Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Chaos in Hong Kong as hundreds of masked men assault protesters, journalists (hongkongfp.com)
368 points by thomasjoulin 34 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 223 comments



There are a few good summary comments about the situation on /r/worldnews like:

https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/cg1sh2/chaos_and...

What I personally find astounding that the police were pulled out right before the fight, the 999 operators hanged up for the callers and nearby police stations were closed during the event.


What's surprising about that? The HK government is necessarily compliant with the Mainland. Isn't that one of the root issues here?

It'd be unexpected if they didn't stand down while PLA grunts, I mean "triad gangsters", put a beating on the protestors.


The Hong Kong police is made out of people. Unless they have an incredibly accurate filtering process for new hires, at least some police officers will support the protests, and even those who don't probably have some pride that'd make standing aside for criminal gangs hard to swallow.

Of course the leadership could've arranged for the police force to retreat without informing them about the purpose. In that case, the rank-and-file officers are probably quite unhappy about that decision.


>The Hong Kong police is made out of people.

Or simply because protesters have made their lives very difficult for the past couple months and they're running out of patience and sympathy. Simple ingroup / outgroup dynamics.


The latter seems like the likely answer. If your unit is pulling back, then you have to decide on an individual level if you're going to follow the herd or go AWOL. Pretty easy groupthink situation.


That's exactly how leadership manipulated soldiers during the Tiananmen Square massacre [0]. They weren't given clear orders and were basically only told where to go and when. With that much force and tension anything can set it off.

But... As a counter argument, that could be exactly why law enforcement were pulled away this time. If they started cracking down on violent anti-protestors the peaceful protestors could have gotten caught in the mix and it could have escalated rapidly. I'm not defending Honk Kong leadership, but hopefully they're aware of the risk of concentrating armed forces amidst this tension.

If shots are fired it turns into a chain reaction.

[0] https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2014/06/02/317996805/...


The same tactics where used at Tiananmen square, they know they work.


I am very curious, but worried, of the situation in HK.

Concretely, it seems HKers can protest as much as they want, but when push comes to shove, the PRC will just end up crushing them and the parts of democracy they still have.

I can't imagine how they may get any other outcome. Even if I wish they could just gain independence, it seems unlikely, and it's not like any foreign power would go to war to protect HK.


Your analysis is 100% correct.

The handover was more than 20 years ago. The horizon for total integration was 50 years. We're more than 40% through. Pre-handover was "britain in asia". The endgame is "full integration".

HK is nowhere near 40% full integration. Progress has fallen behind, and now they are catching up. The wishful thinking of HK residents doesn't change anything. The writing has been on the wall for decades. There's only one way this ends.

Personally I hate all of this. I loved HK being its own little out-of-place enclave in the orient. But that all changed in 1997; the script has been written, and events will grind forward to the inevitable conclusion. Most people I know in HK are thinking about their "Plan B". They would be advised to hurry it up.


As far as I know that the agreement was for Hong Kong's way of life to "remain unchanged" for 50 years. So it should have been 2047 when they can start thinking about integrating Hong Kong.


Yes, your parent poster is incorrect about the facts; they (China) did sign to leave HK be until 2047, not ‘start integration’ in some kind linear process where 40% of the time means 40% integration. They signed for 99.9999% of the time is 0% integration. But he is right about the reality; no one will defend HK it seems so China might as well push ahead in that case. I like HK a lot; I have not found a place as diverse as that anywhere else (tips are welcome and no, SG is nothing at all like it) but it seems it is closer to being absorbed.


I'm glad I had the chance to live and work in HK from summer 2016 -> Fall 2017. It wasn't the best place ever, but I'd hate to see it lost.

Seeing this is crazy.

As for diversity, it's a unique mix. Notable quantities of French, British, Americans, Indonesians, Filipinos, Thais, Indians, and locals. Indonesians and Filipinos are obviously insanely marginalized, as domestic helpers, but they were cool to hang with on their 1 day off per week.


I like the massive diversity of people and land; I am in a forest with cobras and rare turtles; 30 minutes on a ferry to a densely populated city. 24/7 eat/drink/party minutes away from where you are in most places. Complete rest and nature the same distance. Cheap as chips and hella expensive on the same streets. I just cannot find anything like it. I think Bangkok comes closest but it is just not the same dense nature (personally I have 0 interest in beaches; I like forest, high humidity and steep climbs through that).


Any chance you’re on Lamma Island? That’s where I used to live and I loved it for the exact reasons you described. I miss HK, hope that if I ever have a chance to move back in the future it won’t be torn to shreds by the China integration.


Yes, that's where I have stayed quite long stretches of time. I love it there. I stayed on the 'wrong side', so the non-foreigner side which was even better than the other side which I visited a lot. Excellent nature; made good friends there; if you want to go out, just run over the mountain (good exercise!) and if you want real parties, get on the ferry for 30 minutes... And then back to ultimate peace and quiet.


>I can't imagine how they may get any other outcome.

The only way would be is if the chinese government changed. Not all that likely, but on the other hand the Berlin wall was only up 30 years.

Tomorrow is always a better day to die.


Back in... IIRC 2012 mainland regime tried to impose the PRC school curriculum, which includes a bunch of false things (Mao defeating the Japanese instead of Chiang Kai Shek) and obviously removes references to others (the Tiananmen massacre).

The teachers won and the PRC curriculum was never implemented.


The problem with erosion of rights is that they have to fight and win every time. The PRC just has to win once.


>I can't imagine how they may get any other outcome.

There is one person who has made himself a big single point of failure for China.


Who?


I assume he's referring to emperor Xi. I don't think it's correct to consider him a single point of failure though.


The population of PRC is approximately 200 times the population of Hong Kong.


> Even if I wish they could just gain independence, it seems unlikely, and it's not like any foreign power would go to war to protect HK.

I never understood this. Why would HK gain 'independence'? Why would a foreign power 'protect' HK? (protect from what?)

HK has been used to build a narrative that is rather strange... Frankly people in HK calling for independence are a bit like, say, the Texas Nationalist Movement or calling for Seattle independence. It's a fringe movement at best.


I don't think most HKers, even protesters, expect independence. They're just trying to keep the freedoms they already have. The protests aren't campaigning for new rights or new freedoms, but to prevent new laws taking existing rights away.

I think a lot of HKers are coming to realise that under the current political system their rights are always going to be under threat, and eventually will be eroded completely. The only way to prevent that is true democracy. So it's not that true democracy is the motivation for this.


> Why would HK gain 'independence?

because if they don't they will be slowly assimilated into a non-democratic PRC. I am not calling for independence, I'm saying it would be nice if they had it rather than add 7m people to a regime.

> Why would a foreign power 'protect' HK?

they wouldn't, that's the point.

If HK were to declare independence, in other ages there might have been foreign powers propping them up _for their own interests_. I am not advocating this, I'm just pointing out this seems unlikely in the current world.

As for the Seattle independence: well, HK was independent for a while, and they hare already a SAR, the simile seems incorrect, but sure, it's not trivial to secede.


People fail to understand or accept that HK is in China. It is a rather strange state of affairs, which I think is due to ignorance and, frankly, anti-Chinese narratives.

