27 votes

Why so many Chinese students can’t understand the Hong Kong protests

18 comments

  1. Sahasrahla
    Link
    I'm glad this was posted here. One of the less obvious misfortunes to come from the recent events in Hong Kong (with the 'more obvious' being, you know, the flagrant human rights abuses) is that...

    I'm glad this was posted here. One of the less obvious misfortunes to come from the recent events in Hong Kong (with the 'more obvious' being, you know, the flagrant human rights abuses) is that among some it encourages racism, bigotry and hatred of mainland Chinese people or of Chinese immigrants and their descendents in the west. Included in this is the pervasive idea that all Chinese people think alike or that they are all brainwashed and incapable of independent thought. On the other hand, rightfully condemnatory of this hateful backlash, are others who become reluctant to criticize China at all because it could be problematic.

    This sort of issue isn't new—look at perceptions of Islam and Muslims over the last few decades. Many (mostly on the right) decry terrorism and extremism but veer into bigotry, while others (mostly on the left) fight back against prejudice and negative perceptions while at the same time ignoring some religious conservatism that's as bad as anything cooked up by far-right American Christians. (Just look at the hijab for instance: hated by anti-Muslim bigots on the right it's become a symbol on the left of feminism, diversity, and acceptance; while at the same time being a tool of oppression elsewhere in the world that woman are forced to wear under threat of violence.)

    With the perception of China moving from a not-unfriendly trading partner to belligerent rival with antithetical values this pattern looks likely to repeat. In a better world this issue would be easy to look at clearly but instead we're seeing it through the warped and cloudy lenses of American racial politics, Chinese nationalism and historical grievances, and propaganda. There are some hard to see truths no matter what your starting perspective.

    From a critical perspective it's important to understand that China is a culturally, ethnically, linguistically, and intellectually/philosophically diverse nation and the actions of the CCP don't represent all or even necessarily the average Chinese person; furthermore, traditional and social media are tightly controlled and aren't always good barometers for political opinions either. Criticism should be constructive and not hateful and one should always be aware of how easily attacks against a government or against ideas can become attacks against people; as well, one should keep in mind the very real racism dressed up as anti-China rhetoric that too many people face. Well meaning but careless words can do deep harm to people already facing a barrage of ignorant hate.

    From a sympathetic perspective it's also important to understand that an attack against the actions of a government is not an attack against a people or against oneself as an individual, and legitimate criticism of a government can be supportive of a country and its people. There is also a widespread ideology of Chinese nationalism and supremacy that exists even beyond China's borders, and though this is overplayed and poorly represented by racist opponents of anything Chinese, this ideology is real and pervasive nonetheless and it should be challenged in others or even in ourselves. Also, though it can be well intentioned to effectively give China a pass over fears of accidentally contributing to an increasingly racist zeitgeist, doing so gives cover to egregious abuses. Speaking up for what's right should be done even if it's uncomfortable.

    All of that is why articles like the OP are important. This is a perspective that's rarely seen or even necessarily thought about in the mainstream. People will be making decisions and hardening their positions and especially at an early time like this at the beginning of the conversation it's important to get these perspectives out there. It would be tragic if the CCP's actions engendered hatred against China or Chinese people, and it would also be tragic if those ostensibly most for the rights of the downtrodden decided to ignore the issue or even support the CCP just to counter the bigots in their own culture. None of this is simple but that's not to say it's impossible; and in any case, talking about this from a distance behind a keyboard is orders of magnitude easier than what's faced by people who don't have the option of ignoring China's actions.

    15 votes
  2. [16]
    Micycle_the_Bichael
    (edited )
    Link
    I like that the author included this in the op-ed. I remember a couple months back a couple of tildes users who were from China said they felt pushed to leave the site because every comment...

    with assumptions that they have been “brainwashed by the Chinese government.” It makes some feel attacked and reaffirms what they were taught in China: The West is biased and hostile.

