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Old 06-16-2019, 05:12 PM
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Hong Kong, 2047, and the current protests.


Do people in Hong Kong, a huge number of whom have been actively protesting in recent days, believe they will be free - free in their personal lives, and free from China's hand - indefinitely or just until 2047 when the agreement made with the UK expires? According to that Wikipedia article, at least, the expectation is that China will permit "Hong Kong's previous capitalist system and its way of life (to) remain unchanged" only until that time. I assume even the protestors accept that their way of life must end in 28 years.

If China now cracks down in a Tiananmenesque way on the protestors there, would any other nation dare intervene? I doubt militarily, but there are other forms of war and Trump would love it if China was sanctioned a la Iran, or if China's customers felt compelled to find new suppliers.

Another tough nut for Xi.
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:18 PM
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My WAG is that the vast majority of Hong Kongers know that Beijing doesn't even plan to wait until then to "do its thing" - it's been "doing its thing" ever since 1997, gradually. It's not like Hong Kongers are free now and suddenly won't be anymore in 2047 - their freedoms have been, and continuously will be, eroded.


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Old 06-16-2019, 05:20 PM
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I don't know a lot about it, but my impression is the UK has basically taken a hands off approach (if I'm wrong someone please correct me).

A lot of nations in the region do not like China's influence. Individually they are weak but together they'd be strong. Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, southeast asia, etc. combined have a GDP of maybe 12 trillion at least.

I'm secretly hoping the protests have the effect of letting mainland China know that unified protest can be effective. If China backs down, then the world sees that unified protest can work against an authoritarian regime. So I really hope the world stands behind Hong Kong, but with Chinas economic clout I doubt that happens sadly.
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Old 06-16-2019, 06:42 PM
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The residents of Hong Kong should push as much as possible right now, while they still have some leverage and some strength. From what I read, many know that this is an incremental thing and that if they knuckle under now, the next transgression will be larger and swifter, something too big to be overcome. China will try that anyway, but HK residents have a chance to get a real tactical victory here, not just a short delay in a long loss. IMO. YMMV.
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Old 06-16-2019, 06:57 PM
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I should have included a link and a quote to my post above: https://apnews.com/1936b95202164e72810130d71dac5fca
Quote:
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Saturday said she was suspending work on the bill that would allow some suspects to be sent for trial in mainland Chinese courts.

But pro-democracy activists say that’s not enough. They want the proposal withdrawn and are calling for Lam to step down.
Quote:
Bonnie Leung and other leaders of the pro-democracy Civil Human Rights Front say unions, teachers and others would carry on with plans for a strike on Monday as part of the campaign against the extradition bill.

She says, “We encourage all the public to carry on the campaign.”
Quote:
Leaders of the Civil Human Rights Front said Sunday that they estimated almost 2 million people had marched to demand Chief Executive Carrie Lam scrap the legislation and resign. Police have not issued an estimate of the crowd size.

Many remained gathered outside the city government’s headquarters after the march, apparently planning to spend the night there.

It was the second straight Sunday of demonstrations by Hong Kong residents worried over China’s expanding influence in the former British colony.

The activists said the written apology Lam issued late Sunday showed she was not listening to the voices of the people.
IMO they should continue to press; they have some momentum and should not waste it.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-16-2019 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:07 PM
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Politically speaking, 2047 is equivalent to "forever".
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:11 PM
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Not to China tho; they have very long range plans.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:11 PM
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Hong Kongese are pissed. They know they are fucked and trying to get the best deal they can.

1. The UK sold HK down the proverbial river. Long story short, the UK could have put HK on the path to democracy post WW2, and instead treated it like a colony. When it got closer to the 1997 handover and formulation of the Basic Law, the UK suddenly started making noises on democracy and self-rule. The Chinese basically said "you didn't do jack for a couple of decades, so nuh-uh"
2. The Hong Kongese have a mutually unintelligible language apart for Mandarin (so do a lot of other Chinese), although the written language is reasonably similar). They have their own culture or call it sub-culture that is very distinct from Mainland China. They have always been at the outer reaches of the Empire.
3. It's been an international port and city since the British came in. There is bi-lingual education. Quite different from even current day leading Chinese international cities such as Shanghai.
4. On the face of it, being able to extradite criminals to face justice for crimes committed abroad seems pretty commonsense. That said, there is a great fear based on evidence that if there was extradition to China it could easily be corrupted to involve business and political disputes. There have been a number of high profile cases of publishers and a billionaire disappearing.

I lived in HK in the 80's and again in the 90's. They are Chinese but they are not. They were a UK colony, but never British. They want to keep their language and culture. They only need to look to Tibetans, Mongolians, Manchurians and Uighurs to know they will be overwhelmed. It may be Horatio at the Bridge, but up to 20% of Hong Kong citizens are taking to largely peaceful protest to take a stand. Salute.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:07 AM
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I concur with your post 100%, China guy.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-17-2019 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 06-26-2019, 09:16 AM
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The protesters in Hong Kong are appealing to the leaders of the G20 nations to "liberate" them. I find this very interesting.

