Tue, Oct 08, 2019 - Page 8 News List

Chinese insist on shunning democracy

By John Yu 于則章

On Sunday last week, tens of thousands of people took to the streets across Taiwan to “march for Hong Kong and against totalitarianism,” voicing their support for the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong singer and rights advocate Denise Ho (何韻詩) was in Taiwan to join the march, but Hu Chih-wei (胡志偉), chairman of the Chinese Unification Promotion Party’s Zizhong chapter, and fellow party member Liang Tai-fu (梁太富) allegedly disguised themselves as protesters, approached Ho from behind and splashed her with red paint.

Reacting to the attack, Ho said: “You can clearly see from this incident how uncivilized China’s supporters are. In Hong Kong we face this kind of threat every day.”

The pro-democracy movement has been going on for more than three months. During this time, there have been numerous instances of Chinese students studying outside China or emigres heckling and disrupting events in support of the movement.

Such incidents have happened all over the world, including Toronto, London, Los Angeles, Paris and Melbourne, and at several Australian universities, including the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, Monash University and the University of Sydney.

Similar incidents also happened in Taiwanese schools, including Soochow University, I-shou University, Chinese Culture University and Shih Hsin University, where Chinese students attacked Hong Kong students and damaged “Lennon walls” on the campuses.

The worldwide violent attacks launched by Chinese students on people who vocally support the Hong Kong democracy movement are almost an exact copy of China’s attempts to “export revolution” to Southeast Asia and Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s.

China has been following a policy of “reform and opening up” for four decades. Its economy has gradually escaped from poverty and it has been having more interactions with other countries.

Nonetheless, the behavior described above shows that, other than a few enlightened individuals, it is fair to say that deep-rooted opposition to democracy, freedom and human rights, in their thoughts and deeds, is a national characteristic of China.

Furthermore, as China’s power grows stronger, it has made Chinese even more resistant to democracy, freedom and human rights, which originate in Western civilization.

No wonder pro-China and pro-unification parties in Taiwan, which all come from the same origin, including the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the People First Party and the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union, gave the cold shoulder to the “march for Hong Kong and against totalitarianism.”

Anyone who wants to safeguard democracy, fight for freedom and care for human rights must abandon any illusions they might harbor about China.

They must reject the misguided notion that someone can be anti-communist, but not anti-China.

There is a definite trait among Chinese, be they rich or poor, and no matter where they are: As long as they identify China as their motherland, nothing will change their national character of opposition to democracy, freedom and human rights.

John Yu is a civil servant.

Translated by Julian Clegg

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