香港新浪網 MySinaBlog
劉廼強 | 29th Jul 2009 | SCMP | (25 Reads)

Every five years or so, China gathers its overseas diplomats in the capital for an important meeting to chart the country's foreign policy in the coming years.

The recent session, which ended on July 20, seemed to be a particularly important one as it was attended by all members of the Politburo, and President Hu Jintao's speech showed a clear departure from the previous guidelines laid down by Deng Xiaoping two decades ago.

At the time of Deng's proclamation, China was only 10 years into its reform and opening-up policy and was still weak and poor, and isolated following the 1989 Tiananmen incident.

Deng instructed the Chinese government to lie low in the international arena and not stick its neck out.

This policy avoided many conflicts with the West, notably the United States, and paved the way for a peaceful and stable environment for the next two decades of rapid development.

This year, China will probably overtake Japan to become the second-largest economy in the world, after the US.

With the Western world now beginning to advocate a G2 - China and the US - and demanding that China play a bigger role in international economics and politics, it is no longer possible for the nation to keep a low profile.

Internally, events over the past two years, especially those related to Tibet and Xinjiang , have alerted the entire country to international influence in China's domestic affairs and its image abroad.

China's global interests also dictate that it cannot avoid sticking its neck out. One example is escorting its merchant ships through the troubled waters near the Horn of Africa and protecting them from heavily armed Somali pirates.

China's policies, both domestic and foreign, are guided by some basic tenets. If the underlying principles remain unchanged, the policy, on the whole, stays intact and actions are only piecemeal. The changes in important guidelines are always announced in high-level meetings.

At the diplomats' meeting, Mr Hu called on China's overseas representatives to play a bigger role in serving the country's reform and national interests, as China is seeking stable and rapid development amid the global economic downturn.

What the Western media did not pick up, as it was not reported in the Xinhua English release, was Mr Hu's exaltation to increasing the country's influence in politics, its competitiveness in economics, its congeniality in image, and its poignancy in morality.

A few years ago, in the report to the 17th Party Congress, Mr Hu, in the capacity of party general secretary used the phrase soft power for the first time in Chinese official documents.

The new diplomatic guideline can be regarded as an extension and a natural development along this line of thinking. It signifies a clear departure from the guidelines to lie low. It is also a new mission statement of what role the country would like to play in the international community, and how it wants to be received.

China now feels a need to proactively project its newly acquired big power status in international affairs, and not have its image distorted and demonised by the usually hostile Western media.

It all boils down to the old saying: We come in peace. The emerging China is definitely not a threat to anyone.

Taken this way, the world will soon find it is a new blessing.

As a firm believer in transparency, I honestly think that failing to pick up on this important message is a big mistake on the part of the Western media, and a big loss to the Western world.


劉廼強 | 24th Jul 2009 | SCMP | (12 Reads)

Fifty residents of a village in the northern New Territories have vowed not to move to make way for a maintenance yard, part of the high-speed rail line linking Hong Kong to the rest of China.

The issue is gathering momentum and gaining support from a growing number of non-governmental organisations and pro-democracy politicians, some of whom have pushed the matter to the moral high ground of spatial democracy - that is, the democratic distribution of facilities and services to all urban areas.

Except for the NGO involvement, the protest sounds familiar. Similar demonstrations have taken place many times in the past, and were invariably solved when the stakes were raised to the protesters' satisfaction.

Those who shout: I don't want your money usually mean: I want more. If, with the intervention of the NGOs, this incident were to escalate into a moral issue in the realms of democracy and justice, there would be no room for compromise, no deal and, in the end, no money. This bargaining strategy is very bad for business.

But, if the villagers backed down when sufficient incentives were offered, the NGOs would appear to have been sold out, resulting in a tremendous loss of credibility. To the public they would look gullible, rather than righteous.

Of course, they would justify their retreat with excuses like: We have helped the villagers gain better compensation from the government, but that would ring hollow all the same.

