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Messages from Mainlanders: Weibo and Twitter Posts and Other Online Comments

[Translation by Human Rights in China]

Beginning in late summer of 2014, many mainland Chinese used social media to express their views about Hong Kongers’ fight for a democratic future. HRIC has collected some samples of these messages of solidarity posted online by mainlanders. Many of them reflect the writers’ deeply-felt conviction that the future path of Hong Kong has profound implications for that of mainland China.

Weibo Posts

"Hong Kong is the freest place"

@Mao Yushi (September 7, 2014)

Hong Kong is the freest place. But it’s a most unfree place in terms of violating others’ freedoms. As a result, there are so many rules and restrictions—everywhere. The rules on where to walk, eat, and sleep are particularly voluminous. But as long as you constrain yourself, without violating others’ freedoms, these rules don’t really exist. Genuine freedom is limiting oneself and not infringing on others’ freedoms. This way, everyone lives in an environment where no one’s rights are violated, and thus everyone possesses the greatest freedom. 


"If we don’t take advantage of this moment for the final struggle. . ." 

@10anfeng (October 1, 2014)

The Celestial Empire determining Hong Kong’s path may turn into Hong Kong determining the course of the Celestial Empire. Mainlanders cannot fight, but place their hope on Hong Kongers’ struggle and their still being able to fight. When Hong Kongers are no longer able to fight, they and mainlanders will become two crabs on a rope, whose only fate is to be steamed together by a dictatorship. Right now, the Hong Kong crab is not yet completely tied up, and one of its claws can still wave itself somewhat. If we do not take advantage of this moment for the final struggle, we will be steamed for sure. Any waving of the claws in the future will only take place in a cage.


"Hong Kong has already changed"

@黄秋生 (October 7, 2014)

It doesn’t matter how it ends. After this is over, Hong Kong will have changed—not materially, but, more important, spiritually. It doesn’t matter if they win or lose, their spirit has already changed, and no one can stop that. The wheel of history does not spin according to the will of man.


"Hong Kong leads the mainland rush towards Taiwan"

@公民彭承仙六世(October 7, 2014)

If Taiwanese don’t make an effort to take a stand, they will be reduced to being another Hong Kong. If the Hong Kong people don’t make an effort to take a stand, they will be reduced to being another mainland China. If mainlanders don’t make an effort to take a stand, they will be reduced to being another North Korea. Judging from the current situation, if Hong Kong does not lead the mainland rush towards Taiwan, then the mainland will drag Hong Kong towards North Korea. We stand with the Hong Kong people.


"A comedy of siege"

@szxiaojl (October 8, 2014)

The CPC's big criticism session and public opinion offensive were not staged for the Hong Kong people but for the people on the mainland. What the CPC fears most is not the Hong Kong democracy movement itself, but the possibility of it spreading onto the mainland. It is precisely because of this fear that it continues to arrest mainlanders who disseminate inside China information regarding Hong Kong's Occupy Central. The CPC police have gone so far as to interrogate those who open umbrellas on the streets,  once more staging the comedy of siege, jumping at the slightest sound, showing its weak nature.


"Hong Kong's tragedy"

@irrenhaeusler (October 8, 2014)

Hong Kong's tragedy is that it is too close to the Celestial Empire. The Celestial Empire’s tragedy is that it is too far from civilization.


"The end of 'one country, two systems'"

@hnjhj (October 15, 2014)

Zhang Xiaoming [Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong] said, "Occupy Central’s challenge to the central government's power has become a serious incident in our society.” Translation: Hong Kong people shouldn’t have any illusion of “enjoying a high degree of autonomy”; just by sitting in the Central District, they are challenging the CPC. These words are tantamount to declaring the end of the "one country, two systems" policy. Hong Kongers should not have any more illusions, but pull together to prepare for battle.


"Sacrifice today's little inconveniences"

@tax_free (October 20, 2014)

Those who passionately love Hong Kong have taken to the streets to desperately try to save the democracy and human rights that used to belong to the Hong Kong people and to fight for the right of Hong Kong to make its own decisions. If everyone is unwilling to make the sacrifice of suffering the little inconveniences today—including the extra hour it takes for students to go to school—then one day, your children and your children's children are bound to be like children on the mainland, who will live under an authoritarian regime. What human rights will they have to speak of?


“'But your petitioning is still unlawful!'"

