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  #51  
Old 07-20-2019, 03:54 AM
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I thought this was interesting; I suggest concerned Americans read it carefully:
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Hong Kong’s youth are no rookies when it comes to protests.

The city’s young activists have fine-tuned their strategies since Occupy Central in 2014, a months-long pro-democracy demonstration that ended without tangible victories. Using a range of new tactics, they have helped rally hundreds of thousands of fellow Hong Kong residents to take to the streets over the past month.
Quote:
Another large march is planned for Sunday. From hand signals to Post-it notes, the protesters have honed multiple strategies and tools to maximize effectiveness, contend with police and keep up momentum:
Quote:
The power of the protesters’ nonverbal communication was apparent when a massive, dense crowd parted seamlessly to make way for an oncoming ambulance. Online videos capturing the moment spurred praise on social media for the protesters’ politeness and deft coordination.
Crowd parting for ambulance video here.
Quote:
Hong Kong activists first created their own Lennon Wall during the 2014 protests, covering a wall with a vibrant Post-it notes calling for democratic reform. This time, they have taken to sticking the neon-colored notes everywhere, erecting impromptu Lennon Walls across the city as quickly as others might tear them down. Some protesters have called it “flowers blossoming everywhere.”

The fluid walls fit the movement’s mobile nature, said Antony Dapiran, the author of a book about dissent in Hong Kong. In contrast to the sit-in style of Occupy, he said, the current protesters will quickly evacuate a location once they’ve made an impact and move to another.
Quote:
While police put up barriers to deter demonstrators, protesters built their own barricades to protect themselves, block roads and prevent lawmakers from reaching the legislature. Like their shields, the protesters’ barricades are often repurposed materials, such as fences used to separate traffic lanes.

In the movement’s early weeks, the protesters’ road blocks prevented a Legislative Council meeting that had been scheduled to discuss the extradition bill.
  #52  
Old 07-20-2019, 10:09 AM
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The protesters have a game plan, and they're coordinating and implementing it to near perfection. One critical lesson they learned is not to discredit themselves by being unnecessarily disruptive; they're focusing on their targets, and they're garnering sympathy while not letting their behavior impede the lives of ordinary people. What's fascinating, and perhaps unique about the HK protests, is that it's not taking place concurrently with elections or campaigning; it's a reaction to a law being enacted by an existing and legitimate government. As such, this perceived crisis requires an innovative approach, and HK's protesters appear to have adapted to the times. They're one or more moves ahead of local authorities, and they're forcing Beijing to consider their own response to a crisis they didn't anticipate.
  #53  
Old 07-20-2019, 10:14 AM
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Correct: they have stopped reacting and are now acting. They are controlling the narrative. And they are doing it in a way that allows them to form or disperse with near-telepathic communication that their opposition cannot penetrate. They also are communicating with the general public in a similar way, although with less focus, through the Post-It notes.

Like I said, IMO concerned Americans should take note of these tactics.
  #54  
Old 07-20-2019, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Correct: they have stopped reacting and are now acting. They are controlling the narrative. And they are doing it in a way that allows them to form or disperse with near-telepathic communication that their opposition cannot penetrate. They also are communicating with the general public in a similar way, although with less focus, through the Post-It notes.

Like I said, IMO concerned Americans should take note of these tactics.
In absolute agreement.

But first, Americans need to be pissed enough to get out of their homes in the first place. I'm not seeing it right now.
  #55  
Old 07-20-2019, 10:40 AM
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Nope. People have streaming video and can buy Doritos still. Not there yet. Not sure the American left can get there, to be honest.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 07-20-2019 at 10:43 AM.
  #56  
Old 07-20-2019, 10:46 AM
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Nope. People have streaming video and can buy Doritos still. Not there yet. Not sure the American left can get there, to be honest.
Yeah, lots of memes and sick burn online, but not an outpouring of passion.
  #57  
Old 07-21-2019, 08:38 AM
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Walking in sweltering heat, protesters dressed in black kicked off Sunday’s march from a public park, carrying a large banner that read “Independent Inquiry for Rule of Law.”

“Free Hong Kong! Democracy now!” the protesters chanted, forming a dense procession through Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district as they were joined by others who had been waiting in side streets.

“I think the government has never responded to our demands,” said Karen Yu, a 52-year-old Hong Kong resident who has attended four protests since last month. “No matter how much the government can do, at least it should come out and respond to us directly.”

Marchers ignored orders from police to finish off the procession on a road in Wan Chai, according to police and the Civil Human Rights Front, the march’s organizers.
Quote:
Protesters repeated the five points of their “manifesto,” which was first introduced when a small group of them stormed the legislature earlier this month. Their main demands include universal suffrage — direct voting rights for all Hong Kong residents — as well as dropping charges against anti-extradition protesters, withdrawing the characterization of a clash between police and protesters as a “riot” and dissolving the Legislative Council.

Protesters read the demands aloud in both English and Cantonese in videos released Saturday.