What you are suggesting is exactly the same as discussing Seattle independence mentioned by GP, and should be regarded as equally extravagant.

> HK was independent for a while

HK was never, ever been independent.


The population of Hong Kong is apparently 7+ million, and 2 million went on one of the marches. Doesn't seem 'fringe' to me.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-48656471


Trying to claim that these 2 million people campaign for HK independence is not honest.


Well of course – almost nobody is really campaigning for independence. HK is very much dependent on the mainland, and that's understood. The demands are much more narrow: for the extradition bill to be scrapped, for Carrie Lam to step down, for elections to be free and fair, etc.


Well until they are allowed a free and fair vote on that, saying its 'fringe at best' isnt honest either. I would contend that in the absence of such a vote, these numbers are enough to show you're wrong.

Also the news we are discussing demonstrates why the people of Hong Kong need protecting. So questioning that isnt honest either.


What do you mean "apparently", like it's some kind of questionable assertion? It's 7+ million, period.

It's "fringe" because it's part of China, and even all 7+ million people in HK comprise less than 1% of China. I know many Chinese people, and they do not give a shit about HK's ideas about its own independence. They consider it China, full stop. The example about Seattle "declaring independence" the GP gave is actually quite apt. There is only one way this will play out.

I happen to vehemently disagree with what the PRC is doing, for what it's worth. But reality is reality and this script is going to unfold exactly as everyone thinks it will. In 10 years time I doubt there'll even be a border. Who's going to stop them? Boris Johnson?


"What do you mean "apparently""

Nothing beyond being not 100% sure whether that referred to the entirety of the territory or just the city.

I don't think its fair to count the entirety of China when deciding whether its fringe. Irish unification is 'fringe' in the UK, doesn't stop it being important to a sizable proportion of Northern Ireland. South Sudan independence was probably 'fringe' within greater Sudan, that doesn't mean it wasn't important the South Sudanese.

And I never said any independence bid would be successful, that doesn't stop people wanting it. So yes I agree with your last paragraph.


A Chinese general recently did a demographic analysis of HK and attributed to the generational lashing out to a "failure" of education - a cohort of protesters educated on old UK textbooks, raised by anti CPC parents (HK is full of people who left China due to persecution or distaste for conditions on the Mainland). The western textbooks he finds a particularly grievous mistake, something to the lines of: we focused too much on two systems instead of one country. So I suppose CPC will just wait it out and educate future generations to party line. At least it'll be through textbooks instead of re-education camps.

Ultimately, as mainland economy makes HK increasingly irrelevant, it's in HKers interest to integrate and seek opportunities outside the city. Not every native HKer is qualified to be a financier / banker. The raising cost of living will not abate because HK is where Chinese wealth and FDI is being funneled - and basically the only real strategic importance the city has. That's just the byproduct of extreme wealth concentration in "tier1" cities everywhere. But everywhere else, the poor get priced out, but since HK operates as a city state, people with little prospects are trapped with nowhere to go. And if they're smart, they'll realize this and either move abroad or move on.

Functionally, the sooner HKers accept they'll never be anything but Chinese the sooner they can get on with their lives and out of HK. If they're lucky they'll be extended HKSAR affirmative action privileges so they can still pretend they're better than mainlanders. And really that's what it's about isn't it? It's almost like Cantonese equivalent alt-right thought - a bunch of disenfranchised kids with very little future prospects, reminiscing about a privileged past they've never actually experienced (a few years at the tail end of colonial rule) or existed (independence/democracy). Yeah, they're also fighting for western liberal values, it's all very noble and stuff. That's good western media byline. But at the end of the day, many Cantonese youth also resent being culturally, financially and politically eclipsed by mainlanders - why some of the recent protests targetted mainland tourists just doing their thing (cause you know, China's not bringing their best). It's not limited to HK, a lot of westernized Sinophobia is rooted in the distaste and disbelief that once poor chicken farmers from shithole coal county now live in million dollar homes and drive fancy sports cars. But the mainland won't see them as anything but privileged has-been whiners who refused to integrate and adapt.


It looks like you've been using HN primarily for nationalistic battle. That's not ok, and we ban accounts that do that, regardless of which nation they're for or against.

Would you please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and use HN as intended? We'd be grateful.


For what it’s worth I feel like the parent comment was fairly substantive, and in my experience having lived in both Hong Kong and China it’s a fairly levelheaded analysis of the current situation. I know hacker news is not really a place for political discussion, but a well thought out comment like this in an ongoing discussion about something that is clearly of interest to the community doesn’t feel like something that should result in the threat of a ban. Obviously the community standards are what they are, but that’s my two cents anyway.


Thank you for the heads up. I've been browsing hackernews on RSS for many years and only comment on topics I'm interested in, which is Chinese geopolitics and technology, and recently those topics have become extremely popular for obvious reasons. I'm curious which rule I'm specifically breaking, I provide generally level headed and substantive response to comments, rarely initiating "battles". I don't call people shills or shitpost. My other interests, powerlifting and architecture are not really covered here. So what is my recourse? Comment on other things I'm not particularly interested in? Should I cite more sources or stop contributing from these topics all together and go back to lurking.


HK born and raised here and enjoyed this comment. Not sure why it's downvoted - it offers a solid perspective.


Excellent analysis here on HN:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20492145

The Chinese and HK governments have realized they've lost the culture wars and public opinion so they've resorted to the tried and tested handbook of authoritarian governments, to create a cycle of violence to create justification for cracking down.

This is a provocation. Protesters will now counter arm themselves with similar bats and sticks, which in turn will give the police extra justification when they uncover "weapons". It will be used by the Chinese domestic media as justification to crack down hard.


One would hope that the protesters will continue to use the ingenuity they've shown over the last month (intensely coordinated logistics, hand signs, etc) and refuse to take the bait while finding a clever, asymmetrical response to the intimidation tactics.


Refusing to take the bait may be useless as they might need to arm themselves in order to be successful, if success is even in the cards for them absent a foreign intervention.


No ingenuity is a match for police. And China has shown that they mean business when things risk getting out of (their) hand


> No ingenuity is a match for police.

You’re going to have a real hard time getting the typical American to buy into this perspective.


The police in America have dedicated teams tasked with taking on protestors and have effectively infinite resources. Chinese police have the same training and resources, but are less constrained by the legal system and have more control over the media.

The typical American probably sides with the police over protesters in most situations.

The only protesters that can match the police are those with inside support. It's how certain people can demonstrate while carrying rifles without issues, while other unarmed peaceful protesters can be corralled, brutalized, and arrested.


It is no coincidence that private gun-ownership is effectively illegal in China, while in the US it is a secured right in the constitution.


Lucky that as an American you can carry your gun to a protest, you know, just in case.


An American can sue, use the media, and vote. None of these remedies are available to Hong Kong. There is a rather large difference between protesting in China 2019 versus USA 2019.


We aren't talking about America or Americans. Not that cops in USA restrain themselves...

Hong Kong is more or less an island, a small one. China can fill the "1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory" with soldiers and police in a heartbeat. Nothing you can do, cops already know the 1000+ leaders of the movement and they will be arrested or killed in the first hours. Etc etc


> We aren't talking about America or Americans.

Not yet.


