Anyone know what is happening in Hong Kong - why the violence?

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  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    And while we have been discussing past history, Beijing has started moving troops into Hong Kong.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    You see, like me, the trouble with SirPalomides is, you might not like their style, but they're right. Don't confuse form with content kiddies.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    And while we have been discussing past history, Beijing has started moving troops into Hong Kong.

    They claim it is just a troop rotation for the garrison. Could be a preparation for a military crackdown, could just be an intimidation tactic. Not a good sign either way though!

  • His content includes some pretty nasty allegations Martin which
    Martin54 wrote: »
    You see, like me, the trouble with SirPalomides is, you might not like their style, but they're right. Don't confuse form with content kiddies.

    His content includes some pretty nasty allegations which he has decided to cease defending yet not withdraw. They include the allegations that I am a liar and that I hate Chinese people.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    His content includes some pretty nasty allegations Martin which
    Martin54 wrote: »
    You see, like me, the trouble with SirPalomides is, you might not like their style, but they're right. Don't confuse form with content kiddies.

    His content includes some pretty nasty allegations which he has decided to cease defending yet not withdraw. They include the allegations that I am a liar and that I hate Chinese people.

    Which is bollocks of course. It's the non-personal, the sourced stuff.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    His content includes some pretty nasty allegations Martin which
    Martin54 wrote: »
    You see, like me, the trouble with SirPalomides is, you might not like their style, but they're right. Don't confuse form with content kiddies.

    His content includes some pretty nasty allegations which he has decided to cease defending yet not withdraw. They include the allegations that I am a liar and that I hate Chinese people.

    He didn't really defend them, realising that they were groundless. Certainly not withdrawn either.
  • Any further discussion of it is matter for a Hell thread. But I don’t just start Hell threads for anyone.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    And while we have been discussing past history, Beijing has started moving troops into Hong Kong.

    Says who?
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited August 30
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    And while we have been discussing past history, Beijing has started moving troops into Hong Kong.

    Says who?

    The government says it is a “routine rotation” of the troops in the garrison. And then everyone else says, “mmhmm.”
  • Any further discussion of it is matter for a Hell thread. But I don’t just start Hell threads for anyone.

    You don't get to make that choice. Do the right thing. Withdraw your assertions or defend them where they were made, if you can. Your current position is damaging to the credibility of your other posts.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Legitimate posters admit when they are wrong.
    I do when I'm sure I'm mistaken. I am not sure in this case. And SirP is wrong about the fact-checking standards of several newspapers.

  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Here is another alarming column from Nicholas Kristof. I fear we're going to see a further suppression of Hong Kongers' rights, if not a full-blown bloodbath. Beijing has no use for democracy.

  • Hong Kong had democracy?
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Compared to mainland China, yeah.
  • Hong Kong had an oligarchy that allowed free and open trade and a certain amount of personal freedom, with a feint at democracy that nobody really believed.
  • A few years before the handover the last British governor introduced some reforms but that was just to irritate the PRC.

    A bloodbath though would be a huge setback for Beijing. Hong Kong’s relatively open status has benefited them and there’s no replacing it. Macau is doing better but I don’t see them replacing Hong Kong.

    The failure of “one country, two systems” would not only be a major economic/ strategic setback but it would also set back unification with Taiwan indefinitely. People in Taiwan who have been cautiously optimistic about it are going to be discredited.

    So even if Beijing is beefing up its garrison, actually deploying troops on the street is a last resort for them and it would more or less be an admission of defeat.
  • If Hong Kong had had autonomous local government elected by universal suffrage at the time that the UK was negotiating with China about the handover (and not last minute attempts by the governor at moving a little towards more representative government that China felt free to overturn), then the established status quo at the time of handover would have been universal suffrage.

    In the 70s and 80s, prior to the signing of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration which laid out the terms of the 1997 handover, how did Hong Kong compare with other UK colonies of the time in terms of how democratic it was? Was it less democratic than most other UK colonies of the time?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Can we assume that it is the Falun Gong throwing the tear gas canisters at the demonstrators?
  • Gee D wrote: »
    Can we assume that it is the Falun Gong throwing the tear gas canisters at the demonstrators?

    Is that the demonstrators tearing up the street and throwing Molotovs? Or the ones with the umbrellas?
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited September 1
    Gee D wrote: »
    Can we assume that it is the Falun Gong throwing the tear gas canisters at the demonstrators?

    Or is it the Hong Kong police throwing tear gas at yellow vests in Paris?

    I’ve been to quite a few protests in the US and the HK riot police are as restrained as what I’ve seem in DC or Philly, if not more so. No one was throwing bricks at their heads or beating them with sticks for one thing.

