• Evil
    181
    What are people's views about what's currently happening in Hong Kong? It's constantly in the news at the moment.

    I think it's a bloody outrage. The Chinese government (or 'Beijing') needs to fuck the fuck off. Orwellian bellends.
  • Wayfarer
    8.8k
    Totally on the side of the protestors but having trouble figuring out what they want to achieve.
  • Baden
    8.7k


    The Chinese strategy in Hong Kong has been to 'boil the frog', to gradually turn up the heat on democratic institutions and personal freedoms until they die away. And the strategy was more or less working until they got overconfident with the extradition law. So, now the frog has jumped out of the water and they're going to have to stab it to death to stop it. Which, unfortunately, I expect they will.

    There are micro-arguments to be made about the ethics of some protester actions against the police: it often looks like the protesters are intent on goading them into violence. And up until very recently, security forces have been relatively restrained. However, the bigger picture is the encroachment of a fascist state on a disappearing democracy. Hong Kongers are right to resist and they deserve our support.
  • Baden
    8.7k
    Don't agree with this conservative writer a whole lot, but his comments in this article (from 2008) are still current and worth reading.

    http://www.aei.org/publication/beijing-embraces-classical-fascism/
  • Hanover
    5k
    However, the bigger picture is the encroachment of a fascist state on a disappearing democracy.Baden

    And the even bigger picture is how long must those in mainland China continue to suffer under fascism. There is something painful in watching freedoms being removed, but it's as painful to think about those who have never tasted it.

    What is the leverage of those in Hong Kong? Does China care about world opinion?
  • Amity
    866



    The protests were initially focused on a bill that would have made it possible to extradite people from Hong Kong to China, where the Communist party controls the courts. Many Hongkongers feared the law would be used by authorities to target political enemies and that it would signify the end of the “one country, two systems” policy, eroding the civil rights enjoyed by Hong Kong residents since the handover of sovereignty from the UK to China in 1997. Millions of people joined street marches against the bill, paralysing the city. The protests have gone from weekly to almost daily.

    What do the protesters want?

    The extradition bill was suspended by the territory’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, in mid June, but protesters want it officially withdrawn. In addition to demanding Lam’s resignation, the protesters are calling for:

    The complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill

    The government to withdraw the use of the word “riot” in relation to protests

    The unconditional release of arrested protesters and charges against them dropped

    An independent inquiry into police behaviour

    Implementation of genuine universal suffrage
    Alison Rourke
  • ssu
    1.7k
    It hasn't come as a surprise.

    As the Communist leadership grew more confident of it's own position, it is absolutely no wonder that it would show it's true totalitarian face. With Hong Kong it just has been decades in the making. Soon it's going to be a quarter of a Century that has gone from the time when the British handed Hong Kong to China. And today for China the West isn't as crucial as it was still in the 1990's for the re-engineering and economic transformation. China has gone a long way in the last 20 years, hence the Chinese Communists can show their true face.

    After all, now with computers an Orwellian surveillance state is totally possible to create.
  • StreetlightX
    4.3k
    The Hong Kong protestors are democratic heros, actual, real life superheroes, and what they're doing may just be the last gasp of democracy anywhere in the world. They deserve our support, if only because they know far better than 'us' what democratic politics looks like. We ought to support them because they can teach us, miserable students that we are. I look at what is happening there with sheer, untrammeled admiration. And I feel shame that we're so fucking useless in comparison.
  • frank
    3.6k
    Hong Kong is made of a lot of super rich people and a lot of incredibly poor people living in squalid conditions because the government owns the real estate and collects rent instead of taxes.

    The protesters are doomed. They have no allies.
  • Evil
    181
    And I feel shame that we're so fucking useless in comparison.StreetlightX

    What do 'we' have to protest about?
  • Evil
    181
    And the even bigger picture is how long must those in mainland China continue to suffer under fascism.Hanover

    As the Communist leadership grew more confident of it's own position, it is absolutely no wonder that it would show it's true totalitarian face.ssu

    Is it facism or communism?
  • Baden
    8.7k


    China does care about brand China, which is why, for example, it actively denies the existence of these, but it cares even more about control and quashing dissent, so if it comes to a choice between suffering a dent in its image internationally but not appearing weak domestically vs looking good to Joe foreigner but losing public face at home, it will choose strength and crush the protests.
  • ssu
    1.7k
    Is it facism or communism?Evil
    As Deng Xiaoping said: "No matter if it is a white cat or a black cat; as long as it can catch mice, it is a good cat."