    I like that the author included this in the op-ed. I remember a couple months back a couple of tildes users who were from China said they felt pushed to leave the site because every comment section and article was pushing "China bad, USA good" and felt all the negative coverage of China and negative comments were all attacks on China because China was a boogyman and no thought was given to it being a flawed country and pushing it to be better for the good of it's people. I wonder what ever happened to them..

    Edit: rereading this I don't like how I ended the post. I want to clarify that it was really sad and unfortunate that the environment was unfriendly enough for that to happen, I wish I had reached out and tried to make the community a more welcoming place to them, and maybe this article and the story can be something we keep in mind the next story about China that we read.

    12 votes
    1. [15]
      Keegan
      Link Parent
      I remember that as well, and felt incredibly guilty, as I had participated in those discussions about "China bad."

      I remember that as well, and felt incredibly guilty, as I had participated in those discussions about "China bad."

      4 votes
      1. [10]
        crowbahr
        Link Parent
        It's tricky because on the one hand you have a diverse and nuanced nation of more than a billion people with an incredible depth of culture but you also have a totalitarian regime which is...

        It's tricky because on the one hand you have a diverse and nuanced nation of more than a billion people with an incredible depth of culture but you also have a totalitarian regime which is perpetuating a genocide and crushing dissidents all while keeping the populace ignorant of their crimes against humanity.

        You cannot blame the citizenry for not remembering Tiananmen Square when it was so thoroughly expunged from the country controlled information feeds. You can't blame them for being blindsided when they access foreign media for the first time and see that we do not see their government the way they have always seen it.

        It's hard because you want to be welcoming and tolerant: you don't hold any animosity towards the Chinese people, just towards their government.

        So in a sense: it's not wrong to say China bad and Chinese good. It's a problem when someone interprets a critique on their nation to be a critique on themselves... Which is not something you can control.

        22 votes
        1. [8]
          AnthonyB
          Link Parent
          This comment reminds me of the weird feeling I've had as an American living in China. Day-to-day, pretty much everything about living in Beijing is great. I love it, and as long as things stay...

          This comment reminds me of the weird feeling I've had as an American living in China. Day-to-day, pretty much everything about living in Beijing is great. I love it, and as long as things stay cool, I don't plan on leaving. Outside of the subway at 8 am, the people are wonderful, and it's obvious that everyone I know has nothing to do with the actions of their government. The exact same could be said about most Americans back home.

          Yet when I read ANY news story or comment section about China, it gives off a vibe that the country is evil and terrifying. It's funny though because you can easily make a pretty convincing argument that the United States is much worse when you consider its actions in the Middle East and Latin America over the past 50 years, and it's long history of racism and violence at home. Shit, I know that the experience I've had as a foreigner living in China has been far more pleasant than the experience my Asian-American friends have had in the progressive cities they grew up in. Despite all this, it would sound pretty radical if you went on tildes or reddit and described the US while using language similar to "a totalitarian regime which is perpetuating a genocide and crushing dissidents all while keeping the populace ignorant of their crimes against humanity," even though it certainly would be fair. And you would definitely seem radical if you argued that Americans are brainwashed by the media and the nationalism thats so prevalent in the culture.

          Obviously, people from America can be outspoken and opposed to some of their government's actions, the same way they're opposed to some of the things that China is doing - just listen to Intercepted or Democracy Now! Still, it's something about the tone of the criticism towards China that makes it seem ... I don't know, hostile? Unfair? I don't know if any of that makes any sense, but it's been one of the strangest and most eye-opening experinces I've had since moving here. Even if you consider yourself liberal, and you think you have a healthy critical view of the government, there is still a natural tendency to look at your country as the 'good guy' and the foreign country as the 'bad guy' regardless of who the people are or how they live.

          14 votes
          1. Sahasrahla
            Link Parent
            I want to address your comment because it argues not-uncommon ideas that have been coming up a lot in discussions related to China (or, more specifically, in discussions critical of Chinese...

