July 31, 2006

Nina’s thoughts on rule of law & morality in China

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 2:28 pm

While her brother Hao was detained, Nina wrote often in her blog about how his detention had heightened her awareness of the extent to which China does and doesn’t have a functioning legal system capable of protecting the rights of its citizens. Now that Hao is free, she has re-named the blog: “The past, present, and future of Haozi and other family members.” Living and working in Hong Kong, she continues to ponder China’s system and the fate of its people in a post titled Speechless:

At lunch, I was chatting with my Hong Kong colleagues and we unintentionally came to a discussion of the differences between mainland and Hong Kong people. On the matter of making money, her conclusion was an acute observation which left me speechless: mainlanders will make any kind of money, but Hong Kong people will only make money legally.

Although the economic development in mainland China is admired, Hong Kong people are proud of their legal system. While you can see that materialism is rampant in Hong Kong, it is also very orderly underneath. Perhaps Hong Kong people think mainlanders are too aggressive while mainlanders think Hong Kong people are too cautious. But the caution occurs because the Hong Kong people are always considering whether they have gone beyond the legal system or moral standards.

In mainland China, development is the firm logic. Perhaps, the brave are overextended while the meek are starved. The Chinese people have been poor for so long. Today, when the gap between rich and poor is increasing daily, people can only see the aura brought about by wealth and ignore the social moral level.

One must say that it is sad to see that people would scorn at the poor and not at the prostitutes. The northern girls come down south and their attractive figures and numb expressions appear again and again in the photographs of their detention. These photographs appear in Hong Kong television and newspaper news. I am speechless. I have heard too many stories of business “sucesses” and I have met too many “successful” business persons. When I hear these people tell me unabashedly about their money-making stories, I choose to be silent and speechless.

One or two of these stories are just personal tragedies. But when the number becomes one or two bunches, or even a common phenomenon, then this must be said to be a social tragedy.