    I guess when a Communist accepts the capitalist system as a workhorse, you do end up with fascism.

    Yet it is something else too: the fear of Democracy. That China could go the way of the Soviet Union, that democracy would lead not only the destruction of the power of the Communist Party, but also the disintegration of present day China. Tibet would go, Dzungaria from Xingjang would go. And what other place after that? That is the thinking of the Communist Party. The course was already decided in 1989 in Tiananmen Square and after.

    And since you have after that the largest economic boom the World has seen, the Communist Party can indeed congratulate itself.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    they deserve our support.Baden

    I totally agree, but I have not the vaguest idea what I can do that would amount to even the most gossamer support. I fear that Hong Kong's goose is cooked. (New entrée: Take a flock of protesting geese; execute, torch their feathers, draw, quarter, stir-fry in blood. Pass it around the restaurant as a warning to everyone else.)
  • Baden
    8.7k


    It's modern East Asian state capitalism with a fascist smile (the PR term being 'socialism with Chinese characteristics'). The closest system is probably Singapore, a "democracy" which has had the same party in power, 'The People's Action Party' since 1959.

    Emma Goldman's comment re Soviet Russia in the thirties is germane:

    "Such a condition of affairs may be called state capitalism, but it would be fantastic to consider it in any sense Communistic [...] Soviet Russia, it must now be obvious, is an absolute despotism politically and the crassest form of state capitalism economically."
  • Baden
    8.7k


    Ok, they deserve our support FWIW. Which probably isn't much. And let's face it, leaving us plebs aside, the wider world is very unlikely to do anything either. China is big enough to be approaching US style invincibility. In mafia terms, it's a made man.
  • tim wood
    3.3k
    Likely you, if no one else here, remembers the news of the Hungarian revolution of 1956.

    I cannot, ultimately, understand opposition to freedom. In a free society, everything approaches being the best it can be, and more importantly, has reasonably good error-correction built in. And if I am correct, then opponents of freedom, whoever they are, however many they are, and wherever found, are truly enemies of the people, enemies of everyone.
  • Baden
    8.7k
    Likely you, if no one else here, remembers the news of the Hungarian revolution of 1956.tim wood

    Before my time, but a very apt reference.
  • Evil
    181
    the Hungarian revolution of 1956tim wood

    Only a 34 year wait then...
  • Wittgenstein
    191

    Hong kong youths are fighting a losing battle. After 28 years, China will gain total control over HK and it's better for them to integrate with China. HK depends on China for the water resources, electricity /power and food consumption. Hong kong prospered because of China in the first place. The British used and exploited HK, they never set up a democratic institution in HK and they left a colonialist administration over to China in 1997.

    Democracy is obviously better than a communist dictatorship but looking at ground realities, it is better for HK youths to accept this bitter reality and be a part of China's economic development. China does not need HK and HK needs China.
  • Wittgenstein
    191

    The protestors were protesting against the removal of the firewall between HK and China. During the 1980s, the British government and Chinese leaders signed a " one country two system agreement " which basically states that HK belongs to China but it will have it's own administration, judiciary and legislations.
    Recently , two months ago. The Gov tried to a pass an extradition bill that would allow criminals facing more than 3 years sentence or potential sentence to be extradited to China to face prosecution. The people in HK saw that as a infringement of one country, two system arrangement. The legal sector also raised concerns regarding the bill as both regions have different legal system and China is known for human rights violation.
    Two years ago, a bookstore owner was kidnapped from HK over to China for selling content related to the private affairs and hypocrisy of CCP top leaders. This bill was a legal move to avoid such tacit situations and provide China a legal platform to get trumped up charges on activists or any pro-democracy advocate.

    In the beginning the protests were peaceful but the Gov's actions ( or lack of ) led to the crisis facing HK now.The government suspended the bill but the protestors wanted it to be abolished completely, the Gov failed to do so and the demands of the protesters increased as time went by.The police tried to instigate violence among protesters and sometimes used unnecessary force which was often captured by the media. This went on till they occupied the legislative council and trashed the building. This was the turning point. The peaceful protestors were in the majority but a minority amongst them turned violent later on.

    The demands they presented were
    1. Complete withdrawal of extradition bill
    2. Carrie lam ,the chief executive should step down.
    3. Further inquiry into police violence and their role in protests.