Non-violent resistance is an option, but it requires very tough attitude.

If people would just take the beating and lay down, like Gandhi-led resistance against Brits did, it could break down the violent strategy.


May not work these days. The British were half decent and still they killed thousands of people before they left India. If the protestors continue non-violently, we'll simply see them shot with rubber bullets and carted off, or barricaded and starved out. Countries these days are willing to escalate into violence since every major country has more than enough blood on its hands and prefers tacitly looking the other way unless there is something in it for them.


It may not work, but if the government is willing to escalate without limit other strategies don't work either.


One wonders if the British were even half decent when you consider their long history of colonial and imperial oppression. One might conclude they were fully indecent, in fact.


The key is that they believed themselves to be decent, whether they actually were is hardly relevant to the effectiveness of the tactic. The genius of Indian resistance against British rule is that it forced the British to confront the gap between their stated values and what it took to maintain imperial control over India.


Do you think these protests would be happening if the British had kept hold of their former colony HK?

Do you think it's strange that some of the HK protestors have been waving the flag of their former colonial masters?



Half decent? Has the GP heard of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, or how Churchill starved 3m in Bengal?


Becoming shamed requires some amount of decency.

Amritsar caused outrage in Britain and changed the whole narrative. It took time, but within a decade British government had lost all moral ground and British attitudes had shifted.


I don't think the point was about half decent vs. a quarter decent.

As evil/bad as the situation was; non-violence only helps if someone loses more than they gain by just killing you. In this case it was by losing the moral high-ground that was valued by some British people at least. Sure it probably wasn't decent people among the perpetrators, but the pearl clutchers back home.


How is this even related to the discussion?? You dont think there are some decent Chinese somewhere?


Mainly just clarifying to the parent what Santosh83 meant. I think it's not about x% decent but rather x% decent able to sway ruling class decisions based on the optics of attacking non-violent dissidents.


Yep, “fully”. There are no shades of grey around these parts. Just the bucket of countries that contain people and then the bucket that doesn’t.


Brits were half decent? Hmmm thats breaking news to me knowing their history.


That only works against a semi-principled oppressor. Won't work in China; won't work in the current USA. The British were already weary of the overwhelming India-ness of India, and so when confronted with the reality that India was going to do India no matter who was nominally in charge, they decided to just let India do India all over itself, and not be responsible for it any more.

China (PRC), on the other hand, loves nothing more than to do China everywhere China is, or was, or will be. They can't stand it when somewhere that should be China isn't doing China hard enough. So when Hong Kong goes around saying "a little less China, please; we'd like to still be a little Hong Kong" then China retorts "how dare you not be all-the-way China!" They will gleefully beat more China into Hong Kong if given a flimsy, contrived excuse to do so. It's the same as it was in Tibet, except Tibet did not have the leverage of being so important to international trade. China very much wants to erase the historic embarrassment it suffered from the UK in the Opium Wars, and as long as Hong Kong doesn't want to be more Chinese, the wound stays open. Macau isn't facing the same mainland attitudes, probably because it wasn't taken by force.

But on the other hand, violent resistance definitely won't work, either. China won't kill everyone, but they will kill, imprison, or hospitalize enough people that the others learn what kinds of things can get you vanished, erased, or exampled.

The only winning strategy against China in Hong Kong/Macau is to get out, and with one's money, if possible. Expand businesses into Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and/or Australia, de-emphasize the Hong Kong facilities, and move people and households elsewhere. And that works fine for China, too. It makes Hong Kong more PRC-Chinese at the same time it is making other places more ethnically-Chinese, and they get to keep all the capital that was left behind.

Anecdotally, everyone I know from Hong Kong already moved to Vancouver.


Gandhi was hardly the sole arbiter of Indian resistance. In fact their success in fighting colonial rule was dependent on the reality that there were people like Bhagat Singh who were willing to and did use militant tactics.


OTM. The history of the Indian independence movement is a lot more complicated than the simple image of Ghandi and non-violence that most people receive through popular culture.


Classic good cop bad cop. In America you can have MLK’s vision or Malcolm X’s vision.


It takes a lot of stamina and courage to resist the provocation. Have people beaten on the streets or rounded up and still give up violence and pray for your oppressors.


Yes. Pacifism requires extreme courage.

Gandhi quote:

>My non-violence does not admit of running away from danger and leaving dear ones unprotected. Between violence and cowardly flight, I can only prefer violence to cowardice. I can no more preach non-violence to a coward than I can tempt a blind man to enjoy healthy scenes. Non-violence is the summit of bravery. And in my own experience, I have had no difficulty in demonstrating to men trained in the school of violence the superiority of non-violence. As a coward, which I was for years, I harboured violence. I began to prize non-violence only when I began to shed cowardice.


The last time people took the beating and laid down in China, thousands died and the event was erased from public memory.


Yeah, I think people forget that the majority of those who died in Tienanmen were non-violent.


Can you provide a reference for such a statement? It is, as stated, counter to my recollection.


I don't think proof of this could exist, since you can't look at a corpse and determine whether it belongs to a violent or non-violent protester. Individual eyewitnesses can only establish that some non-violent protesters were killed, but not what the ratio of violent to non-violent protesters among the victims was.

If the Hong Kong protesters want to avoid a repeat of 1989, they'd do well to study the tactics that were tried back then, among which establishing friendly relations with the soldiers appears to have been particularly effective: "Contact with protesters and residents of Beijing sapped the will of the troops to follow their orders, and the food and water offered to them, in lieu of their absent army rations, further diminished their will to act against the protesters." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insubordination_in_the_PLA_dur...


It could if you are dealing with a government and people who got sick of the violence. Gandhi's tactics work against the the Brits at the time he used them. I rather double Gandhi's tactics would work against 2019 China, Stalin, or a WWII Germany.


HK police have already uncovered a stash of TATP stockpiled by "protesters" - https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/20/asia/hong-kong-explosives...


HK police had made high-profile-arrest followed by low-profile-release on protesters. They claimed to have found an arsenal of protected substances during arrest, and found nothing until release half a year later (weapon of mass destruction, Hong Kong style).

For a case related to earlier protest in 2016, see [1] in Chinese.

[1]: https://thestandnews.com/politics/高調拉人-低調撤案-警方旺角騷亂後-環保倉當-武器庫...

For this particular case of arrest you mentioned, one thing stood out: the supposed “petrol bombs“ were in fact sealed, unopened beer bottles (see the zoom-in here [2]). The correct way to make a petrol bomb needs to replace the content [3]. For all we know, the police have found 10 bottles of unopened beer and claimed to have found 10 petrol bombs.

[2]: https://lihkg.com/thread/1335217/page/1

[3]: https://img.appledaily.com.tw/images/ReNews/20130804/640_13b...


From afar, it is unclear whether it was uncovered or planted. Both make logical sense.

In a place where weapons are banned, it can make sense to construct them. In a time of effective peaceful protest, it can make sense to an authoritarian government to attempt to justify a crackdown.

My heart is with those protesting in Hong Kong: 'Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ...'


> TATP stockpiled

Anyone who knows anything about explosives - knows you don't "stockpile" TATP.

It's a highly energetic explosive that will go off if you look at it sideways.

