Hong Kong was one of those places on the planet that held a great mystic and sense of mystery to me. It was that pearl of the orient that you read about as a child, and when I got to go there, kai tak was still open, and the landing into the densely populated space was the welcoming feel that “this isn’t your normal city.”
While I have to give a nod to Singapore as being more interesting to me because you can eat your way through Asia in one place. Hong Kong will always hold the special place of mystery where east met west. I fear that this won’t be there much longer.
I doubt most people know the history of Hong Kong, or how it was formed by the British after the infamous opium wars. Since then, it was the gateway to China from the west. We used to get a lot of our show toys made in china, so we would wonder why we even took our merchandising with us if the same toys were made in a factory right across the border.
Today. I watch the protests, and my concern Is that I doubt the mainland is going to tolerate what is happening much longer. In the west, we watched Tiananmen square in the ’80s. Today, I think the average American would be hard-pressed to locate Hong Kong on a map, much less understand the reality of how a communist nation is so good at capitalism. on the one hand I study and think the work in robotics and ai is impressive, yet, at the same time, I grew up in the west, and the idea of living within one and only one construct is something foreign for me to understand.
What I do understand is that in such political power, you don’t have the freedom that we enjoy in the west. I have talked to too many people that were in soviet work camps, Jews that survived the holocaust, and if you look at most of the soviet union of the past – you simply got sent to special places to be rehabilitated in a camp.
What I am seeing today is the clash of what was in the past that grew up in a different world of freedoms and rights, agitating the dragon that is contemporary mainland China. It is a significant and powerful nation-state who no gualo will really ever understand. Call it a clash of cultures.
I pray I am wrong, and my concerns are unfounded, but I just don’t see the situation ending well soon. I pray I am really wrong with my concerns with this one.