“We did not want to embark on this path of resisting tyranny with our bare bodies,” they said, “but for too long, our government has lied and deceived, and refused to respond to the demands of the people.”
https://apnews.com/0a0597b0f8b34d6d91b84c4e754ee934there's a picture of people holding signs asking Trump to intervene; not gonna happen, folks.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 07-21-2019 at 08:39 AM.
  #58  
Old 07-22-2019, 01:00 AM
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https://www.apnews.com/0a0597b0f8b34d6d91b84c4e754ee934
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Clashes involving Hong Kong’s protest movement escalated violently late Sunday as police launched tear gas at protesters who didn’t disband after a massive march and subway riders were attacked by masked assailants who appeared to target the pro-democracy demonstrators.

The firing of tear gas was the latest confrontation between police and protesters who have taken to the streets for almost two months to fight a proposed extradition bill and call for electoral reforms in the Chinese territory.

The march had been peaceful when it reached its police-designated end point in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district in the late afternoon, but thousands continued onward, at various points occupying key government and business districts. They then headed for the Liaison Office, which represents China’s Communist Party-led central government within the city.
Quote:
Hong Kong media released video showing masked assailants attacking commuters in a subway station. Among those attacked were protesters clad in their trademark black clothing and yellow hard hats.

The attackers, meanwhile, were dressed in white with black masks pulled over their heads. On Saturday, demonstrators wore white at a counter-rally in support of police.

Footage from Apple Daily showed the attackers using umbrellas to beat people in the station and inside a subway car. Subway passengers filmed by Stand News and iCABLE angrily accused police officers of not intervening in the attack.
https://apnews.com/43607d409ec84484aba9eb31d6debad2
Quote:
The official People’s Daily newspaper said Monday in a front-page commentary that the protesters’ actions were “intolerable.”

The article headlined “Central Authority Cannot be Challenged” expanded on a strong condemnation issued the previous night by the government’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office.
  #59  
Old 07-22-2019, 11:25 AM
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This is the first move by the Mainland. It'll use "patriots" to fight the protesters. Perhaps they'll be arrested but receive only slaps on the wrist with special treatment in jail, or perhaps no prosecution at all. They're no doubt doing this with the support of the government. Goons are more effective at taking out protesters than the local police in this case.

As with any protest, there is always risk. We talked up-thread about the possibility of American protesters adopting similar tactics of non-violent protest if things come to a boil in this country. Well this is probably how the radical right wing would respond. They'd send the goons out first. Maybe it's the militia members. Maybe it's bad-ass biker gangs. Maybe it's the Pinkertons or Blackwater. Who knows? But protesting is never without hazard.
  #60  
Old 07-25-2019, 01:49 PM
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To China Guy (Quote)

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"

This makes no sense. First of all the British Empire basically stole Hong Kong from China with that 99 year deal. But the 99 year deal lasted 99 years. What could have the UK done differently? HK was a colony, and a colony which could not be granted their independence, because they couldn’t.
  #61  
Old 07-26-2019, 01:24 AM
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Post WW2 Britain could have tried to make HK independent, failing that Britain could have instituted democracy back in the 1940's. It was only in the final countdown to the handover, that Britain even pretended to start some democracy. The Basic Law was formulated IIRC in 1984.
  #62  
Old 07-26-2019, 01:33 AM
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Post WW2 Britain could have tried to make HK independent, failing that Britain could have instituted democracy back in the 1940's. It was only in the final countdown to the handover, that Britain even pretended to start some democracy. The Basic Law was formulated IIRC in 1984.
I'm not sure that would have kept Hong Kong out of China's hands. Being on the very doorstep, a PLA invasion would have been esssentially impossible to fend off. Sure, China would have faced international censure but chances are that would have just blown over in a few years, like how nobody cares about Russia and Crimea anymore.
  #63  
Old 07-26-2019, 02:26 AM
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I read somewhere that the difference between the French and the British Empires is that the British left behind effective administration; the French left behind coffee shops and bakeries. Based on my travels, I'd say that's about right. The problem is that the UK left behind administration, but not a sense of self-determination. I mean, have the British ever been interested in any of their colonies being independent?
  #64  
Old 07-27-2019, 01:24 AM
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I'm not sure that would have kept Hong Kong out of China's hands. Being on the very doorstep, a PLA invasion would have been esssentially impossible to fend off. Sure, China would have faced international censure but chances are that would have just blown over in a few years, like how nobody cares about Russia and Crimea anymore.
I'm not saying that China would have left HK independent. But had there been a 50 year history of voting and representation, China might have tolerated some of it.