Storing it? You'd have to be a fool.


Yes I agree. Also note the new in packaging yellow helmets etc, you'd think if they were actual protesters the protest accoutrements would at least be a little bit used (or knowing HK police, shall we say, thoroughly used)


I don't think the communists ruling China need any justification for immoral behavior. Lack of justification hasn't stopped them in the past.


A co-worker of mine just returned from visiting mainland China. She said everyone she spoke to, did not know about the protests in Hong Kong. They had no idea that something was happening there.


Claiming not to know was a way to avoid talking about it. Anyone in China who wants to know, knows. Of course the people in Shenzhen, less than 30km away, are aware of what's happening in HK. They just have no desire whatsoever to get into a political discussion with foreigners.

Don't underestimate the "them and us" mentality in China. It's very pervasive. Your co-worker was assuredly on the "them" side of the equation.


This. Not to mention in my experience most Chinese actually support the government.


I don't think that's the whole picture. Unless they are actively consuming foreign news, they are likely to be underinformed at best.


The Chinese I have met and who became my friends all mostly refuse to talk/mention politics. They ones that answer questions all do so without pushing but they add that really they could not care less about politics; their life has been moving upward steadily and they really do not want or need to know about anything unless that changes. One of my friends says he knows about HK but they do not talk about it because it is meaningless; they cannot do anything, take risk and really believe HK will enjoy the same standard of life upgrades as the mainlanders did. I know only techies and usually those are less politically inclined in ‘free’ countries as well in my experience.


If their phones have some sort of surveillance and catch them bad mouthing the government, they are going to have a bad time. In an authoritarian government, every level of society lies - it's not worth it to do otherwise.


My friends in SH believe they are celebratory parades for something....


either your friend or you is fool.


This is not necessarily a bad thing for the protesters in HK.

Considering the humiliation that the colonisation of HK had been for 100+ years and the resulting nationalistic tendency of the people, if CCTV (Chinese state TV) had shown the pictures of armed protesters storming the HK parliament and some of them flying the Union Jack then the Chinese government would have been forced to fall on the protesters like a ton of bricks.


Back to low-tech solutions like paid mobs to control the situation.

People in HK use Chinese apps and Chinese intelligence probably has comprehensive mass surveillance system in place, but it could not predict recent events. Chinese and HK leaders were caught by surprise.


People in HK typically don't use Chinese apps to communicate. WhatsApp and Telegram seem to be the most popular right now, and both use end-to-end encryption. Suggesting communication over WeChat to your average Hong Konger is laughable.


Seems to me this is Tiananmen part 2 unfolding before our eyes. And doesnt look like anyone will come to Hongkongs help.

Hoping India will step up and do something. Seems unlikely though.


I strongly disagree with any one nation, but especially India, intervening in this situation. Firstly, what is the actual support that is being provided? Sanctions would do nothing to China, except maybe the EU and/ or the US. Military support, in any form, would explode the region into WW3. Secondly, India and China already have some significant animosity; India supporting HK would royally piss off mainland China. Also, I cannot see India's benefiting the HK resistance; mainland China will never surrender control of HK.

Overall, I am super pessimistic about HK; unless mainland China experiences a similar scale of unrest, HK will become just another mainland city.


No foreign power would ever dare to intervene with HK. Every country is simply too horny about Chinese money nowadays


Last time we got hot and bothered about Chinese money, the British crashed the entire nation via illicit drug sales. No reason something like that won't happen again.


Not sure what you're implying here - that the British will roll out illegal drugs to the Chinese market again?

Look at how everyone is treating Taiwan. That should tell you enough about how nobody will be willing to compromise anything for the sake of Hong Kong.


The implication is that the west has bled China dry without the cooperation of the Chinese government before and there's no reason it won't happen again. The West doesn't necessarily need to play softball with China to get its money.


Yeah, great idea to rob the Chinese again and put the blame on themselves.


>the British crashed the entire nation via illicit drug sales

What incident are you referring about here?


Opium Wars 1 & 2. 1839 to 1860.


I know. But India can. And India should. There is no one else.


India isn't strong enough to take on China.


It didnt look that way in Doklam.


Doklam, we were fighting to maintain our borders. Intervention in Hongkong is all together a different game.


> Seems to me this is Tiananmen part 2 unfolding before our eyes.

Regarding Tiananmen 2.0, reportedly People's Liberation Army claimed on 13 June not to intervene [1], but some recent comment on 22 July may suggest otherwise [2].

At the end of the day, it boils down to whether the benefit is more than the cost of rolling out PLA.

One concern for CCP is that Taiwan is holding its president election next March, and the top two runners are respectively a pro-Washington candidate and a pro-Beijing candidate, so rolling out the PLA would hurt this proxy election war and more importantly make future “unification” of Taiwan basically impossible.

Another concern is that CCP needs Hong Kong for its free flow of capital and technology (e.g. Hong Kong is not under the same export control as China), and rolling out the PLA would ruin these when China’s economic future is uncertain.

[1]: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-extradition-pla-...

[2]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20498017

> Hoping India will step up and do something. Seems unlikely though.

Reading the analysis, some critics speculated that one way out for Hong Kong is for her to be integrated into Taiwan, and then get transitive protection by the United States.

The handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China in 1997 in based on the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, which China declares is merely historical and no longer holds any “practical significance.” [3]

Note that Hong Kong was given to the Britain by three treaties in the 19th century (1842 Treaty of Nanking, 1860 Convention of Peking, 1898 The Second Convention of Peking), and the true copies of all treaties are in the hand of Taiwan, which were brought to Taiwan by the KMT government during its retreat to Taiwan before 1950.

So if the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, the declaration behind the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China, is revoked (partly because CCP declares it invalid), Britain might declare that Hong Kong should return to the holder of the three treaties–Taiwan.

Extremely unlikely, but arguably has legal justification.

As a side note, Hong Kong and Taiwan are the two main places sharing the use of traditional Chinese characters (besides Macau), and Taiwan has a good track record of respecting sub-languages of spoken Chinese (not just use Mandarin), so culturally they share a lot. And they also value democracy, freedom, and rule of law as core values, so ignoring geopolitics their integration is plausible.

[3]: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/07/br...


> so ignoring geopolitics their integration is plausible.

Quite a caveat there, unfortunately :-)


Lots of footage with clear faces, shouldn’t be very difficult to put names next to those.

Does anyone know of any co-ordinated efforts to do so?


https://reddit.com/r/hongkong has a lot of discussion and footage of these guys coordinating with the police, including them getting into vehicles with mainland license plates.


Is that really the right course of action, given the protests are a push back against China asserting control and surveillance over HK's citizens?


The protesters are being subjected to the assaults rather than being the masked assailants.

My gut reaction is these attackers are from mainland China and who have been organised by an official in order to try and reduce HK's tendency to protest (a sentiment echoed in that article as well).


What do you suggest? Should they just bend over and take it?


The protests are over a law allowing China to extradite people without any process.

Also government mass surveillance and identifying people who were recorded in public by a citizen commiting violence aren't the same thing. I wish I didn't have to explain this.


> The protests are over a law allowing China to extradite people without any process.

That is not true that there would not have been any process.