  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited September 1
    And before anyone says “agents provocateurs...” yes, agents provocateurs are a real thing. So are hotheads. And there are lots of hotheads in the anti-ELAB protests, as in almost any large protest movement. There are way too many videos of HK protestors beating police, throwing bricks and Molotovs, attacking HKers who disagree with them, destroying train stations and other public infrastructure, etc to label them provocateurs.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    The police seem to have started today's violence. The protests started out peacefully. And there are anti-riot police and People’s Armed Police troops waiting on trucks and buses near Shenzhen’s border with Hong Kong. I fear the worst is coming.

    I hope the PRC's damned October 1st 70th-anniversary celebration of millions of deaths and untold oppression at the hands of this evil regime are ruined.

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    The police seem to have started today's violence. The protests started out peacefully. And there are anti-riot police and People’s Armed Police troops waiting on trucks and buses near Shenzhen’s border with Hong Kong. I fear the worst is coming.

    I hope the PRC's damned October 1st 70th-anniversary celebration of millions of deaths and untold oppression at the hands of this evil regime are ruined.

    Exactly, despite Sir P's efforts to move away from the undeniable.
  • Sir P often posts baseless allegations.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    He does indeed.
  • I think it’s possible that in such a large and decentralized movement a subset of the protestors do want to initiate violence. I think it’s also possible that Beijing itself or factions in HK that share common interests with Beijing might be willing to employ dirty tricks to make the protestors look bad or to justify a police crackdown. Both could be true.

    @SirPalomides if you were a Hongkonger, either now or at the beginning of the protests, how would have you responded to what was going on?
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    The PRC has admitted to infiltrating the ranks of the protesters with agents provocateurs. They're terribly afraid of the kind of people willing to risk their lives in order to preserve their freedoms.

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Thanks Ross - I'd not seen that, but the use of agents provocateurs does not surprise me in the least.
  • I mean, we all post stuff that turns out to be wrong from time to time. Dealing with mistakes quickly, simply by issuing a simple withdrawal and apology, is the way to prevent your errors becoming a long-term drag on your credibility as a shipmate. All it takes is something simple, like:

    When I saw your initial posts, I thought that you were a liar who hated Chinese people. But now you have explained your position more fully, I see that I am mistaken, and I am sorry for it.

    Even a very short statement like that would be sufficient to lance the boil on Sir P's reputation, and cast their defence of the Chinese Communists in a different light. As things stand, it seems like Sir P will say anything, no matter how offensive, untrue or ill-informed, to defend the Chinese Government.
  • I think it’s possible that in such a large and decentralized movement a subset of the protestors do want to initiate violence. I think it’s also possible that Beijing itself or factions in HK that share common interests with Beijing might be willing to employ dirty tricks to make the protestors look bad or to justify a police crackdown. Both could be true.

    Sure. Provocateurs are a real thing. But there are clearly protestors who are violent and who have rationalized a strategy of provoking violence for whatever reason. Earlier I posted an editorial printed in the New York Times by a Hong Kong activist who advocated a theory of “marginal violence”, of increasingly confrontational tactics that provoke violent responses from the police. Now he also says clearly that such tactics should be nonviolent. But it’s very easy to see how the lines can get blurry in action.

    It’s a tactic that actually works in many insurgent situations but you have to be willing to really push it far and bring unspeakabale misery not only on yourself but everyone around you. I don’t think Hong Kong is the place for that at all.
    @SirPalomides if you were a Hongkonger, either now or at the beginning of the protests, how would have you responded to what was going on?

    That’s a pretty tricky what-if, but I’ll play. I would be nervous about the extradition bill and pissed about the fact that the same people were essentially running Hong Kong since before the handover. I would also recognize that there is no future for my home apart from China- independent Hong Kong is a pipe dream- and that the people waving union jacks, and the people destroying infrastructure, are not my friends.
  • Simon Toad, I admit I find your harping humorous but perhaps a running joke thread would be better suited for the Circus?
  • oh no. I think it belongs right here.
  • Said the stingray to the crocodile hunter.
  • Sir P--

    Then, if I may ask, you believe that all the various places that the main Chinese gov't considers theirs *should* be officially theirs, and under their control?

    I'm trying hard to word this post carefully, both so as not to offend you and also so as not to trigger various trip wires that have been triggered upthread. I'll just say that, growing up in the US during many tensions with China and news of various goings-on in China over decades, I have to work hard to believe that HK, Taiwan, etc. would be better off integrated into the current PRC.

