Aug 302019
 
 August 30, 2019  Posted by at 2:09 pm Primers Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Of course the notion of addressing Hong Kong has been in my mind for a while, but it’s a bit of a moving target: things change all the time, and seemingly on the fly. However, with today’s fresh developments, it seems silly to wait any longer. Hong Kong Civic party lawmaker Dennis Kwok yesterday expressed the reason way better than I could:

As I said time and again, the use of troops in Hong Kong will be the end of Hong Kong, and I would warn against any such move on the part of the central people’s government.”

He said that before today’s arrests -and subsequent release on bail- of a handful of alleged protest leaders Joshua Wong, Andy Chan, and Agnes Chow. Who, if you read between the lines, didn’t lead much of anything; they may be figure-heads, but that’s not the same thing. The protests are either lacking leaders or everyone’s a leader, depending on who you ask. So why arrest them to begin with? You tell me.

What I did find enlightening was Reuters’ report yesterday on Beijing having rejected Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s (how is CEO a political function?) proposal to communicate with the protesters and perhaps allow some concessions to their demands. I know it’s only one source, but it appears quite feasible.

Carrie Lam is between a rock and a hard place, and she admits it -at least according to the Reuters piece-, though not to the protesters. Beijing is in exactly such a spot, but won’t admit it, ever. And that right there is Hong Kong’s main issue.

 

China Rejected Hong Kong Plan To Appease Protesters

Earlier this summer, Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, submitted a report to Beijing that assessed protesters’ five key demands and found that withdrawing a contentious extradition bill could help defuse the mounting political crisis in the territory.

The Chinese central government rejected Lam’s proposal to withdraw the extradition bill and ordered her not to yield to any of the protesters’ other demands at that time, three individuals with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. China’s role in directing how Hong Kong handles the protests has been widely assumed, supported by stern statements in state media about the country’s sovereignty and protesters’ “radical” goals.

Beijing’s rebuff of Lam’s proposal for how to resolve the crisis, detailed for the first time by Reuters, represents concrete evidence of the extent to which China is controlling the Hong Kong government’s response to the unrest. The Chinese central government has condemned the protests and accused foreign powers of fuelling unrest. The Foreign Ministry has repeatedly warned other nations against interfering in Hong Kong, reiterating that the situation there is an “internal affair.”

Why the extradition bill, which would have allowed for people to be extradited from Hong Kong to the mainland was ever proposed, g-d only knows. Remember, the transfer of control over the city to China is still 28 years away. Why do it now? It was obvious all along it would meet with fierce resistance.

Blindness or blinders in the Politburo? Quite possible, it’s not as if those guys typically get out much. It’s just that they’re taking a giant risk, because as Dennis Kwok says, “the use of troops in Hong Kong will be the end of Hong Kong”. What he means, and Beijing surely understands, is the end of Hong Kong’s status as a trade and finance center.

Not a trifle matter for sure. Hong Kong has built that status over a long period -that happens in fields where trust is so crucial-, much like the City of London and Wall Street. You can break that down in no time, but you can’t rebuild the trust elsewhere in anywhere near that timeframe, it takes many years.

China has major plans to ‘move’ and/or ‘share’ Hong Kong’s financial and trade ‘qualities’ to/with neighboring Macau and Shenzhen, but it’s nowhere near ready to make that transition. Remember, Hong Kong has its own dollar, the HKD. That’s not going to move to the mainland, not even in 2047. China only have the yuan, which is quite useless for international trade and FX.

 

 

Alors, what are we going to do about it, guys? On the one side, you have Beijing, which tried to push through the extradition bill and got it thrown back in its face with interest. But Beijing is allergic to losing face. On the other side you have the protesters, who realize this is now or never, that if they give in now, their freedom(s) will never come back.

Two immovable entities, but Beijing seems to think they can move this, that they have the upper hand. Do they, though? 7.5 million people live in Hong Kong, a fair amount of whom are below the age of 10 or above the age of 75. So the 1.5 million that were already out on the streets in some of this year’s protests added up to a quarter of the population. That’s a lot of people.

Sending in troops would hurt China’s economy something real bad, because it would mean the end of the Hong Kong trade hub (corporations, banks, rich people would leave). And most of the population understand the now-or-never notion. I read somewhere that though 92% of the people are ‘Chinese’, only 11% call themselves that.