There would have been a full legal process like any extradition: I.e. extradition would have been requested based on a legal case, this would have been examined by a HK court with the 'accused' able to defend, then that HK court would have made a decision. [That's the actual bill]




Does these protest still have broad support?

It seems obvious that the HK administration is simply drawing out time and hoping the daily troubles the demonstrators are creating in time will kill their cause.


Broad support by whom?

If you're including population not under the sphere of influence of the Chinese Communist Party, I'd say most likely yes.

If not, of course there isn't broad support in the sense that Hong Kong is a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the Mainland.

I hate to say it, but I'm expecting that an inevitable Tiananmen 2.0 is in the works; and I have seen nothing to convince me that pushed to the wall, the Chinese Communist party won't write off an entire city to restore "Peace"; excepting the continued existence of Taiwan. That though, in no small manner being a diplomatic stalemate with the rest of the world however.


Actually Taiwan's de facto independence has probably more to do with them having a relatively large defense force ready to inflict heavy casualties to an invader.

Hong Kong has no such asset.


Broad support by the people of Hong Kong.

I think the parallel are the occupy protests in HK around 2014. In the beginning they had broad support but after about half a year that public support was gone and the police could clear remaining "occupiers".

As an outsider the issues of extradition seems like a symptom of something deeper: Hong Kong's role as a part of China. Perhaps frustration over economic conditions: Obscene rent to wage ratios. Not the same growth as in nearby mainland.


this is bizarre to me. I don't really see how this move makes sense for the CCP. Maybe I just wanted to think that things have changed since 1989..


This is just too obvious and they tried to get attention, which isn't really like what China gov would do. The HK gov's announcement and action so far are de-escalating the situation, it just not making any sense to support/allow such thing from happening. The aggressive protesters are only ones i could see benefits from it


Triads made a deal with PRC? Couldn't be better news for HKers! :-/


It's funny, decades ago China (CCP government) tired to get rid of Triads from Guangdong (especially prostitution and drug trade). They were probably happy Triads focused mostly on HK and Macau (and Taiwan + overseas?).

Now they "need" the Triads.

Also it seems this movie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Years_(2015_film) is actually becoming reality.


I would've expected something far slicker from the PRC. When push comes to shove I guess.


Is there a symbolism with the white? Or was it an arbitrary colour?

I believe Brown was chosen for the Nazi SA uniforms because they were cheap.


I assume it was for maximum contrast with the black that many of the protesters wear, to help distinguish friend from foe.


> I believe Brown was chosen for the Nazi SA uniforms because they were cheap.

No, it was taken from Harvard's University colors, I believe.

> Hanfstaengl composed both Brownshirt and Hitler Youth marches patterned after his Harvard football songs and, he later claimed, devised the chant "Sieg Heil"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Hanfstaengl


"Brown-colored shirts were chosen as the SA uniform because a large number of them were cheaply available after World War I"

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturmabteilung

Harvard university is Crimson?


Masked men -> This is the new face of the communist party.


None of them wore masks.


Then why is the title of this post, "Chaos in Hong Kong as hundreds of masked men assault protesters, journalists"?


[flagged]


The progressives in HN downvote you, but the truth is that being able to use violence to protect your individual freedoms is instrumental to democracy. Few places can boast the level of stability that EEUU has had in the last 150 years. Many were taken over by tyrants and armed mobs, than eventually chose their tyrant. It's no coincidence that in Venezuela the regime disarmed the people with a law that according to them was meant to protect them.

The 2nd amendment is vital, don't let anyone make you think otherwise.


What about the many, many other functioning democracies with incredibly strict gun control?


It is all well and good until they stop functioning.

Guns empower people to not sit down and just take it when governments consistentenly abuse their power over a long enough period of time.


Saying “it’s all fine and dandy until the democracy falls down” is a pretty circular argument to the fact that America stands uniquely in the democratic free world in its liberal control of guns, amoung peers who have lasted several times longer than America's total existance.

In fact it’s a completely nonsense response, and one might point out that America is also fairly unique in its seemingly ill-functioning and over reaching government. Nobody reached for their guns after any of the post-9/11 constitution slashing, nor over any of the hundreds of documented abuses of power, corruption or citizens-United bribery that happen all of the time.

But sure, if cradling your firearms at night imagining a time when you gloriously rise up in unison against some big-brother style figurehead (while your other freedoms are eroded bit by bit) is an effective coping mechanism I guess that’s a good thing for the controlling oligarchy.

I can see why the promote it so heavily.


All of the west is shaped by America's dominance. Without their influence I suspect many typically western countries would be far more tyranically run.


Do we really think that armed citizens would have a chance against the current US military? Weaponry has come pretty far since the days the 2nd amendment was created.


The point isn't to win against the US military by overpowering it, but it is to cause enough damage, death, and collateral that you bring the US government to the negotiating table when supporters realize the cost of prolonged battle. You also want to make it look as brutal as possible to get foreign support and condemnation on the world stage.

Also we really don't know what would happen if the US military was asked to start fighting its own citizens. There is no guarantee those orders would be followed... people don't like killing their neighbors even if they're ordered to do it.


I don't think we should have no recourse against a tyrannical government, but I just don't see how anyone is going to realistically go up against the US military and make even a tiny dent.

To your latter point, there are constant human rights abuses/crackdowns on dissent in China, but does anyone intervene? Now consider that the US has military might many times China's. Who's going to intervene?

I, too, would hope for defection if the US military was told to start attacking US citizens. It's important to note, though, that the military goes to great lengths to break recruits down and rebuild them into "warriors" aka unquestioning killing machines.


>I don't think we should have no recourse against a tyrannical government, but I just don't see how anyone is going to realistically go up against the US military and make even a tiny dent.

See Vietnam


Fighting a war on foreign soil is much different from a conflict on home turf.


Sherman's March to the Sea is a nice example of how this plays out.


You don’t have to overpower the military with their nukes. You just have to make your region ungovernable without the military doing something embarrassing, or that would make the region of no value. It’s the Northern Ireland strategy.


>Do we really think that armed citizens would have a chance against the current US military?

Would it surprise you to learn that the "US military" aren't a bunch of mindless drones, but are in fact family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and fellow citizens? And that they wouldn't necessarily feel great about slaughtering their fellow countrymen?


I don't think the military are mindless drones, but yes, it would surprise me to see large-scale defection because history is littered with incidences of military being used successfully to repress citizen populations. This happens, in my opinion, for two reasons: 1. Militaries spend a lot of time breaking down and rebuilding recruits into order-following killing machines. 2. Target populations are demonized to the point that your neighbors/friends can be made to look enough like an enemy "other". Add groupthink to that and you've got a deadly situation that's not really a moral failing on the part of the soldier but a corruption of their motives by propaganda.


This is the key point, more or less every revolution in human history happened when the military switched sides and didn't want to shoot at civilians anymore.

Trying to come with 2nd amendment is bullshit, you have to get the sympathy by the military. This could be by inflicting damage, but more likely by having high enough casualties that the military thinks it is too much.


I used to think this way. Then I saw what our boys went through doing house-to-house fighting in Iraq. The rural areas of the US are way more heavily armed than the Iraqis were circa 2005. Not to mention the amount of ammo and guns that right-wingers have been stockpiling since the Obama administration. (Perhaps for misguided reasons but nonetheless it happened)

It would be a bloodbath.


