Firing less-lethal rounds directly at head level, causing permanent blindness
Planting evidence into protester's backpack
Firing tear gas in subway station, which was being used by the general public
I wouldn't be very surprise if it was the case as it is often a tactic use, even in our western democracies, to justify stronger and more violent police operation and also tarnish the image of the protest.
Agent provocateurs. And, yes, that's exactly what they're doing.
In my country, Belgium, headlines were along the lines of "The real question now is: how patient is Beijing inclined to be ?".
I wonder if this is i) thread-specific due to possible brigading, or ii) a more wider tribalistic phenomenon. I have perceived (lost my old account from years ago) that downvoting more and more is plain disagreement with the opinion, not whether a comment is substantive. Could be completely off and biased, but at least in this thread it seems to be the case.
> Planting evidence into protester's backpack
Look at the video. The officer bends over to pick something off the ground and is not being subtle in any way in placing the items into his backpack. It's impossible to tell from the video what the items actually are, but it doesn't look suspicious to me. Perhaps a length of tube he was using to transport a protest banner? Whatever it is it looks like the sort of thing that would easily fall out of a loose backpack like his in a minor skirmish.
It could be the planting of evidence, but I don't think we have enough facts to make that assertion without strong qualifiers.
and some of them met officials from the U.S. 
The fox news article also mention "one protester". Seems like a isolated incident. Why talk about "the protesters" ?
EDIT: The parent post was saying "meeting" the CIA before they change it to "official of the US", hence my mention of the CIA.
People who grew up in mainland china do not have that cultural context. Opposite values were taught (no 'inherent rights' outside of government policy, censorship of press to maintain harmony, no Common Law).
Unless they have advanced degrees in political theory, I imagine it would be very hard for people who grew up in mainland china to understand why the Hong Kong people are protesting at all, much less sympathize. The values are that far apart.
I don't see how these are "democratic values". They're extremely important things to have obviously, but they're orthogonal to whether the system is democratic or not.
True, to an extent, yet it had civil liberties and the rule of law to a larger extent than China. So, I think GP's argument still stands.
1. The suppression tactics used by the HK police affects both protesters and non-protesters.
Hong Kong is a very high density place. There was a recent incident where HK police threw tear gas in a residential district in Tai Wai; another one in Shum Shui Po. Let's say I'm not a protester and I live in some high density apartment complex nearby - I get gassed anyway. If I have someone with respiratory issues in my home it could be life threatening.
2. Triads are involved in protester suppressions
These people are lawless. If you appear in the wrong place at the wrong time, you get beaten, or worse, sliced. Again, this concerns both protesters and the general public.
3. The government is breaking the rule of law
It is one thing for some protesters to break laws, but it's quite another thing for the government to do it. It means the government is not keeping the peace and let everyday people carry on with their lives. Which again, concerns a lot of people who were originally not protesters.
Hong Kong is a different case from mainland China, because Hong Kong is a small place. If something bad happens in Causeway Bay, it's very close to home if you're in Wan Chai. Mass protests and crackdowns also happen in China. But let's say it happens in Beijing, it doesn't really concern you if you're in Suzhou or Xi'an.
Note that GP never stated that. They gave an assessment (correct, in my view) of mainland opinion about the protests, they never said that they subscribed to that opinion.
I've been living abroad in various places for a few years now, and I feel like if someone were to vandalise the flag of my home country in an act of protest I don't think it would trigger much of an emotional response in me at all. No more, probably, than someone vandalising the flag of my sports team (that's to say, not much).
I wonder where this emotional attachment to tribal symbols starts and ends. I haven't done much at all in my life (voted a few times, otherwise just lived within the system) to create my home nation. It's just the part of the world where I happened to be born.
Even if I had fought hard to change my country and later become proud of what it had become, I would question whether someone defacing a symbol of that country would trigger an emotional response.
Am I alone in this? Is this tribalism something which is usually considered innate or learned / forgotten?
