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金凯:“身份政治”如何让香港一度黯然失色
原标题:“身份政治”不应掩盖香港传奇

    提要:对香港凤凰卫视高级记者黄芷渊的采访——透过“身份政治”的视角探讨香港的过去、现在与未来。

 

大约十多年前,我参加在首尔举行的有关中国主题的一个小组研讨会时,发言人不失礼貌地坚持所有与会者都表明其“国籍”。一位年轻人在表示自己来自中国之前停顿了至少约五秒钟,然后特意“澄清”他实际来自香港。几个月后,我的一名学生在课后讨论活动中声称她来自香港,并解释道:与“中国”相比,那里的人们说不同的语言,并且属于不同的文化。

上述两位似乎都出生于1980年代中后期。而这就很可能意味着与他们早期的童年记忆相比,他们对香港在1997年移交中国后的状况应该会有更多也更加真实的个人记忆。那么,在谈及“中国”时,究竟是什么让他们感到并坚持认为自己如此“不同”呢?

从那时起已过去十多年了。这期间,“身份政治”在整个世界范围内不断地制造更多的隔阂与纷争,而香港问题则变得更加尖锐。正如美国传统基金会资深研究员迈克·冈萨雷斯(Mike Gonzalez)所指出的:“身份政治无处不在。无论是否知道这一点,我们都沉浸在其中。

我有幸与凤凰卫视高级记者,1980年代出生于香港的黄芷渊进行了交谈。她同时也是中国全国港澳研究会的会员。通过她的交谈,我了解到“身份政治如何会给香港的传奇蒙上阴影。”以下是这次采访的摘录:

 

 凯:根据香港民意调查研究所(PORI)于2020年6月初进行的一项民意调查,有12.6%的受访者认为自己是“中国人”,较2008年的约40%有大幅下降。相比之下,有75.4%的受访者认为自己是“香港人+中国的香港人”,与2008年的47.3%相比有了显著增长。您认为在多大程度上我们可以相信这些民意测验的结果?另外,您认为2008年以来相关的民调结果显著下降和上升的主要原因是什么呢?

黄芷渊:我认为结果与民意调查所设置的问题紧密相关。从这项民意调查所设置的问题来看,它使用了“香港人”与“中国人”身份的二分法,并要求受访者在以下四个身份中做出选择:“香港人”、“中国人”、“香港的中国人”、和“中国的香港人”。 结果,大约50%的受访者认为自己是“香港人”,13%的受访者认为自己是“中国人”,11%的人认为自己是“香港人”,而25%的人认为自己是“中国人”。然后,PORI便得出结论称,有75%的受访者认为自己是“香港人”(即“香港人”或“中国的香港人”),有24%的人自称是“中国人”(即“中国人”或“香港的中国人”)。

但是,“香港人”和“中国人”的身份并非相互对立,而应该被视为双重身份。显然,调查中所设置的问题不够专业和严谨。即使受访者选择“香港人”,也并不意味着他不同意他是同时也是“中国人”。所以这个民意调查结果有些误导。

而如果对以上结果进行分析并按年龄结构细分的话,会发现受访者越年轻,他们将自己识别为“香港人”的比例就越大;而受访者年龄越大,将自己识别为“中国人”的比例就越高。这与不同年龄段的成长背景和社会环境的变化有关。许多香港老一辈实际上在中国内地出生和长大,并从内地移民到香港,因此他们持有相对更强的民族认同观念。但是大多数年轻的受访者在香港出生和长大,当中有些人从未去过内地,因此他们倾向于将自己标识为“香港人”。

同样,身份认同的内涵不仅包括对客观事实的认知,还包括情感上的选择和感受。实际上影响因素很多,包括出生和成长地点、受教育的地点、文化和语言差异、拥有哪些集体记忆和共同价值观、以及社会运动的影响,等等。特别是在过去的一年中,因害怕失去“香港人的身份”,很多人正变得更加敏感,所引发的后果甚至扩大了香港人之间的分歧。但我相信这种担忧的感触可能会随着时间和社会环境的变化而改变,因此这是一个相当抽象的概念。

 凯:在大学学习期间,您曾经参加了许多香港与内地之间的青年交流项目。您认为这些两地间的交流如何帮助塑造您对“身份”认知,比如从“文化认同”或者也许是“文化冲击”的视角?

