By Rei Tanotsuka, 15 August 2019
Western Despotic Rule Manifested via Slavery and Colonisation
Frederick Douglass, on his first day of freedom after being a slave for over 20 years:
“There is scarcely anything in my experience about which I could not give a more satisfactory answer. A new world had opened upon me. If life is more than breath, and the ‘quick round of blood,’ I lived more in one day than in a year of my slave life.” Frederick Douglass.
Asians and Africans would be hard pressed to proclaim that they have not at all felt the ricochets of Western dominance. The most deleterious effects of Western colonisation are not the scars it leaves on the bodies, but the ones which metastasize in the minds and souls of its victims at the very point of success. We see this happening with both Japan (in the past) and in contemporary Hong Kong.
Not only was the surrender of Hong Kong in perpetuity to Queen Vicky under Article III of the Treaty of Nanjing, done under heinously coerced circumstances, but does anyone actually realise that the agreement DID NOT come packaged with a right to rule over the locals?
When the Plenipotentiaries, Charles Elliot and Commodore Sir Gordon Bremer formally claimed Hong Kong as Queen Victoria’s illicit drug war booty at Possession Point on 26 January 1841, Elliot proclaimed, “the natives of the island…..and all natives of China thereto resorting, shall be governed according to the laws and customs of China, every description of torture excepted“. Quote taken from Modern History of Hong Kong by Steve Tsang.
So, let’s establish first and foremost, the Brits took no consideration in giving any particular rights or status elevation or change to the locals. Did the British undergo a change of heart? Sure, here’s how…..
Hill District Reservation Ordinance 1904
This little gem of a law, rendered one of the best locations in Hong Kong, Victoria Peak, completely illegal for the local Chinese to live in.
2. Peak District is defined as “all that area in
the Island of Hong Kong situated above the 788 feet contour and
to the west of a line drawn in a north and south direction through
Middle or Cemetery Gap, including the hills known as Mount
Cameron, Mount. Gough, Mount Kellett and _Victoria Peak. “
Now, that’s what I call freedom worth destroying your parliament and commerce over! I mean this restriction of the rights for Hong Kong citizens to live freely within their own country smells like a bouquet of liberty to me! Did some enlightened monk assuage the Brits to repeal this morally reprehensible law? Nope, the Japanese did by declaring war.
To defend the colony against the Japanese, the British had no recourse but to drop the discriminatory law against the Chinese, a war time ally during WWII. Conscience was never a destination on their moral compass.
Section 3 of this Ordinance, strictly forbade the Chinese to set foot on any property in Victoria Peak and say ‘Honey, I’m home!’, but how can the Brits then, continue the serfdom culture so highly prized in the British hierarchy of racial superiority??? Fear not! section 5’s got you covered!
Section 5 “This Ordinance shall not apply to servants of the residents in
the Peak District living on the prernises of tbeir employers,
to licensed chair colies and jinricksha coolies plying for hire in
such District, to contractors or labourers temporarily residing and
actually employed in such District, to inmates of hotels or hospitals
in such District, or to visitors at the house of resident in the
Bless the Brits! It could have been worse, they could have enforced the local Chinese to work for them, while simultaneously making it illegal, coupled with fiat punitive measures to induce a nouveau slavery system!
We are here now, GET LOST!
I am not yet done with the British strong arming the Hong Kong Chinese. When the Brits first started their colonisation story they shared the living space on Hong Kong Island. When more Brits arrived on shore, they decided to force the Chinese off the island through an Executive Order, to a place in Sheung Wan, called Tai Ping Shan. Here’s the kicker, instead of declaring, like in Victoria’s Peak , no Chinese allowed, the Brits turned Tai Ping Shan into an apartheid ‘ghetto’ by this stroke of ingenuity!
In relation to land in Tai Ping Shan: “none but Chinese be allowed to bid – or rather that lots be sold exclusively for Chinese occupancy whoever the purchasers might be” . Genius!
This lead to a problem of overcrowding and when the bubonic plague hit in 1894, guess who suffered the bulk of this killer? The Chinese people who lived in the Tai Ping Shan area.
