Rally for Democracy in Hong Kong

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swallow swallow's picture

"Washington has decided to unleash havoc against Beijing" -- well, maybe, but it's the people on the streets of Hong Kong who are doing this. They are not mindless zombie puppets of the evil empire. These sort of posts are disturbing, I think, in denying that people protesting have any agency fo their own. Hong Kong's umbrellas a re made in Hong Kong. 

ilha formosa

I can't dispute anything in the above article. But the CCP itself, while it has had some successes, is also a contributor to discontent in Hong Kong and China. Meddling by these groups is counter-productive to home-grown democracy in China.

Quote:
“If he [Xi Jinping] had negotiated from a position of strength,” Mr. Diamond said, “and pursued a strategy of delivering ‘gradual and orderly progress’ toward democracy in Hong Kong, albeit at a more incremental timetable than democrats were hoping for, he could have pre-empted this storm.”

For China, Limited Tools to Quell Unrest in Hong Kong

ilha formosa

Thousands return to streets in protest at government's decision to cancel talks with students (11 October, 4:02am, hkt)

---

according to the feed, also posted above - Occupy Central Civil Disobedience Movement (Umbrella Revolution):

Parts of gov't HQ area in Admiralty is turning into an art-cupation site. Painting, origami workshops going on.

The student group 'Scholarism' led by 17-year old Joshua Wong, has written an open letter to the PRC President (posted to above site on Oct. 11, 21:27, Hong Kong time):

Quote:

[21:27] Scholarism's open letter to Xi Jinping with regards to the welfare of Hong Kongers.

Summary:

  • Quoted Xi's official line in 17 March 2013 ("We shall be always hearing from the people, respond to their expectations, ensure equal rights of participation and development, so as to maintain social justice.") and addressed that Hong Kongers' desire for civil nomination exactly matches Xi's quote.

  • Emphasized that the "Occupy" movement happening in Hong Kong is definitely not a "colour revolution".

  • Genuine democracy does not mean to overthrow the regime, instead, it is a reflection of the high degree of autonomy stated in the Basic Law, and the PRC government should not be afraid of this.

  • Scholarism sincerely respects "one country, two systems", and hopes Xi not to tolerate a corrupted official (i.e. CY Leung) to destroy "one country, two systems" and his "Chinese Dream".

Recommendations for Xi to solve the problems in Hong Kong:

  1. Hong Kong's principal officials must be held responsible and be accountable to Hong Kongers. They have to rectify the problem.

  2. A democratic system of equal rights must be set up.

  3. The principles of "one country, two systems" must be followed strictly to solve the problems locally and politically.

/u/Palm_OS

The "summary" points above are non-antagonizing and reach out to show the students want to build on the same ground as the PRC government.

As worded above, the recommendations are rather general, with leeway for interpretation.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

[url=https://ricochet.media/fr/102/voix-de-hong-kong]Les voix de Hong Kong[/url]

Quote:
Une série de manifestations pro-démocratie transforme le paysage de Hong Kong depuis fin septembre. Les rues sont bloquées par les barricades, les bureaux du gouvernement assiégés jour et nuit par le mouvement Occupy Central : une réponse du peuple de Hong Kong au projet du gouvernement chinois de restreindre le suffrage universel aux élections du futur chef de l’exécutif en 2017. Parmi les manifestants les plus actifs se trouvent étudiants et écoliers, qui ajoutent une dimension sociale aux débats politiques. Quel sera le futur de Hong Kong? En quoi les valeurs de la nouvelle génération s’opposent-elles au savoir-vivre de leurs parents? Témoignages de Hongkongais et d’Hongkongaises à travers ce photoreportage de Daria Marchenko, qui a posé la question : « Que pensez-vous des événements de Hong Kong? »

ilha formosa

Some history...tempers some of my statements above.

Declassified-  The secret history of Hong Kong’s stillborn democracy

Quote:
What the documents from even earlier show is that this showdown—Brits floating democracy, Chinese leaders threatening to invade—had been going on since the 1950s, three decades before we previously knew.

Why did neither ever happen? Hung says that the Brits wanted to make sure they’d protected their economic interests before they departed, much the way they did in Singapore and Malaysia. And when Mao founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949, he and Zhou Enlai decided not to seize Hong Kong—which the British at the time expected—because the capitalist territory was their lone source of foreign exchange and a strategic portal for manufacturing trade that would eventually drive China’s double-digit growth. As the newly declassified documents reveal, China’s leaders explicity wanted to “preserve the colonial status of Hong Kong” so that the People’s Republic could “trade and contact people of other countries and obtain materials” it badly needed.

Both the British and the Chinese governments benefited from the nearly 50-year deadlock of Hongkongers seeing neither democracy nor an invasion. But as the recent protests eerily hint, this limbo can’t endure forever.

Beware the Hong Kong Democratic Time Bomb

Quote:
The transition was complicated, however, by the last governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten (1992-1997), who shocked Beijing by introducing more-or-less democratic elections at most tiers of colonial government during the dying years of British rule.  The move caused outrage in China, with Chinese leaders accusing Patten of violating both the letter and the spirit of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Hong Kong Basic Law.  For around 150 years, London had governed Hong Kong with characteristic disregard for the liberties of its inhabitants.  Now, with just a few years of British rule remaining, the political rights of Hong Kong residents were put front and center.  From Beijing’s perspective, the timing of Britain’s belated preoccupation with democratization looked suspiciously like a time bomb designed to undermine Chinese rule from the get-go.

Putting Hong Kong in Historical Context

Quote:
As a result of Patten’s reforms, Beijing in 1997 was forced to digest a territory whose citizens had become used to a form of democratic governance. The PRC’s leaders, who had promulgated the doctrine of “one country, two systems” as a way to allay the concerns of the Hong Kong business elite, found themselves bound to preserve the broad contours of a political system anathema to the very foundations of Communist Party rule. Today’s tug-of-war between autocrats in Beijing and pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong is thus a direct consequence of the “democratic time bomb” left behind by the retreating British.

Hong Kong was the goose laying golden eggs, and conveniently undemocratic, for both China and Great Britain.

 

 

ilha formosa

Right -- there was a need to allay fears and maintain economic, ergo social, stability. The authorities didn't want the Hang Seng index to fall off a cliff as droves of the elite physically emigrated. But global capital today, which is naturally small 'c' conservative and quite blind to the liberties that true long-term prosperity is based on, is in favor of authoritarian China. They look at odds, not ethical principles.

Quote:

Before the umbrella protests of Hong Kong it was easier to believe that it was only a matter of time before the peripheries were fully absorbed into the empire and made safe for Chinese Communist Party rule. And that's the way the way that Hong Kong's great multinational banks, the world's top four accounting firms, and even the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong still see the odds, judging by their recent statements.

"The present situation is damaging to Hong Kong's international reputation, may harm Hong Kong's international competitiveness, and is creating an uncertain environment that may be detrimental to investment, to job creation and to Hong Kong's prosperity into the future," said Austcham, in a statement on September 29 which echoed Communist Party propaganda almost word-for-word, and incited a heated internal backlash.

Geoff Raby, a former ambassador who represents Australian corporations in Beijing and sits on the board of Andrew Forrest's iron ore company, Fortescue, was empathetic with the protesters he surveyed in central Hong Kong. Indeed, their earnest faces were haunting reminders of those he'd seen a quarter of a century earlier in Tiananmen. And, to him, their hopes are as futile now as they were back then. To contemplate otherwise would not just be wrong, as he put it this week in the AFR, but "ideological". So much so that Canberra should resign itself and allow history to take its inevitable course if the People's Liberation Army is once again sent in. "It will be a time for cool reason, rather than ideological enthusiasm," according to Raby. 

