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Just to point out that most of the "complete" sections of the Great Wall have been heavily rebuilt, restored and preserved over the years, and the most famous/recognised sections (the ones around Beijing in particular) are Ming Dynasty and thus only ~600 years old...

Go look at photos of the Qi or Han sections (the ~2000yo bits) and you'll find ruins more appropriate to an archaeological dig in ancient Rome, Greece or Egypt. Hell, big chunks of even the newer Ming walls that aren't easily accessible or touristed are little more than piles of rubble now.
 

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On my sister's visit to the Great Wall, she visited a more remote, non-tourist site and the guy who gave her the tour literally pulled a large piece of brick out of the wall and gave it to her. :lol: Even if a billion people each got a brick it would only reduce the wall by a couple miles, so the ChiComms will never miss it. :D
 

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I had Chinese friends, born and raised in Hong Kong, who moved out in the early 90s before the Communist takeover, and they moved to Australia. They lasted one year, and moved back to H.K. to face whatever the future held. The reason for their return, which I get if that's all someone ever knew: "We couldn't take the peace and quiet of the Australian countryside anymore. We were too anxious all the time, and we needed to get back to the familiar crowded streets of Hong Kong."

I'll have to see if Alice and Lee have changed their minds now. :smileyvault-popcorn
 

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Hong Kong Takes Refuge Down Under

What Hong Kong's extradition bill protests mean to my family

It was the same fear and uncertainty my parents felt just before Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997, after 150 years of British rule.
By Lucille Wong
17 JUN 2019 - 12:06 PM UPDATED YESTERDAY 12:09 PM

When I visited my parents the other day, they were watching Hong Kong’s mass rally unfold on TV. Millions clogged the winding streets of the city, tiny dots marching towards the city’s parliament in sticky mid-summer heat. My dad asked if I’ve been following the news.

“This is why we moved to Australia,” he said.

At the time I had little idea what the protests were about, let alone how it related to our migration story.

Quickly I caught up. I learnt that Hong Kong people were against the proposed changes to extradition law, which in short, would give more power to the Communist Chinese government. This moves Hong Kong closer to Chinese control and away from the British systems built on Western ideals like democracy, rule of law, free speech and press.

The Hong Kong people are fearful (at worst) and uncertain (at best) of what life would be like under greater Chinese control.

The same fear and uncertainty my parents felt just before Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997, after 150 years of British rule. And the reason why they gave up everything they knew about life to start a new one in a place so far away.

On a humid July day some 30 years ago, our entire extended family came to see us off at the airport. My family of four were moving from Hong Kong to a foreign country called Australia. I was eight years old and my sister was seven.

My mum cried as she held on to her brother. “I know we have to go. I just know,” she said in Cantonese.

We arrived to a cold, wet Melbourne winter. My dad, while lugging our bags up and down a flight of stairs slipped and fell. We spent our first night in the emergency department. My mum cried again.

That was how our new lives began.

As migrants, we are often asked where we come from, but seldom why we’re here. The question of why comes up so rarely that I don’t really think about it. Or else it’s easy to default to the short answer: “for a better future”. After all, isn’t that why anyone moves?

When news of the mass rally in Hong Kong first broke last week, I paid little attention. Protests were not uncommon in my hometown. There was a series of them in 2014 called the Umbrella Movement, where citizens staged a 79-day occupation demanding a more transparent election process. Children joined their parents in taking to the streets -- some reportedly bringing their homework -- to fight against changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system. The protests ended, the government didn’t budge and everyone more or less got on with whatever they were doing before.

But the latest series of protests demanded all of our attention. Coverage of the demonstrations dominated my social media feed. My cousin closed her jewellery shop in downtown Hong Kong. More than two million people took to the street. Leaders around the world released public statements.

We’d moved to Australia for the promise of political and economic stability. Even with the musical chair of prime ministers, you can exercise your right to vote and call politicians bastards without fear of reprisal.

There is a genuine belief in a fair go, in social justice and in human rights. When we think the government has got it wrong, we can joke about taking refuge in New Zealand.

For my parents and thousands of displaced Hong Kong families, we didn’t joke about moving. We did it. For those who couldn’t move or didn’t want to move, they remained in Hong Kong where life only got harder in the last 30 years.

Suddenly, the images on TV had a new meaning. I had a sliding door moment where we didn’t get on that Qantas flight bound for Australia. Instead of being in suburbia Melbourne, penning this piece without fear of persecution, I was on the streets of Hong Kong, in face mask and goggles, marching for stability, certainty and a better future, for the future that I already have today.
 

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I had Chinese friends, born and raised in Hong Kong, who moved out in the early 90s before the Communist takeover, and they moved to Australia. They lasted one year, and moved back to H.K. to face whatever the future held. The reason for their return, which I get if that's all someone ever knew: "We couldn't take the peace and quiet of the Australian countryside anymore. We were too anxious all the time, and we needed to get back to the familiar crowded streets of Hong Kong."

I'll have to see if Alice and Lee have changed their minds now. :smileyvault-popcorn
Like they couldn't find crowded places in AU.

We had Chinese family friends who were very wealthy there who left during the takeover. They came here pretty much broke since assets were seized, worked hard and achieved success. Funny they didn't go to Venezuela or various other choice places to try their luck there for some weird reason.
 

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Like they couldn't find crowded places in AU.

We had Chinese family friends who were very wealthy there who left during the takeover. They came here pretty much broke since assets were seized, worked hard and achieved success. Funny they didn't go to Venezuela or various other choice places to try their luck there for some weird reason.
They are both anesthesiologists, and Australia being a small country with, at the time, very tight immigration rules, the only jobs they could find was in a small town in the outback in Queensland west of Cairns. The worst for them was the quiet, plus after the handover to the Chinese didn't result in any huge differences in the H.K. population, they chose to move back. :dunno:

Unlike southercross's family, some people just find it difficult to put down new roots.
 

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They are both anesthesiologists, and Australia being a small country with, at the time, very tight immigration rules, the only jobs they could find was in a small town in the outback in Queensland west of Cairns. The worst for them was the quiet, plus after the handover to the Chinese didn't result in any huge differences in the H.K. population, they chose to move back. :dunno:

Unlike southercross's family, some people just find it difficult to put down new roots.
Regardless of population density, outback Queensland in the late 90s would not have been the ideal place for a couple of Chinese immigrants to settle (arguably not much difference now, there's a reason why they say you have to put your clocks back 20 years when you cross the border, plus an extra hour because they don't do daylight savings)...
 

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Hong Kong Exodus Endgame

Australia must prepare for Hong Kong exodus
ROBERT GOTTLIEBSEN
Follow @BGottliebsen



8:36AM JUNE 18, 2019

All Australians need to understand that that we are going to be an integral part of the “end game” in Hong Kong.

All of us were stunned at the enormous number of Hong Kong residents who came to protest last weekend. The organisers say two million people turned up. Police said it was 338,000. So, let’s say it was one million --- 10 times the capacity of the MCG.

If we were stunned, just imagine what the reaction must have been among the inner circle of rulers who surround China’s President Xi Jinping.

My China-following friends say that almost certainly those at the top in China will have made two decisions -- first, this is a dispute that they must win for the long-term future of China which is to include a Hong Kong where the residents obey the same rules as those in Beijing.

And second, that 2019 is the wrong time to implement the long-term plan. President Xi is about to go to North Korea and there will never be a better time to do a trade deal with the US because President Donald Trump wants a deal as part of his re-election campaign.

China thinks long-term and so must Australia. There will be short term concessions made to settle the Hong Kong residents, but those concessions will not change the ultimate goal.

Those million plus people on the streets were not radical students but realistic Hong Kong families, most of whom knew they are buying time.

Like President Xi they will be preparing their own long-term strategies. Some will set their goal on going to the US and Canada. But most will look Down Under.

Many will study our rules and do everything they can to have an Australian residence where they can retreat to when China makes a push to take control of Hong Kong.

But most likely the majority will seek to come here (or the US and Canada) without advance strategic planning.

Some 30 years ago in 1989 after the Tiananmen Square massacre the late Bob Hawke, then prime minister, invited 40,000 Chinese students to stay in Australia. It changed the nation.

Scott Morrison or his successor will face a similar decision, but the number of people involved will be many times 40,000 and the change to the nation will be even more profound.

Just as we prepare for sudden emergencies our national government (and opposition) must prepare for the inevitable long-term consequences of one million plus people taking over the streets of Hong Kong.

China’s rulers now control the nation via an incredible social points system. A Tiananmen Square-style disaster in Hong Kong would endanger stability on the mainland. President Xi and those close to him are likely to implement their long-term goal in a way that is much smarter than the current clumsy attempt by the current local ruler Carrie Lam.

Here in Australia last year we saw China rap us over the knuckles for clumsy foreign policy mistakes. We saw ships carrying our coal unable to land and other measures that affected the nation’s bottom line.

I fear that just as we do not have the foreign policy skills to play a clever game in the current China-US trade war, we will be just as unsophisticated when it comes to the next round of Hong Kong disputes.

When the Morrison government was returned, we saw a big increase in Chinese buying of Sydney and Melbourne apartments. I think it would be stretching the bow too far to relate that buying to the current Hong Kong dispute.

But Hong Kong residents who understand the challenge the territory faces and who have sufficient capital will seek to buy real estate in Australia or Canada. They want somewhere to go should the going in Hong Kong get too tough.

Beijing may clamp down on money leaving Hong Kong or they might even encourage the affluent citizens of Hong Kong to have a way of leaving.

The rate of overseas Chinese buying Australian real estate during the remainder of 2019 will be an important litmus test for what is ahead.

The challenge in Canberra will be to find a way to take the migrants from Hong Kong while not enraging China to cut off our revenue base.

If we are smart, we can be part of the solution to China’s Hong Kong problem.

But we need to make sure that the apartments we sell to the Chinese are built properly.

In Sydney we have seen residents of two towers being forced to leave their home because of bad work. Most were Chinese.

We will have our own set of problems if we sell to the Chinese leaving Hong Kong apartments with shoddy workmanship.

Meanwhile the debate over migration is set to take on a new dimension.
 

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