A lesson from Mr Chen

The good news is that rebelliousness among Hong Kong’s young people is not, as once feared, the product of a CIA plot to overthrow the Chinese government using specially trained Killer Bespectacled Teenagers. The bad news is that the kids’ discontent is due to the failure of the local SCMP-ConsiderNatInteducation system to teach students how wonderful the Communist Party is. Rather than planting sweet melons, former Beijing official Chen Zuo’er warns, our schools have been nurturing poisonous beans.

Chen Zuo’er is remembered as the Beijing official who launched scathing attacks on the pre-1997 colonial administration for increasing welfare expenditure and land supply for housing. Governor Chris Patten remarked that it was the first time he, a Conservative, had been accused of being too socialist by Communists. And, oh my, how the Mainland cadres chortled with mirth at Fei Pang’s wit.

Chen does not seem to have become any warmer and cuddlier since becoming head of a Mainland ‘think-tank’, which is presumably tasked with scaring the spoilt and ungrateful Hongkongers into obedience with technically non-official threats and insults. He suggests that our Education Secretary comes under Beijing’s supervision, and raises fears of patriotic brainwashing in class. The South China Morning Post quotes a Catholic school principal’s forthright views about how Hong Kong values critical thinking above blind obedience.

The principal, sadly, is unwilling to be named. But by attacking the education sector – and singling out Secretary Eddie Ng – Chen is daring local educators and officials to resist. The Education Bureau is an archetypal part of Hong Kong’s arrogant, smug, stuffy civil service: if Chen can accuse it of national-level misdeeds, no-one is safe. This is the squeeze. There will be no sitting on the fence or keeping your head down. Obey, or be an enemy. And where better to start than the hapless Eddie?

The Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to build a United Front have never meshed with this pluralist society, and it will be fascinating to see how far Beijing will go if and when its campaign of persecution alienates the non-committed and even turns on its own. The Hong Kong establishment can sit expressionless while some deranged Mainland paranoiac rants about evil foreign influences backing a Hong Kong ‘colour revolution’. Our local great and good can just about look the other way while Beijing hires thugs and demands abuse of the child-care system to intimidate protestors. Then the Post-Occupy Inquisition comes for the education bureaucrats – and as Niemoller put it, “…there was no-one left to speak up for me.”

Eddie will presumably squirm and hope a press statement about developing young citizens’ national identity will spare him. He has not been the most inspiring of this administration’s policy heads, but nor has he been as obnoxious as some. He would go down as a hero if he walked at this point.

I declare the weekend open with something to stiffen Eddie’s spine – a bizarre and unexpected Google result…


This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to A lesson from Mr Chen

  1. Qian Jin says:

    What exactly are these Hong Korg “core values” which Catholic school principals and other democracy nutters urge us to respect and protect?

    The only core value I can identify and observe openly displayed in LEGCO meetings is a lack of dress code discipline and the ability to freely watch porn or fall asleep. Would Hong Kong citizens really be worse off if we lost lost these?

    If we lost our porn channels we could always nip across the border to the Dongguan massage parlours!

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    When will the shellacked motor oil heads in Beijing realize that not all the Chinese diaspora worldwide are going to rally round the CCP red flag and jump to the cause of the “motherland” just because they have ethnicity in common?

  3. Joe Schmoe says:

    What the fuck are you talking about Qian JIn, or is it’钱金’? If you are going to comment at least be on topic.

    It was mentioned in the quote that critical thinking is the core value. Most friends I have been privileged to know in China support the government, but still dislike China’s education system. I haven’t come across a single family, wealthy, affluent, or struggling who would not prefer to send their children abroad as early as they could afford, with the intention that they come back to China to get a good job. In the last few years seats at 1st tier schools have gained some traction mainly because of networking opportunities and new opportunities to get a foot in the door increasingly wealthy domestic Chinese companies, but not once have I come across someone in private who would choose a Chinese school for its academic standards.

    The problem of that is this neo-Chinese system you are beholden to does not allow for middle ground. Either love all of it, or be thrown out with the other outcasts. No one who has a stake in the game will ever admit to anything other than the party line, even sitting behind the online mask, so it is pointless even to comment. Agree with you or get locked into ridiculous flamewars on anonymous message boards, aka middle school kids in computer lab class the world over.

    Have you spoken with Chinese academics overseas anywhere? Do you have any academics or researchers who are friends in China that would speak to you in private?

    Probably not, you don’t give a fuck about China and would change your statement in a heartbeat if the economic/political landscape required it.

    Fuck you and all of the online commentators like you Qian Jin, hope your immigration documents were already processed and you get out before the 2015 tax dragnet closes quite a few immigration loopholes. Oh wait, you probably can’t because I’m certain you don’t actually have any money, which would neccesitate that you understand the system for what it really is.

  4. Cassowary says:

    Harvard MBA, speaks posh British-accented English, drinks red wine, sends kids to English boarding schools, has a second home in Vancouver, launders state funds and kisses ass = Patriot

    Born, raised and educated in Hong Kong, believes in nasty little ideas like democracy and human rights = Race Traitor

  5. cccrrrgh says:

    Thanks, Joe, for officially welcoming our new troll.

