Tense and unstable China-Hong Kong relations, involving months of protest, are impacting Canadians and stirring some students to publicly show support for either the Hong Kong protestors or the Chinese Communist Party establishment. 

One Grade 8 student at Richmond Secondary School in Richmond, BC, was displaying pro-Hong Kong paraphernalia on his locker, and on November 25th found an anonymous pro-China letter taped to his locker. 

The anonymous letter was sent to the CBC by the student’s friend. However, the CBC translated only a few words from the letter in their report on the issue, and they skipped over its pro-communism, anti-democracy messaging.

True North obtained a translation of the letter, and some of the passages include “The democracy you admire is a pile of sh*t. China doesn’t need so-called democracy. Please read more books” and “Insulting our dearest mother nation is absolutely not allowed, your protest is an evil act.” 

The author accused the pro-Hong Kong student of “humiliating” the communist party. 

The anonymous author, who signs off only as “a Chinese person,” writes to the pro-Hong Kong student, “You need to understand you are selling your soul [to the West]” and “Only 2 words can describe a Hong Konger: low life and chicken.”

The author also states, “without the communist party, today’s China would not exist. Without the communist party, you [Hong Kong] would still be living daily under the feet of the British” and asks, “Do you know how much love the communist party has given to you?”

Richmond News, who contacted the parties involved, claims they were told by two independent sources that the individuals wrapped up in the dispute were specifically told not to go to the media (though by that point, one of the student’s friends already had). 

Perhaps the school wanted to shield this story from media attention, as this incident comes hot on the heels of many similar controversies.

In October, at Steveston-London Secondary (also in Richmond, BC), students in three Mandarin language classes were shown a trailer for the People’s Republic of China-produced film “My People, My Country,” and given an assignment based on the clip. But the assignment was pulled after the several thousand members of the “Hongkongers in Vancouver” Facebook group were called upon to complain to the school district about the film trailer. The original post bringing attention to the assignment says “Parents from Vancouver and Richmond, please complain to the local school board and the school principal, this Mandarin class course has violated the rights of other ethnic groups.”

Also in October of this year, a pro-Hong Kong student at Burnaby North Secondary was shoved and yelled at by a pro-China student, in an altercation that was captured on cell phone video. At the end of the clip, a student can be heard saying “Relax, it’s okay. It’s Canada. You can have your opinions. We can have our opinions. We’ll just leave each other alone.”

Indeed, this is Canada, where we are free to express our opinions. 

The students at Richmond Secondary School, whether it was the student displaying pro-Hong Kong paraphernalia or the student who wrote the pro-China letter, were exercising their freedom of expression.

The only questionable aspect here is why, unlike other news outlets, the CBC opted to not offer a translation of the pro-China letter, and deliberately downplayed and omitted its pro-communist, pro-censorship, and anti-democracy messaging.