No need for an invasion. Turn off the water and food coming in from China, and game over.
  #65  
Old 07-28-2019, 06:11 PM
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I remain surprised that this thread hasn't seen more interest and activity; this is big stuff IMO and it continues to escalate daily: Police fire tear gas, rubber bullets at Hong Kong protesters
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Police in Hong Kong fired tear gas and rubber bullets repeatedly Sunday to drive back protesters blocking streets with road signs and umbrellas in another night of pitched battles in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

It was the second night in a row that tear gas was used in escalating pro-democracy protests. The demonstrations began early last month to voice opposition to an extradition bill that has since been suspended, but the movement has grown to encompass a broader push for full democracy.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 07-28-2019 at 06:11 PM.
  #66  
Old 07-28-2019, 07:23 PM
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I think many people in Hong Kong, especially the younger ones, must believe that this is truly their last chance. The longer they waited, the more pervaded Hong Kong would become by the Chinese government, and the less able they would be to extricate themselves from the yokes being used in Xinjiang on the Uighurs.

It's sad that it can't end well. There is no escaping 2047.

Last edited by KarlGauss; 07-28-2019 at 07:23 PM.
  #67  
Old 07-28-2019, 08:00 PM
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By 2047, China taking over Hong Kong may not be much of an issue; by then, China may well have taken over everything else already.
  #68  
Old 07-28-2019, 08:49 PM
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Hong Kong is alone.

Even if the US claimed it wanted to get involved in assisting HK, what leverage do we have now? What are we gonna do, impose tariffs and economic sanctions on China? What kind of pressure is an increasingly isolationist UK going to bring to bear? Who's going to step up to put pressure on China? Who would punish China if it cracked down on HK like it wants to? Probably no one.

To be sure, China doesn't want a spectacle, especially not now. But it's hard to see how HK pushes China back. There will eventually be a price that's too high for these protestors and their families to pay. And the protests will stop.

Last edited by asahi; 07-28-2019 at 08:50 PM.
  #69  
Old 07-29-2019, 03:44 AM
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Hong Kong is alone.

Even if the US claimed it wanted to get involved in assisting HK, what leverage do we have now? What are we gonna do, impose tariffs and economic sanctions on China? What kind of pressure is an increasingly isolationist UK going to bring to bear? Who's going to step up to put pressure on China? Who would punish China if it cracked down on HK like it wants to? Probably no one.
US could revoke the Most Favored Nation trade status and have goods made from there go from costing practically nothing to ship to actually costing money. A surprisingly high amount that'd put a major dent in their economy and the US's. But it'd actually hurt China directly, as oppose to tariffs.

They won't, but they could. If Congress consented.
  #70  
Old 07-29-2019, 01:03 PM
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Hong Kong is alone.
China doesn't think so and will now undoubtedly take steps to ensure that Hong Kong is, in fact, alone.
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Yang Guang, spokesman for the Chinese Cabinet’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, said at a news briefing that some “irresponsible people” in the West have applied “strange logic” that prompted them to be sympathetic and tolerant to “violent crimes” while criticizing the police force’s “due diligence.”

“At the end of the day, their intention is to create trouble in Hong Kong, make Hong Kong a problem to China, in order to contain China’s development,” Yang said, without mentioning any specific individuals or countries.

He added that such attempts will come to nothing because Beijing will tolerate no outside interference in the affairs of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
Quote:
Yang said the Chinese government firmly supports the police in Hong Kong.

“We understand the huge pressure facing the Hong Kong police and their families,” he said, “and would like to salute the Hong Kong police who have been fearlessly sticking to their posts and fulfilling their duties against all odds.”
Quote:
Pro-Beijing lawmakers in Hong Kong said the “general wishes” of the city’s residents are for the violence to stop immediately.

“Regardless of your stance, I think all this violence should not continue because it brings no benefit to any person,” said legislator Starry Lee.

Claudia Mo, a pro-democracy lawmaker, said she fears the Chinese government’s statements will further inflame demonstrators.

“I’m so worried that what happened in Beijing this afternoon will actually help fan the fire of what’s already been a tsunami of protests in Hong Kong,” Mo said, noting that the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office appeared to fully support the police and Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam.
  #71  
Old 07-30-2019, 12:45 AM
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Hong Kong protesters hit subway to disrupt morning commute for 2nd week. Looks like they really did disrupt things quite a bit, too.
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Angry Hong Kong commuters argued with protesters who blocked the doors on trains Tuesday morning, preventing them from leaving stations.

Service was delayed and partially suspended on the Island and Kwun Tong lines, subway operator MTR said. It cited “a number of train door obstructions” as well as someone activating a safety device at a platform on the Kwun Tong line.

AP video showed heated exchanges at Tiu Keng Leng station, where a crowd of protesters and commuters filled the platform and a stopped train.
Quote:
Posts on Twitter showed long lines of commuters waiting for free shuttle buses provided by MTR to other subway stops.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 07-30-2019 at 12:45 AM. Reason: fixed coding
  #72  
Old 07-30-2019, 01:21 AM
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Hong Kong protesters hit subway to disrupt morning commute for 2nd week. Looks like they really did disrupt things quite a bit, too.
Carrie Lam still hasn't stepped down.

The pro-democracy protest playbook was written by Eastern Europe and North Africans; the anti-democracy playbook has been written by Bashar Al Assad, Vladimir Putin, and the Communist Party of China.