            Still, it's something about the tone of the criticism towards China that makes it seem ... I don't know, hostile? Unfair? I don't know if any of that makes any sense, but it's been one of the strangest and most eye-opening experinces I've had since moving here. Even if you consider yourself liberal, and you think you have a healthy critical view of the government, there is still a natural tendency to look at your country as the 'good guy' and the foreign country as the 'bad guy' regardless of who the people are or how they live.

            I want to address your comment because it argues not-uncommon ideas that have been coming up a lot in discussions related to China (or, more specifically, in discussions critical of Chinese policy) but I don't want to misunderstand what you're saying. I think the passage I highlighted is basically your 'thesis', that 1. the common criticism of China (in media, on message boards) is hostile and unfair and that, 2. Americans and Chinese basically see their own country in equivalent ways, with both following a natural tendency of "we are good, others are bad." Also, though I'm responding to your comment in particular, it's also a bit of a jumping off point to talk about these ideas in general and to address some related thoughts I've commonly seen posted elsewhere. (Sorry for all the meta-commentary, but this can be a charged topic and I don't want to get all strawman-y or personal against the comment I'm replying to when this is a bigger topic than that.)

            I'd like to start with the second point, that Americans and Chinese both view themselves as the good guys and are equivalent in their positive views of themselves and perhaps negative views of the other. I think that, as a whole, American culture is incredibly self-critical in a way that China isn't. Though the stereotype of an American is that of an ignorant, boisterous, "America #1!" patriot this isn't universally true. Many Americans, especially on the left side of their divided populace, are very aware of and critical of their government's actions. You yourself were able to (here and elsewhere in the thread) give a list off the top of your head of American crimes against morality: Tuskegee, Vietnam, Iraq, interventions in Latin America and the Middle East, Japanese internment, racism. You even say it would be fair to describe the US in language similar to calling it a totalitarian regime that commits genocide and brainwashes its population into compliance.

            My point isn't that those are unfair criticisms (well, I could argue about American-style democracy compared to the autocratic rule of leader-for-life Xi Jinping and the CCP, but let's not get too sidetracked), rather my point is that among Americans those are common criticisms. Not only do you hear them online or in personal conversations but you can see the same criticisms in the news media, in popular books, and especially in movies (see: the American right's stereotype of the America-hating Hollywood liberal).

            That kind of widespread and popular criticism is something that doesn't really exist in China. (Or at least in mainland China; obviously right now there are rather a few critical opinions coming out of Hong Kong.) To be fair, Chinese have more freedom to criticize local officials and the government than is often realized in the west, but this criticism is limited and repressed if it touches on certain topics or gets too big. Some recent (as in, in the last few days) examples that show that Chinese self-criticism isn't allowed to exist in the same way as American self-criticism:

            Chinese authorities question MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong over Hong Kong protest comments (South China Morning Post, August 22)

            MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong has said Chinese authorities visited him at his Beijing home and questioned him about his views after his comments on social media about the Hong Kong protests.
            ...
            Xu has previously had his social credit score lowered to heavily restricted “D” status
            in China following a court order. As a result, Xu was not allowed to buy plane tickets or high-speed train tickets, among other restrictions.

            Chinese human rights lawyer ‘safe’ after return from Hong Kong protests trip (South China Morning Post, August 21)

            A mainland Chinese lawyer who visited Hong Kong last weekend to observe protests in the city has confirmed that he is “safe” and back in Beijing, despite having had to cut his trip short because of pressure from the authorities.
            ...
            In his last video filmed at Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday night, Chen said he was forced to cut his trip short and return to the mainland because of pressure from mainland police and lawyers associations. He said he could be disqualified from practising law because of his visit.

            This goes far beyond "both countries brainwash their populace" or "people in both countries are patriotic and see themselves as a force for good". Self-criticism of American policy, institutions, and leaders is common and entrenched in the culture. This isn't true in China and it can't be true while such criticism is effectively illegal and often punished. These examples are only a couple recent ones and barely scratch the surface; there's a lot more if you want to dig into it. Also, on an ironic note, I just realized that I don't know if you can access the articles I linked. Is SCMP allowed or blocked on the mainland? Do you have a VPN at home or work that would let you access it? These are questions I wouldn't have to wonder about for someone living in the US. (A quick Google search, also something unavailable in the mainland, shows SCMP was blocked in 2016 but I don't know its current status.)