Now that Trump's USA seems to have abandoned being the champion of any 'freedom' that doesn't benefit it directly, freedom-loving people must place their hopes elsewhere. The European Union, Japan, and Canada (among others) are being asked to re-light the torch that Trump pissed on.

It's also more than a tad ironic that among the entreaties placed by the protesters were appeals to Russia. Hey, it may work. I can see Putin seizing the chance to support democracy (so long as it's outside of Russia), thereby allowing himself and his countrymen the chance to spout platitudes, appear progressive, and curry favour with the Don.
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:38 PM
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Hong Kongese are pissed. They know they are fucked and trying to get the best deal they can.

1. The UK sold HK down the proverbial river. Long story short, the UK could have put HK on the path to democracy post WW2, and instead treated it like a colony. When it got closer to the 1997 handover and formulation of the Basic Law, the UK suddenly started making noises on democracy and self-rule. The Chinese basically said "you didn't do jack for a couple of decades, so nuh-uh"
2. The Hong Kongese have a mutually unintelligible language apart for Mandarin (so do a lot of other Chinese), although the written language is reasonably similar). They have their own culture or call it sub-culture that is very distinct from Mainland China. They have always been at the outer reaches of the Empire.
3. It's been an international port and city since the British came in. There is bi-lingual education. Quite different from even current day leading Chinese international cities such as Shanghai.
4. On the face of it, being able to extradite criminals to face justice for crimes committed abroad seems pretty commonsense. That said, there is a great fear based on evidence that if there was extradition to China it could easily be corrupted to involve business and political disputes. There have been a number of high profile cases of publishers and a billionaire disappearing.

I lived in HK in the 80's and again in the 90's. They are Chinese but they are not. They were a UK colony, but never British. They want to keep their language and culture. They only need to look to Tibetans, Mongolians, Manchurians and Uighurs to know they will be overwhelmed. It may be Horatio at the Bridge, but up to 20% of Hong Kong citizens are taking to largely peaceful protest to take a stand. Salute.
The language transition has already started and there is no stopping it. About seventy percent of the K-12 schools already have switched to teaching classes in Mandarin rather than Cantonese. Many older Hong Kongese understand Mandarin, but cannot speak it or cannot speak it well. By the time those in school now reach adulthood and have children of their own, Mandarin will be the spoken language of Hong Kong even at home. Gramma and Grandpa will stay speak Cantonese to each other, but that generation will soon pass.
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
If China now cracks down in a Tiananmenesque way on the protestors there, would any other nation dare intervene?
I was going to say doubtful, but really the answer is no.

Quote:
I doubt militarily, but there are other forms of war and Trump would love it if China was sanctioned a la Iran, or if China's customers felt compelled to find new suppliers.
Definitely not militarily. I guess we shall see if any nation (including the US) breaches China's self proclaimed moratorium on talking about the Hong Kong protests at the G-20 this weekend. I'm...not sanguine this will happen. I hope it does, though. The people of Hong Kong deserve to have a voice.

Quote:
Do people in Hong Kong, a huge number of whom have been actively protesting in recent days, believe they will be free - free in their personal lives, and free from China's hand - indefinitely or just until 2047 when the agreement made with the UK expires?
I think the people of Hong Kong know they are screwed. China has been pushing things to tear down the one party, two systems thing for years now. It's just that most people haven't been paying attention. They have, basically, infiltrated and even colonized large swaths of Hong Kong, the government and every other part of it. They have worked to erode the freedoms and rights of the people of Hong Kong and, I guess the word would be normalize it with respect to the mainland. Mainland China doesn't want the example of two separate systems, though honestly in some ways it would work best for them wrt any sort of idea they have to bring Taiwan back into the fold. But I don't think they look at it that way.

So, whether it happens now or in 2047, eventually Hong Kong will basically just be exactly like the mainland. And there isn't a lot anyone can do about that, short of the CCP collapsing.
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:16 PM
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The language transition has already started and there is no stopping it. About seventy percent of the K-12 schools already have switched to teaching classes in Mandarin rather than Cantonese. Many older Hong Kongese understand Mandarin, but cannot speak it or cannot speak it well. By the time those in school now reach adulthood and have children of their own, Mandarin will be the spoken language of Hong Kong even at home. Gramma and Grandpa will stay speak Cantonese to each other, but that generation will soon pass.
Yep, the language transition isn't limited to HK. It's true for other major cities in China like Shanghai. Strange concept. On one hand, it is changing the very core of a local culture for 1.3 billion commonality, on the other hand, there are 1.3 billion people that for the first time in recorded history have a common spoken language.