I am all for conservation and helping vulnerable groups, provided they have a case. But apart from the I don't want to move argument, I see no justification here.

I agree that, in many instances, people are treated worse than butterflies, for example. At least when the habitat of the latter is endangered, it becomes a conservation area. We cannot reason with butterflies and persuade them to move, but we can do so with our fellow humans. Moreover, the butterflies' offspring will also thrive in their reserve; there is less reason to be optimistic about the descendants of present-day villagers living there for long.

So, if the fact that someone is unwilling to move is a good enough reason to win the moral support of citizens at large, then the development of our entire city will be put on hold.

Dissident politicians entered this dispute to gain exposure. One claimed that the construction of the high-speed rail link would only serve to bring more mainland visitors to Hong Kong. Coming from the mouth of a trade union leader, such a statement is alarming. It seems he must have forgotten that more tourists mean more employment, especially for vulnerable, uneducated and unskilled workers.

The dissidents also forget that many Hong Kong citizens travel north. Will they not benefit? With the completion of the initial phase of the high-speed rail network on the mainland, by 2012, major cities will be much more interconnected.

Hong Kong started late and will only be able to plug into the system by 2014. If we don't hurry, we risk being left out in the cold. We will then become a lonely island in the South China Sea, which would clearly be detrimental to our future development.

Our dissidents have yet to learn from the disappointing turnout for the July 1 march that being anti-government without a real cause is not a very good rallying point for voters.

The protesting villagers in the New Territories will be much more grateful if the pan-democratic politicians can help them get off their high horses and get higher compensation instead. And if they don't get in quickly, pro-establishment lawmakers like Lau Wong-fat will do a much better job.


劉廼強 | 23rd Jul 2009 | China Daily (Hong Kong Edition) | (19 Reads)

I had the occasion to travel through many large cities in western Europe and Japan recently, searching for the true meaning of modernity. The past three decades of reform and opening up have pushed China further up the Western modernization ladder.

Official assertions of not becoming totally Westernized notwithstanding, we are invariably drawn toward Western standards of living as defined by per capita GDP and lifestyle, so much so that the look of our cities and costumes, and our modes of transport show there is very little Chineseness left in the country. But we still feel we are not modernized, that is Westernized, enough. We still use the West’s benchmarks to judge our life and society.

There is a growing frustration because we have realized that no matter how hard we try, we will never be truly modernized because we can never be truly Westernized. The Japanese have tried hard during the past so many years to modernize itself, and in our eyes (as well as that of the rest of the world) they seem to be extremely successful. In many fields such as robotics, consumer electronics and railways, they have even surpassed the West. After the global financial crisis struck, Western governments began talking about quantitative easing and “bad” banks. These are in fact Japanese inventions. But to the West, Japan is still not Western.

Then is Westernization with Chinese characteristics the right model of modernization for China?

First, we should know what is modern and what is Western? Are trams modern? We banished trams from cities because they were considered outdated. By blindly following the West, we started building light-rail systems in cities and around the country without realizing they were just the “modern” name for trams. In many European and Japanese cities, as well as in Hong Kong, century-old tram systems are still operating successfully. The modern light-rail system is a new technology, no doubt, to save energy. But what about the good old bicycles, which most of our cities gave a silent burial because they were deemed backward? The irony is bicycles are making a comeback in the West and in Japan.

Traveling in western Europe will prove there is no such thing as a unified West. The West is unified by the cultural tradition of the Roman Empire and Christianity. Traveling through Switzerland from Germany to Italy, the look and layout of cities will show the diversity in uniformity. The cultural differences become profound if we compare western Europe with central or eastern Europe.

If we leave the definition of modernity to Westerners, our struggle to achieve it will be like shooting at a moving target. Japan’s experience shows that even if China followed the West’s path, the West would never accept it as Western.

This means we have to redefine modernity or even forget the over-simplistic notion about it and set new objectives for our development. The new set of objectives has to be internal rather than external. A people-oriented philosophy should be a good starting point. We have to do certain things or adopt certain policies not because they are modern in the Western sense of the term, but because they would be good for our people.

