Lee Siu Hin - Journey to My Home: Hong Kong Part One
- Hong Kong-Part One
Lee Siu Hin
January 13, 2004
I had been in Hong Kong for the past four days..
However, just like American don't understand China, American still don't
understand Hong Kong-most people probably understand my birth place through
Hollywood movies or news reports files by American journalists-however, it does not
reflect the true picture of my home.
Why activists need to understand Hong Kong? Because it's one of the key links
with international sweatshops, imperialism and colonialism and cold war
against China. If labor activists and anti-globalization don't understand the heart
& minds of Chinese, it won't help them to understand what and why we are
As I said before, I am coming back to home not only to confront my past, but
also confront my present and my future. As soon as I back to my home, I face
the complex reality of the links between sweatshops-cold
Just like many other tens of thousands of Hong Kong-ers, my older brother has
a typical middle-class family, he owns a business in China, living at a
wealthy middle class housing complex on Hong Kong island (Tai Koo Shing), owns a
Philipino maid. His wife, a full-time housewife only taking care my two kids.
They cannot complain their life, they are consider what many Hong Kong people
the dream elite middle class lifestyles in Hong Kong.
My brother's Philipino maid, is one of the hundred thousands maids from
Philippine working in Hong Kong's middle and upper-class families, I never own a
maid before so I feel very strange when she always calls me "yes sir", "let's me
do it, sir." As long as she understand who is the boss, and work hard and
loyal to their "master", they'll be OK.
I almost want to cry despite I need to fight for social and economical
justice, I need to accept my brother own a maid! Whatever I do in Hong Kong to fight
for people's rights will be face huge oppositions at my home.
Historically and even today, what happen in Hong Kong is fundamentally the
struggle between European Imperialists and China, and British attempts to keep
their interest and influence in this part of the World forever.
Hong Kong was the former British colony, cited from China after Opium war of
1840 and finally return to China on 1997, for the 150 years colonial period it
always been the military and transportation hubs for the British empire at
Far East, and also serve as British gateway to China (one of dozen European
colony in China). While they uses brutal military force to suppress anyone who
against them, they also uses "carrot and stick", historically the colonialists
always hand-pick and create a elite class from the local people, give them
"sugar" to tell them run the colony for them, and create a strong upper-class
British and Chinese business tycoon loyal to London to steal our wealth for them.
Anybody who had knew Chinese history understands Opium war happened because
British complain huge Chinese export surplus to England, so they begins to
export Opium from east India company to China, such as Jardin company, the biggest
British colonial company in Hong Kong (just like the slave trades in Africa,
it was the biggest British foreign incomes in Asia during 19th century), China
start loosing huge money to England and the Empire banned the opium trade and
arrested the British drug smugglers who define it, and England use that was
the excuse to invade China, we lost the war and they demand huge compensation,
Hong Kong island, government power in China.
So, Hong Kong has return to China, what is so important about the history in
Hong Kong today?
Hong Kong always has pro-British, anti-communist/anti-China right-wing
community Vs. pro-China community. Historically, the colonial government will give
"sugar" to those who support them, promises free education, good jobs and
higher social status (elite), as long as they obey what their former heads of
master, they always think they are the "best" groups of Chinese in the World,
people from mainland are lower-class, uneducated and only deserve to be working in
low paid jobs and work very hard to get your status up. They also believe west
is better then east, their political idol is WASP and Anglo-American system.
They controlled most of the media in Hong Kong and professional associations.
In additions to the pro-British force, American also putting their money to
create a pro-American forces, as well as Taiwan putting their money to create
anti-communist/anti-China community; these factions not necessary work together
but when time come to politically against Chinese government, they'll in bed
The left in Hong Kong are generally pro-China, nationalism, pro-labor and
anti-imperialist (although for the past twenty years, the last two items are
getting weaker), they have strong working class supports.
In my observations, left-right breakdowns in Hong Kong are around 50-50.
Although there's very wealthy left (the so-called red capitalists), and poor
right-wingers, and many non-partisan working class and middle class Hong Kong-ers,
the political struggles today in Hong Kong is fundamentally the fight between
pro-British/anti-China elite/middle-class community vs. pro-China/labor
community for the future political density of not only Hong Kong, but also China.
It's also the fights of preserving status quote between Hong Kong
elite/middle-class community, who mainly benefits from sweatshops and exploitation.
What happens in Hong Kong today is similar to what happened in Chavez at
Venezuela and California election last November. Right wing forces will use
"democracy" and "election" to want to gain what ever they want, they want to
continue to keep their social status and serve as anti-communist base for the western
powers, and the continuous exportations on sweatshops in Hong Kong and China
(most export orientated factory in Chin are owned by Chinese from Hong Kong,
Taiwan and United States).
Today, I will leaving my brother's house to go to China, a two week journey
could be one of the most important experience on my life.
More about Hong and China will follows….
Lee Siu Hin
January 13, 2004
Tai Koo Shing
Lee Siu Hin
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