Why do we have to choose between investigating human rights abuses that affect one of our largest expat communities vs more sick leave days?
By Juni L.Yeung // 楊雪亭 撰
NOTE: This article is also concurrently published on Chinese News Group Editorials in English/Simplified Chinese. This version publishes the Chinese version in its original Traditional Chinese. // 此文亦同時在＜大中報＞上以簡體中文與英文雙語刊登。此文以正體中文原文與英文刊登。
Last July, as the world was still reeling to the unprecedented millions-strong demonstrations against the Hong Kong government’s “extradition law,” Rosemarie Ho lambasted on the leftist journal Lausan “The American left is failing Hong Kong” in its silence and asked “Why is [Republican Senator] Marco Rubio doing more than Democrats to support Hong Kong’s people?” In the following months, the United States Congress banded together to unanimously vote on establishing the HKHRDA – the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, to sanction all transgressors and actors involved in the circumvention and destruction of Hong Kong’s existing independent legal, civil, and justice infrastructure, as well as those who suppress and brutalize those who defend it by legislative, systematic, or physically violent means. Similarly in Canada, it was Conservative MPs who took the initiative to table a hearing on Hong Kong’s humanitarian crisis in September 2019, while Party leader candidate Erin O’Toole has vocalized his concern for China’s blatant human rights abuses to Hong Kongers and Canadians alike into his campaign agenda.
去年七月，當全世界仍在對香港“引渡法”修例之爭帶來史無前例的數以百萬計民眾示威活動摸着頭緒，Rosemarie Ho在左派網誌《流傘》上猛烈抨擊“美國左派正在辜負香港”，並問“為什麼（共和黨參議員）盧比奧（Marco Rubio）在支持香港人民方面比民主黨做得更多？”在接下來的幾個月，美國國會兩黨罕有地聯合共同表決，通過《香港人權與民主法》，以制裁所有參與破壞香港現有獨立法律、民事和訴訟機制的持份人，以及那些以立法，行政機制或肉體暴力手段鎮壓和殘害捍衛人權自由的人。而在加拿大，是保守黨議員自從2019年9月主動地就香港的人道主義危機舉行聽證會，而黨魁候選人歐琳·奧圖爾（Erin O’Toole）則高調表達了他對中國對香港人和加拿大人公然侵犯人權的關注，並且將其列入他的競選議程。
This is not to say that the political left was completely absent, but the response was token at best. While Liberal and NDP MPs were present in the aforementioned September hearing, the NDP made a statement on Hong Kong as protests grew to “two million plus one” strong on June 12. However, a simple statement with no stance or proposed course of action is little solace to 300,000 Canadian expatriates living in the city, who are subject to the same potential harm and threat to their security as other local residents in the besieged city.
Within the past few days in May 2020, the situation quickly deteriorated as Beijing’s National People’s Congress pushed through the National Security Law, overturning the struggle against legislating an anti-sedition law since the Article 23 protests in 2003. In the same weeks, additional laws on criminalizing the mockery and desecration of China’s national anthem and flag, introduction of mainland Chinese teachers on political thought into primary schools in the coming school year, meanwhile the forced takeover of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council by pro-Beijing parties and expelling the pro-Democratic opposition with a wall of security guards meant that the struggles of the National education demonstrations of 2012, Umbrella Revolution of 2014, and anti-extradition demonstrations last year in 2019 were all overruled in one iron-fisted reprise. The implication for many who have participated in any or all of these, as the Canadian Hongkonger activist-singer Denise Ho gravely summarized it, “would expect to be in prison or sent to China.”
短短在2020年5月的幾天中，由於北京全國人民代表大會通過了《國家安全法》，推翻了自2003年來反23條多年來的抗爭，局勢迅速惡化。同場還加入了《國歌法》把嘲弄和褻瀆中國國歌和國旗定為犯罪，9月開學時更將中國大陸思想政治老師帶入小學。親北京的建制派政黨霸王硬上弓佔據香港立法會，以保安人牆驅逐泛民議員強行通過立法意味著就憑這一下子，2003年反23條、2012年反國民教育，2014年雨傘革命、和2019年反送中鬥爭 – 一下子像臨終迴光返照一般突然浮現重提、並且在鐵腕鎮壓手法下判定了無法逆轉的終焉。正如加拿大香港人維權歌手何韻詩（Denise Ho）黯然地總結，任何以前、現在、或今後參與示威維權的人，無論港人或加拿大人，都意味著“已預料會送去坐監或被送中。”
Ever since the prospects of Hong Kong’s return to China became inevitable with the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984, Hongkongers have been looking to Western countries as a sanctuary for their livelihoods, welfare and freedom. Canada was particularly favored because of its ensured protection from racial, sexual, gender religious discrimination, labor rights, free universal healthcare, and universal suffrage – all hallmarks and legacies of Canada’s left. Civic institutions such as unions, legal recognition of transgendered persons, and same-sex marriage are all enjoyed today in Canada, but fail to progress in Hong Kong despite repeated pushback from its inept Beijing puppet legislators – and in the case of collective bargaining rights, even regressed and lost right in the year right after the handover back to China.
自從1984年《中英聯合聲明》使香港回歸中國的前景不可避免之後，香港人就一直將西方國家視為其生計，福利和自由的庇護所。 加拿大之所以受到特別歡迎，是因為它免受種族，性別，性別宗教歧視，在勞工權利，免費的全民醫療保健和全民投票權的保障 – 這些加拿大左翼政治所爭取來給全民的標誌性創舉。 如今，加拿大人都能享受的各種多元性包容及容納公民機制，例如對變性人仕立法承認以及同性婚姻，都是香港人因為親北京建制派傀儡立法者一而再再而三的阻撓和拖沓之下，在世界都進步之下香港卻一籌莫展， 甚至主權移交中國當年的11月就即刻連勞工集體談判權也喪失，灰飛煙滅。
Criticizing the Chinese Communist Party for its deplorable trampling of Chinese and Hongkonger human rights guaranteed by international treaties is not and should not be the sole propriety of the Right. Just because these issues have been first picked up by Conservative or right-wing politicians does not discredit the urgency to seek justice. While having individual MPs organizing hearings on the development of Hong Kong and China is laudable, the Parliamentary vote on May 25 speaks louder in their action: apparently, to progressives in Canada, it is politically sound to push for an additional 10 days of sick leave, but a wrong political move to investigate the rapidly deteriorating situation in Hong Kong that threatens the freedom and personal safety of its 7 million inhabitants, including its 300,000 Canadian citizens there.
批評中國共產黨踐踏有國際條約保障的中國和香港人的人權，不應該是右派政見的專利。 就僅僅因為現時這些問題是由保守黨或右翼的政客首先提出來，就不等於件事本身對中間或左派思想中沒有正義甚至緊迫性。 雖然上年9月份國會議員們不分黨派安排的聽證會值得讚揚，但他們5月25日的國會投票的行動卻大聲疾呼着他們的偽善：原來，對於加拿大的進步主義者來說，在政治上敦促再請10天病假無疑是利民的方針，但調查香港迅速惡化的局勢、以及或許威脅到其700萬居民（其中包括30萬加拿大公民）的自由和人身安全卻是“種族歧視”的政治不正確舉動。
Echoing the words of Wong and Chan from the Alliance Canada Hong Kong – How dare you divide us, having make us choose between defending our own human and labor rights, from the same struggles from our fellowmen in the besieged Pearl of the Orient?
引用加拿大香港聯盟(Alliance Canada Hong Kong, ACHK)黃女士和陳女士的話–你豈敢(How dare you) 此時與我們在被困在東方明珠中的同胞們進行同樣的鬥爭時，逼我們於捍衛自己和身邊國民同胞的人權、和應有勞工權利之間作出二選一選擇來離間我們？
Juni L. Yeung is an independent cultural historian on Chinese youth culture and popular nationalism. A resident of York Region in the Greater Toronto Area, Yeung recently covered the issue of United Front work in the Markham flag-raising controversy in February.
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