For example, Western fast food should be restricted not because the West has just started the process, but because low-nutrition, high-fat junk food is not good for health. Most of the people in the West are addicted to cars. But that does not mean we have to follow their example. Hence, we should put an early brake on the development of our car industry, and start planning communities where 90 percent of long-distance travel is by railway and 90 percent of short-distance commuting is by bicycle or on foot, though no Western country, not even Japan, has achieved that. We have to push ahead because it is healthy, environmentally friendly and in line with our policy of a frugal society and a circular economy. Our aim should not be to build a modern society as the West sees it, but a modern society with Chinese characteristics.

We have to go back to the basic idea of modernity. Advancement of science and technology has empowered humankind to create a more people-oriented society. We have to see modernity as a continuation of the Renaissance. The Europeans got off to a wrong start because early industrialization was highly inhuman. That process continued until the adoption of socialist measures. Inheriting the Hellenistic and Roman traditions, the Europeans achieved internal modernity through conquests and colonization of other countries. It continued through hegemony over hard and soft power until the environment cried out for help and forced the West to follow a more humane post-modern society since the 1980s.

The essence of modernity is humanity. The existing Western model of modernity is something we cannot and should not follow. By going back to the basics, we will be able to find our path to a truly post-modern and humane society that will be the model for other countries searching for modernity to follow.

Chinese culture, with its rational Confucian ethical system — which is humane but without the accompanying imperialistic ambitions — is a good starting point to achieve a new model of modernity.

Or, should we go one step further and discard the outdated concept of modernity altogether, and just be progressive with a clear humane and harmonious objective?


劉廼強 | 21st Jul 2009 | 信報 | (53 Reads)

最近有年青人告訴我,時下年青人男的都想做 Tony、女的都想做 Isabella。一聽之下,初時真有點反胃;再想深一下,這兩位的確是香港「人辦」,非常全面而豐富地集中代表了香港社會文化的所有優點和缺點。年青人如以這兩位為模仿偶象(role model),客觀地說,非常合理之至。世上並無問題兒童及青少年,只有問題成人;如要怪責,只好怪責我們自己!

過去二十年,香港主流社會不斷鼓吹「食腦」,講求「轉數快」的「精仔」文化;人人「搵快錢」,「食快餐」,為求一夜發達。而傳媒更推波助瀾,宣傳物質至上和炫耀性消費,對少數有能力住豪宅、開名車、從頭到腳都是歐洲名牌人士的揮霍行徑、富豪的奢淫生活,和花費以億計的「世紀婚禮」等,天天都以羨慕的態度作誇張的繪影繪聲。我們期望年青人會有怎樣的反應?當然會以此為榜樣。

滿街都是「精仔」

年青人會問我們:援交有什麼問題?問題只在他╱她們還未找到富翁富婆而已。我們主流社會不是明顯偽善地抱着雙重標準嗎?更有趣的是一些自命基進人士,索性改名為「性工作者」,包裝為弱勢社群,進而為他們「維權」。問題是今天香港已經黑白不分,連從事公眾事務的政客和NGO都為求「出位」,以「抽水」為務。「正生事件」一出,全校師生的水在最近數周都被傳媒、政客、官員們天天抽,幾乎抽到全部乾竭。至於為政者,長期以來有困難的事情都不敢碰,議題有爭議的就擱置起來,出現了問題便貼膠布止血,大事化小,小事化無、但求民望高企,做完任期。這等於把垃圾掃到桌下,眼不見為乾淨;分明又是「精仔文化」,「食快餐」的另一種表現。

在今天香港這個人人都追求以最少的投入,最短的時間達到最大的產出的社會,我們如不從這裏入手,徹底的把它扭轉,再出發,是絕對沒有其他更好結果的。問題是主流社會認為最少的投入、最短的時間達到最大的產出是好事,完全毋須改變。不然的話,難道最大的投入,最長的時間達到最小的產出才是好事嗎?所以文初兩位「人辦」,的確是港人中之龍鳳。不信,且看「o靚模」現象,後邊排隊的人多着呢。如今「o靚模」在某些人精心策略之下,竟然要出書,藉書展的人氣出位;有關人等一時之間,完全不知道如何對待這些新人類。

