| August 16, 2019 04: 17 PM
Protesters in Hong Kong have been waving the American flag and singing the American nationwide anthem to sign their desire for democracy and opposition to the Communist Party of China. American politicians ranging from Residence Speaker Nancy Pelosi to GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have reciprocated by declaring their assist.
Of course, the actuality of combating for democracy is significantly a lot more difficult than the wishes of U.S. politicians.
As it turns out, numerous citizens of mainland China, who are meant to be the final beneficiaries of democratization in China, do not really feel almost as encouraged as individuals in Washington or Hong Kong. In fact, resentment of Hong Kong’s protests operates large amongst segments of the mainland inhabitants.
In a poignant come across at the Hong Kong International Airport just lately, two mainland Chinese citizens angrily informed Hong Kong protesters in Mandarin, the official language of China, that the protesters were Chinese and had no company hanging the American flag.
“Are we on American soil?!” a single of the mainlanders demanded to know.
The protesters jeered. Their responses were being scattered at 1st, with some indicating they appreciated America and other stating they were not Communists.
In the end, security arrived and dragged the mainland citizen absent. On his way out, he frequently screamed at the protesters, “We are Chinese! F— your mother!” His greeting to the protesters’ moms was rendered in Cantonese, the indigenous dialect of the Hong Kong protesters.
Finally, the protesters uncovered their collective reaction, and in unison chanted: “People of Hong Kong, insert oil!”
“Add oil” usually means “keep it up.”
It is a chant the protesters have continuously applied in their months-aged motion. It is a touching rallying cry from everyday citizens, a lot of of whom are youthful individuals who do not want to dwell underneath what they understand as encroaching Chinese Communist rule.
Nonetheless the mainlanders in this airport incident are barely by yourself in voicing their disapproval.
In early August, amid Hong Kong’s ongoing protests, an indignant online marketing campaign took hold in mainland China to punish Western luxury manufacturers that appeared to have designated Hong Kong and Macau which is a previous Portuguese colony that has reverted to Chinese rule, as unbiased countries alternatively than section of China.
The luxury manufacturers, such as Coach, Versace, and Givenchy have been accused of siding with the protesters of Hong Kong to undermine China’s sovereignty. In the melee that adopted, the luxurious manufacturers promptly apologized and groveled for forgiveness.
Outside the house observers can say the nationalist fervor of mainlanders is misguided. If the condition-owned media in China ended up not fanning anti-Hong Kong nationalist sentiments, and if fundamental legal rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of assembly ended up easily readily available there, mainlanders perhaps would not be as so hostile to the democratic aspirations of the folks of Hong Kong.
Nevertheless lots of of these mainlanders are educated and effectively traveled, and are uncovered to differing political opinions, which includes all those in Hong Kong. That publicity has not always altered their minds.
American politicians have extensive voiced their help for democracy. It is a reflection of this country’s beliefs. Immediately after all, America’s international coverage is not price neutral. In light-weight of the the latest clashes among mainland Chinese and Hong Kong citizens, even so, U.S. policymakers need to request them selves: What if what they want for China is distinct from what the folks of China want for by themselves?
Ying Ma is the creator of “Chinese Female in the Ghetto,” which was released in audiobook in 2018. All through the 2016 election, she served as the deputy director of the Committee for American Sovereignty, a professional-Trump super PAC. Comply with her on Twitter: @GZtoGhetto.