In the 1980's, most of China outside of the big cities didn't really understand nor speak Mandarin. It is astounding just how fast a TV in every village has changed Mandarin skills and at the same time unavoidably declined local culture. I certainly remember being in villages across SW China and struggling to find locals that could understand, much less speak Mandarin. And this was in Han Chinese areas - forget the minority areas where the native language is not a "dialect" but a separate language family. Now, even those minority areas got their TV experience.
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Old 06-28-2019, 02:11 PM
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Yep, the language transition isn't limited to HK. It's true for other major cities in China like Shanghai. Strange concept. On one hand, it is changing the very core of a local culture for 1.3 billion commonality, on the other hand, there are 1.3 billion people that for the first time in recorded history have a common spoken language.

In the 1980's, most of China outside of the big cities didn't really understand nor speak Mandarin. It is astounding just how fast a TV in every village has changed Mandarin skills and at the same time unavoidably declined local culture. I certainly remember being in villages across SW China and struggling to find locals that could understand, much less speak Mandarin. And this was in Han Chinese areas - forget the minority areas where the native language is not a "dialect" but a separate language family. Now, even those minority areas got their TV experience.
Same thing happened to the Chinese in Taiwan when Chiang Kai-shek and his Mandarin speaking marauders invaded the country in 1949. He had the local leaders of the country slaughtered and forced the education of the children to be done in Mandarin. However, Taiwanese is still hanging on as an "at home" language even today.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:06 PM
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Taiwanese is hanging on but at the same time disappearing. It was great when Lee Teng-hui (spelling?) held his first press conference as President of Taiwan, he did it in Taiwanese. While Taiwanese language has had a bit of a resurgence in the last decade or so, I can remember Taiwanese families in the 1980's in Taipei speaking Mandarin in the home because studies showed that kids in Mandarin speaking households did better academically. Ancedotal for sure. Caveated that one would expect kids in Mandarin speaking homes to excel in Mandarin education.

I don't know when it ended, but certainly in parts of Taiwan thru the 1980's, Taiwanese speaking kids in schools were fined, had corporal punishment and humiliated for speaking Taiwanese. This included kids who effectively had never been exposed to Mandarin before entering kindergarten/first grade.

Be that as it may, back to Hong Kong. Cantonese is fading but not sure how many generations it will take before it becomes a minority language in the home and on the streets to Mandarin. Again, if I harken back to my first time in HK in the early 1980's, finding Mandarin speakers was difficult. Now probably anyone under 40 maybe 50 can speak passable Mandarin. Some sound quite polished and some with a thick accent.
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:22 PM
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Protesters have stormed and occupied the Legislative Council building. This is going to end very badly. I think Beijing is going to use this as pretext deny further reforms and possible roll back Hong Kong's autonomy. If Lam is forced out of office it'll be because Beijing is exasperated with her failure to control to situation, not a victory for the pro-democracy camp.
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:45 PM
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Protesters have stormed and occupied the Legislative Council building. This is going to end very badly. I think Beijing is going to use this as pretext deny further reforms and possible roll back Hong Kong's autonomy. If Lam is forced out of office it'll be because Beijing is exasperated with her failure to control to situation, not a victory for the pro-democracy camp.
Yes, I cannot see the CCP tolerating violent protest. Alas, some of the protesters have now given Beijing the pretext it needed to crack down hard.
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:06 PM
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Riot police were sent in to clear the legislature after a few hours.
Quote:
The three-hour occupation, which ended early Tuesday, came on the 22nd anniversary of the former British colony’s return to China, a city holiday, and reflected mounting frustration with Hong Kong’s leader for not responding to protesters’ demands after several weeks of demonstrations. The protests were sparked by a government attempt to change extradition laws to allow suspects to be sent to China for trial.

Protesters whacked away at thick glass windows until they shattered and then pried open steel security gates. Police initially retreated as the protesters entered, avoiding a confrontation and giving them the run of the building.

Demonstrators stood on lawmakers’ desks and painted over the territory’s emblem on a wall. The crowd also wrote slogans calling for a democratic election of the city’s leader and denouncing the extradition legislation. Many wore yellow and white helmets, face masks and the black T-shirts that have become their uniform.

Police then announced that they would soon move in. A spokesman had earlier broadcast a warning that “appropriate force” would be used. Officers approached shortly after midnight and entered the legislative chambers after protesters had already left. There was no immediate word on any arrests or injuries.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:13 PM
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I greatly fear this will end badly. I predict a massive crackdown with or without bloodshed. China will do as it likes with Hong Kong and that will be that.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:20 AM
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China will do as it wants; aye. But they don't have to do it loudly or quickly or in a showy manner to make their point. They can do it slowly, quietly; one facially-recognized protestor at a time.

ETA: They are even setting the stage right now, with the Chinese government officials decrying the violence... violence which the Chinese government will use at the first opportunity to permanently silence their opponents.

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Old 07-04-2019, 11:26 AM
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The AP has an excellent article up right now about the protestors in Hong Kong, their perspectives and their goals. Much of the article is interviews with a couple of people currently on the lam.