            To go all the way back to the beginning now to address the first point I wanted to get to, namely that "the common criticism of China (in media, on message boards) is hostile and unfair" I'll try to be brief. First, to get it out of the way: yes, some media and commenters online are anti-China or are racist and bigoted (for brevity, I talk more about this in my top-level comment) but I think that's not necessarily the point of contention here. I think the question is more, is the criticism of China hostile or unfair?

            In some ways it's an unanswerable question. "Unfair" could take into account the person voicing the criticism or it could be purely about the merits of the criticism and a discussion could get bogged down in semantics about what "unfair" even means. Similarly for "hostile", what constitutes that? Certainly many Americans are critical of their own government but if they criticize another nation in a similar manner is that hostile in a way that self-criticism isn't?

            To try to address this as fairly as I can without a 1000 word digression on semantics or the nature of fairness or anything like that I'd like to instead briefly address a similar but maybe better defined question: what sort of comparison can be made between the kinds of criticism levelled at China and the US? I don't mean here to weigh the 'sins' of each nation like some internet-Anubis in the Hall of Maat; rather, I just want to give my thoughts on the usual arguments I've seen when the two nations are compared.

            One argument you're likely to see if you read enough of these sorts of discussions online is that the US interferes globally whereas China's actions, however bad or good they may be, are internal. Though there's a certain truth to this line of thinking it ignores some important points: 1. that what China considers "internal" can very frequently involve its neighbours (e.g. the annexation of Tibet, military threats against Taiwan), 2. that China frequently does interfere with nearby countries (e.g. Sino-Vietnamese war, decades of involvement in North Korea including fighting in the Korean War), and 3. unlike the US, China is only recently a "world power" in modern times and they're already engaging in the type of "economic imperialism" (e.g. debt traps for poor nations) that the US and the west are accused of.

            Looking internally, though I want to avoid judging a "most terrible to its own people" Olympics, I think it is a bit much to say the US is obviously worse. In some ways I think this attitude comes from the prevalence of self-criticism in American culture. Some Americans take the very real and fair criticism of their own government to such extremes that they can become a bit blinded to the problems of other nations, especially if those nations are politically opposed to the US. (If X is bad it's natural to think anything opposed to X is good; so if the US is bad their rivals like China can seem not so bad by comparison.) It's also a lot harder for an American to see problems with other nations from the same perspective as they do problems with the US; it's easy to find yourself awash in home-grown criticism of Americans by Americans but if you want to read something critical of China you're often limited to foreign news reports that intuitively could seem biased in a way that Americans talking about their own nation might not be.

            This comment is far too long already and I feel like I've only scratched the surface here but I want to end by talking about why I felt it necessary to write so much on a topic like this. In many of the discussions on Hong Kong (though this could be generalized for any topic regarding human rights abuses outside of the west) it's extremely common to see people saying "the US is bad too" and use that as an excuse to ignore the topic. To say, essentially, "people elsewhere may be suffering but we shouldn't talk about it or condemn the actions of their oppressors." This is something that probably few people making these arguments would actually say outright and they might object to this characterization but I think it fits. If criticism of China is unfair and hostile, and if we want to avoid being unfair and hostile, then we must not criticize China. It could be argued that the complaint is one of tone and not content but that's not what I've seen; to bring up a list of US crimes for comparison is not saying "the tone is wrong" it's saying "we don't have a moral standing to criticize."

            And shouldn't human rights abuses be criticized? When people are denied universal suffrage, subject to political violence and intimidation, and menaced with soldiers and "armed police" across the border, is it wrong to speak up? Is the US so evil that its citizens should ignore the rest of the world in favour of self-flagellating and navel gazing? These are not unimportant issues. International support is often critical for people oppressed in their own nations and arguably the strongest obstacle against a Tiananmen-like violent crackdown in Hong Kong is the international (political, business, and financial) response and the cost it would entail.

