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Thread: Hong Kong police clash with pro-democracy demonstrators

  1. #41
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    Re: Hong Kong police clash with pro-democracy demonstrators

    Quote Originally Posted by Mizuho View Post
    Not really. You ignore the internal and external constraints Beijing has to operate under. It's much more difficult, if not impossible, to take away rights once they have been granted. That is why Hong Kong still has it's special privileges to this day, and why the communist party does not censor or abuse the people in the manner which they would any municipality in the mainland. Hong Kong is still China's only global city, and still it's window to the world. That is only the case because of the freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong's citizens, and the relative political stability created by Beijing's hands off approach. If the communist party thought it could gain by cracking down it would, but it hasn't because they would stand to lose more than they would gain.

    An immense amount of Chinese firms are listed in Hong Kong and are able to enjoy access to world markets, and the global capital markets, because of Hong Kong's special status. It's a loophole that has allowed autocratic china and it's state run multinationals to do business in a world dominated by free and liberal economies. The communist party cannot freely break the Basic Law or impose it's will in Hong Kong as it would any other Chinese city without repercussions that would only harm China. Let's not forget that Hong Kong is still a Chinese city, destroying it's status as a global financial center and as a world city would only serve to harm China in the long run. People and firms leaving Hong Kong will not be going to Beijing or Shanghai, they will be going to Singapore or Tokyo or the United States. China has everything to gain by keeping Hong Kong peaceful and prosperous. The only rational for curbing the freedoms in Hong Kong would be to prevent such ideas and freedoms coming to the mainland, which no one except the paranoid CCP has any any illusion will happen.

    Put simply, the CCP has shown that it's "will" will never be to tolerate democrats, free speech or political dissent. And yet it does so with Hong Kong. Not because it wants to, but because it makes complete sense to given the constraints they operate under.
    Again, I don't envy your the lessons you have to learn.

    Denying rights is the easiest of all political endeavors. A group of well armed enforcers can crush an unarmed population in a matter of days. This isn't just easy, it is the standard the world over. You sit in a perceived freedom under the yoke of a massive Authoritarian government with a huge army and the only thing standing between you and a massive crackdown is the US Military who, under current leadership, is about as likely to come to your aid as they are Ukraine... meaning not at all.

    You really have no idea how precarious Hong Kong's position is. I wish you the best of luck.
    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he stops voting for the Free Fish party.

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    Re: Hong Kong police clash with pro-democracy demonstrators

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    At least for the time being, I don't think there's any alternative. A harsh crackdown might shift the silent majority of Hong Kong residents for lack of a better term firmly on the side of the protesters. If so, the issue could become far more complicated. Some residents would undoubtedly leave given the connections you cited earlier. China's reputation as a reliable partner would be damaged, as it would be difficult for China to maintain that it honored the terms of its "One China-Two Systems" commitment. In the wake of any harsh crackdown, there would very likely be economic and political consequences regionally and even globally.
    The thing I think the CCP realizes is that this is not 1989. Even the great firewall and a media blackout will not keep the Chinese people insulated from knowledge of a Tiananmen style crackdown. Make no mistake about it, such imagery would be a far bigger threat to the CCP's political authority than the citizens of Hong Kong being allowed to vote. Any such crackdown would result in the death of westerners, and severe political and economic consequences. It will be very very hard for a party who's legitimacy is based on economic growth to explain to factory workers in Shenzhen why orders have stopped coming in and they all gat laid off. Keeping such news from being publicly expressed will also require a level of censorship and violence that will only risk truly enraging the average Chinese citizen.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Nevertheless, I don't expect Beijing to make any significant concessions for the reasons discussed earlier in this thread. As a result, I still suspect pressure will slowly be increased on the protesters for the time being. Efforts will be made to portray the protesters' actions as illegal, violations of the law, etc., but public perceptions will turn on whether the general public believes the protesters' have legitimate grievances for which no recourse was possible.
    Easier said than done. Tomorrow is the October 1 holiday, and some are predicting hundreds of thousands in the streets because everyone has the day off. With numbers like that it's very very hard for anyone to control the situation. I could easily see circumstances in which undisciplined protesters or outnumbered and scared police end up taking actions that make this entire event violent without the Chinese or protesters ever intending it. Once that happens then all cards are on the table and anything could happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    In the near-term, I don't think there will be any sudden and decisive effort to end the demonstrations. Whether or not the protests ultimately fizzle with little success in achieving the protesters' goals remains to be seen. Even if they dissipate in coming days or weeks, the protesters might simply shift strategy and attempt to organize a large-scale boycott of the upcoming elections. Such a tactic has been used elsewhere e.g., during the recent Egyptian elections, by opposition movements to try to portray the electoral process and outcome of the elections as illegitimate. Results of such boycotts are mixed at best. For example, in the aforementioned Egyptian elections, the outcome is widely viewed as legitimate despite abnormally low turnout. During the ongoing UN General Assembly regular session, some of the Mideast leaders praised Egypt's political transformation.

    Of course, I could be wrong. But this is how I see things right now.
    There are already enough pro-democracy MP's in the legislature to veto any election if Beijing does not change course, and they have promised to do just that. It won't get to the point where there are elections to boycott because of this. Of course, this put China on the back foot because there will come a time when CY has to be replaced and if that's not done through an open and fair election, expect a repeat of this exact same thing. China has no interest in seeing this happen again.

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    Re: Hong Kong police clash with pro-democracy demonstrators

    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    Again, I don't envy your the lessons you have to learn.

    Denying rights is the easiest of all political endeavors. A group of well armed enforcers can crush an unarmed population in a matter of days. This isn't just easy, it is the standard the world over. You sit in a perceived freedom under the yoke of a massive Authoritarian government with a huge army and the only thing standing between you and a massive crackdown is the US Military who, under current leadership, is about as likely to come to your aid as they are Ukraine... meaning not at all.

    You really have no idea how precarious Hong Kong's position is. I wish you the best of luck.
    Again, I don't think you understand the situation. You are thinking in a simplistic manner where the only check on violence is violence. No one is doubting the ability of the PLA to over run Hong Kong tomorrow. The point is that such an action would only serve to damage China's own interest, and so while they have the power to do it, they have no interest in doing that.

    It's like saying every skinny man is at the mercy of every muscle head in society, because at any point the muscle head could beat them to death. Sure, physically they could, but the muscle head would only be damaging their own life by doing so, and thus has no interest in doing it. This is Chess not Checkers, and fortunately the one thing that can be said about Chinese people and China in general is that they are practical.

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    Re: Hong Kong police clash with pro-democracy demonstrators

    Quote Originally Posted by Mizuho View Post
    Again, I don't think you understand the situation. You are thinking in a simplistic manner where the only check on violence is violence. No one is doubting the ability of the PLA to over run Hong Kong tomorrow. The point is that such an action would only serve to damage China's own interest, and so while they have the power to do it, they have no interest in doing that.

    It's like saying every skinny man is at the mercy of every muscle head in society, because at any point the muscle head could beat them to death. Sure, physically they could, but the muscle head would only be damaging their own life by doing so, and thus has no interest in doing it. This is Chess not Checkers, and fortunately the one thing that can be said about Chinese people and China in general is that they are practical.
    But when that skinny man is throwing punches at the muscle head I feel safe in warning the skinny man that a beating is coming. Especially when the given muscle head has a history of delivering brutal beatings.
    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he stops voting for the Free Fish party.

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    Re: Hong Kong police clash with pro-democracy demonstrators

    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    But when that skinny man is throwing punches at the muscle head I feel safe in warning the skinny man that a beating is coming. Especially when the given muscle head has a history of delivering brutal beatings.
    No punches are being thrown. Universal suffrage was guaranteed in the 1997 handover, this is a predictable course of events only changed by Beijing's decision to select the candidates that could stand in the election. Had they simply granted universal suffrage per the handover accords, it wouldn't mean a damn thing to mainland Chinese because they have long understood Hong Kong's special status does not apply to the mainland. But by going back on those agreements, Beijing has created a standoff which could lead them to the difficult decision of backing down or cracking down. Both options which are far more damaging to the CCP than allowing Hong Kong to enjoy another special privilege when it already has so many.

    People in Hong Kong are truly stunned at the size of the turnouts, and of the commitment of the demonstrators. This goes completely against everything Hong Kong, let alone Beijing, thought about how the SAR operated. No doubt the Chinese already realized they made a mistake, but they also realize the mistake has been made and they can't undo it at this point. Any way you slice it this is a huge policy blunder on the part of Beijing as they have made a predictable situation into one in which they face two damaging choices. The only way a crackdown happens is by accident, or due to internal CCP politics in which Xi is forced to act due to the pressure of competitors and enemies within the party. That may happen but the fact remains this is not the outcome the CCP expected or wanted, and if they could go back and change things, Hong Kong would have proper universal suffrage.

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    Re: Hong Kong police clash with pro-democracy demonstrators

    The idiocy if this whole situation is astounding. It only demonstrates how pretty much all the Western media are a bunch of corrupt propaganda outlets, little better than the Eastern news media they deride so much.

    Hong Kong democracy is not under threat, it is advancing. What this complaint is about, fundamentally, is that certain people want to have a completely open nomination process for the first direct competitive elections for the Chief Executive. Beijing's proposal is essentially that nominees will be selected by a committee and that committee consists of over a thousand people from various walks of life in Hong Kong. Where you see the prospect of a compromise is Beijing may relax the requirements for approval by that committee or change up the composition of the committee, which is currently seen as predominantly supportive of Beijing's policies in Hong Kong. One has to question whether that would even be necessary, since approval by the committee does not preclude a more liberal-leaning candidate being nominated in the first place and elections have a way of making officials more accountable to the people regardless.
    "For what is Evil but Good-tortured by its own hunger and thirst?"
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    Re: Hong Kong police clash with pro-democracy demonstrators

    Quote Originally Posted by Mizuho View Post
    The thing I think the CCP realizes is that this is not 1989. Even the great firewall and a media blackout will not keep the Chinese people insulated from knowledge of a Tiananmen style crackdown. Make no mistake about it, such imagery would be a far bigger threat to the CCP's political authority than the citizens of Hong Kong being allowed to vote. Any such crackdown would result in the death of westerners, and severe political and economic consequences. It will be very very hard for a party who's legitimacy is based on economic growth to explain to factory workers in Shenzhen why orders have stopped coming in and they all gat laid off. Keeping such news from being publicly expressed will also require a level of censorship and violence that will only risk truly enraging the average Chinese citizen.
    We agree. There are too many uncertainties and potential costs for China to carry out a forced clearing of the protesters. Moreover, the protests are happening in Hong Kong, which enjoys special status, rather than the heart of Chinese power in Beijing, so there are fewer incentives for such a crackdown.

    Easier said than done. Tomorrow is the October 1 holiday, and some are predicting hundreds of thousands in the streets because everyone has the day off. With numbers like that it's very very hard for anyone to control the situation. I could easily see circumstances in which undisciplined protesters or outnumbered and scared police end up taking actions that make this entire event violent without the Chinese or protesters ever intending it. Once that happens then all cards are on the table and anything could happen.
    I don't expect much effort on the part of Hong Kong's authorities or the police to rein in the 10/1 protests. There would be too much risk of an accidental incident that could lead events to run out-of-control. I do expect continued efforts at moral suasion for the time being, but additional measures (not necessarily police measures) aimed at ramping up pressure afterward.

    There are already enough pro-democracy MP's in the legislature to veto any election if Beijing does not change course, and they have promised to do just that. It won't get to the point where there are elections to boycott because of this. Of course, this put China on the back foot because there will come a time when CY has to be replaced and if that's not done through an open and fair election, expect a repeat of this exact same thing. China has no interest in seeing this happen again.
    I don't disagree. A lot will depend on the protesters' degree of confidence in those MPs if, of course, the protesters choose to try to delegitimize the electoral outcome. I'm not sure that the protesters have really devised strategy for what comes next if the Hong Kong and Chinese governments effectively "wait" them out, if public sentiment turns against them should Hong Kong begin to face adverse economic consequences, among numerous other plausible scenarios. The same goes for Hong Kong's government and even China's government. There are a lot of unknowns.

  8. #48
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    Re: Hong Kong police clash with pro-democracy demonstrators

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Nick View Post
    Ok "Tank Man" you're delusional....

    I don't know who you are but you're not "free."
    Gotta love it when a nonnative tries to tell a native all about his country and calls him a liar. It's the epitome of arrogance.

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    Re: Hong Kong police clash with pro-democracy demonstrators

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    [/I][/U]Ah, no, actually. One of the benefits of our political system is that our government would not do that, and that' its' military would refuse to do so, if ordered. You lose the election, your butt is out.

    Are you really that naive?


    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Hong Kong's liberties are degrading - hence the protests (incidentally, yes, there are protests across mainland China. The government simply downplays them, and often the protests are to the central government about local officials)


    All in all, my second main take-away from this is that I wonder what the play on this is in Taiwan.
    The only issue Hong Kong has is China reneged on their agreement to allow Hong Kong to pick their own candidates without China having to vette them.

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    Re: Hong Kong police clash with pro-democracy demonstrators

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Nick View Post
    BS..... I don't believe on word you post...

    **** my government - I hate them all - at least I can say it tho.
    Well that explains your ignorant posts.

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