Those Umbrella Movement student protesters do know how to turn down unwanted interviews with some panache.
Recently, a CCTV television reporter in Hong Kong tried to solicit views from students, and got an interesting response.
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CCTV reporter (in Mandarin): Can you tell me what you think?
Lady (in Cantonese): I don’t understand what you’re saying.
CCTV reporter (in Mandarin): It’s OK. You can speak in Cantonese.
Hong Kong man #1 (in English): Sorry, I don’t know what you said.
CCTV reporter (in Mandarin): Don’t worry, you can really say anything you want to say.…
Hong Kong man #2 (looks down at mike and realises reporter is from CCTV): Sorry, I don’t want to speak to your channel.
Speaking in Mandarin, the CCTV reporter asked a lady: “Can you tell me what you think?”
She replied in Cantonese: “I don’t understand what you’re saying”
The CCTV reporter said: “It’s okay, you can speak in Cantonese.”
The man standing on her left quickly replied in English: “Sorry, I don’t know what you said,” turned, and left.
The camera cut to what seems like a different location, and the CCTV reporter asked another Hong Kong man: “Don’t worry, you can really say anything you want to say,” perhaps being self-conscious about CCTV’s reputation as a CCP propaganda mouthpiece.
The Hong Kong man turned, looked down at the CCTV logo on the mike, faced the CCTV reporter, and said with a slight smile: “Sorry, I don’t want to speak to your channel.”
In light of increasing hostility between Hong Kongers and mainland Chinese — an 2012 incident revolved around a Hong Kong subway argument and the remarks of a mainland Chinese professor being one notable example — pulling out the “I-don’t-understand-your-language” trick is a good, peaceful way to disengage.