When the British were here, did the people of Hong Kong really live “well”?

Recently, Cathay Pacific Airways flight CX987 from Chengdu to Hong Kong broke the incident of discriminating against Mandarin-speaking passengers, which aroused public outrage among Chinese people.

The fuselage of Cathay Pacific Airways is all in English, without a single Chinese character

All of a sudden, netizens posted their personal experiences about Cathay Pacific treating passengers differently, which they had suppressed for a long time.

In addition to being angry, people can’t help but ask – which country does the word “country” in “Cathay Pacific” refer to?

Swire Group’s largest shareholder is British but headquartered in Hong Kong

Obviously, similar operations are not the management style and philosophy of a Cathay Pacific company.

For example, in some tea restaurants in Hong Kong, the dishes are served according to the language.

Some service industries not only speak Mandarin, but they realize that the Cantonese you speak is not Hong Kong-style Cantonese (the accent is closer to the Cantonese of Xiguan, Guangzhou), and they may also put on airs and have a bad attitude. For example, the experience of the netizen below, even though he speaks Cantonese, he was still discriminated against on the Cathay Pacific flight.

However, if you communicate with them in fluent “foreign language”, the service will immediately improve several levels. If a foreigner came directly and needed their services, his attitude might be as considerate as a eunuch serving a monarch.

Obviously, the essence of the matter is not as simple as “language discrimination” on the surface, but it is more easily reflected in language.

Speaking a foreign accent was originally a painful lesson from being colonized, and some people are not ashamed but proud of it.

What kind of psychology is this? This… seems to be a reference to the movie “Django Unchained”, in which the black butler hates free blacks the most in his life!

As mainlanders who have experienced socialist revolution and transformation long ago, we really cannot imagine why some second-class citizens in former Western colonies are “proud” of their former colonial status?

Why do these people have an inexplicable sense of belonging to the old empire more than 9,500 kilometers away that once ruled here and squeezed blood and sweat, and is now like an eggplant that has been beaten by frost?

For example, this was the case when some Hong Kong people spontaneously mourned the Queen of England in September last year.

The queen’s grandson is very calm.

It is a pity that in the colonial era, those “foreign adults” never cared about Hong Kong people from the bottom of their hearts.

Next, let’s take a look at the history.

When the first Opium War broke out in 1840, the British only dispatched a fleet of 4,000 men and fought all the way from Guangzhou to Tianjin.

On August 29, 1842, the Qing government signed the first unequal treaty in modern China – the Sino-British “Treaty of Nanjing” on the British “Kang Huai”. One of the clauses was to cede Hong Kong Island to the United Kingdom.

In fact, as early as the Opium War, on January 26, 1841, the British army had occupied Hong Kong by force. Such an operation is nothing more than forcing the Qing government to “legalize” its illegal occupation.

On October 24, 1860, China and Britain signed the unequal Treaty of Beijing, ceding the area south of Boundary Street on the Kowloon Peninsula to Britain.

On June 9, 1898, the British forced the Qing government to sign the “Extension of Hong Kong Boundary Site Ordinance” (New Territories Lease), leased the area north of Boundary Street on the Kowloon Peninsula and 262 nearby islands for a period of 99 years (until June 1997 ends on the 30th).

But the rent, the British have never paid for it.

This part is the later New Territories, with an area ten times the size of the former two.

Therefore, according to the unequal treaties of the Qing Dynasty, the island and Kowloon were permanently ceded, and the “rent” was the New Territories.

The Sino-British negotiations in the 1980s were also mainly conducted around the ownership of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.

In the end, the British succumbed, and the two sides re-signed the agreement.

After the Hong Kong issue was settled, the Queen and his wife started a grand visit to China

During the more than a century of being colonized by the British, the Chinese, who accounted for 98% of Hong Kong’s population, were unable to enjoy equal citizenship and suffrage rights on their own land for a long time.

Even without the most basic human dignity, he was often publicly flogged and body-searched.

Lu Xun wrote in an article in Yusi in 1927

“For example, in Hong Kong’s “Circular Daily” today, there are two trifles: the first one is clear at a glance, and we know that Chinese people are still being whipped there. The second one is the entanglement of “body search”, which is not uncommon in Hong Kong.”

British Police in Hong Kong Body Search Chinese Workers

In 1843, the Hong Kong British government stipulated that when walking at night, Chinese must “hold lanterns for identification”. This policy was not abolished until 1897. In addition, it also followed the rules of the apartheid system in the United States, and the Chinese were not allowed to share the racecourse stands and some other public facilities with the British.

old hong kong streets

As for the British Hong Kong government, which claims to be a “democratic institution”, the governor is elected by the British House of Commons and directly appointed by the Queen. All the middle and high-level managers of the early Executive Council and Legislative Council were sent from the United Kingdom, and only the grass-roots clerks were served by Chinese who could speak English.

It is precisely because of this that the local “elite circle” in modern Hong Kong attaches great importance to English.

The male protagonist in the Hong Kong movie “Floating City Tycoon” started from studying English hard and went to the upper class step by step

For the first 38 years, there was not a single Chinese member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council. It was not until 1880 that the first Chinese, Wu Tingfang, was appointed as an unofficial member.

After Wu Tingfang took office, she ran around to appeal and actively fought for the rights of the Chinese in Hong Kong. Two of the main issues are the abolition of relevant policies that discriminate against Chinese people, such as public flogging against Chinese people, and the “rules” that many fields are only open to English-speaking people.