The ratio of casualties would certainly be the closest in house-to-house combat, but who's to say that's how it would go down? Civilians don't have air power or much of anything that would be effective against armored vehicles. Theoretically a few tanks could cruise through a neighborhood and level it.


Maybe not, but the freedom to have that chance, no matter how small, is worth having. To me personally anyway.


1) it's false Venezuela disarmed people;

2) to say armed people can stop dictators, it's a totally braindead assumption.

Please, go understand how the world works.


Of course it's false. You still see lots of armed people, usually criminal gangs, both regime sponsored and independent. However, legally they were prohibited several years ago, I remember this. On your second point, please read the other comments on the thread spawned by my comment, and you'll see why your point is false.

I don't claim to know how the world works, but I've seen and learned enough to understand the importance violence has in our society. In most developed nations we're sheltered from it because its application has been made incredibly efficient. However, we shouldn't be fooled to believe that it doesn't play an important role in maintaining our societies.


Yes, more guns is always the solution !!!

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2e/2010_hom...


Voting and protesting are resulting in oppression and physical assault.

Your argument, such as it is, is equivalent to saying people should not be allowed to defend themselves, because someone might get hurt. It rests on the hidden assumption that guns cause violence, which isn't supported by the evidence you offer; and flies in the face of the actual violence in HK.


Too add on to your point, there is also another hidden assumption:

That violence is never the answer.

In civil society, we like to preach that, but as soon as the basic pillars of civility disappear, violence is unfortunately the only answer.

Worrisome times indeed.


Nobody was killed in the recent violence. Are you seriously suggesting that the commuters would have been safer, and less likely to get killed, if both sides had been armed with guns?


Regardless of what you think of 2A, this is exactly the sort of situation it was designed to address. In Hong Kong, you have a completely unarmed population demanding democracy. Being oppressed by an (in the particular case, arguably foreign) government, with a long history of slaughtering unarmed populations who demand democracy.


What if the 60% of US citizens who don't approve of Trump want to overthrow his government ? Would that be part of the 2nd amendment ? Where do you draw the line ?


Generally speaking: "There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo. Please use in that order."[0]

Where to draw that line is a personal choice. There are no simple answers. "You can never make that choice" is just as extreme and absolute an answer as "any time you are unhappy about anything the government does, start shooting."

[0]-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_boxes_of_liberty


Nothing about those situations are comparable. The president of the USA is democratically elected. The USA is ruled by its own government, not the government of a foreign country (which a huge amount of Hong Kong citizens view China as), the citizens of Hong Kong don’t want to overthrow their government, they want to protect themselves from clearly oppressive regime, the USA has a rather impressive set of constitutionally guaranteed rights, citizens of the USA have access to a robust legal system.

There is nothing about the situation in Hong Kong that compares to any level of dissatisfaction you believe may exist with a democratically elected government.


It's a hell of a lot harder (or at least more costly) to violently impose your will on people who can violently defend themselves.


A civilian population armed with guns to the teeth will still not be able to stand up even a little to a real well organized military with gear.

Maybe it would be more costly, but the escalation would also provide the justification to strike down the population completely and simply murder all the protesters. Instead of reading about peaceful protesters being attacked you'd read about the military taking out insurgents.


Vietnam. US won every single battle, but failed to achieve anything.

Civilian militias have an enormous advantage over organized militaries. Guerilla tactics.

Yes, special forces employ them, but never the less, you’ll never see a special forces groups throwing IEDs on insurgent convoys.

Unlike civilians, organised militaries have rulebooks to follow.

This is true especially in authoritarian states with centralised decision making. See: the six day war. When communications were out, Arabs became mindless drones and the morale was in the toilet. Perhaps not the best example because that was organised military vs organised militaries. However, for Israel, everything was at stake. It was either victory or total annihilation.


> Instead of reading about peaceful protesters being attacked you'd read about the military taking out insurgents

I'm curious. What was the last anti-insurgent war we won? I'll list the ones where we lost: Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.


Afghanistan and iraq would like to talk to you


Both are very good examples of the point. Both are dominated not by free armed civilians protecting their rights, but by organised well armed militias that completely suppress the rights and freedoms of the general population in their areas of control.

Yes ordinary people in much of Afghanistan and parts of Iraq can get hold of firearms if the want to. It doesn't help them at all. They are utterly dominated by either the local militias in Iraq (Sunni and Shiia depending on their area), or by the Taliban in much of Afghanistan.

If arming everybody worked to promote freedom, then Iraq and Afghanistan would be free associations of local communities joining together to protect their liberties. That is clearly not the case, and it isn't the case in any country with weak government and pervasive access to arms. Guns everywhere make the weak weaker and the strong stronger.

Guns do not even the playing field. In practice they dramatically tilt the playing field even more in favour of those with a willingness and propensity to use violence.


To your first point, there are numerous historical examples to the contrary. To the second, HK has millions of protesters out, something like a quarter to a third of the population. You can't simply liquidate an entire generation of young people if you want to maintain a grip on anything more valuable than a smoking crater.


> Instead of reading about peaceful protesters being attacked you'd read about the military taking out insurgents.

In both cases, you'd read what the oppressor wants you to read.


Do you believe the US population has any kind of chance against the US army ?

It created an arm race between civilians and the authorities. The basic police in the US is better equipped than the military of most EU countries.


I would describe this line of reasoning as tautological. A proper analysis would compare total violence and eliminate other factors like income inequality and education. The preoccupation with "gun violence" is like fixating on, say, truck collisions-- it provides no actual insight into what variable is driving traffic fatalities, but trucks sure are big and scary!


North Korea has very few gun deaths. I am pretty sure people would trade a slightly higher gun death rate for actual freedom.


correlation != causation


It's better that a thousand individuals get to kill each other than one person be oppressed by a government.


Change "one person" to "all persons" and you have the heart of the second amendment argument.

You may disagree, but it is not an unreasonable position.


Oh absolutely but when you phrase it like that you risk getting bogged down in the minutiae of irrelevant details like the exact impact removing/adding more guns would have on a society's homicide rate, like that's at all relevant to what is at it's core a disagreement on principles. Best to express your stance in the most extreme way possible so you don't get stuck in detail quibbles.

A disarmed society is an enslaved society.


That's the tough part isn't it? It's just a cost benefit analysis. There's no "one true way". The Americans chose one end of the spectrum, the English the other. Both approaches worked out reasonably well.

That's not something either side really wants to hear these days.


They seem to protest harder than countries with the 2nd amendment. Maybe the 2nd amendment is just another cultural sleeping pill.


The only thing guns would probably achieve right now is that this triade guys would also have guns and would be using them.


Triad thugs have and always had guns. They probably leave them as the last resort.


Given that HK is now the first stop for US whistleblowers it sounds like you could use an improved first.


Honestly crazy to suggest that this would have turned out better if it was a shootout. Instead of hospital rooms the casualties would be in morgues.