Similarly, when the Sunflower protesters occupied the Taiwanese Yuan, in response to President Ma Ying-jeoh bypassing the island's hard-won democratic institutions to sign a wide-ranging economic integration pact with the mainland, economists at ANZ felt qualified to instruct the island's misguided youth what was good for them. "The protest in Taipei may heighten the anti-Mainland sentiment that is seen in Hong Kong," they said in a research note of March 26. "Turning back such economic integration will only exacerbate the current plight of the middle class, increase youth unemployment, and lead to a loss of thousands of high quality job opportunities."

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/young-people-of-taiwan-and-hong-kong-refusing-to-accept-the-unification-of-greater-china-20141010-1147tq.html#ixzz3FzWnFvxx

Raby et. al. leave me unconvinced me that global capitalism, including the PRC's crony variant of it, is the cure and not the cause for "the current plight of the middle class" increased youth unemployment, and losses of thousands of high quality job opportunities. The driving force of this year's protests in Hong Kong and Taiwan (do not ignore it!) has not merely been ideological enthusiasm.

Taiwan President Ma's manner of negotiating the Cross-Strait Services Trade Agreement (CSSTA) prompted students to occupy the Taiwan legislature for 24 days this spring. Hong Kong watched closely; Taiwan universities have many HK students.

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

 

ilha formosa

Young people of Taiwan and Hong Kong refusing to accept the unification of 'Greater China'

Western media largely ignored the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan, which peaked in a half-million strong demonstration in Taipei streets on the afternoon of March 30.

Quote:
"The Sunflower Movement activated people to care about where we live and question how things are run," said Maggie Yang, who grew up in Sydney and returned to study in Taipei, before joining the movement. "I really under-estimated Taiwanese children."

This little-known renaissance of Taiwanese identity that bloomed earlier this year helps explain the significance of what has been taking place this past fortnight, as tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of students and supporters have poured onto the streets of downtown Hong Kong. A whole generation of the most educated residents of 'Greater China' – as investment bankers like to call it – are refusing to accept the inevitability of "unification".

...

The meta-narrative of ever-growing power is the drumbeat that accompanies Beijing's policies of territorial coercion across its southern and eastern seas. It is the subtext that persuades foreign governments to remain silent as Beijing abandons all restraint to subdue the restive borderlands of Tibet and Xinjiang. It is has also been the incentive for economic beneficiaries to avoid seeing, or to rationalise, or to even actively support China's underground program to degrade, dismantle and decapitate the institutions of civil society and government enjoyed by the citizens of Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Before the umbrella protests of Hong Kong it was easier to believe that it was only a matter of time before the peripheries were fully absorbed into the empire and made safe for Chinese Communist Party rule. And that's the way that Hong Kong's great multinational banks, the world's top four accounting firms, and even the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong still see the odds, judging by their recent statements.

...

It is usually assumed that time is on Beijing's side but the young generations of Taiwan and Hong Kong are betting it's the other way around. While it has been Hong Kong that has captured the headlines it is Taiwan - the great unfinished business of the Communist revolution, with its population equal to Australia's - where the battle to define the values of greater China is likely to be lost or won.
... 

"Limited cross-strait reconciliation has lulled the world into complacency," says Jerome Cohen, a lawyer who is held in high esteem on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. "The low-hanging fruits of economic cooperation have all been gathered and the Mainland – now under increasingly assertive and harsh new leadership – seems less attractive than ever to most Taiwanese. In a few years 'the Taiwan problem' will again make fussing over some rocks in the East China Sea and South China Sea look like child's play."

The young protesters of Hong Kong and Taiwan are fighting to defend the institutions that have made their societies among the most prosperous, pluralistic and civilised on earth. With implications for people everywhere, they are fighting to extract a cost whenever China's current rulers attempt to make the world safer for themselves by eroding the ideals and practice of the rule of law. And the popularity and demographics of their cause suggest that the defeat of their ideals is not as inevitable as it might once have seemed.

"It is usually assumed that time is on Beijing's side but the young generations of Taiwan and Hong Kong are betting it's the other way around."

Strike out the phrase "betting it's" in the above sentence and replace it with "working to make it."

 

takeitslowly

ilha formosa wrote:

Some history...tempers some of my statements above.

Declassified-  The secret history of Hong Kong’s stillborn democracy

Quote:
What the documents from even earlier show is that this showdown—Brits floating democracy, Chinese leaders threatening to invade—had been going on since the 1950s, three decades before we previously knew.

Why did neither ever happen? Hung says that the Brits wanted to make sure they’d protected their economic interests before they departed, much the way they did in Singapore and Malaysia. And when Mao founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949, he and Zhou Enlai decided not to seize Hong Kong—which the British at the time expected—because the capitalist territory was their lone source of foreign exchange and a strategic portal for manufacturing trade that would eventually drive China’s double-digit growth. As the newly declassified documents reveal, China’s leaders explicity wanted to “preserve the colonial status of Hong Kong” so that the People’s Republic could “trade and contact people of other countries and obtain materials” it badly needed.

Both the British and the Chinese governments benefited from the nearly 50-year deadlock of Hongkongers seeing neither democracy nor an invasion. But as the recent protests eerily hint, this limbo can’t endure forever.

Beware the Hong Kong Democratic Time Bomb

Quote:
The transition was complicated, however, by the last governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten (1992-1997), who shocked Beijing by introducing more-or-less democratic elections at most tiers of colonial government during the dying years of British rule.  The move caused outrage in China, with Chinese leaders accusing Patten of violating both the letter and the spirit of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Hong Kong Basic Law.  For around 150 years, London had governed Hong Kong with characteristic disregard for the liberties of its inhabitants.  Now, with just a few years of British rule remaining, the political rights of Hong Kong residents were put front and center.  From Beijing’s perspective, the timing of Britain’s belated preoccupation with democratization looked suspiciously like a time bomb designed to undermine Chinese rule from the get-go.

Putting Hong Kong in Historical Context

Quote:
As a result of Patten’s reforms, Beijing in 1997 was forced to digest a territory whose citizens had become used to a form of democratic governance. The PRC’s leaders, who had promulgated the doctrine of “one country, two systems” as a way to allay the concerns of the Hong Kong business elite, found themselves bound to preserve the broad contours of a political system anathema to the very foundations of Communist Party rule. Today’s tug-of-war between autocrats in Beijing and pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong is thus a direct consequence of the “democratic time bomb” left behind by the retreating British.

Hong Kong was the goose laying golden eggs, and conveniently undemocratic, for both China and Great Britain.

 

 

There was a great push for reform starting in the late 80s because of Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and the increase fear after the 1997 handover.

ilha formosa

**Important note**: It was NOT "fed-up residents" that started attacking protesters in the Mong Kok area on Oct. 3, but hired goons.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=618267964952128&fref=nf

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/04/hong-kong-legislator-accuse...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/03/hong-kong-protestesters-dem...

video from The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/oct/04/hong-kong-protests-ba...

Gov't-triad dealings around the handover: Triads and China do Hong Kong deal

I think the genuine residents that are tired of the protests are generally decent, pragmatic and hard-working people, not particularly inclined to wave little China flags nor attack others. One reported response of the protesters was to hear out other views in a civil fashion:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152260368510927&set=a.41409527...

