Hong Kong: What’s Going On?

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firecat69
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Re: Hong Kong: What’s Going On?

Post by firecat69 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:11 pm

https://www.ibtimes.com/chinese-paramil ... ty-2812743

Can the Tanks be far behind? Naturally the Dope in the White House will have nothing say if it happens.

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Re: Hong Kong: What’s Going On?

Post by Gaybutton » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:05 pm

firecat69 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:11 pm
Naturally the Dope in the White House will have nothing say if it happens.
I disagree. If it does happen, he'll probably praise the tanks.

No matter what happens, Trump will figure out a way to do the same thing he always does - make it about himself.

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Re: Hong Kong: What’s Going On?

Post by fountainhall » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:50 pm

firecat69 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:11 pm
Can the Tanks be far behind.
Clearly no one presently knows what will happen in Hong Kong, - I venture to suggest not even President Xi. I think it is important to realise that this is totally different from the events in Tiananmen Square 30 years ago - and I reckon the Chinese leadership are perfectly well aware of that. For a start, the Butcher of Beijing, Li Peng, died earlier this year. After 1989, he was a particularly loathed individual for the rest of his life. Xi has certainly been cracking down on his enemies and on corruption (up to a point). But he will be aware of two things. 1. China is a very different country from 1989, and 2. Hong Kong is vastly different from Tiananmen Square.

1. 30 years ago China was still recovering from the Cultural Revolution which had torn the country apart for ten years and only ended in 1975. The leadership wavered between the old guard of Mao's era and the reformers under Deng. Of these there were two in key position in the mid-1980s - Hu Yaobang who was General Secretary of the Party and Zhao Ziyang as Prime Minister. In the earlier student protests in 1987, Hu had sided with the students. Deng was forced to purge him and put Zhao in his place. In 1989 Zhao similarly sided with the students, but Deng was too weak and Li Peng marshalled the old guard to have Zhao ousted. Today we all think of Deng as the paramount leader at the time in China. But many forget that he had twice been purged. His position was not secure. Li Peng then masterminded the 'solution'. What the leadership did not realise was that the world was watching right on the doorstep. So the events were broadcast to the world as they happened. That scar remains on the mind of everyone in a position of power.

China is now vastly richer, its people are vastly richer, enjoy far better education and are used to a much higher standard of living. Shanghai is now virtually a more prosperous city than Hong Kong. Xi’s absolute priority seems to be the maintenance of public order. To that extent what is happening in Hong Kong is a huge embarrassment.

2. If Xi were to send the tanks in to Hong Kong, he knows he will have a far bigger problem than Deng faced in 1989. The Tiananmen Square protests started spontaneously but a dozen or so student leaders emerged. Targeting them after the crackdown was not difficult, except that several escaped and ended up in the USA. By all published accounts Hong Kong’s protests appear to be leaderless. There are a few young people who have been jailed before. But a handful of students did not get 2 million on to the streets at the start of the protests, or to get 3,000 top lawyers to march before that, or to have nurses, airport staff and endless others both to protest and to strike. China may be able to control some of the media if it marches into Hong Kong. But Hong Kong covers 1,106 sq. kilometers. Tiananmen Square covers a tiny fraction of that. Tanks could easily overwhelm a Square in the centre of Beijing with specific exits and entrances. Covering Hong Kong is a totally different proposition. Besides, Hong Kong has 263 islands.

In 1989 the tanks quickly got rid of the students and ended the protests. Hong Kong people are far more savvy than their Beijing counterparts 30 years ago. If all Hong Kong goes on indefinite strike, what can tanks do? What can militias of soldiers do? People also seem to forget that there is already a militia of the PLA based in Hong Kong for defennce purposes. These have not been seen in recent weeks.

