Author Topic: Hong Kong  (Read 1232 times)

Hong Kong
« on: August 13, 2019, 05:36:34 PM »
Is Hong Kong fucked? Like, proper fucked?

Bit of context here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-48607723

Its been ages now.

Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 06:07:15 AM »
Ive had many discussions with people here in China, and they have all unanimously said they don't like Hong People, with no great argument. Generally young people in Mainland China couldn't give a shit, they generally have no interest in goings on outside their lives.

I wouldn't rule out military presence in the next week, but Beijing really doesn't want bad PR with Tianemin square rhetoric.

Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2019, 06:36:03 AM »
I live there now.

China already has troops stationed in Hong Kong, so the videos of tanks on the border are almost certainly for show - I don't think tanks, etc, would work well on a hilly island (or islands) full of narrow streets. Using Chinese troops would mean never woo-ing back Taiwan, international condemnation, and losing more business and wealth to Singapore. And the protesters aren't exactly a militia - even 'the violent ones' are basically just shining laser pens, throwing rocks and blocking roads.

The blueprint seems to be emerging now - stoking Chinese nationalism, turning Chinese people against Hong Kong (quite easily done) and playing to middle-class Hong Kongers fears.

Over the last few weeks, there has been an unusually high number of stories in China about fashion brands 'wounding the feelings of the Chinese people' by listing Hong Kong and/or Taiwan as separate countries - unlike previous incidents, the actors/singers sponsored by the brands immediately put out press releases announcing they're very hurt and won't work with the brands again. There's been a social media campaign where people declare 'the five-starred Red Flag has 1.4 billion guards!' endorsed by celebrities (ie, Jackie Chan). It's stoking Chinese nationalism, repeating the mantra that Hong Kong and Taiwain are inalienable parts of China, and suggesting the Western world is against them.

The Chinese media is covering the protests now, unlike before, and the protesters are only ever referred to as violent rioters, attacking mainlanders, etc. Many Chinese people have always felt Hong Kongers are arrogant (often with good reason, as Hong Kongers tend to think Chinese people are country bumpkins), so it plays to existing hostilities.

China is placing more pressure on Hong Kong businesses, which depend heavily on China, to condemn the protests, sack protesters, etc. They used to distinguish between peaceful protesters on legal marches and violent ones, but increasingly don't bother, and many peaceful protesters won't want to be confused with violent ones and lose their jobs.

Middle-class Hong Kongers currently paying £1 million for their shoebox apartments won't like the bad economic news, which the Hong Kong government will blame on the protests not the trade war. They (the Hong Kong government) are just voicing meaningless soundbites, playing for time, waiting for protest fatigue to set in, and the universities to open again.

All in all, I think China are confident of weathering it.

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Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2019, 11:07:48 AM »
This is why I live in Norfolk.

Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2019, 12:24:09 PM »
This is why I live in Norfolk.

There is a new bill being passed meaning all Norfolk folk can be extradited to Hull for prosecution.

Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 09:31:28 PM »
Thanks for the thoughts, nw83.

It often feels impossible to keep up on anything halfway involving China because Western outlets are farcically biased and incompetent (and the only easy to find counternarrarives are usually just Chinese state propaganda).

I'm generally pro-HK independence but the only mainstream version of that in the news here tends to be crypto-neoliberal anti-China jingoism.

Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2019, 06:22:21 AM »
Thanks for the thoughts, nw83.

It often feels impossible to keep up on anything halfway involving China because Western outlets are farcically biased and incompetent (and the only easy to find counternarrarives are usually just Chinese state propaganda).

I'm generally pro-HK independence but the only mainstream version of that in the news here tends to be crypto-neoliberal anti-China jingoism.

Thanks! Appreciate it. Even living here, it can be difficult to organise your thoughts, becuase you feel like you're constantly arguing with, or within, multiple different narratives (the protests are being orchestrated by hostile foreign forces; HKers want British colonialism back, so it can't have been all bad; HKers want America to save them, communism/socialism is evil; HK belongs to China, you can't beat them, so just get on with your life; British people who defend the protests are hypocrites because Britain never gave them democracy, etc).

