Friday 27 December 2019

‘Mainland Chinese who oppose Hong Kong’s protests aren’t brainwashed by censorship, despite what the West might think’

Illustration: Craig Stephens 
Well, survived another Christmas here in Hong Kong. Lovely weather, good food and some lively company. Hong Kong protests of course came up.
We could agree on some things, one of them in the headline above. We all travel regularly to China and speak the lingo. We agree that it’s wrong to suggest that all Chinese are brainwashed. They are well informed and have free and open debate. Some things are off the agenda: you can’t call Xi Jinping a human Winnie the Pooh (though he clearly is). That aside, it’s pretty much on for young and old. Up to and including criticism of ’s policies to Uygurs.
There is a vast amount of raucous, sometimes salacious, local media. Shanghai has Ted-style talk, open and spirited. A lot of foreign media is readily available. If you want western feeds that are behind the Great Firewall, getting a VPN to climb over the firewall is a matter of minutes’ work.
So, the fact that people in China might not agree with Hong Kong protesters is not because they are brainwashed. Just they don’t agree with them. They don’t sgeee with you?  It’s not that they’re told what to think. Just that they don’t agree with you!
Ren Yi discusses it in his article here, an article is missed first time round, back in October.