Nation, top leadership deserve a salute on National Day

Mervyn Cheung Man-ping says Meng Wanzhou’s positive attitude during her unjust house arrest in Canada is a living model for Chinese nationals to follow

Against a backdrop of impressive achievements in the past year and after honoring the fallen heroes who have sacrificed themselves for the survival, peace, stability and prosperity of their motherland in Beijing on Thursday, China steps into its 72nd founding anniversary on Friday. 

In economic terms, the country has led the world in regaining the most momentum from the COVID-19 fallout. The Delta variant is slowing the economic rebound in the Pacific and East Asia region more than previous estimates made by the World Bank, which has reset China’s upward surge to 8.5 percent, against 2.5 percent for the rest of the Pacific and East Asia. Growth of such an impressive magnitude amid an economic downturn worldwide reflects the resilience of the Chinese mainland economy. The official White Paper, titled “China’s Epic Journey from Poverty to Prosperity” and published two days ago, confirms that 770 million rural people have been lifted out of poverty since the country’s modernization reforms and opening-up. 

To continue the recount with laudable advances in soft power, China topped the medals table at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in September and only narrowly lost to the US in golds at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics that finished in August. In space exploration, the cargo spacecraft of Tianzhou3 successfully delivered supplies critical for six months of necessities for the next team of astronauts to reside in space. And the mainland authorities are planning to launch the first solar satellite this year. 

Meng Wanzhou’s public address at Shenzhen airport is, on all counts, an example of a highly positive life attitude embracing an appreciable breadth of patriotism which should be appreciated and studied especially by the student community in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. 

Domestically, the nation has administered over 2 billion vaccine shots, and dispatched around 1 billion vaccine doses to other nations and organizations under a pledge to bring its contribution volume to 2 billion doses this year. These solid accomplishments achieved during a tough extended period globally, suffice for the country and its top leadership to be saluted on National Day by over 1.4 billion Chinese nationals living on the mainland, the special administrative regions and abroad. 

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The grand October 1 National Day this year is doubtless an exhilarating experience for all Chinese, highlighted by the heroic return of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer and deputy chair of the board of China’s tech giant Huawei, who underwent an “incident of political persecution against a Chinese citizen”, where the intent was to keep at bay a Chinese high-tech enterprise in international 5G development. A fraudulent US offense was created that kept Meng in legal custody in Vancouver, Canada since late 2018 when she was detained arbitrarily at Vancouver International Airport and remanded for extradition to the US for alleged fraud. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has repeatedly lamented that the “fraud accusations against Meng are purely fabricated with the HSBC, which the US refers to as a ‘victim’, offering sufficient documents to prove Meng’s innocence. The actions of the US and Canada [in this case] are typical arbitrary detentions.”

The “hypocritical and ruthless” justice of the foreign powers involved put Meng into house arrest for a total of 1,028 days during which she was “stumbling around and without knowing which way to turn”. It was only last week that her deferred prosecution agreement, which saw “charges shelved then dropped”, was approved at a US Federal Court hearing in Brooklyn. She then appeared briefly at the Supreme Court of British Columbia, where the official request for her extradition was withdrawn and her bail terms removed. 

With this settlement which was achieved through the “unremitting efforts of the Chinese government”, Meng was able to land in Shenzhen last Saturday evening after almost three years of relentless and unsubstantiated house custody in Canada. She was given a heroes’ welcome from people waving mini national flags at the international airport in the city. A tearful Meng acknowledged the warm welcome and expressing her gratitude to President Xi Jinping for his “care about the safety of every Chinese citizen” and for “his having her situation deep in his heart”, which she said touched her deeply. “Without a strong mother country, there is never a warm home journey," she said.

Analysts vary widely in their interpretations of Meng’s release. People’s Daily described it as “a major victory of the Chinese people”, which indicated that “no power can stop China’s advancing steps”. It is not the purpose of this article to do a more profound analysis of the variations in the possible thoughts on the diplomatic crisis churned out by the two Western countries in question. More deservedly, the ethically charmful and courageous deeds of Meng during her arbitrary arrest and return home provide a living model for Chinese nationals, particularly those in Hong Kong society.

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Upon setting feet again in her homeland, Meng conveyed her gratitude to all the political “life-saving” endeavors initiated by a judicious and most caring leadership to secure her release from the horrible grip of the foreign governments. In thanking President Xi and the motherland, she insisted passionately and rightly that her apparently impossible dream of returning to the homeland’s affectionate hug was realized only by “a strong mother country” with a leader “keeping every national’s safety deep at heart”. She advocated that people must “support their leader, be faithful to the country and dedicated to their work”. 

These are indeed the most vital qualities of every citizen in all civilized societies. Instead of complaining incessantly and at times unconstructively against the government, many people in Hong Kong should perhaps make reference to the grateful and positive attitude and conduct that are rooted in her words and deeds which will equip us with the fortitude to face down threats and challenges in the future. Meng’s public address at Shenzhen airport is, on all counts, an example of a highly positive life attitude embracing an appreciable breadth of patriotism which should be appreciated and studied especially by the student community in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. 

The author is a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies.