Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Two for Today

What is this contraption for?

What you should read today, since I am too busy to blog:

This came out last week, but I missed it: Tensions rise between Beijing and Hong Kong, so Hng Kongers are increasingly looking to Taiwan. This was not hard to see coming -- colonizers reinforce and reconstruct local identities in opposition to their own. Beijing is simply too inept and too insecure to tolerate Hong Kong's autonomy in the long run. Sad, but it's (yet another) warning for Taiwan, as if Tibet and Xinjiang were not enough....

And this gem by J Sand over at JapanFocus:
Overlooked by most scholars of Taiwanese history and almost entirely forgotten in the history of Tokyo, sightseeing tours organized by the Japanese colonial government brought groups of Taiwanese aborigines to the imperial capital twenty-one times between 1897 and 1941. The aim of these tours was to show the aborigines the “light of civilization” and impress upon them Japanese superiority. The aboriginal tourists, however, did not always learn the intended lessons of their visit. The tours made Tokyo the stage for complex cultural encounters that undermined the simple imperial narrative of civilization and savagery.
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1 comment:

Tommy said...

That's not exactly the case. Tensions are not rising between HK and Beijing. Tensions are rising between some HK people and the local government and "China" in general, which happens to be run by Beijing. The distinction is important because the local administration is totally in Beijing's pocket. Since HK officials really have no genuine freedom of choice when it comes to national priorities, they too are trapped. Make no mistake, there are many genuine Beijing supporters here. Much of the business community is quite happy allowing Beijing to have more control.

In fact, protests by locals against the local government and mainland tourists are used as an excuse to encourage stricter treatment of Hong Kong. It is a lighter version of what you see in the West in that Beijing still does not want to seem to be too obviously controlling in most issues, but puts its foot down on a few here and there while pushing for gradual change in its favor.

As for the China concept, I think the encouragement of more mainlanders to visit HK (also a national priority) is doing much harm. In many ways, mainland tourists are becoming a symbol of cultural effacement. This is why protesters have begun harassing them in the streets. It is not that the mainlanders are bad people. Rather, it is that they symbolize the powerlessness that many locals feel.

Much of this is educated speculation, but I thought it was necessary. I skimmed the article you provided and thought it was a bit absolutist in its view. The local community is much more polarized around the mainland issue than a lot of the western media portray, probably because very few of your run of the mill local people openly go around telling others their views on the matter.