‘Desperate:’ Hong Kong protesters detail legislature assault
Quote:
Chan and three other protesters, including two who aided others outside the building but didn’t enter, told their story to The Associated Press this week. They said years of feeling ignored drove them to desperation in the city of 7.4 million, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory whose independent legal system is guaranteed for 28 more years and already faces threats. They explained why, on the same day that hundreds of thousands of others marched in a peaceful protest, they were driven to wreak havoc inside Hong Kong’s legislature in scenes that shocked the world. Now they await the consequences.
Quote:
Chan swung into action. Two weeks earlier, during marches in mid-June, she had formed a “resource station” team with about a dozen protesters, one of many that coalesced to help with protest logistics. They coordinated on Telegram, an encrypted messaging app.

Chan wanted to know how to direct her group next. She called a Hong Kong legislator — whose name she wouldn’t disclose — and got floor plans and a warning to leave lawmaker offices and the library untouched.

Chan walked into the complex with another member of her team, Nick, and began scouting the second floor for police. After finding none, she shouted orders on a walkie-talkie to her team: Smash security cameras, shatter hard drives. Seize the control room. And protect the library, which contained priceless historical artifacts.

“Destroy what is needed. Keep what is needed,” said Nick, explaining they wanted to minimize damage while making their point and protect protesters from surveillance. “We attacked only things that are iconic. We know what we are fighting for.”

They scouted up to the fifth floor, then headed to the control room on the ground floor. They stopped by the library and left a note asking protesters to leave it unharmed.

Other protesters tore down portraits of pro-Beijing lawmakers. They spray-painted Hong Kong’s emblem black, smashed elevators, plucked cameras out of ceilings and scrawled slogans calling for free elections.

You taught me that peaceful protests are useless,” read one, sprayed by the entrance to the council’s main chamber.
That's key right there.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 07-04-2019 at 11:26 AM. Reason: fixed coding
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:51 PM
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If I was living in Hong Kong and was under 50, or if I had a family with children, my prime focus right now would be getting out of Hong Kong. Because the future looks inevitable - and miserable.
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:08 PM
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I don't quite understand Hong Kong's relationship with China and how that will change in 2047. Is there a good link where I could get more information?

Also how is China making inroads in incremental steps? I thought it was a completely hands off thing until 2047.
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:55 PM
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I don't quite understand Hong Kong's relationship with China and how that will change in 2047. Is there a good link where I could get more information?

Also how is China making inroads in incremental steps? I thought it was a completely hands off thing until 2047.
Nope, not hands off. They're influencing HK politics already and have been for quite some time. For one thing, Mainlanders have been flooding HK since the 1990s, and with it, they're bringing a Mainland mentality that clashes with local HK citizens. But HK and China do trade. Although HK is a global financial hub, China's its most important economic business relationship.

China wants the ability to prosecute critics of the Chinese government, which is why they're urging the local HK parliament to pass an extradition law that enables them to snag HK residents for violating mainland law. HK internet bloggers or We-Chat group users who think they're safe posting anti-Chinese sentiments could be accused of committing "crimes" in China, thereby enabling the PRC to press HK for their extradition. HK residents, who have grown up understanding that they're "Chinese" but with the freedoms of the West are sayin' "Uh, no"
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:59 PM
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If I was living in Hong Kong and was under 50, or if I had a family with children, my prime focus right now would be getting out of Hong Kong. Because the future looks inevitable - and miserable.
I would, too, but that's also what makes these protesters special and admirable. And in so doing, they're hoping to call China's bluff. Yes, HK is a part of China, but it's a global port and a global financial center. Beijing knows that they're being watched and that any hardcore crackdown in HK will be met with far greater and more intense condemnation than the Beijing crackdown was, and that was pretty widely panned.

Remember that part of China's foreign policy and influence is predicated on being a China that's not so dangerous. Even though HK is considered "Chinese," it's also considered semi-autonomous. A crackdown would send alarm bells in Taiwan and pretty much anywhere wherever China lays a claim. This would increase the likelihood of setting off an arms race in Asia.
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:13 PM
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China has a lot of problems right now, mostly related to Xi's desire to control absolutely everything about everyone, like the lockdown they've placed on Xinjiang.
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:44 PM
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Nope, not hands off. They're influencing HK politics already and have been for quite some time. For one thing, Mainlanders have been flooding HK since the 1990s, and with it, they're bringing a Mainland mentality that clashes with local HK citizens. But HK and China do trade. Although HK is a global financial hub, China's its most important economic business relationship.

China wants the ability to prosecute critics of the Chinese government, which is why they're urging the local HK parliament to pass an extradition law that enables them to snag HK residents for violating mainland law. HK internet bloggers or We-Chat group users who think they're safe posting anti-Chinese sentiments could be accused of committing "crimes" in China, thereby enabling the PRC to press HK for their extradition. HK residents, who have grown up understanding that they're "Chinese" but with the freedoms of the West are sayin' "Uh, no"
Thanks for the response. I was under the belief that "mainland law" did not apply in Hong Kong. So if someone in Hong Kong posts "Red China sucks!" on an internet blog then there is no law broken and nothing to "extradite" for, anymore than if I posted the same thing in the United States.