“Report on the Sanitary Condition of Hong Kong: with Appendices and Plans”, was one of the most significant information that provided the colony’s housing and social situations in 1882. (Sinn, 2003) nowadays. Yet they were relocated to Taipingshan as the government wanted to develop the sites in Central and mid-levels for Westerners to reside. (Hong Kong Museum of History, 2013; The Taipingshan Medical Heritage Trail, 2011) The Taipingshan area, thus, became a hub for these poor coolies. With the problems such as over-crowded and poor sanitary conditions, the district became vulnerable to the attack of the plague” For full story, click here.
Sick and tired of the wanton display of power in housing? You’re still in the dark….literally
The Asian in me likes to go out at night and pick me up some icecream at the local convenience store……maybe even a cookie if I’m peckish……Da Hell ya talking about? What Written Pass????
“ In 1895, the Light and Pass Ordinance was passed. This required only the Chinese to carry a lamp and a written pass at night. In a public meeting held on 22 December 1895, Robert Tung Ho (known to the Chinese as “Mr. Ho Tung” and the European as “Mr. Robert Ho Tung”) complained that the Chinese theatre had to be closed at 11:00 p.m. Tsai (1993) gave this description of Mr. Ho’s speech:
‘In the City Hall, however, they [Europeans] are allowed to go on until one in the morning….We pay more taxes than the Europeans,” he charged, “and derive the least advantage…I condemn the Ordinance simply because it is against the Chinese only”. To read the Discriminatory Zoning in Colonial Hong Kong research
Cough, cough, I’m sick…..So what, bugger off Chink!
Charity begins at home……of the same race……..did I add something? No, the Brits gave the tagline!
The magnificent Matilda Hospital atop The Peak on Hong Kong Island, founded by the magnanimous Granville Sharp, philanthropist, spiritually woke granddaddy and xenophobe extraordinaire!
Granville’s kindness only extended to the British, Americans and Europeans. As for the others? Granville told them to build their own damn hospital of kindness!
Matilda Hospital was founded in January 1907, the first Chinese nurse did not appear until 1951 and “from now on, patients of any nationality could be admitted”. Are you feeling warm and fuzzy yet? Gotta turn off my heater cos it ain’t the Brits warm hearted gestures that is keeping me toasty.
This is NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE list, I have not even reached the white washing of the Opium trade, the antagonism displayed against the local Hong Kong people who even remotely pondered choosing their own political representatives.
An epiphany towards the end or a massive tryst between the dominant Western nations to trip China up?
If we include the entire occupation both legal and illegal, Britain has been barking at the Hong Kong locals for almost 160 years.
If democracy was symbiotic to progress and liberty, why didn’t the British instill the system in Hong Kong? Yes, I know all Crown Colonies inadvertently get universal suffrage because the Governor is responsible to the Queen and the people of Brtiain blah blah blah, but why not allow the Hong Kong people universal suffrage? Because they DID NOT WANT TO and they DID NOT CARE TO!! Plain and simple.
Watch Anson Chan make up an excuse for why democracy wasn’t put in place in Hong Kong by the Brits.
She claims that from Zhou Enlai’s time in the 60s- 70s, Beijing had already put the kibosh on the UK giving universal suffrage to the Hong Kong people, while Britain herself, began allowing even her daughters to vote from around 1918. Hong Kong had been under Britain’s thumb from 1841. If we take when voting rights were given in Britain, to when Beijing formally said ‘hell no’, so between 1918 – 1960, it still gives a WHOPPING gap of 40 years!!! What? You were having a bad hair day for 4 decades and couldn’t get around to doing the thing you claim is paramount for the true vivacity of a nation????
Or how about just basic human rights for Hong Kong people, you know the drill, equality for all, isn’t that the crux of Western civilty?
Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance (the Bill of Rights), was enacted only in 1991 to uphold the principle that no discrimination on the basis of “race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth sex, or other status is lawful in respect of civil and criminal liberty and justice. The ownership and use of private property are thus protected by the Basic Law and the Bill of Rights.
YOU. ARE. KIDDING. ME. SURELY!!! You give Hong Kong people equal rights not after 20, 50, 70, 100 or even after 140 years of power harassment BUT 6 YEARS prior to dishing them back to CHINA???? And Hong Kong Rioters think the WEST CARES ABOUT THEM and is ASKING FOR THE US AND UK TO COME TO THEIR AID??
WAKE UP HONG KONG! The only country that cares for your well being is the one you are SHITTING ON! GROW A BRAIN! READ A BOOK and quit perverting history by rebranding your sinophobic Whip Master as an inerrant divine being while sabotaging the relationship with the only country that did you no harm.