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Hong Kong leader to announce formal withdrawal of extradition bill (scmp.com)
608 points by riffraff 16 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 323 comments

I don't think Beijing anticipated or endorsed this. In context of Lams leaked resignation remarks yesterday, it looks like Lam is going rogue. She's setting herself up to be replaced via disobedience, because all signs pointed to Emergency Regulations Ordinance being invoked if protest continues. Her legacy is already ruined, but I think she doesn't have the stomach to double down that far.

Beijing specifically instructed Lam not to give in to any demands a week ago. Lam capitulating is Beijing capitulating, and Beijing is not going to capitulate with 70th anniversary coming up and activated mainland nationalism. Beijing is all in. For mainlanders, after how events have been portrayed by state media, Lam is basically acquiescing to terrorists. The situation is developing and I think there's a very narrow set of outcomes where this would not backfire spectacularly.

I would argue that Beijing didn't anticipate the resolve of the protestors, but they would certainly know about and endorse Lam's backdown.

China is happy to play the long game - they apply pressure to HK to bring them inline with China, people protest, they back of a little, but not all the way. They wait ... then apply pressure again. The idea is that by 2047 when the 'one country, two systems' arrangement expires, HK will fully accept the China way of life. Lam backing down is an easy way to defuse the situation for now and they can try again later.

I expect to see this cycle of peace, then protest, then peace again continue for years - each time, HK will lose a few more rights they used to have.

The real reason for their backdown is that Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in US will be likely to pass. This bill will punish HK official for violating human right. And potentially forbidden the use of financial services like Visa and Mastercard.

However, it's not even a real backdown though. She just announce to start a motion to backdown, but it was still the decision of parliament to withdraw the bill, and the parliament was controlled by pro-Beijing parties. Practically even pro-Beijing parties care the voter's view so it may withdraw the bill, but it was uncertain whether there were an order from Beijing to vote down withdrawal after the protest was over, so still many uncertainty right here. Not to mention police brutality was not addressed.

Forbidding VISA and Mastercard doesn’t sound like a good idea. Wouldn’t that lead to people using WeChat/AliPay which is controlled by the Chinese government?

It’s been an effective method of sanctioning individuals and organizations so far. WeChat and Alipay isn’t worth a damn outside of PRC, and sanctioning a handful of pro-Beijing individuals isn’t likely to change that. Truth is, the United States still dominates the global financial infrastructure and being cut off from that is a difficult pill for most to swallow.

I guess. But what would the average citizen use? Cash? Seems likely that somebody would step in to be the de facto online transaction provider. And the government probably would want some way to financially tie HK to the mainland.

I think you are misunderstanding. These sorts of sanctions are highly targeted at specific individuals and organizations, not the entire HK citizenry.

Ah okay, yeah. I misunderstood. Thanks for clarifying!

each time, HK will lose a few more rights they used to have.

Very likely. Sucks for HK people though :(

Same story everywhere - nothing much changed after the Arab spring protests, for example.

As impressive as they are, how long can Hong Kong people keep up this level of protests? Beijing can keep the pressure forever and play the long game

> Same story everywhere - nothing much changed after the Arab spring protests, for example.

Except in Tunisia, which is the one success story from that time period. It's now a functioning democracy. Of course the real test is how it does over the long term, but at least so far it's an example of real change in the region.

There was a street seller who was so distressed by the economic conditions and especially the petty corruption that he publicly set himself on fire.

Almost a decade later, possibly the cops on the beat shakedown situation has improved but general man on the street economic conditions are not improved in Tunisia. It is not apparently (yet) a success story.

Revolutions don't produce democracies.

Then what does produce democracies? There are a bunch of those about at the moment and, while some of them are faux democracies installed by freedom-loving-america there are several legitimate democracies - were they all voluntary transitions initiated by the former monarchs?

Democracies come about more often from gradualist reforms than from revolutions. Revolutions have a distinct tendency - though obviously this is not a hard rule - to produce strongman governments whose primary claim to legitimacy is that they ended the chaos of the revolution.

> Then what does produce democracies?

European history is not a secret. It was mostly gradual reforms over decades, ending in women's vote around 1920.

On another level, you can think of it as a rising middle class demanding and getting political influence proportional to their economical power.

Canada is one example of a country that did not need a revolution to gain its independence.

