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AsiaGlobal Voices

Trending Opinions From Across the Region

AsiaGlobal Voices is a curated feed of summaries of opinion articles, columns and editorials published in local languages in media from across Asia.

The publication of AsiaGlobal Voices summaries does not indicate any endorsement by the Asia Global Institute or AsiaGlobal Online of the opinions expressed in them.

Public Diplomacy Strengthens the Legitimacy of Government Policies
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Public Diplomacy Strengthens the Legitimacy of Government Policies

Alan Chong, Associate Professor in the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, in Lianhe Zaobao (September 16, 2021)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Singapore International Foundation)

Public Diplomacy Strengthens the Legitimacy of Government Policies

Public diplomacy is an important pillar for strengthening the legitimacy of government policies. Singapore’s public diplomacy has developed through external influences. From the establishment of the British colony to the eve of the Japanese occupation of World War II, the city’s three main ethnic communities carried out their own non-state forms of public diplomacy.

After independence in 1965, Singapore attempted to maintain its unique identity as a non-aligned international trade center open to everyone. Today, Singapore is not only actively pursuing the goals of ASEAN and the UN but it is also willing to maintain communication channels and low-key economic relations with countries that have fraught relations with the West such as Iran, North Korea and Myanmar.

Singapore's omnidirectional foreign policy is also reflected through its seeking a balance between China and the US, China and Japan, and China and India. This is evident in the fact that Singapore not only regularly has exchanges with these governments but has also signed extensive special economic agreements and trade agreements with them. Singapore’s success in formal public diplomacy is evident in the frequent invitations that senior officials receive to attend dialogues involving the United States and the European Union.

It is against this background that the Singapore International Foundation (SIF), as a practitioner of public diplomacy, fulfils its role. Together, the Foundation and Singaporean citizens jointly promote domestic and foreign cooperation to support positive changes. Today, the SIF supports public diplomacy through voluntary projects in the fields of healthcare and education, as well as through social entrepreneurship programs.

Singapore’s public diplomacy not only demonstrates the country’s good governance but projects an image of a country with global potential. Looking to the future, for organizations such as the SIF, public diplomacy should aim to place social and emotional connections above official political transactions.


The Crown Prince Took Great Pains To Ensure His Daughter’s Marriage
Thursday, November 11, 2021
The Crown Prince Took Great Pains To Ensure His Daughter’s Marriage

Emori Keiji, editor, in The Mainichi (October 26, 2021)

Summary by Alejandro Reyes (Photo credit: Pool photo)

The Crown Prince Took Great Pains To Ensure His Daughter’s Marriage

During his birthday press conference in November 2020, Crown Prince Akishino touched on the marriage of his elder daughter, then Princess Mako: "To respect their feelings means to approve their marriage…If they are truly serious about getting married, as parents, we should respect their feelings."

In fact, Crown Prince Akishino had voiced this view to those around him on countless occasions, ever since news outlets reported on the unofficial engagement of the then princess to Kei Komuro in May 2017. He has consistently stuck to the idea that as long as the pair wish to marry, their union cannot be disapproved of.

But the road leading to their marriage was a rocky one. After money trouble between Komuro's mother and her ex-fiancé was revealed, the situation took a turn for the worse. In February 2018, the Imperial Household Agency announced the postponement of Mako's engagement.

Crown Prince Akishino decided to not proceed with the engagement or marriage ceremonies, as he judged that the marriage would not be accepted and celebrated by most of the public. Mako refused a lump sum usually paid to female Imperial Household members who leave the family upon marriage. The recent union is an extraordinary one for an Imperial Family member, involving only a marriage registration.

The Imperial Household should have the public's best interests at heart. The activities of the Imperial Family and the postwar system that deems the emperor "the symbol of the State" are built upon the understanding and support of the Japanese public. What would have happened if the traditional rites had been approved even as many voices continued to criticize Mako's marriage? Crown Prince Akishino's decision not to carry out the rites must have been an agonizing one as a father.


What Must Be Done To Follow Through On COP26 Climate Commitments
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
What Must Be Done To Follow Through On COP26 Climate Commitments

Aaran Patel, master’s candidate in public policy at Harvard University, and Siddarth Shrikanth, master’s candidate in public administration and business administration, Harvard and Stanford Universities, in The Indian Express (November 5, 2021)

Summary by Alejandro Reyes (Photo credit: Government of India)

What Must Be Done To Follow Through On COP26 Climate Commitments

After weeks of tough talk, few expected India to lead from the front on the opening day of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. And yet it did. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement – a series of ambitious short-term climate targets, and a pledge to hit net-zero emissions by 2070 – was a welcome surprise.