That is exactly the reason the 2nd Amendment exists in the US constitution. It certainly wasn’t to protect target shooting and hunting, but to protect against precisely the sort of oppression happening in Hong Kong. Governments should fear the people, not the other way around. The 2nd Amendment is a check on tyranny. Those that are downvoting the parent, what’s the solution? In China, you can’t protest your way to freedom. It hasn’t worked. It’s naïve to think that non-violent protest against China would ever solve anything. Let’s not forget the non-violence of Gandhi in India was strengthened by actual violence. [1]

And the American revolution wasn’t won because of protest, in fact, there was considerable protest and petitioning against the British prior to war and it resulted in the British becoming even more oppressive. It took guns and blood to win.

[1] http://theconversation.com/the-forgotten-violence-that-helpe...


> Chenoweth and Stephan collected data on all violent and nonviolent campaigns from 1900 to 2006 that resulted in the overthrow of a government or in territorial liberation. They created a data set of 323 mass actions. Chenoweth analyzed nearly 160 variables related to success criteria, participant categories, state capacity, and more. The results turned her earlier paradigm on its head — in the aggregate, nonviolent civil resistance was far more effective in producing change.

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2019/02/why-nonviolen...


This make sense intuitively: governments are better armed than the people (militarized police, military). If guns are used in a conflict between the people and a government, the government will crush the people immediately.

On the other hand, enough protests and civil disobedience will disrupt the economy and the functioning of the government to the point they will have to react, or resign.

I am not American and haven't studied the U.S. history, but the cynic in me cannot help but wonder if the 2nd amendment is kept to let people think they are protected from tyranny while not fighting back any laws and unfair policies. When was the last time a law or policy was successfully fought and turned around in the U.S.?


It's arguable the Appalachian coal industry wouldn't have been unionized without armed agitation, but that may be unique to the region and the mine owners' eagerness to employ Pinkerton gunmen.

I'd say the last time armed resistance had direct impact on law was the abolition of slavery. Most specifically John Brown's taking of a federal armory in 1859. It didn't end well for Brown, his sons, or the freed slaves involved. It did, however, cause a polarization of public sentiment that accelerated the approach of civil war. Only after the other side was ground to paste was legislation changed nationwide.

To the commentors making a Vietnam analogy - short of storming federal installations ourselves, from whom are we to get the military-grade weaponry to put up any kind of resistance? Russia?


You could just as easily use the American Civil War as a example of armed resistance being ineffective. One of the largest armed resistances in history (the CSA) and it ended up achieving the exact opposite of its aims.


>When was the last time a law or policy was successfully fought and turned around in the U.S.?

Prohibition

Civil rights act

Roe v Wade

Gay marriage

Marijuana legalization


None of those fights had a Second Amendment angle, except possibly the Black Panthers' demonstrations carrying rifles. Those events instead resulted in California gun control laws being created more than contributing to the Civil Rights Act's passage.


Which is evidence that the government really does start to scared when armed citizens speak up for their rights.


Good list! I had not thought of those.

In which of those was the 2nd amendment used?

Having said that, weren't those slow change of the laws? I was thinking more about forceful events like the opposition to the Vietnam war, the yellow jackets in France, or what's going on in Hongkong right now.


Why would the US population result to armed rebellion when it has a robust and largely functioning method of altering policy?


Are the existing methods to change policies good enough? Are they good enough for the case where the government is forceful and not listening to the people?

How much longer would have the Vietnam war lasted if it weren't for large scale marches?

How many people's life got ruined because of marijuana laws for decades. Could have this been avoided with better ways to address harsh laws?

Are there really no law today that are almost universally hated, but kept on the book because of lobbying by companies or vocal minority groups?


Like, a couple of weeks ago? Unpopular or unconstitutional laws and policies are frequently overturned in the US at the national and state level.


Does the US government fear its own people ?

From the outside, it seems that police equipment escalated to get army grade vehicles and weapons, and the army has been to enough wars involving fighting civilians that they could crush most opposition in a matter of days.

Then what's happening in HK is masked "civilians" committing crimes, so the manifestant reacting to them with violence would also fall on the illegal side and it would be game for the police to intervene openly as strongly as they want.


>From the outside, it seems that police equipment escalated to get army grade vehicles and weapons, and the army has been to enough wars involving fighting civilians that they could crush most opposition in a matter of days.

Sure they "could" but will they. Right now the mainland populace knows nothing of this. If you let it turn into a bloodbath that could create a big enough international incident that people could find out. Is it worth the risk?

> it would be game for the police to intervene openly as strongly as they want.

And when the police don't want to prevent violence you get stuff like this[1].

Now, obviously the moral high ground in that example is reversed but my point is that the police need to want to prevent violent retribution if the locals want to inflict it and they are to prevent violent retribution.

[1] https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ec/Duluth-l...


> Sure they "could" but will they. Right now the mainland populace knows nothing of this. If you let it turn into a bloodbath that could create a big enough international incident that people could find out. Is it worth the risk?

Sorry it wasn't clear, I was talking about the police in the USA and the second amendment. I was explaining why I think civils having weapons just doesn't mean much against the current government.

> the police need to want to prevent violent retribution if the locals want to inflict it

Sure, we all agree. Here the gov/police is orchestrating the violence, so I guess we also agree they don't want to prevent it.


> Governments should fear the people, not the other way around. The 2nd Amendment is a check on tyranny.

How fearful is the US government of Americans? Consider:

- The US government surveils Americans when it wants, as much as it wants: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_surveillance_in_the_Unite...

- US police kill about 1,000 Americans every year. US police kill more Americans than terrorists do: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/police...

- US presidents assassinate US citizens without consequence: https://theintercept.com/2017/01/30/obama-killed-a-16-year-o...

- The US government can search you or your devices at the border without cause, even if you're a citizen: https://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/16/us/border-legal-rights-fa...

I see plenty of brazenness in the US government's behaviour. I don't see much fear.


At what point do we stop calling it the Hong Kong Protests and instead call it the Hong Kong Riots?


Well, they are distinct - there are the peaceful HK protests by huge proportions of the population, and then there are some riots, with indications that they're staged by the triads close to pro-Beijing factions.


you need to know the whole chain of events to understand what happened at Yuen Long last night. also you need to know the unique identity of Yuen Long in order to comprehend the situation. Yuen Long is a village of people from several big family names, they are all relatives in a way. have their own system and rules and really hate outsiders telling them what to do. in history, they fought with British, fought with Japanese, with government, HK government and Police then realize the best way is to allowing local'daddies'to run local affairs with minimum intervene,except serious crimes like rape, murders, drugs etc. Protesters dont get this, last week, they entered Yuen Long enforcing 'democracy', got told off and kicked out. Local warned, they dont want protesters in their area, if they come back ,YL locals will teach them a lesson about not to invade into others' community. but protesters took it as a challenge to their righteousness and claim they will 'liberal' Yuen Long. Locals got super irritated and with gang history of this area, they are not afraid of confronting with anyone,violently or not. so, they did it as they have always done when outsiders disrespect them. local police did not stand by protesters. but take what happened during last few weeks, like an officer got a finger bitten off but then was criticized 'excessive violence'etc. of course police have their own emotions, they are human beings after all, not robots. anyway, this is a tragic situation which is inevitable to happen , not after so many weeks of tolerance of violence and breaking law. the protesters once shouted at police asking them to disappear. and police disappeared. you call for lawlessness, then you have to live with lawlessness. you dont want to get punished by beating others, then you have to live with being beaten without anyone punished.


