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Hundreds of thousands take to Hong Kong streets against controversial bill (scmp.com)
289 points by cow9 4 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 101 comments



Just finished the 8 hour march. That was insane.

But the law is even more insane. A North Korea-like totalitarian state that puts people in camps can just snatch any lawyer, businessman our journalist and take them away without trial and without revealing their location.

Imagine people at startups working in sensitive areas like DNA testing, biotech, finance or data mining can be taken away and forced to reveal data, trade secrets, or forced to collaborate, under threat to their families or themselves.


(Perspective of an American who lives in a US Chinatown and speaks to many HKers, also went there last year)

Hong Kong is over.

Historically, it benefited from being one of the only open ports, proximate to China, but not in it. Good governance and rule of law (very important for mercantile activity, given how much finance, insurance, and complex legal codes around ownership / title / possession), nice real estate, etc.

Today, it feels like the PRC is playing the long game, and they're going to win -- they'll just hang up their hats and wait 50 years, only a generation or two, until they eventually take complete control of Hong Kong, maybe going as far as outright annexation. They're patient, determined, and focused in a way only a place ruled by a powerful, long-term oriented elite oligopoly can be (vs in the US, where we still can't fix Social Security, even though everyone knows it's a train wreck in the making, or build anything remotely resembling China's current high-speed rail network).

The real question I have is, what's going to happen in China when Xi Jinping (dictator for life) can no longer rule effectively? Will he willingly stop aside or is there going to be some kind of coup / violent overthrow if the CCP splits and can't decide whether or not it's time to replace him? That's what's got me thinking these days.


> They're patient, determined, and focused in a way only a place ruled by a powerful, long-term oriented elite oligopoly can be

You’re modelling China circa 2005. Xi Jinping is now a ruler for life. Dictatorship predicts Beijing better than long-term oligopoly.

For example, he’s been impatient with Hong Kong. If Xi respected Hong Kong’s independence, the fraction of Hong Kongese identifying as Chinese would have stayed high (or risen); integration in ‘47 would have proceeded seamlessly. Instead, he got impatient. He’s impulsively abducting bookstore owners and ramming through measures. That is stoking dissent and economic corrosion in a totally unnecessary way.

> what's going to happen in China when Xi Jinping (dictator for life) can no longer rule effectively?

We’ve passed the point where Xi can peacefully cede power without fearing for his and his family’s lives.

There may be a few more peaceful transitions of power in China’s future. And there’s a lot of political capital to burn, which gives the process time. But any course correction will be effected by force.


Life-long dictator ended ... but for your worry many if not all his family are Austrilan, American etc. They run away long time ago, just like many elites there. Just still work for china’s interest in spite of any possible reflection by seeing what the host country do. Instead they will try to take advantage of that. That is the tragedy.


Same here, I am a Hong Konger. There are more 1 million people in this protest. The protest started at 2:30 pm in Victoria Park and ended at 10:00 pm in the Central Government Offices.

Personally, I think the Chinese Central Government won't recall the Extradition Law. But as a Hong Konger, I can proudly say that: We do our best to show the world, showing the Hong Kong spirit.


Do people think they'll be able to change things?


> Do people think they'll be able to change things?

An unpopular chief executive resigned in 2004 to protests half as large [1]. Beijing is at least somewhat constrained with respect to what it can openly do.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tung_Chee-hwa


> In 2003, more than 500,000 protesters demanded Tung to step down in the light of the proposed legislation of the Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23 and the SARS outbreak. Tung resigned in the middle of his second term on 10 March 2005.

2 years delay make attributing causality seem like a bit of a stretch. The Wikipedia article makes it sound like he resigned after losing the backing of the PRC government.


Multiple elements weakened Tung, the most significant being his attempted pro-Beijing legislation and handling of the SARS epidemic. Those lead to a series of resignations and public dressings down. Beijing’s disapproval, while a factor, was neither the proximate nor dominant cause.

Hong Kong, politically and culturally, responds to protest.


Can you tell us more about your experiences as a participant in the march?


Looks like the PRC still wants to turn Hong Kong into paste.