On one hand, pro-democracy forces will refuse to be governed and occupy space. On the flip side, the anti-democracy forces will murder those who resist.
  #73  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:28 PM
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I didn't expect this: Civil servants join Hong Kong protests as Beijing accuses US
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Several thousand joined the rally for government workers in solidarity with protesters who have called for greater rights and government accountability over the past two months. As rain hit the umbrella-ready crowd, attendees dispersed willingly, avoiding the police clashes that have increasingly beleaguered demonstrations.

“As civil servants, if we don’t stand up, that means we are disloyal,” said K. H. Wu, a retiree who worked for the government’s Census Department for 40 years. “Our loyalties are not to a particular government, but to the people.”

Wu attended the rally with his wife, also a civil servant. He said this was the first time he participated in a rally in which he openly shared his status as a former government worker. He said he did so because he feels “there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

“Right now the Hong Kong government is blindly leading the people,” Wu said. “They disregard the needs of the population. With Hong Kong like this right now, you have to rid yourself of all fear.”

Officials had warned civil servants ahead of the rally they could be disciplined if they showed partiality or criticized special officials and polices. The increased risk was written into posters about the event, which cautioned participants against calling for the resignation of government officials, expressing anything related to Hong Kong independence and accepting donations.

As the crowd flooded into the streets, demonstrators held up signs saying “We are civil servants and willing to step up!” and “Political neutrality does not equal conscienceless.”
I didn't realize that this had happened as well:
Quote:
About a thousand medical workers participated in a rally Friday in another part of the city. In recent days, representatives of the financial and medical sectors have also held rallies to show their support for protesters.
Beijing continues to blame anyone and everyone but themselves (of course).
Quote:
Meanwhile, China’s top diplomat was quoted by the state Xinhua News Agency on Friday accusing the U.S. and other Western nations of arranging meetings between high-level officials and protest leaders and encouraging their actions.

“The U.S. and some other Western governments ... are constantly fanning the flames of the situation in Hong Kong,” State Councilor Yang Jiechi said.

His remarks follow statements earlier this week by a former Hong Kong official that the U.S. and self-governing democratic Taiwan were behind the unrest, sparked originally by Hong Kong’s now-suspended attempt to push through legislation that could allow some criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China.
  #74  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:55 PM
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I didn't expect this: Civil servants join Hong Kong protests as Beijing accuses USI didn't realize that this had happened as well:Beijing continues to blame anyone and everyone but themselves (of course).
The blaming of the US is almost certainly a pretext for a brutal crackdown should Beijing feel the need.

There's a good reason that China is nervous about Hong Kong, and it's not really because they're worried about HK breaking free from China. They're worried that resistance will spread to the Mainland, and turn into an all out student and/or labor protest, and this is especially true during a time when China's factory and tech sector production is slowing down to levels not seen in more than a decade. Hundreds of thousands of people cross the checkpoint from HK to Guangdong Province daily. Many of those who pass have family ties in both HK and Guangdong, so it's impossible for the Chinese government to completely keep people in the dark.
  #75  
Old 08-03-2019, 09:40 AM
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Lots of activity the past couple of days. This can't have done anything but piss off people in Beijing, as well as make Carrie Lam kinda angry/nervous: Hong Kong protesters throw Chinese flag into iconic harbor.
Quote:
Hong Kong protesters removed a Chinese national flag from its pole and flung it into the city’s iconic Victoria Harbour on Saturday after a pro-democracy rally once again continued into the evening despite police warnings to stick to a short, pre-approved route.

Tens of thousands of black-clad protesters filled a major road in a usually bustling market district where shop owners had shuttered their storefronts in anticipation of a prolonged demonstration. They also blocked a tunnel and surrounded police stations where non-emergency services were suspended.
The protestors are loosely structured but can organize themselves quickly, on the fly:
Quote:
Pro-democracy demonstrators began setting up first aid stations and handing out helmets a few hours into their rally. When one group reached the harbor near a luxury shopping center and high-end hotels, some protesters climbed up a cluster of flag poles and removed the Chinese national flag.

After some debate over whether to paint the flag black, they decided to throw it into the water before the police could intervene.

Shortly afterward, a 38-year-old protester named Paladin Cheng planted himself beside the poles with his own set of flags, which read “Hong Kong Independence.”

“We’re losing our freedom little by little,” said Cheng, who was clad in head-to-toe black with a black visor and face mask. “Those who don’t support Hong Kong independence will have no choice but to become Chinese.”
Interesting phrase, eh, "become Chinese". That phrase alone is going to enrage Beijing, IMO. Couple that with the symbolism of removing the Chinese flag and hoisting an Independent Hong Kong flag… ooof! Powerful stuff.
Quote:
Zarine Chau, a 56-year-old security guard, said she rarely used to get involved in politics, but was angered after she saw videos of police officers beating up protesters.

