Hong Kong v. China: “Mulan” and the price of democracy in Hong Kong

Ever since I started my blogging almost a decade ago, my topics have gone from intimate to ridiculous, heavy-hearted to informative. Still, I have done my utmost to keep my emotion in check while writing each of them.  While I may have drifted some of my points to various degrees, I did my utmost to circling back into focus.  The likes of my battles with the great shadows of my past and the infamous double murder-suicide by Chris Benoit and the trilogy of Disney/Fox merger deal were written in various degrees of meticulousness times, have the feel of a collegiate research paper on some sorts.  At the same time, I have little time to get involved with lengthy debates on some of the aspects of what I had written, and thought I would make a few addendums to fill the missing pieces; I would turn off anything that resembles a screaming bloody murder from my father who has called me some of the “less than pleasant” languages that I have tried my hardest not to repeat here in my blog.  Unfortunately, for someone who is living in two distinctively different cultures between my birthplace and a West Coast city where I have since called home, the deteriorating nature of the politics that have plagued my birthplace for the last decade, along with the most egotistical and selfish president ever graced in my adopted country of the United States for the first time, let alone with what is going on in the real world as of late due to the COVID-19, it has been challenging for me to concentrate writing what I was supposed to blog while gathering the feeds on what is happening in real-time, mainly when dealing with the complexity of what has happened to my birthplace since 2011, and here’s a hint from my piece in pro-wrestling scenes in that very city, there’s your hint as to where I came from back in 1989, it is a matter of time before I will find a very “touchy” subject to “shoot” upon.  If you don’t know what that means, it’s a wrestling terminology that has become quite common for some of the more disgruntled wrestlers to spill their frustrations for lack of push. Some can go off as quickly as my father’s constant scolding on me with profanities.  Under normal circumstances, I would never have resorted to using such terms; alas, we are no longer living in a culture where civility reigned wherever we live, and this particular topics I present to you today is a result of several bits of news that I have been following for as long as I came to the United States partly because I am conscientious about where I originated just hours ago before boarding the United Airlines flight in the old Kai Tak Airport. I am quite a history buff when it comes to Chinese history, particularly when I start doing online research independently at various points in time.  Partly because I don’t want to forget the very language that I would find useful one of these days, which had come in the form of Bible study back when I went to church a few years ago, anyway, I had always assumed that Hong Kong would be staying more or less the same if and when I plan for a two-week visit as a tourist after reverting to China’s rule on July 1st, 1997, it was up until the SARS breakout in late 2002 into early 2003, except the local politics have slowly begun in stagnation and regression even before the handover. As of late, a series of interference originated from the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government since 2011 have caused a series of incidents that resulted in the current crisis and rifts between my birthplace and the “noisy neighbor in the northern border,” as well as a rather disturbing trend that China isn’t doing themselves any favor with a recently released on video demand (at least in the North American market) on Disney+, if not causing further damage due to a particular statement made by the star of that movie.

In a previous article that I had written in TRADITIONAL Chinese from a few years ago, I had previously hoped, though as slim as it might well have been, that Hong Kong would return to the civility that it had been in years priors.  Alas, I must admit that my “wishful” thinking has immolated, if not incinerated, by the hardline regime led by Chairman Xi Jinping and his “loyal” lieutenants by interjecting whatever regime-pleasing languages they have concocted, and continually moving the goal post wherever they pleased as if there are no consequences whatever. The Chinese Communist Party and its government (regardless of the national level) have little or no understanding of how the experience of the democratic process accumulated over the last three centuries, let alone reminded themselves of how China’s last dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, faltered in October 1911 as a result of the unwillingness to consider any forms of political reforms that the general population began demanding. Instead, the CCP persists in holding onto the political power while demanding total obedience to the regime on every person living in the ENTIRE WORLD.  Unfortunately, such logic can only work in a CULT, or secret society from centuries pasts rather than as a functional government, and the very Triads who have recently assisted in the Hong Kong government with an indiscriminate violent crackdown on protesters and residents alike, in an attempt to quell all criticism of both local and state governments over domestic policies. While other third-world countries have yet to balance power with responsibility, China doesn’t seem to care about holding itself responsible for treacherous acts committed by those inside the regime rather than focusing on political opponents, media, and citizens alike. Such a thin-skinned approach to criticisms has often resulted in spreading falsehood to the outside with the notion that “might is always right,” and international laws be damned, resulting in even more international diplomatic pressure.