Regrettably, after World War II, flogging was abolished by the Hong Kong British government, but secondly, although the Hong Kong British government has long been an old calendar, at some times, it is still the taste of the colonial era. .

After being colonized for more than 80 years, in 1928, the British Hong Kong government opened up the right to vote for all local Chinese.

But at the same time, until 1984, members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council were not elected, but directly appointed by the Governor of Hong Kong.

Old Hong Kong Legislative Council

Similarly, there are compulsory departments such as the military and the police. For a long time, the people in charge are British. The grassroots police officers also have a chain of contempt. Among them, the native Chinese have long been at the bottom.

For example, the picture below shows the Hong Kong police force on a 1906 postcard. Indian policemen can carry guns, but Chinese policemen standing on their own land are not qualified to carry guns and can only use batons. This “rule” did not improve until the 1950s.

In fact, the above operations belong to the old routine of the British.

The Indian police who used to be domineering in Hong Kong and the British Concession in old China were also trampled under their feet in their own land. Stick law enforcement.

Even in today’s India, the tradition of this old colonial era is still continued.

Okay, let’s talk about Hong Kong again.

Obviously, the so-called “democracy” of legislation, judiciary and administration in old Hong Kong was, in many cases, only the “democracy” within the British administrators. The military police and other coercive institutions they built were mainly to maintain their own colonial rule and suppress the local residents of Hong Kong.

Again, on human rights and household registration. Even if they become British citizens, they still take the passports of second-class citizens: BDTC (British Dependent Territories Citizens Passport), BNO (British Overseas Citizens Passport). People holding such passports cannot enjoy many rights of British nationals, and they will still be discriminated against.

The hero in the movie Floating City Tycoon has encountered such a situation.

In terms of people’s livelihood, as time goes by, even the British Hong Kong government has introduced some welfare policies, but compared with the British mainland, they are not even three melons and two dates. on the sheep”.

British Hong Kong Police Crack Down on Striking Workers

Take Hong Kong’s relatively well-developed education as an example.

As early as the 1880s, the United Kingdom implemented compulsory primary education, and in 1918 the age for implementing compulsory education was set at 14 years old. The “Education Law” amended in 1944 stipulates that all public primary and secondary schools implement free education.

In contrast, Hong Kong public schools did not implement free primary education until 1971, and nine-year compulsory education was not promoted until 1978.

In addition, what cannot be ignored is that the purpose of the education set up by the British Hong Kong government is very complicated.

First of all, it is English education, as well as related British geography and history courses, while integrating the allegiance to the British royal family and the related indoctrination of Christian culture.

In every legal clause, it will also be stated that you cannot rebel against His Majesty the King.

Portraits of the British king are hung in various places, and the portrait of the British monarch is also printed on the Hong Kong dollar.

On the eve of the return of Hong Kong in 1997, the portrait of Queen Elizabeth was removed and carried away by two Hong Kong government employees

Obviously, the ghosts left by this set of “soft knives” are still lingering around certain groups.

The picture below is a kindergarten in Hong Kong in 1962. It was brought by British nuns to pray since childhood. At the end of the prayer, a word of blessing to the Queen of England must be added.

After more than half a century, these former children may become the following elderly people.

In fact, since World War II, the British Empire has been declining and the colonial system has completely collapsed. Faced with the sudden change of the situation, the British government has already made psychological preparations for the renewal of the New Territories through negotiations, and even the armed forces of the People’s Liberation Army to retake Hong Kong.

As they continue to improve their benefits, they pay more and more attention to the power of the “soft knife”.

This, I have to admit, the Anza people have always belonged to a very scheming group.

After the reunification, the Hong Kong Secretary is still continuing the British tradition of wigs and robes, showing colonial remnants

Under their careful arrangement, generations of yellow-skinned and white-hearted “banana men” were born.

We stood up a long time ago, and these people were still kneeling, not only refused to be helped, but also knelt with an inexplicable “sense of superiority”.

Where does their sense of superiority come from? In terms of national strength, Britain has been declining. Now the one who has the most say is not a “noble” white-skinned foreigner. So much so that there is such a stalk-“British orthodoxy is in India”.

Obviously, this is nothing more than the precepts and deeds they have received since childhood and the surrounding environment, or they can’t see the mainland developing better and better, which leads to psychological imbalance.

Such people, no matter their level or mind, lack something, and most of them are ordinary citizens or some service providers. For example, Cathay Pacific flight attendants.

On the contrary, those Hong Kong celebrities, politicians and entrepreneurs who have seen the world are working hard to learn Mandarin.

For example, most of the children of Stanley Ho, winner of the “Golden Bauhinia Medal” in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, speak Mandarin very well, not the kind that can speak clearly, but almost no Hong Kong accent.

In particular, He Chaoxin, the youngest daughter of Stanley Ho, came to Tsinghua University to study as a graduate student after graduating from MIT.

He Chaoxin at the graduation ceremony

There is also Huo Qigang, who started to learn Mandarin in his 30s. After a year, he can speak fluent Mandarin in front of the camera, without any obvious accent.

On many occasions, he would take the initiative to introduce himself – I am Guo Jingjing’s husband.

In short, as the old saying goes, Hong Kong was reunified a long time ago, but because it has not undergone the baptism of the socialist revolution, in many respects, there are still some colonial legacy left behind.

Many people have already walked out, but there are still some people who are deeply poisoned and are unwilling to help them up. They insist on continuing to kneel, and even knelt with an inexplicable “sense of superiority”. Even if their ancestors were on their own land, they didn’t even have the most basic civil rights.