Hong Kong, Western Media Hypocrisy, and Chinese Reactions

Hong Kong SAR flag with PRC national flag.

Currently the #1 trending microblog post on Chinese microblog platform Sina Weibo, with over 60k upvotes, 110k forwards/reshares, and 25k comments, is by a British academic

From Sina Weibo:

@JohnRoss431: It’s inconvenient for me to comment on Hong Kong’s 2017 Chief Executive general election issue, because I’m not Chinese after all. However, Western media reports on the Hong Kong issue have been too hypocritical. In the United Kingdom’s 150 years of colonial rule over Hong Kong, the UK never permitted Hong Kongers to elect the Governor, and the United States did not protest against the UK for it either. Now when the system designed by China for Hong Kong is far more democratic than that allowed by the UK, the United States instead strongly protests against the China’s government. While I’m at it, which school provides the best excavator skills?

Comments from Sina Weibo:

李准alex:

I don’t know politics, but your Chinese brings a tear to my eye.

不脱知人生:

Please don’t not meddle in Lanxiang‘s internal school affairs!!!

[Note: This is referring to the “excavator” jokes that have recently become a popular internet meme on Chinese internet posts/comments.]

CBA闹他:

For daring to speak the truth, let me firmly tell you: Lanxiang!

糖思维July:

To see a foreigner speaking on behalf of China’s government, and then see how some Chinese people’s despise their own country, I’ve had enough. I only want to say: How cam a large and grand country that has only just been reborn from destruction and ruin make every single person happy? Which government has truly been able to to give their people 100% democracy? Then what are leaders for? Everyone in their role, doing their job. I don’t care how Hong Kongers feel, I’m still proud of being Chinese.

深海一细沙:

After you go back to your country, people are definitely going to say you’ve been brainwashed by the Chinese, hehe, but I support your fair and objective comment. Those troublemakers in the Hong Kong SAR should be punished through lawful means. The SAR government departments should firmly pursue legal liability against the troublemakers in accordance with the law.

Leslie星大大:

Even saying something relatively objective can get one accused of being wumao, while those who curse/criticize the government are all normal people? This logic is also stupid. [生病]

法语薇言:

[哈哈] To see such a down-to-earth comment before going to sleep, I cannot help but give the microblog owner [original poster] an upvote!

晓辰:

Haha, this laowai is perceptive/insightful! Although in the minority, he has hit the nail on the head, seeing things more clearly than many Hong Kongers…

蒲狸子:

The original poster can go to Bei Da Qing Niao, Shandong Lanxiang, and New East Cuisine School [all vocational schools] to take advanced studies. Then, you’ll be able to use a computer to control an excavator to cook dishes. [doge]

许聃_Ender:

I really don’t understand, why are there so many people who support the fenqing-ism of Hong Kong students? Their American father has fattened up ISIS, and their British mother can’t even deal with Scotland. A bunch of children who haven’t even grown all their public hair wanting to cause a disturbance? Laughable!

爱国爱港中国控:

Certain protests are inherently farces. Making a fuss without reason will be fruitless, and sooner or later must end.

夏天michaelia:

Wanting democracy is no cause for blame, but those saying the UK wanted to give Hong Kong democracy a long time ago were it not for mainland pressure need to shut up. Go look at when China and the UK began their talks and when the British colonial government of Hong Kong proposed giving Hong Kongers democracy. Are you people really that naive? If they sincerely and genuinely wanted to give democracy, why didn’t they give it earlier, or has British democracy not been around long enough? I respect every person who fights for democracy, but despise those who deliberately whitewash British imperialism.

悠林林976:

Hong Kong, you spineless cunt, back when your parents were being insulted/humiliated by Western nations, you were taken away to be slaves, and instead of doing your best to resist, you actually thought it was great. Your parents worked hard to finally bring you back and you instead spend every day looking down on your parents, constantly cursing them, calling them cunts, and when they don’t agree to your unreasonable demands, you threaten that you want to go back to being a slave dog. This kind of trollish argument definitely won’t work, and I hope the central government will adopt unyielding measures.

改个名这么难呀:

If there are any Hong Kong friends [people] here, please pass this on. If there is anyone in the Mongkok Nathan Road area, I don’t oppose your peaceful protest, but can you guys please keep it down and not use loudspeakers? Brother [referring to self] has an early shift tomorrow. Otherwise, I’m going to piss out the window. [怒] So annoying.

齐天大蒜泥:

Original poster, you know too much!!!

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  • Joey

    Who gives a fuck about the UK? The people in Hong Kong are fighting for their rights now, nobody wants to return to being a colony.

    • Xia

      From the Chinese perspective, the bottom line is that Hong Kong should have fought for their rights under UK rather than China, the former being “heroic resistance against an outside oppressor”, the later being “childish strifes inside one family”.

      • SongYii

        Its simple… they DON’T want what Mainlanders have, and thats what many of them see coming down the pipeline. But then Chinese were never known for their foresight.

        • Alex Dương

          It’s kind of funny that you mention “foresight” in an article about Hong Kong, seeing as how it was British lack of foresight that ultimately forced them to give Hong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories back to China.

          • Don’t Believe the Hype

            So you see the UK as lacking in forsight as Beijing? Except that the UK actually established institutions in HK, I haven’t found any contribution to HK given by the mainland, unless it was just more money.

          • Alex Dương

            I did not say “as lacking in foresight as Beijing.” I pointed out that the British shot themselves in the foot by signing a 99-year lease for the New Territories. They wanted to lead by example and discourage other Western colonial powers from having their own “Hong Kongs,” but clearly, they thought that come 1997, they would still be a world power and China would still be weak and in the dumps.

          • Don’t Believe the Hype

            ah yes, i forgot about the 99-year lease. Fortunately the idiot who wrote that was probably long-since dead when that expired ha. Whoops

          • Zsari Maxim

            Even without the lease, there is no way for Britain to hang onto HK once China rises.

          • Ken Morgan

            There is it’s called having MORE guns than those who want it back. Britain for example ‘bought’ Diego Garcia. In the 1970s the UK ‘encouraged’ the locals to leave at gun point.

            For 30 years we sent MPs there to conduct fact finding missions who would find that Diego Garcia was completely uninhabitable and therefore for their own good could not return to their homes. On June 10th 2004 Tony Blair went to the queen and used a special hidden power to exile the people from Diego Garcia forever.

            This was ruled to be illegal and was overturned in 2006, The USAF has a gigantic airbase there. You think the USAF will listen and give the land back?

          • David

            No. We use it for our long rang strategic bombers.

          • Don’t Believe the Hype

            yes you are right, China would have invaded either way. This shows that China is really a war-mongering country

          • Alex Dương

            I am not sure about this. Compare and contrast India with China with respect to Portugal. Portugal had Goa in India and Macau in China. India went to war with Portugal to reclaim Goa; China waited and got Macau back peacefully.

          • Don’t Believe the Hype

            True, but then the mainland was in no position to reclaim any territory in 1999, let alone 1961. The same chest beating would have ensued against HK as it now does against Taiwan and the East China Sea. Now Zsari says “once China rises” he implies, since we are talking about taking back land, militarily, and so since we have nothing to base what would have happend (china’s military is still prehistoric) we can’t rule out that China would have tried to invade if it could.

          • Jannick Slavik

            “we can’t rule out that China would have tried to invade if it could.”

            Are you high? Yes, you can rule that out. It didn’t happen.

          • Don’t Believe the Hype

            I’m simply comparing Zsaris comments that “no way for Britain to hang onto HK once China rises,” Even he is saying that China was not in a position then to invade, so of courese it didnt. That doesnt mean it WOULDNT have. But this is all conjecture

          • Alex Dương

            As I wrote to you above, Thatcher herself acknowledged that Hong Kong was not militarily defensible. The Chinese did, in fact, have an invasion plan.

          • Kai

            Zsari’s comment doesn’t have to be interpreted “militarily”. The UK could have handed it back to an increasingly economically and politically powerful China, which is arguably what they did.

          • Alex Dương

            Are you familiar with the military history of the PLA from 1949 to 1961?

          • Don’t Believe the Hype

            yes, they received the majority of their aid from Russia and served as human shields in korea. It got worse from there…Vietnam, skirmishes in India. They were not a modern army then or now.

          • Alex Dương

            You seem extremely misinformed on several counts:

            1. Those “human shields” are the reason why there continue to be two Koreas today. You can certainly blame the PLA for that, but if they were incompetent at a “prehistoric” level, you’d think that the U.N. would’ve unified Korea in 1950.

            2. The Indians performed horribly in 1962, but their disastrous performance compelled them to reform, and India performed much better just three years later against Pakistan.

            3. Thatcher herself conceded that the Chinese could have easily taken Hong Kong through force. Her follow-up response was that if the Chinese did this, then everybody would know that they were barbaric and not civil.

          • Jannick Slavik

            child-like logic.

            a hypothetical course of action is proposed (they WOULD HAVE invaded HK anyway) and used as evidence to support the conclusion that China is a “war mongering country”

          • Don’t Believe the Hype

            i was responding to his cryptic comment that Britain would have returned HK either way, it sounded as if he was implying invasion.

          • Zsari Maxim

            That’s how HK was won and that’s how HK could be lost if no agreement was reached. Empire rise & empire fall. That’s how the world go around. No point in making silly titles.

          • ClausRasmussen

            The Germans had their own Hong Kong in Qingdao that returned to China by the way of Japan following the German defeat in the first World War

          • Alex Dương

            Yes, Jiaozhou Bay was also a 99-year lease just like the New Territories. The British couldn’t pull a “do as I say, not as I do” to the other European colonial powers; if they wanted to discourage the others from having permanent cessions, they had to lead by example.

          • David

            Not exactly the same. German territories were given to Japan after the German defeat of WW I because nobody thought China could care for itself (probably right) and Japan kept them (and used them as stepping stones for invasion) until they lost WW II. Then they were forced to give them back. While most nations still felt the same about China, they hated Japan after the war more.

          • ClausRasmussen

            >> Japan kept them […] until they lost WW II

            Qingdao was returned to China in 1922

          • David

            You are correct about that. I was writing off the top of my head and forgot about that (lol which is why I am not a Chinese historian).

          • dag

            Had the British demanded Guangdong Province instead of only Hong Kong and Kowloon, China’s history would be a lot different.
            The British mistake was not having “foresight” but not being greedy enough.

          • Alex Dương

            Yes, they were not greedy enough. They thought a 99-year lease to the New Territories was as good as permanent. It wasn’t. In the end, they had to give up territories that were permanent cessions.

          • jon9521

            Incorrect it was on a 100 years lease. Britain complied with the lease agreement

          • Alex Dương

            It was 99 years, and I never said they didn’t comply with the lease agreement. We all know the Handover took place in 1997.

          • ClausRasmussen

            >> British lack of foresight

            China could easily have steamrolled Hong Kong at the end of the civil war, declaring the Qing dynasty agreements null and void

            I believe they didn’t exactly because there were an end date on the lease

          • Alex Dương

            I agree, but in fairness to people who may disagree, there were indeed invasion plans in 1967 and during the Handover negotiations.

      • dave

        Wow.

        So, their mindset isn’t that manlanders have too few freedoms, it’s that HK people already have too many?

        dafuq

        • Kai

          No, their mindset is that they find it hard to feel sympathy for people who have more than them but want more. That doesn’t mean they themselves don’t want more.

        • JayJay

          Yes, most of people I talked to in China are all pretty annoyed by the fact that people of Hong Kong are staging protests. A lot of them referred to the fact that Hong Kongers call them ‘locusts’. I don’t think they see them differently as Tibet or Xinjiang to a certain extent. When I spoke about democracy, many are quite taken the fact that it isn’t good for China, nor Hong Kong. Some blame the US as usual. I wouldn’t call it brainwashing, but it is quite astonishing to see some of my childhood friends have vastly different opinions.

        • don mario

          the sad fact is they do not see their lack of freedom in the same way we do. the vast majority if chinese fully put their faith in the government for the hope of a greater good. they think hong kongers should do the same no doubt, and are probably having their ‘national feelings’ hurt at the way the hong kongers are protesting to their government.

      • Nocturne

        Mainlanders are fucking stupid. What kind of logic is “since I don’t have what you have, then you are an asshole for wanting more”? Don’t they understand that granting more democracy to HK will only lead to more liberalization in the rest of the country?

        • Kai

          It’s the same logic people around the world have when they see those better off than them still complaining. Ever heard of “first-world problems”? Americans might be familiar with the ABC (Anywhere But California) concept in Congress when it comes to federal funding and pork barrel projects.

          They’re still waiting for the freedoms and liberties HK currently has to spread to the rest of the country. Maybe when that happens, they’ll be more sympathetic to HKers wanting more. They’re not convinced granting democracy to HK will lead to more liberalization for themselves. You can argue that the whole “one country, two systems” thing can be blamed for part of this.

        • don mario

          sucessfully brainwashed logic.

      • don mario

        so the whole attitude is one of jealousy and we should be understanding ? lets face it, chinese people don’t have any balls. they should be seeing this as inspirational and nothing less.

        • Xia

          On the other hand, many Chinese view that their own situation (both economically and politically) is improving. So they don’t want Hong Kong to rock the boat and cause something out of control that makes decades of efforts in the mainland to make the country rich and strong go to waste.

    • Alex Dương
    • don mario

      its just bullshit to deflect from the problem at hand. if chinese actually looked at the situation for what it was then they would have to be critical of their own government, which we know isn’t going to happen anytime soon. so they just spew bullshit about uk, japan, usa or whatever.

  • hang

    Since the British were imperialists, now it must be ok for the PRC to also be imperialists..? The one and only thing that matters is what Hong Kong wants for itself now.

    • Janus

      Since the handover, HK have continued to enjoy freedom of speech, assembly and religion. The current protests are a living proof of that. Now they are being given the opportunity also to participate in an imperfect, but nevertheless democratic process and they are crying their rights and freedoms are being trampled?

      In my opinion, its this ‘All or Nothing’ attitude that is the main problem here. Democracy may be about the will of the people, but it’s also about compromise between the wants and needs of different groups, not the idealistic absolutism of a particular faction.

      • Don’t Believe the Hype

        explain how Beijing choosing who runs is democratic? There seems to be a pretty big hole in that logic

      • Marcus

        We have 5 mao on Chinasmack now ? One advise, make it short to be able to post more often…

        • NeverMind

          Let’s call names to whoever we don’t agree with or has a different opinion than us. That makes us look clever.

          • Jannick Slavik

            its considered “wit” in some circles.

            “he disagrees with me – i.e. he must be a paid spy in the employ of a foreign government”

      • Jeff

        You really don’t see the problem with a pro-Beijing, pro-big business 1,200 members committee choosing 2-3 candidates before allow Hong Kong votes to pick one? North Korean has universal suffrage too.
        Hong Kongers don’t wanna bilked and play as rubber stamp in this fiasco.

        • Jannick Slavik

          replace “1,200 members commitee” with “1,200 members corporations” choosing 2-3 candidates before allow voters to pick one” and you summed up the Western system succinctly.

          • Okay?

            Rubbish. Corporations certainly have an overwhelming influence in the US, but in other countries they have far less influence. Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, to name a few. You can criticise democracy all you like, but at the moment there are a number of extremely stable, well developed countries with rather successful democracies. Definitely not perfect, but nobody claims it is.

          • David

            Corporations do not vote in the U.S. They can buy ad time and try to influence people, but if people WANT to be fooled they will be, by whomever they do not know enough about. All the campaign ads in the world can not get me to vote for candidate ‘A’ if I keep myself informed of the issues. I will vote for ‘B’ and if it runs out he is a bum or a liar he will be out the next election. At least then it is my own fault for voting for him, that means a lot to me.

          • Jeff

            What the election member does is essentially does is prescreen the candidates that beijing wants before hong kongers can participate in this sham election. It’s a insult to the people of hong kong. The people of Hong Kong want to be able to nominate candidates of their own choosing, this proposal was rejected by beijing in a sham consultation.

            China has time and time again broke his promises on giving hong kong
            autonomy in political affairs, furthermore the CCP has insulted the ppl
            of hong kong by saying that there will be risk of electing someone who
            will go against China. All dictatorship are paranoid. CCP is not known
            for keeping its promises. That is the reason for the mass emigration
            before the the handover.

        • Kai

          There’s no indication that he doesn’t. @disqus_C99dyOS3fU:disqus explicitly said it is “imperfect”. Beijing (and arguably HK’s business interests), think this is already a concession, as being more democratic. The protesters see it as not enough. This is where they have to decide if there can be compromise or there can’t be, and suffer the consequences of either.

    • jon9521

      UK had HK on a lease. However before the handover Mr Ping promised not to interfere:
      How Hong Kong develops its democracy in the future is completely within the sphere of the autonomy of Hong Kong,” Lu Ping, China’s top official on Hong Kong matters, promised in the People’s Daily in March 1993. “The central government will not interfere.

      This promise has clearly been broken

      • Kai

        The problem is that HK needed to get that in writing, ideally in the Basic Law. Government officials and politicians breaking their “promises” is nothing new. Governments change their policies all the time. It’s the nature of the beast.

  • Al_Sharp

    John Ross…a member of the looney left in the eighties who, um, ended up working as an advisor for ‘various multinationals’ during the high tide of Russian crony capitalism in the nineties, before eventually ending up as an ‘academic’ in the pay of the Chinese government who specialises in churning out puff pieces about the Chinese economy.

    I’m tempted to call him the Dashan of the wumao world, but that’s probably dignifying him with way more credit than such a craven sell-out deserves.

    • takasar1

      yes…being labelled a ‘sellout’ automatically renders one ‘unsound’ and with little foresight and ability to analyse events and the reporting of said events. where am i again?

      oh wait……

      • David

        You do not think a man can be judged by his past? What do you do? Read his tea leaves? I am sure he is quite capable of doing a wonderful job of analysis, he is in a position to know quite a few things. However, I have no faith whatsoever that he would report such an analysis in an honest and transparent manner.

        • takasar1

          calling someone a ‘sellout’ and thinking of them as a stooge and thus automatically waving away their analysis =/= accurately judging a man’s past. at the end of the day, we believe what we want, if you want to discount his analysis and call him ‘unreliable’ due to your own leanings, so be it. but just because you dont trust something does not mean it isnt true

  • SongYii

    LMAO Sure, when this is all said and done, I’m sure Beijing democracy in HK will be a shining beacon of hope to the UK sponsored pogroms, property confiscation, and revolutionary propaganda in Hong Kong last century.

    • Don’t Believe the Hype

      “Beijing Democracy,” wow what an oxymoron

  • Cameron

    Surely Hong Kongers didn’t protest against British rule because, democracy or no, the British ran it pretty much to the HKers liking: a booming economy, free oress press and free speech. Whereas they are less inclined to believe that Communist China will run it to their liking – as the soeed of Beijing interference grows by the year. That is the crux of the issue.

    Whining about the “hypocrisy” of the West or Hkers is just a frivolous sideshow.

    The silly comments knocking HKers for standing up for their rights are likely from the kind of ML Chinese that have never been to HK and probably imagine the place is just like a smaller version of Shanghai.

    • Alex Dương

      I don’t think it’s accurate to say that Hong Kongers didn’t protest against British rule. The Democratic Party, for example, was a merger of two groups, each of which supported Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong, though of course with significant autonomy.

    • Joe

      Hong Kong protested against the British numerous times in the 50s and 60s culminating in the bloody leftist riots of 1967.