The marches attract a diverse bunch, including some frankly barmy evangelical Christians, an old woman who always waves the Union Jack, around four or five young men who wave American flags. Collectively they're a very small minority, but they give photos ops for all the above narratives to flourish. It's always useful for me to look at the graffiti or 'Lennon Walls' and see that 95% of the post-it notes / banners are simply saying 'withdraw the bill' and 'reform legco (the legislative council)' (the other 5% are 'fuck the popo').


biggytitbo

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Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2019, 09:19:39 PM »
One interesting thing about these protests is how little discussion there is in the west about the involvement of NED and similar, using the old color revolution playbook. Dunno if it's just because it's China but if this was happening anywhere else the suspicion that the tentacles of us regime change were at work would be obvious.

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Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2019, 09:32:58 PM »
Given the way the Chinese government treats its own people I doubt that much Western encouragement would be needed (ift that's what you mean by NED) for protests against extradition to China.

Quote
Rights groups have accused China of meddling in Hong Kong, citing examples such as legal rulings that have disqualified pro-democracy legislators. They've also been concerned by the disappearance of five Hong Kong booksellers, and a tycoon - all eventually re-emerged in custody in China.

Artists and writers say they are under increased pressure to self-censor - and a Financial Times journalist was barred from entering Hong Kong after he hosted an event that featured an independence activist...

I mean, as shitty as the British government is, China's sounds worse (I love China, this is a criticism of their government and not the country or the people.)

Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2019, 10:18:55 PM »
I mean, as shitty as the British government is, China's sounds worse (I love China, this is a criticism of their government and not the country or the people.)
Well it depends on how far back and how broadly you want to look at it.

In terms of recent-ish subjugation of people by authoritarian powers I'd put HK near last in terms of severity. India and Kashmir is much more fucked up as it's essentially a black box. But India is allied with the West so it's mainly the Indian and Pakistani diaspora making a fuss. 

biggytitbo

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Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2019, 10:24:02 PM »
Given the way the Chinese government treats its own people I doubt that much Western encouragement would be needed (ift that's what you mean by NED) for protests against extradition to China.

I mean, as shitty as the British government is, China's sounds worse (I love China, this is a criticism of their government and not the country or the people.)


It's a matter of to what degree Western agencies are agitating in Hong Kong, not if -
https://thegrayzone.com/2019/08/17/hong-kong-protest-washington-nativism-violence/

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Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2019, 10:27:31 PM »
Why should I trust what this blog says? What makes it a credible news source?

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Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 02:50:49 AM »
Why should I trust what this blog says? What makes it a credible news source?

That's what I always think when I see someone on facebook who mistrusts the "MSM" as he calls them, but trusts implicitly sites with names like truthsite.org* & worldtruth.blospot.com* who's stories can usually be disproved by image searching the photos and seeing they've been grossly misused.

(* I don't know if they're real sites, I made them up as examples.  Just checked, first one is a real site and 2nd one is ad farming.)

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Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 05:45:06 AM »

It's a matter of to what degree Western agencies are agitating in Hong Kong, not if -
https://thegrayzone.com/2019/08/17/hong-kong-protest-washington-nativism-violence/

Biggy, apart from the points above, can't you see how spurious that article is, how thin it is on primary sources and how little it does to verify the veracity of those sources? It was engineered to support a thesis, not even to investigate one.

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Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 06:56:24 AM »
Why should I trust what this blog says? What makes it a credible news source?

Sometimes they report Hong Kong Phooey.

biggytitbo

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Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #15 on: Yesterday at 07:31:04 AM »
Biggy, apart from the points above, can't you see how spurious that article is, how thin it is on primary sources and how little it does to verify the veracity of those sources? It was engineered to support a thesis, not even to investigate one.

There's a puppy sat sheepishly next to a pile of poo, but the evidence is thin it was involved

Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #16 on: Yesterday at 07:56:06 AM »
Fuck off with this shite man.

It's disrespectful to the 20 year old kids getting their fuckin eyes gouged out by coppers and the pregnant woman being beaten to the ground until she lost her kid that they're not fighting for their own cause here. There's always vultures circling and trying to take advantage but we're talking about real people risking their lives, some mates of mine, and this conspiratorial bollocks obfuscates reality.

Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #17 on: Yesterday at 08:33:09 AM »
That pregnant woman was reportedly beaten by triad members not just pro-Beijing immigrants.