“I feel so hurt,” Chau said. “Why doesn’t the government answer to us?” She attended Saturday’s rally with her 5-month-old Chihuahua, who was there to help protesters relax, Chau said.
Societies all over the world, including our own here in the US, grapple with that question.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 08-03-2019 at 09:41 AM.
  #76  
Old 08-03-2019, 11:05 AM
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The AP just updated the article linked in the previous post:
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Police fired several rounds of tear gas on Saturday night to push back a group of protesters who had thrown bricks at a police station and spray-painted inflammatory language on its outer walls.

Protesters then created a barricade with umbrellas, metal road barriers and a public trash receptacle as police stayed put and raised tear gas warning banners. They also set cardboard on fire to form a barrier.

A small crowd of local residents gathered in front of the police line, complaining that they were unable to go home because the police were blocking the way to the subway station.
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:28 AM
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I wonder if the people who were throwing bricks were actually legit protesters or members of China's intelligence services trying to smear the movement -- or maybe Chinese intel is online encouraging anarchists to join the fray and #disrupt. If the movement turns into a mob, then the movement becomes less legitimate.

This is setting up for a showdown. Thirty years ago, the PLA, just like Bashar Al-Assad in 2011-13, showed how to put down a rebellion: with sheer brutality. If Beijing gets the sense that the protest is starting to influence labor dissidents in China, I suspect we will begin to see a brutal crackdown. The PLA absolutely will shoot protesters dead in the street.
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:34 AM
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Frankly, if they did that, I'd say there's at least a 10% chance that people start burning Hong Kong to the sea.

If China is going to be smart about this, they will realize that time is on their side. Given their propensity for exerting control, tho, I wouldn't bet on them being smart about this.
  #79  
Old 08-03-2019, 01:39 PM
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If China is going to be smart about this, they will realize that time is on their side.
This.

Traditionally, Chinese leadership has exemplified long term thinking, their plans enacted over decades if not centuries. Xi (and his successors) will wait things out, all the while strengthening their hold on Hong Kong's infrastructure, communications, and surveillance.
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Old 08-04-2019, 11:27 AM
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Things have escalated quite a bit in the last 48 hours:
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Demonstrators in Hong Kong moved en masse to a luxury shopping district Sunday evening after riot police used tear gas to clear out an area they were previously occupying, as the 2-month-old protest movement showed no signs of easing.

Clad in yellow helmets and black face masks, protesters squeezed out of a subway station in Causeway Bay, with a few people directing traffic and others holding open the turnstiles.

Surveillance cameras at the station were covered with black tape and umbrellas as protesters spilled out. Makeshift barricades were also erected in the area, which hosts high-end department stores and upscale restaurants.

The protesters made their move after police fired tear gas — a regular occurrence at the demonstrations — in another district on Hong Kong Island.
More tear gas at other locations but the protestors aren't just standing around:
Quote:
Demonstrators debated whether they could feasibly defend the area or if they should migrate to another district, as they had been doing throughout the night. Some passers-by were caught in the fray and angrily yelled at protesters.

Earlier in the day, another police station became the target of protesters’ ire as rallies in two different parts of the city converged into one.

Following a rally in the Tseung Kwan O area, some protesters used what appeared to be a long, homemade slingshot to hurl rocks, bricks and other objects at a police station. They shattered multiple glass windows, authorities said. Demonstrators elsewhere also began to barricade and block roads.
This has gone far, far beyond general protesting:
Quote:
“We are not just another Chinese city. We are Hong Kong,” said Cara Lee, 53, an insurance agent who was attending her 13th demonstration.

“I feel ashamed because for a long time we didn’t do anything,” said Lee. “But now we are awake. I have to speak out for the next generation. It’s our moral responsibility.”
Quote:
On Saturday, a protest march in the territory’s northern area of Kowloon erupted in clashes with police after some marchers walked off the government-approved route and into separate areas.

Police said some protesters threw gasoline bombs, bricks and glass bottles and refused to disperse.

Some blocked streets while others surrounded two different police stations, damaging vehicles parked inside one lot.

Residents in one neighborhood banded together with protesters and surrounded a police station, yelling at riot police to leave.
The police are throwing a new wrinkle in; hopefully the protestors have some chemists on their side:
Quote:
Police said in a statement Sunday that they will use a colored liquid spray to distinguish protesters from other members of the public. They said that the spray is edible and harmless, but will stay on skin and clothes as a way of marking demonstrators, and that the dye can also be applied to tear gas.
I'm not sure how that's going to work on black clothing, but skin dye could be a real PITA.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:03 PM
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I read a very interesting article in the South China Morning Post today by an economist who's spent considerable time in HK. Graeme Maxton, an economist, suggests that this is really a debate about HK's economic future and that many of the problems in HK specifically are traceable to British rule, and that this isn't just a fear of Chinese authority (although he doesn't necessarily seem to be arguing against that idea, either).

https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion...economy-so-fix

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It was always going to end this way because an unrestricted market economy always creates a huge gulf between rich and poor, low wages for the majority, extreme wealth from speculative investments and vast economic sectors dominated by a handful of enormously powerful companies.
If his analysis is correct, then this explains why Beijing has a lot to be worried about. It's a weakening middle class giving the finger to its unresponsive government, and its a government with increasingly few ideas on how to respond. It's worth mentioning that there is a labor movement in China that is increasingly showing a willingness to fight back against what it considers to be abuses by the elite.