    • Ken Morgan

      British rule under Cowperthwaite was like the joke in Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. Whereby the chairman of the company came to work one day and decided to go out for lunch not returning for 18 years.

      I.e. a non interference method and letting the market get on with it.

      While the rest of the economies on the planet are interference models with the old US quote of : ” If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it”

      These massively distort the economies they are used in. Britain for instance has something called housing benefit. This has caused rents to increase markedly for the past 16 years. They also have tax credits which are supposed to top up low wages. Instead companies reduced wages so they’d be topped up by the state tax credits. People started cutting their work hours to get this top up. Such that people working 16 hours had their wages topped up to the same level as those working 35-40 hours.

      Leave it alone and things will fix themselves with small free rider problems occurring here and there.

      Beijing is one of those interfering governments.

    • Xia

      Hong Kong’s economic boom may be tarnished by less promising prospects ever since the mainland decided to create lots of rivaling cities that have the potential to serve as an alternative to Hong Kong and take away much of her current business opportunities. But in that case, choosing a Chief Executive that goes on an open anti-Beijing or anti-mainland course may not provide a solution to the changing geo-econmic conditions or refuel Hong Kong’s prosperity.

      What a change of the CE could achieve is to solve some social inequality issues through diminishing the influence of tycoons and finance bosses and fairly distribute the wealth among all citizens. In fact, Hong Kong has made a lot of money from business opportunities created by the boom in the mainland, but all this money is flowing into the pockets of the superrich few. This is something that could be changed.

    • Jeff

      at least the British government’s power is checked by the democratic system back home. Hong kongers don’t trust Chinese Communist Party. Whoever trusts the CCP is a fool, CCP has lied again and again.

      • don mario

        that pretty much says it all. whoever trusts the CCP is a fool.

        they are in their right minds to protest, infact anyone protesting the CCP is. so many people don’t seem to get this simple fact.

  • Cameron

    A lot of mainlanders are really resentful of HK. Weird.

    • Joe

      Not surprised, the lack of solidarity with HK is indicative of HK-mainland relations for the past 5 years. What HKers are fighting for offers little to the mainlanders across the border.

      • Xia

        There is this perception that HKers resent mainlanders, so the reaction seems to be that mainlanders resent HK. What is annoying is that mainlanders are required to get a visa to enter Hong Kong. Seriously, in what other country do you need a VISA to enter another part of the same country? Perhaps it’s the natural consequence of “one country, two systems”, whereby everyone is making a fuss about the “two systems” part, while neglecting that it is actually “one country”.

        • Joe

          Because the one country two systems is inherently flawed, why does one country need two systems to begin with?why can’t all Chinese enjoy the same privileges. One country two system only paved the way for HK exceptionalism that divides both sides.

          • Xia

            One three lettered word explains everything.

          • don mario

            the whole one country 2 systems thing was a trojan horse system to begin with. the original intent was always for the first ‘system’ to take over the second. good on the hong kongers for standing up for what they believe in.

            the original one country 2 systems was designed for taiwan. if it was actually a good deal why did taiwan never take it? because last time i checked taiwan was also claiming to be ‘china’ so it seems like a pretty good deal for both, if it actually did what it said on the tin..

        • Insomnicide

          One country two systems was a policy originally planned for Taiwan’s reunification with the mainland. Because Taiwan is separated from the mainland by a large body of water, the system might have worked out better. But Chiang Ching-kuo died before the talks went through so the policy fell on Hong Kong and Macau instead. Which explains why this system is now breaking down.

          • Alex Dương

            My understanding is that Taiwan has never expressed any interest whatsoever in “one country, two systems.” So basically, Taiwan balked at the idea, and then the CCP suggested it for use with HK.

          • Xia

            If you think about it, since Taiwan is not a sovereign country, “two systems” in the sense of two governments is the de facto situation even for Taiwan and Mainland.

          • Insomnicide

            That is true, however there are still disputes under the current system over whether Taiwan is a part of China or not. The Hong Kong government while independent, still falls under the branch of the government of greater China. That would have been the intended categorization for Taiwan had reunification talks gone through.

  • Zsari Maxim

    Read the Sino-Britain joint declaration. The only promises China made was that there would be no change for 50 years. No change means no democracy.

    • Luze

      Hong Kong can change but it has to go through their own process and Beijing can only set proposals. The proposal for the 2017 election has not gone through Hong Kong Legislative council yet, but when it does the pro-democracy law makers will veto it anyway. So unless Beijing acutally offers a democratic process, that Hong Kong will accept, nothing will change (until 2047).

      • Xia

        Is “nothing will change (until 2047)” really the better deal of the two?

        • Luze

          Nothing is better than allowing Beijing to dictate Hong Kong as they have done with the rest of China. Now is the only chance to achieve real democracy, and cement it in writing, before the Sino-British declaration runs out.

          • Xia

            But doesn’t “nothing” or status quo mean that Hong Kong will continue to be ruled by the oligarchs in LegCo like before?

          • Luze

            Yes but defying Beijings proposals will pressure them to deliver their promise of true sufferage for Hong Kong.

          • Xia

            I find it very unlikely to happen that Beijing would back down that far, not the CPC style at all. Backing down would encourage future mass protests in other parts of China, which the central government finds very dangerous …

          • Luze

            I don’t see them backing down anytime soon either… Can only hope this leads to more dialogue or further consultation. Beijing can’t use their stick in Hong Kong, like they do elsewhere in China, we can only hope they bring out a carrot.

          • Xia

            The original proposal is a carrot in Beijing’s eyes, but Hong Kong just refused to swallow. Any bigger carrot will be seen as backing down or make the central government look weak.
            Perhaps things will be settled if pan-dems get some more seats in LegCo.
            But my guess is that Beijing will opt for ignoring and dragging on to test the resilience of the protesters.

          • Karze

            Its not the central government but the Communist Party loosing power and officials may face trail like in Eastern Europe after fall of Berlin Wall in 1989.

          • Xia

            Practically everyone in the central government and local government, except those in non-vital positions, is part of CPC and have Party functions, it’s impossible for the CPC to loose power without destroying the current Chinese government and building up a new one from scratch.

  • Xia

    China promised a universal suffrage for Hong Kong people to vote for the next CE in 2017, which is already on the way of being implemented. The crux is that the candidates are to be set up by the old LegCo of 70 people mainly consisting of Hong Kong tycoons that are pro Beijing. The protesters, who see this universal suffrage as a rip-off, want to set up their own candidates and don’t want candidates to be exclusively chosen by those 70 LegCo members.

    • Don’t Believe the Hype

      you can just say pro-beijing, you don’t have to throw in all those other red herrings

      • Xia

        It’s important to take account that those are business magnates controlling Hong Kong’s political life and Hong Kong has always been an explicit form of oligarchy. The economic issues are beneath the surface of anti-Beijing sentiments and motivate a whole lot of young people who don’t see the current government doing enough to create job opportunities.

  • Jannick Slavik

    Oh people have to get a grip.

    About 8 weeks ago, it was being joked that HK was ripe for “regime destabilization” shortly after the PBOC announced they were ending US treasury buying. People don’t understand this is basically just short of a declaration of war against the US. We are entering the end game now. 700T in notional derivatives are going to start cascading down.

    Fact: America exports regime change. Constantly. The US has actively destabilized some 35 countries in the post-WW2 period.

    And on the matter of “democracy” people have to realize “democracy” is a mirage. A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In the west, we are subjected to the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses by unseen mechanism of society that constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

    While to some extent, these unseen levers of power render 1-2 “candidates” to run for office in the West, in China, on the other hand, these “candidates” are simply handpicked. It’s obviously less sophisticated, but the end goals are the same – serving the oligarchs while spreading enough economic goods to maintain legitimacy.

    The constant references to another “Tiananmen” in the Western Media, and the 24/7 airtime these protests are receiving tell me all I need to know – another CIA supported destabilization program.

    • Don’t Believe the Hype

      i love these references to a CIA-backed protest, as if an american spy is behind every criticism of dictatorial regimes. Why is it so hard to believe that these people actually believe in protecting freedoms that the mainland, self-admittedly, does not have?
      And there is a big difference between a few candidates that may seem similar in the west (and who also face elections and occassionally get kicked out of office) and actually having no choice whatsoever about which candidate runs because the central gov’t chooses. If it is a question of degree, i have a pretty good feeling that the latter is going to be WAY more corrupt than the former

      • Alex Dương

        I doubt the CIA is involved in this case. But you can’t deny that the CIA has a rather sordid history when it comes to fomenting unrest overseas.

        • Don’t Believe the Hype

          Absolutely, not denying that. I’m just saying they get way more credit than they deserve sometimes.

          • Alex Dương

            In this case, I agree with you that the protesters genuinely want universal suffrage (among other things) of their own volition. Most of the Hongkongers who support the protests and are actively participating in them are relatively young. Seems hard to believe that they’re getting paid to do it.

          • Don’t Believe the Hype

            Possible that older people will come out as the holiday begins, will be interesting to keep an eye on

        • If I May

          Yes, you are correct… but how is that relevant here? Deflection is bad form, especially for a mod. Tisk-tisk.

          • Alex Dương

            Uh oh, the d-word came out! It’s pretty obvious: the CIA’s history is pretty relevant when we’re talking about the plausibility of CIA involvement, don’t you think? Now, as I said, in this particular case, I doubt the CIA is involved, but it isn’t “tin foil hat”-conspiracy level either.

          • If I May

            Not really. These are HK-er’s rightfully fed up with the CCP, that’s all.

          • Alex Dương
          • If I May

            Ad hominem too? Bad mod.

            I was in military intelligence in the US Army during the year 2000, and at the ripe “old age” of 32. Back then, my MOS was listed as 97E (i.e. 97 Echo). It’s something else now, but if you look around, you might find out what that was (and still is, but under a different nomenclature and name). Ugly stuff. I know what the CIA is all about. ;-)

          • Alex Dương

            Ad hominem too?

            I was in military intelligence in the US Army during the year 2000,
            and at the ripe “old age” of 32. Back then, my MOS was listed as 97E
            (i.e. 97 Echo). It’s something else now, but if you look around, you
            might find out what that was (and still is, but under a different
            nomenclature and name). Ugly stuff. I know what the CIA is all about.
            ;-)

            Then you should be able to connect the dots. As I said, I don’t think the CIA is involved in this case. But it is hardly “new world order”-level conspiracy either.

          • If I May

            Lame… but thanks.

            Anyhow, that’s cool. I’ll leave it at that. One thing though: you should support these HK people. All they want is better lives and a better territory. I suspect that they would also want the same for the folks in mainland China. Neither is a bad thing.

          • Alex Dương

            I do support them. Commitments should be honored, and even if it were not a commitment, fighting for universal suffrage is a worthy thing to do. Don’t mistake my dislike of people overusing “deflection” and misusing “ad hominem” as reluctance to support the protesters.

          • If I May

            Nice edits and deletions here and there, Alex!

          • Alex Dương

            Why don’t you post the “original” “unedited” version, then?

          • If I May

            Because I assumed that I would not have to (and I didn’t break any rules, btw). You simply didn’t like getting gentlemanly owned, so you deleted one of my comments. On top of that, you edited one of your posts in order to distort the interpretation of one of my responses… over half an hour after I was done. That’s OK, man. I just didn’t know that you were so sensitive, and frankly, dishonest. I’ll be sure to avoid engaging you here in the future. I’m sorry that I “transgressed” your privilege and power.

          • If I May

            Original: “Uh oh, the d-word came out! It’s pretty obvious: the CIA’s history is pretty relevant when we’re talking about the plausibility of CIA involvement, don’t you think?”

            This was added by you later: “Now, as I said, in this particular case, I doubt the CIA is involved, but it isn’t “tin foil hat”-conspiracy level either.”

          • Alex Dương

            It’s not so hard to back up your allegations, isn’t it? Yes, I did add that later, as in a few seconds later. It might have been half an hour when it updated on your end, but even then, it hardly “distorts” your response in any way.

            You also claim that I deleted one of your comments. This is a lie, plain and simple.

          • If I May

            OK… just delete the “Because I assumed, blah, blah” comment that I wrote, if you want, because it’s no longer particularly relevant anymore. I did find the post that was gone. It came back a little while ago. Nice.

            But I completely disagree with that edit not distorting the “feel” of my response, and it was definitely not seconds later.

            You know, it’s really not worth discussing anything on this thread with you anymore. You are combative and took immediate offense to my simple pointing out that deflection –which is exactly what you did when I mentioned that. I’m glad that you’re a mod — you write reasonably well — but it’s disappointing to see that a mod behaves like a troll sometimes. That doesn’t exactly help discussions or cS. It’s a turn of. I’m sorry to have to tell you that. I’m done on this one. Have a great National Holiday.

          • Alex Dương

            You don’t have to discuss with me if you don’t want to. But I will tell you one thing: when you make a claim that I deleted one of your comments, act like I did it out of dishonesty, and then find out that it wasn’t deleted to begin with, you should apologize or at least admit that you made a mistake instead of just saying “It came back a little while ago. Nice.”

          • If I May

            OK, Sorry about that. But I will not apologize for anything else.

          • Alex Dương

            You never have to apologize for a difference of opinion.

          • Dave

            Wow, who made you a mod?

            Protip: Mods are supposed to be above the fray, not pissants.

          • Alex Dương

            I think it’s one of many good lines. If you don’t, that’s your opinion.

          • MeCampbell30

            The cold war is over, bro.

          • Confucius

            Ok. Now, tell that to the US and NATO

          • Alex Dương
          • MeCampbell30

            Oh right, I forgot the CIA isn’t allowed to exist. :rolleyes:

            What would some of you demogogs do without a convent scapegoat?

          • Alex Dương

            No, you forgot or didn’t reread what you wrote to me thirteen hours ago.

          • MeCampbell30

            You posted a speculative list of CIA actions in support of the nonsense idea that it’s plausible that the CIA encouraged HK students to take to the streets for an issue that has been brewing for 10 years.

            Included in that nonsense list is former president Artiste’s claim that instead of resigning he was kidnapped by the US (with his wife and kids) then allowed to live out the rest of his days in the US and give NPR interviews about how he was kidnapped.

            There is also Hugo Chavez paranoid claim that the US tried to oust him, when in actuality the US had always been on the side of change through the constitutional process.

            Like I said, the CIA has become a convenient scapegoat for demagogues.

          • Alex Dương

            No, I pointed to a link outlining the CIA’s history of regime change. I said that I do not think the CIA is involved in this case, but to allege that they are is not farfetched given their history.

            You joined the discussion and said that the Cold War is over. I pointed out that the CIA has continued its involvement with regime change. At that point, you descended into incoherency.

          • MeCampbell30

            Half of which is false or total speculative.

            And I said examples from the cold war aren’t relevant. The CIA acting in HK is about as plausible as the KGB encouraging a crackdown on voting.

          • Alex Dương

            Half of which is false or total speculative.

            And the other half?

          • MeCampbell30

            Not relevant. When the US is in a full scale war with Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya the CIA is expected to do it’s job. Let me know when the US declares war on HK.

          • Alex Dương

            When the US is in a full scale war with Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya the CIA is expected to do it’s job.

            Yeah, except DBACHILLES took place after the Gulf War and before the Iraq War, and we never formally declared war on Syria or Libya.

          • MeCampbell30

            CIA involvement in HK is about as realistic as a KGB inspired crackdown on HK voting rights. It’s a red herring to even bring it up as a suspicion with literally zero backing.

            It’s clear you didn’t even bother to read the list you posted. You googled a wikipedia article and called it a day. The post-Cold War examples of covert regime change are obviously false to anyone who knows anything about those events. I don’t know what’s so hard to understand about that. It’s pretty simple really.

          • Alex Dương

            You know, the nice thing about good Wikipedia articles is that they have citations to go along with statements. Absent that, it provides a starting point from which you can search on your own. If you had done that, maybe you would’ve come across these articles:

            http://www.lebanonwire.com/0305/03051911DS.asp

            http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/27/world/africa/27africa.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink&_r=0

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1552784/Bush-sanctions-black-ops-against-Iran.html

          • Jannick Slavik

            logic fail.

            some Hk-ers can be righfully fed up with the CPP AND the CIA can be actively cultivating destabilization agents in HK.

          • Jannick Slavik

            ” I doubt the CIA is involved”

            That would be laughable short-sighted.

            If the CIA isn’t dumping support into the “umbrella revolution” they aren’t keeping up with their mandate.

          • Alex Dương

            I don’t think you have to pay university students to protest.

          • Jannick Slavik

            huh???

            seriously?

            of course the CIA is orchestrating this. if they aren’t (they are) they SHOULD BE.

            The CIA should be front and central at this, as the US needs to destabilize China since the PBOC selling US treasuries will raise interest rates about 1% (it will de-rail the economy)

            READ MORE! This isn’t that complicated!

      • Confucius

        You have to admit, the US is behind many regime changes around the world since WW2. Whether it’s the CIA or some other secret US agency is a moot point. Jannick’s suspicions are rightly raised given this history (which is backed up by many sources for the various regime changes). What should be condemned is the role of the US in the overthrow of democratically elected governments to further their agenda. It’s understandable that they should take actions to protect their interests, but when they couch it in some moral or righteous rhetoric, and clearly brainwashes their own people with it, it’s particularly galling.

  • takasar1

    quite funny that only after 90 odd years, in the dying days of imperial rule, hong kongers were given democracy, just as it was about to be returned to beijing…

    • Time101

      Not funny if one is acquainted with the history of the British Empire. The justification for Empire was that Imperial subjects, such as those in Hong Kong, were children and the British had a duty to teach and nurture them until they reached maturity, at which point they would assume the duties and responsibilities of adults, such as autonomy and democracy. Hence, the British tried to institute democracy when they left a colony because leaving a colony signified the colony had reached ‘maturity’.

      You could very well say that this ‘civilising mission’ was a load of old bollocks used to justify economic exploitation of weaker nations using force, which it basically was, but it’s a little simplistic that the introduction of democracy to Hong Kong was merely a one-off, short-term, opportunistic move to screw the Chinese, as your post implies.

      • Alex Dương

        Hence, the British tried to institute democracy when they left a colony
        because leaving a colony signified the colony had reached ‘maturity’.

        So what made Hong Kong “not ready” for democracy when India was “ready” in 1947, Malaysia in 1957, Singapore in 1963, among others?

        • Time101

          The British government did not think India was ready for full independence and democracy in 1947, but it was forced into it by lack of money, lack of American support and the success of people like Gandhi. During the war Britain was only offering dominion status (reluctantly). Once India was gone – the ‘jewel in the crown’ – other colonies were bound to follow.

          As far as I can tell, Hong Kong was also quite willing to remain British, in the same way as other small islands such as Malta, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, hence its retention for so long.

          • Alex Dương

            As far as I can tell, Hong Kong was also quite willing to remain British, in the same way as other small islands such as Malta, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, hence its retention for so long.

            Did the Falkland Islands ever have something like this? Moreover, the Falkland Islands had universal suffrage in 1948. Again, why was Hong Kong “not ready”?

          • Time101

            The Falklands had a Governor appointed by the Crown in 1948, and half the Legislative Council was appointed by the Governor so it’s a little misleading to say that. The Falklands did not *full* independence and democracy in 1948.