    Another big turning point came when a bunch of triad members attacked pro democracy protesters dressed in black clothes in a subway station when they were returning home in Yuen long. 100 thugs dressed in white shirts attacked children and ladies too, a pregnant lady was also attacked. The police stations in the nearby region were closed and the police failed to respond to the emergency calls. Two police officers even left the scene when the mobs arrived. As the triad members left, the police arrived 30 minutes later. This led to a public suspicion of collusion between police and triad and to a bigger extend between local pro china leaders and traid.
    This event was a turning point because it diverted the pro democracy movement to anti police movement, the Gov took advantage of this and urged police to be on the frontline to counter this movement. The Gov cowardly hid behind police. All the violent protests that we have seen recently are a direct result of this anti police feelings among youth. They primarily attacked police sstations in the recent weeks.

    Now this movement is in a big mess and there is no hope really. To worsen this situation, they have added another point on their list which China takes as a threat to its power and stability. The point is Universal suffrage.

    China has remained reluctant to respond as it wants to avoid repeating history once again but it often drops serious comments such as , PLA intervention in HK. If that happens then it will be the end of 1 country 2 systems.
  • Wayfarer
    8.8k
    Thanks for taking the time to present such a thorough explanation. The difficulty seems to me to be that the protest movement is not able to articulate a real political outcome or aim, beyond those three demands which look unlikely to be met. I am in total agreement with the movement but it seems to me to lacking in leadership and aim. Obviously the Communist party is treading carefully as HK is a huge commercial hub and intermediary between China and the West and a hamfisted crackdown could lead to enormous political problems. Agree that its a tremendously vexed situation - one of several.
  • Amity
    866
    Thanks for taking the time to present such a thorough explanation.Wayfarer

    Yes. An excellent in-depth, comprehensive piece of clear knowledgeable writing. Far superior to my quickie link to the Guardian article. Thanks Wittgenstein :smile:
  • Wayfarer
    8.8k
    Although there is something I feel impelled to say - which is that when the protest movement broke into and trashed the HK Legislative Assembly building a few weeks ago, my feeling was they had crossed a line from protest to civil insurrection. I am also wondering if this action at the International Airport has done the same. Yes, they have a righteous cause, but you have to wonder if the end justifies the means in these cases.
  • Wayfarer
    8.8k
    I say that, because one of the purported benefits of the 1 Country 2 System solution is that HK respects the rule of law in a way that the PRC does not. I was highly impressed by many statements to this effect that were made when the whole issue blew up. So if you praise the rule of law, then you need to walk the talk. There are many protest actions that can be made lawfully. But when you break the law in order to protest, then there’s a risk of trashing the very thing you say you’re trying to defend.
  • Wittgenstein
    191

    As a Hker l would thank you both and everyone on this thread for being concerned on this issue. I would be more than willing to provide any info on this matter.

    The difficulty seems to me to be that the protest movement is not able to articulate a real political outcome or aim, beyond those three demands which look unlikely to be met. I am in total agreement with the movement but it seems to me to lacking in leadership and aim

    You have summarized this movement perfectly and you couldn't be more correct on the leadership problems.
    The leader on bothsides are confused in my opinion and stubborn. If both the Gov and opposition won't compromise on any stance, HK will remain paralyzed. The lacking in leadership is partly due to the pro umbrella movement leaders being behind bars and they could have been helpful atleast in negotiating and making a deal.HK police force has admitted to using undercover cops in disguise as protesters but they have denied using them to turn the movement towards violence.

    Obviously the Communist party is treading carefully as HK is a huge commercial hub and intermediary between China and the West

    The communist party won't follow the path of military backed crackdown on the movement as they have many other options. Majority of the protesters are high school and university students, hence they maybe waiting for the academic year to commence in September, in hopes that the movement may quieten down . The HK police has so far failed to control the situation. China is going through a trade war with the US, hence it has constantly told US to stay out of the internal affairs of China. Chinese leaders will likely think that US is using HK movement as a political tool to gain one up on China during the trade war.

    Legislative Assembly building a few weeks ago, my feeling was they had crossed a line from protest to civil insurrection. I am also wondering if this action at the International Airport has done the same.

    The attack at the International Airport was way worse than the attack on the legislative council building since the former one involved attacking innocent mainland tourists. They even attacked a police officer till he was knocked down and forced to draw a gun to back off the crowd. Such acts will work in favour of CCP and give them reasons to send in army for maintaining " public order " .The protestors should for the moment back off in my opinion as the bill has been withdrawn and that was their initial concern.

