Well, what about you? More importantly, what about us?
You may wonder what on Earth am I talking about. Well, recently primary school placements for cross-border students were released at the time this was written. Surprise, surprise, some chinese parents with their Hong Kong born child is having a fit, because the placement they received was not their preferred choice, and cry foul and bloody murder as their child are placed in schools significantly far away from Shenzhen. The media of course, makes a spectacle of these chinese parents, while not one will ask a Hong Kong parent about their woes in the whole deal.
For audiences not familiar with what’s going on, let’s have a brief history lesson. Early on, at the start of this millennium, a court case granted a Hong Kong born child with chinese parents as having the same privileges and legal status as a child born to Hong Kong parents, as the Basic Law stipulated that anyone born in Hong Kong is automatically granted permanent residency and rights thereof, regardless of their parents’ origins. In the aftermath of this controversial topic, Hong Kong saw a tidal flood of chinese women coming into Hong Kong to give birth, wanting Hong Kong residency rights and legal status for their child.
The invasion of chinese mothers, for that is what it was, first saw the collapse of the maternal wards in hospitals, where the staff could not handle the daily rush of chinese women wanting to give birth in Hong Kong. The limited hospital beds also meant local Hong Kong mothers-to-be could not get a bed, instead having to sleep in makeshift beds in the hall way, or even lie down on mats on the floor. The ensuring uproar amongst the Hong Kong people forced the SAR regime to respond, officially denying pregnant chinese women entry into Hong Kong, but would not amend the Basic Law in order to close the legal loophole. As a result, the mothers who had successfully gave birth in Hong Kong, came back later on, when their child was ready for kindergarten and primary school, as is the legal rights for any child born in Hong Kong. Again, there was a cry of despair amongst Hong Kong parents, who could not find a local kindergarten or school, instead forcing to have their child make the long trip to other schools, much further away from their home.
The problem is, in Hong Kong this day and age, the cost of living have skyrocketed as compared to the days prior to 1997, when the British administration carefully managed local needs, and couples with kids both have to work in order to make ends meet. As such, having their child attend a local school is a must, where the mother or father can drop off the kids at school and go to work. Now having to take their child to school further away, the traffic congestion during peak hours meant one parent has to quit working, making an already difficult living arrangement impossible to maintain. To top it off, the SAR regime’s education department had closed down schools they saw as either not meeting their standards, or simply for the lack of students, and this sudden increase of children meant the schools could not accept every student without compromising their education quality.
Hong Kong parents protested, and so had the chinese parents, with the latter saying that since Hong Kong invited them in to give birth (which is not true), then the government have the responsibility to ensure their child are given every right and privilege. Some chinese parents even had the audacity to claim that Hong Kong women are unwilling to give birth and thus they are only doing Hong Kong a favour in providing its next generations; or that if not for them, Hong Kong would be finished due to the lack of inhabitants. This is of course preposterous as there are plenty of Hong Kongers wanting to raise a family, and some could not because of the difficult living costs, as a result of middle class chinese in Hong Kong raising housing prices. Even more ridiculous was that some chinese parents, when interviewed by the media on their take on the matter, stated that “since we are all chinese, what does it matter?” Adding fuel to the fire, these chinese parents also complained that schools taught in Cantonese and English, meaning they could not understand what their child was being taught, nor be able to help their children review their studies, but that is another topic for another article.
In 2014-2015, the amassing cry of despair in Hong Kong forced the SAR regime to change policies, first granting priority to parents who can produce a local address, and then set up another placement system for cross border children. Yet it was not enough, for the chinese parents complained that their children were often placed in districts unknown to them, or too far away from Shenzhen. The Hong Kong parents also cried foul, as some chinese parents would borrow a friend or relative’s Hong Kong address in booking school placements, thereby circumventing the new policies in order to get priority in placements. Hong Kong’s media would primarily focus on the chinese parents and their kids, portraying them as helpless victims of unfair treatment and Hong Konger hostilities, while barely mentioned the plight of Hong Kong parents. In 2016, once again the same outcries from the chinese parents with their cross border children are heard, but little address is given to Hong Kongers.
The localists comes marching in
Amidst the uproar, condemnations and protests, another voice is heard: the pseudo-left wing in Hong Kong, commonly known as leftards. They declared that chinese are people like any other and deserves education, just as everyone else, and that any talk about priorities and limitations is fascist and discriminatory. The SAR regime under the infamous “689” CY leung also responded, unlike the previous “Bow-tie” Donald Tsang, telling Hong Kongers should perhaps send their kids to school in Shenzhen instead of Hong Kong, even suggesting Hong Kongers to move to china altogether.