            Online conversation and public perception is only a very small part of this but it's not unimportant. Recently both Twitter and Facebook have shown that the government of China is trying to influence opinion on western social media. If the CCP thinks that's important enough to spend effort on then we can think the same as well. Arguments against having this conversation at all, though likely coming from a good intentioned place, ultimately don't help the people who need support the most.


            A quick addendum: reading over this I noticed I didn't really address an important point you made about your personal experience. I think if a person is used to seeing a country (or their government) painted in a negative light it can be a jarring experience to then live in that country and have an experience that mostly consists of kind and happy people just living their lives. I think the same could be true of anyone moving to the US as well after mostly seeing criticism of it. This brings to light an important point that no matter the actions of a government, and even excepting some distasteful views that may be common among the populace, people everywhere are mostly good and mostly they just go about their lives without hurting anyone. No matter what the CCP does and no matter what nationalists post on weibo most Chinese, like most people anywhere, are good people.

            However, having an experience like this—one where your on-the-ground perceptions of a nation and its people differ from the perceptions formed by reading negative media reports of a country's actions—does not negate the content of those reports or make them unfair or hostile; it only means that the unconscious perception influenced by those reports was unfair.

            It's also good to make sure to not develop a rose-tinted perspective from living in China that everything is better than it is. Though you might personally not feel much discrimination as a foreigner living for a time in Beijing you might feel differently if you were a native born Chinese-Tibetan (for instance) with worries about linguistic, religious, and political oppression. Though everyone around you is friendly and wonderful and has little to do with the actions of their government these same people might turn hostile if you push too hard on topics like Taiwanese self-determination or the immorality of invading the island.

            None of this is to say that you're wrong in your personal experience of China. I just mean to say that such a perspective is still limited and it would be easy to have some mistaken impressions.

            12 votes
          2. [6]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. [5]
              AnthonyB
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              I'm not necessarily trying to compare the atrocities of the two governments, rather, I'm interested in the framing of the critiques that I see online or in the media. Even in your comment, there...

              I'm not necessarily trying to compare the atrocities of the two governments, rather, I'm interested in the framing of the critiques that I see online or in the media. Even in your comment, there is the sense or tone of 'we do bad things, but we are still the good guys or at least we're trying to be,' when you talk about the US, while there is a sense of 'this is totally and completely unacceptable, they should be ashamed' when you talk about China. And yes, the situation with the Uighur people is abhorrent, but is it worse than the two wars in Iraq, or the Vietnam war which have claimed millions of innocent lives? Is it worse than the Tuskegee experiment or Japanese internment? Oops, so much for not comparing the bad stuff.

              Let's imagine the US starts doing something identical to what China is doing with Uighurs. How many people would march in the streets and demand change? Would we consider ourselves evil, or would we say we're good people that have slightly lost our way due to poor leadership? Would we feel enough shame from within to start a revolution? I doubt it. So even with more exposure to some of the things you listed, I think its normal for Chinese people to still look at themselves the same way that we as Americans see ourselves. "Life is good here, the people I know are fine people, we're trying to do good things. The government does bad things sometimes, but we aren't bad guys. I don't approve of this, this isnt who we are, we're better than this." But that's not how we tend to frame it as outsiders. And in truth, it's probably a good thing. If anything, we need to look at ourselves with the same blunt criticism.

              I guess if I had to summarize it in one sentence it would be that we look at the bad things we do and say 'this is bad, but we aren't - we're better than this,' but look at the bad things other governments do and say 'they're bad, that's completely unacceptable, someone might have to step in and do something.' I suppose there is just more tolerance for a government's atrocities if you are the one living comfortably under it. Again, I'm sorry if this is rambling nonesense. It's past my bedtime and I'm pretty dumb to begin with.

              6 votes
              1. [2]
                Comment deleted by author
                Link Parent
                1. AnthonyB
                  Link Parent
                  This type of framing is exactly what I'm talking about. One could easily argue that the "bumbling cowboy" deliberately mislead his country and the rest of the world into an unjust war that lined...