For anyone like me who was looking for some background on this, on Reddit, someone linked to a Vox video entitled "China is erasing its border with Hong Kong" [0]. At 15 minutes, it's a captivating introduction to the conflict.

Another video (6 minutes) you might be interested in by Vox is "China's trillion dollar plan to dominate global trade" [1], which is on China Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

[0]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQyxG4vTyZ8

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvXROXiIpvQ

Edit: One great passage from the first video [0] at 11:29 says:

"The [umbrella movement] protest didn't change the government's mind and it didn't immediately change anything in Hong Kong.

But this spectacle of young people rising up to defend their rights from the central government of China did spark a political awakening among the many in the city who had never before paid attention.

'I think post-umbrella movement was the first time that the middle class came out and voted in droves, and voted for the opposition force.' - HK Resident"


World bank analysis of BRI which shows that BRI is a net positive to the world:

" BRI will potentially have a large effect on trade and welfare for many countries ▪ All countries in the world experience a decrease in trade costs ▪ Not all sectors/countries will gain but potential aggregate effect is largely positive

But many policy barriers still remain in place. Potential gains of BRI would be enlarged by complementary reforms ▪ Need to reduce border delays, trade barriers and FDI restrictions ▪ But also boost investor protection, open public procurement, ensure private sector participation

Economic and non-economic risks associated to BRI projects need to be managed ▪ Public debt sustainability, governance, environmental and social concerns ▪ Coordination problems, lack of data, poor transparency magnify these challenges"

[1]http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/501961539875310440/Michele-B...


This should give you a good overview:

China’s Trojan horse: Hong Kong’s new extradition arrangement puts foreigners at risk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUl-J0oh3k0


The vox video paints the Belt and Road Initiative in a negative light - which i feel is wrong. Why shouldn't China be allowed to invest and gain soft power? Why shouldn't they be allowed to make deals with countries the US deems 'undemocratic'?


It's been referred to as "debt trap diplomacy".

Here's a piece from last month reporting that a raft of countries including Turkey have refused to attend latest summit.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/25/belt-and-road-...



Thanks for sharing. Key point:

> Yes, debt is on the rise in the developing world, and Chinese overseas lending is, for the first time, a part of the story. But a number of us academics who have studied China’s practices in detail have found scant evidence of a pattern indicating that Chinese banks, acting at the government’s behest, are deliberately over-lending or funding loss-making projects to secure strategic advantages for China.

> The main example of these purported ploys is the Hambantota Port in southern Sri Lanka: The government handed control over the port to a Chinese company in 2017 after struggling to make its loan payments to China. But that’s a special case, and it is widely misunderstood.

> China does not publish details about its overseas lending, but the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University (which I direct) has collected information on more than 1,000 Chinese loans in Africa between 2000 and 2017, totaling more than $143 billion. Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center has identified and tracked more than $140 billion in Chinese loans to Latin America and the Caribbean since 2005.

> Based on the findings of both institutes, it seems that the risks of B.R.I. are often overstated or mischaracterized.


According to the wiki, BRI started around 2013 [1] so how come loans made prior to that being counted towards BRI?

My recollection is that, prior to BRI/earlier loan diplomacy from China, the strategic goal was for influence in the UN against Taiwan (checkbook diplomacy.) So the goals are completely different.

'Taiwan’s current foreign relations bind stems from a deal brokered in 2008. This “diplomatic truce” guarantees that neither China nor Taiwan will pursue formal diplomatic relations with a country that has already recognized one or the other. Beijing calls it the one-China policy, and it forces nations to choose between it and Taipei, with Beijing increasingly coming out the more appealing choice.'[2]

Lumping data over strategic change seems like a poor research to me.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belt_and_Road_Initiative#Histo...

[2]https://www.voanews.com/a/once-influential-in-africa-taiwan-...


Yet something has put off a fairly large number of nations from joining the latest event in the BRI initiative.


If you're making deals with a government that is undemocratic, you're making a deal with the government, but not with the people. At that point, the deal is probably going to be one that benefits the government, but not the people. Countries do that, when it is in their best interest to do so.

But the US (rightly) gets criticism for doing such things. If it's right to criticize the US for such actions, it's also right to criticize China for them.


