“I am from a city owned by a country that I don’t belong to.”
So began a column written by a 19-year-old Hong Kong student at a university in Boston. The piece, entitled “I am from Hong Kong, not China”, in a student paper at Emerson College placed its author Frances Hui at the centre of a storm.
Soon after publication in April, well before the protests in Hong Kong erupted, Hui’s social media accounts were on fire. She received overwhelming support, including from Joshua Wong , Hong Kong’s most prominent student activist who liked Hui’s post.
But the support was joined by a wave of criticism from mainland Chinese students at Emerson.
One called Hui “ignorant and arrogant”. Some commented that she and her parents should be ashamed. Another said Hui grew up enjoying electricity and fresh water supplied by the mainland, “but now you claim you are Hongkonger, not Chinese?”