            I defer to your knowledge of the level of popular support for Colonial rule in Hong Kong during the post-war period. My impression was that the booming economy meant most Hongkongers were willing to accept British government. Please correct me if I am wrong. However I think you will need more proof that one PRC-inspired riot in the 60s. The fact remains there was no mass independence movement, no Gandhi, no guerilla war like in Vietnam. This suggests that the majority were willing to go along with the British.

            Britain probably held onto it because of its financial and military value and because its inhabitants were reasonably willing to remain British.

          • Alex Dương

            I don’t need more proof than that. The Falkland Islands NEVER had anything that remotely resembled the 1967 riots in Hong Kong. Yet they were granted universal suffrage in 1948. Even if you want to reply that 4/8 of the non-official members were appointed, by 1977, that had changed such that all were elected.

            You don’t seem to have a clear, consistent answer here. You say that Hong Kong wanted British rule, therefore it was apparently “not ready.” But even at the latest, the Falkland Islands, who you claim also wanted and still want British rule, had democracy by 1977. That’s before MacLehose met with Deng.

            So why were the Falkland Islands “ready” in 1977, but Hong Kong was “not ready”?

          • Time101

            You know, looking back at it I think I completely mis-read the original poster. I’ve been talking out my arse. It was indeed hypocritical of the British not to grant democracy earlier.

            Time for bed methinks.

          • Alex Dương

            No problem. In fairness, of course I believe that past hypocrisies from the British don’t justify present subversion by the Chinese of universal suffrage for Hongkongers.

          • guest

            You could argue that it was because the mainland was unstable in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960, 1970s which could have led to a spill over into Hong Kong or an invasion and by the time it had settle down it was time to discuss the lease with Beijing.

            But on the flip side of the coin you could say why is Beijing against the democratic election for the Chief Executive when the Chinese constitution states that people are freely allowed to stand for election.

            I think before you can answer the question of why was it included NOW into Hong Kong you have to answer the question of what would had happen after/during the handover if it wasn’t part of the agreement. I get the opinion it was a sweetener because the people would had protested more than today even to the point of rioting against the new rule and as pointed out to Maggie, Beijing could had taken it back by force.

          • Alex Dương

            You could argue that it was because the mainland was unstable in the
            1940s, 1950s, 1960, 1970s which could have led to a spill over into Hong
            Kong or an invasion and by the time it had settle down it was time to
            discuss the lease with Beijing.

            Taiwan was under martial law throughout CKS’s rule. Was Hong Kong ever under martial law for even half that time?

          • guest

            And when CK went into Taiwan how many Taiwanese where accustomed to KMT rule. Let alone how many where happy with the way things were being run by them.

            But it still doesn’t really answer the question what would Beijing do if democracy was introduced before the lease on Hong Kong was up. Given that they were touchly over Taiwanese 96 presidential election I guess that they wouldn’t had been happy with democracy in Hong Kong, I could image the headache of Beijing trying to bring a democratic post-handover Hong Kong under its control. I doubt they could not without causing more protest than what is happening today.

          • Alex Dương

            You aren’t even addressing your own point. You claim that HK didn’t become democratic because of instability in the mainland across several decades. It would seem that a response to such instability would be martial law. Yet, martial law was never imposed in Hong Kong to anywhere near the extent it was in Taiwan. So it would seem that instability does not explain why HK did not become democratic.

            You prefer to sidestep this point entirely and ask what would have happened had the UK granted HK democracy. Well, I don’t know. Nobody does because…it didn’t happen.

          • guest

            Then why didn’t you come straight out and ask me to address the point but rather use model thats not really fitting.

            But lets address Taiwan first.

            Taiwan is difference because technically R.O.C martial rule was off the back of a civil war which still legally hasn’t finish. Not only that the Taiwanese populous wasn’t “Chinese” and the KMT rubbed them up the wrong way plus causing the 228 incident and leading basically to a dictatorship over the island. Not only that but the P.R. of China where still active in wanting to get R.O.C territory in the late 1950s, aka the first Strait Crisis, Second Strait Crisis, and even trying to scare Tawian in the 1990s with the Third Strait Crisis.

            British Hong Kong on the other hand had been the result of wars that had ended with a peace settlement and demands agreed to, not only that but by the time of WWII finished they were “used” to British rule. You could even say that Hong Kong’s lack of democracy and British rule was a watered down version of martial law.

            However, its was clear after the Chinese civil war that Mao was willing to use force to protect China and to unify it, hell even the KMT wanted HK back. And what was on Britian’s mind at the time, if Mao had demanded it back post 1949s the labour government would had done so, they thought it was simply indefensible, and so the only way to keep hold of it was not to rock the boat and basically shut up, i.e not push democracy and hence give the Chinese the idea that Hong Kong could declare itself independence, the idea here possibility be that once China has stabilized economically they could push for later, if the British knew they were going to kept hold of it like they wanted to, i.e, they wanted to extend the lease or make those parts in it permanent territory.

            This the most likely reason why a place like the Falkand Islands got suffrage in the 1948s, and full democracy in the 1977s, simply because there wasn’t such a threat to the Falkands or a threat they thought they couldn’t handle at the time, not withstanding the fact that its population is a merge 2,000 ish and wasn’t growing as fast due to an influx of immigrants.

            However, I find your last comment a bit strange, maybe ironic, no one really knows what would had happen, yep that’s true.

          • Alex Dương

            the only way to keep hold of it was not to rock the boat and basically shut up, i.e not push democracy and hence give the Chinese the idea that Hong Kong could declare itself independence, the idea here possibility be that once China has stabilized economically they could push for later, if the British knew they were going to kept hold of it like they wanted to, i.e, they wanted to extend the lease or make those parts in it permanent territory.

            If I read this correctly, there seems to be a problem with the underlying reasoning. If China stabilized economically, then continued British rule in the sense of an extended lease to the New Territories would seem very unlikely, as the Chinese would surely press for its return. A stabilized China would not be under any pressure to cede the New Territories in perpetuity, as was done for Hong Kong and Kowloon. So the idea that the British wanted to defer democracy until China stabilized doesn’t seem to make much sense.

            In the end, the British never granted democracy to Hong Kong. As I said, you prefer to sidestep this and ask what would have happened had they granted democracy. It didn’t happen, so nobody knows. I didn’t say that as a truism; I said it to emphasize that you are sidestepping historical fact.

  • Luze

    Hong Kong put up with the UK elected leaders because they supported and gave the freedoms Hong Kong has now, along with great prosperity. Beijing choosing who can be elected will start taking away those freedoms until Hong Kong is the same as every other Chinese city…

  • Amused

    “War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.”


    George Orwell,

    1984

    • KamikaziPilot

      I’m not cultured enough to know what that even means but I don’t think every quote made by a “famous” person should automatically be considered something to live by.

      • Teacher in China

        You should read that book. It’s called “1984”, and it’s probably one of the most important in 20th century literature.

        • Xia

          Since social order and personal freedom are on opposing fronts, every government in the world has Orwellian elements, some more (openly) than others.

          • Teacher in China

            Absolutely agreed. And that’s why this is, and will likely remain, a very important piece of literature. Another one is Animal Farm, which really has acted as a template for virtually every revolution since it was written.

  • NeverMind

    You want to bring Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria to HongKong? Let’s do it! I live in one of the most prosperous cities of the Middle East by the way, and we DONT want your Americanized democrazy!!!

    p.s. I am a Christian

    • nqk123

      you don’t want it, doesn’t mean others people feel the same. and so what if you’re christian

      • NeverMind

        Similarly, there are others who don’t want it. But, people like you want to enforce it on the ones who don’t, thinking if it’s good for me, it should be good for everyone, right?

        I wrote about my religion because this place is always portrayed as a place where minorities are brutalized, whereas your ‘great democratic countries’ are portrayed as a haven of religious freedom and the only place to be if you are a minority.

        • Don’t Believe the Hype

          not at all, there are many minorities in the US who argue that the US is far from perfect. You are missing the point, which is that it is the countries which assume they are perfect already that are in most need of change.

        • nqk123

          majority win. if there are more people who feel like you then no one can force it on you.

          yes you live in a country where religious minorities are not brutalized, but does not mean that others countries in the region are the same. only idiots would think that every countries in the region are same.

          US is not a haven for anything. through democratic processes we continue to fight for just and fairness every day.

        • Don’t Believe the Hype
        • Miniluv101

          Yes, because the Daesh/IS sure takes care of it’s minorities doesn’t it?

          Anyone should feel ashamed if they squander or deny what people daily die for. Hate america for all you want, I consider it (and China) the image of self-destructive capitalism. But this hatred for the right to choose one’s own leaders, to begin the legal right to have a voice? It’s disgusting, and shows the sad state the world still remains in.

        • MeCampbell30

          Enjoy your monarchy, peasant.

    • Don’t Believe the Hype

      Are you lobbying for the right to be beheaded?

      • NeverMind

        Never heard anyone being beheaded in my city. Drinking cool-aid much?

        • Derek_V

          If you don’t tell us in which city you live we are unable to tell how full of shit you are. I mean we know that you are full of shit ignorant. We just can’t assess the extent of your fullofshitness.

    • Nocturne

      That’s the whole point of democracy. The People get to choose their political system. What alternative is there to democracy?

      • Kai

        A bipartisan federal republic?

        Seriously though, the problem is that Hong Kong is not a democracy, and therefore they can’t choose their political system. Like a state government under a central federal grovernment that can override it, they are a city that is ultimately governed by a central government.

        The whole point of the protest is to get democracy so they can choose their local leader.

    • Jeff

      Nobody is saying Hong Kong will have Americanized Democracy

    • Fdom

      Actually I live in Hong Kong. I didn’t say anything about Americanised democracy. We were promised the right to choose our elections and that has been taken away. If we don’t stand up now, what will we lose next? Please don’t hijack our voices with your anti-american bias.

      • Brido227

        Luke 9:25. Hong Kong isn’t and never will be self-supporting and without international trade (primarily to or through China or financial services) it only has what its internal economy can support. Is that really enough to keep 7m people in their current style?

        Lesson No.1: when you’re clinging to a lifeline, don’t throw faeces at the chap holding the other end.

        • Fdom

          I’m not sure what any of that has to do with broken promises of elections. Hong Kong doesn’t want to succeed from China. It just wants China to honour their agreement. So many Mainland Chinese on this forum muddying the real issue.

          • Brido227

            It has to do with a) getting that the chap on the other end doesn’t think he’s broken any promise at all (they promised free elections, not free choice of candidates and the text was very clear on the limits); and b) understanding the limits of what can be achieved and the price that will be paid. Hong Kong will pay a heavy price for becoming known as an unstable protest city and that price will just weaken its position with Beijing.

            If you’re looking for real issues, the really-and-truly real issue is that student-led protests rarely end well for the ordinary citizen. I can’t think of a single example where one has achieved anything substantive and a good many that have been disastrous – rarely for the students themselves.

          • Don’t Believe the Hype

            Seriously? Ever heard of the May 4th movement? Just because you are not willing to stand up for what you believe in doesnt mean others shouldn’t. Do more research next time-

            http://english.cntv.cn/program/dialogue/20110504/110617.shtml

            http://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/vietnam-war-protests

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/gandhi_mohandas.shtml

            http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/civilrights/section4.rhtml

          • Brido227

            Yes, I have heard of the May 4th Movement, thank you. It’s next to impossible to study modern Chinese history without coming across it. What did it actually achieve in terms of bettering life for the ordinary Chinese person? It led ultimately to decades of dictatorship under the GMD and CCP, I’d remind you.

            If you’re contending that the US Vietnam War and racial segregation both ended because of student protests, you really shouldn’t be let out on your own. There was far more to both decisions, loss of support from key voting constituencies being a common factor – which you’ll no doubt try to claim as resulting from some placard-waving and not the continual casualty lists with no forseeable victory in sight; or a basic sense that certain founding principles (the rights of the individual) of the nation trumphed others (the rights of states).

            I’ve no dog in HK’s fight, just a belief that if you’re going to fight at all you should be clear that your objectives are attainable and that the cost of attaining them won’t leave you worse off than before. I don’t believe either applies to Hong Kong’s situation and they’d be better off accepting it and dealing with the realities of their position.

          • David

            So just say what you mean. “Suck it up.” If you have no dog on the fight why do you care what they do?

          • Brido227

            I don’t care what they do. I care that they don’t make an arse of it and get other people killed, the way student protests traditionally do.

          • oster

            @Brido227


            I’ve no dog in HK’s fight, just a belief that if you’re going to fight at
            all you should be clear that your objectives are attainable and that
            the cost of attaining them won’t leave you worse off than before.

            When you say attainable, in what time period do you mean?

            I think it may not be attainable in the short term, but certainly in the longer term, it may be.

            But you have to work for the long term from when, well, it’s still a long term outlook.

            You have mentioned yourself that “certain founding principles” were part of the driving factor in turning points or decision points of a country. But founding principles do not sustain itself just based on its credentials as a founding principle. After all, there are loads of founding principles of numerous states, including the U.S., that no longer necessarily apply.

            In fact, placard waving is just one form of the actions and words that work to sustain any principle in the collective mindset. This set of protests can (and I’m not guaranteeing it will) at least maintain a certain momentum over the medium term, and keep a significant enough chunk of the population in favour of their goals.

            Placed in a larger context, it may have its purpose. Just because it will not be evident in the short term, doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant. That’s to say, just because a goal cannot be attained in the short term, doesn’t mean action is unwarranted.

          • MeCampbell30

            “they promised free elections, not free choice of candidates”

            Some democracy. If elections can be “free” without the people choosing thier candidates, I’d hate to see what unfree elections look like.

          • Brido227

            So why is everyone complaining that the PRC “promised democracy” and then went back on its word? What was offered was clearly and explicitly stated as what is actually being given. They delivered precisely what they said they would.

            That it’s not what the protesters want is a secondary issue but what they want was not offered and is unlikely to be.

          • MeCampbell30

            I have no idea what you’re talking about. Article 45 and Article 68 guarantee universal suffrage. This isn’t a debate, it isn’t a back and fourth. Either the people of Hong Kong get what they negotiated or they take to the streets. Simple.

            Universal suffrage cannot mean that the PRC pre-selects the candidates. A voting for a pre-selected candidate is the illusion of suffrage.

          • Brido227

            “The Chief
            Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be selected by
            election or through consultations held locally and be appointed by the Central
            People’s Government.

            The method for selecting the Chief Executive shall be specified in the light of
            the actual situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and in
            accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The ultimate aim
            is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination
            by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic
            procedures.

            The specific method for selecting the Chief Executive is prescribed in Annex I:
            ‘Method for the Selection of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special
            Administrative Region’.”

            Annex 1 in
            full:

            “1. The
            Chief Executive shall be elected by a broadly representative Election Committee
            in accordance with this Law and appointed by the Central People’s Government.

            #2. The
            Election Committee shall be composed of 800 members from the following sectors:

            Industrial,
            commercial and financial sectors

            200

            The
            professions

            200

            Labour,
            social services, religious and other sectors

            200

            Members
            of the Legislative Council, representatives of district-based organizations,
            Hong Kong deputies to the National People’s Congress, and representatives of
            Hong Kong members of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political
            Consultative Conference

            200

            The term
            of office of the Election Committee shall be five years.

            3. The
            delimitation of the various sectors, the organizations in each sector eligible
            to return Election Committee members and the number of such members returned by
            each of these organizations shall be prescribed by an electoral law enacted by
            the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in accordance with the principles
            of democracy and openness.

            Corporate
            bodies in various sectors shall, on their own, elect members to the Election
            Committee, in accordance with the number of seats allocated and the election
            method as prescribed by the electoral law.

            Members of
            the Election Committee shall vote in their individual capacities.

            #4.
            Candidates for the office of Chief Executive may be nominated jointly by not
            less than 100 members of the Election Committee. Each member may nominate only
            one candidate.

            5. The
            Election Committee shall, on the basis of the list of nominees, elect the Chief
            Executive designate by secret ballot on a one-person-one-vote basis. The
            specific election method shall be prescribed by the electoral law.

            6. The
            first Chief Executive shall be selected in accordance with the Decision of the
            National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China on the Method for
            the Formation of the First Government and the First Legislative Council of the
            Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

            *7. If
            there is a need to amend the method for selecting the Chief Executives for the
            terms subsequent to the year 2007, such amendments must be made with the
            endorsement of a two-thirds majority of all the members of the Legislative
            Council and the consent of the Chief Executive, and they shall be reported to
            the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for approval.”

            No mention
            of universal suffrage, in fact a very specific limited number of those who can
            vote for the Chief Executive is specified.

            Article 68
            in full: “The Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative
            Region shall be constituted by election.

            The method for forming the Legislative Council shall be specified in the light
            of the actual situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and in
            accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The ultimate aim
            is the election of all the members of the Legislative Council by universal
            suffrage.

            The specific method for forming the Legislative Council and its procedures for
            voting on bills and motions are prescribed in Annex II: ‘Method for the
            Formation of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
            and Its Voting Procedures’.”

            Annex 2 in
            full: “I. Method for the formation of the Legislative Council

            #1. The Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
            shall be composed of 60 members in each term. In the first term, the
            Legislative Council shall be formed in accordance with the “Decision of the
            National People’s Congress on the Method for the Formation of the First
            Government and the First Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special
            Administrative Region”. The composition of the Legislative Council in the
            second and third terms shall be as follows :

            Second term

            Members
            returned by functional constituencies

            30

            Members
            returned by the Election Committee

            6

            Members
            returned by geographical constituencies through direct elections

            24

            Third term

            Members
            returned by functional constituencies

            30

            Members
            returned by geographical constituencies through direct elections

            30

            2. Except in the case of the first Legislative Council, the above-mentioned
            Election Committee refers to the one provided for in Annex I of this Law. The
            division of geographical constituencies and the voting method for direct
            elections therein; the delimitation of functional sectors and corporate bodies,
            their seat allocation and election methods; and the method for electing members
            of the Legislative Council by the Election Committee shall be specified by an
            electoral law introduced by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative
            Region and passed by the Legislative Council.

            II. Procedures for voting on bills and motions in the Legislative Council

            Unless otherwise provided for in this Law, the Legislative Council shall adopt
            the following procedures for voting on bills and motions :

            The passage of bills introduced by the government shall require at least a
            simple majority vote of the members of the Legislative Council present.

            The passage of motions, bills or amendments to government bills introduced by
            individual members of the Legislative Council shall require a simple majority
            vote of each of the two groups of members present: members returned by
            functional constituencies and those returned by geographical constituencies
            through direct elections and by the Election Committee.

            *III. Method for the formation of the Legislative Council and its voting
            procedures subsequent to the year 2007

            With regard to the method for forming the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong
            Special Administrative Region and its procedures for voting on bills and
            motions after 2007, if there is a need to amend the provisions of this Annex,
            such amendments must be made with the endorsement of a two-thirds majority of
            all the members of the Council and the consent of the Chief Executive, and they
            shall be reported to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress
            for the record.”

            Universal
            suffrage only mentioned as an ultimate goal and the current method for forming
            the Legislative Council to be “specified in the light of the actual situation
            in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and in accordance with the
            principle of gradual and orderly progress”

            As to
            whether Beijing has broken any promises, one of HK’s own experts in the Basic Law
            believes not http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-29454385. The Devil is
            always in the detail.

          • David

            Like Boss Tweed (a famous 19th century ‘fixer’ in New York) said “I don’t care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating”. Who said China can’t learn anything from the U.S.?.

        • Don’t Believe the Hype

          If the economy is all that the CCP has to offer, it should be worried. HK’ers aren’t as easily pursuaded by a buy-out. Read this: http://www.scmp.com/comment/blogs/article/1606761/my-responses-ten-things-they-say-about-occupy-students

        • Jahar

          Most countries can’t be self supporting without international trade. And why must a Democratic hong kong be without it?

          • Brido227

            Most countries are not so overwhelmingly dependent on a neighbour for their very existence, not even Singapore. Hong Kong imports most of its water, electricity and food from the Mainland which makes them horrifyingly dependant. Beijing and the and SAR executive are both very aware of this. I wonder how aware the protesters are – the recent waves of ‘anti-locust’ frothing doesn’t suggest to me any self-awareness of just how parasitic Hong Kong is on Mainland resources.

            In answer to your second question, Hong Kong will have trade if the markets, not democracy, decide that it will. This is what happens everywhere else, with or without democracy, and there’s no reason to expect this one location will be exempt. By making the city less reliably profitable (endless disruption, lost shipping time, increased storage and transportation costs, wasted staff time, etc.), HKers are handing businesses that are not strictly local a pretty big incentive to move operations elsewhere. You only need to look at how manufacturing shifted from Hong Kong to Shenzhen in response to differences in costs to see how easily it can happen.

          • Don’t Believe the Hype

            The whole point of the protest is to disrupt trade so that leaders will listen. This is what you have to do when you are left with no other option. What is the alternative, just sit by and take it? That is a slippery slope my friend. Reminds me of the quote I’m sure you have heard: The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing.
            Also your arguments keep resorting to Hong Kong’s economic development. I have two answers to that: first, economic dependance or want of growth is not a reason in and of itself to not want rights. In certain areas of the world materialism is not seen as a means unto itself, nor is growth seen as the be all end all. This does not mean that you don’t need some economic stability to want rights, but simply that having the one doesn’t discount the other. And by the same token you could blame the CCP for causing the disruption by simply not allowing HK to choose its own leaders to begin with. They have violated their own law and are now suffering the uncomfortable consequences of people standing up for what they believe in. Whether you believe they will succeed or not is irrelevant.

            Second, if the mainland is so intent on claiming Hong Kong, why do they so quickly jump to disowning it or cutting off its resources everytime they do something slightly contrary to their wishes. This does not foster cooperation but is the same old brow beating that has given the CCP an image of insecurity and jealous anger. Rather than trying to empathize they simply attack the motives and create further antagonisms. This is a very poor way of running a country, relying too highly on fear and intimidation.

          • Brido227

            The leaders have listened. They listened and then said, “Tough shit, you’re not getting it.” This is a fact and it’s not going to go away anytime soon.

            Hong Kong has a very restricted range of choices as a result. It can choose to go down guns blazing in the hope Beijing will care rather than just wave and sigh a sigh of relief, or they can make the best they can of a shitty situation driven in large part by forces of globalisation Beijing couldn’t control even if they wanted to.

            A democratically elected government in Hong Kong is not magically capable of turning back the clock to before Reform & Opening – that genie is out the bottle and we’ve all of us got to come to terms with what it means.

          • Jahar

            So you agree with me.

          • Brido227

            No, I don’t. I don’t think HK “needs” democracy to be economically successful in the way you implied. That’s a red herring. It has done very well so far without it.

            I do think HK needs to be economically successful to avoid the very things most protestors are complaining of – high costs of living, low wages, unemployment, etc. – becoming far worse than they currently are. The protests pose a great danger of jeopardising the stability of which investment depends and by that the very foundations of the HK economy.

            Without economic success, nobody gets anything. There isn’t enough money to pay for it.

          • oster

            @Brido227


            The protests pose a great danger of jeopardising the stability of which
            investment depends and by that the very foundations of the HK economy.

            I personally doubt things are as catastrophic as many people make out. It’s a relatively peaceful protest, with what is in the grand scheme of things, not really great disruption ot the general business of Hong Kong.

            Put it another way, the risks posed by the protests are not necessarily any more significant than the risk of an unrepresentative government pushing through decisions that may not be acquiesced by the population at large and cannot be overturned due to the lack of suffrage.

            Sure, China can cut the umbilical cord. There’s already been a lot of talk about how Hong Kong will hurt much more than China does (even though China will still feel the sting quite well) if that happens. But at the same time, at the same time, how likely is this vs. the protests fizzling out?

            I agree that economic success is vital, before any thoughts of democracy is entertained. But surely there has to be a defined threshold in which a Hong Konger can say, “we can afford it now”. Why is it not now, or at least in the next few decades?

          • Jahar

            I didn’t imply that at all.

          • Jahar

            They dont have to give up economic success for democracy. I dont know why u seem to think so

          • Brian227

            Because what the movement is explicitly asking for is contrary to the profitability of the city’s major industries and those industries have a wider range of options than ever before.

            Democracy isn’t a factor in their decision to base themselves in HK but what HK people say they’re going to vote for will be.

          • Jahar

            They are asking for an open vote. How is that contrary to the profitability of the cities major industries?

          • Brido227

            Because of what they say they intend to vote for.

          • Jahar

            And that is? The economic destruction of the city?

          • Brido227

            Whether they realise it or not, yes. They certainly have an explicit platform unfavourable to the profitability of the companies which keep HK in the style to which it’s become accustomed.

            Can 7m people generate that sort of GDP from local businesses? If not, what’s going to pay the hefty bills for keeping HK an international city?

          • Rick in China

            What are you talking about, what “explicit platform unfavourable to the profitability of the companies which keep HK in the style”, are you possibly talking about? Most HK’rs want to limit mainland investment in real estate – that’s for sure, are you referring to that? The change would bring about some problems for the super wealthy who are becoming super wealthier yes, but not the people who will never be able to afford housing, ever, in their lifetimes because it has been pushed out of reach. Are you talking about the corporations who are questionable about their positions in HK due to the political/military risk their current relationship and control by China creates? Because traditionally pro-FDI citizens taking control of their elected officials in the name of democracy would certainly be a positive in that regard.

            What…*exactly* is this “explicit” policy they support you’re referring to exactly?

          • Brido227

            Occupy is an anti-globalisation movement and HKs biggest earning companies are there because it’s a globalised city.

            It’s inherent to the movement that they want to change how favourable the city is to large businesses.

          • Rick in China

            Care to prove more vividly that you don’t know anything about that which you’re talking about?

            The HK protests going on now may have carried on largely *from* the Occupy movement, it is no longer anything resembling the original occupy movement, and the protests are having nothing to do with being *against global corporations*.

            *sigh* you need to read more, communicate with people involved in the protest, or take a trip. Any of the above would easily clear up your obvious misunderstanding and mischaracterisation of what’s going on.

          • Brido227

            Of course it has a lot of different segments, any umbrella organisation does. The students themselves are only one segment of it, with long-time activists, grassroots anti-thingsnotbeingliketheyusedtobeists and the generally pissed off outnumbering them by horrendous amounts.

            Are you honestly suggesting that these protest are happening because the people of Hong Kong passionately want the right for things to stay exactly as they are or that the businesses which have been in Hong Kong since forever care whether it’s democratic or not?

          • Rick in China

            What? I have no idea what you just said, even.
            “Are you honestly suggesting that these protest are happening because the people of Hong Kong passionately want the right for things to stay exactly as they are” >> No. I’m not suggesting there is a strong notion of wanting anything to stay the way it is, I’m suggesting there is a notion..based on the words of many protestors and leaders of the current movement, for universal suffrage and adherence to the original promises made by the PRC when UK handed control of HK over. That’s one of the main roots of the group, as proven through HK popvotes and such.

            “or that the businesses which have been in Hong Kong since forever care whether it’s democratic or not?”
            Um..yes. Businesses in HK have a strong reason to want political and socio-economic stability in the countries they operate in (in almost all cases). Large organisations often have ‘contingency plans’ and ‘exit plans’ and such for nations where they know shit might flip on them on a dime due to the place being, for example, a princeling oligarchy or authoritarian regime..if you work for a big corporation in the mainland, you would absolutely understand this concept – and would understand why they would have fears of growing control by the CCP who historically has a hard-on for providing significant benefit for mainland corporations over their foreign competitors.

          • Brido227

            If you’re going to agree so readily that the whole point of these protests is to change Hong Kong from what it is into something else, why bother disputing it in the first place?

            I’m confused as to why you’re responding to a point on the effects of democracy on business interests by talking about stability, particularly when the city concerned gained its reputation for stability without a single whiff of democracy whatsoever.

            Perhaps I shouldn’t be, since you seem intent on peddling the old “But Beijing promised!…” line. I’ll asume as a native English speaker you’re capable of reading the Basic Law and what it does and doesn’t say about the appointment of the city government, not to mention who has the final say. It’s Double-Ten Day and I’m off out. 三民主義,吾黨所宗…

          • Zappa Frank

            seems to me that GDP of HK was pretty good also before ’97 right?

          • Brido227

            Before ’97 would be the time it had even less claim to be a democracy than now?

          • Zappa Frank

            it is not just democracy, but also freedom that hkers enjoy now and enjoyed before but are not possible under the CCP.
            Besides is not clear to me the strange way of thinking that if something wrong has been done before (like not giving democracy) than to ask for it now is somehow not ok… No, to ask for democracy and freedom is always right, regardless of moments or the threats

          • Brido227

            To ask for something, knowing what the price will be and being willing to pay it is one thing. To walk blindly into a situation that will exacerbate the very problems you’re trying to solve is another.

            To ask for something knowing someone else will do the paying for you while pretending to have their interests at heart is utterly contemptible. That’s what the CCP is routinely accused of, why is it different just because the latest lot dress their rhetoric up with democracy rather than Marxism-Leninism?

          • Zappa Frank

            because actually it is just your supposition the ruin of HK. Besides to say that you should not want democracy and freedom because eventually may hurt your economy due to the revenge of an authoritarian state is not exactly a fine motivation..

          • Brido227

            No more or less a supposition than that free choice of candidates will have HK prancing around like fauns in Arkady regardless of what global markets have to say. The difference being there’s more real world evidence to support the view that life becomes far worse for ordinary folk. You only need to look at decolonialised Africa or the former Warsaw Pact states to see it.

          • Rick in China

            The arrogance. Are you from/in Hong Kong or just talking out of your ‘supposition’ filled ass? “To ask for something, knowing what the price will be and being willing to pay it is one thing. To walk blindly into a situation that will exacerbate the very problems you’re trying to solve is another.” Do you really think YOU have a much greater understanding of the situation in Hong Kong, and the impacts of the movement on Hong Kong should it succeed, than those who are in Hong Kong actually risking something for their values? Or are you just puffing up and blowing smoke with no skin in the game, nor any real understanding of what’s happening beyond reading some random shit online and pushing your own conclusions?

          • Brian227

            First of all, HK is not going to get what the protesters are asking for. That’s a fact of life and my discussion has started from that basis. The protesters can chooseir future response between giving up (unlikely), protesting in a way Beijing and the SAR government can ignore (unlikely) or protesting in ways that will disrupt the flow of commerce in the city (almost certainly their plan). The last case is the only one that’s really relevant and isn’t likely to change Beijing’s mind as they can afford to wait the protesters out safe in the knowledge that international businesses have a much lower threshold of patience when it comes to disruption to their activities and many more options than HK. It can even be argued that it’s in Beijing’s interest to let the protesters carry on since a Hong Kong with fewer external economic ties is more reliant on them while a bankrupt HK is one less pain in their arse to deal with.

            Secondly, who’s actually doing any risking? What’s the downside of failure going to e for Hong Kongers? “That things stay as they are” isn’t any meaningful definition of risk. Losing a job, driving out investment, scaring off international trade is the very definition of risk for a small city with few natural resources and an almost complete reliance on the China market.

            The risk lies wholly in the unforeseeable consequences of change and to suppose that people who feel strongly enough about the current balance of power in HK that they take to the streets won’t want to change it given the chance is naive in the extreme. Without a balance that works in their favour, why would the businesses who provide such a large proportion of HKs income (see the figures I provided earlier) prefer that city over friendlier rivals? Habit isn’t enough else there’d be no Shenzhen.

            Are you just leaping to the conclusion that democracy is the only system that will ever work with no downside ever? It’s situational.

          • Rick in China

            “First of all, HK is not going to get what the protesters are asking for.”

            Likely. However, the massive disruption they’re causing may lead to a compromise of sorts, whereas if they did nothing, they’d simply get fucked in the ass repeatedly. In the very least, it will make any future decisions consider “do we want another one of these on our hands”. No government likes the world watching closely with critical eyes at events they are absolutely obviously incapable of handling in a copacetic way, and having situations like this does have a lot of political/economic/social ‘secondary impacts’.

            “who’s actually doing any risking?”

            I don’t really understand what you’re saying in this paragraph. I don’t know where you get “that things stay as they are” from, either. They’re not asking for anything to stay the same, are they? They’re asking for the promises made to be kept, for universal sufferage and for candidates of their choosing. I don’t know what you’re implying here, but, to answer who is doing any risking, the risk is being taken by like a million+ Hong Kongers who are obviously willing to lose everything they’ve got to keep/gain the rights to self-determinism for their people. It’s a clear demonstration of what is IMPORTANT to these people — they are prioritizing self-determinism over all material things. This should be respected, not looked at with arrogance saying “oh how naive” or whatever nonsense continues to spew forth in this thread.

            “prefer that city over friendlier rivals? Habit isn’t enough else there’d be no Shenzhen.”

            Different industries operate better in different places. Shenzhen is a great factory town especially in consideration of logistics. I don’t know what businesses you think thrive most in Shenzhen, but um, yeah – it’s not for every business. I don’t know what specific businesses you’re referring to, but there are significant reasons for businesses to operate in Hong Kong, and not Shenzhen. One obvious reason (you’d know this if you did any business in HK whatsoever) is the fact that HK is one of the top 2 (along with Singapore) rated countries on the EFI every year, for many years. Business operations in HK have enormous benefit especially for foreign generated income where their HK taxes will be effectively zero. There are a lot of reasons people choose HK to run their shell or primary businesses, then open up branches in whatever other country they work from.

            “Are you just leaping to the conclusion that democracy is the only system that will ever work with no downside ever?”

            Of course not. I think you’re trying to leap there for me, though. If that’s the position you’re assuming, and arguing against, I have news for you:

            I do not believe democracy is the ideal form of government for everyone, everywhere – but I do believe people should have the right to choose what form of government leads them. One example of a government which seems to work extremely well, but maintain somewhat authoritarian presence (even though there’s ‘sorta’ a democracy), is Singapore…….but they are also accompanied by one of the lowest corruption ratings and highest adherence to the rule of law in the world, which when combined with almost any government structure would likely work out well.

          • Brido227

            “However,
            the massive disruption they’re causing may lead to a compromise of sorts,
            whereas if they did nothing, they’d simply get fucked in the ass repeatedly. In
            the very least, it will make any future decisions consider “do we want
            another one of these on our hands”. No government likes the world watching
            closely with critical eyes at events they are absolutely obviously incapable of
            handling in a copacetic way, and having situations like this does have a lot of
            political/economic/social ‘secondary impacts’.”

            If HK sets out to be a thorn in Beijing’s side, then I reckon they’ll be more likely to tackle it now – particularly when Xi’s authority is at its height and
            the losers from his campaigns are nursing grievances. An economically-neutered HK can be ignored, an economically-vibrant one less so. It’s hard to see a
            convincing rationale for Beijing to allow compromise, which leaves protesters with the options I laid out and their respective consequences for the city’s fortunes. I reckon they’ll go for the “let’s take to the streets again” option and eventually be left wondering where all the foreigners went.

            “They’re not asking for anything to stay the same, are they?”

            That’s my entire point. They want things to change whereas the business community want them to stay the same because they value stability over all else. ‘Stability’ isn’t some mystic force that only comes with democracy, it’s that things tomorrow will be largely the same as today. If democracy is the norm, then maintaining that is stability – if ‘high-level autonomy’ is the norm, then retaining that is stability.

            “They’reasking for the promises made to be kept, for universal sufferage and for candidates of their choosing.”

            I’ve already gone to great lengths to quote from the Basic Law so that people can see what was actually promised and what was not so I don’t fancy continually
            refuting this load of old toot every time it’s raised. Nobody promised free choice of candidates, it just didn’t happen and no amount of repetition can make it so.

            “It’s a clear demonstration of what is IMPORTANT to these people — they are prioritizing self-determinism over all material things. This should be respected, not looked at with arrogance saying “oh how naive” or
            whatever nonsense continues to spew forth in this thread.”

            Nobody doubts it’s important. It’s just totally irrelevant in matter of cold hard fact. They’re not getting what they want so what they should be doing is to make sure that they can get the best deal out of the options that actually are achievable. You’re familiar with Don Quixote, perhaps? He’s not a good role model for political campaigning.

            “I don’t know what specific businesses you’re referring to, but there are significant reasons for businesses to operate in Hong Kong, and not Shenzhen”

            I was not suggesting that the businesses currently in Hong Kong will move to Shenzhen, I was using the fact that an earlier generation had to illustrate that nothing pins businesses to Hong Kong and they will move away if their bottom line dictates. It happened once, why not again?

            “I do not believe democracy is the ideal form of government for everyone, everywhere – but I do believe people should have the right to choose what form of government leads them. One example of a government which seems to work extremely well, but maintain somewhat authoritarian presence (even though there’s ‘sorta’ a democracy), is Singapore…….but they are also accompanied by one of the lowest corruption ratings and highest adherence to the rule of law in the world, which when combined with almost any government structure would likely work out well.”

            We’re in almost complete agreement here but what you’re describing was not too far away from the entirely non-democratic Crown Colony Hong Kong – the system on which Hong Kong’s reputation and fortune were both made. It works and investors loathe unpredictable change of the sort that will happen if the people protesting have been truthful about the grievances they’ve aired and suddenly gain control of policy.

          • Zappa Frank

            Please, decolonized Africa are nothing like HK. About ex-soviets allies you really would like to ask them if they are better now or before, or if they are better than the others remained under Russia’s influence?

          • Brido227

            Hong Kong is not the US or UK, nor Republic of China for the matter. My point was that tripping gaily towards Freedom And Democracy has more often resulted in those places tripping over their own shoelaces than it has general prosperity.

            It’s interesting you were so quick to discount the parallel on the basis that one place is not the same as another and so lessons can’t be derived that will apply universally. Does this mean you think some places are not suited to democracy?

          • Zappa Frank

            no, just evident differences between poor and uneducated country and one of the most educated and rich..just to say. That is also what make the differences between a democracy that fail and one that rise. Places where democracy failed were not anywhere close to HK.

          • Alex Dương

            Yes, and it’s still good. The “problem” is that at the time of the Handover, Hong Kong accounted for 18% of China’s GDP. Today, it is 3% of China’s GDP. The rest of China is catching up, and HKers don’t have a monopoly on certain advantages they once had.

          • Jahar

            Again, who is paying for it now, and why does that have to change in the people can choose their own leaders?

          • Brido227

            Have a look for yourself http://www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp110.jsp?tableID=193&ID=0&productType=8. The top two sources of HK government income (profits tax and salaries tax) are directly related to multinational businesses and HK’s position as a globalised market. The third one is Stamp Duty, payable on real estate transactions and directly linked to an open housing market.