[flagged]


Your Lichtenstein example is nonsense. Liechtenstein is not "partly democratic" but fully democratic. It has a monarch as Head of State (like the UK and others), and an elected parliament that enacts the law. It is also a direct democracy, where voters can propose and enact constitutional amendments and legislation independently of the legislature. The fact that the prince got a few more veto powers in 2003 does not change anything about the fact that it is democracy, and - equally important - people have full freedom of speech.


> where the people voted to give the monarchy _more_ power and refused to curb it in a referendum

This is democracy. The people voted for a strong executive and to be represented by the monarchy. Nobody gets that vote in Uzbekistan.


It's a democratic process yes but the country is still a constitutional and largely functional monarchy.

Democracy is an indicator of whether the people are represented but it is not the definition.

I think a better indication of whether a government represents its people is whether the government acts according to the people's wishes.

At one end of the spectrum is Switzerland, where the people can choose to directly override any government policy by referendum (or propose an action of their own).

At the other end of the spectrum is a government like North Korea, where the people have zero say.

Somewhere in the middle you see most Western democracies.


> a better indication of whether a government represents its people is whether the government acts according to the people's wishes

How do you measure the latter? That’s the essence of democracy.

There are many democratic systems. Constitutional republics are democratic because the monarch must answer to the public. Dictatorships featuring leaders for life with limited options for sidelining or recalling are not democratic. The latter describes North Korea, China and certain African and central Asian states.


This article is published in the SCMP. The SCMP was purchased some time ago by Jack Ma. There were fears from various corners that Jack Ma, being friendly with the mainland Chinese government, would influence the SCMP to have coverage that was less independent than before. So it's interesting to see this published by SCMP.


The SCMP seems to have been fairly vocal. There doesn’t seem to be anything that would stop the removal of all the critical journalists though, so I am somewhat confused.


Even among the pro-Beijing businesses and the establishment, there are serious concerns about this.

Business people want to make money, foreign companies have started to divest from China, perhaps Hong Kong would be next?

Passing this law may akin to killing the goose for the golden eggs.


The SCMP wants to be seen as an authoritative regional news source, so it avoids blatantly biased coverage on the news side. It's generally pretty neutral.

The opinion and longform side of the paper are another matter, though. Almost all the columnists are pro-Beijing hacks at this point. It's kind of like how there's a divide at Fox between the "news" side, which is relatively reasonable (e.g. with Chris Wallace), and the "opinion" side (e.g. Bill O'Reilly an his ilk). While the news folk at these kinds of places might be principled journalists, their ultimate purpose is to legitimize the propagandists on the opinion side.


[flagged]


That's not close to an accurate description of HN's front page. Please don't use HN for nationalistic flamewar.


"It's similar to YC getting to open a China program in exchange for getting a few Mainland mods on HN. Any anti-China posts do come up to front page but then disappear much faster than everything else (same will happen to this one)."

So this is one big statement. Is it true, or are you just guessing at that? Is it common knowledge, or suspicion? Where are we with the validity of that statement?


I don't think there are any moderators besides dang and sctb; dang has denied accusations like this in the past (e.g. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19496933 )

Complaints like "disappear much faster than everything else (same will happen to this one)" are quite misplaced when they concern posts that spend 10 hours or so on the front page.


Ok, so it's conspiratorial, not very fair.

YC seems to be a generally 'above board' entity, if they say they aren't doing anything specifically, I believe them.

That said, this is not an NGO, it's a Venture Capital firm. So they're going to assuage their interests. I've always found YC kind of interesting that way, playing along a very fine line.

YC has enough credibility (and frankly a lot to lose) so I'll take their word for it.


I was just starting high school when the handover of Hong Kong to China happened. Being pretty politically engaged at the time, I remember being surprised that everyone (in the US) was so blasé about it. This was the Clinton era, during the first tech boom. It was an optimistic, post Red Scare time. Everyone (here in the US) assumed the arrow of history pointed in the direction of progress, and that Hong Kong would retain the freedoms it had previously enjoyed.


The HK government's response: https://www.news.gov.hk/eng/2019/06/20190609/20190609_231141...