黄芷渊:与我的很多同学和朋友一样,我在香港出生并长大。在参加那些青年交流项目之前,我对大陆的确有很多误解和负面看法。由于香港人的身份认知是建立在世俗主义与经济繁荣的基础之上,因而过去,对于内地我们往往会有一种优越感。

我们这一代人,或者是年轻一代,倾向于采用外界对中国的看法看待中国内地,有时甚至退化为一种“我们相对于他们”的态度。例如,一些香港人对中国内地人的印象是腐败和脏乱不堪,并认为内地人涌入香港抢购所有贵重的物品,特别是占据了医院的病床和公寓等公共资源。而随着内地人在香港购买公寓,房价更是被推高而变得难以承受。因此,冲突的焦点实际上与学校、工作、住房和生活等这些资源有关。只有与来自不同背景的内地学生交朋友并在一起学习、一起娱乐时,你才能尝试了解他们的文化并改变自己的想法。

香港与内地交流计划为我们提供了在中国内地的大学机构进行文化交流并参加短期课程学习的体验机会。而香港与内地不同城市之间的交流也日益紧密和丰富,这就形成了全方位、广泛的交流模式。这些项目增强了我们对国家和中国文化的认知。

 凯:几代人以来,许多内地人眼中香港一直一座充满传奇色彩的城市。人们称赞其作为国际大都市的开放性、作为世界级贸易和金融中心的繁荣、作为娱乐业的活跃枢纽的令人惊叹的时尚潮流,等等。尽管现在的香港仍然是一充满活力的城市,但上海和深圳等内地城市经济的快速发展似乎至少部分遮掩了香港这座城市原先的辉煌。甚至香港本地的电影业也持续面临着市场低迷,因为许多导演和这个行业中的标志性人物已转向内地市场以寻求更多的机会。作为经常在香港和中国内地之间往返的香港主要媒体的资深记者,您如何看待和理解香港在两地人眼中的传奇角色,或者这个传奇角色的变化或演变?

黄芷渊:实际上相互理解总是很重要的。一方面,由于经济动荡和来自内地的移民激增使得香港的传统身份认知承受着巨大的压力,因此许多香港人产生一种更加强烈、狭隘甚至具攻击性的身份认知。本应互补的香港人和中国人的身份认知突然变得相互排斥。此外,实际上七分之一的香港居民是1997年以后抵港的内地人,而同时随着内地游客的增加,本地香港人对“文化外来者”的不信任感日渐增强,因此冲突很容易爆发。

但从另一方面看,相对于中国内地而言,香港过去有很多“相对优势”和“绝对优势”,而很多内地人对香港是一种“仰望”的心态。但是,发达国家和城市的经济增长通常较为缓慢,而且随着近年来内地许多城市经济的快速发展,香港的“相对优势”已大为减少,一些内地人对香港的“仰望”逐渐变成“看起来也一样”甚至是“看不上”的心态。其实无论是香港人还是内地人,大家都是围绕着“我们相对于他们”的观念来重塑自己的身份和政治立场。

但是,与一些内地城市相比,香港仍具有许多自身的优势,而我相信在可预见的将来,香港仍将保持这些优势。例如,新闻和信息的自由流通、较低的税率和简便的税制、具有国际经验的管理人才储备以及优越的地理位置,等等。最重要的是,众多国际商业机构已经证明了香港的法律制度是值得信赖的。内地的城市想要超越香港的这些优势将是十分困难的。

 凯:在您新近出版的《我在身分迷失中成長》这本书的第4章中,您回顾了2017年香港庆祝回归20周年之际,人们谈论回归二十年,香港的变与不变这个主题。考虑到近期香港的形势发生了一些变化,您对这个主题有哪些补充和评论?

