Zhang Zhe, an independent candidate running in the federal election in Richmond Centre is publically voicing his support for the Hong Kong police.
Zhe, who held up a sign saying “support for Hong Kong police" at this Saturday’s protest as Hong Kong and China divisions took to the streets at Aberdeen Canada Line station this weekend, said in an interview with the Richmond News that both China and Hong Kong supporters in Richmond should be open to each other’s opinions.
"We should sit down and have constructive conversations rather than arguing, which doesn't help build mutual understanding," said Zhe.
On Oct. 1, Richmond pro-Hong Kong supporters ran into conflict with pro-China supporters, who tore down sticky notes from the temporary "Lennon Wall" set up under the Aberdeen Canada Line station.
Zhe watched a video of the conflict and said pro-China supporters' behavior is "understandable."
"As seen in the video, these pro-China supporters look like young students, who are courageous to do anything without thinking about the consequences," Zhe said, adding that "people who have grown up in China receive patriotic education, they love the place they come from."
Meanwhile, Zhe takes a firm stance on supporting the Hong Kong police, asking more Richmondites to keep an open-minded attitude towards China.
"The world isn't black or white; we need to respect all opinions. Just like showing photos of the downtown eastside to people who have never been to Canada, they won't know the beauty of our country."
"Some extremists prefer to exaggerate the negative side of China, such as the lack of democracy, but we ignored the positive side -- China is the second largest growing economy, after the U.S."
Also, Zhe said that Canada should put forward a new immigration policy to encourage new arrivals to contribute to the development of the B.C. interior areas.
"It will be a win-win situation. It would allow immigrants to integrate into society instead of shadow flipping homes for profits, and the rural areas would be further developed."