 

 

 

ilha formosa

Looking at the reddit blog posted above (#35), on the afternoon of Oct. 13 a large contingent of older 'anti-occupiers' marched on the barricades around the gov’t buildings, accompanied by younger men wearing surgical masks to hide their faces (likely gang members). The column confronted the occupiers across a police line, shouted slogans (like “Clear the streets!” and “Foreigners f—k out of here!”) and tore down some barriers. They did not succeed in ousting the occupation, but did motivate occupiers to reinforce their barriers with some help from construction workers who gave pointers on how to build scaffolding with bamboo poles. There is also a photo of occupiers mixing concrete with a shovel.

Assuming some truth to allegations of people being paid to display opposition to the occupy movement, I’m guessing this short but large anti-occupy confrontation, that seemed to show up and depart on a schedule, was staged more for the key mainland audience than anyone else. It would be a win-win of sorts: some HK locals make some good quick money, while the CCP gets some footage to twist and show on the mainland. But I am only surmising.

ilha formosa

From the reddit feed: Reports of a few more short anti-occupy protests, one of them lasting 5-10 minutes. Alas, the bamboo scaffolding was no match for police with chainsaws. Police are quietly and methodically re-taking protester-occupied areas around the government HQ, clearing the major artery, Queensway.

Quote:

Alan Wong @byAlanWong Follow

Police's latest playbook: identify weak points, creep in early morning, avoid clashes, isolate clearance sites. Key: Don't anger the public.

10:25 AM - 14 Oct 2014

Clearing the way for tycoon-ocracy:

Quote:
...with rising economic inequality - Hong Kong's Gini coefficient is the highest in all Asia - comes social unrest, as we see in the Occupy protests around the world. The protests in Hong Kong are strikingly similar, with the young and middle class being the primary demonstrators against issues of inequality. Young people, especially, bear the burden of high economic inequality, as the prospect of owning property is completely out of reach for most. They see no possibility of an affluent future because their interests are not represented at the decision-making level.

Despite the fact that Beijing, the Hong Kong government and business leaders are always reiterating the narrative of a "prosperous Hong Kong", that prosperity remains in the hands of a few and income mobility is minimal for the vast majority.

Second, other concerns, such as cage homes, environmental or civil rights issues are unlikely to be addressed by chief executive candidates unless these matters are represented in the nominating committee. Although almost 20 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line, the interests of the poor are hardly represented on the current Election Committee.

ilha formosa

Watching Hong Kong: Taiwan on guard against China

Quote:
...while Hong Kong's protest numbers may be dwindling, for many Taiwanese, the battle has just begun.

A note on the inaccuracy of the terms “reunified,” “take back,” and "reclaim” as used in this article and the Taiwan-China context in general. Taiwan was never formally a part of a mainland empire until the last dynasty, which was not led by ethnic Han Chinese. Like Hong Kong, Taiwan did not develop into what it is today while ruled under the People’s Republic, founded in 1949. Also, it was once official KMT policy to “reclaim" the mainland, during the period when the KMT refugees on Taiwan held a UN Security Council veto and claimed to be the legitimate government of all China, going beyond even today’s mainland borders. So who wants to reclaim whom? That said, it’s important to note that the KMT does not equal Taiwan, a multi-party democracy.

ilha formosa

Well, this justifies police brutality and bringing in the tanks. Jet Li and Jackie Chan have amply shown how dangerous umbrellas really are.

Quote:
A lawmaker in Hong Kong who supports the Chinese government reportedly cited Kung Fu movies as a justification for the violent crackdown on the protesters who have become known as the "Umbrella Revolution."
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/politician-kung-fu-movies-show-danger-of-umbrella-protests-2014-10#ixzz3GMkiU9d7

Despite major territorial losses, the protests persist. Tables set up in one protest zone for students to do their schoolwork.

ilha formosa

One police gang-up on a protester getting much attention. Sweet empty offerings for the future from Chief Exec. Leung. Protesters re-filling the streets. The dude with the Captain America shield is hurting the democracy movement more than helping it. Anonymous is hacking PRC systems.

Quote:

The Cost of China's Determination in Hong Kong

Even if, as likely, the protesters eventually give up without obtaining meaningful concessions, the events in Hong Kong over the last month reveal an ominous trend for China.

Consider demographics. Although the protests encompassed a broad swathe of Hong Kong society, students—epitomized by the precocious 17-year-old Joshua Wong—served as the movement's organizational leadership. This was no accident: The first generation in Hong Kong to come of age after China assumed sovereignty of the territory in 1997 looks upon the mainland least favorably. A Hong Kong University poll conducted in September found that 75 percent of residents aged 18 to 29 distrust the Chinese government, while 85 percent express little or no confidence in "one country, two systems," Hong Kong's post-colonial arrangement to maintain separate legal and economic institutions from China through 2047.

"'One country, two systems' was actually a compromise between China and Hong Kong's business elite, as it allowed this elite to continue operating for 50 years," said Joseph Lee, a professor of history at Pace University in New York. "But the compromise reflected short-term thinking, and paid no attention to the needs of the newer generation.”

Smart Steps for Hong Kong’s Democrats: "Play the longer game. Limit turf battles. Broaden the coalition."
I didn't get past the paywall for this, but there is a longer game. The hard-line CCP long game would be to extinguish freedom of expression and brainwash the next generations.

ilha formosa

epaulo13 wrote:
The issues raised by the protests, lack of democracy and an unfair economy, are very real. But so are the concerns of Beijing for economic growth and continuing to lift people out of poverty, something China has done remarkably well.

Can't argue against alleviating poverty, but China will have to confront, sooner or later, the dark costs of how it has gone about achieving this. There are also many fragile value bubbles (for example, shiny empty buildings, if not towns; poisoned water and soil) in this economy that global capital has told us all to be so enthralled with. Aside from these points, I have to say the article above is a shoddy propaganda piece from the once very reputable South China Morning Post.

Quote:
from above article: 'China Should Get Nobel Peace Prize for Poverty Relief Success'

According to the last will and testament of Alfred Nobel, the prize should go to whoever “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.

Chinese people have received Nobel recognition twice: the Dalai Lama in 1989 and jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010.

According to Nobel's will quoted in the article itself, one country isn't eligible for the prize for work done within its own borders. Standing armies? If one does want to talk about what's happening internally, then look at why the PRC's internal security forces have grown larger than the PLA. And causing more Japanese defense forces to go to the East China Sea to watch the PLA Navy does not qualify as a peace congress. Recent activities in the South China Seas, India border areas, and a meeting of CCP brass with Taiwan tycoons don't qualify either.

Then there's calling the Dalai Lama a "Chinese person."

swallow swallow's picture

'China Should Get Nobel Peace Prize for Poverty Relief Success' says richest man in Norway. Emphasis added. China continues to be the favourite country of oligarchs of all nations, chasing the centuries-old dream of getting even rciher off trade with China. 

ilha formosa

Yes indeed, only this century many of the "riches" have come from milking low-wage labour and non-existent environmental standards.

from reddit feed:

See-saw battle going on. After the earlier clearance of the protest area in Mong Kok, massive crowds, many students, have re-occupied a much larger part of Nathan Road, taking up the entire width of it along several blocks on this Friday night/Saturday morning. At one point police forces were hemmed in and surrounded by masses of protesters. New protester barriers going up. Photos of batons raised and blood dripping. Police dogs being used, police say they are not responsible for dogs biting anyone. Police reportedly pepper spraying reporters as well. Getty Images photographer Paula Bronstein detained. Allegations and photos showing police have covered up their individual badge numbers.