    Thx.
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited September 2
    No. It’s not a matter of *should*- it’s just a brute political reality that HK is part of the People’s Republic of China. The PRC isn’t going to give it up and no one else is going to try to carve them away. Some powers would love to see China break up into three or four countries but they’re not going to intervene to make it happen- it would have to be a Soviet style implosion. I’m not an irredentist for any country but there is no realistic case for an independent HK.

    Having said that, the PRC does not want HK integrated the way some people think- they don’t want universal suffrage or any democratization like that, but they also genuinely benefit from the “one country, two systems” as an economic release valve. A lot of foreign companies doing business in China center their operations in HK and are not going to be willing to relocate to Shenzhen or Beijing. They’d rather do it through Singapore or Malaysia. Then the PRC will be much more dependent on these other countries for its economic expansion. So the PRC is reluctant to do a full on clampdown because it would be shooting themselves in the foot.

    The case of Taiwan is quite different from Hong Kong. They enjoy a real de facto independence and the luxury of dictating terms for an eventual reunification. And even if improbably US support dwindled the PRC would really have to think twice about invasion.

    Lastly, I’ll say again that Americans and other Westerners would really benefit from actually visiting China and spending time around ordinary citizens and seeing what life is like there. I’m not saying “I’ve been there, so I know what I’m talking about” - of course many people have been to the same places and come away with very different impressions. But US media has given such a distorted view of the country that I think it would change just about anyone’s thinking to see what it’s like. Not utopia by any means, plenty of problems in every corner, but also not the crushing dystopia usually presented.

  • Carrie Lam has announced the withdrawal of the extradition bill: https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3025670/hong-kong-leader-carrie-lam-set-withdraw-extradition-bill

    A lot of uncompromising rhetoric from the protestors. I guess we'll see if they mean it by the weekend.

  • ...Not utopia by any means, plenty of problems in every corner, but also not the crushing dystopia usually presented.

    As long as you're not a Uighur.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    ...A lot of uncompromising rhetoric from the protestors. I guess we'll see if they mean it by the weekend.
    A lot of perfectly understandable distrust on the part of the protesters. All that egregious police brutality (for starters) needs to be addressed.


  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    This is an interesting article on the subject.
  • Wow. That piece read heavily of ideology. I don't know if lenninist is an accurate description, but I reckon it doesn't matter. The author used it as a slur.

    Mind you, the Commies really are a shower of bastards. I just haven't seen such a collection of names in an article before. It's not like their bastardry isn't self-evident.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Exactly, and it seems that they're going to get away with it.
  • It's not surprising to see George Will working himself into such cold war hysterics.

    It's pretty funny to see anyone upholding billionaire Jimmy Lai as some plucky rebel hero. He is not going to have to face the consequences of his demagoguery- but of course those young future martyrs are. (Note that there are no actual martyrs yet for the HK protestors, apart from the handful of suicides). Jimmy Lai's Apple Daily has been a consistent source for xenophobic demagoguery, including an infamous series of ads depicting mainlander immigrants as an invading swarm of locusts. And of course he has had meetings with top Trump administration officials. . Imagine if a prominent, private American citizen were bankrolling violent, destabilizing protests in a major American city, openly calling for the overthrow of the American government, and meeting with top officials of the Chinese government. And this same person managed to still travel freely into and out of the United States without being arrested.

    It's pretty clear George Will doesn't know what he's talking about when he says, Beijing’s consistently sinister behavior reveals a determination, as implacable as it is predictable, to incrementally nullify “one nation, two systems” by reducing Hong Kong to just another jurisdiction wholly subservient to China’s deepening tyranny. Beijing might tinker and meddle here and there, but it needs Hong Kong's separate, common law legal system- without it, the investors in HK, both foreign and domestic, are going to move to Singapore and Malaysia. The PRC can absorb a lot of things, like how most of the high tech stuff has gone to Shenzhen, but abolishing HK's special status doesn't help them.

    Jimmy Lai knows this, which is why he's barely containing his glee as he predicts that the protests will provoke a Tiananmen style crackdown. In such an event the people of HK would suffer immensely though plucky billionaires like Jimmy Lai can scoot off to Canada or the US.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited September 16
    ^ Will also manages to work George Orwell's kitschiest hyperbole into the analysis. I doubt that even Stalin consciously regarded himself as "a boot stamping on a human face forever."
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    ... It's pretty clear George Will doesn't know what he's talking about when he says, Beijing’s consistently sinister behavior reveals a determination, as implacable as it is predictable, to incrementally nullify “one nation, two systems” by reducing Hong Kong to just another jurisdiction wholly subservient to China’s deepening tyranny. Beijing might tinker and meddle here and there, but it needs Hong Kong's separate, common law legal system- without it, the investors in HK, both foreign and domestic, are going to move to Singapore and Malaysia. The PRC can absorb a lot of things, like how most of the high tech stuff has gone to Shenzhen, but abolishing HK's special status doesn't help them. ...
    The new extradition law certainly would help the PRC - and damage HK immeasurably. China has in fact been tightening things up (going after booksellers, for example); that they're doing it gradually instead of with tanks is probably their nod to keeping the investors in place.