Equally, China needs Hong Kong – at least for the time being. A huge number of international companies operate in China, but not one trusts the Chinese legal system. So all either have their Asian head offices in Hong Kong or other Asian cities like Singapore. Hong Kong enjoys a legal system that has for many decades been based on British Common Law. I have undertaken several projects in China for multi-national companies. All have insisted that the legal jurisdiction for contracts is Hong Kong. I do not think any multi-national operates under the Chinese legal system – for very obvious reasons.

Relocating a head office from Hong Kong top, say, Singapore is not something a company can do overnight. It would take many months. Wher, for example, would all those companies find the office space in overcrowded Singapore?

And there is a third reason – Xi’s legacy. Those whose views on China I place a great deal of emphasis on, like Kevin Rudd the former Premier of Australia and Ambassador to Beijing who speaks Mandarin fluently and knows the Xi family well, agree that one reason for Deng’s proposal of “one country, two systems” was that it would actually work, and in doing so would persuade the doubters in Taiwan to agree to a formal reunification with the mainland. No matter what Xi says, he knows that if the tanks are sent in to Hong Kong, he can say goodbye to Taiwan other than by brute force. That will result in hundreds of thousands being killed, if not more.

Xi is already in trouble with some of his colleagues over the US sanctions. But as Rudd warned his American colleagues at the Aspen Strategy Group Conference sessions only last week, the USA is flying by the seat of its pants.
“At present, you don’t have a strategy. That’s just a reality.”
Another opinion expressed at the meeting was this –
Philip Zelikow, a former State Department official who teaches at the University of Virginia, warned that he sees “a one-in-three chance of major crisis over Taiwan in the next year or so.” The group pondered how the United States should react to a Chinese intervention, however unlikely.
U.S. military options would be risky in a Taiwan crisis. In more than a dozen war games over the past decade, news reports have said the imaginary U.S. side has lost. “The force we have isn’t going to win,” cautioned Chris Brose, former staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In a confrontation across the Taiwan Strait, warned another former senior official, “a carrier task force won’t last one minute . . .

Rudd summed up the need for clear American strategy in this contest [the overall contest with a resurgent China]: “It’s 50-50 how it turns out,” he told the group. “It depends on what you do — and your confidence in yourselves.” It’s a long game, one that requires the most precious and scarce resources in today’s America — patience, unity and resolve.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... story.html

So almost certainly China could take over Taiwan by force with little opposition. Similarly Hong Kong. But how does it get a mostly non-compliant public in both territories to make them continue to work. It hardly bears thinking about. And perhaps Trump's pal Xi might even be aware of that.

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Re: Hong Kong: What’s Going On?

Post by firecat69 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:19 pm

One thing I am quite sure of is that Xi is far smarter than Trump although that is not saying a lot. Xi and the Party doesn't want the rest of China to see any success because of protests. One thing I don't understand is why they allowed their officials to stir up the problem by threatening Hong Kong residents with essentially extradition for certain crimes .

Makes little sense to me except for incompetence!

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Re: Hong Kong: What’s Going On?

Post by Jun » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:56 pm

The government needs to intervene.

Peaceful protest is OK, but preventing other people from going about their daily business is unacceptable. The airport should be cleared by force if necessary.
Protesters should protest in a more appropriate location.

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Re: Hong Kong: What’s Going On?

Post by gera » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:43 am

fountainhall wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:50 pm
No matter what Xi says, he knows that if the tanks are sent in to Hong Kong, he can say goodbye to Taiwan other than by brute force. That will result in hundreds of thousands being killed, if not more.

So almost certainly China could take over Taiwan by force with little opposition.
You seem to contradict yourself in the same post. I might add that Kevin Rudd is a total loser and I would not take his thoughts about anything seriously.
In case of HK Xi has only two options: either make some major concessions or take over militarily and I have little doubt what option he is going to choose.

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Re: Hong Kong: What’s Going On?

Post by fountainhall » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:45 am

Jun wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:56 pm
The government needs to intervene.