黄芷渊:我认为香港的大多数优势仍将保持不变。但是,去年的反政府抗议示威运动席卷这座城市之后,包括香港的一些独派人士在内的许多人都感到十分担忧,他们想知道“一国两制”下的“两制”在香港特区成立50周年之后是否保持不变。

要知道,香港曾经是一经济城市,人们很少谈论政治。但现在这座城市变得越来越政治化,香港人的身份认知也变得越来越敏感。其结果便是“身份危机”出现。

当然,若要回答“一国两制”是否能够得以保留的问题,我们就需要知道将其保持50年不变的决定背后的理由,以及这一理由是否已经发生变化。因此,真正的问题在于香港本身。如果有人企图摆脱“一个国家”而只保留“两个制度”,进而出现分裂主义者蓄意破坏中国内地的社会主义制度,那么在香港维持“一国两制”50年不变将变得极其困难。

 凯:是的,让我们一起着眼未来。归根结底,香港是一个特别行政区域,即中国的一部分。尽管也有过关于“身份认知”担忧和困惑,但作为一个已经成长的“成年人”,您对香港的年轻一代包括对这座城市的未来感到非常悲观的持不同政见者和街头示威者们有何建议?

黄芷渊:身份危机通常始于地位的丧失,其结果往往是强烈而盲目的偏见。在香港,一些年轻人感到自己的身份和处境受到威胁,因此他们倾向于将世界分为“群体内”和“群体外”。此外,除了直接的触发因素外,经济问题也是促成香港年轻一代绝望情绪的一个原因

我认为应该从全球角度看待香港的年轻一代。首先,他们在香港这座城市中所面临的许多挑战也出现在许多其他国家和城市中。第二,他们应该时刻谨记,即便中国所有的城市都有各自的特色,香港与中国其他地区仍然有着很大的不同。

香港人应充分利用这座城市的优势,并抓住粤港澳大湾区发展所带来的机遇。 呼吁诉求所发出的声音大小与诉求本身是否正确合理并无关系。长远来看,事实将证明一切。

 

黄芷渊是香港凤凰卫视的高级双语记者、全国港澳研究会会员、香港三策智库秘书长。除担任资深记者、专栏撰稿人、媒体评论员及主持人之外,黄芷渊曾出版过多部书籍,包括《我在身份迷失中成长》、《我们在现场》等。

 

(作者系广东省社会科学院国际问题研究所副研究员)

 

附英文原文:

 

How Identity Politics Overshadowed Hong Kong

By Jin Kai, The Diplomat, September 15, 2020

 

An interview with Wong Tsz Yuen, senior reporter at Phoenix TV, on the past, present, and future of Hong Kong through the lens of “identity politics.”

 

Over a decade ago, when I attended a small-group seminar on China in Seoul, the speaker politely insisted that all attendees identify their “country of origin.” One young man paused for around five seconds before affirming that he is from China, but later “clarified” that he is from Hong Kong. A few months later, one of my students claimed in an after-class discussion session that she is from Hong Kong, where people speak a different language and belong to a different culture, compared to “China.”

 

Both of these individuals seemed to be born in the mid-to-late 1980s, which means they would have more personal, thus more realistic, memories of Hong Kong after the handover to China in 1997, compared to what they may recall from their early childhood about Hong Kong before the handover. What made them feel and insist that they are so “different” from China?

It’s been over a decade since then. In that time, “identity politics” has created more estrangements and disputes worldwide, and the Hong Kong issue has become even more acute. As Heritage Foundation senior fellow Mike Gonzalez put it, “Identity politics is all around us. Whether you know it or not, we are all bathing in it.”

Luckily, I had a chance to talk to Wong Tsz Yuen, a senior reporter at Phoenix TV and a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong & Macao Studies, who was born in Hong Kong in the 1980s. She explained to me “how identity politics may have overshadowed the legend of Hong Kong.” Here are some excerpts from that interview:

Jin Kai: According to a poll conducted by Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (PORI) in early June 2020, 12.6 percent of the respondents identify themselves as “Chinese,” a steep drop from about 40 percent in 2008. By contrast, 75.4 percent of the respondents identify themselves as “Hong Konger + Hong Konger in China,” a significant rise from 47.3 percent in 2008. To what extent do you think we can trust the outcomes of these polls, and what do you think is the primary stimulus behind the drop and rise in polls since 2008?