On that note, I hadn't heard of Graeme Maxton, and I'm sorry I haven't because he seems like a really avant garde thinker.

Last edited by asahi; 08-05-2019 at 10:06 PM.
  #82  
Old 08-05-2019, 10:16 PM
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He makes good points, kinda, but his focus is very narrow and he writes stuff like this:
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The good news is that this deeply divisive economic system can be fixed, and relatively easily in policy terms. All it needs is for the rich to be taxed properly, the powerful oligopolies to be broken up and for Hong Kong’s wealth to be much more fairly distributed.
If it was done easily, these folks wouldn't need to be out in the streets, risking their lives every day for the past month or so.

And fixing the economic problems alone isn't enough, IMO. There has to be a government system that will respond to the population, and the current one and the one in China aren't that, except to react adversely, apparently.

He's on target with this, tho:
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Hong Kong’s response to this crisis matters, and not just to its citizens – it matters in many other parts of the world, too. It matters in the UK (ironically), as well as in Singapore, Brazil and South Africa. In all those places, and many more, anger is rising because the free-market economic system has been allowed to get out of control.

Without change, Hong Kong is a taste of what will come in all these places. It now has the chance to show the world that there is a better way.
Except he doesn't mention the United States. My advice to my fellow Americans is to watch what's going on in Hong Kong now and learn the techniques that the revolutionaries are using; I'm afraid that we're gonna need them here in the US before too long.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 08-05-2019 at 10:17 PM.
  #83  
Old 08-06-2019, 01:50 AM
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This is NOT going to please either Beijing or the current Hong Kong authorities:
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Hong Kong protesters have condemned what they call the government’s “empty rhetoric” and instances of alleged police abuse in an inaugural “People’s Press Conference.”

Three protesters who spoke to reporters Tuesday said the briefing was intended to counter the regular government and police news conferences in which authorities have repeatedly decried violent acts by some pro-democracy demonstrators.

An activist using the pseudonym Jerry Chan said some officers have shown “total lack of self-discipline,” adding that some tear gas was fired on residential buildings during clashes across several districts Monday.

The protesters apologized for the inconveniences brought on by a general strike Monday that paralyzed regular workday operations in the city.
The Freedom Fighters are asserting control of the narrative; good for them.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:08 AM
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He makes good points, kinda, but his focus is very narrow and he writes stuff like this:If it was done easily, these folks wouldn't need to be out in the streets, risking their lives every day for the past month or so.
His point is that the solutions themselves are obvious, not necessarily that the people upholding the current policies are going to give that power away easily.

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And fixing the economic problems alone isn't enough, IMO. There has to be a government system that will respond to the population, and the current one and the one in China aren't that, except to react adversely, apparently.
The fight in Hong Kong isn't entirely dissimilar to that of protesters in Moscow or Istanbul; they're fighting corruption and incompetence. It's been an assumption that there's no hope; modern capitalists argue that wealth can only grow if the economy grows at 4-7%, thereby creating such great demand for labor and consumption that the market inevitably has to raise wages. People are growing tired of waiting; they want economic justice and equality. That's true in the streets of Kowloon, and it's true in the streets of Long Beach.

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He's on target with this, tho:Except he doesn't mention the United States. My advice to my fellow Americans is to watch what's going on in Hong Kong now and learn the techniques that the revolutionaries are using; I'm afraid that we're gonna need them here in the US before too long.
Couldn't agree more, and I'm in agreement that there's going to be a moment when things come to a head.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:15 AM
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I don't know how reliable CNBC is in reporting HK/China but if this article is true, it looks like things are about to get potentially very, very messy.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/13/hong...es-nearby.html

Regardless, I don't think China feels it's in a position to let this protest burn itself out. They're getting fed up, and I have no doubt they're worried that HK will encourage uprisings on the Mainland. China may be blocking out most of the protests, but there are people on the Mainland, especially in Guangdong Province, who must know what's happening and China's worried that word will spread. The last thing China wants now with their economy tumbling down is an inspired labor and anti-corruption movement.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:46 AM
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I don't know how reliable CNBC is in reporting HK/China but if this article is true, it looks like things are about to get potentially very, very messy.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/13/hong...es-nearby.html

Regardless, I don't think China feels it's in a position to let this protest burn itself out. They're getting fed up, and I have no doubt they're worried that HK will encourage uprisings on the Mainland. China may be blocking out most of the protests, but there are people on the Mainland, especially in Guangdong Province, who must know what's happening and China's worried that word will spread. The last thing China wants now with their economy tumbling down is an inspired labor and anti-corruption movement.
It's really complicated. You are thinking of the Chinese as a monolith, but even in the CCP there are different factions. Basically, part of the issue is that Xi's faction doesn't want a confrontation with the protesters in Hong Kong at this time. He's already in a really bad position with the economy stalled and tanking, talks with the US going no where and companies leaving China for other manufacturing areas. Basically, since he's the new Mao, all of this is on his head, and there is blood in the water. At the same time, there are several other factions that WANT him to fail. In addition and more relevent to China, there are factions that want to put down the protests in the harshest manner possible. In fact, the faction that gave us the Tiananmen Square massacre is still there and they are one of the ones who would love to send in the tanks. It would kill several birds with one stone for them, including making Xi look bad and further weakening him.