Before the 1990s the opinions and actions of Chinese people hardly mattered on the world stage. People living in China had relatively low quality of life, and those living overseas were often neglected or treated with biases. There was a society-wide desire to build a stronger nation.
Many factors contributed to China's subsequent success in this endeavor, but I would say that most Chinese people attribute it to their own hard work. And this is a source of immense national proud. This proud is frequently associated with the Chinese flag and emblem when, for example, Chinese atheletes won medals in international contests. They've become symbols that unite a wide range of Chinese people.
Many Chinese who grew up in this period genuinely felt that they lived in good times, and saw China very favorably. They're also likely in prime age today and form the backbone of "mainstream" society. When the HK protesters operate in a context where almost everything about China as a country is interpreted negatively, their messages immediately lose credibility in the mainland.
This very much depends on a country's history and it is impossible to generalise, although I would suspect that burning an American flag in the US (for example) would not go well with many Americans (and probably same for other countries).
China's current regime is partly a reaction to foreign aggression and humiliation.
An enduring symbol of this aggression and humiliation was Hong Kong itself.
This what makes attacking state symbols (or waving the British/American flags as I have seen some protesters do on TV) in Hong Kong so potent.
I think that for many Chinese seeing people protesting against the extradition bill and for more democracy is one thing (which they may be somewhat sympathetic to, actually) but attacking national integrity is quite another, which is guaranteed to produce general anger.
Either the protestors don't know any history, or have learned such a skewed version of history that they internalize the perspective of the 19th century British victors in an ultimately self-defeating way, or;
They know very well the potency of the symbolism and are deliberately declaring themselves aligned with the Western camp out of political expediency, and elevating the conflict to the level of a battle of spheres of influence.
Neither possibility will be looked upon kindly by mainland Chinese firmly rooted in their own historical and political understanding, because it is against their interest.
However people grew up in China are trained to be punished and even disappeared when they speak or act against the chinese official rhetoric, where as being patriotic in the officially approved ways is rewarding.
This extends to them enjoying watching people get punished and disappeared when they speak or act against the chinese official rhetoric. It's immoral and irrational, but it's also human nature. These brainwashing started even before they have the ability to reason.
The more recent police brutality concerns Hong Kongers because, well, now your home and the subway station you use everyday is gassed. And the government is doing it. It's now beyond just abstract concepts like the rule of law and it's a concern of your personal safety - even if you're not a protestor.
The issue of the Chinese flag / emblem being dirtied / thrown away / etc. during protests may be a concern of many in China... but ignoring the more immediate and practical concerns from everyday HKers is not helpful for anyone. Even from the perspective of the Party, such rhetoric only creates more division and problems down the road.
The PRC leadership is not stupid, either. They see the suspension of the bill as test of whether this whole thing was about the bill or something else. As suspected, it was about something else. Given that, no concession the PRC is willing to make will be enough. This is bigger than HK now and frankly out of HK'ers hands as to how it evolves next.
Suspending the bill with the implication of rushing it through when the protests have ended is not a concession, merely a move achieve PRC goals more quietly. Protesters have recognized and called it out as such. The fact that you don't seem to know that makes your statements suspect.
Decades of this squeeze have placed youngsters in a position where they have nothing to lose: Hong Kong has so many shiny buildings and not a square foot to their name. I was once getting flowers for my wife and ended up talking to a couple planning for their wedding reception at the florist. I was shocked to learn that they had discussed it and will not be having children because it is unaffordable. In my opinion, the Extradition Bill is just the final straw that broke that camel's back.
It feels manufactured — the ones rioting are the higher middle classes, who despite astronomical real estate prices can still survive somehow, not the homeless youth living in McDonaldses.
To provide some context to outsiders: housing to HK is pretty much like the healthcare is to America. Patently broken, but is pretty much a part of the class identity.
Higher ups on the social ladder don't mind much to continue to "bite the cactus," and some even think of it as something normal, even actively trying to subvert efforts to fix the situation.
This doesn't look like your average worker strike and people seem genuinely determined to get a change of direction.