The announcement cements India’s important position in the climate fight. Despite being responsible for a relatively small share of historical emissions, India is now the world’s third-biggest emitter, behind only China and the US. With one-sixth of humanity and millions yet to be lifted from poverty, what India does on climate will inevitably shape the world’s trajectory.

Net-zero by 2070 may seem a long way off. But the near-term targets that underpin the headline figure matter far more. None of this will be easy, but the goals point to a quiet revolution in India’s climate ambitions. India’s sheer vulnerability to climate change may have played a part.

To meet the challenge at hand, we see three guiding principles that could help bring this week’s bold pledges to life.

First, India must combine emissions reductions with climate adaptation, embedding environmental justice for people and nature. Second, corporate India has a vital role to play in complementing government policy. Third, to deliver decarbonization and development, India will need data and democratic deliberation. Building state capacity can help the country move from reactive decision-making to proactive planning and execution. But India will also require the analytical horsepower to craft and implement evidence-based policies.

COP26 represents a bold step, but the devil is in the details. Following through on these commitments with transparent, credible action would allow India to demonstrate genuine climate leadership for the rest of the developing world, and secure a better, greener future for its citizens.


What is Behind the Alcohol Ban Issue
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
What is Behind the Alcohol Ban Issue

Lim Hong Siang, Executive Director of socio-cultural and religious studies research center Saudara, in Malaysiakini (October 23, 2021)

Summary by Made Ayu Mariska (Photo credit: Jeremy Eades)

What is Behind the Alcohol Ban Issue

Although the issue of alcohol has been around for a long time, the decision by the leaders of the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS, or Malaysian Islamic Party) to harp on the subject before joining the ruling coalition worsened the political climate. PAS took a rather extreme stance, demanding that alcohol be banned, regardless of the fact that the country is a multiracial and multireligious society with different perceptions of the drink they call the "devil's urine".

They must be prepared to take responsibility for their statements and behavior. Either they keep their promises or admit their mistake, apologize and call for everyone to move forward.

Since the 2008 political tsunami (when the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition suffered its worst general elections till then), "Malay grievances" have been touted in an atmosphere of racist and narrow religious politics. Malays are upset with the "Chinese uprising", worried because "Islam is threatened", and afraid that one day "the earth will be trampled on by others". This anxiety was successfully triggered, even though the national machinery was controlled almost entirely by Muslim Malays.

As citizens, non-Muslim Malays pay taxes, keep their money in homeland banks, and defend their country as Malaysians. But when there is a political power struggle, their rights are at stake without a shred of sensitivity to their sentiments.

Every day, Malaysians are plagued by crime and various social problems that demand policy changes so that the people are protected. It seems, however, that some people are more invested in discussing an alcohol ban than in dealing with the real problems in society.


Why are Some Public Figures Often Labelled as Pro-Independence?
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Why are Some Public Figures Often Labelled as Pro-Independence?

Timothy Kwai, member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, in China Times (September 10, 2021)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: @張鈞甯 on Weibo)

Why are Some Public Figures Often Labelled as Pro-Independence?

According to a report, actress Janine Chang referred to Taiwan as "my country" in her master's thesis, which she wrote 11 years ago. As a result, she was accused by mainland Chinese netizens of being pro-Taiwan independence. She later clarified on Weibo that she was not and “had always regarded herself as Chinese”. President Tsai Ing-wen stated Chang’s situation was not only an infringement of personal rights but also highlighted the differences in the values of democracy and authoritarianism between the two sides of the Strait.

In Hong Kong few celebrities have actively supported the recent political demonstrations. The Hong Kong star Nicholas Tse recently announced he was planning to renounce his Canadian citizenship. Yet, if a Taiwan artist is slightly well known in the mainland, the chance of being misconstrued as “pro-independence” is notably higher.

The reason for this is that mainland China generally believes that, since Chen Shui-bian was elected president in 2000 (he served until 2008), Taiwan's shift towards "cultural independence" has intensified. This shift occupies many cultural fields, including education, language, literature, art, film and television. As a result, the influence of "cultural independence" is intensifying conflict in public opinion on both sides of the strait.

