’m not so sure, especially when you don’t at least try.

          My email is warewhulf at gmail.com

  17. LT Wong · · Reply

    I take it all back. I wanted to be reasonable about your defense of the Hong Kong police force before. But not anymore. If after all the news footage and videos posted on FB showing masked triads bullying the protesters while the police stood by doing nothing, showing the police in cahoots with the blue ribbon gang, and showing the policeman threatening a protester with an iron pipe, you can still defend the police, perhaps you should check in the mirror to see if you’re still human and have not turned into a werewolf.

    1. When, ever was my point to defend the police’s wrong actions? What I’ve been trying to say involves the police but the points I’m making are not for or against either the police or protesters. It’s NOT a for or against Open Letter! Hundreds have understood that. But if you want to continue to bark up that ally, bark somewhere else.

  18. Vanessa · · Reply

    I don’t like politics and I haven’t been following every single news around the protest in Hong Kong. However, the flood of fb status updates that constantly pop up has drawn my attention to this matter. It concerns me because that’s where my family lives. I believe many people who are protesting in HK are doing so for the future of HK, to fight for the right to elect their leader, but many others are simply doing so because they don’t like China or the Chinese government, period. I was born and raised in HK and then immigrated to the West so many would say that “you don’t know anything about HK” – that is very likely true. But may I ask those who think that they are true “Hong Kong citizens”, what is the best way to build a better future for HK? Is it to continuously scold at the Chinese government, despite the hundreds and thousands of stores and companies that benefit financially from China’s “free travel policy” and then turn around and simultaneously complain about the disgust of Chinese tourists? Is it to continuously blame and shout at the current leader of HK, while having absolutely no qualified candidate to be his successor?

    I’ve heard news about HK citizen holding a British flag and wished HK continues to be a British colony. I’ve heard news about HK student bowing at government officials 3 times (a gesture that is only paid to the deceased) at graduation ceremony, as a way to show protest to HK government. if the goal is to build a better future for our home city, let’s be clear that we are all Chinese and we work TOGETHER as one to make it happen. If we continue to treat and view China as an invader of Hong Kong and act accordingly, who will benefit? Everyone else but us.

    1. Thanks Vanessa. I think you express a very rational opinion. No matter ones political stance and no matter how many years one has been in HK, it is a fact that decades ago China was much dependent on HK as a major portal between themselves and the West, but today they have Shanghai and Shenzhen and millions of foreigners working in a liaison capacity in Guangzhou. Technically, China doesn’t need Hong Kong, but Hong Kong needs China! Hong Kong has almost NO natural resources of its own and depends on China for food, water, supplies, fuel, etc, etc, not to mention it’s current financial dependency on mainland shoppers and tourists. And by the way, who bailed out Hong Kong some years back when it was in financial trouble? China did by simplifying its procedure for enabling mainlanders to come to Hong Kong, so suddenly most mainlanders were able to travel to Hong Kong and suddenly the local commerce boomed. What would happen if mainlanders went somewhere else? Hong Kong would go bankrupt as it doesn’t produce almost anything but commerce and internal service. Without the commerce the internal service can’t be sustained.

      Anyway, didn’t mean to get into a political and economical discussion, but mainly wanted to back you up in what you said.

      I’m for any country/system that promotes human rights, whether that’s called a democracy or any other name. The system I have come to know in Hong Kong over the last 4 years, regardless of what to call it politically, has a very high degree of human rights, welfare, social security and individual freedoms and liberties. Yes, some of those have been narrowed and that is a valid concern. The leadership of CY Leung has so far largely not been for the the benefit of the people of Hong Kong but for certain vested interests. With the current one country (China), two systems, I understand that having a Chief Executive being approved by the Central Government would seem pretty evident, whether or not some Hong Kongers think that’s absolutely terrible and undemocratic.

      Ironically, some people who have argued with me regarding making Hong Kong democratic couldn’t even define what democracy means, but he sure knew that we need “democracy”…

      It’s been a tiring few days with many, many discussions on this subject, some with very narrow-minded opinions by people who will not even try to view another perspective without judging or immediately rejecting. But fortunately there have also been some very intelligent discussions held with new friends made.

