China Informed: a news service focused on China, Taiwan and Hong Kong

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Later issue
Earlier issue

Tue, Mar 25, 1997
Tung Chee-hwa's 'mainland' focus

also: reports of executions in Xinjiang and organizing exiled Uighurs; Taiwan calls for link-up with mainland on fighting drugs

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Ethnic problems: an exiled Uighur group in Kazakhstan, claiming extensive ties to Xinjiang, has said that the Chinese government executed five people for their participation in February's riots in Yining, a Xinjiang city near the Kazakhstan border, reports Inside China. China denies the report, saying that six people had been indicted for crimes punishable by death, but that no one has been executed. Their trials apparently have not been held yet.

In other news, the article mentions that Uighur groups in Kazakhstan recently held a meeting in an attempt to unite the various Uighur groups there. 300 people showed up and expressed their support for an independent state of "Eastern Turkestan".

The paper also reports, soldier are visible across the province.

Hong Kong: two days ago (Sun, Mar 23, 1997 issue) we reported on Chief Executive-designate Tung Chee-hwa's call for Hong Kong youth to learn more about the mainland. It was unclear what he exactly meant, but an Asia Times article gives us some perspective on attitudes of Hong Kong youth toward the mainland. As the article explains, these attitudes "illustrate the vast cultural divide that exists between affluent,trendy and often superficial Hong Kong kids and their more serious, patriotic and sometimes equally pampered counterparts north of the border."

A recent survey done on the subject reveals some interesting insights into the identities these people have constructed: most consider themselves 'Hong Kongers' rather than Chinese, writes the paper, and they were "unwilling to deal with mainlanders whom they think are poor, lazy, old-fashioned and untrustworthy, and very few of them were proud of China's achievements."

The paper quotes Lam Shui-fong, educational psychologist of the University of Hong Kong who was involved with the survey:

    "Most young people in Hong Kong enjoy a high sense of superiority over mainlanders. They believe that Chinese culture is inferior to Western culture and that the quality of mainland Chinese is a lot lower than that of Hong Kong people and Westerners. Young people prefer to use flattering adjectives, such as modern, affluent, efficient and capable to describe Hong Kongers, Japanese and Westerners. They are proud of being Hong Kong people, but not Chinese. The prejudice against mainland people is a worrying phenomenon which may hamper the long-term relations between people of the two places. They should find out more about each other."

(See the Wed, Feb 26, 1997 issue for more information on this subject.)

Hong Kong: this afternoon Hong Kong Chief-designate Tong chi-hwa flew to Shanghai and this evening was received by Shanghai municipality secretary Huang Ju, reports the Takung Pao (Chinese BIG5 encoding). The two exchanged views on how to further advance the relationship between Hong Kong and Shanghai. We reported in the Sat, Mar 1, 1997 issue of Shanghai's intention to strengthen ties with Hong Kong, but we had few details then to report, nor were we clear on the context.

The Takung Pao is considered to be an important Chinese-language Hong Kong paper. Here are a few excerpts:

    Tong Chi-hwa said, each time he comes to Shanghai he witnesses great changes there, and he wished Shanghai an even more prosperous future.

    Secretary Huang briefed his guest on Shanghai's economic and social developments over the recent years, as well as the status of Pudong's development (ed. note: Pudong is the site of an extensive development park in Shanghai, and it is an important part of the municipality's modernization drive). He said, Shanghai's development is occurring under the correct leadership of the central government and under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping's theory on building socialism with Chinese characteristics, and it is sustained and supported by the people of the entire nation and by the industriousness and hard work of Shanghai's people.

    Huang said, after Hong Kong has returned to the motherland, we will continue to base our relationship on the principle of "preferential mutual aid, reciprocal and mutual benefit, and united development for common prosperity". The cooperation between Shanghai and Hong Kong will widen and the future prospects will become even finer.

These developments are rather interesting. For years China Watchers have noted the growing prosperity and political clout of Guangdong and Hong Kong, and many described this in terms of a power shift from Beijing to the south. Are we seeing here an attempt to realign power back to the Yangzi river valley ?

Taiwan: director of the Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of Justice Wang Rong-jou has called on the mainland to team up with Taiwan investigators in fighting drug trafficking.

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China Informed

a news service focused on China, Taiwan and Hong Kong
©1997 Matthew Sinclair-Day