After Tsai Ing-wen took office as Taiwan’s leader, official cross-strait dialogue was severed, and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) continued to promote the concept of "cultural independence". This has resulted in a distorted subconsciousness of the new generation of Taiwan people and created a dangerous barrier between the two sides of the strait. This is the main underlying reason why Taiwan artists such as Janine Chang are criticized on the mainland.


Developing the Power of the Creative Economy
Friday, October 22, 2021
Developing the Power of the Creative Economy

Hastin AB Dumadi, Minister Counsellor and head of the Economic Department of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Singapore, in Kompas (October 6, 2021)

Summary by Made Ayu Mariska (Photo credit: UNICEF)

Developing the Power of the Creative Economy

The South Korean boyband BTS appeared at the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations. This shows that Korea takes their soft power diplomacy seriously. According to a report by US National Public Radio (NPR), BTS is estimated to contribute at least US$5 billion to the economy each year. In addition, BTS attracts tourists to South Korea through its concerts, while also advancing the country’s fashion, merchandise and food industries, among others.

Just like South Korea, Indonesia has great potential to advance its creative economy. Many Indonesian entrepreneurs have contributed to and invested in the creative sector through movies on Netflix and international film festivals, being featured in Hollywood blockbuster movie soundtracks, fashion weeks, and culinary diplomacy.

There are four key factors required to advance Indonesia's creative economy:

First, strong will, especially from the government, is needed to give priority to the strengthening of the creative industry as one of the sources of economic strength.

Second, all crucial parties must put in the hard work.

Third, consistency in regulation, creation and maintaining quality to build strong branding for Indonesia and contributors to the creative industry.

Finally, strong collaboration among all stakeholders will lead to success by creating a conducive creative-economy ecosystem. The government, private sector, and talents must work hand in hand to move forward.

If Indonesia can bring together all the various elements needed for such an ecosystem, this sector can undoubtedly become a great driver of economic growth.


Can the Declining Birth Rate be Reversed?
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Can the Declining Birth Rate be Reversed?

Soon Hoh Sing, current affairs commentator, in Oriental Daily News (August 29, 2021)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: John Ragai)

Can the Declining Birth Rate be Reversed?

By 2030, the share of Malaysia’s population aged 65 years and over is forecast to exceed 10 percent. This will mean that the country will experience aging demographics and a low birth rate. This will put pressure on public finances due to falling tax revenues and increasing public health expenditure.

While this is a universal phenomenon, it is important to note that, since Malaysia is not a rich country, public debt has been rising sharply. If trends continue, it is likely that the lives of Malaysians will become increasingly difficult due to the country’s limited fiscal capacity. One of the possible consequences of this is that public services that are currently free or cheap will become chargeable or expensive, especially medical services.

In many developed economies such as South Korea and Taiwan, the population is already declining. Unless the fertility rate increases or foreign workers are welcomed, it is inevitable that our society will struggle. As far as Malaysia is concerned, in the 1950s, the number of births per woman was roughly five to six, while some even gave birth to 10 children. In recent years, however, this figure has dropped to two.

In developed countries, there are usually various measures in place to encourage childbirth. In Malaysia, there are Chinese groups that have set up grants to encourage childbirth, but the response has not been satisfactory. If it hopes to reverse the declining fertility rate, Malaysia will have to work out how to offer benefits to raising a family that outweigh the various costs. If not, the alternative will be to welcome foreign workers to make up for inevitable labor shortages.


The Nobel Peace Prize for Maria Ressa: A Western Weapon vs the President?
Monday, October 18, 2021
The Nobel Peace Prize for Maria Ressa: A Western Weapon vs the President?

Jan Albert Suing, political science researcher and writer, in The Manila Times ( October 17, 2021)

Summary by Alejandro Reyes (Photo credit: Ken Opprann/Nobel Prize Outreach)

The Nobel Peace Prize for Maria Ressa: A Western Weapon vs the President?

The Nobel Prize is arguably the most prestigious award in the world. But in the Peace category, its reputation has been tarnished in much of the world. In some cases, the honor has gone to the polar opposite of the stated ideals such as Barack Obama, who approved the Libya and Syria bombings. The award is routinely used by the US, the UK and the West to divert attention from their own warmongering and to moralize and to create willing proxy mouthpieces to attack nonaligned nations or leaders.