HK press freedoms and police accountability accelerating downhill.

Hong Kong's Journalists Battle Self-Censorship, Intimidation and Police Violence to Report Umbrella Revolution · Global Voices

 

ilha formosa

Journalist pepper-sprayed in the face considers filing complaint against police

Quote:
[Bronstein's] arrest was swiftly condemned by the Foreign Correspondents Club in Hong Kong, which demanded her immediate release and “an end to such intimidation”, which it called a “flagrant violation of the media’s right to report on this unfolding story”...other photographers (again clearly identifiable as working journalists) were threatened by police with being baton-charged if they tried to leave one area for another. "There appears to be a worrying pattern developing here. We have every right to be concerned about signs that some police officers have been trying to intimidate journalists covering the protests, and to speak out about it," Joshi said.

The Police Public Relations Bureau said Bronstein was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and is required to report to a police station later this month. Police had yet to release a statement on the FCC’s allegations. But on Saturday, Bronstein seemed eager to move on from the incident, speaking about uplifting aspects of the pro-democracy protests.

This 23-minute Vice News video gives a ground-level feel of the protests from late September to early October: Hong Kong Rising

For me, two statements sum up the situation:
-One student said it was their last chance to defend Hong Kong as they know it.
-Another pointed out that if Hong Kong makes progress on democratic rights, the rest of China will want the same, and that is what the PRC government fears the most.

It's a struggle for the soul of China.

Is there a middle ground? I reiterate my view that the CCP must take on the role as steward of a gradual and genuine democratization throughout China, if it does not want things to blow up in its face. This would prove the CCP to be intelligent, not weak. Real domestic pressure for change is growing, and force will not hold it in check forever. Better to understand this and manage it, because...we have seen before what happens when China falls apart.

The emperor-as-grand-patriarch structure remains deeply rooted in Chinese culture, so steps toward something akin to a constitutional monarchy, where the Central Politburo Standing Committee as de facto monarch still holds significant power, IMHO would be the direction to take.

NDPP

Hong Kong's Umbrellas Are 'Made in USA'  -  by F William Engdahl

http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/10/08/hong-kongs-umbrellas-are-made...

"Washington has decided to unleash havoc against Beijing as it has unleashed the Ukraine dis-order against Russia and Russian links to the EU..."

ilha formosa

Quote:
...electoral politics is far from the only thing people are unhappy with or will be concerned about. At present, the reality is that Hong Kong's economy has only two main pillars - the property sector and financial services. Most of the other elements that once existed, such as agriculture, light industry or textiles, have been hollowed out. This is not a healthy or sustainable situation. The financial sector alone cannot offer job opportunities to everyone, especially in an economy where most positions are open to global competition.

And an economy based on property speculation will inevitably result in the housing crisis Hong Kong currently faces. With property prices pushing decent accommodation out of the hands of most, and astronomical rents pushing up the prices of everything else, there is a real question of whether the next generation will be able to afford to live in the city of their birth.

Hong Kong has more than just democracy to worry about Chandran Nair, Oct 15

Quote:
...will China send in the People’s Liberation Army to quell any further dissent? Though some might expect exactly that, my answer to this question is an unequivocal no.

The reason is really quite simple: President Xi cannot afford to have any more problems. Xi Jinping already has enough on his plate, with the fight against corruption and the drive to reduce income inequality and social polarisation in China. These are the key issues that he needs to address in order to maintain popular support at home; these are the issues that directly affect his own position as Party leader and ultimately the very survival of the Party itself. China really cannot afford a human rights disaster in Hong Kong. It is bad enough that Hong Kong’s Chief Executive CY Leung has made such a mess of the situation already—Xi would only make it worse by sending in troops.

Taking to the streets of Hong Kong: are both sides losing control? Han Dongfang 17 October

swallow swallow's picture

Re "made in the USA" -

swallow wrote:

"Washington has decided to unleash havoc against Beijing" -- well, maybe, but it's the people on the streets of Hong Kong who are doing this. They are not mindless zombie puppets of the evil empire. These sort of posts are disturbing, I think, in denying that people protesting have any agency fo their own. Hong Kong's umbrellas a re made in Hong Kong. 

ilha formosa

I have no doubts that US and other foreign, and for that matter, domestic, elements are looking to take advantage of whatever they can. But the grievances are wider and deeper than the CIA or any other external force could have manufactured. External forces may be at work, but the CCP itself has set the stage for them, as touched on above (e.g. post#44).

Are there no external forces at work higher up? Bankers? CEOs?

Hong Kong leader C.Y. Leung: 'External forces' involved in protests. Of course he's going to say that. Talks scheduled for Tuesday.

Quote:
The city's deputy leader, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, said Saturday that televised talks with pro-democracy protesters would take place on Tuesday, with Lingnan University President Leonard Cheng, a former adviser of Leung, as moderator.

This news received a lukewarm from Yvonne Leung, spokeswoman for the Hong Kong Federation of Students, who said the protest group didn't "have much opinion" about the details of the meeting.

Political commentator Frank Ching told CNN Monday that the talks are unlikely to produce results because the Hong Kong government is not in a position to meet the demands of the protesters.

"They can't agree to overthrow the August 31 decision [by China's National People's Congress]. I don't think that C.Y. Leung will resign. What is in their authority to do is to open up Civic Square, where the protesters used to be. The protesters want that to be opened up to the public."

 

ilha formosa

Quote:
“If it’s entirely a numbers game and numeric representation, then obviously you’d be talking to the half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than US$1,800 a month [HK$13,964.2],” Leung said in comments published by the WSJ, the FT and the INYT...

...Leung’s latest comments are likely to further fuel the anger of protesters who see him as hapless, out of touch and pandering to the whims of a small  number of tycoons who dominate the financial hub.

His quotes also echo that of Wang Zhenmin, a well-connected scholar and regular adviser to Beijing. Wang said recently that greater democratic freedom in the semi-autonomous city must be balanced against the city’s powerful business elite who would have to share their “slice of the pie” with voters. “The business community is in reality a very small group of elites in Hong Kong who control the destiny of the economy in Hong Kong. If we ignore their interests, Hong Kong capitalism will stop [working],” he said in August.

CY Leung: 'Democracy would see poorer people dominate Hong Kong vote'

Hong Kong Leader Warns Poor Would Sway Vote

Quote:
CY Leung said that so far, Beijing has allowed Hong Kong to handle the protests on its own but said that if protesters continued to confront the government, that could change. “Challenging myself, challenging the Hong Kong government at these difficult times will do no one any service, will do Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy no service,” he said.

HK gov't makes vague offers at talks, protest groups deciding what to do next, courts order protesters off streets.

 

ilha formosa

from the external force rag, Time magazine

Quote:
In perhaps the first TV debate of its kind on Chinese soil, young trumps old
 
More than any other event in the three weeks of pro-democracy protests that have rocked China’s most international city, the dialog—the government hesitated to call it a negotiation—dramatized the gulf between the generations. It was also a microcosm of the political tension at work within all of China, between a rising, educated generation groping after its political rights, and an older one insistent on withholding them. On screens and live audio streams, five representatives from the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) represented the sort of young people any nation would be proud to call its own: intelligent, informed and impassioned.

In talks with them were five senior government officials. Two officials remained mute throughout the 120 minutes and were widely mocked on social media for their silence. The others—headed by the government’s number two Carrie Lam—spoke mostly to utter legal sophistries and to tell the students what they have been saying for months: give up your fight and do as Beijing asks, because the decisions that have been made about Hong Kong’s political future cannot be changed.

