Opinion | Stupidity is not democracy: Hong Kong rioters are no heroes
By Philip Yeung, a university teacher
The West has crucified China for quelling the unrest in Hong Kong. Joining the chorus of criticism, President Biden has condemned China for failure to keep its promise to give Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy.
But that is a barefaced lie. Beijing did just that for 23 years. From day one of the handover, locals enjoyed unfettered freedom—with an average of 19 street protests a day, calls for the downfall of the Communist Party, books that smear senior Chinese leaders, booing the national anthem, and British judges sitting in judgment on big political cases—the list goes on.
Hong Kong was the freest city on earth. But unchecked, liberty degenerated into license. Anarchy reigned supreme—with bricks, Molotov cocktails, burning tires, throat-slashing and burning a dissenter alive. This was an all-out war against law and order.
You know who failed to keep their promise? These so-called democracy fighters who were legally obligated to respect "one-country-two-systems". They just want their own system but no country.
The Hong Kong street riots lasted 10 months. The January 6, 2021 US Capitol riots lasted just one day. Burning, vandalism and violence raged here endlessly. People lost their livelihood. Life became unlivable. The land was lawless. Beijing had to act, but Washington acted so much quicker.
The West calls these deranged rioters freedom fighters and heroes. They are not. What an insult to their victims, of which there are legion!
Who are the rioters? According to a Western wit, they are stupid people i.e. people who mess up things, harming others without helping themselves, openly declaring they were "taking everything down with us". That makes them not only stupid but amoral. They are ignorant, stubborn and impervious to reason. And that makes them highly dangerous and crazy criminals.
What exactly are they fighting for? I, for one, have no clue. The extradition bill, initiated by the local leader, not by Beijing, had been withdrawn. As for one-person-one-vote, why should anybody even care? The reason is simple: you might disband the 1500-member Election Committee that picks the Chief Executive, and open up the process to a universal vote. But don't forget, the Basic Law stipulates that the successful candidate can only be appointed by the Central Government, which was agreed to by all parties, including the British.
The crucial question then becomes: what about the caliber of the candidates? Hong Kong is a place for making quick money; it does not breed political talents. Of the four Chief Executives, two were life-long civil servants who lead a pampered existence that is detached from reality, not even knowing where to buy toilet paper or how to use the subway pass. They are far better paid than the US president. They think like civil servants and act like civil servants. Getting universal suffrage is thus meaningless and inconsequential. Bad leaders remain bad no matter how many people vote for them—whether it's 1500 or 5 million. How can you get excited over such a fight?
Which is why Sir David Aker-Jones, the former second-in-command of the British colonial government, and a true Hong Kong lover, semi-privately lamented: "I wish Beijing would just send us someone competent". Instead, these rioters wanted to take down the city for the privilege of endorsing uninspired choices. For that they are called democracy fighters. What a low bar for heroism! Anyone who is anti-China is automatically a hero.
The mainland, in case you care to know, boasts many outstanding leaders not only at the national level, but at the local level too. Unfit leaders swiftly face the axe. Here, ministerial accountability exists in name only.
But the question remains, who breeds these rioters? They are the product of a catastrophic educational disaster. They were taught no Chinese history, and know nothing about China's spectacular achievements. They hate our northern cousins who are virtual strangers. I almost fell off the chair when local teachers came up with history exam questions so unforgivably insane, such as "Did the Japanese war against China bring any benefits to our country?" That is like asking whether the Holocaust was justifiable? The ugly truth is, our Education Bureau has been run by amateurs who know nothing about education and whose first instinct is to keep their kids out of the public school system by putting them into international schools.
There is much pent-up anger against grossly underperforming local leaders who neither care nor know how to govern. Local misrule has turned them against the national government.
Without Beijing, Hong Kong would still be a smoldering city. Don't you blame Beijing for doing what you do so aggressively. The day you stop prosecuting Trump-instigated Capitol rioters, and give them medals of merit is the day we accept your moral standards. And oh, please do us a big favor: take all these "heroes" from us into your tender, loving care, and make sure you give them each a medal too. Consider these exports our contribution to Western democracy, if not our "foreign aid" in reverse.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of DotDotNews.
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