When I first saw the headline of this feature article about Hong Kong in National Geographic, I thought it was just another of those heavily anti-China articles that waxed lyrical about a Hong Kong being bullied and overrun by mainland China. I read the whole piece and it turned out to be a bit more nuanced than I had expected. It’s a good read, with a lot of good descriptions of and some interesting interviews. Unfortunately the writer still wants to focus on the theme of a rampant China taking over Hong Kong. This is unfortunate because the focus by HKers on politics and the mainland completely overshadows the issues of poverty and widening social inequality, not to mention job and housing concerns. I’m not saying that HK doesn’t need to preserve its media freedoms or strive for as much democracy as it can get, but HK also really needs to figure out how to build adequate affordable housing, diversify its economy, find a way to combat a handful of tycoons who seem to control almost every facet of HK’s public space and infrastructure, and make sure people don’t live in cages. Instead, China has become the perfect bogeyman for HK and it’s become de rigeur to blame China for every problem in HK. It’s becoming unhealthy and the media isn’t doing any favors by only carrying writing that propagates such a myopic view. Hong Kong’s gone through a lot, which a lot of these articles do talk about, in the past century and managed to survive and prosper. Why will being part of China change this? Have faith in yourselves, Hong Kong, and stop being so fearful of the wrong things.
Hong Kong- directing your anger at the wrong target