Why would the elected officials in Hong Kong even consider such a proposal, let alone have enough votes to have it pass?
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:52 PM
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Why would the elected officials in Hong Kong even consider such a proposal, let alone have enough votes to have it pass?
Read the post above yours. Are you not aware of the programs that China has deployed the past 10 years?

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Old 07-06-2019, 06:28 AM
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Thanks for the response. I was under the belief that "mainland law" did not apply in Hong Kong. So if someone in Hong Kong posts "Red China sucks!" on an internet blog then there is no law broken and nothing to "extradite" for, anymore than if I posted the same thing in the United States.

Why would the elected officials in Hong Kong even consider such a proposal, let alone have enough votes to have it pass?
I'll preface by saying I am not an expert on HK/China's relationship and the particulars of their relationship in terms of the law, but my understanding is that HK's press freedoms and their freedoms to assemble and protest are things that Hong Kongers are acutely aware of and perceive growing encroachment coming from the Mainland.

As for why elected officials in HK would consider it, bear in mind that China is massive and HK is a city-state of about 7 million people. HK's most direct trading partner is Guangzhou and Shenzhen, both of which are very busy economic hubs in South China. Hundreds of thousands - millions? - of people pass through the HK/Guangdong checkpoint daily. The connections are strong - and that's just one Mainland trading zone. HK does business with the whole of China as well, of course.

The PRC has not taken a hands-off approach to absorbing HK into its cultural, economic, and political sphere. As I mentioned earlier, many Mainlanders have swarmed into HK. The locals even have a moniker for them: "locusts". There's already that kind of tension between Mainland migrants and the people who've lived in HK for generations and remember 'civilised' British rule. The PRC has used its migration to export Mainland thinking, but more than that, they've used their economic clout to support (some would say subvert) democracy in HK. Again, HK residents are acutely aware of this and resent it, but feel increasingly powerless -- short of taking to the streets, that is.

If I understand them correctly, my sense is that HK's protestors are hoping to embarrass the PRC and its puppets in the HK legislature enough to make them put the brakes on their continued perceived infringement of HK political, legal, and economic space. They assume (probably correctly) that the last thing Beijing wants, at a time when they're increasingly viewed with suspicion, is to look like a territorial bully. Yes, HK is technically China's property, but to the outside world, HK is a place where democratic and free market traditions live strong. It would be really bad optics if China tried a Tienanmen style crackdown in HK, which is not to say that they absolutely wouldn't do it, but they'll probably be very cautious in how they approach this situation.
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Old 07-06-2019, 06:33 AM
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If I understand them correctly, my sense is that HK's protestors are hoping to embarrass the PRC and its puppets in the HK legislature enough to make them put the brakes on their continued perceived infringement of HK political, legal, and economic space. They assume (probably correctly) that the last thing Beijing wants, at a time when they're increasingly viewed with suspicion, is to look like a territorial bully. Yes, HK is technically China's property, but to the outside world, HK is a place where democratic and free market traditions live strong. It would be really bad optics if China tried a Tienanmen style crackdown in HK, which is not to say that they absolutely wouldn't do it, but they'll probably be very cautious in how they approach this situation.
I think this is incorrect. I think HK has largely moved beyond this stance "embarrass them") and they now realize that this is, in fact, a revolutionary movement: it's either freedom or being crushed & assimilated by the PRC at this point.

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Old 07-06-2019, 08:41 AM
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I think this is incorrect. I think HK has largely moved beyond this stance "embarrass them") and they now realize that this is, in fact, a revolutionary movement: it's either freedom or being crushed & assimilated by the PRC at this point.
Are you suggesting that HK protesters are trying to break away from China? I can tell you now there's absolutely no way in hell that will ever happen -- ever. And HK's protesters would be damn foolish if they ever hinted that this is where they were headed with their protests. That WOULD absolutely provoke Beijing into responding with crushing force and they wouldn't give a shit how it reads in the papers.

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Old 07-06-2019, 09:01 AM
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Why would the elected officials in Hong Kong even consider such a proposal, let alone have enough votes to have it pass?
The proposal wasn't explicitly to do that. That was just a fear of what could happen, eventually, if the new law opened the door to Hong Kong residents being extradited to mainland China. The stated purpose was simply to allow extradition of fugitives to any jurisdiction with which there is no extradition treaty. The bill was introduced after a Hong Kong resident was accused of murder in Taiwan but could not be extradited.