Peaceful protest is OK, but preventing other people from going about their daily business is unacceptable. The airport should be cleared by force if necessary.
Protesters should protest in a more appropriate location.
That is the problem! The government sits back and does nothing! It is totally reactionary.

With all respect, I think you also forget that most of the protests in Hong Kong have been almost exclusively peaceful. To get 2 million of a population of 7 million on to the streets (the police laughably estimated 350,000 or so - a joke when you see the television footage) illustrates a huge grievance that the government would not address. Since that day, there has not been any dialogue whatever with any groups and the government to find a resolution. I admit the small number who battered their way into the Legislative Council Building on July 1 were vandals. But let's recall one thing - where were the police? Nowhere! For many hours there was not one policeman in sight! And this is clearly a government tactic. Let protestors gather, let them march, let the few dozen vandals do what they wish to do, and then hit hard with rubber bullets, firing beanbags that have already blinded a young student, pepper spray and tear gas. And what of the white shirt triad gang who started the real violence against the peaceful protestors at Yuen Long? What has been done to seek them out and prosecute them? Nothing!

As for the airport protests, where again were the police? Granted there are lots of access points, but police could have prevented such a large build up. The fact is that in the present situation it suits both the Hong Kong and Beijing governments to have the airport closed. The real question is - did the airport need to close? Yesterday a few demonstrators used luggage trolleys to erect a barrier into the two security check areas. How long would it have taken police or riot police to dismantle them? Ten minutes? But they were left in place. The first closure may have been inevitable given the numbers of protestors. But the second? That could have been prevented had the authorities so desired.

Let's also not forget that the Hong Kong demonstrators have never once tried to access any area other than the many public areas. They have not resorted to the sort of complete take-over by even attempting to take over the control tower as the yellow shirts did at BKK which was then totally closed for about a week.

I have written before that Hong Kong is a divided society and there are many who are pro-Beijing. But one of the most senior and respected pro-Beijing legislators stated on CNN the other day that he had met with Carrie Lam to persuade her to sit down with some of the protestors and open some form of dialogue. She refused. This same legislator asked her then to establish a formal enquiry headed by a senior judge into the entire protest movement, the actions of the protestors, the government and the police. She refused. So it's rather hard to get a government to intervene when it refuses to do so!

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Re: Hong Kong: What’s Going On?

Post by fountainhall » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:53 am

gera wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:43 am
You seem to contradict yourself in the same post.
No contradiction whatsoever! if you read the entire post you will have noticed my comment that If the tanks are sent in to Hong Kong, then Taiwan in my view can only be taken by force. The "little" opposition follows and refers specifically to the comment by Philip Zelikow, the former State Department official and the inability of foreign powers, specifically the USA, to do anything if that scenario emerges.

As for Kevin Rudd being a loser, you seem to be in a minority of one. Oh! And a handful of other so-called China experts whose views have generally been discredited. Like other posts, you make a sweeping statement yet provide not one whit of back-up for your comment!

You state you know which option President Xi will choose. Can you enlighten us re which one? I hope it is more accurate than your earlier comments regarding the Boeing 737 Max made in your post of June 22!
gera wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:45 am
The plane will be certified within two to three weeks.

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Re: Hong Kong: What’s Going On?

Post by fountainhall » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:35 pm

Britain’s supreme duplicity in its concern for the welfare of Hong Kong citizens was once again on full display yesterday. The Chairman of the powerful Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee has called for Britain to offer full citizenship to all Hong Kong citizens, including the right of abode.
The UK should give Hong Kong citizens full UK nationality as a means of reassurance amid the current standoff with Beijing, the chair of the influential Commons foreign affairs committee has argued.

Tom Tugendhat said this should have happened to people in the formerly British-ruled territory in 1997, when it was handed back to Chinese control, and that doing so now would reassure Hong Kong’s people that they were supported by the UK.
In the 1950s and 1960s this is precisely what Britain did for citizens of its former colonies. It was also precisely what Portugal did to all Macanese born before 1984 and their children prior to the handover of Macao back to China in 1999. But we now know that Britain did everything in its power to stop that action by Portugal.