Well we just stood around until the UK imploded, and they told us we were off on our own haha. Canada rode the wave of deconialization that, it could be argued, began when the UK lost Hong Kong to Japan in WWII. Losing HK to Japan showed the empire could no longer defend its colonies and the bubble popped. It’ll be a while before we find out if such a strategy is effective in the PRC.

I mean, we still celebrate July 1st as Canada Day. I like to joke that it’s “Dependence Day” since it celebrates the signing of the British North America Act, which, and I’m paraphrasing here, says “this whole Queen thing is working for us let’s keep it going.” As compared to the Declaration of Independence, which, well, you know the rest.

First sentence: "The Velvet Revolution or Gentle Revolution was a non-violent transition of power in what was then Czechoslovakia, occurring from 17 November to 29 December 1989.

When I say that "Revolutions don't produce democracies", I'm talking about violent revolutions. A "non violent revolution" is a contradiction on terms to me.

also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_Revolution

there have been quite a few "successful" revolutions.

That was an utter and complete failure in every sense of the word. And in any case the reasons behind it had nothing to do with a desire for democracy

> That was an utter and complete failure in every sense of the word.

No, if it was a failure the previous system and people would have remained in power. Though some did, there was an irrefutable change - whatever qualms one might have with the new regime.

> And in any case the reasons behind it had nothing to do with a desire for democracy

Each person has their reasons. The Group of Nine would certainly disagree with your claim.

So, Portugal is not a functioning democracy now? That's news to me.

One counterexample is the American Revolution.

I think of that as an independence movement, not a revolution.

The American Revolution shouldn't be considered as a revolution. It was a bunch of organized polities that broke their political ties, but largely preserved their political, economic, and social structures and organized leadership. It was successful in no small part because it was a rebellion rather than a revolution.

> but largely preserved their political, economic, and social structures and organized leadership

TIL we coronated King George Washington I and established yet another divine monarchy.

I mean sure, the colonies ended up directly translating to states, and (some of) those colonies happened to have bicameral legislatures with a lower house consisting of elected representatives, but that's about where the similarities between the colonies and resulting states end. Any existing leadership that continued to lead during/after the revolution did so by democratic rather than autocratic means.

> it was a rebellion rather than a revolution.

Those terms are not mutually exclusive. It was a revolution implemented by rebelling against the British Crown.

The colonies weren't day-to-day governed from London or directly by Parliament. It may be worth recalling that colonies had their own governments, many of which included elected legislatures. In fact, how these legislative bodies were treated was a rather specific point of complaint in the Declaration of Independence.

> It may be worth recalling that colonies had their own governments, many of which included elected legislatures

I mentioned this already in my comment, but to clarify/reiterate:

- Governors (AFAICT) were not democratically elected (they were - if I recall correctly - appointed by the Crown, as was standard for colonial governments)

- The only democratically elected legislators (in the colonies that even had legislatures) were in the Lower House of each colony; the governor typically (if not always) appointed the Upper House's legislators himself (reflecting British Parliament and its House of Commons v. House of Lords, respectively)

Very different from how things operate post-Revolution, what with democratically-elected governors and state senators. If any of the former colonial leadership prevailed as the new state leadership, it was by democratic rather than autocratic means.

This is perhaps nothing but my own opinion, but what you're describing sounds a great deal like removing a higher polity while preserving most of the political structures. I understand that some opinions may reasonably differ on the subject.

Just because the political structures are similar doesn't mean their composition is similar, which is more what I'm getting at.

Definitely fair to draw comparisons, though; you're right that there are structural similarities on a state and federal level to the old colonial and imperial governments (respectively). My argument is that how the legislators and executives of those governments are appointed (i.e. democratically v. autocratically) is the big change, and one that would make the American Independence movement more of a revolution; the polities themselves were outright replaced, at least nominally, as the existing polities were rooted in the Crown's authority.

Contrast this with Canada or Australia, where (last I checked) the British monarch is still formally the head of state despite them being sovereign nations with independent governments and separate heads of government. I suspect that's closer to what you're envisioning (i.e. colonial governments continuing to exist as-is after gaining political sovereignty).

> Just because the political structures are similar doesn't mean their composition is similar, which is more what I'm getting at.

You're absolutely correct!

In case I was unclear eariler, I was strictly addressing questions of structure. Please accept my sincere apologies for my failure to make my self clear.