Tracing back to the origins of such political proudness, we must understand that modern China’s history began with the advent of the two Opium Wars, first with the British Empire and later with the former and the French government. While we could have debated days and nights into the great unknown regarding who was more guilty, the fact that China had been under coastal lockdown for centuries even after having intermittent contacts with the Portuguese in the Ming Dynasty, the trade war with the British Empire had forced the realization of the obvious truth: the so-called “barbarians” were much more innovative and modernized than the dynasty could have ever imagined, and this core issue has since becoming ongoing tension between those who persisted in preserving the traditional way of life including those who in power and pursued modernization in the fullest.  In the decades since the two wars, the decaying effect of corruption at every level of the Empire eventually led to the downfall of Qing. It continued dealing with the identity politics from the Northern Expedition in 1925 to the current diplomatic disputes with the pressure by major European countries after a series of a vicious crackdown to quell ongoing democratic movement in not only Hong Kong and China’s disruptive and destructive treatments against all religions and minority races living within the Chinese border, let alone conducting another retread from the most damaging era in Chinese politics during the infamous Cultural Revolution and preceding anti-corruption and anti-antiquity movements from the 1950s to 1970s, such as cross-sovereign-country arrests at will and holding hostages to force further appeasement from the West.  Such tactics may have worked during the Cold War when there were definitive political lines drawn in the sand; however, COVID-19 and the oppression towards China’s democratic movement since 1989, let alone diplomatic and commercial espionage via technology and trades in the past 30 years, has brought everything ahead in the present.

Once I have briefly listed my summary of the historical and political context, the time has come to adequately address the controversy surrounding the Disney-produced 2020 live-action movie “Mulan.”  Before I divulge, however, I must address a somewhat perplexing issue surrounding my viewing numbers on the readers from the People’s Republic of China, to which I sincerely hope the CCP pays bloody attention to the following criticism even if the Chinese authority considers any forms of complaints as foreign concepts.  Therefore, here are my grievances against the government of China.  First, like I have said in my earlier article in my Chinese language, while I have the utmost respect to the readers in that country, the current leadership within the Chinese Communist Party have gravely concerned my survival as a result of the nonsensical and, quite frankly, incredulous stupidity by issuing an arrest warrant on all the expatriates from both Hong Kong and China, let alone Macau, and every Chinese who have long forfeited Chinese citizenship when emigrated to other countries as their citizens.  If that is the way to attract tourists to visit your country, with all due respect, you have instead scared the likes of me and others who have a clear conscience and opted to remain in those countries, let alone the fact that we are within our rights to speak with whoever we want in our adopted countries without fear, unlike the strictest of the strictest on political censorship in China.  While we keep in mind that we can agree to disagree, we don’t need your brand of censorship and becoming an overbearing threat to our existence, especially for the like of me, who has already been dealing with an insufferable individual known as my father. Your language fits him more than me by the length of the Pacific Ocean itself.  If you even dare to send me a few “less-than-friendly” comments my way, please do yourself a favor by sticking your head in a pit of cement and stay there for a week, I have no tolerance for your threats, and you can stick that arrest warrant straight up into your anus, I kid you not. Your idol God, in the form of your most authoritative leader named Mao Zedong, is a mere mortal like you and me, with his intelligence was limited to become a social Playboy and yearned for absolute power. Why in the blues of blue HELL would I ever want to follow such mortals with no hopes of salvation, unless you consider drinking the blood of your political opponents as such? If he cannot resurrect his life from embalming, his godhood is utter bollocks. Need I have to say more? Before I close this rant with a stern warning to the Chinese Government, the Communist Party, and anyone who wants to call me that I am a member of CCP: Me and CCP are so far apart in political ideology that, for every point that there may seem to have something in common, upon mentioning of the methodology in governorship shatters the bond just as quickly as it was cemented. China doesn’t speak on my behalf and I don’t speak on theirs, plain and bloody simple, and if they think of the opposites and demand me to speak with their propaganda, they have another thing coming because I WILL NEVER YIELD TO CHINA, and they can make me do that OVER MY DEAD BODY!

