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

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  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    I’m not privy to the details of HK housing policy but there is certainly quite a lot of public housing in HK. I would guess that the issue is people wanting something better than that and being effectively priced out of the market.
  • Marsupial wrote: »
    I’m not privy to the details of HK housing policy but there is certainly quite a lot of public housing in HK.

    The average waiting time for getting public housing in HK is measured in years.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Enoch wrote: »
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    The protests, overall, are completely justified. The PRC is all about control and forcing its will on the citizenry. There is nothing to which it will not stoop - just ask the victims of Tiananmen, the Falung Gong, and the Uighers. I greatly fear for the people of Hong Kong in general, and for the protesters in particular. This is not going to end well.
    And Tibet. Don't forget Tibet.

    I have not forgotten and could not forget Tibet.

    As for violence among protesters, the Guardian reports that the Chinese government has admitted infiltrating their ranks with provocateurs.

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    No, but it requires anti-capitalist redress and that is here, let alone there.
  • I recommend that anyone who romanticizes pre-PRC Tibet read this article.
  • I recommend that anyone who romanticizes pre-PRC Tibet read this article.

    It was a bad place. So we took it over. Honest we were just trying to help.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Marsupial wrote: »
    I’m not privy to the details of HK housing policy but there is certainly quite a lot of public housing in HK.

    The average waiting time for getting public housing in HK is measured in years.

    Same here.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Because housing affordability is a major grievance for young people.

    Also, while HK seems quite small it has a fair amount of open land in the new territories. For decades the HK government, in collusion with real estate tycoons, has restricted development and artificially inflated the price of real estate. This situation emerged from the British colonial system and was left in place in 1997.

    Right after the handover the first PRC governor of Hong Kong actually tried to tackle this problem and build a lot of public housing but the 1998 financial crisis hit and scuppered that. The tycoons tightened their grip even further since then.

    But the problem is not insurmountable.

    No, but it requires anti-capitalist redress and that is here, let alone there.
  • While I think this article underplays the legitimate grievances of the protestors, it does a good job showing the ties between some of the most visible/ vocal elements and the American right.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Marsupial wrote: »
    I’m not privy to the details of HK housing policy but there is certainly quite a lot of public housing in HK.

    The average waiting time for getting public housing in HK is measured in years.

    Same here.

    And here in SF.
  • Well, yes, many of the grievances of young people in HK will be familiar to millennials around the world.
  • I've seen a few articles like this one arguing (persuasively, IMO) why Beijing is unlikely to send troops into Hong Kong.
  • Golden Key wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Marsupial wrote: »
    I’m not privy to the details of HK housing policy but there is certainly quite a lot of public housing in HK.

    The average waiting time for getting public housing in HK is measured in years.

    Same here.

    And here in SF.

    and here in Melbourne.

    I'm kind of watching HK with my hands over my face.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    The mainland Chinese government is a calculatedly repressive and oppressive organization, one which uses everything from invasive technology to murder for profit (in things like harvesting organs from political prisoners) against its people. Hong Kong was granted certain privileges and exemptions under the agreement with Britain, rights which are now methodically being destroyed. There is no justification, beyond the justification of sheer power, for what they're doing to HK.

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited August 21
    Aye. Because they can. Use it or lose it.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    I've seen a few articles like this one arguing (persuasively, IMO) why Beijing is unlikely to send troops into Hong Kong.

    Because they don't have yo.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    I've seen a few articles like this one arguing (persuasively, IMO) why Beijing is unlikely to send troops into Hong Kong.

    Because they don't have yo.

    Interesting. A week ago you were saying confidently that a violent repression was "inevitable, inexorable" and that Taiwan was next.
  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    Hong Kong was granted certain privileges and exemptions under the agreement with Britain, rights which are now methodically being destroyed. There is no justification, beyond the justification of sheer power, for what they're doing to HK.

    Plenty of exemptions and privileges remain firmly in place in Hong Kong. You would never see anti-government protests allowed to go this long or this large on the mainland. Protests do happen fairly often in the mainland, but it's usually over unsexy local issues like labor disputes and corruption, so western media doesn't bother with them, and the PRC doesn't feel super-threatened, so they tend to let them fizzle out. A full-blown anti-government protest with leaders talking to the US consulate and waving colonial flags wouldn't last a day.

