Updated: Oct 18, 2020
I am nearly forty years old and I am a locally-born Hongkonger.* My family, including my parents and sibling, lives in Hong Kong as well. Since I got married, I have lived with my wife and we, currently, do not have any children. In the past, I lived in Germany and mainland China. I moved to Germany due to my studies. The time spent in Germany could be said to have been the most joyful time in my life. I indulged in the social and cultural atmosphere of Germany, being impressed by the personalities of the people, such as being serious and industrious. Since I got a scholarship to study in Germany, I was required to return to Hong Kong once the tenure was over. A job took me to Southwestern China. I came back to Hong Kong from Southwestern China because I resigned from the job. In my opinion, that part of China is much less developed, and I found the mind-set of people over there to be very absurd and conservative. As a result, I struggled to get along well with the locals and to live over there. I am very much against the Chinese rule because it is not a rule-of-law based system, rather a rule-of-man based system. One never knows how the mechanism works; it depends on the preference and ire of the ruling party and its henchmen. It feels like one lives in a dark box, suffering from a non-transparent and insecure environment. When the British ruled Hong Kong, Hongkongers could look forward to the future. As long as one was willing to work, willing to study, willing to advance oneself, you could expect a fruitful and prosperous future. That meant one’s future was the result of one’s own endeavour and capability. People’s advancement and future are based on “Guanxi”, that is, whom you know. Who are your parents? How much power do you enjoy?
Everything has been, however, changed since the handover. People’s advancement and future are based on “Guanxi”, that is, whom you know. Who are your parents? How much power do you enjoy? A person who has a lot of “Guanxi” will be in a better position to generate business than someone who lacks it. Because of this rule-of-man trend, we see more and more corruption and unfair phenomena all round, making us feel furious and frustrated. I took part in protests against the Chinese government. I took to the street, joined the assemblies, chanted, sang and created different kinds of PR to raise the awareness amongst the people of Hong Kong and those abroad. The protests I participated in were peaceful. Although, people around me were very determined and wouldn’t step back, regardless of whether those protests were allowed or disallowed by the Hong Kong Police Force.
If the situation in Hong Kong gets worse, for example, if there is an increase in political persecutions, more suspicious bodies found, or even the possibility of war, there is no doubt that I will move to the UK. The new national security law will eventually put a full stop in Hong Kong’s future, undermining the freedom and creativity of Hong Kong and refraining us from attracting international talents and professionals to stay and to reside here. For the majority of us, we feel shocked and enraged at this law, having never expected such a vague and draconian law to be introduced. The people and future of Hong Kong are de facto certain. We appreciate and are grateful for the move by the British government because it leaves a window open for many of us to flee when the situation turns even uglier. If the situation in Hong Kong gets worse, for example, if there is an increase in political persecutions, more suspicious bodies found, or even the possibility of war, there is no doubt that I will move to the UK. I would consider moving to Germany, if I am allowed, because I have some family-like friends living over there and they always ask me to stay with them once Hong Kong isn’t liveable anymore. In terms of how easy it is for a BNO holder to move to the UK, I think it depends on how old they are and their background, such as qualifications, capabilities, skillsets and wealth. It is not easy to give a yes/ no answer to this question. Yet, it is, in general, not easy to move to the UK. As for what my future holds, it all depends on if I choose to be silent or if I still choose to take to the street.
I do know some friends, especially those having children, who are planning to leave once the BNO plan commences. They are very much concerned about the education of their children and they are very frightened of the brainwashing propaganda inflicted on them. For those regarded as upper-middle class, they are planning to go to London while for those having fewer assets may want to stay in Manchester, Liverpool or York. As for what my future holds, it all depends on if I choose to be silent or if I still choose to take to the street. All in all, the future will be very stable if I choose to be silent.
As for Hong Kong, it is doomed. The Hong Kong we know will be, sooner or later, gone like the downfall of the Republic of Venice.
*For the safety of the interviewee, their identity has been kept anonymous
If you missed 'Hong Kong: Through our Eyes Part I" you can read it here. If you want to read more about legal implications of the new security law, check out "As controversial national security law comes into force in Hong Kong, the UK “comes to the rescue” by Charlotte Rubin