America’s imperialist aggression in the form of destabilising educational institutions

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Chinese Ambassador to Tunisia Wang Wenbin shakes hands with Olfa Ben Ouda, president of the University of Carthage, during the opening ceremony of Tunisia’s first Confucius Institute in Tunis, Tunisia. (Photo: Xinhua)

In their ongoing spat with China, the American government has once again turned its sights towards the Confucius Institute, with Vice President Mike Pence accusing the organisation of being “an entity advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign”.

To the Confucius Institute themselves, this must be no surprise, as it has often been the subject of suspicion in the countries it operates in — especially the US, Canada, and Britain. It has been accused of, among other things, directly brainwashing impressionable students with Chinese government propaganda or less scandalously coercing universities into curtailing their own freedom of speech as a condition of having the generous funding and logistical support from the Chinese government. …


Despite the clearly xenophobic rhetoric of the notorious commander in chief, his Chinese-American supporters remain loyal because of his nationalist, conservative and anti-CCP posture.

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Ling Zeng, a Chinese American Trump supporter takes the stage with Trump. (Photo: Los Angeles Times)

It is widely known in electoral politics that non-white voters are overwhelmingly in support of the Democratic Party. According to the Pew Research Centre, support for Republicans in 2017 only stood at 8% for Black voters, 28% among Hispanics and 27% among Asians.

There is, however, an emergence of Chinese American voters, whose overt support for Trump defy such historical data. Their political position seems even more puzzling and aberrant considering the undesirability of Trump’s personality and values, even relative to other recent Republican politicians. …


Feeding one’s self with the delusion that he lacks ‘liberty’ and must ‘fight’, just so that life becomes more exciting to him

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Rioters break into a restaurant and cause destructions.

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

This famous quote has been shared more times than I care to count on social media, usually in the comments of any post about the political unrest in Hong Kong. The comment itself carries an air of smugness about it, pride in its faux wisdom. …


The use of ‘model minority’ is increasingly questioned and examined by Asians themselves.

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(Illustration: Chelsea Beck/NPR)

Model minority is a description of Chinese and Asian diasporas in the West, whose economic achievements appear to be much higher than other minority groups and even the natives. This notion is especially relevant in America, where Asians are the highest-earning group. Seemingly a harmless and flattering depiction of Asians, the use of ‘model minority’ is increasingly questioned and examined by Asians themselves.

The primary criterion of being the ‘model minority’ is economic success, which is measured by indicators such as careers, earnings and living conditions. While one’s net worth can hastily reveal one’s level of social acceptance, the overemphasis of wealth implies that mental and physical wellbeing can be reductively explained by money. As Chou Chih-Chieh meticulously notes, whether Asians will be regarded as the model minority depends on their continued ‘fitness-within-capitalism’.


Deconstructing the claims of human rights violation in Xinjiang

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(Photo by VCG)

Before addressing the re-education camps, one must be aware that there are both a Cold War and a Hot War that Western countries are trying to start against China — most visibly in recent years, a long list of unjustified political and economic sanctions have been placed upon China; over half of their 800 military bases are placed around China where U.S. military are frequently conducting drills (in stark contrast, China only has one in Djibouti). …


Anderson’s ‘Imagined Communities’ was exploited by Hong Kong’s separatists to a point of frivolousness.

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Yau Wai-ching showing off a flag that reads ‘Hong Kong is not China’. (Photo from HK01)

In the 2016 LegCo elections, one of the winning candidates, Yau Wai-ching, instead of properly swearing into her position, distorted her oath into an abuse against the “people’s re-f**cking of Chee-na”, and declared that “I shall pay earnest efforts in keeping guard over the interests of the Hong Kong nation.”

It is with great shame that Hong Kong’s “pro-democracy” cause in recent years have become closely wedded to separatism or, more sophisticatedly put, independence. The fundamentally violent and xenophobic content about the call for independence should have been made clear enough in the frequent discrimination that non-locals face across all walks of their lives — not only in day-to-day microaggressions, in the vicious popular internet culture, but also in the actual physical threats that they faced in the heightened atmosphere of protests and intense political activity. …


From male celebrities casually flaunting a full face of makeup, to transgender people confidently recognising their right to equality, things are more progressive than outsiders would like to believe.

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Lay Zhang Yixing, Chinese superstar and the latest global ambassador for M.A.C. Cosmetics.

Between JK Rowling, bizarre bathroom debates, and the ever-fluctuating political considerations as to whether trans people deserve human rights, many western societies find themselves twisted into knots over the concept of gender and its social implications. China provides an interesting counterpoint in simply not giving a f**k.

The history of gender in China is not unlike that of many other cultures. From the earlier stages of civilisation, women have occupied a subordinate position to men, with most progress being made only in the 20th century and later. …


The validity of Hong Kong as a “metageographical” unit

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Photo by Joseph Chan on Unsplash.

I was only recently introduced to Hong Kong writer Dung Kai-Cheung’s (董啟章) Atlas: Archaeology of an Imaginary City — a fictional (and somewhat novelistic?) mimesis of the geographical writing that has captured and constructed Hong Kong since its colonial days. The word construction is key. In the book, Dung invents nonsensical technical terms (an imitation of real-world Theory such as Foucault’s Heterotopia), and refers to realistic, but in fact non-existent historical maps, to unearth the somewhat surreal, yet concrete, histories of real Hong Kong locations such as Ice House Street and Possession Street. …


The West’s immoral obsession of portraying Xi as a dictator

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“He is the symptom of the disease” is a phrase that is often used in analysing the presidency of Donald Trump. The logic is clear to see, no one person — deplorable as they may be — can be the beginning and end of the huge problems spanning an empire. Particularly, liberals who believe that, by removing him from office, the systemic problems endemic to the US will be nullified, have largely disregarded this logic.

Yet — liberals or not, educated or not — people in the West are equally willing to disregard this logic when approaching foreign or ‘enemy’ nations, such as China — both are obsessed with painting Xi Jinping as a dictator responsible for all that happens. …


The political decision to not get tested for COVID-19

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The COVID-19 pandemic has been on our minds for the better part of a year and has borne many conspiracy theories. Its disruptiveness is on a global scale, and the priority of many states is to curb its spread as much as possible. Therefore, when the Hong Kong government announced a community testing scheme to pinpoint community outbreaks, many leapt at the chance.

However, a vocal portion of the population has resisted this opportunity and instead opted to play politics. While many rationales for these actions have surfaced, there are two primary ones that seem to consistently present themselves.

One of them is very simple — to rebuke anything China. The other is slightly more layered and goes along the lines of arguing that community testing is just as risky as voting in LegCo elections, which the government has postponed due to the heightened risk of COVID-19 transmission in large congregations.

About

HARANGUE

Political commentaries confronting superficial narratives provided by mainstream news sources.

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