I supported the #OccupyCentral #UmbrellaMovement, because it was a peaceful protest of people who expressed their wants to take over their own destiny, by being able to vote for their own leadership. Little known fact: Despite saying that “Western values are wrong” 毛澤東 (Mao,ZeDong) once asked for Democracy, and not just once, several times. That is, until Democracy stood in his way of rule. Anyways, this fight is still ongoing. However, the anger Hong Kong people feel for China is ever-growing. This dramatically changes the mood everyone had right before 1997, when everyone was looking forward to ending colonial rule over Hong Kong.
Now, with scalpers and smugglers rushing down to Hong Kong and driving prices high on common commodities, while disrupting daily life for locals (bad traffic, congestion, pollution, littering…):
The locals have had enough:
As sympathetic as I am, I CANNOT agree with their racist slurs, and their actions of yelling at the shoppers. It’s ineffective, because the smugglers and scalpers who come down earn a living smuggling items, and won’t stop. The rich people who are rich enough, will simply shop elsewhere they can afford to. That aside, racist anger will not solve the situation. There is an uneven taxation policy between Hong Kong (very low) and China (very high). Second highest compared to Scandanavian countries:
Yet the money cannot equate to the same sort of welfare services. But that’s a debate for another day. What it makes people do, is find any way they can find the cheapest goods (in essence, avoiding those taxes). Hong Kong people were creative enough to come up with a disobedience tactic that worried the central government in BeiJing. Now, it needs to come up with another way to force its politicians, and even the regional politicians in Guangdong to adopt new measures:
- Lower taxes, or remove certain tax categories.
- Make it easier for Hong Kong business people to set up retail shops in China, minus the red tape.
Even though the Chinese often go back on their word when it comes to contracts, as long as its on paper, there will be public condemnation. The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), may be a trade arrangement that most Hong Kong people don’t like, but they need to understand, that the terms are ever-changing. It’s not a good document, but it needs to be re-negotiated in more favorable terms. In order to ensure you have people representing your needs, you need a more responsive government. Currently, Hong Kong (even before BeiJing’s influences) has been pretty arbitrary and opaque in its procedures. Yes, the anger at BeiJing is ever-growing, and rightly so, because of its “meddling in the internal affairs” of Hong Kong, to borrow one of their favorite terms. However, in order to achieve greater efficacy in its efforts fora better Hong Kong, it must concentrate on reforming on Hong Kong’s government system. Tieing it to anti-China, anti-BeiJing rhetoric will only anger BeiJing, and slow you down.