Wong Tsz Yuen: I think the result is much related to the poll questions. According to one of the poll questions, it used a dichotomy of “Hong Konger” versus “Chinese” identity and ask interviewees to make a choice among four identities, namely, “Hong Kongers,” “Chinese,” “Chinese in Hong Kong,” and “Hong Kongers in China.” As a result, roughly 50 percent identified themselves as “Hong Kongers,” 13 percent as “Chinese,” 11 percent as “Chinese in Hong Kong” and 25 percent as “Hong Kongers in China.” PORI then concluded that 75 percent identified themselves as “Hong Kongers” in a broad sense (i.e. either as “Hong Kongers” or “Hong Kongers in China”), 24 percent identified themselves as “Chinese” in a broad sense (i.e. either as “Chinese” or “Chinese in Hong Kong”).

However, the identities of “Hong Kongers” and “Chinese” are not opposites and should be considered dual in nature. The questions set in the poll are not professional and rigorous enough. Even if the interviewee has chosen that he is a “Hong Konger,” it does not mean that he doesn’t agree that he is a “Chinese,” so this result is a bit misleading.

If you analyze the result and break it down by ages, the younger the respondents, the more they identify themselves as “Hong Kongers,” and the older the respondents, the higher the rate of identifying themselves as “Chinese.” This is related to the growth background of different age groups and changes in the social environment. Many of the older generations of Hong Kong people were born and raised in mainland China and immigrated to Hong Kong from the mainland, so they will have a stronger national concept. But most of the young respondents were born and raised in Hong Kong, and some have never been to the mainland, so for them, they tend to identify themselves as “Hong Kongers.”

Also, identity recognition is not just cognition of objective facts, but also includes emotional choices and feelings. There are many influencing factors, including where you were born and raised, where you were educated, cultural and language differences, what collective memories and shared values you have, and of course, the effect of social movements, etc. The fear of losing “Hong Kongers’ identity” is making people even more sensitive throughout the past year, and the backlash that followed has even widened divisions among Hong Kong people. But I believe that this feeling may change with time and social environment, so it is a rather abstract concept.

You had participated in many youth exchange programs between Hong Kong and the mainland during your university studies. How would that help to shape the perception of your “identity” regarding cultural recognition — or maybe cultural shock?

Like many of my classmates and friends, I was born and raised in Hong Kong, and before attending those youth exchange programs, I had a lot of misunderstandings and perceptions about the mainland. And since Hong Kong was a city where identity was rooted in worldliness and prosperity, in the past, we tended to have a sense of superiority towards the mainland.

Our generation, or of course the younger ones, tended to take an outsider’s view of China, and sometimes even has degenerated into an “us-against-them” attitude. For example, some Hong Kongers see Chinese from the mainland as corrupt and dirty, perceiving that they flock to Hong Kong to snap up everything precious, notably hospital beds and apartments. As mainlanders buy apartments in Hong Kong, prices have become difficult to afford, so the conflict is about schools, jobs, then housing, and then life. It is only when you learn together, play together, and make friends with the mainland students from different backgrounds that you try to understand their cultures and change your mind.

Mainland exchange programs provide us with experiential learning opportunities of cultural exchange and short-term class at universities in the mainland China, and these exchanges between Hong Kong and different cities of the mainland have become closer and richer, forming an all-dimensional and wide-ranging communication pattern. These programs also have enhanced our recognition of the country and Chinese culture.

For generations, Hong Kong has been a legendary city in the eyes of many people in the mainland, praising its openness as an international metropolis, prosperity as a world-class trade and finance center, and stunning fashion as a vibrant hub for the entertainment industry. Although Hong Kong is still a vibrant city, the economic achievements of mainland cities like Shanghai and Shenzhen seem to have at least partially overshadowed its original brilliance. Even the local film industry has faced continuous chills as many directors and iconic people in the business have moved to the mainland for more opportunities. As a native and senior reporter in a major media in Hong Kong who constantly travels to the mainland, what are your observation and perception of (the change or evolution of) Hong Kong’s legendary role in people’s eyes from both sides?