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Old 07-06-2019, 10:39 AM
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Are you suggesting that HK protesters are trying to break away from China? I can tell you now there's absolutely no way in hell that will ever happen -- ever. And HK's protesters would be damn foolish if they ever hinted that this is where they were headed with their protests. That WOULD absolutely provoke Beijing into responding with crushing force and they wouldn't give a shit how it reads in the papers.
Yes, I am. Or, they will be. Read that article I linked to about them being 'desperate'. The people in the story are some of the people who organized the protest. When people reach the point where they understand that peaceful opposition not only doesn't work but will get you killed but are still determined to press on using violence... that's a revolutionary movement.

And yes, as the wall of 2047 closes in, they are starting to realize just what is going to happen to their lives. They don't seem to like it. I suspect that many will be displeased enough to cause real havoc and make political demands. Look for assaults on off-duty police to increase in the next few months, along with disruptions of businesses tied to the PRC.

I'm not sure China could take HK without razing it to the ground and killing 5 million or more; the world wouldn't just sit back for that.

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Old 07-06-2019, 12:31 PM
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Snowboarder Bo, China could have "re-taken" HK any time from the 1960's. Just turn off the water supply. It is farcical to consider for a moment that HK can survive without China's goodwill on food and water supply.

Whilst the Hongkongese might actually fantasize about becoming an independent city state ala Singapore, that would be a China decision and not HK. Since 1949 China has not entertained in the least that it might give up territorial claims, no matter how farcical. Certainly would not lead with such a valuable trading port as HK.

Unfortunately the Hongkongese are up against an empire, and hold almost no cards.
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Old 07-06-2019, 01:56 PM
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Snowboarder Bo, China could have "re-taken" HK any time from the 1960's. Just turn off the water supply. It is farcical to consider for a moment that HK can survive without China's goodwill on food and water supply.

Whilst the Hongkongese might actually fantasize about becoming an independent city state ala Singapore, that would be a China decision and not HK. Since 1949 China has not entertained in the least that it might give up territorial claims, no matter how farcical. Certainly would not lead with such a valuable trading port as HK.

Unfortunately the Hongkongese are up against an empire, and hold almost no cards.
Oh, I know all that. HK is a tiny piece of land that is almost completely developed, similar to NYC. And I think that's going to be the goal, eventually, is to set up HK as a permanent city-state. The HKese definitely have a long, hard road ahead of them to get there, but it seems obvious to me that is what the demonstrators want, they just haven't confronted that fact themselves yet, most of them. I think they are starting to realize that that is where they want to be; now they have to figure out how to get there with an adversary that has size, money, and time on its side.
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Old 07-06-2019, 04:40 PM
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Oh, I know all that. HK is a tiny piece of land that is almost completely developed, similar to NYC. And I think that's going to be the goal, eventually, is to set up HK as a permanent city-state. The HKese definitely have a long, hard road ahead of them to get there, but it seems obvious to me that is what the demonstrators want, they just haven't confronted that fact themselves yet, most of them. I think they are starting to realize that that is where they want to be; now they have to figure out how to get there with an adversary that has size, money, and time on its side.
And how wealthy would New York City be if the United States decided to cut off all trade with it to teach New Yorkers a lesson?

Now you get a sense of what HK would be up against if they dared to test China's resolve.

I don't disagree that China wants to tread lightly here, but not because they're truly fearful of HK setting up a city-state in the future, which is something the modern Chinese state would never allow. They're being cautious with HK because they want the negative attention to go away. The most I could see HK achieving is a compromise that enables it to remain semi-autonomous on terms more favorable to HK, but over time, even that is doubtful. China plays the long game.
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Old 07-06-2019, 04:41 PM
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And how wealthy would New York City be if the United States decided to cut off all trade with it to teach New Yorkers a lesson?

Now you get a sense of what HK would be up against if they dared to test China's resolve.

I don't disagree that China wants to tread lightly here, but not because they're truly fearful of HK setting up a city-state in the future, which is something the modern Chinese state would never allow. They're being cautious with HK because they want the negative attention to go away. The most I could see HK achieving is a compromise that enables it to remain semi-autonomous on terms more favorable to HK, but over time, even that is doubtful. China plays the long game.
I have a sense, dude. I know what they're up against.

Who has said China was fearful of anything?

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Old 07-07-2019, 06:57 AM
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What China is really, really afraid of is that people who regularly travel to HK from the Mainland for business, or to visit family, or just as tourists, will start taking the protesters seriously and take dissent back home as a souvenir. They're worried that teenagers visiting from places like Guangzhou, Shanghai, or Beijing might start getting a few crazy ideas of their own and spawn Tiananmen type protests later, which is a greater concern if China's economy starts to decline noticeably.

One of the reasons why there hasn't been another Tiananmen since 1989 is that the government has made sure that people have been able to offer the promise of prosperity. They understand the basic bargain that most people in any country strike with their government: take care of our basic needs, provide us with a basic opportunity to take care of our families economically, and we're good. But if Beijing's ability to deliver that promise is questioned, then it increases the likelihood that people will question the communist party's moral authority.