Enough is enough. Hong Kongers have had enough of these utter bullshits, and since 2013 the voices of localists are in crescendo. Our argument is this: in any place on Earth, it is natural that the locale’s resources are first given to those who live there before any other. It does not mean we are selfish, it just means that local needs should be met and satisfied BEFORE any surplus is given away to others in charity. It is just common sense, pure and simple. The argument that these cross border kids are Hong Kongers by law, and thus should receive every right and privilege according to them, is utterly ridiculous. Let us not debate the fact that the chinese parents took advantage of a legal loophole, but while both child are Hong Kongers by law, their parents are not of equal status. It is obviously proper that the needs of the Hong Konger parents be satisfied first, and their Hong Kong status grants them automatic precedence over the chinese parents, who have no legal privileges in Hong Kong.
In response to the chinese saying “we are all chinese, what does it matter?” our response is this: Hong Konger is not chinese, and it does matter. Firstly, Hong Kongers are not chinese, as there are plenty of Hong Kongers who do not have Chinese descent but are Hong Kongers still. This is something that must be stated over and over again. Secondly, the chinese’ above statement is effectively saying, that since we are all chinese (which is false), it does not matter who gets the education, and as long as my child receives it, who cares? Or that, since we are all chinese (a lie we reject), Hong Kongers should take the inconvenience in stride, and allow the chinese to take advantage whenever available. This is just damn preposterous and arrogant!
Yes, we localists understands that education is a right for every child, we are not denying that, but that right does not entail that chinese children must be educated in Hong Kong. Moreover, if those chinese parents’ kids have a right to education, what about children born to Hong Kong parents? It is not as if china have no schools, and the chinese communist regime often brags about how great and competitive their country is, so why don’t those chinese parents send their kids to school near where they live? The chinese and their apologists would respond, saying that china’s registry system denies children without registry in Shenzhen, or anywhere else in china, of receiving the due services and benefits. Firstly, I know for a fact many places in china allow kids without a registry to go to a local school, for a higher school fee, as many chinese immigrants in America, Canada, Britain and Australia send their kids back to china for school. Secondly, why is the chinese system be allowed to refused services and benefits to kids outside of the local register, or deny registry to kids with parents without being in the local register, and Hong Kong is not allowed to refuse the same services and benefits to kids born of parents without Hong Kong residency? What is with the double standards?
Some amongst the democratic factions would argue that the shortage of schools is only due to the past closure of kindergartens and schools, and that the proper solution is to reopen schools thus allowing cross border kids and local kids to go to schools of their parents’ choice. First off, it is not simply open more schools, as you also need teachers and other school staff to operate; and you cannot simply conjure them by magic as it takes time to train teachers, and until then, are Hong Kong parents and children continue to suffer the unfairness? Secondly, while cross border birth are officially banned, there are still a river of pregnant chinese women who successfully cross the border by deceit, or arranged by agencies employing remaining legal loopholes, thus there is still an incoming stream of cross border kids. While the number of these kids would be small, but in the scheme of things, they still present a burden to Hong Kong’s limited schools. The maths is simple, let us just say 0.5% of china’s 1.4 billion people are having kids born in Hong Kong (7 million people), and only half of that is sending their child to Hong Kong for schooling, that’s still 3.5 million kids, half the total population of Hong Kong. No amount of opening more schools will compensate for that number of chinese kids, coming into Hong Kong year in, year out. The chinese overwhelms Hong Kong by sheer numbers alone.
The call for Hong Kong parents to send their kids to schools, or move to live in Shenzhen, is even more absurd! The chinese are going through every means to get Hong Kong residency, and every lengths for their kids to go to school in Hong Kong, and yet 689 and his supporters are telling Hong Kongers to go to china instead? The answer is simple, the whole scheme is designed to force a population shuffle: forcing Hong Kongers to emigrate to countries elsewhere, or emigrate into china and accept china’s ways, and have the chinese immigrate to Hong Kong thus altering the population makeup of the city. It is just another way to commit cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing.
The last observation may be conspiracy theories to some, but we localists take in all the incidents we have happening in Hong Kong, and arrive at the conclusion that this education crisis is just a jigsaw to the whole puzzle, which is china’s plan to eradicate the Hong Konger population, either by assimilating us into their fold, forcing us to abandon our homeland, or be killed or imprisoned in the violence of it all.
Back to the chinese mothers’ question: what about me?
Well, what about you?
What about us Hong Kongers?