            What are the main sources of discontent in HK right now apart from the democracy debate? Cost of living, house prices, the squeezing of local businesses and a host of others whose root cause is the world outside not playing by the comfortable old rules the Crown Colony grew up with.

            If you genuinely believe that a free vote by the residents of HK won’t change that then I don’t think you’ve been paying attention to what those other than the photogenic student leaders say they want. The protesters aren’t going to be in charge in a democratic HK, the ordinary folk will be and they’ll be pressing their own immediate interests same as anywhere else.

          • Jahar

            Why is a democratic HK guaranteed to lose money from those sources?

          • Brido227

            Because “We don’t like the cosy relationship between business and government in HK!” is likely to translate into policies that hurt those relationships under a government elected to address the commonly-expressed grievances? Not really difficult to work out, you just need to listen to what the various protesting groups are saying they’re protesting about.

          • Jahar

            you think an elected leader is just going to tell all the businesses to fuck off with all their money?

          • Brido227

            I think an elected government wishing to be re-elected will do what those who elect it want it to.

            I don’t see any reason to suggest that the people of Hong Kong will be any happier with high costs of living, unemployment and unaffordable housing just because they’ve put a cross on a bit of paper, which means the government either ignores them and takes the consequences or enacts less business-friendly policies.

          • Jahar

            I’m sure anyone who gets voted in isn’t going to do anything that hurts the economy to any great extent.

          • Brido227

            What’s to stop the majority voting them straight out at the first opportunity and replacing them with someone who talks the talk they wanted to hear first time round?

            The populist measures being demanded (increase wages, close off investment, restrict property sales, etc.) are inherently harmful to the good of the HK economy. It’s why people who’ve never experienced fully-free elections want them now.

      • Capitan Picard

        Stupid idiot. I live in former Yugoslavia, we wanted democracy, and we got it. The country fall apart. Today we have too many countries in small area, poor economy, and we all crying for former country. Learn from our experience fool !

        • oster

          Croatia’s doing quite decently, as is Slovenia.

          Or are you just thinking of Yugoslavia as Serbia?

          Also, are you actually saying that had Yugoslavia remained under an authoritarian government, you’d be magically richer?

          • Capitan Picard

            I live in Bosnia, it is though, Croatia is little better, Slovenia very good, Serbia similar to Bosnia, Montenegro and Macedonia are in worst position. I live there and there is no country in former Yugoslavia that its people does not regret for dissolution of it. The only thing people doesn’t agree is who to blame for war. If we were smarter, we would concentrate on economy and EVOLUTION rather than REVOLUTION and stupid tribe wars. HK can be only stronger together with China. My opinion is, yes, they need reforms, they need to solve problems, but TOGETHER !

          • mr.wiener

            Most of the former Yugoslavia’s ills stemmed from the lack of a strong authoritarian govt holding all the nationalities together…That and a bunch of greedy ruthless MFers fighting for power. Other former Warsaw pack nation had similar transitions , some did not. The situation in HK is quite different.
            It might be tempting to apply the former Yugo model to China, but I’m not sure the ethnic rifts that exist there are quite so bitter and exploitable or recent.

    • Derek_V

      You are not a Christian. You are a stupid cunt.

    • Alan Dale Brown

      It’s not remotely analogous. Hong Kong – although it has not been fully democratic – did not have a strong-man leader actively imprisoning opposition groups. There’s no Muslim brotherhood in Hong Kong, no history of military dictatorship. I do not believe there are two or more opposing groups that have deep animosity to each other. Hong Kong is educated, prosperous, and world-wise; they’re exposed to the wider world. If there was ever a place that was more than ready for democracy, it’s Hong Kong.

    • Jahar

      Is he American?

    • nondimwit

      • Iraq: ran by a guy that routinely raped, tortured and murdered his own people for political purposes.
      • Libya: ran by a guy that raped, tortured and murdered his own people for political purposes.
      • Egypt: Ran by a guy that…

      Democracy is messy, but eventually worth it; but i understand that people like you only see things in their immediate state of being; part of the “give it to me now” generation.

      America took hundreds of years to build, so who expects any other fledgling Democracy to do it over night.

    • dave

      So, you understand that the problem with Western and Western-led democracies imposed is their lack of democracy?

      Good. Then you will logically agree that more democracy is the answer.

    • jon9521

      The fact that you are christian means that you support corrupt unrepresentative government?

  • Wodowsan

    Hong Kong democracy ‘grandfather’ says Britain was better than China

    “Activist and legislator Martin Lee – hit by tear gas while protesting this week – speaks of his life as a leading pro-democracy intellectual who has long fought for greater freedom in his native city. He says Britain should speak up now.”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2014/0930/Hong-Kong-democracy-grandfather-says-Britain-was-better-than-China

    • Xia

      Naive to set hope on Britain, considering how Britain acted when Hong Kong was her colony and what deal she made with China during the handover. The British Empire was created through cannon boats not democracy, this is still lingering in the memory of much of Britain’s political establishment.

      • Wodowsan

        All very true. So what does it say that you have Hong Kongers that wish to go back to the British? Beijing must be really screwing up.

        • Xia

          It’s just a political trick to use Britain as leverage, no one is really thinking of going back to the British.

          • Wodowsan

            Of course not, and they are rightfully trying to shame Beijing they are no better off under their domain than they were under a foreign power half way around the world and to some ways better off as imperfect as it was being a British colony that meddled much less in the daily lives of the people of Hong Kong. There is also the looming threat they are under when Hong Kong goes back to complete control under Beijing, no longer a one country/two systems, but only one country with one dictatorial system. It is a reason more young people are protesting.

  • RaphaeI

    Its so sad to see the “Pearl of the Orient” being destabilized by rioters, anarchists, terrorists, extremists and other agitators on the payroll of foreign agents. This is a trading city, and their prosperity depends on a perception of stability or orderliness, especially from outsiders. The more the riots continue, the more foreign businesses will flee – they will relocate to Shanghai or Shenzhen if they’re looking for a “gateway” to the China market. Ordinary HKers will suffer from these severe economic disruptions. They should bring out their kitchen knives and baseball bats and start laying into the terrorists trying to hold their city hostage. Make sure there are no vacant hospital beds in the entire city. Follow the good example of this local hero and his mighty open-handed slap:

    http://i.imgur.com/6jrECN9.gif

    • Nocturne

      Weren’t the communists also “foreign agents” from the USSR?

    • Time101

      ‘anarchists, terrorists, extremists and other agitators on the payroll of foreign agents’

      anarchists? They tidy up the litter, something the mainlanders would do well to emulate
      terrorists? Only the government has used violence so far
      extremists? For wanting a reasonable involvement in their own government?
      foreign agents? Do you have any evidence for this?

      Come on Internet tough guy, please provide some evidence not just cut-and-paste gifs

    • KamikaziPilot

      I know I’m probably dating myself and you probably won’t get this unless you’re American (or watched it overseas) but when I saw that I immediately thought of Paul from the “Wonder Years”. Look it up, the resemblance is there.

      • Alex Dương

        I didn’t see it at first, but I do now.

    • Wodowsan

      Are you saying the guy smacking the thin guy with glasses is the rioter, anarchists, extremists, and agitator? It is more likely it is the pro-Beijing uber-nationalist is the violent one is this clip you posted. If anything you proving the case why the protesters do not want to be under Beijing control. A nation ruled by thugs and gangsters. That smack someone for only disagreeing with them.

  • MidniteOwl

    Hong Kong’s may not mind being ruled by the UK, but fuck no if it’s under the CCP. We don’t want the mainland type of society. Progress, not regression!

    • Xia

      Is being a colony that much fun? You may go to the UK, but Hong Kong stays.

  • Alan Dale Brown

    Hypocritical? Sure. Is it still the right thing to support the citizens in Hong Kong in their protest? Absolutely.

    Hypocritical stances aren’t necessarily wrong, just hypocritical.

    If I’m beating my wife, while publicly protesting wife-beating, should I stop beating my wife, or should I stop my protest?

    • Don’t Believe the Hype

      exactly. you can argue that the protesters or its supporters are hypocritical or naiive, but what the CCP is doing is trying to discredit the idea of riots flat out, accusing them of fomenting chaos, racism and selfishness. Same old story.

      • Alan Dale Brown

        You mean, to discredit the idea of protests … riots are generally a discredited idea. :)

    • KamikaziPilot

      The thing about being hypocritical is that your intentions come into question, and rightfully so. Ex. If the US supports full democracy in HK it could very well be because they want to contain China and weaken the leadership in China, as opposed to being truly concerned with providing democracy and “freedom” for a group of people half way around the world. So while it may not necessarily be wrong, it still doesn’t look good and takes away a lot of credibility from those being hypocrites. I’ve never been convinced any country is truly concerned with the well being of other countries citizens, at least as a primary motive for their foreign policies. What really drives the policies are things like money, politics, and self interests. This goes for all governments and is what’s happening with the criticism of China with regard to HK.

      • Alan Dale Brown

        If China became authentically democratic – do you really think it would be weaker? While it would be less of a threat to Western interests – not being a threat is quite a bit different than being weaker. The self-interest logic does not conflict with a genuine desire to promote democracy.

        The problem is that the CCP’s authority is sufficiently precarious that they see these protests in Hong Kong as a threat to stability in all of China. From all appearances, instead of improving their legitimacy – by having a plan to increase democracy – it looks as if they want to crush these protests. The deeper threat to prosperity and strength in China is the government clinging to an authoritarian model; the longer they push it off, the more precarious their position.

        • KamikaziPilot

          I’m not sure if China would become weaker, probably in the long run it would become stronger but here’s the thing. I place a strong emphasis on the right to self-determination, however you want to define it. This means that the West shouldn’t interfere with that I consider a domestic matter regarding HK and China. I also believe the self interest logic does conflict with the promotion of western style democracy, which isn’t for everyone.

          My main point is let China and HK deal with their problems on their own. HK seems to be moving towards greater democracy but it will take time. I do agree that with the current China government and their policies, one day things will boil over. But then again change is inevitable for everyone. The UK or China of 100 years ago isn’t the same UK or China of today.

          • Alan Dale Brown

            Are press reports “interference”? Are these protests not coming from the people of Hong Kong themselves? By “western style democracy”, does that equate with “not letting the CCP hand pick the leaders for Hong Kong?” What exactly is it that is offensive about “western style democracy”? Besides the word “western”? Why is it okay for Korea, Japan, India? Some people should remind the China that communism is a western concept … Marx developed his ideas in London …

          • KamikaziPilot

            Press reports are not interference. I was just referring to the history of Western countries interfering in the affairs of other countries for their own benefit. I also think that as foreign news outlets have a right to spin this story however they want (and they will), it’s totally legitimate for Chinese to question the motives of these reports and their hypocrisy. I’d say western style democracy would be letting HK pick all it’s own leaders. Since when did saying “western style democracy isn’t for everyone” imply that I meant that term was offensive? I’m just saying it’s not for everyone, at least not currently. Communism may have originated in the West but in the contemporary world it’s not really associated with the west. If you go by ancient history, communism could be considered more “western” than democracy but the common perception is that communism isn’t associated with the west, just like we’re all from Africa originally but most of us don’t identify as “Africans”. Regarding communism and it’s association with the west, perception matters more than reality.

          • MeCampbell30

            The self determination argument doesn’t go very far when member of the communist party are doing all the “self-determining.” Outside nations (or people generally) have an obligation to prevent human rights abuses. Self-determination is not an ironclad shield that should protect from all criticism.

          • KamikaziPilot

            I won’t argue whether it’s better for China or the West to meddle in HK since that’s an endless argument but if you go by that logic then both are wrong and HK should just be left alone. However HK is a SAR of China, so I’ll leave it at that. Preventing “human rights abuses” is good in theory but it often doesn’t work out in practice. Too easy to use that as a pretense for other activities. Ex. why doesn’t America try to prevent “human rights abuses” in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia rather than China? Is the human rights situation better in Saudi Arabia than in China?

            I still maintain my stance that most countries (including the US and China) are far less concerned with “human rights” when compared to things like money, prestige and political influence.

        • Rozu

          Depends on how democracy is achieved though. Successful ones happens through gradual reforms and eventual stepping down of the ruling party over many decades, while unsuccessful ones comes from violent coups and unrests where the biggest and angriest mob rules. The ccp was founded from middle class student protests and activists who first pushed for democracy then a civil war, rest is history. A classic example of owell’s pigs. So if the real intention of encouraging unrest in china in the name of democracy, then the successful outcome of that might well be a repeat of china’s recent history where the country went back decades at cost of millions lives.
          But with the world’s oligarchs cashing in on china’s consumers. Derailing the economy and growth just enough for China to stall reforms (by spooking the ccp) that actually benefit the ppl and their country in the long run will be strongly suspected from a hypocritic.

  • Wow, those comments are pretty awful. It’s amazing how people can talk about a desire for self-rule as some ridiculous childish obsession. I think a lot of it is that China has been through so much recently that a lot of people just want calm and order no matter what. Hong Kong, as a richer place that had a less horrifying 20th century than the rest of China, is ahead of the curve in moving from being happy with economic success to demanding political rights.

    • Jannick Slavik

      Self-rule by who? for who?

      It’s patently obvious this is connected to the Aug 2014 PBOC’s comments on whole-sale selling of US treasury bonds.

      About 3 weeks ago, J. Wong went on a global publicity tour announcing the start of the protests.

      this is just operationalized regime destabilization, like we have seen a dozen or so times in the last 15 years.

      events are moving quickly. prepare accordingly (i.e. get ready to get out of China)

      • MeCampbell30

        As someone who works in finance, you have no idea what you’re talking about. The less the PBOC acts to increase reserves, the more the yuan can fluctuate with the exchange rate. That means less reliance on exports and possibly more domestic industry (even if it is centrally planned). That also means more money in Chinese pockets to buy foreign goods.

  • KamikaziPilot

    Sounds like something I would say. I wonder if we’ve met before?

  • Exchequer

    Sounds like mainlanders can’t conduct any civilized discourse without resorting to expletives and race-baiting.

  • Xia

    With the increasing competition from mainland cities like Shanghai or Shenzhen, Hong Kong looses its unique position as a gateway for foreign investments into China like it had prior to the opening of mainland China. Consequently, Hong Kong is making less profits and facing worse prospects than before. If the economy is the root of Hong Kong’s social problems, then choosing a Chief Executive that is working against Beijing may not be the solution to that problem or increase the chance that Hong Kong’s economy will prosper.

    • Alan Dale Brown

      Then give the people of Hong Kong a choice …

    • Jannick Slavik

      “then choosing a Chief Executive that is working against Beijing may not be the solution to that problem or increase the chance that Hong Kong’s economy will prosper.”

      But it will be a tremendous boon to those trying to weaken China.

      Therein lies the reality.

  • Alex Dương

    The terms aren’t “forbidden.” Deflection is massively overused, and you misused ad hominem.

    • If I May

      It was clearly ad hominem because you assumed that I didn’t know anything about CIA misdeeds, and rather than addressing what I said, you “attacked the man” (i.e. attempted to mislead the readers by implying that I’m ignorant). Classic ad hominem.

      • Alex Dương

        Suggesting that you read the CIA’s history on regime change when you claim that it isn’t relevant is not an ad hominem.

        • If I May

          You tone was inappropriate. It sounded condescending. You got that ball rolling, not me, and I ended up biting. What you did was trollish. Sorry.

          • Alex Dương

            An “inappropriate tone” isn’t ad hominem.

          • If I May

            Ad hominem: Appealing to personal considerations (rather than to fact or reason).

            The implicit condescension in, “Maybe you should read up on the CIA’s history,” is ad hominem because it appeals to personal considerations rather that fact or reason. In other words, you implied that I was uninformed. Alex, you could have simply asked if I was familiar with CIA covert operations and the like; instead, you made a somewhat transparent “attack”. Not cool for a mod. Frankly, you should have the humility (as I did just a few minutes ago) and apologize for that. Have a good one.

          • Alex Dương

            Read the definition you gave again: “rather than to fact or reason.” I pointed you to the facts: I gave you a link that overviews the CIA’s history with respect to regime change. So again, not an ad hominem.

  • bob

    If the China government system is so good, then why would Hong Kong people fight against something good. The fact is the government system in Hong Kong works for them, and they are fighting for their rights and their freedom. Changing systems takes away freedom, and brings corruption.

    • Kai

      China isn’t trying to install a “China government system” in Hong Kong. In fact, it saw its decision on the 2017 CE election as giving HK greater democracy. HK’s protesters feel it isn’t enough. HKers aren’t fighting against something good, they’re fighting for something better.

      The fact is that the government system in HK isn’t working for the HK poor and middle classes, and that’s why they’re protesting. The existing government system in HK is popularly seen as representing the moneyed business elites. It was a system that the British set up and a system that Beijing continued.

      This worked as long as there was enough economic growth in HK.

      But HK’s economy has been stagnant for quite some time now after multiple financial crises and despite Beijing pumping tourism in. HK’s youth are pessimistic about their future economic prospects. They reason that they can improve their situation if they can vote for a CE that better caters to their interests. It’s very reasonable.

      They aren’t fighting for rights and freedom, they’re fighting for more rights. Freedom (relatively speaking) they already have. They’re fighting to CHANGE the system, to replace the current one that is biased towards the wealthy for one that is potentially more representative to broader HK society.

      • FlyingTiger

        Nice synopsis.

  • BiginHK

    People seem to think Hong Kong is a British creation. It’s not. It was a British trading post. It was created during the Civil war after the defeat of the Japanese, by the Great Leap Forward and mostly by the Cultural Revolution by refugees looking for a better life from politics. Hong Kong is pretty apolitical – it’s not about democracy, more about freedom to make their own choices for their future. The decision on the 2017 (not 2019) universal suffrage mechanism should be protested, whether it will change Beijing’s mind or not. Nationalistic Chinese commentary miss the point.

    • SongYii

      lol… hk is not a british creation.

  • Xia

    Imagine a people with “warped, anti-social values and world-view” getting democracy and actually running the country – It’s the very irony of the ‘rule of the people’.

    • If I May

      I know. That’s why China is virtually hopeless for the near future. Maybe after several generations… In the meantime, I hope that they won’t mess up things further for the people of HK.

  • Xia

    The low self-esteem now is in stark contrast with the cockiness that pre-colonialism China regarded the rest of the world. Just one example: http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/ps/china/qianlong_edicts.pdf
    The higher you fly, the harder you fall. There is this long suppressed desire burning to get even with the old rivals who are running the world today.

  • Karze

    Deng Xiopeng has signed between the dotted lines in 1997 during the handover of Hongkong that in 2017 there will be democratic rights for the Hongkonger including election.

    Why is Communist Party of China afraid of election. Except for China, North Korea and Cuba almost every country including even Afghanistan, Somalia choose election as mode to choose their government officials.

    • YourSupremeCommander

      Look, the “democracy” that was agreed on only lasts what 50 or 70 years? I can’t remember exactly… but after that it will be back to communist business as usual. So why get your hopes hight when you know it will be back to square one?

  • Karze

    China calls UK, Japan as imperialist while its occupation is not imperialism of Tibet, East Turkestan, Inner Mongolia is white washed as liberation.

    • Alex Dương

      Chinese claims to Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia definitely stem from China’s imperial past.

      • SongYii

        past?

        • Alex Dương

          All three date back to the Qing Empire from 1644 to 1758.

          • SongYii

            i meant to suggest they are still imperial… islands and seas of sorts.