That's what China's worried of right now: HK's demonstrators are inspiring the next generation of Mainland protesters. The smart move, IMO, would be for Beijing (via its proxies in HK's parliament) to negotiate for some sort of guaranteed semi-autonomy with no further restrictions for the foreseeable future. Beijing should even offer some concessions. Once they strike a deal, they can go back to sending more Mainland Chinese to live and work there and continue to inundate Hong Kongers with Mandarin speaking migrants. Beijing's mistake was that Xi Jinping was too ambitious and moved too quickly, a mistake he's made often.

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Old 07-07-2019, 09:33 AM
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https://apnews.com/4dc00ce27b3b467f97c9e4d47d1e2042
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Tens of thousands of people, many wearing black shirts and some carrying British colonial-era flags, marched in Hong Kong on Sunday, targeting a mainland Chinese audience as a month-old protest movement showed no signs of abating.

Chanting “Free Hong Kong” and words of encouragement to their fellow citizens, wave after wave of demonstrators streamed by a shopping district popular with mainland visitors on a march to the high-speed railway station that connects the semi-autonomous Chinese territory to Guangdong and other mainland cities.
The AP ran a nice pic with the story too.

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  #40  
Old 07-07-2019, 10:10 AM
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And how wealthy would New York City be if the United States decided to cut off all trade with it to teach New Yorkers a lesson?

Now you get a sense of what HK would be up against if they dared to test China's resolve.
But to flip that, although the United States would survive without New York, it would take a bit hit. Yeah, we could put down an insurrection at the cost of many lives, but to what benefit when all New York (in the hypo) is asking for is for things to remain as they are? Just to flex our muscles?

Likewise, why would China want at best an embarrassing confrontation? How is mainland China harmed by letting Hong Kong be a special district?
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:25 AM
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Likewise, why would China want at best an embarrassing confrontation? How is mainland China harmed by letting Hong Kong be a special district?
Wow. There's a lot of history behind what's happening, first. Then there's the whole "desires of an autocrat" thing, which is the most important thing.

What about modern China, especially cities like Shenzhen and Beijing, leads you to think the goal is anything less than total conformity to the stated ideals and goals? Did you not read the link about Xinjiang? Have you not heard what they are doing to Muslims and Christians? Not heard about the social credit program? The unbelievably ubiquitous coverage of areas by cameras with facial recognition software?

Xi's China is all about control and conformity. They narrow the acceptable down a little bit every year; they believe they have lots of time. I mean, it's not like Xi is going to be voted out of office or anything.

And a Hong Kong that operates differently is out of the question for a "unified" China. They still have a couple of decades to squeeze, but they're confidant they can mold Hong Kong into the shape they want. Many HK citizens are starting to feel the squeeze and know it won't abate, only intensify, and they aren't feeling happy about it.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 07-07-2019 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:42 AM
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Here is an article about Xinjiang. It's serious horror-movie shit happening in real life. Try not to think about who China's largest trade partner is, who's money (and technology) flows into China that makes them prosperous enough to do this.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:44 PM
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. . . Once they strike a deal, they can go back to sending more Mainland Chinese to live and work there and continue to inundate Hong Kongers with Mandarin speaking migrants.
Or, so long as Xi and the CCP give them no more 'issues' to rally around, the movement may peter out (and then they can send more mainland Chinese to live and work there).

I know Hong Kong mostly through what I've heard from ex-pats and from what I've read, so may be wrong about this, but a common theme seems to be that Hong Kong is very crowded and very expensive. If that's true, is there even decent housing for lots more mainlanders? Who pays their rent once they're in HK?
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:55 PM
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That's what China's worried of right now: HK's demonstrators are inspiring the next generation of Mainland protesters. The smart move, IMO, would be for Beijing (via its proxies in HK's parliament) to negotiate for some sort of guaranteed semi-autonomy with no further restrictions for the foreseeable future. Beijing should even offer some concessions. Once they strike a deal, they can go back to sending more Mainland Chinese to live and work there and continue to inundate Hong Kongers with Mandarin speaking migrants. Beijing's mistake was that Xi Jinping was too ambitious and moved too quickly, a mistake he's made often.
With all due respect, Canto speaking Honkies are not the tail wagging the youth dog in China.

Honkies treated the mainlanders like shit in the 80's, 90's and beyond. There is a determined lack of sympathy by the mainlanders towards hong kong based on a lot of anecdotal experiences. My wife being one of them.

"the Chinese" believe in their manifest empire destiny". Tibetans, uigyers, Manchurians, Mongolians, etc have all historically been part of the motherland, and to the motherland they shall be integrated. Hong Kong, being nominally Han Chinese, is no different.

Honkies are fucked and they know it. It's just how slowly can they be integrated to the Borg and is there any autonomy that can be carved out?
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:08 PM
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With all due respect, Canto speaking Honkies are not the tail wagging the youth dog in China.