  6. Stephen says:

    A competition for the weekend

    Which of the following comments can be attributed to Rimsky ?

    A. I’m called Rimsky because I’m the best CCP anus cleaner in town;
    B. I don’t think we can assume that no pan democrat can become a nominee;
    C. Hand on heart I’m not delusional even when I dress up in one of Michael Tien’s power suits;
    D. The current election committee is broadly representative – one uncle numerous votes;
    E. From a legal point of view the liaison office have interpreted Article 45 to me on a number of occasions and I still don’t understand a word of it;

  7. reductio says:

    Poor old Eddie. Gets up ready for another dull day at the Edu Department office and he gets a call:

    “Eddie, it’s Carrie, man. Have you checked out the news?”
    “No, man, I’m just chillin’ with a bowl of cornflakes”
    “Well, Chen Zou’er is in town and he’s sayin’ bad things about you, man. Some bad shit like you responsible for the Occupy gig.”
    “What the ***k man! Occupy ? What the hell’ve I got to do with that. Anyway, I know you’re my wing man, Carrie. Got my back right? Hello?…Hello?”

  8. Cassowary says:

    What exactly are these [Mainland] “core values” which [Chen Zuo’er] and other [“patriotic”] nutters urge us to respect and protect?

    The only core value I can identify and observe openly displayed in [the Chinese government] is [running people over with cars] and the ability to [destroy airport lounges in temper tantrums] or [beat street vendors to death]. Would [Mainland] citizens really be worse off if we lost lost these?

    If we lost our [right to abuse the peasants with impunity] we could always nip across the [Bering Strait] to [our luxury penthouses in Vancouver]!

  9. Maugrim says:

    Eddie sent his kids to the Australian International School. It’s a HK allegory all in one.

  10. Scotty Dotty says:

    @ reduction

    Chuckle. That sounds about the jist of it.

    @ Hemlock et al

    Jeeps, with robots like Chen around it’s easy to understand how the Cultural Revolution happened. Newsflash: the future is critical thinking. You have to wonder what planet they inhabit, that they can’t see blind obedience produces the worst of humanity – Communists killing tens of millions of their own people; Fascists killing millions of Jews; evil Muslims killing and killing.

    Mind you, given Chen blindly supports a party which killed tens of millions of its own citizens, it’s understandable he wouldn’t like too much critical thinking about that.

  11. Knownot says:

    Cassowary 2:59 pm – Very good!


    “Governor Chris Patten remarked that it was the first time he, a Conservative, had been accused of being too socialist by Communists.”

    When General de Gaulle was called a running dog during the Cultural Revolution he said, “This is the first time I’ve been called a dog by a Pekinese.”

  12. reductio says:


    “Beijingese”, please. You’ll be saying “Calcutta” next instead of Kokut…Kalcot…Kulcat…Kolkut …er.

  13. Hermes says:

    I wonder if Qian Jin truly believes what he posts, or is just an impoverished, disillusioned youth / covet Capitalist with his copies of the Little Red Book and Xi’s speeches at his elbow, posting CCP popaganda on multiple sites and raking in the 50 cents !

  14. Hermes says:

    Correction: *covert

  15. Joe Blow says:

    @ Qian Jin: Now that you are getting a taste of freely expressing your opinions without fear of being send to a re-education camp in Manchu-kuo: why is there no free press in China ?

  16. PCC says:

    I’ve known Eddie for 25 years. It’s called failing upwards. He’ll be the next CE.

  17. Oneleggoalie says:

    …technically Qian Jin is not a troll…Oneleg is a troll…and he hides behind no shadow…
    …anyone can find him if they but search a little…
    it’s just that he can’t be bothered to reply irrelevant people…

    …the author of this blog needs to allow every article a link to his Twitter account in order to reach a larger and by far younger audience…there be gems a’wasted here…

  18. NIMBY says:

    Qian jin is probably 前进, from the March of the (Idiot) Volunteers (While the Cadres stand safely in the back, ready to shoot anyone not smart enough to swim accross Mirs Bay).

    Qian is the prototype, hoping all the idiots will keep up their slavery while he’s getting his slice washed in good old Hong Kong, and that’s the values of Hong Kong both Qian and the party elite really want HK to keep.

  19. John Wright says:

    Basic Law: Chapter VI : Education, Science, Culture, Sports, Religion, Labour and Social Services
    “Article 136
    On the basis of the previous educational system, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall, on its own, formulate policies on the development and improvement of education, including policies regarding the educational system and its administration, the language of instruction, the allocation of funds, the examination system, the system of academic awards and the recognition of educational qualifications.
    Community organizations and individuals may, in accordance with law, run educational undertakings of various kinds in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
    Article 137
    Educational institutions of all kinds may retain their autonomy and enjoy academic freedom. They may continue to recruit staff and use teaching materials from outside the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Schools run by religious organizations may continue to provide religious education, including courses in religion.
    Students shall enjoy freedom of choice of educational institutions and freedom to pursue their education outside the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.”

  20. Reader says:

    John Wright, class swot, answers correctly again.

Comments are closed.