So basically it's ok for the Police to leave an area they were pre-warned will become violent because that district is controlled by thugs and criminals who can basically do what they want?

I think you have a distorted view of what the role of Police is in a society.


Authorities are simply leveraging "thugs and criminals" as a force multiplier.


Although I dont agree what you said but I understand where it comes from.having said that, is worth pointing out, in East Asian Society, gangs have a much more complicated face than in west. there has been a culture of gang in Easter Asia, actually, nearly every modern party functioning in Japan, China and Korea has a gang root. China republican party relied on Shanghai gangs to maintain resistance under Japanese occupation. Japanese Yamaguchi-gumi is a crucial local power to maintain rules and help with social crisis. yes, they do bad things,really bad things. but Gangs in East Asia is not only about bad things. they sometime act like a rule keeper. like in the heartbroken earthquake in Japan in 2011, local gangs are required to help with injured and transporting supplies etc, they have their own ways doing things.police sometimes have some kind of agreements with local gangs:restraint your people, help us when we need, and we keep one eye closed for your business.


no, i dont mean that. i just want to highlight the complexity of the situation. police are human, do you agree? it is nor right , not professional, but after being cast as 'public enemy', after private info being disclosed, kids being bullied, families being threatened, they will have reaction. this is reality. we are not living in theories.


Police using gangs to suppress dissidents is not complicated.

It's authoritarian, deplorable, contrary to the common good of the people and in every way wretched.

With that said considering the current movement and public enablement of the PRC and Winnie the Pooh's iron fist, nothing you've said or what we have seen in Hong Kong is a surprise. Never the less, the entire situation is an incredible backwards step for common kind.


Admittedly I left HK 20 years ago, but even then Yuen Long had not been "a village of people from several big family" long before I left. They do have stronger mainland tie, but I see that as mainly because the cost of living is lower in that region and so attract more immigrants (just like Chinatown in Western countries).

I don't doubt that the situation is complex, but lets get the facts straight.


Is the population of the New Territories North region less sympathetic with the pro-democracy protesters than Hong Kong Island and Kowloon?

They appear to have commercial ties to Shenzhen across the border. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Yuen_Long_protest


Yes, but not Shenzhen, I would say , most of them are of a same ethnic called 'Ke Jia', which take a big proportion of population in Cantonese and Fujian area, and Taiwan. they formed a very tight connection as one whole rural community, no matter where they live. they remain like that for over a thousand years. that is their tradition.when i said tight, it means if you were a kejia, you could seek help in UK or US etc from local Kejia gangs, they dont need to know who you are, as long as you are Kejia. so Living in different area will not soften their identity. let alone in HK, where is an important habitat for them.



>Local warned, they dont want protesters in their area, if they come back ,YL locals will teach them a lesson about not to invade into others' community. but protesters took it as a challenge to their righteousness and claim they will 'liberal' Yuen Long.

That is not what happened. They took it as a challenge after they were beaten up. No one did anything to Yuen Long, and they decide to beat any everyone, from Child to Pregnant Woman on the Western MTR Train.


[flagged]


There are good people on both sides.


/s?


Could one make a case in favour of China's one party system by likening it to Apple's tightly integrated ecosystem?

I mean, people argue that technology works better when one system controls the hardware, the software and the ecosystem around it.

Could the same principle apply to human society? Which is an order of magnitude more complex than a piece of technology.

Again, I don't know if this argument has been made before – or if it's even one I'd want to make. But I'm just curious if this is something people say?


Yes. It's easier to run an entirely unified society in a centralized fashion than it is to run a free-for-all.

Your monoculture must necessarily be authoritarian to enforce the cultural and ideological policies.

It's also extremely fragile. Cut off the head and everything turns to anarchy. Which is what has happened over and over throughout China's history.

Versus somewhere on the polar opposite end like Switzerland where the national government is basically non-existent and could disappear tomorrow and there wouldn't be much disruption.


Oh sure lots of people argue for this. The scheme has been tried to death literally. Particularily egregious implementations were started by people invested in the Führerprinzip[0]. That idea has a German name because it was developed there. It happens that the worst (in terms of resulting misery) implementation came from Germany too. Luckily such constellations are always unstable due to infighting. The Chinese government will come down due to this if not for any other reason. If you want a stable government, make it so that competition between individuals stabilizes the group.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%BChrerprinzip

With humans having supersocial traits like ants or bees, the idea of societies where everybody works towards a common goal does appeal to our senses. The reason they don't work so easily is because we have individual interests. Keeping part with the group is part of our desires, but this is a much weaker force than it is in bees, for example. That's because we breed as individuals, and not as a group. So group selection is much weaker. (Check out "Darwin's Cathedral" if you're interested in that topic.)

Now imagine if we did have the ability to form supersocial groups like ants do. We'd try to wipe out each other's group[1] and given today's technology we'd succeed!

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_war

In the end, just because it works for a company doesn't mean it works for a society. Companies can fail. They can fight. And they can be selective in who they include. Societies will create the boundaries of fair competition.


A hundred million dead in the 20th century wasn’t enough for you?


If you read my post instead of downvoting, I'm not calling for the end of Western democracy.

I'm just curious whether people who are in favour of the One Party system use arguments or metaphors like these.


Yes, this argument has been made.

China apologists frequently cite the higher efficiency of the one party system compared to democracies hampered by due process.

During the Roman Republic, in time of crisis a dictator could be installed (for a 6 month period) to "sort things out".

So, the tradeoff between accountability and efficacy has been around for a while.


> China apologists frequently cite the higher efficiency of the one party system compared to democracies hampered by due process.

In fact, China cannot even claim superiority in terms of economic growth, because their per capita GDP grows much slower than Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan for the same period during high growth (see the graph in [1]).

Hence the argument for higher efficiency is in fact misplaced, mostly based on her accumulated power largely due to huge population. But her population is aging quickly, and so will her productivity and growth.

[1]: https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-state-driven-growth-mode...


If one is a USA citizen one might look at certain state governments in the USA with essentially single party rule (e.g. Utah, Oklahoma) and compare if they are run more efficiently and/or effectively than states with more than one strong party.


This follows protesters' siege of The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

PS: I'm just stating a fact not endorsing anyone here. The "siege" of CCP office is a very bad move. They are hurting the face of the mainland, provided excuses and received the ruthless response this political machine was designed to do.


No, you did not state fact. The protest at the Liaison Office and the Yuen Long terrorist attack happened at the same time. The Yuen Long attack is also now shown (via various news outlet) to be planned well ahead (as early as 7/20 if not earlier.)


[flagged]


The siege happened yesterday, and Chinese mouthpieces and websites are calling it a blatant provocation on sovereignty by thugs.


Why does it matter what the Chinese mouthpieces say? They will always find a reason when they want to fuck someone up.


That looks like a high horse? The consequences will not be borne by you but by the HK public, and when that hurt their daily lives you better wish they won't change their mind.

Also, you don't care what they say but there are 1.4 billion people that do, and lies will become truth.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: