I am a patriot. I was born and raised in Hong Kong and I identify myself as Chinese. I love my country and its people, but my love does not reach the individuals who run it.
Our politicians have lied to us and our local government has ceased to represent us in an adequate manner. Despite this, there is still hope.
We, as Chinese citizens, have endured a great number of hardships in the past century: the end of the Qing Dynasty, the Shanghai massacre, the Japanese occupation, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Many young souls have fought for what they believed in and sacrificed their lives to build the country we live in today.
Yet, our country is not perfect. The mainland is riddled with corruption, pollution, and a great deal of suffering. Even today, unspeakable crimes are being committed against innocent individuals. However, things are much better now than they were a hundred years ago.
Admittedly, China is behind a lot of countries in terms of human development and rights for the people. The country ranks 91st on the Human Development Index; whereas our city ranks 15th. In Hong Kong, we rarely have our police force fighting against us. On the mainland, it may well be a daily occurrence. The country may not be improving as quickly as we wish, but it is still progressing, nonetheless.
After a century of British colonial rule, we have lost our sense of belonging - and rightly so. People in Hong Kong have witnessed the atrocities being committed on the mainland and the brutal violations of human rights. It would only be natural for one to adopt an "us versus them" mentality.
To me, Hong Kong is my father and China my grandfather. My city will always be more important than my country, but I still care and worry for the future of my country as a whole.
I have long contemplated emigration, but time and time again I have decided against it. We have a moral obligation to improve the place where our ancestors have lived for centuries and it would be highly irresponsible for one to fly away from the problem. We must work together, patiently, to achieve our goals. The violence that we have seen over the past week is not, and will never be, the solution to our problems.
No matter what happens in the future, I stand firm in the belief that China will inevitably become the ideal country that we want it to be. I have come to terms with the fact that the improvements may not occur in my lifetime nor my children's, but I know that it will arrive someday.