          • Alex Dương

            The South China Sea dispute predates the formation of the PRC. The Diaoyu / Senkaku dispute came after, but even there, the claim is essentially irredentist.

          • SongYii

            …. and still continue to today, is the point.

            Irredentism is a tactic of Beijing imperialism.

          • Alex Dương

            Is every country involved in a land / maritime dispute “imperialist”?

            Irredentist from China’s. Japan itself claims that everything (or anything) that happened before 1895 is “irrelevant, nothing to see here, move on.”

          • SongYii

            Sorry… misunderstood your previous message at the moment I posted, edited a moment later

            No, disputes are not inherently imperialist. But Beijing (and numerous capitals that came before it) has a pretty well established track record of claiming lands by insisting they were *always* part of China.

          • Alex Dương

            I agree that Beijing’s history is pretty bad. Nonetheless, if you’re talking about the South China Sea and Diaoyu / Senkaku in particular, China (then the ROC) was involved from the beginning in the SCS dispute along with Vietnam (then French Indochina). It was Malaysia and the Philippines who entered decades later.

            Was SCS always part of China? Maybe, maybe not. But China didn’t suddenly enter the dispute way after and start saying “this was always ours.” It arguably said that from the start of the dispute.

            As I said, Tokyo itself has no interest whatsoever in arguing history before 1895. Bring it up and they will quickly say that it doesn’t matter. I’m sure you can guess why.

          • SongYii

            Haha, well, thats how disputes start.

            Point is, Beijing has a pattern of this kind of behavior, so their position in other similar disputes like SCS and Diaoyu/Senaku are more suspect.

            Moreover, neither territory was in the spotlight until Beijing began to wrestle for resources, control of shipping lanes, and a buffer between theirs and the US navy.

            I don’t think China is 100% wrong in these two particular cases, but they think they are 100% right, and that is 100% wrong. I also think they are stupid to piss off all their neighbors. China’s only got two allies in its immediate region, and both are somewhat tenuous relationships.

          • Alex Dương

            By pattern, are you referring to Tibet and Xinjiang?

          • SongYii

            More or less.

            Plenty of countries throughout the world control territories that didn’t belong to them either 2000 years ago or 200 years ago. The good lord knows the United States is one of those (entirely).

            But they do not delude themselves with the notion that their minorities and far flung regions are and always have been a part of their fold. I don’t know what they teach in Chinese primary schools, but when I talk to my university students, thats exactly what they seem to believe.

            So it depends on how far you want to go back. Tibet and Xinjiang are more recent. Eastern Siberia may be on the table in coming decades. Who knows what they’ll one day claim in Vietnam if they find something other than jungle there.

            But whatever they do, they work goddamn hard to circumvent any possibility that they may be accused of imperialism, because that would hurt their position.

          • Alex Dương

            As I said, Beijing’s official history is full of crap. If that’s your criticism, I share it. But Chinese claims to Tibet and Xinjiang date back to 1725 and 1758, respectively. So the reality is that they have controlled these regions for over 200 years. They didn’t start controlling them in 1949 or 1951.

          • SongYii

            What? Come on man, you asked me elaborate, and I did. Now you’re coming back with an “as I said” and appending with something that isn’t even inconsistent with what I said.

            But now I should I point out that you should know better than what you’re saying… for much of that time between between the early and mid 18th century to mid 20 century, China could barely keep in central regions under control, much less today’s western provinces. So, claim and control have important distinctions here.

            Ridiculous.

          • Alex Dương

            Now you’re coming back with an “as I said” and appending with something that isn’t even inconsistent with what I said.

            ? Of course it isn’t inconsistent; I said, quote, “If that’s your criticism, I share it.” I hope you don’t teach your students that “as I said” always points to a disagreement.

            But now I should I point out that you should know better than what you’re saying… for much of that time between between the early and mid
            18th century to mid 20 century, China could barely keep in central regions under control, much less today’s western provinces. So, claim and control have important distinctions here.

            Qianlong reigned from 1735 to 1796. While he is to be blamed for the ultimate decline of the Qing Empire, during his lifetime, the Qing reached its apex. So I disagree that China “could barely keep” its central regions under control starting from “The early and mid 18th Century.”

            If you’re talking about the Taiping Rebellion, that was from 1850 to 1864. So that’s a tad under 100 years after Xinjiang became a part of the Qing Empire. The Qing regained control of Taiping-controlled territories after 1864. If you’re talking about the Donggan Revolt, that was from 1862 to 1877. That rebellion was also crushed.

            Qing control over the border regions was not as tenuous as you claim.

          • SongYii

            I think that I am saying stuff, and then you are just saying something that you want to say thats not consistent with my messages. So I’m just going to bow out here, this is pointless….. ::crowd cheers, chants ‘encore!’::

          • Alex Dương

            Facts can be inconvenient.

          • SongYii

            Oh, fuck dude, you really can’t just shut up, can you? You and fucking Kai go out of your way to trivialize people on this forum, I *suppose* because you are mods and get off on that, by shoving convoluted or overly-specific nonsense down our throats and always trying to get the last word, and theres no end until the casual commenter just moves on.

            Well, how about before you respond with some flippant, shit faced little 6 year old response like “nerr, I’m Al fuckin Gore, facts can be inconvenient, neeeeeeeer” you fully read the messages to which you are responding?

            I didn’t say “China couldn’t control the Western provinces from the mid 18th century on” I said “much of that time,” a rather important qualifier which points to the decades of civil war, invasion, and turmoil during which it really didn’t have much if any direct control. So can it with the details of Table 7.1 in your university history book that you just pulled off the shelf, I don’t care!

            And immediately before that, you detail the dates, circa 250 years ago, when China first made claims on the Western provinces, which was consistent with my message you were responding to in which I said “plenty of countries control regions today that they didn’t control a long time ago.” Your response was absolutely pointless. If I say “well, we know what 2 and 2 add up to” nobody needs you to say “4,” but you just gotta say it!

            I can’t WAIT to see what jerk off kind of response you’re going to come back with this time. Will it nitpick about the precise wording of a common phrase when the average reader will understand it clearly anyway? Or will be a list of China’s emperor’s birthdays throughout history? I don’t know! Could be anything! But I bet 10 yuan and a hooker’s panties it will be only tangentially related to anything we have spoken about in this thread.

            G’night, Yu-rong!

          • Alex Dương

            If you want to argue that you’re being nitpicked, you’d have to make a statement is mostly correct to begin with. In your case, you did not. If “China could barely keep central regions under control for much of that time between between the early and mid 18th century to mid 20 century,” then it’s absolutely amazing that the Qing Empire lasted until 1911. How did they manage to stave off complete collapse for over 150 years if they were busy fighting frontier wars while the heart of the country was not under control?

            Well, the answer is obvious: the heart of the country was under pretty firm control in the early and mid 18th Century. It was the mid 19th Century when shit started hitting the fan. You’re not off by one or even ten years; you’re off by 100 years. Now 100 years is nothing when we talk about the age of the universe, but when we’re talking about a specific era of one country’s history, 100 years makes a big difference.

            And again, your argument that “locust” isn’t an epithet would only hold if “avoid like locust(s)” were a common phrase. It isn’t. In context, “locust” is clearly a *cough* term of abuse directed at mainland Chinese. You are wrong on this, period.

          • Rick in China

            Lets not misuse the word “control” – most of Chinese dynasty relationships with other nations existed under imperial relationships – ie, they were paid in exchange for not being conquered militarily. There’s a significant difference between harbouring these type of relationships and OWNING the actual people and their land….

          • Alex Dương

            Xinjiang and Tibet were not independent nations between 1725 / 1758 and 1911. They were not even under Chinese suzerainty; they were under Chinese sovereignty, full stop.

  • Karze

    All the news coverage on Hongkong mass protest is blocked in China.

  • Karze

    Communist party is afraid of election and free media.

  • SongYii

    no, i wrote that poorly… change ‘to’ to ‘compared to,’ i think makes the sarcasm more clear.

  • Ayoo

    Free world? Democracy? Give me a concrete, example of how democracy impacts on the every days lives of people.
    Economic empowerment?
    Well with the exception of USA all the economic superpowers (UK, Germany, China and Japan) went through their most dramatic economic improvements when they were under authoritarian governments
    Happiness?
    Depression is one of the biggest problems facing democratic countries

    What I’m trying to say is not democracy is bad, but rather I think democracy is overly abstract, what does it actually give to people. Is it worth taking the risk of possibly being the next Russia, Iraq, Syria?
    I mean do you wake up everyday and go oh I love my democratic country?
    Likewise do you think people in China go fml authoritarian country?

    Chinese government has many of its faults mainly corruption but it seems that people overlook these faults and think that democracy will change everything. I disagree.

    • Nocturne

      Democracy transcends economic development. It’s about the right to free speech, the right to be tried fairly, and the right to choose the laws of your nation.

      • Jannick Slavik

        huh?

        democracy is about the right of free sppech? tried fairly? choose laws? ???? how on earth did you assemble this?

        at least in canada, we have a trusteeship democracy, at best. the system is manipulated to narrow down 1-2 “acceptable” candidates who “run” for office. massive bribes are paid to media outlets for favorable coverage and massive promises are made to corporate players for donor support.

        democracy, as it impacts the electorate, is simply summed up as the ability to “cast a vote.”

        if anything, having uninformed low information voters with the right to “vote” is a net negative on society.

      • Brido227

        “Democracy transcends economic development”. I have to say I disagree. I think for democracy to be meaningful people have to have a modest level of education or experience of the nation beyond their own backyard as well as a reasonable security of livelihood, both of which are a consequence of economic development. Without these, even a vote cast out of genuine conviction isn’t likely to be an informed and dispassionate one – you only need to look at the various results of applying ‘Mass Line’ policies in China to see how disastrous it can be at its extremes.

        The other consideration in poverty-stricken locations is how easy and inexpensive it is to corrupt elections. Given the choice, if you were a landless peasant who survived by selling your labour, would you rather sell it by working your a local landholder’s fields or sell it by voting for the candidate of his choice that day? It’s not hard to see what would be in your immediate interest even if it harms your abstract long-term interests.

        • Nocturne

          So you fear the possibility corrupt elections, but where are your fears the corruptions that already exists today?

          • Brido227

            Hong Kong is currently one of the least corrupt places in Asia. Why throw that away for the sake of ideology?

          • Nocturne

            I’m referring to elections in the rest of China. Furthermore, I highly doubt elections would be corrupted in Hong Kong.

          • Brido227

            Why? We’re not talking about the rest of China. In the rest of China democracy would simply substitute one form of kleptocracy for another.

            Hong Kong doesn’t need democracy to be wealthy, nor does it need democracy for clean government. Once you strip away those two reasons, what’s left makes a weak case for bettering the lives of the people most effected by globalisation.

    • Time101

      ‘I mean do you wake up everyday and go oh I love my democratic country?’

      Actually, I do appreciate coming from a democratic country. The democracy in the UK took hundreds of years to achieve and many died to bring it about. It means I can say critical things about the government without fear of being locked away somewhere (Liu Xiaobo), I can practise religion (e.g. Falun Gong). If a part of the country wants to leave, it can (e.g. Scotland’s recent referendum). If someone gets bad treatment at a hospital or a police station they can complain, sue or write to their MP, hence the quality of service is better than China. Those are a few concrete examples.

      Moreover, it will be difficult to get an economically developed society with China’s current political structure. How can China get a knowledge-based economy if it blocks so many websites and controls the flow of information so much? How can fair business practice be encouraged if the legal system is corrupt? You were quite vague about linking authoritarian governments with economic development so you will need to be more specific there.

      All in all, democracy is not a panacea and will not cure every problem, but it is a good way to curb the excesses of government power and generally promotes social justice.

      • Ayoo

        Appreciate is not enough. China giving in to the demand of HK will mean a fundamental change in the status quo. This will likely bring about disturbances in massive scale.

        Is this something that anyone is prepared for just so that they can have the right to complain? Btw I don’t know how often you talk shit about government openly but most people I know do it behind the back to only a few people which the chinese government couldn’t care less.

        And please don’t act as if chinese government isn’t responsive to the demands of everyday people, and that democratic governments always act in ways most beneficial to their citizens.

        I’m not trying to argue against democracy in general but I just want to reiterate the point is the cost worth the benefit? Cause I know as a fact most Chinese and as a. After of fact many Americans don’t give a shit about their democracy (50% turnout rate is considered good lol).
        It’s just that through my assessment it’s a high risk low return move

        • Time101

          Whilst I disagree with your assessment that there will be ‘disturbances in massive scale’ (sic), I think that the transition to democracy will require some effort and hard work (the struggles of the Chartists and the Suffragettes, among others, were not easy). In the end, though, I believe it is worth it. Sometimes it is worth suffering a little short-term discomfort for a long-term benefit. Some countries have even made a relatively smooth transition to democracy.

          As to your point ‘appreciate is not enough’, it is not a question of strength of feeling, the more important thing is objectively deciding which is best way for a country to be governed.

          You have misunderstood me if you think that I am saying the main benefit of democracy is the right to ‘talk shit’ (your words) about the government. Free Speech is necessary to limit the power of government and make sure the interests of different sections of society are protected. It would be more difficult for people to be forced off their land in the UK than China, for example, because of its free press and fairer legal system.

          In addition, democracy means that everyday issues that are of concern to citizens are properly dealt with. If there are problems; poorly maintained infrastructure or lack of funding for schools, for instance, there are places people can go to, such as the House of Commons. From personal experience of living in China, I do not think the Chinese government is responsive to the needs of its citizens. There is no accountability for mistakes by government officials and very little transparency.

          Your last paragraph is a little confused and contains many mistakes, perhaps next time you should double check what you have written before publishing posts. However, in reply to your comments, yes, I think democracy is worth it and voter apathy is indeed a problem, though be careful about jumping to conclusions about the causes of it.

        • David

          If you think most Americans interest in democracy is measured by the election turnout rate you really don’t know Americans.

          • Ayoo

            I don’t know Americans but it just dosent really make sense to me if they love their democracy so much that they’re willing to spend trillions to spread it why can’t they be bothered to spend 2 hours to go cast a vote?

          • David

            I also wish more voted (since I normally teach political science in high school) but part of the freedom is to be allowed not to vote. Most people who do not vote are low information people anyway, so perhaps it is best that they exercise that right to be apathetic.

          • ayoo

            So, i think you would agree with me that America is more educated than China, so accordingly more people in China ‘should’ be apathetic. So back to my question is the cost worth the benefits considering many if not most people should be apathetic in China?

          • Kai

            Please review our comment policy.

          • Ayoo

            Can’t you just tell me what I did wrong?

          • Kai

            3. Sock-puppetry: Using multiple identities and aliases.

          • Ayoo

            Just wanted to apologise to David- wanted to say something not very nice cause tbh found up your comment to be pretty stupid (reasons in my other post)
            First time doing it and got caught, gotta say I’m embarrassed and won’t ever do it again.

          • David

            I do not agree that apathy follows directly from ignorance (lack of education). Many factors make a people interested or apathetic in politics and then voting. When people were first allowed to vote in Afghanistan (for instance) most were very uneducated people, but they held up their purple finger (which showed that they had voted) with pride. Apathy usually comes when people think their vote won’t matter. Either because their side will easily win, easily lose, or nobody is actually representing their views at all.

  • A Hong Konger

    Sorry, there’s an Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong now and you choose to post a non-story like this?

    • Alex Dương

      chinaSMACK covers what is trending and popular in China.

      • SongYii

        Need giant disclaimer on homepage.

  • NeverMind

    All I am saying is don’t enforce it! Just because it’s good for you, it need not be good for everyone. The attitude of your governments and your media is to make every country like yours.

    • must touch brain

      If the majority of Hong Kongers want democracy, so be it. You are not the majority. You don’t even live in HK.

      • Jannick Slavik

        democracy by whom? for whom?

        democracy doesn’t exist in a vacuum. never has, and never will.

        • must touch brain

          By HK for HK. Who else?

  • Eurotrash

    In the “greatest democratic country of them all,” the good, ol’ U.S.A., we have the same system as China is offering Hong Kong. The 2 candidates that anyone has heard of in the media are selected by a select group of people, then offered to the unwashed masses to vote for. Sure, there are other candidates, but nobody ever votes for them, because they are, for all intents and purposes, hidden from view until they are seen on the ballot.

    • SongYii

      pssh, wrong. american elections have all kinds of things wrong with them, but being similar to the beijing deal to hk is not one of them.

      • Eurotrash

        Tell me how Democratic and Republican presidential candidates get on the ballot then. Even after the unwashed masses vote, their votes do not count directly towards the candidate they voted for. Votes go to the voter’s state’s allocated electoral votes, sending electors chosen to vote in the Electoral College.There is no direct democracy in the U.S.A.

        • SongYii

          there is, but not for presidential candidates. many other offices, judgeships, etc are elected directly.

          i already said US has many problems with the way they conduct elections. those problems are problems, but are not the same as those in the beijing proposition, which is what you claimed (for one, usa has more than one party).

          people who use the term ‘unwashed masses’ arent looking for a discussion, theyre looking for agreement; right now im messaging a pre-recorded script… so i will stop… here.

          • Eurotrash

            LOL! Using a straw man argument, becuase you have a hard time admitting you’re wrong. That’s ok. You need to keep “face.” I get it.

            By the way, the Republicans and the Democrats are one party with two different names, and it still doesn’t change the fact that the voters themselves do not decide who is on the ballot. The riots are not about judgeships. They are about the HK’s presidency. Your argument is a red herring.

          • SongYii

            you said ‘US elections.’ elections for different offices are different. none of them are similar to beijings proposal. and the circumstances are entirely different because one has one party, the other has 2 principle parties and many smaller ones that do win local elections and are showing stronger support every election cycle in state and congressional elections.

            democrats and republicans are wildly different. their campaign rhetoric is similar because they are trying to get elected, but in office there is a huge gap in their approach to civil problems.

            but i will give you they are both full of assholes. in that, they are the same.

        • MeCampbell30

          Thats not how Presidential elections work. I know its fun to America-bash but at least get the facts right.

          Each political party holds a nationwide primary where the party candidate is selected by popular vote. The candidate selects his electors for each state. Each candidate for president has his/her own set of electors for each state. Each state decides (by state law) which selectors vote. In a winner take all state, the electors that vote are the electors whose candidate received the most votes. In other states, electors are apportioned by the number of votes each candidate received.

  • Toasty

    They never demanded democracy under British rule because the City was prosperous and the people were happy. There was no need to force a change. Now things are changing in a way that they don’t like, so they are looking to force democracy in order to control there own future in order that they don’t go backwards and end up like the rest of China

    • SongYii

      thats about as plainly as you can state the obvious, and shitloads of people still dont get it because theyd rather play badminton with the textbook definitions of democracy and colony.

    • Kai

      What they’re forgetting is that the city was prosperous because it could exploit the mainland. Now that the mainland has opened up and is developing, HK’s role as a gatekeeper to China is diminishing, which is negatively affecting HK’s economy. They’re forgetting that so much of what made HK what it is was tied to it being an artificial conduit into the mainland.

      HK is a boom town.

      Once growth stagnates and the money stops flowing, people start squabbling for their share of what’s left. This isn’t to say there aren’t other things that are changing in a way that they don’t like and can be blamed on Beijing (patriotic education, for example), but the real root of these protests is about a generation’s concerns for their economic future.