The English and Chinese versions looks pretty different in tone, especially in the last sentence: 'Noting that the Second Reading debate on the bill will resume on June 12, the Government urged the Legislative Council to scrutinise the bill in a calm, reasonable and respectful manner to help ensure Hong Kong remains a safe city for residents and business.'

Understandable when this is for foreign press. Directly translated, the Chinese version says: 'The Second Reading debate on the bill will resume on June 12. End. '. Obnoxious if you understand Chinese.


Since Hong Kong is a former British colony, English is co-official with written Chinese there, and you can read the official brief and the text of the bill in English on the Legislative Council website: https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr18-19/english/bc/bc56/general/bc5...


>English is co-official with written Chinese there,

That is not strictly true, while both Chinese and English are the official languages, In writing, especially with any legals documents, in case of any discrepancy between the English version and the Chinese version, the English version shall prevail.


It was interesting to see the photos of the Union Jacks marching around. Anyone with first hand experience in Hong Kong, are there many people who wish for a return to the commonwealth, or is that a tiny minority?


I would say that most HK ppl just want a stable environment to live and happy to have a status quo. But recently, given the circumstance, more ppl do think UK can take more measures, say, in some way, to allow BNO holder to work and settle easier in UK, given that these holders are willing to and capable to do so.

And ppl might miss the last decades of British rules too, in an emotional way, as Economically and culturally HK was in a very good shape. Though most ppl won’t express it with a union flag in a public setting.


While many may miss the colonial rule for various reasons, most HK people who grew up under the British rule are realistic and understand a return to the commonwealth is nigh impossible under the current situation.

I'd venture to say it's overall a tiny minority, mostly youth.

Many more are those who'd or are considering (re-) emigration.


Could someone explain to me what the plan is for the end of the 50 year transition period? From my extremely uninformed point of view, this feels like delaying the inevitable. Is there a different outcome than Hong Kong eventually being entirely under the Chinese government?


Am not sure there was any solid plans. People have, or had, different aspirations.

It, more than anything, IMO, was said to appease the fear of the HK people who had a deep mistrust of the PRC government. Still, a lot of people emigrated before 1997.

Note that the saying is kind of vague anyway, it just says that the capitalist system and "ways of living" will not change.



> The latest proposal has come after a 19-year-old Hong Kong man allegedly murdered his 20-year-old pregnant girlfriend while they were holidaying in Taiwan together in February last year. The man fled Taiwan and returned to Hong Kong last year.

> Taiwanese officials have sought help from Hong Kong authorities to extradite the man, but Hong Kong officials say they cannot comply because of the lack of an extradition agreement with Taiwan.

> But the Taiwanese government has said it will not seek to extradite the murder suspect under the proposed changes, and has urged Hong Kong to handle the case separately.

I thought the extradition bill was to / from China? What does Taiwan have to do with this?


Because in PRC's mind, Taiwan is a part of the PRC


[Off topic] For those who are confused, China mainland is also a part of the ROC (Republic of China, the governing authority of Taiwan) according to the constitution. Basically, the civil war in China has never ended officially. Mainlanders want unification, Taiwanese (esp. the young generation) want the opposite. Still, constitutions are constitutions, albeit old...


This article has a nice infographic: https://multimedia.scmp.com/infographics/news/hong-kong/arti...

Basically Hong Kong right now, has a whole bunch of extradition treaties with 20 countries[1], just not with both China governments, due to the existing law. The bill fixes this.

Also, the 19 year old HK man admitted to the crime [2], however due to the the crime being committed outside HK, he can't be tried for manslaughter in HK; the HK authorities can only charge him with "money laundering" of his girlfriend's money and property (again [2]). He is currently serving the sentence for money laundering, and he's going to be released in October. However if this bill is passed he can be extradited and tried for murder in Taiwan.

[1] With Australia, Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Portugal, South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the United States

[2] https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/30...


> if this bill is passed he can be extradited and tried for murder in Taiwan

Except Taiwan isn’t China. If Taiwan and Hong Kong want an extradition treaty, they can sign one.

This bill is to enable the lawful extradition of dissenters. (Beijing tried doing it surreptitiously [1]; that backfired.)

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/08/hong-kong-book...


> Except Taiwan isn’t China

In practice it isn't, but on paper it is, both according to the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China. (One-China Policy)


> However if this bill is passed he can be extradited and tried for murder in Taiwan.

