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方禮倫:在影子裡生存 Living With A Shadow

方禮倫:在影子裡生存 Living With A Shadow中國, 專欄,一國兩制, 殖民地, 英文, 英語, 語言, 香港 2020年7月24日by 方禮倫 陶傑英文遊花園


Hong Kong people have always lived with a shadow. That shadow has now taken form and engulfed us.(評 1)Hong Kong is a fundamentally different place as of 11pm on June 30th, when the national security legislation came into effect.
Hong Kong was built upon the three pillars of the rule of law, a free press and freedom of expression. All three are not only essential to Hong Kong’s economy as a financial centre and global hub, but to the nature and spirit of the Hong Kong people.

That Beijing seems to think they can be selectively applied, preserving a business environment whilst suppressing a people, is indicative of two deeply troubling realities:(評 2)

Firstly, Beijing either fundamentally misunderstands what is meant by the rule of law, a free press and those core freedoms enshrined by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Hong Kong has ratified and to which Beijing, as sovereign power, is also legally bound in the exercise of its authority in Hong Kong; or Beijing is actively attempting to redefine these concepts as part of a wider and quite blatant attempt to reshape the international consensus.(評 3)

Second, in Beijing’s eyes Hong Kong is understood principally as a national project.(評 4)The importance of the economy is both secondary and only so as a reflection of the regimes competence. Such an illiberal and imperial mindset(評 5)understands the people as subjects rather than citizens, devoid of both human rights and political agency.
By seeking to recast them, the national security legislation has effectively removed these three pillars.

There is no rule of law when the Office for Safeguarding National Security can exercise its own jurisdiction in Hong Kong (Art.55), follow PRC criminal procedure law, and whose staff are not subject to Hong Kong law (Art.60). There is no freedom of press when multiple articles under the new law refer specifically to a need to intervene in the media, among other key components of the Fourth estate. And there is no freedom of expression with laws so openly worded that ‘provoking by unlawful means hatred among Hong Kong residents towards the Central People’s Government’ is now an offence (Art.29).(評 6)
Whether or not the laws are enforced, and we can be certain that they will, they are around all our necks like a hangman’s noose.(評 7)The laws now in force reaches out beyond Hong Kong’s borders, and law applies to anyone, anywhere who has committed an offence ‘against the Hong Kong SAR,’ whether a permanent residents (Art.37) or not (Art.38). Do anything that might be construed as provoking hatred among Hong Kong residents of a government and a political party that was the reason Hong Kong is a city of refugees and the noose may snap tight around your neck.

Our demons, like that of China, are not foreign.(評 8)They are the memories so many Hong Kong families carry of a government that promoted “correct thinking” by turning Chinese people on each other: denouncing as “splittists” those who dare to imagine another China with a free, open and civil society; breaking personal bonds of family and tradition in the name of the state; and fostering such hatred that blinds us to brutality and injustice.
Assurances from the Hong Kong government that we have nothing to fear serves only to remind people that the One Country, Two Systems formula no longer means what was envisioned by Deng Xiaoping. Hong Kong people were promised a high degree of autonomy. We were also promised that the path that lay ahead was of democratic reform and universal suffrage. An international agreement was signed, with the world as witness. But China has changed, and Beijing no longer sees need to keep to it’s promises. This will hurt China in the long run far more than any possible sanctions.


  • 此處開門即見影像:香港一直都在一個影子(shadow)裡生存。這裡指的當然不是殖民地時代,殖民地時代也有影子,那就是 1997 年 6 月 30 日的大限。現在的影子,是眾所周知的「中國會不會隨時干預香港、破壞自己承諾的一國兩制」。以前第一個影子,來自於無可奈何的「南京條約」;現在第二個影子,則來自於人人心照不宣的不信任。
  • 此處迅速點出中港兩地基本的心病:中國一直認為,可以選擇性地執行一國兩制,可以既保障商界投資環境,但同時也可以壓制香港人要求的普選權利與自由。中國相信可以做到,但中國的自信卻有問題。
  • 這一段落,是一個非常長的句子。由 either 到 or 之間的距離非常遙遠。這種句子對作者是一大挑戰。對於讀者,當他接觸 either 之後,到了 or 的那後半,直到句子完結,還要記得前段。作者認為:「中國不是對『國際人權公約』和『香港人權法』之中規定的法治、新聞自由等核心價值有所誤解,就是想從頭對這些觀點,以中國的方式另行定義,迫使國際社會接受。」中文如此譯,還是難免囉嗦,但英文不會。
  • 這裡作者突然以一短句襯托。因為上面的一句太長了,要讓讀者呼吸一下。此一節奏的經營,別具匠心。
  • illiberal 和 imperial,這一對形容詞,都以 i 開頭,叫做頭韻(alliteration),別有朗誦的效果,暗藏作者掌控文字的能力與才華。
  • 這一大段,連續的三個 There is no,有如三記重錘。這三點非常的強硬,是英文說理外柔內剛的特點。英國下議院許多演說,都有此一特色。
  • 文章到了接近結局之處,作者運用一個絞索和劊子手的暗喻。這一點回應了香港人說的「頭上掛著一把刀」,也與開頭的「陰影」相呼應。文章至此,看見作者狠辣凌厲之處。
  • 香港的「鬼子」並不來自西洋,而是來自以前的種種記憶。作者借用了中國的民族主義情緒,予以巧妙的反駁。