Re: a to-do list for the next century

From: Rob Sweeney (
Date: Sat Mar 25 2000 - 18:12:32 MST

Cynthia ( wrote on Fri, Mar 24, 2000 at 06:43:06PM -0800:
> > Such claims are typically bogus. The only people who do not like colonial rule
> > are the local native aristocracy that aren't allowed to abuse their people any
> > way they want to any more...
> How do you know this? There seemed to be quite a bit of swelling of ethnic
> pride when Hong Kong was turned over the Chinese. Are people so rational as to
> prefer good government to a corrupt government, when ethnic pride and massive
> propaganda exists to push them the other way?

The (admittedly few) people I talked with about this (I visited friends
in HK a couple of weeks after the handover) basically thought the changeover
wasn't a big deal - they were taking a "wait and see" attitude as to
what the Chinese government would do. None expected anything drastic
right away - if anything, China would become more restrictive (and kill
the golden goose) over time. The celebrations were put on by large
corporations kowtowing to the new power; people everywhere enjoy a
week-long vacation (for many in HK, a day off is rare enough) and a big

All the people I knew had also arranged to get overseas passports of one
sort or another (Canada and the US were popular) so they could bail out
if need be. There was serious resentment toward the British about the
passport situation, but HK'ers are practical and businesslike if nothing
else and found ways around the problem. I didn't see anything I'd
call >ethnic< pride. (massive propaganda yes, but people seemed to see it
for what it was.). That's what I saw anyway. The situation was a bit
different than the 3rd/4th World colonial pullout.

So, yes, given the case of HK, I'd say people can be that rational,
especially people who have lived the alternative.


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