China’s state-run Global Times on Wednesday dumped a deeply patronizing editorial upon the student protesters of Hong Kong, describing them as lazy and reckless youth who desperately need the discipline and perspective of a solid education in Communist schools.
The Global Times castigated angry Hong Kong youths for “yelling radical, separatist and insulting slogans at the police, the chief executive, the government and even their motherland – China.”
The Chinese paper absurdly claimed “Hong Kong society” has joined residents of the Chinese mainland in “wondering what happened to the young people in Hong Kong,” when in truth a sizable portion of Hong Kong’s population has been marching in the streets to defeat an extradition bill desired by Beijing, and the Communist Party’s great fear right now is that Hong Kong activists will spread their protest movement across the mainland.
The Global Times called the students crazy for thinking British colonialism was better than Communist domination and suggested they could benefit from spending some time with mainland students, who are “much more hardworking than their peers in Hong Kong.” The editorial continued:
Some young Hong Kong people who are infatuated with the West have never been to the mainland. They are scared of China’s rising power for no reason. Incomplete education and biased media reporting have played a very negative role in helping shape their misunderstanding about the country, parents, officials and business representatives told the Global Times in recent interviews.
Peng Junfa, a Hongkonger in his 20s, told the Global Times that some of his classmates are infatuated with the West, and often attack others who hold different views. “They’ve never visited the mainland and they have little understanding of Chinese culture and history, which hinders their awareness of being Chinese citizens,” he said.
The editorial ominously accused Hong Kong media of subverting young people with “one-sided stories” at the behest of Washington and prescribed a course of stricter media control plus remedial “patriotic education.” According to the Global Times:
Foreign forces are deeply involved and even dominate the media and education in Hong Kong, and they select negative information and news about the mainland to mislead the Hong Kong public and students. Objective and positive reports and education about the mainland were excluded by these pro-West forces, said Victor Chan Chi-ho, 33, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Young Commentators.
Many Hong Kong people, especially the youth, have no confidence in the city’s economic development because they feel heavy pressure from the extremely high house rent and low incomes. Observers believe that this is the reason why the youth are generally anti-establishment or even anti-Beijing, since they need to vent off their anger, tension and disappointment with the HKSAR government.
Perhaps those anger-venting Hong Kong youth have noticed one of the reasons for skyrocketing real estate prices in their city is heavy real-estate speculation by Chinese buyers. Mainlanders buying up Hong Kong real estate furthers Beijing’s agenda of assimilating the semi-autonomous island, but it also exacerbates the problem of scarce living space in a small, heavily-populated area with a great deal of inaccessible mountain terrain.
The Global Times predicted Hong Kong’s formerly roaring economy will falter as high-tech hub cities on the mainland produce all the good jobs, and suggested young Hong Kongers would do well to get their minds right so they become more appealing to mainland tech companies that prefer to hire good Chinese patriots.
The editorial condemned subversive foreigners and opposition groups for using new media platforms to trick Hong Kong students into rebelling against the regime that can provide them with good careers. For good measure, the Chinese state paper insinuated that most of the people demonstrating against the extradition bill have no idea what it actually says because “everything they learned about the bill came from Facebook groups.”
Hong Kong students are unlikely to respond well to mainland efforts to win them over by insulting them as ignorant treasonous layabouts with anger-management issues. Campus protests forced the president of Hong Kong’s oldest university to apologize on Thursday for issuing a statement that condemned the vandalism of the city’s legislative headquarters last week without also denouncing the excessive use of force by police.