For the most part the mainland Chinese don't really sympathize much with Hong Kong. But...they do see that the Hong Kong people are protesting and haven't been stepped on or squashed, and that could be a very bad thing at this time, when things are not going very well in China.

It's a real mess, and I think one wrong move or one faction trying to knife the other could bring a lot of death to a lot of kids in Hong Kong. I've been following this protest in Hong Kong through several of my channels, including China Uncensored who actually were there for about 2 weeks and had some interesting insights. I'm actually to the point where I dread checking up on it, thinking that maybe today the PLA has been ordered in to put down the 'riots'.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:07 AM
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Your point about the various factions and vested interests in China is illuminating. Sounds like a recipe for abrupt destabilization which, I guess, is often how things change in this world.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:18 AM
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Your point about the various factions and vested interests in China is illuminating. Sounds like a recipe for abrupt destabilization which, I guess, is often how things change in this world.
Definitely. And there is, of course, another wrinkle. Many of the CCP elite or folks who are part of the Chinese elite with patrons in one faction or another (read: Rich Chinese business people, because every rich Chinese business person you read about or hear about is in this camp) have property and vested interests in Hong Kong.

I think Xi is hoping this will all just blow over. But pressure is mounting, and he really can't do anything without making a huge mess one way or another, and also weakening his own position and that of his faction. Think about what the blowback on China would be if they rolled the PLA in there for Tiananmen part 2. Yet, that might happen, and it might not even be Xi who orders it or who is pushing for it. Might happen anyway. On the other hand, if left unchecked, it could spread to the mainland. Like I said, the sympathy level for Hong Kong by most mainlanders is pretty low. But the mainland has a lot of it's own issues, especially with the economic slowdown and economy tanking, and now this trade war with the US seems like it's not going to be resolved (to paraphrase Vin Diesel, should have taken the money, Xi). I think China's hope is to kick the can down the road, hope the Hong Kong protests stay contained and fade into the background, hope Trump et al are not re-elected, and hope that whoever is elected is willing to work with the Chinese (read: give China everything it wants without asking for concessions). I think that even if Trump isn't elected, I seriously doubt at this stage that any potential candidate, nor the house or senate is going to do that, but I'm sure that's what they are hoping for.
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  #89  
Old 08-13-2019, 01:05 PM
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For the most part the mainland Chinese don't really sympathize much with Hong Kong. But...they do see that the Hong Kong people are protesting and haven't been stepped on or squashed, and that could be a very bad thing at this time, when things are not going very well in China.
Just to be clear, I agree that the mainlanders don't have much regard for people in HK and the feeling is mutual. But there are simmering tensions that could explode into the open under the right/wrong circumstances, and these protests might inspire them to speak out against authorities.

Look at the language that the government is using: terrorism. They're laying down the groundwork, making the case for a crackdown of some kind. Maybe not a Tienanmen type crackdown, but something.

Last edited by asahi; 08-13-2019 at 01:08 PM.
  #90  
Old 08-14-2019, 01:28 AM
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Having lived in both HK and China for years, I don't see HK as a spark to drive protest and democracy in China. Note: I am painting with a very broad brush BUT Hongkongese treated visiting mainlanders like crap up until about a decade ago. When China first opened up in the 80's and 90's, an awful lot of Hong Kongese businessmen in China overlorded the locals by throwing around money and exploiting the local women. (I am a gweiloh but my mainland wife certainly experience more than her share when we lived in HK for many years in the 1990's)

Be that as it may, the mystifying thing is that the HK government could reasonably easily shut down access to the airport to anyone without a valid ticket. The HK airport is out on a remote island with a small population. Here is a transportation map. There is a subway line, an airport express subway, and only one road. Checkpoints and tickets would be a headache and inconvenience, but logistically not all that daunting to screen at least most of the people coming in and out.

How legal that is in HK, I'm not quite sure. But my point being logistically not that daunting. Which leads to the follow on "why not lock down the airport?"

Multiple scenarios:
1. Local HK government never planned for such a scenario / incompetence
2. There have not been riots in HK since the 1960's, so rusty on the crowd control
3. A faction of the mainland Chinese overlords haven't upgraded their war games plan since 1997 passed with little more than a whimper
4. A faction or same faction of the mainland Chinese overlords are letting this burn out. Demonstrations went from about 1/8th of the HK population, and turning into a smaller but more activist group. I have no read on how well the general population views this. I will say HK is extremely densely populated, and no one wants tear gas seeping into their highrise, or in their subway station.
5. A faction of the Mainland Chinese overlords are formenting an excuse to show muscle (and I personnally believe this is a small group but their are extremist nutjobs in all societies that don't care what the cost as long as it achieves the goal)
6. A less ominous crackdown but a crackdown nonetheless (ninja'd by asahi)
7. a combination of the above
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:46 AM
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I remain surprised that this thread hasn't seen more interest and activity; this is big stuff IMO and it continues to escalate daily: Police fire tear gas, rubber bullets at Hong Kong protesters
We're interested, just don't have anything to contribute. But, as usual, thanks to everyone for your posts.
  #92  
Old 08-15-2019, 01:07 AM
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My colleague reported the HK airport was very quiet today with a lot of police and all the shops open.