    Also, it's worth mentioning that the people who run Hong Kong are basically the same set of oligarchs left in place from 1997. While some of the Hong Kong protestors have taken an increasingly xenophobic, anti-mainlander tone, a lot of the problems there are from the local administration.

    The extradition bill was poorly handled but its basic motivation is hardly as nefarious as is being assumed. The catalyst was last year when a Hong Kong man murdered his pregnant girlfriend in Taiwan and then flew back to Hong Kong. Since there is no extradition agreement between Hong Kong and Taiwan they have been unable to prosecute him for murder. Moreover a lot of criminals flee from the mainland to Hong Kong to avoid prosecution, especially for financial crimes. This is one likely reason why cracks are appearing in the HK establishment, as some of the tycoons, normally in bed with the government, are nervous about being held accountable for fraud committed on the mainland.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Plenty of exemptions and privileges remain firmly in place in Hong Kong. You would never see anti-government protests allowed to go this long or this large on the mainland. ...
    No; they'd all be rounded up, murdered outright, chopped up for their organs, and/or be shipped off to concentration camps. Those exemptions and privileges are obviously on their way out.
    ...The extradition bill was poorly handled but its basic motivation is hardly as nefarious as is being assumed. The catalyst was last year when a Hong Kong man murdered his pregnant girlfriend in Taiwan and then flew back to Hong Kong. ...
    You call it the "catalyst;" I'd say excuse. The Mainland is bringing its version of law and order to HK, and it's not pretty.


  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    Plenty of exemptions and privileges remain firmly in place in Hong Kong. You would never see anti-government protests allowed to go this long or this large on the mainland. ...
    No; they'd all be rounded up, murdered outright, chopped up for their organs, and/or be shipped off to concentration camps.

    Well, no, they wouldn’t. But they wouldn’t be allowed to occupy public spaces, ransack government buildings, and paralyze airports.
    ...The extradition bill was poorly handled but its basic motivation is hardly as nefarious as is being assumed. The catalyst was last year when a Hong Kong man murdered his pregnant girlfriend in Taiwan and then flew back to Hong Kong. ...
    You call it the "catalyst;" I'd say excuse. The Mainland is bringing its version of law and order to HK, and it's not pretty.
    [/quote]

    The bill was the HK government’s idea. And no, the Mainland is not bringing its version of law and order any time soon. To do so would be shooting themselves in the foot big time.

  • So last weekend a million people went out on the streets in the face of threats and the massing of military and para-military forces on the border to protect known criminals using their city as a refuge from justice?
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    So last weekend a million people went out on the streets in the face of threats and the massing of military and para-military forces on the border to protect known criminals using their city as a refuge from justice?

    Too simple. First, under Western law, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Under the PRC jurisprudence, a person is presumed guilty until proven innocent. Since the Hong Kong judicial system is based on English Common law, there would be a clash there.
  • I felt Sir P.'s claim that the extradition laws were no biggie was countered by the number of people willing to go out on the streets.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Exactly so, to your last 2 posts. I find it hard to see any basic distinction between the present leadership of the PRC and that of Mao - one of history's greatest murderers.
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    So last weekend a million people went out on the streets in the face of threats and the massing of military and para-military forces on the border to protect known criminals using their city as a refuge from justice?

    Not what I said.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    So last weekend a million people went out on the streets in the face of threats and the massing of military and para-military forces on the border to protect known criminals using their city as a refuge from justice?

    Too simple. First, under Western law, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Under the PRC jurisprudence, a person is presumed guilty until proven innocent. Since the Hong Kong judicial system is based on English Common law, there would be a clash there.

    The presumption of innocence has been on the books of PRC jurisprudence since the 90’s. The problem is of course how well this translates from the books to reality.

  • Gee D wrote: »
    Exactly so, to your last 2 posts. I find it hard to see any basic distinction between the present leadership of the PRC and that of Mao - one of history's greatest murderers.