      Please don’t cut off the hand that feeds you unless you are fully ready to feed yourself!

  19. Thx for the sharing 🙂

  20. Tony Liu · · Reply

    The author obviously don’t know anything about Hong Kong. If you have to find a scapegoat for the current HK event, blame the Chief Executive C Y Leung. He’s the one that splits the society into “the enemy and I” syndrome. His indifference toward the public interest caused the chaos. All the Hong Kongers ask was a universal suffrage (a genuine free election). It’s the basic right of every citizen of the United States, but apparently not in Hong Kong. If you indeed wish to live in a better Hong Kong, join the protesters and build one.

    1. Tony,

      The author wrote about tolerance. Please don’t attack him, as he is neutral. I on the other hand understand the rally, I have many friends on the ground and I also support your cause. I have live in both HK and the one you mention for a long time. The road to democracy is a long one, if you studied U.S. history, it didn’t happen overnight. But I can tell you that it should end with tolerance. Many people have little understand of it, but is comes with a price and the U.S. have many fields to show for it. In Democracy there is always an opposition, if there wasn’t it would just be one sided. If you know, that is why we have the Democratic and Republicans as the main party as well some majority parties.

      In the U.S. election is for the majority over the minority when it comes to election. But the goal is to win the minds and hearts of the majority of the people and for your cause to be just and for the people. It is not a perfect system, but it is a system by the people and for the people. My advice is (and please pass this along), blocking the road everywhere is like blocking the blood vessal of hk society, it will only create resistances to your cause, so stay on focus and concentrate at the objective at hand. A line spread too thin will loose its impact. However sometimes a retreat is necessary to preserve your strength.

  21. Ruby Zhu · · Reply

    Are you aware that The HK Bar Association and 300 barristers condemned and deplored excessive and disproportionate use of force by the police on the pro-democracy protestors. It said there was plainly no justification to use tear gas against the peaceful demonstrators!

    Source: RTHK Instant News

  22. Some people have written privately whining why I moderated their comments. Of the over 300 comments I have moderated maybe 10. The reason for this is they were either rude or cynical without a trace of constructive contribution. I did make a few exceptions to some “hate” comments more to make a point. As for the rest I published your comments as written. Roughly 50% of the comments are either critical or at least disagree in some aspects, but they are presented with somewhat decent manners with very little or no personal insult. So they contribute to this discussion. In a private message this is what I told a specific whiner who seemed very upset that I didn’t publish his lovely hate message: “I have no obligation to let your sorry self be heard on my channels. To use your language – you’re rude as fuck. If you want to be heard, start your own blog!”

    1. This is what this specific individual responded and hence the necessity to make the original comment:

      “You’re pathetic, posting self-important opinion disguised as “alternative and independent” . I think you have censored a lot of comments that criticize you. Just few debated with you while the majority praised you as unbiased and impartial. It is actually a forum fora bunch of leftards scratching each others back. You might never wake up, you’d better stay deluded and stupid, but I just wish you’d keep your month shut, because what you said today is going to embarrass you not only now, but later. I despise you and consider you a disgrace to HK’s expat community.”

      1. Wow… how can this be? I mean, how can someone wrote like this?

        1. That is a good question for the person who wrote it, which I will name if he keeps it up on my lines.

          1. I simply responded, “Where’s the love man?” Steve Chan (https://www.facebook.com/chinesecommiesgotohell) decided to block me while leaving this message:

            “you have to choose an important time like you to voice your grievance, willfully ignoring all the other atrocities HK Police has done while you think HK protesters have a mob mentality. It’s like complaning the Allies amry having a bit of discipline problem when they are busy fighting ISIS mass murderers. I have nothing more to say to you, you are just a pathetic attention seeker or maybe a Chicomm wannabe. I’ll give that 50 cents, ok? BTW, no wonde Europe is falling apart, its because of leftards like you. Mark my words!”

            1. Looks like a hater of everything. I wish him peace.

              1. Me too. In his mind he is probably seeing “evil commies” lurking behind every corner. Can not be easy to be him…

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