Anyone who has been involved with this, can you comment on the latest government response to the "demands" from people?
There's too many protestors to dissapear them all.
“Constitutional path”? Hong Kongs self rule has been gradually eroded since 1997.
People are expressing their dissatisfaction and IMHO that's a valid justification for protesters and good enough for me.
1. no extradition to china
2. retract characterization of protests as riots
3. exonerate arrested protestors
4. investigate police misconduct
5. resignation of the PRC-appointed executive and... democracy
they are literally protesting for democracy
Protests don't achieve democracy, voting does. If all participants in the recent protests were willing to volunteer, printing a few million ballots and distributing them to improvised polling stations wouldn't be insurmountable. The Hong Kong Identity Card means that voter ID can be implemented without access to government records, simply by assigning a range of ID numbers to each polling station. The only drawback is that they'd need to somehow record who already cast their vote, which could be abused by the government to crack down on participants if they decide to ignore the outcome.
History strongly begs to differ - assembly to address grievances is just as crucial a step in achieving democracy as a vote.
My point is that although protests are a way to force a vote to occur, it's the actual act of voting that makes a democracy, and protests are neither necessary nor sufficient for that.
It seems to me that the protests in Hong Kong don't have to wait for the government to "allow" them to hold a vote, so long as they can manage the logistics.
Regarding being allowed to vote, the Hong Kong government is certainly taking a hardliner stance, but I'm not sure whether they could justify it to themselves to criminalize stuffing a piece of paper into a ballot box.
Either China consolidates control over HK and it loses critical political freedoms, ceasing being a democracy even in the slight way that it already is; or, somehow, incredibly, the protestors win and HK gets to retain its quasi-independence while China claims to be sovereign but lacks practical ground control.
(I suppose a third ending is somehow they return to the status quo ante of nominal control with little practical interference, but that was never entirely stable from the British withdrawal onwards. Getting back there would require everyone forgetting the whole thing, disabling injuries and all.)
Think about this next time governments talk about taking away your guns and anti-tank mines for the public's own protection.
An armed populace is not now nor will it ever again be the answer to this or any other geopolitical debate involving an advanced, militarily powerful national adversary.
Seriously can we not? Mines are such a horrendous lingering danger to the public that most militaries restrict them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa_Treaty
The problem is that movements without specific, clearly defined policy goals tend to fail.
It is easy to come together to oppose some bad thing, but it is really hard to find consensus on what to do after the bad thing has been defeated. So while movements without specific policy goals can win elections, the usually cannot bring effective change.
Is independence the goal here?
The first demand that originally sparked the protest was to have the extradition to China bill officially withdrawn, not simply referred to as dead yet left in legal suspension but still theoretically possible to push through as soon as the protesters went home.
The second demand is to have all of the people who were officially declared as rioters to be officially declared as peaceful protesters on a protest from early June because people who are declared rioters can face up to 10 years in prison. These protesters were once occupying the legislative house and even though they were graffitiing the walls with slogans, people went around and posted papers on refrigerators holding drinks and foods that said 'we are protesters not thieves' and no one took any of the food. Talk about being polite. Yet they were declared rioters (ok clearly I've come to a conclusion)
The third demand is for Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam to resign.
The fourth demand is for an independent commission to be formed to investigate police brutality as alleged by the protesters during the protests over the last 10 weeks. Heavy use of tear gas and rubber bullets.
The fifth demand is for all protesters to be unconditionally freed.
I'd recommend reading https://www.hongkongfp.com to keep up with what's going on in HK. I've followed it since May and it has been quite insightful.
It seems to be developing organically as the people come to understand how much momentum they have and how much their peers agree with their frustrations.
I'd speculate that if they somehow gained enough momentum that it appeared to be within reach then independence would probably be the end goal, but who knows.
one, the bill must be withdrawn;
two, the chief executive must resign;
three, the government must retract its characterisation of the violent clashes as “riots”;
four, there must be a full independent inquiry into the actions of the police and;
five, everyone arrested in respect of the clashes must be unconditionally freed.