To the thousands that had gathered at protest sites across the city to watch the talks on big screens, the government looked hopelessly out of touch...The officials, visibly uncomfortable at being brought to the table by a group of articulate twenty-somethings fresh from the barricades, offered modest concessions…But it sounded like the administration was buying time and they were called on it at several points. “It is the Hong Kong government who is giving up its responsibility,” said HKFS delegate Yvonne Leung. “It has the constitutional duty to fight for a democratic reform proposal for Hong Kong.”

...[HK Chief Secretary] Lam’s concluding remarks bore the faint augury of difficult times ahead. “I hope you have the courage and wisdom to think of a way out of the current situation,” she said, sounding unintentionally ominous. “I hope you share the responsibility with us.”

Out on the street, Ivan Tsang, 23, an office assistant, spoke for many when he urged protesters to ramp up their campaign. “Overall [the students] represented me and I respect that,” he said. “But I believe we need to make our actions more aggressive so the government will listen.”...What is certain is that the students came out best from the talks, shoring up their popularity before a large television audience that doubtless, until tonight, contained many undecided viewers.

ilha formosa

The wonderful economic benefits of tight integration with this super(corrupt)power.

Quote:
Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance has asked eight state-owned banks to provide details of outstanding loans to Chinese companies as fears of defaults by privately owned Chinese companies rise.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance investigates Chinese loans

ilha formosa

Meanwhile, a stone's throw away across the border, the central government aims to get minds early.

Quote:

Sensing subversion, China throws the book at kids' libraries

Since taking office two years ago, Mr. Xi has adopted a policy of “civil society elimination,” argues lawyer Teng. “The government sees civil society as a threat to its power, and thinks that if they don’t control its growth …it will become a powerful force for political change,” Teng adds. “That’s why they fear they have to arrest more and more people to keep the political system safe.”
[...]
But “it is very difficult to control all the political process and the whole ideological agenda,” says Mr. Nee. “I am not sure it is possible, and that is one reason for this continuous crackdown. There really is no end in sight.”

Seems logical that the more narrow the range of views tolerated, the wider will be the range of "external" views to threaten the CCP.

ilha formosa

Quote:
Given the roots of the Communist Party, it is not a little ironic that its chosen instrument for maintaining the status quo in Hong Kong are the tycoons...This is one of the many intellectual, moral and political contortions that the Chinese Communist Party has had to undergo with respect to the way it manages Hong Kong. But it sends a pretty bleak message to the majority of the people: “We don’t want you people running the show – this has been set up tor the rich.”

CY says the poor can't vote as we need to protect the rich  Howard Winn

People on streets with small placards around their necks stating “Second Class Citizen,” their occupations, and their monthly income below the CY Leung line.

ilha formosa

from reddit feed, posted by /u/hk8192; City University of Hong Kong survey numbers (haven't found cross reference yet; I'm not sure which Beijing proposal is being referred to, #6 seems to contradict #2)

Quote:

Gist of CUHK survey:

  1. Study done in Oct 8-15, week 2-3 of the occupying movement.

  2. 37.8% support occupy movement, 35.5% against (in Sept it was 31.1% support to 46.3% against)

  3. 53.7% deem police handling protests with tear gas inappropriate, 22.1% deem it appropriate

  4. 42.2% deem police handling conflict between occupier and anti-occupier inappropriate, 26.7% deem it appropriate

  5. Public trust score in police at 5.49/10. with 28.6% saying that they don't trust the police

  6. On political reform in 2017, 48.5% thinks that LegCo should veto the Beijing proposal (down from 53.7% in Sept) while 36.1% thinks that they should pass it (up from 29.3% in Sept)

  7. For those who think that the LegCo should veto the bill, 40.2% think that they should accept a proposal with democratization of the nomination committee with 12.5% against it. Together, if the formation process of nomination committee was amended with higher democratic elements, public support for it will amount to 55.6%.

takeitslowly

Its a little difficult to believe that more people support the occupy protest than those who don't. We need more polls. In  North America, we have so many polls

ilha formosa

An incisive look into China today: Crony Communism in China, Oct. 17, 2014. Minxin Pei is a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.

Quote:
[President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign] is unprecedented in sweep and ambition...Its goal is no less than to upend the unspoken system by which China’s elites have been governing since the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989: a self-reinforcing web of relations based on patronage and corruption. As a leader driven by a historic mission to safeguard the C.C.P.’s rule against all odds, Mr. Xi sees endemic corruption as a serious threat to the regime’s long-term survival. But corruption has penetrated so very deeply into the party-state that it has become the glue that holds it together. And so Mr. Xi’s campaign, which is meant to ensure the C.C.P.’s longevity, seems to pose an existential threat to it in the short or medium term.

...Unscrupulous officials have been stealing more since the early 1990s thanks partly to a large increase in infrastructure spending...Another source of windfall profit has been privatization — which is euphemistically called “property rights reform"...[A] newer, collusive form of corruption is far more pernicious because it is harder to detect and to stop, and it corrodes the institutional integrity of the state [and] threatens the party’s control over local elites.

...Fighting corruption is now one of the three pillars of [Xi's] domestic strategy, along with economic reform and the containment of pro-democracy forces...So far, he has relied on his control of the military to deter any challenge. But he will need to broaden his base of support, both inside the C.C.P. and in Chinese society. That means quickly promoting reformers within the party to positions of power and granting more autonomy to the judiciary to prosecute corrupt officials. It may also mean something more radical: allowing the media and civil society to act as citizen watchdogs, even though so far the Xi administration has seemed intent on curtailing those groups’ freedoms.

...it is clear [Xi] has already changed the rules of the game in China, particularly within the Communist Party. Less clear is whether the importance of prestige will turn out to be a stronger glue for the party than the bonds of venality that have been holding it together to date.

The part I bolded is eerily reminiscent of how democratic institutions ought to function. Why not start with preserving what Hong Kong already has?...This article really is an excellent look into what the CCP has recently been touting as a “meritocracy”:

Quote:
Colluding officials typically promote and protect each other in a tight patronage network...After Tiananmen and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the C.C.P. was left with little ideological appeal, and as a survival strategy, it began rewarding loyalists with lucrative positions, securing their support with material benefits. This made good political sense, but the C.C.P. did too little to limit the leeway of its minions, and they soon developed a sense of entitlement. They also began to follow a new modus vivendi, with officials at all levels trading favors to resolve their differences over personnel matters or the distribution of economic spoils. They maintained stability and cohesion within their ranks by way of oligarchic horse-trading. But now Mr. Xi’s war on corruption is challenging this post-Tiananmen elite bargain. By imposing austerity measures and penalties for corruption on the bureaucracy of the Chinese party-state, Mr. Xi risks alienating, even antagonizing, the country’s most powerful political force.

ilha formosa

Public support for Occupy movement growing, survey shows - cross-ref for part of above post

from reddit feed: Scuffles/battles/rain/crowds ebb and flow at same sites (Mong Kok, Admiralty, Causeway Bay). Instances of flammable liquid thrown into crowds but prevented from being lit, things being dropped from apartment buildings in Mong Kok, like excrement mixed with red paint. Well-known HK celebrities like Chow Yun Fat supportive of the movement threatened with mainland reprisals/bans/etc. PRC gov't angry at Kenny G too now. Some kind of vote to be held sometime by occupiers on something about their movement, maybe. To get its newspapers out, pro-democracy Apple Daily has had to constantly contend with anti-occupy troublemakers (the latter may include hired mainlanders or HK gangsters).