@shangguanluan (October 21, 2014)

I finished watching the dialogue between the representatives of the Hong Kong government and the Hong Kong Students Federation. This is what it seemed like: a group of petitioners succeeded in kowtowing their way into finally being received by the director of the Office of Letters and Calls, and then, after being coaxed and lectured for half a day, were told by the official that “We will report to the higher ups." The official finished by saying, "but your petitioning is still unlawful!"


"Only Chinese people aren't aware"

@不再侃了 (October 21, 2014)

All Hong Kong people have stopped what they were doing to watch the dialogue between the Hong Kong government and the Students Federation. Netizens say: people of the entire world are all watching the live broadcast of Chinese people’s fight for democracy—only the people in China have no idea that it’s happening (there is no live broadcast).


"Are these reasons enough?"

@关木旦0550 (October 26, 2014)

Yesterday someone asked me, "I don't understand why Hong Kong people are still not done with their endless ruckus. Aren’t we treating them well enough?" At first I didn't want to say anything, but then I couldn't help myself and said to him, "They're doing this because they don't want to watch the same kind of TV programs as you, read the same books as you, eat the same food as you and your wife, drink the same milk as you and your children, and breathe the same air as you and your whole family. Aren’t these reasons enough?

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    Twitter Posts

    "Support Hong Kong’s movement to fight for genuine universal suffrage"

    Hu Jia@ hu_jia  (August 28, 2014)

    Chinese mainland citizens and the international community, have you realized that Hong Kong’s fight for “genuine universal suffrage” and the 1989 Democracy Movement in Beijing are of equal significance and importance? Chinese people and the world, let’s stand up together to support freedom and democracy in Hong Kong, because this is also the first step toward abolishing the prohibition on establishing political parties and achieving genuine universal suffrage in mainland China.


    "Zhou Yongkang [i.e. Alex Chow]: In Hong Kong’s future, there’ll be no more young people who believe in 'one country, two systems'"

    ‏@westmoon (September 29, 2014)

    Zhou Yongkang [i.e. Alex Chow]: said in in fluent Mandarin what he has been pondering for these few months: “In Hong Kong’s future, there’ll be no more young people who believe in ‘one country, two systems,’ ‘high degree of autonomy,’ and ‘Hong Kongers rule Hong Kong.’ They will never again mention ‘[Hong Kong’s] democratic return to China.’ What they will bring up will inevitably be ‘self-determined destiny.’ The Hong Kong people themselves will determine how their own fate will unfold.”


    "The people are reconstructing their own lives"

    ‏@hkdemonow (September 30, 2014)

    To occupy is to live
    They are not only collecting trash
    They are sorting the trash
    They sort the different materials as best they can
    There is no government here, no Food and Environmental Hygiene Department
    Only people, who are reconstructing their own lives


    "Attributes of Hong Kong’s young people"

    ‏@wentommy  RT @isaac (October 3, 2014)

    Compared to those on the mainland, the young people of Hong Kong have better professional training, ability to make rational decisions, and sense of self and independence, plus an orderly culture—all of which are reflected in the actions of Occupy Central. On just these attributes alone, it will take decades for mainland Chinese to catch up.


    "Expressions are a kind of micro-power"

    ‏@jason5ng32 (September 29, 2014)

    Regarding Hong Kong’s problems, don’t be stingy in expressing yourself, thinking that expressions are useless. There are always people who will tell you: “What’s the use of just shouting—it can’t change anything.” Don’t pay any attention to them. Expressions are a kind of micro-power. When the masses dare to express, this micro-power will release great capabilities. You don’t need to provide a solution to a problem, you only need to distinguish right from wrong and express it.


    "Does Hong Kong owe the 'great homeland' anything?"

    ‏@qcyl   (October 7, 2014)

    1. Through successive bouts of chaotic war and chaotic rule, adults and children fled to Hong Kong, making it a safe harbor for “the people of the homeland.” 2. In the 1970s, when the two sides had virtually no contact, Hong Kong rose to be the “Pearl of the Orient.” 3. After Reform and Opening Up, the overwhelming majority of foreign investments came from Hong Kong. 4. As for 1989, people of the homeland have practically forgotten all of it; only Hong Kongers remember, every year, often shedding tears. 5. After the Sichuan earthquake, Hong Kongers chipped in and donated six million [Hong Kong dollars], not much less than what China’s 1.3 billion people gave.


