Youngspiration and other youths of Hong Kong: it's time to learn some respect

Youngspiration and other youths of Hong Kong: it's time to learn some respect

The spirit of the city’s young political activists is admirable, but they need to realise there are some fundamental truths that they need to accept

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Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung have, for good reason, been disqualified.
Photo: Reuters

The political chaos triggered by the two young pro-independence lawmakers Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, who insulted China when taking the oaths in the Legislative Council on October 12, finally came to an end when the court in Hong Kong declared their disqualification, which was preceded by intervention from Beijing.

Their atrocious interpretations of the oaths were shocking to see. The slogan “Hong Kong is not China” – though it can be argued is rather ambiguous in meaning in terms of language interpretation – is not something that can be accepted by the Central Government. “Hong Kong is not China” can be literally interpreted as stating that Hong Kong is a city, which is culturally, socially and geographically different from the mainland. In other words, Hong Kong is Hong Kong and China is China. When considering the concept of “One Country, Two Systems”, then the political meaning of “Hong Kong is not part of China” becomes crystal clear.


Hong Kong court rules localist lawmakers Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching disqualified from Legco seats


The other controversial thing they did was to take the word “China”, and mispronounce it by changing the standard tune of China to “Chee-na”, accenting it until it became the same insulting word for Chinese people that was used by the Japanese military when they invaded China and occupied Hong Kong.

For those born in the 80s or the 90s and who may not have a thorough understanding of Chinese history, the above interpretation and mispronunciation may seem inoffensive, but it creates political and national turmoil among the older Chinese generation – especially those who suffered during the Japanese invasion and occupation, not to mention the baseline of the Central Government.

To a certain extent, freedom of speech has long been witnessed here in Hong Kong – certainly since 1997. However, the Youngspiration duo don’t seem to realise that they went too far when they took their oaths the way they did. They didn’t show respect for people at all. I’m sure that the outcome was not one they’d expected.


Beijing needs to butt out of Hong Kong politics


I think the youth of Hong Kong should learn how to cope with abrupt changes in life. This is for their own survival. They should show respect and empathy to others to cultivate harmonious interpersonal relationships, and they should express their views and opinions with reason – not with mindless emotion. This can enrich their minds and teach them self-discipline.

Hong Kong is socially divided – and the relationship between the city’s citizens and the Central Government is seriously strained. Since Occupy Central two years ago, many of the city’s activists have become more radical and aggressive in behaviour. I understand their desire for a greater say in social reform and their pledges to the Central Government. On the one hand, the younger generation needs to learn to respect law and order and to face the reality that Hong Kong independence is unfeasible. On the other hand, as far as “One Country, Two Systems” is still in place, the less interference from Beijing, the better.

I look forward to seeing more from Hong Kong youths who have an ever-growing sense of Lion-Rock spirit.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
It’s never too late to learn

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