 What about the two people  that the anti-PRC protestors detained and beat for more than 4 hours stopping paramedics helping him? https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-14/hong-kong-airport-beating-shows-protesters-fears-running-wild

These are mostly kids that are fighting for their own cause and future. Which they are entitled to do but don't say they've got a bigger cause. They say they don't want Hong Kong to be just another Chinese city. They don't want immigration from the mainland. And they don't care about the livelihoods and neighbourhoods of poorer HKers they disrupt.


Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 08:37:44 AM »
The idea that anti Chinese sentiment is tied up with neoliberialism seems pretty dodgy to me, I would say actually the opposite is true and theres been a tendancy to turn a blind eye from china's msideeds over the last 20 years due to its importance to that economic model. Issues like Tibet pretty much dropped off of the media radar during that period compared to the 80's and 90's.

Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #19 on: Yesterday at 08:58:12 AM »
But the role of China as part of neoliberalism and globalism has changed The establishment was fine with China being the world's factory. But now it's not only the world's factory it's becoming it's head office as well. The establishment aren't happy with this.

Also China has become a geopolitical (  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belt_and_Road_Initiative) and military threat so distracting them with Hong Kong and other domestic issues might not be so bad.

biggytitbo

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Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #20 on: Yesterday at 09:19:36 AM »
Fuck off with this shite man.

It's disrespectful to the 20 year old kids getting their fuckin eyes gouged out by coppers and the pregnant woman being beaten to the ground until she lost her kid that they're not fighting for their own cause here. There's always vultures circling and trying to take advantage but we're talking about real people risking their lives, some mates of mine, and this conspiratorial bollocks obfuscates reality.


The idea isn't that they aren't real protests about real issues, that's not how the color revolution playbook works. It works by leveraging real protests, feeding them, amplifying and stoking them. Which is certainly what is happening here, it's just a matter of to what extent. The US and China are currently in the early stages of a kind of new cold war that might last most of this century, and encouraging internal divisions and destabilising protests is going to be one of the main early strategies the US will use against then.


Nobody had any doubt that was what was happening in Venezuela, why is there more scepticism about it here?

Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #21 on: Yesterday at 09:37:05 AM »
But the role of China as part of neoliberalism and globalism has changed The establishment was fine with China being the world's factory. But now it's not only the world's factory it's becoming it's head office as well. The establishment aren't happy with this.

Also China has become a geopolitical (  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belt_and_Road_Initiative) and military threat so distracting them with Hong Kong and other domestic issues might not be so bad.

In that respect though its more a stopped clock isn't it? issues that should have been being reported for 20 years are only coming to the fore now and even now I think criticism is often blunted as a result of the needs of big business.

Generally I think China is the most acute example of the failure of neoliberalism to foster liberal democracy and compared to Venezula yeah I think its a very different situation even if their might be some western involvement.

Lets be realistic China is lurching towards being a fascistic dictatorship with the most massive system of population survalence/control in history, the population of Hong Kong having a problem with closer ties to that seems pretty natural and probably does not take much prodding.

Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #22 on: Yesterday at 10:22:12 AM »
China has been an authoritarian state over the past 50 years but currently to most of it's domestic (Han etc) population it's been kinder and nicer. Increased surveillance is a problem with all states. What is remarkable is that there has been restraint on both sides and that no one has been killed yet.

Ironically HK was China's window in neoliberalism since it was one of the first ways to get capital and investment into China through the diaspora. But the British proved you didn't need universal suffrage and a free media to make capitalism work.

In short people as in people that matter only give a shit about Chinese domestic matters is because they believe it will constrain China's influence and power Romance of the Three Kingdoms style. I mean it would just be better if everybody just concerned themselves with domestic issues before launching into foreign affairs.

Re: Hong Kong
« Reply #23 on: Yesterday at 11:39:48 AM »
Your seeing one man build up levels of power we haven't seen since the days of Mao and a clear expansion in surveillance that's directly built into oppressive government policy whilst the small nods towards democracy that was heralded as the future in the 90's and early 00's turn out to be empty.

You are also of course seeing the protests in Hong Kong demanding greater levels of democracy not a return to British rule.