當二百多家工業股的總利潤都不如一家地產股的時候,還繼續「笨星」地從事工業的,背後自有他們的理念和承擔。到今天,還能堅持從事工業,而不把賺得的利潤炒地產的少數「笨星」港商,大多已經成功提升和轉型,你不會聽到他們的聲音。至於那些長期吃走私、漏稅、污染的「精仔」港商們,則淘汰的淘汰,剩下來的大叫大嚷,於浮沉之間等「着數」或等結業。

這說明人人都是「精仔」,沒有老實做事的「笨星」的社會,是不能長久的。幸而,世上任何社會從來都有「笨星」,只是香港「精仔」特別多而已。正生書院的校長陳兆焯之感人,不在於他今日成了明星,天天見報,而在於他多年甘於當「笨星」,長期從事「厭惡性工作」。正生書院背後的教會,到今天依然埋首在幕後,默默耕耘,更加是值得我們敬佩的大「笨星」。我們試想一下,如果連這些「笨星」都沒有了,香港會是一個什麼社會?

香港需要「笨星」

目前少做工夫,多作表演,但求上位的做人處事態度如不改變,還有人大力歌頌它,為它作包裝和「教路」,結果滿街都是「精仔」,而「笨星」們要嗎就開竅改行,加入「精仔」行列,不然就只有死心離開這「精仔國度」,到別處發展。可以想象,一個滿街都是「精仔」,卻沒有「笨星」的香港,會是什麼樣子。

時至今日,香港已經讓「精仔」的短期行為、形式主義、花拳繡腿、吹捧拍托、投機倒粑、門面工夫弄得一塌糊塗,奄奄一息。再往下去,香港能不碰一些有爭議、有困難的問題嗎?掃在桌子底下的陳年垃圾,堆積成山,已經發酵,膠布之下的傷口已經發炎,開始臭不可言,肯定會陸續出事,絕非危言聳聽。

香港需要更多對香港有看法、有承擔,願意抱長遠和整體眼光,願意多付少取的「笨星」,而不是要從香港盡快拿得多少就多少的「精仔」。香港「精仔」已經太多,需要更多「笨星」。就算真正的「精仔」,也需要不時支持「笨星」,因為只有這樣,香港才有前途,才能繼續提供土壤給「精仔」發達。

雖然以最少的投入,最短的時間達到最大的產出的要求,在邏輯上是永遠沒有錯的,但是實際上卻一定慘痛收場。在國家的層面,「大躍進」時代片面追求「多快好省」,想走現代化捷徑,結果是數年飢荒,並且為往後「文革」的「十年浩劫」埋下伏線。

時下流行稱各種社會問題為管治問題,並且一股腦的往特首和特區政府方向推。無可諱言,他們的問題同樣是對香港缺乏理念和承擔,特首和特區政府確實有責任去改轅易轍。但是我們市民繼續缺乏理念和承擔,指指點點,不願付出,只求「着數」,特首和特區政府獨力難言良好管治。

《香港再出發宣言》從市民個人層面出發,強調承擔和付出,我希望特首在下一份施政報告中,也能讓市民看出他和他的政府對香港未來的承擔和付出。全港上下都拿出誠意,並且付諸實際行動當中,香港堆積多年的問題才有可能得到解決。不然的話,光靠任何一方努力,都無際於事。特首單方面「強政勵治」,而市民繼續缺乏承擔的話,一定落空;即便把曾蔭權轟下台,誰上台都照樣失敗。而市民積極承擔,自然對特首和特區政府有期望和要求,官方如不予以配合,一定會成為積怨,最後動亂收場。

再回到個人的層面,先不說什麼社會承擔─因為對社會有承擔的前提,是對自己個人有承擔,自愛、自重,踏實做個頂天立地的人─我們如不為自己未來作出承擔,致力投資未來,就不可能有美好的未來。「懷才不遇」固然痛苦,但還可以怨天尤人;「懷遇不才」則只能怨自己,只會更加痛苦。短期炒賣的技倆,不要再吹捧宣傳了吧!