  • Cook your live frog slowly.
  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    The new extradition law certainly would help the PRC - and damage HK immeasurably.

    Right, there's nothing more sinisterly Orwellian than a country being able to try someone for murder, grand larceny, etc. committed elsewhere within the same country. Imagine if someone committed murder in England and then scooted off to Northern Ireland and could not be tried for the crime. Or from Pennsylvania to Delaware.

    The fact that the Hong Kong government would need to have an extradition law passed at all is a good indicator that Beijing don't have total control, and that they can't simply run roughshod over laws any time they please. The Causeway Bay Books detentions were egregious and illegal but Chinese law enforcement are hardly unique in engaging in illegal activity. The fact is that dissidents continue to run free in Hong Kong. People like Joshua Wong and Jimmy Lai can protest, publish, meet foreign intelligence officials, and travel abroad and back without being arrested.
    that they're doing it gradually instead of with tanks is probably their nod to keeping the investors in place.

    It's wrong to assume there is a creeping, sneaky master plan here. The CCP is not IngSoc. They like people to think they are very unified and efficient but behind closed doors there is factionalism, rivalry, and plain old corruption. A lot of people have the impression that the Tiananmen Massacre happened because shooting protestors is the CCP's preferred MO, but it actually tells a different story. The protests went on for a month and a half because the Politburo was split between those who wanted to immediately stop the protests and those who sympathized with the protestors or at least thought they should be heard out. Perestroika was happening in the Soviet Union and many people, both in the party and among the protestors, thought Gorbachev had the right idea. After weeks of party deadlock and mixed messages the protests got bigger and more entrenched. Deng Xiaoping was in semi-retirement and he was hoping the party could function without him; in the end they had to bring him in as a tiebreaker, and he opted for sending in the troops. The resulting massacre was seen not as a triumph but as a major screw-up and it was blamed on the "progressives" causing indecision in the Party, the thinking being that if the protests had been dispersed early on there would be no need to send in troops and no one would have gotten killed. The "progressives" got demoted or expelled but that didn't put an end to party factionalism, as, for instance, the Bo Xilai incident showed a couple years ago. But the CCP has learned to be better at concealing internal division and presenting a united message to the public. I would not be surprised if there is some serious rancor and fingerpointing going on right now over Hong Kong. The idea that the CCP is this well-oiled machine with a clear plan for everything is an illusion, fostered both by CCP propaganda and Western hysteria.


  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    The new extradition law certainly would help the PRC - and damage HK immeasurably.

    Right, there's nothing more sinisterly Orwellian than a country being able to try someone for murder, grand larceny, etc. committed elsewhere within the same country. Imagine if someone committed murder in England and then scooted off to Northern Ireland and could not be tried for the crime. Or from Pennsylvania to Delaware.

    Well, actually, come to think of it, how DOES that work in the US, where, almost alone among the industrialized democracies, criminal law is written at the state level, with some fairly wide variations between jurisdictions?

    Let's say back in the days of "sodomy laws"(pre-2003) Alabama had decided to start ruthless enforcement of said laws, and some gay guy on the run from the morality squad manages to get himself to Illinois(which abolished its sodomy laws in 1962). Would Illinois have been obligated to send him back to Alabama?

    I know that's not precisely parallel with China/Hong Kong, where the territory has been granted a measure of autonomy unknown to most other places in the China(as opposed to the US, where states rights' is the order of the day). I'm just wondering if the imposition of laws extra-jurisdictionally is as ironclad in the US as your Penn/Del example would suggest.

  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited September 17
    The US constitution has an extradition clause, stating: A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another state, shall on demand of the executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime.


    There are some less grave offenses that have been deemed exceptions by some states. Re: sodomy laws, my understanding is that governors of states are the ones who would normally approve and execute the extradition. Illinois could, therefore, refuse to extradite to Alabama, at which point Alabama can appeal to a federal court to enforce the extradition if they really think it is worth the expenses and publicity. But, as a rule, yes, Illinois would be expected to extradite under the constitution.
  • Thanks.
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