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Am I wrong about Hong Kong?

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I got an amazing reply to my post yesterday. I cannot say from whom – that’s part of the thing – but it’s such a good reply, I’m sharing it here. For me, it shows how the internet has changed the world – I can write a blog from Poland, get a reply from Hong Kong and share it with readers in New York. Here you go …


Dear Chris

I am extremely disappointed about your post on HSBC and Standard Chartered regarding HK.

I was born and raised in HK, educated overseas, worked in many countries before returning to HK, then finally spent the last decade working in China (but also frequently returning to HK for business or personal trips)

Since July 2019, we have witnessed unprecedented horror of a protest that escalated into riots, with rioters throwing petrol bombs to shops, police station, and even directed to the police.  Throughout the 12 months of chaos, one old man was killed and another was seriously burnt  (literally burnt alive) by the rioters.  Throughout the chaos, not a single rioter was killed by the police (quite a miracle, as compared with US, or other western nations).

The rioters’ propaganda was successfully executed during the entire campaign, that ALL of the western media, including some of HK’s (supported by the democratic movements) was to paint an ugly picture about police brutality, democratic and peaceful “protestors”.  The democratic movement is meant to overthrow the government and gain independenceNOT just protesting about lack of freedom (what freedom is lacking in HK??).

If the same happens to the UK, what do you think the British government will do? As compared with George Floyd’s tragic death that triggered the US riots, mainstream media condemned the violence.  But, in the case of HK riot, the government was condemned whereas the rioters were glorified.

Hundreds of HK citizens got bullied/beaten up because they opposed the rioters (sorry, peaceful protestors), did the mainstream media report it?

It’s ironic that the democratic movement actually created fear to ordinary citizens from going to the streets, or speaking out.  Unlike the protestors in recent US riots, the HK democratic movement was highly organized, activists were properly trained and well equipped, from executing propaganda, forming alliance with the press, to tactical warfare with the police.

In terms of democracy: HK was ranked third in the 2019 Human Freedom Index.  So, the democratic movement objective is to climb to the number one place by overthrowing the government?  Interesting.

BTW, when the original protest was claimed to be 2 million walking into the street in 2019.  The official count was less than 500,000.   Note that the HK population is around 7 million.  FYI: people get paid to participate in each protest.  400 pounds per walk.  Some people I know took the money just to have a paid marathon-they don’t necessary agree with the protest.


Western media portrays Hong Kong hooligans as heroes. But are they?

Ever since HK’s return to China, what “freedom” did HKers lose, as compared with the times during the British colonization of the city?


Instead, there is even more freedom post-handover.

HKers weren’t given the rights to vote during the 150 years of the colonization, and all of a sudden, people are allowed to vote, just before the handover. Talking about conspiracy.

HK has a HUGE social problem, since the handover, not because of lack of freedom.  Skyrocketing house prices, a declining economy in industrial sectors (except finance, which has become the main driving force for the economy) and the fact that most factories are no longer in HK.

I still remember a few IT mentees of mine were so worried about job prospects – all of the development jobs also moving to China, so why bother to study computer science at all?  The ridiculously high house prices added fuel to this fire.  Imagine there are newlyweds that continue to live with their parents (separately) after marriage because they cannot afford to have their own apartment.

This is the issue of the local HK government, NOT China, or CCP.

People’s dissatisfaction about the local living conditions and job security has been a time bomb for a long time.  What made this worse is that, due to China’s hands off approach, our education system has been hijacked by the democratic movement.

Also imagine our text books for students (primary and secondary) that states Communists are bad.  In most recent cases, a primary school test question: “what were the benefits from Japanese invasion to China in WWII?”  No wonder our young generations in HK fear and hate China.  Again, if it happened to the UK, what do you think the British government would do?

Unlike Western nations – US, UK, etc – HK has no National Security Law implemented.

Macau has implemented a national security law a few years back already. There were no arrests or changes to citizens there.  The new NSL law focuses on very specific subversion acts, including treason, which HK’s law does not have to my knowledge.  All of these anarchy movements taking place right now and the government cannot even charge them.

Regardless of the wealth inequality, HK has been prospering in the financial sector, owing to China’s favourable policy towards the island.  Business has been thriving and many have benefited from this.  There were only two economic dips since the handover. The 1997 Asian financial crisis  and the 2008 GFC and now, starting H2 2019, due to riot then COVID.

What democratic movements in world history would attempt to sabotage its own city or country move from good to worse? Who benefits from this movement?  HK people? Of course not.   US, from a geopolitical standpoint? What better to use HK to contain China.  Great move!

Close to three million HKers (more than half of eligible voters) signed up to support the National Security Law that needs to be enforced in HK, to put the city back in order. Many of us who live, or who have lived, in China have no problem with the NSL.  That means a great majority of us HKers want the NSL enforced.  Again, the press seem to have ignored this important fact.

China has been hands off HK since the handover in 1997. HK residents have been living exactly the same as before the handover. There were no new laws constraining local residents but, with this new, intensive, democratic movement, China has felt it has no choice but to implement it.

BTW, what Sino-British joint-declaration did China breach due to the enforcement of NSL?  If Falkland island residents try to go independent, with foreign support, what would the British government do?

Hong Kong national security law: a restoration of state power, and more

Nearly 3 million people sign petition backing China’s security law for Hong Kong

What right do people from outside China/HK have to criticize the local government if you don’t even know what’s going on?

I am neither a CCP member nor affiliate to CCP.  During my times living and working in China, I have seen the drastic improvements of people’s livelihoods, government transparency, social behaviour, along with infrastructure modernization, and the like.  I have lived in quite a few countries before (US, Europe, Asia), and China is the place that I feel most comfortable living and working.

Never did I fear the communist party sending police to shut me up or arrest me – because I don’t need to.  We openly discuss topics about the government (good and bad) amongst fellow professionals.  I

I am not painting a rosy picture for China. There are things that I disagree with but the China-bashing and demonization in Western media is way over the top. I have grown to believe through living here that the country is doing the right things, taking the right steps to feed the people, and now people are far more prosperous and satisfied than ever before.

An analogy of the sad story of Hong Kong:

We have an apartment which was forced (at gun point) to be rented out to a complete stranger for 150 years.

Upon the return of the apartment, the rightful owner was forced to sign another contract with conditions, to ensure that the owner could restrict us from making renovations or even entering the apartment.

Hong Kong is part of China.  It always has been and will be.  Hongkongers are Chinese, it has always been and will be.

In terms of the China affair, especially towards HK, I sincerely hope that the world will get a fair, objective and unbiased view about the reality.

Firstly, the NSL is to protect HK from further erosion by subversions, and NOT to restrict freedom.

Secondly, the subversions which appear as a democratic movement in disguise are NOT protest, it is backed by NED with a clear mandate to contain China.

Thirdly, the majority of HK people want NSL implemented, especially after the past 12 months of ordeal. Many people come to realize the whole intention of the democratic movement was never meant to help HK people to have a better livelihood, or pass good bills that benefits the city but, instead, the democratic movement is destroying our city, sabotaging our economy and resisting China through the support of the US and UK government.

Yours sincerely …


I replied to this email and asked if I could share it, which the sender kindly agreed with, and I also made clear that my issue is not with China, Hong Kong or government, but with the silence of the banks.

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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