Journalist Maria Ressa does deserve recognition. The Philippine government did congratulate her. Whether we agree with her politics or not, she has shown courage, risked legal cases and financial pressures. but she also receives millions of dollars of foreign money from groups such as the US National Endowment for Democracy.

Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have suffered a far higher price against far more aggressive governments of superpowers, created much greater impact against tyranny, wars, and freedom of information, for humanity and not just one country.

On what basis can the Nobel board consider Maria Ressa or Dmitri Muratov of Russia more deserving of recognition, courageous as they are for criticizing their governments? What about different whistleblowers of US military atrocities who were charged or put in jail for years? What about leaders or lesser luminaries who have actually avoided, prevented or reduced wars? There is a clear conclusion to draw: There can be no heroes recognized when their actions are against the US or Western government.


After the US Withdrawal from Afghanistan
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
After the US Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Watanabe Masahito, Associate Professor in the Graduate School of International Media, Communication, and Tourism Studies at Hokkaido University, in Liberty Times (September 19, 2021)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: @DeptofDefense on Twitter)

After the US Withdrawal from Afghanistan

The US has withdrawn its troops from Afghanistan and American public opinion is now shifting on the necessity of future military deployments. Decisions on where troops should be deployed depends on foreign policy priorities. Taiwan should consider just how much of a priority it is to the US. There are three points to consider:

First, the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan represented the end of the 20-year war that began under the presidency of George W Bush. Many people in the US believe that the war in Afghanistan was unnecessary. After then president Barack Obama ordered the execution of Osama Bin Laden, public concern for Afghanistan continually diminished. Withdrawing troops was one of the key priorities of President Joe Biden.

Second, public opinion in the US still favours strict policies against China with a 2020 survey showing that 73 percent of American citizens had a negative attitude towards Beijing, the lowest level since the Cold War. As this attitude spans both Democrats and Republicans, the tough stance of the US against China is not expected to change in the short term.

Finally, there has been a steady deepening of Taiwan’s relations with both the US and Japan. This is largely related to the impact brought about by the loss of freedom in Hong Kong. Protecting the security and stability of Taiwan is seen by the US and Japan in the broader perspective of protecting freedom and democracy in Asia.

Taiwan’s context is clearly very different from Afghanistan. Nevertheless, if the recent US withdrawal of troops can revitalize discussions on the development of Taiwan-US relations, this would be a positive thing.


The Urgent Need For Education In Digital Finance
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
The Urgent Need For Education In Digital Finance

Liu Xuming, Chairman of Asia Digital Bank, in Oriental Daily News (September 21, 2021)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: MyDIGITAL)

The Urgent Need For Education In Digital Finance

The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted more Malaysians to accept digital finance processes such as paying bills by online transfers. This has prompted Bank Negara Malaysia, the central bank, to announce that it is issuing up to five digital bank licenses by the first quarter of 2022. The fierce competition in this sector indicates the digital transformation of the banking and financial industries in Malaysia.

On the demand side, the demand for digital banking services among Malaysians is increasing. Mobile banking transactions in the first year of the epidemic reached 460 million Malaysian ringgit (US$110.3 million), an increase of 125 percent over 2019. On the supply side, many companies have formed consortia to join the fierce battle for the five licenses. Facing such strong demand, improving the general and professional education for users of digital finance is essential.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the Malaysian government has promoted the professional training of digital economy human resources such as through the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, which was announced in February 2021. The domestic labor market, however, remains unable to support the development of the digital financial industry. To overcome the talent shortage, hiring managers are required to provide on-the-job training to make up for the lack of skills. The level of general knowledge of digital finance among the public is also a concern. Awareness is limited to online banking, with few knowing anything about sophisticated products and services such as digital assets.

In the face of the unstoppable wave of the digital finance era post epidemic, not only professionals but the public too should have sufficient knowledge of digital finance. This will not only help build understanding and trust but also an appreciation of all digital financial products. This will allow the whole society to access and manage wealth fairly and efficiently.


Will Relations With Ottawa Improve After The Canadian Federal Election?
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Will Relations With Ottawa Improve After The Canadian Federal Election?