Taiwan clearly stated that they wouldn't extradite the man under this bill. This is the exact lie the government has been telling to mislead people who don't follow the news.


It's not a lie, Taiwan was clearly supporting extraditing him in Feb[1], though there seems to be some concern now[2]

[1] http://www.ejinsight.com/20190213-govt-proposes-revising-ext...

"Taiwanese authorities had asked their counterparts in Hong Kong multiple times to extradite Chan for a court trial, but that has not happened due to restrictions from Hong Kong law."

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201902130023.aspx

"Tsai Chiu-ming (蔡秋明), head of the Department of International and Cross-Strait Legal Affairs under the Ministry of Justice, said Taiwan welcomes closer cooperation with other jurisdictions to combat cross-border crime, and he is glad to see Hong Kong's planned legislation."

[2] "Taipei will not agree to transfer of Hong Kong murder suspect if Taiwanese citizens risk being sent to mainland China"

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3009506...


They wanted the suspect on trial for sure, but not under this law, as stated in your third source. Even Carrie Lam herself admitted this in the press meeting just now.


Its a general extradition bill I suppose

Or maybe the Hong Kong government can't distinguish between both China's? Like a bill that discusses extradition with mainland China's PRC by default is referring Taiwan China's ROC. That wouldn't surprise me since all of greater china is basically a twilight zone mockery to the nation state concept.


When I was in HK a few years ago, there was a lot of annoyance amongst the general public that GovHK was starting to get dominated by pro-China individuals. So I get the impression this bill is their doing.


Whatever side you are on here just remember, Freedom of assembly is such an important right to hold dear. With the censorious nature of the Chinese Communist Party, I fear what the implications of a bill like this could lead to.


To me its quite.clear there is one right side in this, and it.lies with the people marching.


Also remember what happened during the mass protests 30 years ago. Stay safe.


[flagged]


The PRC government certainly didn't help. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/28/world/asia/china-began-pu...


They had a lot more freedoms than those in mainland China, and quit reasonably want it to stay that way.


In fifteen minutes the permit to organize expires, lets hope this remains (mostly) peaceful.


What the protesters don't tell you is that there are nearly 1 million HKers signed and counting supporting the bill.

https://www.safeguardhongkong.hk/


These online petitions tend to be largely filled in by people from North of the border. There is no way of verifying that the signatories are Hong Kong people (the only validation is the last four digits of HKID which can be any four digit number)


Archived version with the vote counter stuck at 500,720: http://web.archive.org/web/20190528205611/https://www.safegu...

Unless that site requires valid ID to sign in support, I immediately disbelieve the number because bot activity is basically inevitable. (Not that I don't believe that there are people in Hong Kong who support the bill, just that online signatures don't help figure out how many there are.)


Nice, website was working before I posted here, guess some protesters here don't like it.


Will this break any of the terms with the British Hong Kong handover?

AFAIK the agreement mentions that China must not interfere politically or economically with the capitalistic nature of Hong Kong for at least 50 years.


> Will this break any of the terms with the British Hong Kong handover?

China stopped honouring its agreement shortly after Xi Jinping ensconced himself as leader for life. That resulted in the umbrella protests against Beijing interfering with who could run for office [1]. There were also the abductions of Hong Kongers selling books publicising corruption and scandal among the CPC’s elite [2].

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/24/hong-kong-sele...

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/08/hong-kong-book...


What does it mean to break the agreement, anyway? Is the UK going to come take HK back?


So far the MO has been write a strongly worded memo and return focus to leaving the EU for some reason.


As an outside observer it seems like China doesn’t care very much about upholding agreements. And why should they? It’s not like Britain or anyone else in the west is willing to start a war with China, no matter what they do.


Sometimes I wonder if it's part of a broader trend as the war generation passes away and homo sapiens are itching back towards the "might make right" paradigm.


a solution to all problems: referendum.


>1 million


It might not change HK government attitude after all, but it shows that Hong Kongers align with western values - no one should live under the fear of arbitrary prosecution.