      Like many youth in America and Europe, they are the first generation in a long time that isn’t so confident that their lives will be better than that of the previous generation. The world changed, and they want their government to do more for them, not the already rich. Being able to nominate and elect their own CE is seen as a way to possibly achieve this.

      Another interesting thing is that a lot of Hong Kongers aren’t afraid of HK “going backwards and ending up like the rest of China” but instead are seeing how many places in China are catching up and growing while HK is stagnating. Oh sure, there’s still huge differences, but young HKers naturally want HK to remain prosperous and ahead of the curve. HK isn’t so much going backwards as it simply isn’t going anywhere while others are.

      • SongYii

        Should also remember, Mainland also benefited tremendously from having HK as that conduit. Before not-too-long ago, there was no other city in China primed to do what HK could. Two-way street there (but have to switch lanes at the border.)

        • Alex Dương

          Two-way street there

          Then you agree that Rick’s view of Hong Kong and China is not correct.

          • SongYii

            I’m not sure exactly what you are referring to in Rick’s comments. That two geographically proximate regions have some degree of mutual benefit is not evidence of anything, its just a circumstance of geographic proximity.

            Kai implies (if I understand correctly) that HK owes the Mainland its success. I was responding directly to that.

          • Alex Dương

            Quote,

            The sole reason why Hong Kong is the way it is today is because it avoided China and mainlanders like locusts.

            If you want to argue that there was “mutual benefit” / a “two-way street,” then it would seem that you don’t agree with Rick, who is saying that there was no street at all.

          • SongYii

            He was throwing the previous commenters language back at him.

            HK has certainly avoided being *like* the Mainland and Mainlanders. Thats close enough for me.

          • Alex Dương

            I didn’t see OwerrC use any epithets against Hongkongers. What you are saying is not what Rick said.

          • SongYii

            Oweerc: That is the sole reason why Hong Kong is the way it is today.

            RickinChina: The sole reason why Hong Kong is the way it is today is because it avoided China and mainlanders like locusts.

            Rick is mirroring Oweerc’s language.

            Neither uses a racial epithet. If you’re referring to “locust,” that was directed at Mainlanders, and it is meant to describe avoiding their behavior and culture, not express racial bias.

          • Alex Dương

            I just said epithet, and “locust” is an epithet as it’s a term of abuse.

          • SongYii

            No its not…. “avoid like locust” is a common phrase meaning to strongly avoid something unpleasant or destructive.

            You just pulled “term of abuse” directly out of the dictionary, didn’t you?

          • Alex Dương

            Dude, you literally JUST acknowledged that in context, “locust” was, quote,

            directed at Mainlanders, and it is meant to describe avoiding their behavior and culture

            Don’t say that and then immediately backtrack with it’s “a common phrase meaning to strongly avoid something unpleasant or destructive.”

          • SongYii

            Oh, my goodness, you are absolutely absurd. “A common phrase meaning to strongly avoid something unpleasant or destructive” and that “something unpleasant or destructive” being the “behavior and culture of Mainlanders” does NOT make “locust” an epithet!

            You’re just indignant because I caught you looking up words in the dictionary AFTER you used them. If you don’t want to get caught, don’t make it so obvious by rewriting the definition in verbatim.

          • Alex Dương

            “A common phrase meaning to strongly avoid something unpleasant or
            destructive” and that “something unpleasant or destructive” being the
            “behavior and culture of Mainlanders” does NOT make “locust” an epithet!

            So you still want to argue that locust is part of a “common phrase…” OK, in case it wasn’t obvious, I am a native speaker, and I can call bullshit when it’s blatantly obvious. The idiom is not “avoid like locust” or “avoid like locusts.” It’s “avoid like the plague.”

            In the context of an article about Hong Kong and the mainland, “locust” is clearly referring to mainland Chinese as an epithet, not as a part of a nonexistent idiom. So please, don’t play the ESL card on me.

          • SongYii

            A very pointless difference. Have you heard the phrase “grasping at straws”?

          • Alex Dương

            Yes, I have. Ironically, that is what you are doing since you are STILL arguing that “avoid like locust(s)” is even remotely common. It isn’t. Not by a long shot.

            Googling “avoid like locust” or “avoid like locusts” produces a whopping THREE results. Compare that to the 6.1+ million results you get with “avoid like the plague.”

          • SongYii

            When I Google “Alex Durong” there is only one hit.

            Thank sweet baby Jesus you are not common.

          • Alex Dương

            Everybody makes mistakes, you know. It won’t kill you to admit that you got an idiom mixed up.

  • Jeff

    It is not hypocrisy, Hong Kong is now under a dictatorship. The UK was a DEMOCRACY. Democracy and rule of law goes hand in hand. I see China slowly eroding Hong Kong’s freedom day by day(national education), breaking promises made in the joint declaration. This british gentleman does not know what he is talking about.

    • Alex Dương

      The UK was a DEMOCRACY.

      …that never gave Hong Kong universal suffrage and only began to introduce democratic reforms after it became clear that Hong Kong’s future as a British colony was no longer certain. Let’s not forget that Westminster refused to unconditionally grant British citizenship to all Hongkongers before the Handover.

  • Jannick Slavik

    who said HK’ers want Americanized democracy?

    The US democratic discourse is a joke. remember the “debates”? remember crowley (the moderator) contradicting Kerry (falsely)

    remember how Paul wasn’t even allowed to participate in the debates?

    puke .. some democracy.

  • guest

    The translated comment by “@JohnRoss431” is wrong its 2017 and not 2019 the
    elections happen. I was going to call it out that this can’t really be the person, John Ross, if they made such a simple typo.

    • Kai

      That’s Fauna’s typo. If you mouseover, the original Chinese text has 2017.

      • SongYii

        Haha…. there’s *a lot* of hubhub about that in numerous comments below. Poor Fauna.

        • Kai

          Tell her she has fingers so fat they passed over 8 on the keyboard.

  • Kai

    To be fair, @disqus_C99dyOS3fU:disqus did say they are being given the opportunity, not “right”.

  • Rick in China

    The OP, the fucktard “JohnRoss”, doesn’t know what he’s talking about – and simply because his message is in mandarin, is very strongly pro-Chinese, and his name is western, he gets a bunch of patriotic drone retard asshats virally performing comment-fellatio on his otherwise very misinformed drivel.

    “Now when the system designed by China for Hong Kong is far more democratic than that allowed by the UK, the United States instead strongly protests against the China’s government.” Sorry what? When did China design the Hong Kong system? Was it China that has been granting HK growing representation and democracy for the last few decades? As far as I know it has been the British, all starting with the *intention* of the Young Plan, although not actually going into practice until later years. It wasn’t designed by China, the plans were often created in conjunction with local democracy groups together with the Brits, criticized/rejected by China, then compromised into what they could squeeze in. There is a reason why all of the former British colonies are no longer British colonies, and are mostly democratic in some way – but at least independent or decided to join another/a previous/a new national entity…but HK has been left out of that kind of deal, why? Because of China. NOT a wonderful system that China engineered for HK, as this dumb fuck would propose.

    John Ross’s initial sentence is wrong. It’s not that it’s inconvenient that he comments because he’s not Chinese (shouldn’t that read: not from or in Hong Kong, twat), it’s that it’s incomprehensible that someone so clueless comments on an issue he shouldn’t be making such broadly misleading/critical statements about without spending at least three minutes reading about the issue first. I hope he finds those excavator skills, maybe he can learn to dig the massive clod of shit out from between his chompers.

    • OwerrC

      Wow, whatever you are smoking, i want some. There was never any sort democracy in HK under the british rule. Period. The young plan was brought up, but was never implemented in any way or form.

      The only thing that resembled democracy was in the basic law, which the chinese negotiated with the british back in the 1990s

      FYI, all british colonies that became independent national entities were ones that never existed before british colonization. HK was taken from China during the first opium war.

      And really? Do you really expect HK to survive without China? HK has always been a fisherman’s village, until late 20th century, when China’s economy started to grow, but the country remained closed. HK acted as the gateway for the west, to enter one of the biggest economies in Asia.

      That is the sole reason why Hong Kong is the way it is today.

      Maybe you should go read some books, perhaps some history? I mean at least it could expand your vocabulary beyond swear words.

      • Rick in China

        Tow the party line more:

        You’re right. HK has and always has been a fishing village which until British rule, had under 100k people sparsely populating the not so valuable islands. Under British rule, it flourished. Do you think it flourished because of the amazing economy in China? Because the ROC and early PRC did such amazing things to push so much wealth through Hong Kong via their amazing economies pre-21st century? In what world? The bullshit make believe world that you obviously inhabit, perhaps.

        “The only thing that resembled democracy was in the basic law, which the chinese negotiated with the british back in the 1990s” Um, no. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_development_in_Hong_Kong Read it for fuck sakes, it’s the LEAST you can do before you spew a bunch of garbage. It’s at least some semblance of a bunch of information in one place. Find any alternatives stating these are NOT facts, please, since you apparently know as much as ‘Rosstard the OP:

        * Attempts to bring Hong Kong citizens on to the negotiatiing table by the British during the Sino-Anglo discussions was rejected by Beijing during the early 1980s. The last governor Chris Patten faced a great deal of opposition in changing the former colony’s political system.

        * The green paper FAR predates the Basic Law. It was a proposal by the BRITISH gov’t, to progressively change the poiltical system to a more democratic one. It was CHINA that prevented progress, not the British – the British were the ones with the progressive plans that were being rejected, exactly as I said, please…read here before continuing to shit more gov’t drivel out at me as if it’s learned: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985_Hong_Kong_electoral_reform

        **Pay special attention to this part: “The Green Paper: A Pattern of District Administration in Hong Kong was published in June 1980 before the Sino-British negotiations over the sovereignty of Hong Kong began

        Oh, child, when are things going to get easier. “That is the sole reason why Hong Kong is the way it is today.” – HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. The sole reason why Hong Kong is the way it is today is because it avoided China and mainlanders like locusts. *coughs*

        • SongYii

          Thats all pretty consistent with what I learned in East Asian history in university. But less surprising than “fire is hot” is that Mainlanders have already woven yarns about history of HK to fit their narrative of retardo-supernationalism.

        • Kai

          HK has two periods of general economic transformation that increased its profile from being a rock in the middle of nowhere. The first was after the Opium War when it became a trading port for the British. The second was after the Communist takeover.

          Throughout both periods, Hong Kong flourished because it was a gateway between China and the outside world. If there is one exception, it was the period after the takeover when Shanghai was closed down and China closed itself off. The economy of HK for that period of time became industrial manufacturing instead of just trade. This was achieved because of mainland Chinese refugee talent, capital, and labor pouring into HK. This continued until the mainland reopened and manufacturing started going back to the mainland. Hong Kong began moving towards service industries, but again flourished because of its role as a gateway (and gatekeeper) to (and from) China.

          Hong Kong is economically stagnant now because it is increasingly no longer needed as an intermediary.

          To avoid reinventing the wheel, here’s more: http://www.quora.com/What-is-the-connection-between-many-of-the-Hong-Kong-land-development-firms-and-China-and-the-Chinese-government/answer/Paul-Denlinger

          So, he didn’t “spew a bunch of garbage”.

          You have to remember that while the Young Plan was British (and some credit should be given to the Labour Party that took power around the time), it’s not like the British were unanimous about democratic reforms for its colonies. In fact, there was huge opposition to such reforms.

          You also have to remember that the British began considering democratic reforms in the 80s not only at the time of but also BECAUSE of the SIno-British negotiations. Your own Wikipedia link makes this point.

          **Pay special attention to this part: “The Green Paper: A Pattern of District Administration in Hong Kong was published in June 1980 before the Sino-British negotiations over the sovereignty of Hong Kong began

          You missed this part:

          “Although full universal suffrage was never granted by the British to its colony before the handover in 1997, some democratisation began in 1984. Following the historic meeting in 1979 between Deng Xiaoping and then governor Murray MacLehose, a Green Paper: the Further Development of Representative Government in Hong Kong was issued by the colonial government in July 1984.”

          And this:

          “In March 1979, the Governor of Hong Kong Murray MacLehose paid his first official visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), taking the initiative to raise the question of Hong Kong’s sovereignty with Deng Xiaoping. […] Caught unprepared, Deng asserted the necessity of Hong Kong’s return to China, upon which Hong Kong would be given special status by the PRC government. MacLehose’s visit to the PRC raised the curtain on the issue of Hong Kong’s sovereignty: Britain was made very much aware of the PRC’s aspiration to resume sovereignty over Hong Kong and began to make arrangements accordingly to ensure the sustenance of her interests within the territory

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfer_of_sovereignty_over_Hong_Kong

          Hong Kong’s history and development is intricately tied to its relationship with the mainland. Its “access” to the mainland is what put it on the map. Its “replacement” for the mainland carried it for the decades after the Communists took over the mainland (when it was mainlander “locusts” who powered its manufacturing base). Then again, its access to the mainland carried it for the rest of the 20th century and into the 21st century until the continued opening of China began making it less relevant.

        • Alex Dương

          The sole reason why Hong Kong is the way it is today is because it avoided China and mainlanders like locusts.

          From Hong Kong Census data, the population in 1945 was between 600,000 and 750,000. In 1950, it was between 2.2 and 2.36 million.

          Gee, how do you think the population tripled in five years? Hmm, what happened right before 1950?

          • Rick in China

            Sheep only produce quality wool with a good shepherd, Alex.

          • Alex Dương

            OK, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that and also say “the sole reason why Hong Kong is the way it is today is because it avoided China and mainlanders like locusts.” To follow on your metaphor, a shepherd with no sheep has no wool.

          • Rick in China

            You’re absolutely right. I was being facetious. Don’t take me seriously with any implication that Chinese people aren’t able to be successful without white tenders, that’s absolutely ludicrous. I have no inclination whatsoever against Chinese (as a race), but more-so against the mainland governing and those who kow-tow the party and lies fed by them. I absolutely believe Chinese people thrive, maybe more than many other peoples, for a variety of reasons (not genetic…though) and I suppose more closer to my true beliefs about the expansive growth are around the economic/trade climate provided than the genetic make-up of the people either in control or of whom made up the majority of the workforce.

          • Alex Dương

            Of course I agree that institutions are immensely important for economic growth. In 1997, Hong Kong accounted for 18% of China’s GDP; that ought to settle any doubts anyone has about the value of good institutions.

            But HK did benefit from an influx of mainland Chinese refugees after 1949. And before that and after 1978, it benefited from its geographical proximity to the mainland.

          • Rick in China

            Absolutely — truths. Illegal immigrants aside, being able to pick whose on your team is also IMMENSELY valuable, as any kick-ball stars will tell you. :D

          • Kai

            I’m worried that you’re coming across as crediting the British for Hong Kong’s industrial growth in the 50s when it should be credited to the Chinese refugees who basically relocated their existing mainland businesses to Hong Kong. They were “sheep” who already knew how to shepherd themselves and produce quality wool. Many of these people also went to Taiwan, where there was no British “shepherd”. All they needed was a political environment that didn’t persecute their capitalism.

          • SongYii

            The British, specifically in the case of HK, created that political environment, which is all they needed… right?

          • George

            The British in HK allowed for the fertile environment, they had not had direct control over the growth, but if HK had still been part of China they wouldn’t have developed so strongly and in todays world would be similar to Hainan. I think the one point we can all agree on (non Mainlanders that is) is they have benefitted from being outside of Beijing’s sphere of influence.

          • Alex Dương

            If you acknowledge that you’re not saying what Rick said, then yes, we can agree that Hongkongers benefited from British institutions.

          • Kai

            Two ways to respond to this:

            1. It’s more like they didn’t create an environment that persecuted capitalism. In other words, it’s less that the British created a favorable environment and more that the Communists created an unfavorable environment. Not stopping someone from succeeding is very different from being the reason they succeeded (which is what I fear Rick might come across as saying). It’s not like the British made the Chinese successful in their ventures.

            2. The British also created the current political environment that Hong Kongers are protesting, one that favors the moneyed classes (business interests) to the detriment of the poor and middle classes (society).

          • SongYii

            1. “Not stopping someone from succeeding is very different from being the reason they succeeded.” You’re right, there is a difference. But its pretty absurd to suggest the British hung around minding their own business before suddenly noticing hundreds of thousands of East Asians had built a city around their trading post. ::rolling eyes:: What are you trying to prove?

            2. HKers are protesting a proposal by Beijing to stack the deck in Beijing’s favor… what did you read that said they are packing the streets with sit-ins to protest the status quo?

          • Kai

            1. I don’t think what I said suggested that “the British hung around minding their own business before suddenly noticing hundreds of thousands of East Asians had built a city around their trading post.” I’m not sure why you think that.

            I’m cautioning against the notion of a modern HK being something the British created and should be given primary credit for. I’m asserting that HK is a product of historical circumstance.

            HK came into being because of the Opium trade. Trade is what sustained it. People went there for business, not for British rule (which, remember, wasn’t all that nice for much of its colonial history). When trade was interrupted, HK’s economy floundered.

            Its economy was revitalized when the Chinese Civil War brought Chinese refugees to it. If those refugees had gone elsewhere (and remember, many did), HK would still be screwed. It was those Chinese refugees, their experience, and their connections to the mainland that was the basis for transforming HK into the modern conduit to mainland China that it is (or increasingly was).

            The British had very little role in the rise of modern Hong Kong other than taking in those refugees because they could see how it was in their self-interest to do so. The British lost Shanghai and were more than happy for some part of Shanghai to relocate to Hong Kong.

            When the PRC began reopening up, it wasn’t the British who had the connections to the Yangtze or Pearl River Delta regions. It wasn’t the British who made it possible for Hong Kong to first exploit mainland labor and later the mainland market. It was the Chinese. Check out the Quora answer by Paul Denglinger I linked to in response to Rick.

            Now, please don’t think I’m trying to deny the British of what they deserve credit for. We can go down a huge list and argue them each, but know that I believe HK also wouldn’t be what it is today without British influence.

            You know how the CCP claims credit for lifiting hundreds of millions out of poverty? To what extent is that true and to what extent is it because they finally stopped dicking around with (economic) communism and re-embraced capitalism? They finally stopped stopping people from succeeding. Oh sure, they’ve enacted various policies that have helped many Chinese people then succeed in their ventures, but those people still did the hard work.

            Same with the Chinese in Hong Kong. Most of what Hong Kong is today is the product of its people and historical circumstance. Hong Kong’s wealth and all the societal development that wealth has provided for are tied more to the mainland than they are to the British. The British didn’t fuck up Hong Kong like the CCP did mainland China. They deserve solid fist-bumping credit for that, but they weren’t the engine that made HK richer and more socially developed relative to the mainland.

            2. The proximate cause for the current protests is Beijing’s decision on the 2017 CE elections, but the protests ultimately stem from deeper, long-standing issues in Hong Kong regarding economic stagnation, inequality, and the local government’s bias towards the wealthy/business interests. Remember Occupy Central? Remember its origin in 2011-12? What was their platform?

            The superficial issue is universal suffrage, but the deeper issue is how that universal suffrage might address the protester’s concerns with the state of modern Hong Kong, especially in terms of economic prospects for the young generation.

            Are you on Quora?

