onsdag 28. august 2019

China’s Government Wants You to Think All Mainlanders View Hong Kong the Same Way. They Don’t.

Are mainland Chinese, especially tech-savvy millennials, overwhelmingly hostile, unsympathetic, or indifferent towards the protests that have engulfed Hong Kong over the past three months? Both the Chinese government and the international media seem to think so. They flood the Internet with messages calling protesters in Hong Kong “useless youth.” They send obscene messages and death threats to supporters of the Hong Kong demonstrations. They gather in Australia telling Hong Kong protesters to “get the fuck out of” Hong Kong because all of China is theirs.

Video footage of rallies outside mainland China shows groups of young mainlanders hurling profanities at supporters of the Hong Kong protesters. In one clip, Hong Kong sympathizers in Australia chant, in English, “Hong Kong stay strong,” and mainland Chinese students shouting in Mandarin respond, “Fuck your mother.”

Nathan Law, a pro-democracy Hong Kong activist who in September will start graduate studies at Yale University, says he has received “numerous threats to my personal safety.” One message reads: “I will wait for you at school and you have no escape. Gun shooting will start—American style.” But reports on episodes like this one, while important, are dominating media coverage to the point of drowning out the quieter, less aggressive voices of other Chinese mainlanders, whose views on Hong Kong the government in Beijing is less interested in amplifying.