Qian Hao, Professor and Director of the Centre for Canadian Studies at the Shanghai International Studies University, and President of the Association for Canadian Studies in China, in Global Times (September 23, 2021)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: Martin Chevalier/Le Journal de Montréal/Press pool)

Will Relations With Ottawa Improve After The Canadian Federal Election?

Justin Trudeau has won a third term as Canada’s prime minister, with his Liberal Party forming another minority government. What does this mean for China-Canada relations?

Canada’s China policy was one of the issues in the campaign debates. The "3Ms Case" (referring to Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou detained in Canada and the two Canadians who were arrested in China, Michael Kovrig, Michael Spavor) is likely to have affected voting preferences.

Whether China-Canada relations can recover now that the election is over depends on the diplomatic agenda of the two countries. Trudeau promised that he would bring back the two Michaels from China. Yet Meng's return is still a prerequisite for improving China-Canada relations. The Canadian side hopes that the United States will lift the charges against Meng. This, however, depends on the diplomatic skills of Canadian policymakers.

According to data from the China-Canada import and export trade index for the three years from January 2018 to December 2020, China-Canada trade volume was not affected by the deterioration of diplomatic relations. This offers clear evidence that Canada is different from Australia. In addition, Canada, as a member of the Five Eyes alliance, is the only country so far that has not blocked Huawei from participating in 5G contracts.

It is possible that Trudeau will continue to work hard to improve China-Canada non-governmental relations during the term of his new government, particularly in areas such as environmental protection and energy. The governments of China and Canada should adopt a positive dialogue, seek common ground while understanding differences, and deepen cooperation.


The Quad Must Succeed In The Face Of China’s State-Guided Tech Strategy
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
The Quad Must Succeed In The Face Of China’s State-Guided Tech Strategy

Anil K Antony, tech entrepreneur, in Hindustan Times (October 4, 2021)

Summary by Alejandro Reyes (Photo credit: @narendramodi on Twitter)

The Quad Must Succeed In The Face Of China’s State-Guided Tech Strategy

A key focus of discussion at both the Quad Summit and the India-US bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden was tech collaboration. While the two leaders agreed to revive a bilateral mechanism for accelerating high-tech commerce, Quad discussions had better defined outcomes. These included an agreement on tech principles and standards and an understanding among the participating countries (Japan and Australia were the others) to build on the work of a critical and emerging technology working group, first conceived at the Quad’s virtual summit in March.

The group is meant to facilitate technology standards development, and identify collaborations on critical and emerging technologies, including biotechnology, semiconductors and future communication technology. A key objective is the creation of resilient technology supply chains. Both the bilateral and Quad meetings focused on low-emissions technology solutions to tackle the climate crisis, as well as cybersecurity.

These are positive developments for India. Disruptive changes in China, however, make the realization of these goals challenging. China’s clampdown on tech companies has been restricted only to the consumer sector, even as state support to hard and manufacturing sectors including 5G/6G, semiconductors, batteries, avionics and space tech has accelerated. This suggests a state-supervised redirection of the tech sector into emerging strategically vital areas to optimize long-term geopolitical and geo-economic gains.

The Quad’s success in high-tech cooperation depends on the ability of the four nations to draw on each other’s strengths and identify opportunities for collaboration. They would also have to work with utmost urgency if they are to keep up with the singularly focused, state-guided competition from China. Falling behind in these strategic emerging technologies, the drivers of the digitally driven economies of our future, will be debilitating for democracies.


We Need The Capacity To Live With The Threat Of Natural Disasters
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
We Need The Capacity To Live With The Threat Of Natural Disasters

Dwikorita Karnawati, director of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), in Media Indonesia (October 1, 2021)

Summary by Alejandro Reyes (Photo credit: cea +)

We Need The Capacity To Live With The Threat Of Natural Disasters

Though it has been three years, the earthquake and tsunami that occurred on September 28, 2018, are still etched in memory. More than 2,000 people died in the disaster. A rare type of earthquake, where the fracture velocity exceeds the speed of seismic shear waves and causes a sonic boom. An earthquake of this type was also blamed for the disaster that hit San Francisco in 1906 and killed more than 3,000 people.

The government’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has changed the socialization material to educate the public, especially those who live along tsunami-prone coasts. The simple message is, if you feel an earthquake shock, immediately run away from the beach to a high place, without waiting for an early warning or siren.