My customer reported they had a colleague 2 days ago who's flight got cancelled, managed to get out of the airport, then had the train stopped by protesters somewhere out in the New Territories, then eventually got a taxi to take to the border with Shenzhen, crossed over on foot thru customs and immigration, then finally was able to get to the Shenzhen airport on the China side to find an alternate routing to get back to the US. Planes trains and automobiles honky version
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:43 AM
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This weekend could get quite scary. A number of demonstrations, like student/teacher rallies, are planned for tomorrow and Saturday, and then a big march this Sunday.
My skeptical side is niggling at me that this will not end well.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/wi...-kong-protests
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:59 AM
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I think China probably doesn't want bloodshed. They won't necessarily go into Hong Kong with a shoot everyone in sight mentality. My guess is, the PLA will enter HK and give the protests time to die down. But if they don't...they'll do whatever they deem necessary. If anyone thinks that because it's HK and not the mainland, the PLA won't actually kill anyone, think again -- they'd do it to send a clear message to anyone in China who might be following events. That message is, "Protest, and this is what happens."

Last edited by asahi; 08-16-2019 at 08:01 AM.
  #95  
Old 08-19-2019, 02:08 PM
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Apparently, Facebook and Twitter have been allowing Xinhua (China's state-run news agency) to buy ads with which to smear Hong Kong protesters. Seriously, Zuckerberg and Co., develop a spine!
  #96  
Old 08-19-2019, 07:50 PM
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As terrific and meaningful as it would be for FB to do so, it's hard for a publicly traded corporation to take on China, at least if it operates traditionally (e.g. tries to maximize shareholder profits). On the other hand, there has been a very recent 'manifesto' issued by some credible people that the time has come to 'balanc(e) the needs of shareholders with customers, employees, suppliers and local communities'. Shame they added the qualifier 'local' to communities. A global perspective would have been a natural. Even with that omission, it would be a welcome change.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:00 PM
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I think China probably doesn't want bloodshed. They won't necessarily go into Hong Kong with a shoot everyone in sight mentality. My guess is, the PLA will enter HK and give the protests time to die down. But if they don't...they'll do whatever they deem necessary. If anyone thinks that because it's HK and not the mainland, the PLA won't actually kill anyone, think again -- they'd do it to send a clear message to anyone in China who might be following events. That message is, "Protest, and this is what happens."
If it happens it won't be the PLA but rather the PAP. The Chinese People's Armed Police Force (abbreviated: PAP) is a Chinese paramilitary police (Gendarmerie) force primarily responsible for internal security, riot control, antiterrorism, law enforcement, and maritime rights protection in China, as well as providing support to the PLA Ground Force during wartime.

I read the press conference write up with the HK Police. Basically, the HK police said they have no protocols, communication or anything in place if the PAP or PLA were to come into HK.

Hopefully, the authorities have learned a thing or three since Tiananmen about crowd control. My father was a MP in post WW2 Philippines, where there were massive crowds and riots. He said all it took was a couple of squads to go in with rifle butts on the upstroke and downstroke to go thru the crowd and divide them into more manageable segments until a critical mass is reached and the crowds evaporate. I hate to say this be he was professionally insulted that the Chinese went in as they did.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:03 PM
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As terrific and meaningful as it would be for FB to do so, it's hard for a publicly traded corporation to take on China, at least if it operates traditionally (e.g. tries to maximize shareholder profits).
Sergey Brin pulled google out of China in 2010. "at the time, he compared the government's attempts to enforce censorship and hack Gmail as having "the earmarks of totalitarianism" of the Soviet Union. In this week's meeting, he said management about Chinese projects requires "a certain set of trade-offs."
  #99  
Old 08-20-2019, 10:56 AM
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As terrific and meaningful as it would be for FB to do so, it's hard for a publicly traded corporation to take on China, at least if it operates traditionally (e.g. tries to maximize shareholder profits). On the other hand, there has been a very recent 'manifesto' issued by some credible people that the time has come to 'balanc(e) the needs of shareholders with customers, employees, suppliers and local communities'. Shame they added the qualifier 'local' to communities. A global perspective would have been a natural. Even with that omission, it would be a welcome change.
It looked like Facebook and Twitter have blocked the fake accounts China was using to undermine the HK protesters.

China, naturally, is shocked. Shocked, I tell you!
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:41 PM
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Tiananmen Sqaure '89, Here we come!
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