Everything else (extradition, the five demands, et cetera) is just a series of sub-plots leading to self governance.
And no - I don't have evidence of CIA involvement, except for the somewhat co-incidental timing of the unrest relative to the trade war and the long well-known history of CIA involvement in such events. I will nonetheless consider disbelief - as conspiracy - to be the height of naivety.
Ironically - despite it's flaws and incumbent president, I still would much prefer the U.S. to win this particular bout of dirty Realpolitik - over an authoritarian regime that truly deserves it's comeuppance.
It's just a shame that the U.S. does this shit to authoritarian states and democracies alike (while also aligning itself with authoritarian states as well)... if and only if such choices promote U.S. interests.
It's also a shame that the HK people are going to be made to suffer deeply for this. They can't win - China can only lose... a little status. I have friends there. I hope they will be ok. :(
If you infer the cause of the protests is the CIA, then CE Carrie Lam would be a CIA agent.
The much more likely explanation to all these is incompetence, rather than conspiracy.
Given the sensitive nature of the bill, and its timing, and She has shown her understanding in how US / China / HK operate in both Financial and political levels.
And it was clear the bill wasn't put forward by CCP either, it was someone else ( or Carrie Lam )'s idea.
I find it hard to believe all of these are incompetence and coincidence. Not saying Carrie Lam is a CIA agent, but something is definitely not right.
Keep in mind also that Chinese state media has publicly accused the CIA of involvement in the HK protests. Haven't seen that reported much have you? You wouldn't.
The reader is expected to see that article and see that the CIA took some action in HK in the 90s and come to the conclusion that because they helped protesters to flee the country in the 90s they are behind the current protests by inference.
I personally see a coincidence or red herring.
This comment appears to support that general narrative, so I suspect people are seeing that and not wanting to see the standard government obfuscation line here are downvoting it.
Just ask yourself, if the CIA has such control over Hong Kong that it could cause 10 weeks of protests by large large amounts of the population, whether or not they wouldn't have already declared independence and declared themselves a mini United States state or something to that effect.
The Hong Kong government's accusation and Beijing's continual messaging that this is all just the United States messing with them is untrue, a bald faced lie and ridiculous on its face if you think about it, but they haven't come up with anything better just yet so they're just sort of holding onto that line for anyone who will listen.
I resent the claim tho that my comment supports the "general narrative" - I explicitly disavow the Chinese regime as authoritarian that "deserves comeuppance". I'll add here that I think the protesters have a genuine cause that deserves support.
I do, however, think that the CIA, the U.S. and the west generally - doesn't actually give a fuck about the interests of the HK people. It's just convenient to them currently to make China look bad.
I personally think the CIAs involvement is limited to none, completely without evidence and fueled by optimisim that the HK protesters are doing all this completely by and for their own people.
There are many who chose to sit-in at the airport since they do not agree with the escalation of the protests in other districts. Also there are elderlies and parents who have to carry and look after their children, who just cannot bear tear gas and rubber pullets.
This act by the government will only catch more foreign attention, and put more pages on the pile of recent police brutality.
Today, they were finally moved to the HK bridge terminus.
They even plastered banners with something like "you got it" on their APCs
This is seen as a red flag by the algorithm, as it suggests that the thread is overly controversial.
Yet, looking at history, systems are not that stable. The Berlin wall and Sowjet union seemed like they would not end.
I assume 3-letter agencies have vast amounts of resources dedicated to analyzing how to create the instabilities that may ultimately make such systems collapse.
Bottom line, historically speaking, we should not be surprised if China collapses. We should also not be surprised if the party keeps its tight grip for another 100 years.
China will probably crack down on them anyway, but they could still reinforce the vast number of regional separatists present in various areas of the nation, and sooner or later they could bring down the whole despotic government (or not, but it's worth trying).
In January the Presidential election will also take place in Taiwan.
And, of course, there is also the tense situation between China and the US at the moment.
We can imagine a lot of scenarios and competing interests at play here.