    HK respects the rule of law in a way that the PRC does not. I was highly impressed by many statements to this effect that were made when the whole issue blew up. So if you praise the rule of law, then you need to walk the talk. There are many protest actions that can be made lawfully. But when you break the law in order to protest, then there’s a risk of trashing the very thing you say you’re trying to defend.

    Lately, some protesters defaced the national emblem by throwing ink on it. Some radicals in the movement are demanding independence for HK, which isn't only impossible to achieve but will also bring down the whole 1 country 2 system if China interferes with military deployment.

    In 28 years, China will takeover HK and people in hk should start accepting their Chinese identity atleast as a step towards integrating with China.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    The Guardian noted that a shortage of remotely affordable housing was an underlying frustration of many of the young protestors. Granted that HK does not have large empty parcels on which to build a lot of affordable housing, many feel the HK government could do better than it has in the housing area. True? No?

    How about that “renegade province” NE of you? Any thoughts on their future?
  • Amity
    866
    In 28 years, China will takeover HK and people in hk should start accepting their Chinese identity atleast as a step towards integrating with China.Wittgenstein

    Concerning national identity - I lack knowledge in this - how many identify with the Chinese way of life ?
    I don't know that there should be a 'should' to accept a forced identity.

    What do you think of this proposal ?

    The UK should give Hong Kong citizens full UK nationality as a means of reassurance amid the current standoff with Beijing, the chair of the influential Commons foreign affairs committee has argued.

    Tom Tugendhat said this should have happened to people in the formerly British-ruled territory in 1997, when it was handed back to Chinese control, and that doing so now would reassure Hong Kong’s people that they were supported by the UK.
    Peter Walker

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/13/uk-british-nationality-hong-kong-citizens-tom-tugendhat
  • ArguingWAristotleTiff
    3.6k
    The protesters are doomed. They have no allies.frank

    Frank, if you could hold your breath a little longer in predicting the final outcome of these protestors, I would appreciate it.
    Though support might be scattered globally, I can tell you that these young people in Hong Kong are being watched by the young people around me here and not just in a supportive role of "their" desire for freedom, though that is where my energies lay but rather a possible playbook for their own future.
    "We" the generations older than 30, are being watched by our children, many of us who believe in standing up for our flag because of indoctrination or genuine understanding and appreciation of the benefits of living in the United States, under our Constitution.
    But that is where there is a growing divide, one that the politicians here are all too eager to exploit for their own personal benefit. Many people of college age do not believe in doing things the same way simply for the sake of stability but are looking to try and shape their future in the framing that appeals to them. And that future can and does look very different from the current reality we interact in and with whom. The protesters in Hong Kong have young backers here in the USA which is a concept that I just didn't have awareness of at the young age they do.
    I must say my heart was touched to see the stars and stripes being raised in the name of freedom in the Hong Kong airport.
  • Wittgenstein
    191

    In the context of the civil unrest and protests going on, the protesters have never ever mentioned housing or any other burdens of daily life. Even if they are frustrated with the housing system in hk, l don't think it is the underlying reason behind the protests. Most of the protesters are students studying in universities who have a good future ahead of them .They understand that the unavailability of affordable housing is the fault of the government.The Gov has not utilized the land to provide affordable housing and instead has build public housing which is only available for the poor ones in the society. The rest of the land is either kept by the Gov or sold of to rich tycoons who further plummet the private housing price and rents. The middle class has to suffer. I read from somewhere that on average, 70 percent of monthly income is spend on rent. Buying land is not an option even for the upper class. The tycoons who monopolize the hk market fled from mainland China ironically.

    If we suggest that public housing is the underlying frustration leading to protests then we will have to regard the protestors as being irrational or even stupid since annexing HK to China can solve the housing problems and l am pretty sure they know that too.

    Taiwan is an interesting case, totally different from HK. The nationalist lost the civil war and set up their own Government there. They function really well economically, as the GDP per capita is almost 4 times that of China.
    The interesting part is politics since Taiwan began transforming itself slowly and started traveling on a road to democracy. The current system isn't what it's supposed to be but it's definitely better than nothing like the Mainland. There is this big question, If the 89 democracy movement didn't end with the tragic Tiananmen Square crackdown, what would China look like today, politically ?
    I don't think there is an answer to this question and Taiwan is a close example but it was on the other side during the cold war.
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