Honkies treated the mainlanders like shit in the 80's, 90's and beyond. There is a determined lack of sympathy by the mainlanders towards hong kong based on a lot of anecdotal experiences. My wife being one of them.

"the Chinese" believe in their manifest empire destiny". Tibetans, uigyers, Manchurians, Mongolians, etc have all historically been part of the motherland, and to the motherland they shall be integrated. Hong Kong, being nominally Han Chinese, is no different.

Honkies are fucked and they know it. It's just how slowly can they be integrated to the Borg and is there any autonomy that can be carved out?
Understood, and I don't really disagree with the thrust of what you've written, but lack of sympathy or not, the free flow of ideas is the free flow of ideas. Case in point, the Middle East is a region full of bitter rivals, and yet the Arab Spring was something that spread from one country to the next, which is not to suggest that there's going to be a Chinese Spring, but there is no question in my mind that Beijing is more than just a little concerned about the possibility of the scenario I laid out.

You could have an entire generation of 15-24 year-old kids traveling in and out of HK who view the Hong Kongers are stuck up - they can still have a highly negative opinion of Hong Kongers and yet admire their fighting spirit and give it a test run under the right circumstances. Personally, I don't think that this would happen unless the economy really deteriorated, and in response, Beijing did something stupid, like raiding pensions or other benefits, or hiking up taxes -- there's always good old fashioned inflation, too. Don't think for a moment that under the right circumstances that certain impressionable youth wouldn't fight back, especially if there are lots of unemployed, under-sexed young males running around. People living in China dismiss this possibility at their own peril. I don't give a shit how tightly they monitor We-Chat or Weibo. Humans are humans, and when they're pissed in sufficient numbers, watch out.
  #46  
Old 07-14-2019, 01:41 PM
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It continues:
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Police in Hong Kong fought with protesters on Sunday as they broke up a demonstration by thousands of people demanding the resignation of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory’s chief executive and an investigation into complaints of police violence.

The protest in the northern district of Sha Tin was peaceful for most of the day, but scuffles broke out when police started clearing streets after nightfall. Some protesters retreated into a shopping complex where they and police hit each other with clubs and umbrellas.

Police appeared to arrest some people, but reporters couldn’t see how many. The violence wound down toward midnight as the remaining protesters left the area.
Quote:
On Sunday, some protesters called for genuinely democratic voting in Hong Kong elections. A few demanded independence.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 07-14-2019 at 01:41 PM.
  #47  
Old 07-14-2019, 03:18 PM
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Reuters has video from today's protests (1:46 video)
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:00 PM
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I get the sense that HK's Beijing-leaning government and Beijing are trying to find a face-saving way to back down without making it look like they're intimidated.

But the fact is, mass demonstrations are intimidating. It's the ultimate show of power. I don't give a shit how sophisticated the surveillance state is: when people get angry and feel like they've been crossed to the point where they don't care what happens to them, that's a terrifying feeling for a government official to be in. It's unpredictable.

Elections are great, but what happens when representatives the people elect ignore the citizens? There's a reason the freedom to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress is the First Amendment to the Constitution. Don't for a moment think that the significance of having masses of humanity show their teeth was lost on the likes of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

Last edited by asahi; 07-14-2019 at 05:03 PM.
  #49  
Old 07-16-2019, 09:55 PM
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Hong Kong protests expand to oppose China, with no end near:
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What began as a protest against an extradition bill has ballooned into a fundamental challenge to the way Hong Kong is governed — and the role of the Chinese government in the city’s affairs. “Hong Kong is not China” has become a refrain of the movement in what is a Chinese territory, but with its own laws and a separate legal system under a “one country, two systems” framework.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Hong Kong in three marches last month to oppose the extradition legislation, which would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China, where critics fear they would face opaque charges and unfair trials.

In recent weeks, the demonstrations have also included two smaller protests led by nativist-leaning groups against an influx of mainland Chinese into the city of 7.4 million people. All of it traces back to an underlying mistrust of the Hong Kong and Beijing authorities, which fuels calls for a more responsive government that protesters believe democracy would bring.
Quote:
Across these issues, protesters have increasingly held up signs expressing a broader wish: a yearning for greater democracy.

Slogans such as “Free Hong Kong” and “Democracy Now” have become more widely used, said Antony Dapiran, a Hong Kong-based lawyer and author of a book about the city’s recent protest history who has been attending the protests since they began.

“People are fundamentally saying that they don’t trust the mainland Communist government,” he said. “There’s an underlying anxiety and fear in Hong Kong of what they’re going to do.”

Pro-democracy sentiment has become more pronounced in recent years as Hong Kong residents increasingly feel that Beijing, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, is encroaching on their promised freedoms.

A principal demand has been for “universal suffrage,” which means allowing Hong Kong citizens to vote directly for their chief executive and Legislative Council.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:08 PM
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The timing of the HK protests, coinciding with an increasingly unstable economy on the Mainland, is going to make the situation even more interesting.
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