Well, mutual perception is always important. On one hand, since economic upheaval and a surge of immigration from the mainland put Hong Kong’s traditional identity under tremendous pressure, many Hong Kongers developed an identity that is more strongly felt as well as narrower and more combative. The identities of Hong Kongers and Chinese, which are complementary, suddenly came to feel exclusive. Besides, one in seven Hong Kong residents is a mainlander who arrived after 1997, and as mainland tourists have multiplied, local Hong Kongers are growing more distrustful of cultural outsiders and scuffles break out easily.

On the other hand, Hong Kong had a lot of “relative advantages” and “absolute advantages” over the mainland in the past, and mainlanders kind of “looked up” to Hong Kong people. However, economic growth in developed countries and cities are usually slower, and with the rapid economic development of the mainland in recent years, Hong Kong’s “relative advantages” have decreased a lot, and mainlanders’ “looking up” toward Hong Kong has become “looking equally” or even “looking down.” Whether Hong Kongers or mainlanders, people re-shape their identities and politics around a sense of us-versus-them.

Yet, Hong Kong still has a number of advantages over other mainland cities, and I believe it will remain so in the foreseeable future. For examples, a free press, the free flow of information, low taxes and a simple taxation system, a pool of managerial talent with international experience, and ease of access, etc. And most importantly, the legal system, which is trusted, tried, and tested by international business. All these are not easily replaceable by other cities.

In chapter 4 of your newly published book titled “I Grew Up in Identity Perplexity” (《我在身分迷失中成長》), you recalled how people talked and debated over “what has changed and remained unchanged since the return” as the city celebrated the 20th anniversary of its return in 2017. How would you update and comment on the same topic against the background of more recent changes in Hong Kong?

I think most of Hong Kong’s advantages still remain the same. But after the anti-government protests that overwhelmed the city last year, many people are worried, including Hong Kong independence advocates, and wonder where the “two systems” under the “one country, two systems” could remain unchanged after the 50th anniversary of the HKSAR.

Hong Kong used to be an economic city, where people didn’t talk much about politics, but now it is becoming more and more politicized, and Hong Kongers’ identity is becoming a more and more sensitive issue. As a result, “identity crisis” occurs.

Of course, to answer the question of whether “one country, two systems” would remain, we need to know the rationale behind the decision to keep it unchanged for 50 years and whether this rationale has changed, and hence, the real question is with Hong Kong itself. If some people attempt to get rid of “one country” and only keep the “two systems,” with separatists conspiring openly to undermine the mainland’s socialist system, it would be extremely hard to maintain “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong for 50 years.

Let’s look forward. At the end of the day, Hong Kong is a special administrative region, i.e., a part of China. As a “grown-up” despite various concerns and confusion over “identity,” what would be your suggestion for the younger generation (including dissident street demonstrators) in Hong Kong, many of whom are quite pessimistic regarding this city’s future?

Identity crises often start with a loss of status, and strong implicit bias is the result. In Hong Kong, some young people feel that their identities are under threat, and hence they tend to divide the world into “in-groups” and “out-groups.” Also, beyond the immediate triggers, economic issues are driving Hong Kong younger generations’ despair and desperation.

Hong Kong’s young generation should be seen in a global context. First, many challenges they are facing in Hong Kong are not unique problems in this city, but also in many other countries and cities. Secondly, they should always bear in mind that, even if all Chinese cities have their own characteristics, Hong Kong is still very different from any other part of China.

Hong Kongers should make good use of this city’s advantages and capitalize on the opportunities brought about by the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. How loudly a statement is said has nothing to do with whether or not a statement is true. In the long run, the truth will prevail.

 

Wong Tsz Yuen (黃芷淵) currently serves as Hong Kong Phoenix TV’s senior bilingual reporter, member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong & Macao Studies, and vice chairman of Senstrat Think Tank. She is a senior journalist, columnist, commentator and host, and has published several books, including “I Grew Up in Identity Perplexity” (《我在身分迷失中成長》) and “We Are On the Scene”(《我們在現場》).