Mauling mainlanders shows HK’s decline

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/7 21:53:40

Black banners used in a rally lie on the ground of the protesters' assembly site on the campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong on September 3. Photo: Wang Wenwen/GT

At a forum between Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) president Wei Shyy and the university's students on Wednesday, a mainland student was mauled by black-clad local students, and his head was broken. Radical Hong Kong student attackers claimed that the mainlander pushed a local. But video showed both hands of the mainland student were in his pockets. The local student's fall was thus suspected of faking it.  

In recent days, several Hong Kong universities have become focal points of radical protests and violence. At the graduation ceremonies of HKUST and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), masked graduates created trouble on stage and held demonstrations on the campuses. HKUST students even urged their president to condemn police and laid siege to the president. The graduation ceremony at CUHK could not even proceed and had to end early. 

Should these take place at prestigious universities? Should the campuses, where misdeeds such as intimidation and scuffles were repeatedly seen, be called prestigious universities? The masked black-clad students disgraced their colleges. They are turning well-known Hong Kong universities into the most unreasonable and most violent campuses in the world.

Many students, including those from the Chinese mainland, chose to have a shorter time or even gave up their chance to study at Hong Kong universities. The number of students who make the same choice will only keep growing. 

Mainland students have lost their freedom of speech at Hong Kong universities. They might be harassed simply because they speak Putonghua. And their safety is now in jeopardy.

Hong Kong universities are dropping in ranking. It is almost certain that the misbehavior on their campuses will have an impact on their rankings next year. If no emergency measures are taken, Hong Kong colleges will suffer the same fate as those in the island of Taiwan and become inferior among Asian universities.

Excluding mainlanders from colleges has become a trend at some Hong Kong universities. They don't understand that if Hong Kong colleges want to sustain their relatively top positions in world rankings, the resources from the mainland are significant. Without the mainland's support, Hong Kong universities are sure to decline, and may even perform worse than universities in the island of Taiwan. If Hong Kong universities become "community universities" for a local population of only several millions, they will be completely marginalized. 

Hong Kong universities used to be competitive before the city's return to China. This shouldn't be an excuse for self-consolation. The mainland was backward then, but now its rise has changed everything. Whoever in the vicinity could develop closer ties with the mainland will be more capable of sustaining prosperity. Those who position themselves in a confrontation with the mainland will come to a dead end. 

Some radical Hong Kong students have been politically brainwashed, almost losing their ability of independent thinking so that they view misdoings such as humiliating teachers, beating peer students and destroying public property as something worth bragging about. They remind the mainlanders of the radicals during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). 

Universities in Hong Kong have been in a mess, but Hong Kong society is unable to stop the chaos. Hong Kong is in decline. Mainland society has done its best under the "one country, two systems" principle. If the chaotic situation continues, universities in Hong Kong will no longer be suitable for mainland students. It's believed that starting next year, mainland students would think twice before applying.  

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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