2014-06-17   Love of country, yes. Love of government, ?


Many words are being written these days about the idea of "Love Hong Kong, love China". We are told that the future Chief Executive, his government, and indeed everyone in Hong Kong must be people who "love Hong Kong and love China".

But the phrase "love China" has different meanings. For local people in Hong Kong it means a love of Chinese culture, Chinese history, Chinese customs, Chinese language  .... and Chinese food!  I think of Hong Kong people's wonderful response to the Sichuan earthquake as a testimony to their genuine love for China and its people.

On the other hand, voices from Beijing are trying to propagate the view that "love of China" means love of and loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party. This is a very different kettle of fish. How can Hong Kong people be expected to love the most corrupt government in the history of China?

The same is true in other countries. I was born in Brisbane and have a great love for Australia. But I certainly have no love for the present government in Australia, given its harsh policies towards the poor, especially refugees. For me, dare I say it, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is an embarrassment, not least because he is a climate change denier.