The vast majority ‘identifies’ as Hong Kongers. And (perceived) freedom is a big part of that. Many of those Hong Kongers are young and highly educated, salaries are high (finance sector), they can travel freely, study abroad. Those who are older are often the parents of these young people, who’ve worked very hard to give their kids these options.

There have been -and will be again- protests from groups of doctors, lawyers, finance professionals, you name it. They don’t want to run the risk of being picked off the streets by mainland Chinese soldiers OR by Hong Kong police forces instructed by Beijing.

When/If things get down to the wire, Hong Kongers will prove very much to be an immovable force. They have too much to lose not to be. They have, in their own view, everything to lose (which some people would translate as nothing to lose, but meaning the same). And they’re up against a Politburo that reacts to them like it’s never left the early 1900s.

This does not bode well for anyone, and if g-d forbid it comes down to serious fighting in the streets, it will bode ill for the entire world. Not only China depends on Hong Kong for much of its trade, the US and EU do, too, for their trade with China, from which they procure much of what is sold in their stores.

 

High time for everyone to sit down and talk. If there’s still time. The mass protest scheduled for tomorrow, August 31, may have been ‘officially’ called off, but there’s no proof Hong Kongers will stay home because of that. There IS proof of more military movements just across the Hong Kong border in Shenzhen, however.

Pre-emptively arresting and releasing a pair of 22-year-old kids may not do the job anymore for Beijing. But the Communist Party CCP thinks they cannot possibly lose. They may be wrong. 1.3 billion people is a mighty potential force, but it’s not always only about numbers. Sometimes it’s about now or never.

To me, personally, it feels like what is needed is for the CCP to modernize. But its very structure is set against that. It appears to be this inertia-laden colossus attempting to rule the 21st century with 100-year-old ideas. And yes, they’re talking about shutting down the internet in Hong Kong.

But that would mean shutting down the banks and trading houses too. As would sending in the tanks. According to the 1990s transition treaty signed with the UK, Beijing has until 2047 to fully incorporate Hong Kong. It may not go down smoothly then either, granted, but why push it today?

The West, the EU, UK, US -Putin even?!- can easily come up with a proposal for meetings on Hong Kong to be held over the next 28 years until 2047 that would allow Beijing to save face today. Let’s get it done, soon, win everyone involved some time, they all need it. We need it. And 28 years is plenty time. Before we inadvertently land in another Boxer War or Opium War or WWIII.

 

 

 

 

 

Home Forums Hong King Kong

This topic contains 12 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Charles Alban 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #49458

      Of course the notion of addressing Hong Kong has been in my mind for a while, but it’s a bit of a moving target: things change all the time, an
    [See the full post at: Hong King Kong]

    #49460

    Dr. D
    Participant

    Hmmm

    #49461

    seychelles
    Participant

    High time for everyone to sit down and talk.

    This only makes sense if it is mutual good faith Logos talk. Not likely in a world of pervasive anti-Logos. “Talk” in the contemporary sense translates into maintenance of status quo power relationships.

    #49464

    Famous last words: Who cares about Dorian. Do like the name, but other than that… Not like Florida doesn’t have plenty wimps as we speak. And Mar-a-Lago thrown in for good measure. But still, pay attention.

    #49466

    zerosum
    Participant

    Who cares about Dorian.

    Everybody who is and will be making a profit from the wreckage.

    #49467

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    At this point I don’t know what to make of the Hong Kong situation.
    I do not trust any media on this…or much else.
    I’m reminded of the 2 coups (so far) that happened during my residency in country (Thailand) and the reaction by the western press; it was ludicrous to say the least.
    With our (western) history in Asia, generally, and China (a 4,000 yo culture) specifically; I find it difficult not to side with China. Or, at the least for now, to keep from making any judgements…
    We’ll see…

    #49473

    christopher cobb
    Participant

    V Arnold is spot on…this is a color revolution funded by the CIA…These paid protesters are “pro democracy” “pro-imperialist ”

    1958, Mao Zedong: “U.S. imperialism invaded China’s territory of Taiwan and has occupied it for the past nine years. A short while ago it sent its armed forces to invade and occupy Lebanon. The United States has set up hundreds of military bases in many countries all over the world. China’s territory of Taiwan, Lebanon and all military bases of the United States on foreign soil are so many nooses round the neck of U.S. imperialism. The nooses have been fashioned by the Americans themselves and by nobody else, and it is they themselves who have put these nooses round their own necks, handing the ends of the ropes to the Chinese people, the peoples of the Arab countries and all the peoples of the world who love peace and oppose aggression. The longer the U.S. aggressors remain in those places, the tighter the nooses round their necks will become.”

