Toronto reacts to protests in Hong Kong

Updated: 2014-10-14 02:34

By RENA LEE in Toronto(China Daily USA)

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The recent political protests in Hong Kong have stirred emotions in Toronto's Chinese community.

Chuan Sha, a Chinese-Canadian independent writer, poet, and critic, who ever lived and studied in the United Kingdom for six years, said: "The central government has exercised great self-restraint in not interfering with Hong Kong's domestic affairs. Meanwhile, Hong Kong was provided by the central government a good deal of support by [the adoption of] various preferential policies to ensure its economic thriving and competitiveness."

"The world should salute China for its tireless efforts for peace and development instead of blaming or adding insult to injury," Chuan said.

A strong China is lucky for the whole Chinese; moreover, it is the world's fortune, said Chuan.

Benedict Leung, the co-chair of Canada Hong Kong Alliances (Toronto), whose function is to help promote the interests of immigrants from Hong Kong in Canada, told China Daily: "I think the demonstration should stop. The voices have been heard, unless you want revolution. Nobody wants to [have a] revolution. Everybody, including the protesters, the media and the people in the world should know that everything has been talked [about] in the Basic Law; they should learn the Basic Law before making comments."

Kai Wing Tsang, a barrister and solicitor in Toronto, said that in Canada if you don't agree with the government, you go to the court and let the court decide who is right.

"The Supreme Court will look at the context [of the law] and decide whether the government's action is correct, whether people have the right to challenge the government. That's how we work in Canada."

Dai Guofen, chairman of Chinese Canadians for China's Reunification, who is originally from Taiwan, has four sticking points with the antigovernment protesters in Hong Kong.

"From the historic point of view, we Chinese should never forget that Hong Kong was forcibly taken from China at the end of the Opium War and had been a British colony for 155 years until its return to China in 1997," Dai said.

"The British had never allowed them democracy as all its 28 subsequent governors were appointed by the British government. The Basic Law is established on perspectives of evolution; the democratic reform should be step by step."

"From the economic point of view, the Hong Kong stock market has jumped fluctuated more than 10 percent since the Occupy. Many people from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan have no idea to go to Hong Kong for visiting or shopping. As a safe and stable place to do business in the world, Hong Kong's reputation has been harmed."

"From the [quality of] living aspect, the Occupy Central has caused increasingly serious impacts on people's livelihood. The traffic tie-up; the operations of school, hospital and other public institutes have been affected seriously."

"From the perspective of politics, the slogan of Occupy Central has a conspiracy inside. The Central alludes to Central Government of China," Dai continued.

"China is now the second-largest economy in the world. Chinese has become strong and prosperous after one hundred years of humiliation, which should be cherished by us. However, the Hong Kong protesters' behaviors make our overseas Chinese sad."

"My points of History, Economy, Living, and Politics formulate the main idea of HELP. I want to HELP the [young] people in Hong Kong have the understanding of history and reality," said Dai.

Li Jinhui, president of the Hong Luck Kung Fu Club, a Toronto nonprofit organization since 1961, told China Daily that his daughter was going to protest with Occupy Central recently because all of her classmates received an email that encouraged them to take to the streets.

"She is only 13 years old; what does she know about the politics?" asked Li.

"Hong Kong protesters say their goal is to pressure China into giving the former British colony full universal suffrage right now," Li said.

"I want to know, do the 1.3 billion Chinese agree with the protesters' pressure? No, I don't think so."

According to Li, Chinese Canadians struggled for the redress of the Head Tax for a hundred years since the Chinese Immigration Act was passed in 1885.

The Basic Law has indicated that Hong Kong can retain its previous capitalist system and way of life for a period of 50 years after reunification in1997.

"Now it just passed 17 years, they started to violate the law. At what level can the protesters' desires be met?" Li asked. "The activists have done nothing but endangered Hong Kong and created chaos."