Mon, Sep 02, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Chinese students protest overseas

By Yu jie 余杰

While Hong Kong is of course the main battlefield of the anti-extradition bill protests, demonstrations and protests have also taken place in other places around the world.

As the number of Chinese students studying in Taiwan is limited, they dare not flagrantly harass protesters at all the rallies held here in support of the Hong Kong protests.

In countries where there are more Chinese students — such as Canada, Australia, the UK and New Zealand — they have formed the largest assemblies of Chinese students since they gathered to protect the Olympic flame from protesters during the 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay.

Ironically, they would never be allowed to hold such patriotic gatherings anywhere inside China.

In Vancouver and Toronto, Chinese students held patriotic rallies against the anti-extradition protests that were jointly organized by the Chinese embassies and consulates.

During these rallies, Chinese students drove around in million-dollar luxury sports cars, many of them red Ferraris, as if they purposefully wanted to sneer at the poverty of those opposed to the bill.

These rallies were, of course, also a showcase for the results of the corrupt practices of the students’ parents back home in China.

Ten years ago, the Wall Street Journal published a story about Bo Guagua (薄瓜瓜), the son of Bo Xilai (薄熙來) — who at the time was a leading Chinese politician — and what his life was like studying in the UK. The story described him, in a rather literary tone, as “driving a car worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and as red as the Chinese flag,” which it said was dyed by the blood sacrificed by the revolutionaries.

The same story could be rewritten to report the spectacular event put on by the Chinese students in Toronto and Vancouver with their red Ferraris simply by replacing the singular pronoun “he” with the plural “they.”

Just because someone drives a luxury car does not mean that they are refined. Quite the contrary, such people are often vulgar and low-class.

During a rally organized by Hong Kong students at the University of South Australia to show support for the protesters in Hong Kong, Chinese students clad in trendy streetwear brands broke into the crowd of protesters and shouted insults at them using vulgar language.

One video clip that went viral showed a Hong Kong student shouting “Hong Kong, stay strong!” and a group of Chinese students responding, shouting expletives at the top of their lungs. It was a typical Beijing expression, and although I lived in China for 20 years, I have never been able to utter those words.

In the West, there are soccer hooligans, but in China there are patriotic hooligans and overseas student hooligans. These students are no different from the white-clad gang that beat up protesters at Hong Kong’s Yuen Long MTR Station: As long as it is done in the name of patriotism, it makes up for 100 evil deeds.

There are reasons these people love their country. Instead of saying that they love their country, it would be better to say that they love their blood-red Ferraris.

According to an anecdote about Qing Dynasty official Ji Xiaolan (紀曉嵐), Ji once scolded the emperor’s favorite courtier, Heshen (和珅), asking why he, who constantly expressed his love of country, had embezzled so much money from the state treasury. Heshen calmly replied: “How can I not love a country that allows me to embezzle so much money?”

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