我們這個社會,應該開始提倡「反求諸己」的態度,以及誠、敬的工夫,這對官和民都同樣有效。


劉廼強 | 14th Jul 2009 | 信報 | (37 Reads)

我一向對八十後開始的「回響代」有很高的期望。周澄這小女孩敢於撰文正面批評她母校的前校監,並且能正面指出皇帝沒有穿衣服【註一】,真使人眼前一亮。

「香港左派」的失落,並非今日始,他們自己承認三十多年前,打倒「四人幫」是起點。對我來說,自一九六七年「反英抗暴」失敗,香港左派已經失落。這個原因才引發了上世紀七十年代「社會派」對「國粹派」的批判。當時香港左派接受中央的指示,不反港英,甚至成了維持殖民地管治下繁榮穩定的救火隊。

社會國粹派續爭論

「國粹派」的理論是,只要「文革」成功,「全國江山一片紅」,「東風壓倒西風」,香港的所有問題自然會瓜熟蒂落而得到解決,所以毋須針對香港的社會問題做任何工作,只須不斷宣傳愛國,「認中關社」便已足夠。

「社會派」則認為香港的問題是需要直面的,對社會的不公,不單要關心,還要着力扭轉。六十年代後期開始的抗爭行動,包括「中運」、「釣運」、「反貪」等,全都是「社會派」一脈傳承。

香港今天左翼的爭論,其實只是當年「社會派」和「國粹派」爭論的繼續。香港左派至今仍是那一套,認為只要中國不斷發展、富強之後,香港一切問題都會解決;在香港只需要繼續宣傳愛國愛港,支持特首和特區政府依法施政,維持繁榮和穩定。慢慢下來,香港左派成了特區建制的一部分,甚至成了「保皇黨」。

最起碼,今天的香港左派,已經對香港社會種種問題缺乏批判;既無意志,更無論述,接近視若無睹,甚焉者更狼狽為奸,自己也撈一把。而像社民連等,則接近「社會派」的觀點,認為香港社會日趨不公,需要批判和扭轉。只是他們的理論基礎太差,「長毛」也成了理論權威,跟當年的「社會派」的功底差遠了。

眾所周知,自四九年以來,北京對港政策的指導思想是「保持現狀,長遠打算,充份利用」。香港的一切,是要服從整個中國的發展,要為其利用,而香港左派,則要自覺地顧全大局。

反帝反殖左派共通點

這一「利用論」指導思想,像世界上許多存在的事物一樣,其合理性不斷隨着時移世易而下降。尤其是在香港回歸為中國的一個特別行政區,和內地高速發展,香港在中國經濟發展的作用和重要性不斷衰退的今天,「利用論」已經全面過時,但我們還未見到中央對「利用論」作全面的總結。

不過,從中央領導自前年開始不斷重複對香港的「集中精力發展經濟,切實有效改善民生,循序漸進推進民主,包容共濟促進和諧」的四點期望,針對殖民地形勢的唯經濟「利用論」已經大大淡化【註二】。問題是,香港的左派許多連看報學習的好習慣都丟了,而左派媒體也不宣傳中央這一重要指示,結果是,「我們如用這標準去檢視今天香港的所謂建制派,不管他是自認的,還是被標籤的,絕大部分不合格。」【註三】全世界的左派,一個共通點,都是以進步自居。連進步這最起碼的立場都喪失了,只可能是失落,甚至墮落。在這一點之上,周澄是搔正香港左派的癢處的。