A good article on HK language and identity: Here’s why the name of Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Movement” is so subversive. (Chinese languages use the same "script," though vocabulary and grammar may differ.)

I wonder how HK police officers would personally feel if the PLA and/or People's Armed Police (PAP) were ordered into HK streets. The observance of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen incident was well-attended last June. Mainland forces moving in HK would stoke plenty of ill sentiments. The CCP must learn to bend or it will break, more from its own inflexibility than from external forces.

(I hope this image doesn't cause side scroll, etc.)

ilha formosa

Six Takeaways From The First Student-Govt Dialogue On Hong Kong's Protests Oct. 21
But is the government side bargaining in good faith when they speak of further negotiations? Or is it sweet talk to thin out the crowds? And if the crowds don't buy it?

Quote:
Government source hints at tougher line on Occupy protests if deadlock persists Oct. 23

The warning came a day after unprecedented talks between top officials and student leaders failed to persuade the protesters to end the occupation that has paralysed parts of the city for more than three weeks. "If the conciliatory approach doesn't work, doves within the government would be sidelined while hawks would gain the upper hand," one person familiar with the situation said. "We are worried that the administration would eventually use force to disperse protesters and a certain degree of bloodshed would be unavoidable.”

Quote:
U.N. rights watchdog calls for open elections in Hong Kong Oct 23

The committee agreed on "the need to ensure universal suffrage, which means both the right to be elected as well as the right to vote. The main concerns of Committee members were focussed on the right to stand for elections without unreasonable restrictions," Konstantine Vardzelashvili, who chaired the session, said at its conclusion.

but a pro-government admonition:

Quote:
Misled Democracy Could Jeopardize Hong Kong's Future - Oct. 22, Zhang Weiwei, Director of the Centre for China Development Model Research, Fudan University in Shanghai

One key issue is the order of the democratization process: The natural evolution of the Western democratic societies could be summed up this way: The first step is to develop the economy and the educational system. The second step is the establishment of the general culture for the citizens and the rule of law. The last step is democratization. If the above order is out of place, a society has to pay a severely heavy price. Now, the West is asking the Third World to achieve democratization in one step. This is the equivalent of making the final step the first or merging all three steps into one. The end result would be chaos.

Zhang Weiwei's argument applies more to the mainland, which is catching up to the place that has been trying to defend the rolling back of the first two steps, which it has already achieved. You talk about your wide travels, Mr. Zhang, but it seems you haven't been to Hong Kong, or if you have, through your own filters you conflate it with the rest of China. HK is not Third World. It could be an example of peaceful democratization for the rest of China. Now who fears that?

 

ilha formosa

takeitslowly wrote:

Its a little difficult to believe that more people support the occupy protest than those who don't. We need more polls. In  North America, we have so many polls

The big HK universities might provide more reliable data, but true, one poll is not enough. That said, media is largely controlled by tycoons, and if there were more polls, I'm sure some would be so biased as to be invalid.

ilha formosa

An interview with pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai.

Quote:
Apple Daily Owner Full of Wonder at Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy ‘Kids’

“A violent crackdown will ruin China as it ruins Hong Kong,” Lai said. “Xi Jinping has started a brutal campaign in China fighting the big tigers—those most powerful rivalries and vested interest groups. Every time he appears on TV, he’s tired. He cannot afford another fight here.” The solution? “He can give us universal suffrage here and take care of this in three days. What’s the big deal? If he did give this place real universal suffrage, his campaign in China would not seem like he was Mao Zedong reincarnated, concentrating all power on himself, another dictator.” This would make Xi Jinping seem like an “enlightened leader,” and “people would look at him in a different way.”

 ...Chinese leaders will probably have to do something, at some stage, Lai said. “I don’t think the student leaders have any say about how this movement will end. If the goods are not delivered, this movement is not going to end. These kids are fighting for their own future...This is going to be very long term...I’ve been working in the media for so long, so I’m supposed to understand the people. But I tell you, I don’t. I don’t understand them. Their potential power and fighting spirit is something I’ve just discovered. It’s amazing...They told me, ‘for us it’s very simple. We only have one choice: either we fight until the last breath we have, and keep this place our home, or we emigrate.’ ”

...“Within ten hours of Mong Kok being cleared out, about seven to nine thousand occupied it again,” Lai said. “I was quite shocked by the young people. I told myself that I really have to reassess and understand the Hong Kong people. It shows that the intensity of this movement is limitless. Its depth is bottomless. You never expect people to have such persistence and be so fearless. These kids…” he said, trailing off. “They were born with Western values, grew up with Western values, and act and understand the world through Western values,” Lai said. “They’re not answering to any leader, but the desperation in their hearts.”

He added that their values—freedom of speech and thought, open government, transparent dealings—could just as well be called universal values.

“The mainland values, mainland controls, political mechanisms—they can’t accept that political system. They can’t accept the mainland value system. They can’t accept the way that things function in the mainland. They just can’t.”

Asked whether he thinks that some younger people worry that a mainlandization of Hong Kong may be afoot, he said: “They don’t worry that it may happen. They feel that it’s going to be. They feel the changes over the last five, ten years, and how Hong Kong is being slowly encroached by the Chinese political and value system...All the momentum and power rests with these students. A lot of people think that after a while it will peter out and thin down, but the reverse is true: the more we fight, the more people understand the ideas and get affected and moved by it, and see the possibility...This is amazing. I’ve only rediscovered Hong Kong in this movement. I didn’t expect this. These kids, they’re the light. And they’re fighting this campaign so fearlessly. How can I understand that?”

takeitslowly

Apple daily is just too bias in favor of the protest, i am afraid that they are just inciting the students to die for a cause they cant win. Apparently, i read 20 percent of Hong Kong people live in poverty..right now, the scale of balance  is totally toward the riches, its just very frustrating to live in Hong Kong.  Leung is wrong of course, theres democracy in canada and america and the poor still dont have much power..its just too sad that the hong kong people have to be fed with BS and they cant do a thing about it. Nevertheless, i really do wonder if the protesters know who they are up against? Do they know that they need to be nicer to Beijing and reduce their rhetoric if they want to ever have a chance of some autonomy?

ilha formosa

takeitslowly wrote:

Leung is wrong of course, theres democracy in canada and america and the poor still dont have much power...Nevertheless, i really do wonder if the protesters know who they are up against? Do they know that they need to be nicer to Beijing and reduce their rhetoric if they want to ever have a chance of some autonomy?

Well, democracies everywhere are flawed to varying degrees. The Umbrella movement could aim for 'more' democracy, in a grey zone that can defuse the situation to the satisfaction of most. I hope they can direct criticism at Leung's government, not Xi's, and be seen as wanting to improve China, not weaken it. For example, by showing how democratic institutions can help root out corruption.

Hopefully there is something that can be done to sincerely settle this protest down. Like the nominating committee...

Quote:

China-Controlled Election Committee the Cause of Hong Kong Democracy Protests

It’s among the most powerful clubs in this city of enormous wealth and influence. Only 1,200 people are allowed in, and they decide who leads Hong Kong every five years...As thousands of protesters block city streets demanding democratic reforms, the future of Hong Kong’s exclusive — some would say purposefully opaque — election committee may prove key to defusing a high-stakes political standoff that has dragged on for nearly a month...Diving into the nominating committee’s arcane rules and broadening its membership may offer the only way out. “The only movable part is changing the constituency base of the nominating committee,” [said Michael Davis, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong]. “It’d be quite a lot of footwork, but it can be done.”

ilha formosa

Some intersections along Nathan Road are currently tidy standoffs; the police even have their own shelter. Animated debates go on in the side streets. Not all mainland visitors are anti-occupy mercenaries.

Here's an argument that the PLA using force on HK protesters would not be comparable to the Tiananmen Incident. The 228 Massacre would be a more fitting comparison.

Quote:
228, not Tiananmen: Cliché Misses the Role of Identity in Hong Kong Protests Oct. 20

...the [Feb. 28, 1947] Incident catalyzed the formation of a separate Taiwanese identity and continues to complicate political discourse in Taiwan decades later.

The 228 Incident serves as a warning to Beijing on how heavy-handed policy in Hong Kong could play out decades later. First, a mobilization of “mainland” forces to crush protests is likely to accelerate the formation of a separate Hong Kong identity. This would be a great setback to the PRC goal of a well-integrated Hong Kong.

Second, Beijing does not have to initiate a crackdown to build a Hong Kong identity–simply putting too much of a mainland face on policy will also do the trick. By being too meddlesome in the selection process for the Chief Executive, Beijing actually robs the Chief Executive of legitimacy and creates a target for both an opposition and an anti-mainland identity.

Repression in Hong Kong would also have destructive effects on Beijing’s Taiwan policy. The 228 Incident deeply scarred the Taiwanese, and remains significant in Taiwan’s political discourse as a rallying cry for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which has a Taiwanese nationalist agenda. A crackdown by mainland authorities in Hong Kong would fit neatly into an existing narrative of betrayal and political repression in Taiwan. “One country, two systems” would become an impossible sell to the Taiwanese, and the DPP would be greatly strengthened relative to the KMT, Beijing’s preferred interlocutor in Taipei. Beijing’s dreams of peaceful reunification with Taiwan could go up in smoke.

The core standoff...

Quote:
Plutocrats Against Democracy, Paul Krugman Oct. 23

It’s always good when leaders tell the truth, especially if that wasn’t their intention. So we should be grateful to Leung Chun-ying, the Beijing-backed leader of Hong Kong, for blurting out the real reason pro-democracy demonstrators can’t get what they want...The truth is that a lot of what’s going on in American [and other] politics is, at root, a fight between democracy and plutocracy. And it’s by no means clear which side will win.

Note: China has signed but not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Quote:
Deeds, not words July 2013

China is signatory to many key international human rights conventions. More importantly, China’s own constitution contains language, which, if only consistently followed through on, would put the country at the forefront of idealistic nations...Now is the time, for China’s stature in the world to meet its economic power  - for China to bring its actions swiftly and manifestly in line with its words, ideals and its constitution. Allowing true and free debate online about key issues - from the economy to politics -  without fear of deletion or harassment would be a tremendous step forward. Setting Chinese media free to report on and challenge authority would in fact make the government so much better and stronger. These would be the actions of a confident country, and one worthy of world admiration.

I agree with these nice ideas, but key questions to ask are: Who has benefited from that growth in economic power? And how? (More fundamentally: How is that economic power defined, and why are these definitions accepted?)

ilha formosa

From reddit: Now one month + 1 day old, the occupation has drawn big crowds this weekend, listening to articulate student leaders who’ve rightly earned a measure of popularity. Anti-occupiers, wearing blue ribbons to display their standpoint, allegedly attacked some protesters and media with fists and feet. Other reported "blue ribboner" activities include collecting signatures from the public for a petition to clear out protests, and holding up large banners so that the many mainlanders who go to shop in Mong Kok cannot see the protest areas so easily, along with the laundry hanging and hot meals being served there. A protester vote being held on Sunday, apparently on:

Quote:
/u/hk8192
Bill 1: The report submitted to Beijing must include that the HKSAR government recommends that the NPCSC retracts its decision on Aug 31. 
Bill 2: The platform dealing with political reform issues must state that the 2016 LegCo election must abolish functional constituencies and that 2017 CE election must consist of civil nomination. 
Options: Support/Against/Abstain 
Venue: Occupied areas at Admiralty, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay.  Date: 26/10 (Sun) to 27/10 (Mon)  Time: 7pm-11pm

One decorated democracy warrior is Martin Lee. (Like Anson Chan, he is one of Hong Kong’s (5% of pop.) Catholics - not a minor detail given Vatican-PRC relations - but they are Hong Kongers.)

Quote:
“The whole world has seen how peaceful the protesters have been,” Lee said.  Lee then directed his comments at Leung Chung-ying, Hong Kong’s chief executive and top official:  “He should be proud of the Hong Kong people. He should explain to Beijing that you have nothing to fear from these people...I don’t think the students insist on one model...The general fear is that Beijing controls all the candidates. What’s the difference between a rotten orange, a rotten apple and a rotten banana?...The ultimate end game would be the removal of everybody by force...They may try plastic bullets, which can kill people. Maybe they will use water cannons.”  Lee added that he doesn’t expect that outcome, or one similar to the bloody end of China’s Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, because China has matured since then. He said:  “In 1989, the Communist Party thought they would lose control of the entire country. There is no such worry now. China’s economy is strong. I don’t think think this will be a repeat of Tiananmen.”

An English language video of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy “Iron Lady” Anson Chan, who served 8 years as HK Chief Secretary and was also elected to the Legislative Council. Sharp as a razor at 74. She says one compromise could be to increase representativeness by having citizens instead of  businesses vote for a larger proportion of the 1200-member election committee, which in turn selects the Chief Executive. But if the candidates remain only chosen by Beijing, then there’s no point making changes until something genuine is offered. It’s up to the government to make concrete offers.

Quote:
(at 5:30 of video:) Q: How possible, how probable, do you think it is to achieve universal suffrage by 2017?
Chan: It will come one of these days. I think even the more idealistic [ones are] not expecting that in 2017 you will have genuine one man one vote. Give people some choice. Trust the people of Hong Kong to elect a chief executive who can on the one hand work with Beijing, but more importantly, in the eyes of the Hong Kong people, be seen to be our chief executive, in other words, somebody who will speak on our behalf, and help us defend "one country, two systems.”

ilha formosa

The reddit feed has been reporting many technical problems - not surprising (see above).

Two-part video report by al-jazeera:

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2014/10/hong-kong-occ...

http://glutter.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c4acb53ef01b8d0847b02970c-580wi

 

takeitslowly

 

 

lmao

takeitslowly

ilha formosa

Result of the protester-held vote: Cancelled. Not surprising.

from reddit: Over 2200 tents reported near government offices on Hong Kong Island in Admiralty, ie, "Umbrella Square".

Meanwhile across Victoria Harbour on the Kowloon side, in an area frequented by mainlander shopping tourists:

Quote:
tweet by ant @antd 11:29 PM - 26 Oct 2014
Such a nice vibe in Mong Kok now, hard to believe last weekend we were being chased down the road by police with batons and pepper spray

A translation of a cheeky poster in Mong Kok to Anti-Occupy mercenaries:

Quote:
Establish trade unions with colleagues and demand for receiving wages before work - to avoid not getting paid after work
Don't do it too violently - leave these actions to your colleagues
Strive for media exposure - to show that you've done your job
Compare salaries among different "contractors" - they may pay you differently
"Family allowance" is not included in your salary - think twice before you hurt the occupiers

/u/Palm_OS

Police now have folding chairs to sit on underneath the awnings they’ve set up for themselves, facing barriers along Nathan Road.

https://fbcdn-photos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-0/8946_350178581825434_2608404685733146073_n.jpg?oh=24dd89465f03cccc315b3d3d4190fdd4&oe=54AEE5FB&__gda__=1420997666_0cc7620bcc339e9e37ed272aa31164db

 

ilha formosa
ilha formosa

Reddit feed regularly reports falsehoods fabricated to portray the occupiers as violent.

 

https://scontent-b-nrt.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10313211_1004017742958490_7411619502573347191_n.jpg?oh=fccb9aece7243db1dd284c0c48b0c3da&oe=54E6DE62

ilha formosa

Looks like the craft of barrier-building is improving in response to the gravel trucks with attached backhoes.

Permalien de l'image intégrée

tweeted by Freakingcat @freakingcat

front view:

by:Freakingcat @freakingcat Follow The main barriers at #OccupyAdmiralty #OccupyCentral #UmbrellaRevolution 5:30 PM - 26 Oct 2014

 

 

ilha formosa

Quote:
Is Hong Kong China's Future? So far Chinese authorities have been able to defuse the tens of thousands of such demonstrations that take place every year. That task is only going to get harder, though, as technology evolves faster than the commissars can keep up. For every WhatsApp and WeChat the censors know about and can monitor, scores of new messaging programs are constantly emerging. During the term of Xi's predecessor Hu Jintao, smartphones were in their infancy. Now they're ubiquitous, challenging the Communist Party with every text, tweet and status update.

A Cyberwar Quietly Rages Over Hong Kong <This article for anyone interested in cyber activism/security/surveillance.

Police are using Hong Kong’s computer crime law to crack down on pro-democracy organizers
http://qz.com/285998/police-are-using-hong-kongs-computer-crime-law-to-c...

ilha formosa

On the generation gap:

Permalien de l'image intégrée

tweeted by: HKDemoNow ‏@hkdemonow  GENERATION WAR? 'A Letter to Our Parents' @inmediahk https://www.flickr.com/photos/inmediahk/15641013702/sizes/o/ … #UmbrellaRevolution #HongKong

ilha formosa

On the influence of the west on the Umbrella Movement:

A China Daily headline <rolleyes>
Occupy Central plots hatched 2 years ago: BBC <rolleyes again>

I’ll try to address some gargantuan issues in a few words. Democracy may have started in the west, but that doesn’t make it “western,” as gunpowder being invented in China does not make it “Chinese.” The bottom line is human beings are human beings, who are human beings. I don’t buy cultural relativism arguments and the invoking of Confucian rationales for defending “social order.” Don’t forget the Taoist sage Lao-tzu either, who advocated for individuals to be who they are, not merely fall into the place that society had pre-carved out for them. I’m not opposing social order, but saying the path to genuine social order is an order that is just. It would also be flexible and creative, and allow for a degree of disorderliness.

Quote:
"One way is to interpret that Hong Kong is fighting for democracy; another way is that the rule of law is being eroded," (said William Tang How-kong, former assistant commissioner of police.)

The term “rule of law” is very badly misunderstood, misused, and abused by authorities in China and Hong Kong. It refers to rule by legal procedures arrived at and applied in a just manner, not to rule through decrees handed down by the personalities who happen to hold power at the time. A false dichotomy is presented by the former policeman.

There is some discussion on why Hong Kong did not become democratic earlier, while it was a British colony. For example:
Why didn’t Hong Kong people fight for democracy before 1997?
How Hong Kong’s business elite have thwarted democracy for 150 years
The secret history of Hong Kong’s stillborn democracy
Why Hong Kong opposes Beijing but not the British colonial govt

So China didn't want the British to implement democracy - fair enough. I would say the colonists gladly complied. But had they made HK democratic earlier, I doubt it would have been with universal suffrage. Anyways, this discussion is rather moot for today's situation. Human beings are human beings. Will we learn from WW2? In the long run, a more solid foundation for Hong Kong's political system is not the Sino-British Joint Declaration, but the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For now, change must be gradual if it is to be stable. But it also has to be substantive, as we can see where the trajectory up to this moment has led. I don’t believe Hong Kongers are looking to overthrow the PRC regime, but if it doesn’t learn to bend, it will break - from its own brittleness, not external forces. A middle ground can be found. Suggestions of the last British governor of HK: Hope for Hong Kong

ilha formosa

tweets from reddit feed:

Quote:

Andrew Peng @TheAPJournalist 3:22 AM - 27 Oct 2014
HK Journalists Association's Shirley Yam called the attacks "barbaric"; claims 24 reporters covering #OccupyHK have been attacked in total.

Kris Cheng @krislc 1:25 AM - 27 Oct 2014
Admiralty study corners now powered by wind turbines!? #OccupyHK 

Yuen Chan @xinwenxiaojie  12:28 PM - 27 Oct 2014

Chow Yun-fatt shows why he is a #HK screen god. Asked abt being banned on Mainland: "I'll just make less then"

rebuttals to allegations of foreign interference:

No foreign powers behind Occupy protests, says academic
http://www.ejinsight.com/20141027-no-foreign-powers-behind-occupy-protes...

A shadowy “researcher” recycles doubtful claims about HK’s Occupy Central onto the world stage
http://www.asiasentinel.com/politics/conspiracy-oracle-backs-beijing-ban...

Foreign forces at work in Hong Kong?

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Beyond these Hong Kong-specific obligations, Beijing has other commitments to human rights under a variety of international treaties. The UN’s Universal Periodic Review, due for the mainland this month, is one acknowledgment that the human rights practices of countries are matters of international concern.

ilha formosa

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...apart from the clouds of tear gas at the start of the protests, and subsequent scuffles between protesters, their opponents, and the police, the movement has been overwhelmingly civil. The three-lane highway that passes in front of Hong Kong’s central government buildings has been transformed into an impromptu city-centre campsite. Wandering between the hundreds of numbered, multicoloured tents on Harcourt Road feels more like attending a nerdy music festival than a hotbed of political agitation. Each evening, scores of students diligently complete their homework at specially-constructed desks, as protest leaders deliver speeches nearby.

Hong Kong protests reach polite impasse Oct. 28

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Nearly nine out of 10 Hong Kong protesters say they are ready to stay on the streets for more than a year to push for full democracy to counter China's tightening grip on the city, according to an informal Reuters survey on Tuesday.

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With tensions mounting and the society on the verge of a split, the current situation does no good to the development of democracy in Hong Kong. [Professor Joseph Chan of the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong] said he understands that the students would want to see a peaceful ending to the protests. As for whether the government will work towards that, it will depend on which side of the forces within the government prevails, he said.
Student body should avoid antagonistic stance Oct. 27

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“Press freedom in Hong Kong is not in a good state – it’s not an authoritarian regime yet, but the pressure is on,” said Mark Simon, a senior executive at Next Media, the city’s only openly pro-democratic media conglomerate. “What’s saving the city now are these group acts of journalistic courage.”
The protests’ intensely public nature has fostered a heightened sense of caution. Although few protesters expect a Tiananmen-style crackdown, which would almost certainly spur an exodus from the city, many fear that Beijing will find ways to persecute organisers and high-profile supporters in a gradual, retroactive campaign.
Hong Kong protests bring crisis of confidence for traditional media -  Young turn to social media as newspapers and TV stations owned by local tycoons take care not to offend mainland China - The Guardian Oct 29

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