Whether a tsunami occurs or not, the important thing is to save yourself first. This message is part of our effort to build a culture of safety by increasing the community's capacity to carry out self-evacuation. Having this capability will be very effective in protecting coastal communities from tsunamis, as has happened in the communities of Japan in 2011, Nias in 2005, and Aceh in 2004. Bearing in mind, in some parts of Indonesia, the estimated time of arrival of a tsunami ranges from one to seven minutes. The old principle of 20-20-20 (if you feel a shaking on the beach for 20 seconds, immediately run to a place higher than 20 meters because a tsunami will come 20 minutes later) seems no longer appropriate.

Another thing which is no less important is to build a reliable communication network infrastructure. Not only is it vital in disseminating early warning messages but communication networks are also vital in disaster reaction, rescue and relief. No one can predict when the earthquake and tsunami will occur but with the involvement of all parties – the central and local governments, community, academics, private sector and media – to provide comprehensive education and robust mitigation plans and efforts, then Indonesians can manage to live with the threat of disasters. Like in the Korean television series Squid Game, Indonesia is in a race against time. Every second is so precious.


Students Are Suing The US Government: How They Should Prepare
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Students Are Suing The US Government: How They Should Prepare

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: CCTV screenshot from YouTube)

Hao Min, Vice Dean of the Department of International Politics at the University of International Relations, in Global Times (July 16, 2021)

Students Are Suing The US Government: How They Should Prepare

Academic cooperation and scientific and technological exchanges are an important channel for engagement between China and the United States. In response to the nonsensical American government’s presidential proclamation barring certain Chinese students and researchers from entering the US as non-immigrants, over 1,000 Chinese students from eight top science and engineering colleges in China are initiating a class-action lawsuit requesting that the administration of Joe Biden revise or rescind the executive order.

Signed by Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, in May 2020, the order was ostensibly aimed at "protecting intellectual property rights" and "preventing spies from stealing advanced American science and technology". It completely runs counter to the values of "openness and freedom" in academia that Americans defend.

Students should be aware of the following:

First, the large-scale refusal of visas is an extension of the US investigation of Chinese researchers. The vast majority of those scrutinized have been shown to have nothing to do with the "technical espionage" alleged by the US. This illustrates that the US government is determined to curb China's high-tech development for national strategic purposes.

Second, the vague term "military-civil fusion" has become a gimmick used by the US to suppress China. Students (even those from the arts or social sciences) who were refused visas came from science and engineering colleges considered by Washington to be involved in military-civil activities and to have a connection to the People’s Liberation Army. It should be noted that many American laboratories are funded by the US military.

Chinese students must be prepared for a protracted legal battle. Litigation in the US is costly and could last months to years. Even though many American colleges and universities have responded positively to the views of Chinese students, none have been willing to support the case against the government.


What Must Be Done To Ease The Tide of Emigration
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
What Must Be Done To Ease The Tide of Emigration

Nelson Chow Wing-sun, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at The University of Hong Kong, in Ming Pao (August 13, 2021)

Summary by Alan Yang Gregory (Photo credit: HUI YT / Shutterstock.com)

What Must Be Done To Ease The Tide of Emigration

The changes that have occurred in Hong Kong over the past year have made some consider emigrating. The current wave of emigration may not stop in the short term. For Hong Kong to turn a new page, society must re-understand the meaning of "one country, two systems" and embrace their national identity. Since the return of sovereignty to China in 1997, Hong Kong people have mostly focused on defending the systems and values left over from the British colonial era. They have, therefore, overlooked their new “one country” national identity. The government must do more than just prevent social turmoil if they expect to ease the wave of emigration. There are several ways to do this:

First, with the National Security Law enacted last year, order in society has returned. But stopping violence and curbing chaos is not enough. The government must win the support of the people so that they can have confidence in the future of Hong Kong.

Second, the government should implement various programs to improve people's livelihood. The government should address problems such as the housing shortage and the lack of care for the elderly, rather than just make statements. Only through this can society feel that the government is determined to improve their lives and put their wellbeing first.

Finally, the government should redefine the values of Hong Kong people. While Hong Kong people’s pursuit of democracy, freedom and the rule of law are not wrong in themselves, the relevant interpretations of them have unfortunately been distorted. The most difficult task, therefore, is to reshape the values that are in line with the current situation in Hong Kong, making them the basis for uniting society and once again encouraging people to seek common ideals and goals.