    The country is vastly different from the Mao era. In fact some mainlanders get nervous seeing the HK protests because it reminds them of when crowds of fanatical teenagers were ravaging the country (admittedly the comparison is a stretch).

    I’m not a big fan of “I’ve been there” arguments but in this case I believe spending time in China, among Chinese citizens, would do a lot to correct the misperceptions many Westerners have about China. I remember when I was in Beijing some friends put on CNN (CNN is not blocked) and we were all laughing our asses off at how ridiculous the China coverage was. They were talking breathlessly about a Chinese state company’s bid to buy up some US oil reserves and all they could show was footage of a military march on Tiananmen Square on a loop.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    The country may be vastly different, but that does not deal with the point I raised - there is no basic distinction between the present leadership and that of Mao. No more than did Mao is the present leadership democratic or respectful of human rights. I can't see how your second paragraph deals with this at all.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    Exactly so, to your last 2 posts. I find it hard to see any basic distinction between the present leadership of the PRC and that of Mao - one of history's greatest murderers.

    The country is vastly different from the Mao era. In fact some mainlanders get nervous seeing the HK protests because it reminds them of when crowds of fanatical teenagers were ravaging the country...

    Um, yeah, there really isn't much else in recent Chinese history that can be compared to the Cultural Revolution. Without even getting into the body count, the idea of giving kids and teenagers permission to go around killing anyone they disliked on ideological grounds puts it into a whole different category of craziness.

    And I would agree that it's a bit of a stretch to see the Hong Kong protests as a revival of the Red Guard. Though I suppose if you're an older Chinese person whose only experience of public protest is the dunce-cap brigades, you might be easily conned into viewing it that way.

  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited August 23
    Gee D wrote: »
    The country may be vastly different, but that does not deal with the point I raised - there is no basic distinction between the present leadership and that of Mao. No more than did Mao is the present leadership democratic or respectful of human rights. I can't see how your second paragraph deals with this at all.

    Okay, how about this:

    Mao- economic autarky, bitterly denounced the Soviet Union as "revisionist" for mildly liberalizing under Khrushchev; Chinese communists who had a similar approach were denounced and persecuted as "capitalist roaders." Collectivized agriculture. The Great Leap Forward caused a horrific famine.

    Present leadership- implement everything Mao was afraid of and then some; foreign investment is encouraged; western brands and business widespread and commonplace. No famine in China since the Great Chinese Famine.

    Mao- launched a ruthless campaign ("Destroy the Four Olds!") against traditional Chinese culture, destroying countless priceless artifacts in some places, in other places (e.g. Beijing opera) forcing it into ideological conformity.

    Present leadership- proudly promotes and encourages traditional Chinese arts and culture. Confucianism is now seen as an asset rather than a reactionary cultural substrate to be uprooted.

    Mao- Mercilessly persecuted religion, imprisoning or killing monks and clergy, destroying monasteries and temples.

    Present leadership- Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, and approved forms of Christianity are all permitted and even encouraged. Monasteries and temples are rebuilt or renovated with state funding, and valued as cultural monuments and sources of tourist income; monks and priests receive small stipends. Foreign culture is welcomed and widely available.

    Mao- Insisted on exporting revolutionary communism and bitterly denounced the Soviet Union's developing idea of "peaceful coexistence" between communist and capitalist spheres.

    Present leadership- Promotes an extremely cautious, stability-at-all-costs foreign policy. Give no support to various Maoist guerilla movements around the world and gladly arms their enemies (e.g. Philippines government).

    Mao- Launched a mass movement of ideological terror, centered around his personality cult, which set hordes of teenagers ravaging the country attacking people for any number of perceived crimes or deviations.

    Present Leadership- Extremely wary of mass movements or personality cults. Values collective decision-making in the Party. Within certain parameters, dissent and disagreement are accepted.

    The assertion that there is "no basic distinction" is ludicrous.