            There are tons of insightful commentary about the HK protests there, by Hong Kongers and non-Hong Kongers. Here’s one: http://www.quora.com/What-do-people-think-about-the-students-protest-in-Hong-Kong-in-September-2014

            I’m gonna link you to some of the answers I’ve upvoted but you should also read the other answers in those questions.

            http://www.quora.com/How-has-the-fact-that-over-the-past-10-15-years-mainland-China-has-become-so-wealthy-and-full-of-successful-business-people-changed-the-Mainland-China-vs-Hong-Kong-dynamic/answer/Joseph-Wang-9

            http://www.quora.com/How-does-the-Occupy-movement-in-Hong-Kong-relate-to-the-original-1997-turnover-of-Hong-Kong-to-the-Communist-Government-of-the-Peoples-Republic-of-China/answer/Joseph-Wang-9

            http://www.quora.com/What-mistakes-has-Beijing-made-in-its-dealings-with-Hong-Kong-after-the-1997-handover/answer/Paul-Denlinger

            And if you like Quora, there are a ton of questions and discussion about Hong Kong, its current protest, and how it reflects persistent grievances with the economy and existing political system that is biased towards the rich. Without oversimplifying, people are concerned about job opportunities and housing prices. This isn’t to say Beijing hasn’t done shit that has pissed HKers off (there have been protests for those too), but this is about wanting more control over their government because they reason it will help them better address their other pragmatic concerns.

            Much of the Western media narrative is too eager to frame this as a democracy vs. communism or freedom vs. oppression issue without putting it into the larger context that there has been dissatisfaction in HK for quite some time now. Beijings CE decision is a meaningful trigger, but its not just about Beijing’s decision or Beijing. Remember, Beijing’s decision here is actually an improvement over the current status-quo. The protesters just don’t think it is ENOUGH of an improvement (and I agree).

          • SongYii

            eh, i tried quora a few times. found it underwhelming.

            when i say the british are largely reaponsible for hk’s success, i never imagined to myself that that diminsished the role of its native citizens.

            the idea is that heres mainland, with loads of chinese people, heres hk with (smaller) loads of chinese people… one is wildly successful, the other pisses on the street corner in broad daylight. whats the difference?

            the difference deserves more than a fist bump from you. but i guess hong kongers deserve more than a ‘given’ status from me.

          • Kai

            Quora is awesome for me, because I love learning from others and currently, its algorithms are so good that it keeps feeding me stuff that I’m interested in (except for some reason I’ve been getting a lot of creationists vs. evolution, christians vs. theists topics lately).

            Given the sentiments in your past discussions on cS, I was worried you might find Quora pedantic. It’s gotten really popular lately, with a lot of media sourcing their stories and content from it, and with popularity comes some watering down, but it’s still a wealth of information and congregation of really knowledgeable and intelligent people on all sorts of subjects. Even better, they have a stricter moderation policy than we do.

            Anyway, back to the subject at hand:

            “Largely” means “for the most part”, so in terms of relative contribution to HK’s success, I do think that overweights the British at the expense of the native Chinese.

            We can say CCP governance of the rest of China was ultimately poorer than British governance of HK. And as you yourself said so, we’d then have to consider how population difference played into that. We’d have to consider many other factors beyond just population sizes as well. Governance is one thing and it shouldn’t be discounted, but we should still be careful with ascribing too much credit or blame to it. It’s best to be very specific about cause and effect.

            My fist-bump is worth a lot. Don’t belittle my fist bump. That said, I think we understand each other and have arrived at a consensus.

          • SongYii

            i probably *would* find it pedantic. lately, actually, ive been watching a lot of ted talks.

            three debate topics that bore me to tears: creationism, abortion, homosexuality. sorry your feed is crowded with the former. ugh.

            i think ‘largely’ means ‘significantly,’ but rarely ‘most of.’ actually, i think its a way to make ‘less than most of’ sound like ‘most of.’

          • Kai

            Heh, a lot of people find TED talks pedantic too.

            I got a lot of homosexuality topics too. I think it’s cuz I upvoted some answers by a guy who tends to respond to evolution and homosexuality questions so whenever he answers them, Quora shows his answers to me cuz their algorithm thinks I’m particularly interested in his responses (which I am, but not so much the questions — and too many of them are doozies, the kind that makes you wonder how people even thought to ask them).

            I personally wouldn’t have used “largely” to characterize the amount of credit to be given to the British. I would’ve just said “some” or that they should be given “due credit” for not being the CCP or something. But anyway, like I said, I think we understand each other here. Cheers.

          • SongYii

            Do homosexuals have sex with animals and children everyday, or just some days?

            Some TED talks make me groan “ugh, seriously?” but they are getting easier to spot early in, skip to next.

        • OwerrC

          Lol. Yes, the british had control over the place for 150 years, and they decided that it was time for a reform right before their time ran out? Give me a fucking break.

          Quit drinking all the cool aid the west is feeding you. When you take 100000 steps back, and say if HK gets the democracy its asking for, how much better is it gonna be for the everyday person? Is it gonna deprecate poverty? Is it gonna create more jobs? Is it gonna help solve global warming? O wait, that sounds awfully familiar.

          Every slightly educated individual in the US understands there’s no true democracy. We are all living under perceived freedom with the illusion of choice. “Yes lets pick one of the two people that are backed by giant corporations, omgzz so much freedomzzz!”

          Bitch please. the west just plays the game better than the “new comers” in asia. These kids are jumping on the bandwagon without understanding what they are asking for. Fighting their own police forces (who are also locals), letting their own economy going down the shitters.

          Guess who benefits the least out of all this bullshit? The actual working class of HK.

          • Rick in China

            “if HK gets the democracy its asking for, how much better is it gonna be for the everyday person? Is it gonna deprecate poverty? Is it gonna create more jobs? Is it gonna help solve global warming?”

            You’re right. What HK needs is NOT anything they are protesting for..what they are in dire need of is: douchebags like you who think they know more about Hong Kong than the people who were born, lived, and live there now – to tell them what to value, what to hold important in any way – what to fight for….thank you for your insights, your guiding spirit has made the way better for all. Where the fuck do you get off telling people what is important to THEM? what is better for THEM? Who are you, and what are your qualifications for jumping on this soapbox of yours with any sort of credit, beyond being a kow-towing wumao-style cunt?

            Nothing else in your comment is deserved of a response. It’s just more of the same misdirection, useless rhetoric, and adds nothing to your already ridiculous stance.

          • Kai

            what they are in dire need of is: douchebags like you who think they know more about Hong Kong than the people who were born, lived, and live there now – to tell them what to value, what to hold important in any way – what to fight for….thank you for your insights, your guiding spirit has made the way better for all. Where the fuck do you get off telling people what is important to THEM? what is better for THEM? Who are you, and what are your qualifications for jumping on this soapbox of yours with any sort of credit

            People do this with regards to China and the people who were born, lived, and live there now all the time on cS.

            I really hope you see the irony.

          • Rick in China

            Indeed they do. It has happened many times on this thread, even. Misdirecting, however, doesn’t make my point any less sharp, now..does it, Kai?

          • Kai

            I’m not trying to misdirect, I’m commenting about your comment, just as you commented on someone else’s comment.

            You and I both know obvious double-standards and hypocrisy sabotage valid points. So the key is to make a point without an obvious double-standard or hypocrisy. Why do you think whuddyasack is laughed down? Because he doesn’t get this. What you did above was the same thing. I hope by pointing it out, you’ll think of better ways to respond to OwerC’s points.

          • Rick in China

            “People do this with regards to China and the people who were born, lived, and live there now all the time on cS.”

            What? Of course you meant to misdirect. The phrase above could be used as a dictionary example of a “Red Herring”. You’re trying to defend his argument by saying my critique is equivalent to what some other people do in regards to China – which is absolutely irrelevant to the critique itself nor exposing the root of the point, which is – when making an ideological argument, you can’t seriously stand up and say “they need xyz” when they say “we need abc” without providing *significant* credentials to support your apparent superior understanding of circumstance. I don’t recall ever making an argument like “this/that region’s people have all the wrong core values” (a region I am not or have not been in, especially) — most definitely not seriously.

          • Kai

            You think I’m trying to shift attention to other people when I’m establishing the premises of my conclusion: that you saying what you did is ironic.

            It’d be a red herring if I was responding to OwerC and brought that up out of nowhere. It’s not a red herring when I’m responding directly to you about your comment.

            Pointing out the irony of your comment doesn’t necessarily defend his argument. Criticizing your argument doesn’t necessarily mean I agree with the person you’re arguing against. For example, criticziing someone’s argument against Obama doesn’t mean I agree with Obama. It just means I think a bad argument is a bad argument.

            Don’t fall into the trap of thinking disagreement with you means agreement with someone else. How many times have I criticized bad arguments against whuddyasack? Did that mean I agreed with him? No.

  • Irvin

    Whoever they vote in as their leader will still be beijing’s bitch, at least with beijing first screening the candidates they can make sure they are at least competent.

    As we all know, americanized democracy doesn’t always produce the best results.

  • JayJay

    If Hong Kong was still under the jurisdiction of the UK, and if they wanted democracy, all it takes is to ask, like Scotland, for a referendum. However, this would have been difficult anyway as technically, most of Hong Kong is leased land (only Hong Kong island was ceded to China and the rest of New Territory was leased for 100 years, the UK government only agreed to return the whole of Hong Kong for its own benefit as there would have been a lot of issues such as land ownership after the 100 year lease is up). Chinese government will not have the guts to give them a referendum, but it may have the guts to send in tanks… which is an irony… why not give them universal suffrage, I am sure there are other ways to micro control the candidates. In any case, I think Xi might have a very problem on his hands. There is still infighting at the top of the communist leadership. Xi and Li Keqiang are from different cliques within the standing committee and Li has been keeping a low profile while Xi is eliminating his enemies through his ‘anti-corruption’ campaign. If Hong Kong turns out to be a failure for Xi or another Tiananmen Square, then expect the top of the leadership to change.

  • Chip

    Kai, has this weibo account even been verified to be real? Look at what “John Ross” says at 5:21 today, it doesn’t even look like the guy speaks English:

    JohnRoss431:I asked on internet correspondents West media explain why if electoral system US/UK want in HK so vital it not introduced by UK during 150 years it ruled HK? Silence! If is reply will tell weibo readers, but expect silence to continue because they cannot reply (Today 17:21)

    • Kai

      All I can tell you is that the account has Weibo’s “verified” mark (the “V” next to the name). The English posts on his Weibo look suspiciously like Google Translate-esque output to me.

      If it helps, here’s his Twitter account: https://twitter.com/JohnRoss43

      …where the English has issues too but arguably not nearly as bad as the examples on the Weibo account. At the very least, both accounts reference each other, so…

      Anyway, it was still the top microblog post of the day at the time.

  • Ha Hon Dai

    Who cares about this sc*m? HK doesn’t want to be a colony any more, nor a British one, nor a Chinese one. And if they don’t stand up now, for sure soon the freedoms HKers enjoyed will be gone. China is just messing up the city…

  • Ha Hon Dai

    According to mainland news the people of HK (protesters) are currently celebrating the national day and the fireworks display has been cancelled, as HK can’t afford/get enough fireworks. Seriously, the CCP will say anything to make themselves look good, so who cares about comments of people in this regard that have been obviously brainwashed?

  • Ayoo

    I totally agree, that in due time the benefits may outweigh the costs, but I think you’ve somewhat recognised that currently the costs of democratising are greater than the benefits for China, in which Hong Kong is part of.

    Yes it may have ‘one country, two systems’ but so what, fundamentally it’s a part of China why should it defy the central government.

    • Don’t Believe the Hype

      If I understand you correctly, you are very concerned about China’s economic development first, and are more open-minded toward giving greater freedoms when china gets to that point. That is a valid argument. But at the same time China’s gov’t has not developed many reforms in voting or free access to information while developing, which if continued indefinitely wil end up in a more terbulent time of self-reflection, rather than a gradual one. That is, the CCP needs to understand that it is a PEOPLES republic, not the CCPs republic. Until the average person is given free access to information about its own leaders things are unlikely to change, regardless of growth in wealth. And no, 微博 does not count.

      The greatest hope we can expect is that the next generation of mainlanders will be as informed as those in Hong Kong. Not just pointing at the weaknesses in other’s systems to avoid self-reflection

      • Ayoo

        Yes I totally understand that as people become more wealthy their demand for greater political freedom will also increase.
        Yet I do think that this gradual reflection is being undergone now by CCP as we speak. Just looking at Xi Jinping, his populist policies have never been seen in the history of CCP. They understand the need for reforms.
        Its just that I question what democratic reforms will actually achieve, if they’re implemented now, if it means that in the process of achieving this democracy, the government of china will be undermined.
        And I think the main reason that I’ve never been overly sympathetic of HK is that they seem to view China as a ‘lessor’ counterpart- locusts etc. They seem to view disobedience as something to be proud of. And I think this attitude needs to be curbed. Can you imagine how a government can function where each time thousands people protest it goes on international headlines?
        In a country of 1.5 billion a protest of thousands might not truly reflect everything.

    • Nocturne

      Where is the “central government’s” legitimacy?

      • Brido227

        They’re there, they’re recognised by all but a few minor nations as the sole legitimate government of China and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. That’s pretty much all they need in utilitarian terms.

        There’s also the consideration that a country which staged at least three major revolutions to overthrow different systems of government in the first 50 years of the 20th century alone and which has a millenia-old tradition that rebelling against intolerable rule is a social duty hasn’t yet felt the need to chuck the CCP in the bin.

    • oster


      Yes it may have ‘one country, two systems’ but so what, fundamentally
      it’s a part of China why should it defy the central government.

      For the same reason most people defy government? I.e., when the government contradicts those group of people’s deeply held beliefs, and those people are powerless to turnaround the decision?

      The cost/benefit of democracy in Hong Kong is very clear, and unless the government in Beijing has any real arguments, bar the red herring (foreign countries support this) and the usual catch-22 arguments (the protest is illegal by the laws tha we’ve virtually drawned up ourselves or with our surrogates), then I can only see reason to criticise the Beijing government in this specific case.

  • redpillz4u

    the free world? wait let me laugh more.

    The same free world that agrees that iran should be nuked, your such a anglosphere ten center shill its obvious when you use the terminology of george fucking bush.

    The ‘free world’ agrees this and that what fucking shit, each country in the ‘free world’ is an individual entity or else they wouldn’t be free now would they?

    which is precisely why a global consensus isn’t free just as global multiculturalism is a sham to undermine statehood.

    • oster


      The same free world that agrees that iran should be nuked,”

      I’ve not seen this agreement, nor seen Iran nuked. Could you point me to your source?

      • David

        I believe that would be his lack of medication talking. When he raves about a guy who has not been president for 6 1/2 years, you know he is loony.

  • Ayoo

    I totally agree, democracy can help maintain wealth but considering China’s GDP per capita is still incredibly low would it be a good idea to just maintain it? I just think that a centralised government is needed to facilitate growth.

    Ok I’m not familiar with UK history to argue with you and I specifically ruled out the US as it had politically few enemies and immense lands in which it could develop from.
    However I strongly disagree with your assertion that Germany and Japan’s economic miracles in the 1950s was a direct result of democracy.

    Considering they were industrial superpowers from 1900 right through to the end of the war. Their economic base were all built by their kings/ kaisers. It was only normal for them to rebound after ww2. This was also coupled with American aid (Marshall plan in Europe gave out billions).

    I didn’t really get your last rebuttle but I’ll say this in the eyes of most chinese- especially in big cities Hong Kong= China. Democracy can be regarded as part of the deal to let HK return to China but anything HK asks now will also be demanded by the chinese. Communist party has been ruling and I’m not going to make any hypothetical arguments about how life would be better but I just wanna say that a change in political system will possible bring about massive social repercussions and recent presidents suggest that these repercussions are most likely to be bad. Is it worth it at a critical juncture of China’s economic p/ social development.
    hat

    • Don’t Believe the Hype

      Although I agree with you in some respects (china does need centralized gov’t at this point in time for certain economic reasons) however I have seen China use special economic zones to experiment with different policies. I see little reason why it can’t experiment with political freedoms as it does in economic ones.

    • oster

      My rebuttal re Japan and Germany is against your assertion that democracies cannot build economies.

      It was also not “normal” for Japan and Germany to rebound at all. Italy did not go through the same smooth rebounding. And American aid would not come so easily were they not democracies.

      Add to that, East Germany had a strong industrial base that did not rebound as well. The democracy itself meant that focus could change to meet demands, and this included industrial policies. Private enterprises worked within the freer constraints of a federalised government in Germany, and Japanese cultural exports became palatable as a democracy.

      That is certainly not the only thing going for those countries, but I am merely highlighting the positives of it, since you’ve been more keen to highlight the negatives in relation to China.

      My final rebuttal was about is that you question whether the transition to democracy was worth the risk. I pose the opposite question of resting the risk calculations on a small cabal of people at the top of the Beijing hierarchy being just as risky.

  • DOMINOS

    HK CHINESE ARE SO DUMB!! CHINESE IS CHINESE!!! HK CHINESE WHAT TO BE PART OF USA OR UK BUT THEY NEED TO FOLLOW THE LAW IN CHINA HK CHINESE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THEY R UNDER CHINA

    • Rick in China

      YOU ARE THE BOSS YOU WILL OWN THE WORLD BECAUSE IT IS BENEATH YOU AND SO IS THE PEOPLE BENEATH YOU AND TIGER WOODS NEEDS TO PAY TAX IN CHINA BECAUSE HE HAS CHINA BLOOD AND NEEDS TO BOW BEFORE THE PARTY R ELSE

      • DOMINOS

        R U DUMB HK IS PART OF CHINA ! THE CHINESE IN THAT CITY NEED TO FOLLOW CHINESE, CHINA LAW LIKE U FOLLOW THE LAW IN THE USA RIGHT !!! HK IS PART OF CHINA DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT !!!!!!

        • SongYii

          Rick is Canadian.

          White people come from more than one country, wu mao.

          • DOMINOS

            PIG GO HOME OK !! THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH U ! GET OUT WE DONT NEED YOU !! OK DEVIL

        • Rick in China

          I WAS AGREEING WITH YOU AND SAYING YOU ARE THE BOSS AND THE WORLD IS BENEATH YOU WHY ARE YOU SO ANGRY AT ME AND WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME TO GO HOME I DID NOT SAY ANYTHING EXCEPT THAT I THINK YOU ARE THE AWESOMENESS AND WHITEY MUST BOW JUST AS THE CANTON/HAKKA/OTHER MINORITY MUST BOW TO THE HAN OVERLORDS WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT I AM ONLY GIVING YOU PRAISE NOT INSULT WHY ARE YOU SO MEAN I AM NOT A PIG I AM A PERSON JUST A LITTLE BIT NOT AS GOOD AS YOU !!!!!!!!

          • DOMINOS

            PIG GO HOME OK IS IT OK TO GO

          • Rick in China

            I WILL SAY AGAIN I AM NOT A PIG I AM A HUMAN JUST NOT AS GOOD AS YOU AND IT IS OK TO GO EXCEPT IM TRYING TO PROCREATE THE HAN OUT OF CHINA JUST LIKE HAN DID TO SO MANY MINORITIES PROCREATION IS KEY DO YOU UNDERSTAND DO YOU UNDERSTAND !!!!!!!!!!!

      • DOMINOS

        DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT HK IS A PART OF CHINA??
        THE SAME WAY YOU FOLLOW THE LAW IN THE USA
        THE CITY OF HK HAS TO FOLLOW THE LAW IN CHINA
        DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT !!!
        ITS VERY EASY TO UNDERSTAND !!!!

      • DOMINOS

        PIG GO HOME

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