Having signed the Joint Declaration with Britain on Hong Kong’s future in 1984, China opened negotiations with Portugal about Macao’s return. Britain became alarmed about the possibility of all Macanese being provided Portuguese passports. That raised red flags in London about Macao Chinese flooding in to Portugal and from there to many other EU countries, including the UK. Recently declassified files make the UK’s policy very clear. One October 1985 letter from Britain’s Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd, to the country’s Foreign Secretary, Geoffrey Howe, stresses the point. Not only was Hurd adamant that Hong Kong citizens not be permitted to live in the UK, he asked the Foreign Secretary to exert pressure on the Portuguese to ensure they acted similarly in respect of citizens of Macao, but only to dampen the pressure already building in Hong Kong!
Surely it is clear that we may come under some pressure, because of the position of Portuguese nationals in Macau [the old spelling], to allow freer access to the United Kingdom to Hong Kong BDTCs [British Dependent Territories Citizens] than is presently permitted. I gather the fact that the Hong Kong Government, at least at official level, has already indicated that it may be expected to press for this as a result of public opinion over there. I am sure we should resist such pressure
Image
The underlinings are from the original letter. They are not mine.

By this time, Britain had changed its policy on citizens of former colonies being permitted to live in the UK. When it came to Hong Kong, only 50,000 of the estimated 4 million citizens were finally permitted to do so.

During the 1990s, when the policy of Hong Kong’s then Governor Christopher Patten, abetted by Hurd [then Foreign Secretary], secretly opened the door a little to increased democracy and the Chinese reacted very angrily to this breach of the Joint Declaration, senior parliamentarians and economists in the UK urged the government to change its policy and permit all Hong Kong citizens to live in the UK if they so wished. Apart from the moral argument, the view was expressed that this would give the UK a huge boost economically, given Hong Kong citizens’ propensity for hard work and creating wealth. John Major’s government firmly rejected the argument.

And so now the wheel has turned 180 degrees. Now it is a senior member of the government not only proposing to issue full UK passports to Hong Kong citizens but admitting that its policy in relation to Hong Kong pre-1997 was wrong. Is it little wonder that the people of Hong Kong are angry at the UK for the way its government flip-flopped so frequently re the return of Hong Kong to China?

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... -tugendhat

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Re: Hong Kong: What’s Going On?

Post by Jun » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:29 pm

fountainhall wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:45 am
With all respect, I think you also forget that most of the protests in Hong Kong have been almost exclusively peaceful.
If you read my post, you will note that it was directed specifically at the airport closure. I'm OK with peaceful protests that do not cause unreasonable disruption to the other citizens who choose to continue life as normal. Closing an airport means the protesters interfere with the freedom of movement of other citizens. So the police need to stop that. Even if it requires a significant force.

fountainhall wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:35 pm
Britain’s supreme duplicity in its concern for the welfare of Hong Kong citizens was once again on full display yesterday. The Chairman of the powerful Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee has called for Britain to offer full citizenship to all Hong Kong citizens, including the right of abode.
The UK should give Hong Kong citizens full UK nationality as a means of reassurance amid the current standoff with Beijing, the chair of the influential Commons foreign affairs committee has argued.
Tom Tugendhat said this should have happened to people in the formerly British-ruled territory in 1997, when it was handed back to Chinese control, and that doing so now would reassure Hong Kong’s people that they were supported by the UK.
In the 1950s and 1960s this is precisely what Britain did for citizens of its former colonies.
Britain is a densely populated island with about 60 million people. I would guess the total population of our former colonies is comfortably over 2 billion, so we cannot allow free movement of them all to the UK.
So the only question is should we make a special case for Hong Kong ? At least they are good hard working people without the toxic behaviour that we see from some other places. I would personally be fine with Hong Kong being made a special case, but we cannot go on and make numerous other countries into special cases.

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