  • A couple years ago, people on Weibo were widely sharing memes comparing Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh . The memes- indeed any Pooh reference- were eventually censored but the users were not prosecuted or threatened. This sort of wry mockery of politicians is commonplace. It would be unthinkable in the Mao era. Pretty much everyone who uses Weibo has experienced posts getting removed due to unspecified infractions against the terms of use... it does not mean the police will suddenly have you on their list.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Sir P wrote:

    Mao- Insisted on exporting revolutionary communism and bitterly denounced the Soviet Union's developing idea of "peaceful coexistence" between communist and capitalist spheres.

    Though of course, the ultra-ironic turn there was that Mao's hatred of the USSR eventually led him to embrace Richard Nixon, and soon thereafter China became a cheerleader for, and sometimes outright collaborator in, all the worst excesses of US foreign-policy, from praising Pinochet's coup to helping the US and UK arm the post-ouster Khmer Rouge.

    Present leadership- Promotes an extremely cautious, stability-at-all-costs foreign policy. Give no support to various Maoist guerilla movements around the world and gladly arms their enemies (e.g. Philippines government).

    I have heard from sources I would consider relatively credible, albeit informal, that China has long supported the Maoist guerillas in India. Even if that's true, however, I'd wager it has to do more with keeping a main local rival on its toes, rather than any ideological commitment to Maoism.



  • The Naxalites could be getting some Chinese support, but, like with Putin and the separatists in Eastern Ukraine, the PRC doesn't want them to actually win. It is, as you say, a way to keep India on their toes. If there were any danger of the Naxalites actually establishing a Maoist state that would be worrying for China.
  • A couple years ago, people on Weibo were widely sharing memes comparing Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh . The memes- indeed any Pooh reference- were eventually censored but the users were not prosecuted or threatened. This sort of wry mockery of politicians is commonplace. It would be unthinkable in the Mao era. Pretty much everyone who uses Weibo has experienced posts getting removed due to unspecified infractions against the terms of use... it does not mean the police will suddenly have you on their list.

    Do you reckon you'd be able to get permission to travel internationally?
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited August 23
    Yes. I know one person who constantly gets censored or suspended on Weibo and travels freely between China and other countries all the time. Unless there is some seriously subversive stuff (e.g. calling for the overthrow of the party, supporting separatism) there is a pretty wide tolerance of shenanigans. Chinese people are not the Borg. The sheer resources and manpower required to run the all-encompassing Orwellian state some imagine the PRC to be would be prohibitive for the actual PRC. When they repress they perforce do so selectively.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited August 23
    If there were any danger of the Naxalites actually establishing a Maoist state that would be worrying for China.

    Yeah, can you imagine the entire nation of India being one big nuclear-armed Cultural Revolution, and you're one of the old running-dogs sitting in Beijing?
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    ...
    Present leadership- Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, and approved forms of Christianity are all permitted and even encouraged. Monasteries and temples are rebuilt or renovated with state funding, and valued as cultural monuments and sources of tourist income; monks and priests receive small stipends. Foreign culture is welcomed and widely available. ...
    Right. Crosses are removed from churches, and house churches are suppressed. Muslims are shut up in concentration camps. Buddhists in Tibet are suppressed. Members of Falun Gong are imprisoned and executed for their organs.

    As for Hong Kong, I think I get better info from the Guardian, thank you.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    ...
    Present leadership- Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, and approved forms of Christianity are all permitted and even encouraged. Monasteries and temples are rebuilt or renovated with state funding, and valued as cultural monuments and sources of tourist income; monks and priests receive small stipends. Foreign culture is welcomed and widely available. ...
    Right. Crosses are removed from churches, and house churches are suppressed. Muslims are shut up in concentration camps. Buddhists in Tibet are suppressed. Members of Falun Gong are imprisoned and executed for their organs.

    As for Hong Kong, I think I get better info from the Guardian, thank you.

    Keep in mind that Sir P. was not saying China has lots of religious freedom in absolute terms, or even relative to other countries, but in comparison to what it was like under Mao.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    I suppose it's all relative. But his remarks on what's happening in HK seem remarkably pro-mainland.
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited August 23
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    ...
    Present leadership- Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, and approved forms of Christianity are all permitted and even encouraged. Monasteries and temples are rebuilt or renovated with state funding, and valued as cultural monuments and sources of tourist income; monks and priests receive small stipends. Foreign culture is welcomed and widely available. ...
    Right. Crosses are removed from churches, and house churches are suppressed.

