As the political and economic influence of China continues to grow in the world, marginal Chinese communities in the Asia-Pacific region such as Hong Kong and Taiwan find themselves sharing a similar sentiment toward the mainland. On one hand, they are eager to enter the large market there, but on the other, they are afraid of communist China possibly interfering in their domestic democratic politics.
The ongoing protest occupying Taiwan's legislature against the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement with China, which began March 18, 2014, has won a lot of support from Hong Kong, which has seen the looming Beijing government restrict its democratic development. The city has its own trade deal with mainland China, the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), and has experienced the adverse effects of economic partnership and the inflow of mainland capital, such as the rocket-surging property price.
To express their support for the Taiwanese protesters and warn them against the political interference that comes with economic cooperation, a Facebook page called “See Hong Kong in Taiwan” set up an event page, “Hong Kong people support Taiwan against service trade agreement“, for Hong Kong people to leave messages for Taiwanese protesters. Below is a selection of messages translated into English.
“Hong Kong has vanished after signing CEPA and Taiwan will vanish after signing service trade agreement.” Taiwanese, don't let Taiwan become the next Hong Kong.
Ka Shing Li commented:
現在的香港真的很陌生了, 政府已經完全不理民意, 一心一意賣港, 香港簽了cepa, 一般香港人完全分享不了成果, 統計上的薪金漲幅停滯不前, 但通貨膨脹升幅巨大, 洗黑錢及貪污越來越嚴重, 生活空間越來越逼 (這台灣可能會好些始終隔了個海) 所以必須支持台灣, 引以為監
Present-day Hong Kong does not look familiar to me anymore. The government does not care about public opinions, and they just want to sell Hong Kong for their own good. After CEPA was signed with China, we common Hongkongers have not tasted the fruit of it. Our salaries statistically have not gone up, while inflation surges. Cases of money laundering and corruption are becoming more and more serious. Our living space has become more and more dense (Maybe Taiwan will have more space because there is a strait between Taiwan and China). This is why I support Taiwan. Learn from our experience.
Po Lui warned:
Every day people report how Hong Kong has changed on Facebook. I am sad to read that. Do we still have freedom and rule of law?
This is why I think Taiwan should not choose to become the next Hong Kong. I love the friendly atmosphere in Taiwan. In Taiwan, small businesses can survive. What about Hong Kong? Small businesses can not afford to rent a place. The rent is so expensive that only big businesses have the money to pay it.
The Service Trade Agreement is a deal that will make Taiwanese lose its sovereignty. This deal cannot do any good for the local Taiwanese. It also will hurt the cultural and friendly atmosphere in Taiwan.
Jocelyn Yiu encouraged the Taiwanese:
你們不要放棄, 不要讓台灣變成第2個香港, 不要讓內地人指著你們的鼻子說: 沒有中國, 你們早就完蛋了 這些廢話。
Don't give up. Don't let Taiwan become the next Hong Kong. Do not let the mainlanders point at your nose and say nonsense like, “Without China, it's game over for you.”
‘Business is politics’
Chan Hoi Yan wrote:
係中國, 所有行為都離不開政治: 做生意係政治, 移民係政治, 讀書都係政治, 婚姻又係政治, 連供水供電賣野畀你都係政治,總之一切渠道都可以成為共匪殖民滲透既手段 人口就係中國最大既武器
The failed experiment in Hong Kong proves that it is necessary to “resist China”.
In China, everything will become politics. Doing business is politics. Immigration is politics. Studying is politics. Marriage is politics. Even water and electricity supply [to Hong Kong] is politics. After all, the Chinese communists use every possible channel for their colonization. The huge population itself is China's greatest weapon.
Desmond Sham argued:
You won't die without China's market. The fantasy that you will gain something from the Chinese market and give up yourself in the process is the starting point of dying.
Josephine Lui said:
見証著香港回歸 及 香港的淪陷。
台灣的朋友，一定不能讓服貿草率通過，必須逐條審查及否決不平等條約，尤其是 移民政策 及 新聞自由，更要小心謹慎。
在我個人來看，這是經濟侵略，買下台灣的一個手段。大陸對 新疆 西藏 香港的一貫方法是 使用 經濟侵略 及 殖民手段。
I've witnessed how Hong Kong was returned to China and the fall of Hong Kong.
My Taiwanese friends, you should not let the Service Trade Agreement be passed sloppily. You must review the agreement clause-by-clause and reject any unequal agreement. You need to be extremely careful about the items related to immigration policy and freedom of speech.
In my view, this trade deal is economic invasion, a way for China to buy up Taiwan. The usual strategy that the Chinese Communist Party has applied to Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong is through economic invasion and colonization.
Kay Lam wrote:
香港人，被中共騙過一次又一次，白紙黑字寫好的的國際條約《中英聯合聲明》，中共也可以不守信約；所謂基本法白紙黑字保證，香港可以在 2007/2008 年民主普選，可是跳票完一次又一次，如今連 2017/2020 年都不會有真正的民主選舉
Hongkongers have been cheated by the Chinese Communist Party over and over again. Despite the fact that the Sino-British Joint Declaration is a recognized international agreement, the Chinese Communist Party does not keep its word. According to the so-called Hong Kong Basic Law, Hong Kong could have universal suffrage in 2007/2008, but it has been delayed again and again. Now, we have realized that they won't allow us to have genuine universal suffrage until 2017 or 2020.
DO NOT BELIEVE ANY PROMISE THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY MAKES!
‘Protect democracy. Support Taiwan’
Albert Ting wrote:
我希望今次台灣呢件事可以燃燒起港人對民主政改O既意志 (雖然我知絶大部份香港人都係唯利是圖, 又唔願做馬前卒)
I hope this protest in Taiwan can fire up Hongkongers’ determination to pursue democracy. (Although, I know most Hongkongers only care about money and no one is willing to sacrifice themselves.)
Yu Fung said:
Protect democracy. Support Taiwan.
I believe that there is a better future for Hong Kong.
Let us encourage each other.
Francis Wong wondered:
我最不解的, 是為甚麼馬英九沒有正面回應學生的要求, 而是像香港特首一樣蔑視民意。香港特首不是香港人選出來, 沒關係, 馬英九你好歹也是台灣人讓你當總統的, 你的服務對象是台灣人。
What I do not understand is why President Ma Ying-Jeou did not respond to the protesting students and chose to ignore the opinions of citizens, just like the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. We Hongkongers did not elect the Chief Executive, so it is not surprising to find him ignore public opinions. However, President Ma Ying-Jeou was elected by Taiwanese, and should understand that he should serve the Taiwanese.
Mista Noeleon wrote:
Any country that searches for economic growth must take care of the local businesses first, and the trade deal should include equal term for both sides. The government should listen to people's opinions, and it should not autocratically sign a trade deal before letting people know the contents. Add oil, my Taiwanese friends.