    Speech at the Supreme State Conference (September 8, 1958).

    #49474

    Charles Alban
    Participant

    Good quote from Mao. He’s dead right. And for imperialists read jews. Capitalism and democracy are just tools of jewish world domination. Communism and capitalism were born of the same bitch. The Chinese and Russians know their history… jewish instigated Opium Wars and jewish led Russian Revolution. Only totalitarian regimes can keep jews out. “Democracies” are always co-opted by them, as US and UK. Monarchs can issue decrees to expel jews for usury as they’ve done over 100 times in the past, which is why we have no effective monarchies nowadays. The Chinese need to crack down hard on dissent and accept no interference from the corrupted West, “free trade” agreements notwithstanding.

    #49475

    christopher cobb
    Participant

    I wouldn’t conflate Mao with the protocols of the elders of Zion. You’ve got it backwards Charles Alban, the tail does not wag the dog.

    #49476

    Paul_Bogdanich
    Participant

    This is a very difficult problem. Unlike Taiwan which is like Cuba is to the United States, except for Hong Kong Island proper, Hong Kong is attached to the Chinese mainland. It would be as if in 1850 the British seized the San Francisco peninsula north of San Mateo and then so generously negotiated to give it back over time starting in the year 2000 with special laws, it’s own government and what not. Basically British colonial meddling. I personally think the Chinese have been very patient on this. Way more so than the Americans would have been under similar circumstances but the fact is Hong Kong is Chinese not a British protectorate. Yet every article I read in the western press, including this one fails to mention that key fact. The problem with China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc is all those populations are fiercely nationalistic. These twenty something protest leaders say they are ready to die for their cause and that’s laudable I suppose but they had better have their wills in order because the mainland Chinese will be forced to accommodate their request if the inflexibly obstinate violent behavior continues. China simply can’t let Hong Kong remain a colonial possession. No way, no how.

    #49477

    christopher cobb
    Participant

    Paul…indeed. And they just finished a what 27 mile bridge to the mainland? Would they let this turn into another Maidan? Doubtful.

    #49517

    BACAH
    Participant

    A couple of years ago, my adult kids and I met some Filipino inlaws of very modest means for a vacation in Hong Kong. We spent the whole time traveling around with them. They were friends with one of the Filipino domestic workers who worked in the city. She joined us for tourist stuff on her single day off for the week.

    We also met and spent time with some other Filipino domestic workers whom we encountered. One of those was an illegal domestic worker. She had to go in and out of the territory on a regular basis to Macau to get re-issued a tourist visitor visa so she could continue to work under the table in HK. No, she was not a sex worker (62 years old).

    So, we got to experience HK from an entirely different perspective than most American tourists. It was clear to me, that those HKers exploit and treat their Filipinos like sh*t. Even my in-laws of modest means, who flew up from Manila to meet us the night before our arrival, shared with me they got to experience the “HK hospitality for Filipinos of modest means”. More nuanced racism when they checked in to the hotel under my name. It was only after we arrived the following morning, that my inlaws got treated like visiting tourists ought to expect. I am not an “ugly American” who expects to be catered to and fallen all over; I am aware such behavior is obnoxious. But nor is it right for them to be obnoxious to visiting Filipinos of modest means, nor for them to exploit and treat like sh*t those domestic workers.

    So, I find it ironic, they are protesting for civil rights and social justice for themselves, while they deny those to their Filipinos. Kind of like in my country’s history, owners of black slaves who wanted freedom for themselves, but not their black slaves, from the tyrant King George.

    Not related, but I am open minded that the violence and property damage of the protests may be perpetrated not by the protestors, but by provocateurs under direction of Mainland China.

    #49526

    Charles Alban
    Participant

    Christopher Cobb….if by tail you mean jews they do indeed wag the dog. three jewish billionaires control the US Congress and a fourth, Sheldon Adelson, controls the president. all the US military adventures in the middle east are proxy wars on behalf of Israel. the Israeli tail wags the mighty US military running dog, to use a Maoism. China, Russia and Iran are well aware of who is really calling the shots.

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