Now, we take a deep dive into the mythology of Mulan, the recent controversies surrounding how Disney “choked” their delivery of the movie, and most importantly, why I opted to decide to boycott this theatric presentation rather than buying the hidden language and become a part of pro-China bollocks.  Despite how CCP wants us to believe wholeheartedly in their versions of Chinese history, the truth is that there is a considerable discrepancy between what they have presented and the reality of history.  Regarding the titular character, Mulan, or should I call it, the entire mythology was based upon a legend from one of the northern tribes who had grown accustomed to the Han Chinese during the North and South Dynasty, I presumed.  While many, including myself, have thought that a girl riding a horse seemed familiar at the time, except the women in Southern China don’t ride on horsebacks, which meant that only the women from the far north of the border in the Northwest territories nearby China in the former Soviet Union states and Mongolia (Inner and Outer alike).  The significance of this discovery is that the legend, like much of what CCP has tried their hardest to convince us that it’s part of the Chinese folklore, is not entirely accurate.  Since the recent cinematic adaptations in both movies and television dramas have varied in their storytelling, it’s also impossible to clearly define which part of the story could truly relate to our daily lives. When Disney first presented as an animated movie back in the late 1990s, it would further deviate from the original legend by injecting a red dragon called Mushu into the story – although making it as another Disney-themed musical drama was not as easy as it looked. As the twentieth anniversary approached, with the success of the “live-action” adaptations of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Jungle Book” a year or two prior, the studio would, likewise, do the same with the titular character; however, the intense scrutiny of Hollywood’s tendency to “whitewash” Asian characters as leads forced a global search for it, especially after the ”controversial” casting of Scarlett Johansson as “Motoko Kunasagi” in the live-action adaptation of “Ghost in the Shell” movie. On November 29, 2017, Disney announced that the production cast Crystal Liu Yifei, who would later serve as the focus of my boycotting later on, as the titular character. Liu has starred in television series like “The Story of a Noble Family” in 2003, which Liu’s casting was controversial because she was underaged (14 or 15 years old at the time), “The Return of Condor Heroes” in 2006, and part of the ensembles cast in “The Four” movie trilogy as character Wu Qing. At first glance, even I reacted to her casting in a positive light since she has been involved with the action movie genre for quite some time, and she was still young enough to play the role; however, the timing of this movie came when China’s “fearless leader” Xi Jinping has begun the consolidation of all of the political control as if he is the modern-day Otto von Bismarck, if not the late Robert Mugabe, who once ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist. This is a problem.

Unlike Xi’s father, Xi Zhongxun, who oversaw the overhaul in economic development in Guangdong Province during the early 1980s immediately after his rehabilitation from the tumultuous Cultural Revolution a few years prior, emphasized that the economic liberation would not just slow down the migration for “greener pasture” in Hong Kong, but also develop a self-reliant economy that would revive the country in the long term, Jinping had other ideas, which ironically enough is also the most significant weak points of the CCP: the unwillingness to share political power with the citizens of its own country and adopt the “check and balance” philosophy to prevent abuse of power by the regime. Xi has never understood that those who crave absolute power will corrupt his feeble minds in the worst ways. What happened since the unrelenting destruction of common sense in governance has resulted in famine, persecution, mass exodus from China to nearby countries and territories away from the CCP, and mass starvation within the first 15 years, and the policies resembled that of the Ming Dynasty with enough secret police that had the potential of forming its nation without local residences. But what has that accomplished in the long term? Everyone becomes too afraid to speak of the illness from corruptions and heavy-handed tactics, everything includes how to improve the international image of its leader and country gets stagnated, and if Xi firmly believes that he will never suffer any consequences by controlling everyone’s thoughts, here’s an advise for you from Mordo of “Doctor Strange” movie: “The bill comes due, ALWAYS.” Sooner or later, someone in your court will flip on you or your associates upon your parting from this realm one day, and they might not be willing to follow such vindictive paths in pursuits of absolute power as much as you think they will. If Xi insists that I must be “lobotomized” by the CCP and turned into one of his billions of minions, he has absolutely no idea what could happen when I’m all alone with him.

Therefore, pursuit your absolute domination and all the authoritarianism until the ends of time, but pursue in your peril when it all falls flat in your face. All I can say to you when we meet our maker would be something like “haven’t I said “I’ve told you so” when you get burned for your ambition?” Because that’s what I would say that to you in your face, whether in heaven or hell.