    Most churches in China are doing just fine. My uncle is heavily involved with the Catholic church there and reports encouraging growth. Unauthorized house churches- like unauthorized meetings of any sort- arouse the authorities' suspicion. Popular churches that attract a lot of attention and for whatever reason arouse the ire of local officials will be targeted with arbitrary zoning laws. This is not hard to understand. Most religious people in China are prudent enough to avoid this stuff.
    Muslims are shut up in concentration camps.

    There is plenty wrong about the PRC's activity in Xinjiang, but the vast majority of Muslims practice without impediment, including Uighurs. The largest Muslim group in China- the Hui- are not subject to the treatment the Uighurs are getting.
    Buddhists in Tibet are suppressed.

    Tibetan Buddhism in flourishing, not only in the TAR but throughout greater Tibet, in Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu, and Yunnan. New monasteries are being built, monks are given small salaries, pilgrims flock to monasteries in droves. Don't believe me? Here, for example, is a piece from the apparently infallible Guardian. Here's another. Life expectancy among Tibetans today is double what it was during the Dalai Lama theocracy. Traditional Tibetan culture is in rude health.

    The same, unfortunately, can't be said about some of China's traditionally nomadic minorities like the Evenkis or Manchus but there's no political angle to exploit there so no one cares.
    Members of Falun Gong are imprisoned and executed for their organs.

    According to reports by entities funded and/or staffed by Falun Gong. If the Scientologists published "independent" reports that the German government was putting them in concentration camps no one would take it seriously.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    ...
    According to reports by entities funded and/or staffed by Falun Gong. If the Scientologists published "independent" reports that the German government was putting them in concentration camps no one would take it seriously.
    Really? I would never claim that the Guardian (or indeed any source) was "infallible," but this does give me, at least, pause:
    ...An independent tribunal sitting in London has concluded that the killing of detainees in China for organ transplants is continuing, and victims include imprisoned followers of the Falun Gong movement.

    The China Tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who was a prosecutor at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, said in a unanimous determination at the end of its hearings it was “certain that Falun Gong as a source - probably the principal source - of organs for forced organ harvesting”.

    “The conclusion shows that very many people have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason, that more may suffer in similar ways and that all of us live on a planet where extreme wickedness may be found in the power of those, for the time being, running a country with one of the oldest civilisations known to modern man.”

    He added: “There is no evidence of the practice having been stopped and the tribunal is satisfied that it is continuing.” ... There is less evidence about the treatment of Tibetans, Uighur Muslims and some Christian sects.

  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited August 23
    The “independent” China Tribunal was set up by the “International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China.” If you go to their management page and look up the names you’ll see that they are all Falun Gong members or writers for Falun Gong’s newspaper the Epoch Times. So this “independent tribunal” was set up by Falun Gong. For some reason they are not up front about this connection.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    SirP, I would expect the Guardian to mention that if it were the case.
  • You can see it for yourself. Go down the list of their administrators and google their names.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    The Wall Street Journal (which is, unfortunately for our purposes here, behind a paywall) also reports massive organ harvesting and notes that imprisoned Uighurs are being medically tested in the same way as the Falun Gong.

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited August 23
    Martin54 wrote: »
    I've seen a few articles like this one arguing (persuasively, IMO) why Beijing is unlikely to send troops into Hong Kong.

    Because they don't have yo.

    Interesting. A week ago you were saying confidently that a violent repression was "inevitable, inexorable" and that Taiwan was next.

    Yo. To capitalize on my typo. The violent repression of Hong Kong doesn't need the army. The demonstrators have failed by using violence. The state just has to use more. And we all privately feel for the thin blue line. It's not exactly Selma is it?

    Taiwan is going to be increasingly isolated and overtured. Stick and carrot.
  • Based on what sources? Do they cite the China Tribunal?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    SirPalomides, How about the open warfare on the Uighur people, the wide use of the death penalty wth public executions, the sale of internal organs, and the deepening oppression of Tibet. Mao would hav been pleased with all this.
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