                  I'd much rather have an incompetent, bumbling cowboy who struggles to live up to his ideals leading the world than an authoritarian regime with recent history of massacring its own people, which doesn't bode well for how China would influence others if given the U.S.'s influence and power.

                  This type of framing is exactly what I'm talking about. One could easily argue that the "bumbling cowboy" deliberately mislead his country and the rest of the world into an unjust war that lined the pockets of his buddies and resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Now I'm not interested in debating if this is the right or wrong characterization of the two countries or leaders, I'm just pointing out how we frame things.

                  It's not that we shouldn't criticize China, we absolutely should. I just think we should probably try to hold ourselves to the same standard. I probably shouldn't have said the words "unfair" or "hostile" to describe the feeling I get. It's more like we're just letting ourselves off easy by comparison.

                  4 votes
              2. [3]
                crowbahr
                Link Parent
                The USA having done abhorrent things does not excuse Chinese crimes against humanity, nor vice versa. China doesn't get a free pass from criticism for doing absolutely terrible things right this...

                The USA having done abhorrent things does not excuse Chinese crimes against humanity, nor vice versa.

                China doesn't get a free pass from criticism for doing absolutely terrible things right this very moment just because in the past the USA has waged wars on foreign nations.

                To compare the Japanese internment to the Uigher genocide is disingenuous at best. The fact of the matter is that they aren't imprisoning potential spies during a war, they're imprisoning people based on religious beliefs and torturing them. Stripping them of their dignity, forcing party officials into their homes as permanent lodgers, putting millions into forced labor concentration camps... And then harvesting their organs when they die (or are executed) for transplants back into the native population.

                It's an internationally recognized crime.

                That's not saying that Japanese internment was a great idea: FDR regretted it the rest of his life, but it was more understandable than the systematic violence going on right now.

                And I believe that's what scares people most about China: they have a proven track record of their government crushing their citizens beneath their boot. Rolling over millions of innocent civilian corpses to further their global ambitions.

                6 votes
                1. [2]
                  AnthonyB
                  Link Parent
                  I didn't mean for it to sound like I think China should be given a free pass, or that it's wrong to criticize the Chinese government. I clearly fucked up in my original with some of the language I...

                  The USA having done abhorrent things does not excuse Chinese crimes against humanity, nor vice versa.

                  China doesn't get a free pass from criticism for doing absolutely terrible things right this very moment just because in the past the USA has waged wars on foreign nations.

                  I didn't mean for it to sound like I think China should be given a free pass, or that it's wrong to criticize the Chinese government. I clearly fucked up in my original with some of the language I used. The main point that I'm trying to make is that I think that people tend to criticize other governments in a harsher way than they criticize their own. I think that if China were to pull out of the Paris agreement or something equivalent to the Iran nuclear deal, there would be a different tone in the criticism we'd see online and in the press.

                  4 votes
                  1. crowbahr
                    Link Parent
                    That's probably valid, though I suspect that's always true within the lens of a country. As a left leaning American I see enormous amounts of criticism for America/Republicans pulling out of the...

                    That's probably valid, though I suspect that's always true within the lens of a country.

                    As a left leaning American I see enormous amounts of criticism for America/Republicans pulling out of the Iran deal and Paris agreement: but I live in NYC and tend to consume left news sources.

                    What you're experiencing, I suspect, is the fact that most of the English speaking internet sways to American points of view.

                    1 vote
          3. ubergeek
            Link Parent
            I don't see those as very radical stances lol

            Despite all this, it would sound pretty radical if you went on tildes or reddit and described the US while using language similar to "a totalitarian regime which is perpetuating a genocide and crushing dissidents all while keeping the populace ignorant of their crimes against humanity," even though it certainly would be fair. And you would definitely seem radical if you argued that Americans are brainwashed by the media and the nationalism thats so prevalent in the culture

            I don't see those as very radical stances lol

            4 votes
        2. Keegan
          Link Parent
          This is a really good way to look at it. Thank you.