    "Withdrawing from the streets is equivalent to sheep negotiating with wolves"

    ‏@tengbiao (October 7, 2014)

    Some say: “Withdraw, because Beijing has already heard your voice.” What kind of talk is this? You think they didn’t hear the people through [the result of] the June 22 referendum or the July 1 march? They heard very clearly, but responded with the “White Paper” and “August 31 Decision” to humiliate the Hong Kong people. Negotiations will only be meaningful if there’s no withdrawal. Withdrawal from the streets is equivalent to sheep negotiating with wolves.


    “We represent 1.4 billion people”

    @taocomic (October 11, 2014)

    Global Times: Occupy Central cannot represent the mainstream opinions of 7 million Hong Kong people.
    Netizens: Well then, how about letting those 7 million Hong Kong people vote to decide?
    Global Times: No way, Hong Kong’s problems must be decided jointly with the 1.4 billion Chinese people.
    Netizens: Okay, how about letting the 1.4 billion Chinese vote to decide?
    CPC’s Three Represents: That won’t do. We represent the 1.4 billion people….


    "If Hong Kongers don’t take to the streets now, they can only walk in shackles tomorrow"

    ‏@10anfeng (October 16, 2014)

    If Hong Kongers don’t take to the streets now, they can only walk in shackles in prison tomorrow. If they don’t speak up today, they won’t be able speak up again tomorrow. The battle between Hong Kong and the central government is a battle between democracy and autocracy, a battle over whether Hong Kongers are people or slaves. It is a battle over whether Hong Kongers, like mainlanders, are invited to tea [interrogated by police], sent to prison for “inciting subversion” or “provoking troubles” at the slightest pretext, or the Hong Kong police and government will refrain from detaining people for speaking freely about democracy at the slightest pretext. Mainlanders took one wrong step and have been paying for the mistake with 60 years in hell. Would the Hong Kong people dare make another mistake? It’s clear which is heaven and which is hell before us.



    "Go Hong Kong!"

    ‏@ycmenhu  (October 17, 2014)

    Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, a policeman from Moscow told a detainee: If there are 100 people who go on the streets to protest, we will use sticks to beat you to the ground. If there are 1,000 people, we will use tear gas to disperse you. If there are 10,000 people, we will stand there and not move. If there are 100,000 people, we will join you… Go Hong Kong!

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      Comments on a Voice of America Article about the
      September 14, March in Hong Kong

      Editor’s note: On September 14, 2014, thousands in Hong Kong took to the streets holding sheets of black cloth to protest the August 31 decision by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee that places restrictions on the election of the next Hong Kong Chief Executive by universal suffrage in 2017. The banners carried messages of anger, sadness, and a sense of betrayal as students and older people alike marched into Hong Kong’s financial district. On September 22, eight days following the march, university students began their week-long class boycott, a prelude to the mass civil disobedience movement that would last for 75 days.

      OP: Anonymous

      (September 15, 2014, 01:38 p.m.)

      Hong Kong should not be referred to as a Special Administrative Region of China; it should be called a liberated area. Hong Kong citizens are both rallying for themselves and setting an example for all of mainland China. In fact, China’s Jasmine Revolution has already come to pass: it is starting in Hong Kong.


      OP: Anonymous

      (September 15, 2014, 02:09 p.m.)

      Many of the participants in the march for democracy are of the post-1980 and post-1990 generations. Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement was also initiated by young people. Today, mainland China’s youth are also following suit. For example, in the democratic elections in Wukan village, Guangdong Province, the post-1990 kids played a very important role in disseminating information. Whoever wins over the youth will win the future. The youth of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are all struggling against the infiltration, destruction, and authoritarian rule by the Communist Party of China. This makes us see hope.


      OP: Anonymous

      (September 15, 2014, 03:26 p.m.)

      We should mobilize mainlanders to go to Hong Kong and join the Occupy Central movement.

      Mainlanders can’t initiate this kind of campaign on the mainland. But I think many would be willing to go to Hong Kong to participate in this kind of movement. It would be best to have this throughout the night so that mainlanders don’t have to pay for accommodations. They would also be able to learn from this peaceful protest, so that one day they can organize a similar campaign on the mainland.


      OP: Anonymous

      (September 15, 2014, 03:40 p.m.)

      Firmly support Hong Kong people! You are at the vanguard of democracy in China! Brilliant! Go for it!


      OP: Anonymous

      (September 15, 2014, 03:41 p.m.)

      Only when there is democracy in Hong Kong will there be hope for the mainland. You cannot allow the Communist Party to destroy democracy in Hong Kong.

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