haleyk100198's blog

By haleyk100198, history, 11 days ago, In English,

Hi CodeForces,

Disclaimer: This post is somewhat related to an ongoing political crisis in my homeland, but I have no interest in discussing that issue here, to not get people distracted from the actual topic.

If you are from China though

I am a student from the University of Hong Kong (HKU), universities in Hong Kong have a somewhat weird rule in participating ICPC regionals -- We are allowed to participate either APAC / Asia East Continent regionals, but we could only earn our ticket from EC, which is enforced somewhere around 2010s from what I have heard from my seniors. While you may have heard complains about corruption / poor problem quality / rigged EC finals policy etc, I am thankful that the mainland ICPC regional organizers have been making kind exemptions for HK and Macau universities (technically Taiwan as their documents claim but ...) and we stay uneffected from most of the grievance happening in the region.

As EC contests are either held in HK or mainland China, our team almost never had troubles with applying for travelling documents. However, thee scenario has been constantly getting worse ever since the Umbrella revolution in 2014, Mong Kong clash in 2016, and the anti-extradition bill protest that is ongoing right now. Many HKU acitivists have either been sentenced to jail 1(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Tai) 2(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Leung) 3(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Chow_Yong-kang) or is forced to fled oversea 4(https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3017530/only-unmasked-protester-hong-kong-legco-takeover-has-fled). While the cases that I have listed are rather extreme, it is not uncommon for students who are found to participate in anti-China protests are rejected from entering the PRC despite of valid travelling documents. In fact, our teams originally planned to participate in the Urumqi regionals in 2017, however, ALL 3 HKU teams were rejected from entering Urumqi and we had to forfeit the contest. We suspect that this is due to the fact that none of our teams contains mainlanders only. Yet, as an international unversity, it is natural and common for HKU teams to be composed of students of different nationality.

While I will be graduating soon, I am in fear that in the soon future HKU students may face more troubles in entering PRC to attend ICPC regionals, and I believe we should act proactively for the landscape in a decade later, to prevent all HK universities from being effectively banned from advancing to WF. Besides contacting the authorities (eg: Golden Bear), are there anything that I could do work against this problem?

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If you are so worried about this issue, I think you should ask Dr.C.Jinshong(CJ) Hwang for advice by writing an e-mail to him. I think it is the best way to ease you worry, which you cannot find in the Codeforces community.

But does this problem is very likely to happen? Urumqi regionals is two years ago and it is very far from HK, though I don't know what really happened. Maybe you can contact Xinjiang University. But in 2018 season, as I remember, your team has attended two regionals in Mainland China(including EC-Final). Does anyone you mentioned is related to ICPC? Just don't connect everything with politics before anything shows even a little sign to happen.

Btw, Since The Chinese University of Hong Kong won a medal slot, I think your team has a better chance to advance to WF? Wish you very good luck.