Journey to My Home: China and Hong Kong 2008
A Long Waited Trip to My Heartland
Lee Siu Hin
Part One: Introduction
(Aug 7th at Tianmen Square)
This is the beginning of my journey.
Since I left my home, I had been long waiting for this trip for many years, to visit my birth place—Hong Kong and China—a long three months trip (June to August)--to visit my family & friends; as well as political and international solidarity trip to build bi-national U.S.-China solidarity; I also spend quality time meetings with different Chinese IT companies & universities to build potential partnerships with to support our webpage design program, and to visit Beijing Olympic games.
Because of my U.S. immigration status--the flawed even racist U.S. policies stand against me and millions of others immigrants in this country, I cannot leave U.S. for too many years.
My 20 years of life and activism in the United States had been both hope-disappointment, more hope comes with more disappointment. As a one-time undocumented sweatshop/low-wage worker and labor activists, my life in the U.S. has been difficult and unfair to me—especially after the September 11 and the U.S. invasion of Iraq, peace and justice movements had been suffered major setback: anti-war votes got pro-war Congress, pro-immigrant movements created anti-immigrant policies, labor campaigns that never gave any befits for the workers, and even working with right wing forces to launch racist campaigns against China, Venezuela (and other countries that U.S. don’t like), I truly concerns the U.S. activist movements at its cross road—it forced me need to go outside the box to think….
Therefore, I decided to spend my entire summer in China to meet, see and discuss with many people across the country, to understand China better, and to help me to tell with other people the true China, and the opportunity what we can lean from China for the U.S. activist movements.
The 2008 for China had been prides and challenges.
Pride is the upcoming Beijing Olympics, Most Chinese agrees China at its best period of time since 1842 British-led Opium War following with 100 years of western imperialist oppressions, invasions and colonization until the People’s Republic funded in 1949. The enormous prides helped millions of Chinese to volunteered to support the Beijing Olympics. Around the city, Beijing currently has 1.5 million students and citizen volunteers supporting the Olympics (I know several friends of mime are Olympic volunteers). In addition tens of millions of people from across the country had mobilized to witness the 100-days Olympic flame relay in China (just yesterday, over three hundred thousand people across the street to see the relay).
2008 also has been the year of major challenges for China, because we had faced major crisis includes the snow storm of January, and the May 12th Wenchuan earthquake earthquake— the largest earthquake in China nearly 80 years that devastated millions of people and killed tens of thousands—in addition, the Tibet riots in March, that backed by western powers to against China—however, unlike many westerners thought it’ll destroy the sprit of Chinese with facing New Orleans post-Katrina-style humanitarian disaster, the powerful surge of nationalism after Tibet riot in March and the May 12th earthquake quickly unify China and Chinese communities across the World, and quickly mobilize themselves for disaster relief to support each others, and grassroots movements support motherland and against western powers meddling China.
Almost every ordinary Chinese friends of mime had told me they’re angry about the western media bias against China, notably U.S.’s CNN, NY Times, U.K.’s BBC, Germany’s Spiegel (and many other western media). When I read their news from the Internet, I am shocked the level of bias and lies they are telling. I am living at an apartment not very far from the so-called Beijing’s diplomatic district; I can fair to say they’re just few miles away from where they east, sleep, work everyday, and I never saw most of what they said. One good example, the so-called pollution in Beijing, is a bias report, I feel the air quality in Beijing mostly good, and better then Los Angeles. Since I am I am China, the allergy and skin rash caused by pollutions in Los Angles completely gone (it’s miracle, and even how much I fear the worse water and air quality in the U.S. major cities). I see cloud and the fog in the city almost every day—but it’s not the smog pollution (few days ago, when four U.S. athletes wear U.S.-issued dusk-masks arriving to Beijing airport, they immediately angered the Chinese public and U.S. athletes quickly realized the mask is unnecessary and quickly made apologies to the Chinese publics and the Olympic Committee.
Most Chinese believes traditional western imperialist countries, such as U.S., U.K., France and Germany, had increase their rhetoric against China at the eve of Olympic games, it's my important mission for me as Chinese, as well as international solidarity to show the true picture of my country.
If you want to understand spirit of Chinese, you need to understand these two very important and powerful words circulated after the May 12th earthquake:
“(We have) many people with strong will, (we will) fight against earthquake disaster and organize relief.”
“(We have) many (natural) disasters, (but we’ll able to build) better country (future).”
These few short words had shown the heart and minds of China and the Chinese nationalism. It’s simply a propaganda words—but a reflections of one of the key elements of cultural-social-political history of our country, that we frequently facing floods, earthquakes, wars, droughts and diseases—instead to accept this is god’s giving destiny to us, we need to fight against our fate for our own survival and to better a better future….
My trip in China has been generously supported by my parents, my friends and many other people. I am currently at staying at a house borrowed by one of our family friend at Beijing.
I coming here as an ordinary citizen’s trip, a trip that hopes will be worth my life.
Very soon, it’ll be the Beijing Olympics, more reports from my trip across the country will be coming soon…
Lee Siu Hin
National Immigrant Solidarity Network http://www.ImmigrantSolidarity.org
ActionLA Coalition http://www.ActionLA.org
Peace NO War Network http://www.PeaceNOWar.net