Forcing China to take direct action may indeed be the goal of some of these interests, and China knows it.
I listened to a commentator over the weekend talking about this whole business. He said that China have very many economic levers they can apply to HK to get their way and that military force is still a very distant option. The first thing that will happen is that Carrie Lam will be pushed aside and replaced with someone more hardline. They won't do it now because it would look like a victory for the protesters.
Maybe we’ll see a unilateral declaration of independence.
Not that it will save the HK they live in.
> Under the principle, each of the two regions could continue to have its own governmental system, legal, economic and financial affairs, including trade relations with foreign countries.
Yet they're trying to pass a law that essentially allow China to extradite people in HK to mainland China, for any reason mainland China makes up. That is not 1 country, 2 systems as the legal system in mainland China can dictate what people they want extradited from HK. Even the EU have made a formal complaint against the law.
The extradition bill would allow mainland China (and Macau and Taiwan) to request HK authorities that some accused of having committed a crime there to be extradited. The request would then be examined by HK courts as is the case in extradition cases.
I understand that HK people don't trust mainland courts and perhaps also that they don't fully trust their own, but this is not about allowing anyone in HK to be sent to the mainland.
Mainland China has extradition treaties with some western countries, by the way.
The keyword here is examined, not trial.
They are not trials. They are meant to decide whether the person should be extradited following a request to do so from another country.
I would imagine they would do it gradually like they're doing now.
So by forcing this law, and forcefully silence the protesters it will be clear that they're not going for the 1 country, 2 systems; but rather 1 country, 2 systems except for ... until it's just 1 country.
French revolution was a blood bath, soviet union collapsed after 80 years for economical reasons (among other things), and i don’t know of any independance gained without some kind of military conflict involved.
My best bet for HK would be if someone living there could release massive financial information about china’s largest companies proving most of them are fraudulent (if that’s the case), and cause a major economical meltdown ( hoping for a regime change in china itself)... But that means aiming for the head, which means you only get one chance.
Besides that, I am pretty confident that the media makes it look a lot worse than it actually is too.
I've been to China and Hong Kong. In China people looked relaxed, spent time relaxing in parks and socialising. I went to Hong Kong and it was unbearable crammed, people were stressed and over worked and there was no escape from the hamster wheel. No wonder mainland Chinese have little sympathy for HK.
I don't follow. If life in China is so nice and life in HK is so stressed and unbearable, wouldn't the people of mainland China have more sympathy for HK?
I assume you did not visited Xinjiang where Uyghurs are not really relaxing in parks.
Letting China get away with dominating Hong Kong isn't going to do them 1 tiny iota of good long term, if they ever hope to make a stand, the time is now.
Luckily how? They’re going to lose. If they want freedom they’re going to have to leave China for it, emigrate. All the protest isn’t going to buy them victory. The CPC isn’t going to allow Hong Kong to publicly defeat it; that would be domestically politically disruptive. They’d rather abrogate the one country two systems agreement and just abolish the SAR’s freedoms altogether.
On the other hand there are governments like the US which immediately respond with military action even in countries where people protest which have nothing to do with the US and they are being portrayed as the heroes.
It's funny how the HK protests and the immense media coverage coincide with the trade war escalations between the US and China.
Even this forum is being gamed by people who come here and specifically post and upvote a narrative which they want to push on us. Anyone who doesn't see through this bs is naive.
Edit: also proposing that anything other than believing a stretch conspiracy qualifies as “naiveté” is a waste of typing. People will come to their own conclusions, as you clearly have.
Where, exactly? Please demonstrate who and where is the US portrayed as a hero by more than a handful of non-Americans.
Ah yes, the calm and restrained Chinese Communist Party. A party that:
- gunned down its own citizens, erased the fact, and continues to harasses the grieving mothers
- sends its Muslim population to concentration camps
- decimated Chinese society in the mid 20th century
- disappears people for crimes like demanding democracy
"are being portrayed as the absolute worst people".
Macau's economy is also largely based on casino's.