This idea that fundamental human rights are “western values” is profoundly unhelpful, because it implies that in some sense to fight injustice is to no longer be truly Chinese—a nonsense whose propagation is both supported by and helpful to the CCP.


Taiwan is a very democratic and open society, but evolved on its own from a dictatorship to a proud free society. I think many Taiwanese would be very proud to say they developed it with their own distinctive Taiwanese values (and bento box throwing matches in the Legislative Yuan).


At one level I understand what you area saying but at another level I think your statement undermines what it means to relinquish one set of ideas in favor of another.

It is perhaps a hindrance that we don't have an ethnic-neutral term for the set of ideas associated with "western values" but "western" is descriptive of the origin not the applicability of the ideas.

In order to genuinally adopt and espouse "western values" you have to at some level abandon "non-western values". This of course has as a pre-requisite that you've discarded the notion of multiculturalism -- at least the version of multiculturalism that insists that avoiding value judgements between cultures as a virtue unto itself.


What makes it tough is that many more cultures have a concept of "fundamental human rights" than ones that agree with western countries on which specific rights are fundamental.


You have to add in a lot of other ideas though to come close to the basket of ideas associated with "western values". For example: limited government, representative government, scientific inquiry, equality of women, due process, free markets, private property, contract law, and so on.


Why say 'align with western values' instead of 'respect human rights'? Freedom of speech and assembly are encoded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Because the issue they are protesting is extradition and the rule of law being maintained; HK has a western style rule of law, mainland has practically no rule of law to speak of.


I think the distinction trying to be made here is that Chinese, Hongkongers, and Taiwanese people don't see themselves as westerners. Posters aren't saying that they shouldn't fight for basic human rights, but rather that basic human rights aren't "western", they are human. We being westerners should be proud that we have laws like this, but that doesn't mean we need to impose everything western on others. It also doesn't mean that our fight for basic human rights is fundamentally western. Just the same way it isn't American, British, German, etc. They are basic human rights after all, and last I checked these people are still humans.

TLDR: basic human rights doesn't mean you have to identify as western.


[flagged]


> The Tiananmen Square massacre, which originated due to the protesters fighting for more freedom/human rights, from I heard from my uncle, it was because of the influence from westerners

This is garbage. The massacre happened because Beijing responded ham-fistedly to a peaceful student demonstration. It involved atrocities including PLA troops firing on their own ambulances and dissolving bodies under tanks and in vats of acid [1].

And while the protests in Beijing are memorialised by Tank Man, there were protests in pretty much every other Chinese city at the time. They were all brutally suppressed in favour of the ruling elite.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_Tiananmen_Square_protes...

wltprgm 4 months ago [flagged]

Your response to my comment is silly.

I was talking about the ultimate reason why they protested, it was influenced by the west, human rights.

Not the way they were massacred, or how people memorialized them.

I am definitely stunned to know how hacker news people comprehend

edit: confirmed hacker news upvote/downvote buttons work like reddit's ones, and in turn work like facebook one except facebook doesn't have a downvote button neither


Well, respect of human rights maybe a relatively recent "western" concept, but judging from the fact that so many family members of the top brass of the communist party of China have become citizens in these "Western" countries, it does seem that they themselves do embrace such values (when it doesn't confront their own interest).


[flagged]


Please don't post in the flamewar style to HN.


[flagged]


Please don't post in the flamewar style to HN either.


> And probably I will get downvoted by mentioning this. The Tiananmen Square massacre, which originated due to the protesters fighting for more freedom/human rights, from I heard from my uncle, it was because of the influence from westerners.

Marxism, or the morphed variety of the CCP, also originates from the West. That doesn’t mean that Mao or the 6/4 movement didn’t have a genuine appreciation of “Western ideas” and want to implement them.

And yes, the West causes lots of problems. At least there is freedom to discuss them, and the probability of being sent to a camp for pointing things out is extremely low. That doesn’t discredit Western ideas; indeed, the self-awareness and capacity for self-criticism of the West is an important feature of its political system that the CCP increasingly lacks.


[flagged]


> downvoted me for no reason, hacker news, what's the point of the upvote/downvote button anyway

In case you are genuinely confused why people would downvote you: you bring up a lot of issues like 6/4, the Opium Wars, Huawei ... that only fit into a coherent topic if you make it incredibly broad, e.g. "China vs. the West". It is hard to have a good discussion on a topic that broad, and by bringing up so many different issues you spread yourself too thin and argue none of your points particularly well.

If you were to focus on a single on-topic issue, try to provide some additional relevant information and keep your value judgment out of it (voting on opinionated comments is inevitably going to be opinion-based), it would at least make for good reading.


You're being downvoted because you seem to just be here to argue. You're not interacting with peoples' responses to you very much, just throwing out a blizzard of new accusations. That's not a conversation, it's just a rant. HN isn't the place for that.


> because you seem to just be here to argue.

You are right. I should change my tone.

> You're not interacting with peoples' responses to you very much, just throwing out a blizzard of new accusations.

I think I have made my point even though it was harsh. This thread is about protest in Hong Kong, and what the list of accusations (as you said) don't spread too far away, since it relates to the same thing.


Your point seemed to be "west = bad" but you did not make it well. Nor is it an interesting point - we can say communism is western, Hitler is western, "freedom" is western, whatever, good or bad, but it's silly and shortsighted. Ideas have complicated histories and there's no clean separation between good sources of ideas and bad ones.

More interesting is your idea that protesting - being willing to demonstrate disagreement with leadership - is a negative value that governments should resist and supress. You could make that argument in a clearer form, but you would still not convince many people here. (Note that this would be a different argument from "western countries also suppress disagreement sometimes.")


I'm not really sure what your harsh point is to be honest, please expand!

Massacres and atrocities are no easy things to discuss. I've spoken to survivors of the holocaust in Europe, and the Rwandan genocide, you have obviously not heard anyone participating in Tiananmen square talk about the events? It's very hard to talk so lightly about massacares when you have heard personal anecdotes and the hard ships that the people went trough.


While in this particular Hong Kong protest case, it was influenced by the west (or western values).

So my only point is that the west has caused more troubles than ever for the world. (Which is why I go on and talk about the wars etc)

Perhaps I am wrong, it was the history written by someone else.

> Massacres and atrocities are no easy things to discuss. I've spoken to survivors of the holocaust in Europe, and the Rwandan genocide, you have obviously not heard anyone participating in Tiananmen square talk about the events? It's very hard to talk so lightly about massacares when you have heard personal anecdotes and the hard ships that the people went trough.

I don't talk about this at all. (not that I am cold hearted if the impression I left for you was such, I am sorry)

edit: I made a mistake, I mean I don't talk about the details of massacres and atrocities. I just mentioned the title of them.


The UN, particularly at that time (1948), was a creation and creature of the western world. The drafting committee was chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt: http://research.un.org/en/undhr/draftingcommittee. Of the nine drafters, six were from a western country (US, UK, France, Australia, and Chile). Two (the ROC delegate and the Lebanese delegate) were educated in the US. (The ROC delegate moved to New Jersey and lived there until his death). The other delegate was from Russia, which is a mostly western country.


You're using "west" as in western aligned? If not Australia and Russia are most definitely not western geographically. I've also never heard of Russia mentioned as western or grouped with other western countries. There's a lot of political tension between Russia and the "west" some I'm surprised to hear you say that.


"Western" is generally defined in terms of historical/cultural affiliation, not geography. Almost 90% of Australia's population is of English/Irish/Scottish descent, and Australia's laws, institutions, and culture are directly descended from Britain.

Russia is harder to pin down. Historically, they self-identified as western, even though the geographic center of Russia is actually in Asia.


Human rights written by westerners.


I don't know why but protests on the scale of hundreds of thousands just seems impossible in America


That’s what those in power want you to think. Here’s a list of 19 protests with at least 100k participants: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_protests_in_the_United...

Four of them have taken place since November 2016.


Fascinating link but your color commentary on those in power trying to surpress this knowledge makes you sound irrational - despite being completely right. If those in power wanted to prevent this knowledge it wouldn't be on Wikipedia for any to edit.


How is it irrational to claim that those in power don’t want people knowing about massive protests against what they’re doing? (Tianiman Square, anyone?) The knowledge doesn’t need to be suppressed because it’s hidden in plain sight amongst all the other internet noise.




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