          So in a sense: it's not wrong to say China bad and Chinese good. It's a problem when someone interprets a critique on their nation to be a critique on themselves... Which is not something you can control.

          This is a really good way to look at it. Thank you.

          5 votes
      2. [4]
        Eva
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        @micycle_the_bichael Okay, but China is bad. (Hi, I live in Taiwan.) EDIT: Because I feel like "Hi, I live in a nation at risk of being Chile'd™ right now," is probably a bit hostile, here are...

        @micycle_the_bichael

        Okay, but China is bad.

        (Hi, I live in Taiwan.)

        EDIT: Because I feel like "Hi, I live in a nation at risk of being Chile'd™ right now," is probably a bit hostile, here are five other reasons to dislike the dictatorship of the CCP:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causeway_Bay_Books_disappearances

        Believe it or not, this actually counts as a crime against humanity in international law:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_disappearance

        And certainly employees of HK's Causeway Bay Books aren't the only ones they've done this to, a list that includes many varied types of people, from China's own movie stars, to foreign dissidents, and basically just a bunch of Canadian people at random as an act of fucked up revenge.

        https://thediplomat.com/2018/12/the-people-china-disappeared-in-2018/

        10 votes
        1. Sahasrahla
          Link Parent
          This is also important context to understand why millions of people in Hong Kong are so strongly opposed to the extradition bill. Right now if the CCP wants to make someone they don't like in Hong...

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causeway_Bay_Books_disappearances

          This is also important context to understand why millions of people in Hong Kong are so strongly opposed to the extradition bill. Right now if the CCP wants to make someone they don't like in Hong Kong disappear they have to spend the effort and political capital on kidnapping them. With the extradition bill all they'd need are some trumped up charges and then it's a simple matter to 'legally' bring them to the mainland.

          Also, for anyone who missed it here's some recent news that's unfortunately relevant here: [Simon] Cheng, 28, who works in the British consulate in Hong Kong as a trade and investment officer for Scottish Development International, travelled to Shenzhen on 8 August on business. He sent messages to his girlfriend as he was about to cross the border at about 10pm and has not been heard from since, according to his family.

          14 votes
        2. [2]
          Keegan
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Oh I know they do fucked up stuff. It's just the manner of how I had done it seemed to come off as hostile to the people of China, who, for the most part, are probably good people, like the...

          Oh I know they do fucked up stuff. It's just the manner of how I had done it seemed to come off as hostile to the people of China, who, for the most part, are probably good people, like the majority of all people on this rock. The average citizens aren't the ones committing all these horrible acts afaik.

          And I've seen you a bit around Tildes, and this info is new to me, so thank you for sharing.

          Edit: don't worry, it doesn't really seem hostile

          4 votes
          1. Loire
            Link Parent
            This comes up every now and then, specifically with Russian and Chinese posters, where no one is attacking the citizens of those nations and yet they still take personal offence to criticism of...

            This comes up every now and then, specifically with Russian and Chinese posters, where no one is attacking the citizens of those nations and yet they still take personal offence to criticism of the totalitarian regimes they live under.

            There is only so much we can do short of censoring discussion, to make those feel welcome who are so thoroughly indoctrinated as to associate the state with their own selves. We should always encourage thoughtful and welcoming conversation, however, we cannot avoid discussing the fact that there are muslim minorities disappearing into reeducation camps, brutal military crackdowns on civil unrest, a dystopian "social credit" system, and a dictator perpetuo running the nation.

            11 votes
  3. ubergeek
    Link
    Not isolated to China, Russia, or any other nation... But often times, citizens equate critique of their government to critique of themselves, as individuals. A common one is when criticizing...

    Not isolated to China, Russia, or any other nation... But often times, citizens equate critique of their government to critique of themselves, as individuals.

    A common one is when criticizing Israeli (The country) policy. It's often viewed as "anti-semitic", when in fact, it hardly is.

    9 votes