但是全世界的左派另外一個共通點,是反帝國主義;在當今形勢,尤其是在香港的現實情況下,是反殖民地主義和反霸權主義。任何一個自命左派的人,如不站穩反殖反霸立場,只會更加失落,和更易墮落。原因很簡單,當今西方霸權主義的所謂「軟力量」主導着國際的價值觀、優先次序和話語權。

不滿現實的人一個不小心,便成了「形左實右」,甚至為虎作倀。香港不少自命激進者,同樣是「不讀書,不看報」,滿口「維權」、「自由」、「民主」等,言論好像十分激進,事實上是右得可以。而且大都沒有坐言起行,甚至言行是兩個極端,人格分裂。香港的「民主派」內部十分專權,是一個活生生的實例。

扮民主思想更混亂

一個真正的左派激進者,會批評中國和共產黨,但是不會像周澄那樣批評的。而引用強世功一兩篇文章,也於事無補。強世功兄是我的朋友,他很多觀點我都同意。但是強世功是真左派,左派的分析架構,不論「舊左」或「新左」,都從馬克斯開始,而辯論唯物的方法論,是從整體的事物發展中看問題,不是支離破碎,只攻一點,不及其餘的。

而中國作為全球最大發展中國家,奮鬥了一百多年,直至今時今日,依然有系統、有組織地被歧視、被壓抑、被歪曲、被妖魔化,明顯是弱勢社群。但是香港自命的基進份子,不首先批判壓迫者,反而採取壓迫者的觀點,把矛頭指向被壓迫者,這些助紂為虐之徒,竟然還厚顏罵香港左派,這簡直是一百步笑五十步,而非五十步笑一百步。

奇怪的是,香港左派對此也竟然把道德高地稀里糊塗的被形左實右的人佔領了而無還手之力。這也難怪,自改革開放以來,內地有時候自己也弄不清是非對錯。而對香港,回歸以來,更因為「一國兩制」的關係,從沒有進行過系統性的反殖反霸理論工作,生怕一提便嚇怕老外,得罪了「泛民」勢力。

香港的左派以前被批為「一左二窄」。受了這原罪影響,今天他們大都刻意地表示「開明」,打扮為「民主派」,思想因而更加混亂,是非對錯更加難分清楚。只有像我這些以往被目為離經叛道的牛鬼蛇神,因為沒有思想和歷史包袱,反而今天還能堅持原則和坐標,繼續做左右都不接受的邊緣分子。

不論左右不堪一擊

像周澄這樣的年輕人我不會深責,她在香港這人妖難分的泥濘之中久而稍聞其臭,已經難得。但是她本身也難免披滿泥濘,首先還要有人不怕做醜人,敢於告訴她這一點;更重要的是年輕人能自覺和自省,多讀書、多看報、多思考,不斷提升。如果一下子因為被捧為明星而飄飄然,繼續淺薄無知下去,不求長進,便難有救藥可言。

還有一點,我這裏說的絕對不一定是真理。所謂「初生之犢不畏虎」,社會的進步從來都是新人挑戰和代替舊人的結果。我們也是這樣過來的,「怕也無用,新文化人來了!」,八十年代初一批「舊文化人」就是這樣被我們打得落花流水,而「民主回歸」路線就這樣替代了當時的「主權換治權」主流論調。

今天不論左右,其實都是酒囊飯袋,不堪一擊。當今香港思想貧乏,整體苦無出路之際,正是有志氣年輕的一代冒頭的大好時機。年輕人淺薄是應該的,罵錯人沒有問題,甚至連對不起都可以欠奉;筆戰被人反駁,被罵更加不是問題。罵不過人,回去帶着問題思考一下,再看看書,半懂不懂之間引名家兩句頂住,且戰且進,世界終於是他們的。年輕一代最怕是沒有膽色和不長進,這是死症。

註一:周澄:回應吳康民,兼談「香港左派」的失落,《明報》二○○九年七月六日。

註二:劉廼強:中央治港箴言,《信報》,二○○八年九月九日。

註三:劉廼強:香港建制派的基本理念和立場,《信報》,二○○八年九月十六日。


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