It's all good! It's definitely a useful comparison to draw, since it's a critical piece of the puzzle on how "Western" government has evolved over the centuries in that gradual migration from absolute monarchies to democracies. It's always interesting to identify and examine those vestiges of governments old in their modern descendants, in the same way that wings, flippers, and arms can be so similar in structure yet so different in application :)

I doubt if the early United States was very much democratic in the modern sense.

It was radically democratic for its time.

It was probably more so then now rather than less.

When only white land owning men could vote?

The status quo. You’re condemning men for maintaining the status quo in order to agree on something going forward on a handful of issues when every other word was essentially revolutionary.

This is prior to the Article I branch of government, Congress, abdicating much of its power and creating this myth of coequal branches of government, and when House districts were a lot smaller, and you and your neighbors has to decide between yourselves who was in charge of certain functions of keeping society going. You know, who was going to be the local Sheriff, who was going to run the local court, who was going to deliver the mail and so on. Many of these jobs were boring and without glory, but someone had to do them.

Had Madison’s Virginia Plan been implemented in full and the Connecticut Compromise wasn’t implemented, it would likely have been more democratic still.

Structurally, the United States constitution is overwhelmingly democratic, and especially for the time it was written and ratified. If it has grown less democratic at all, it is due to factors the signers and ratifiers of the Constitution could never have predicted that occurred in the 230 years since. No one could have foreseen Congress would abdicate much of it’s power and responsibilities in the 20th Century, or that the Industrial Revolution would lead to the single greatest explosion of the human population in history, or that we would choose to let in so many foreigners. Nobody thought each House member would be representing a district in the hundreds of thousands at a time when they thought one House member per 50K might be too few.

Is it democratic? Oh yes. It is the most democratic document of its time, and few legal documents written since then could plausibly claim to be more so.

Not just any white man but a land owner. In fairness it included straight and gay so it was more progressive.

My point was it is closer to the ideals.


>anything I'd call democracy in 2019

Democracy was created in Ancient Greece, so it may or may not surprise you to learn Democracy itself isn't anything you'd call democracy in 2019 either, as they were a "slave state" also and not everyone actually had the right to vote (in fact women couldn't vote, own/inherit land)...so maybe post Revolutionary America was a lot closer to Democracy than you think...but either way its a Republican form of Government (at least according to the Constitution) not a democracy.

I am using "democracy" as a synonym for "liberal democracy."

If you tell me about a country that:

- Has a beautiful founding document that ensures what we'd recognize as basic rights of all citizens

- Has a well-designed federal system that empowers individuals and lower-level governments at the expense of the federal,

- Has hundreds of thousands of enslaved people who form the foundation of their economy and are indeed bred into captivity,

I would never, ever call that a democracy. The first two don't matter when the third is true, to me. If you would, that's fine; you wouldn't be objectively wrong.

>If you would, that's fine; you wouldn't be objectively wrong.

I call the US a Constitutional Republic, where the representatives are elected through various implementations of the democratic process.

Otherwise, I'm just highlighting the fact that the "inventors" of democracy had slaves just the same as the US (among other limitations on who had voting rights) at the time of the Revolutionary War/Independence.

In some respects slavery was an inherited evil of the new US Constitutional Republic, an evil which the Constitutional Republic was unable to abolish through law/voting/representatives (as evidenced by half of the country attempting to secede rather than honor the law) and instead resulted in a war to maintain the Union and enforcement of the law through use of arms. Unfortunately, democracy/liberal democracy/Constitutional Republic whatever we call it, it was not effective an abolishing slavery with the stroke of a pen and instead threatened to breakup the very form of government which was only maintained through the most deadly war the Country has ever fought (in fact deadlier than every other US war combined).

It begins to become a slippery slope when laws at the end of a gun, whether or not those laws are morally correct.

The American Revolution ended slavery in 5 states. North American slavery was a British institution.

This is only somewhat correct. Following the Revolution, some northern states abolished slavery almost immediately and the bulk of the North eliminated slavery by ~1810.

In the South, though, inventions like the cotton gin, westward expansion into the Mississippi river basin, and logistical improvements like steamships brought about significant expansion in the South's slave economy. British slavery (particularly in the Caribbean) was more focused on sugar production. Slavery in the United States was distinct from slavery in the British Empire, the fact that the former used to be part of the British empire notwithstanding.

Is “landed gentry” redundant?

Nope, it's a pretty common term that springs from the fact that the gentry in question were such entirely due to their land holdings - there was no need to pursue outside wealth since their share of their tenant's earnings could support them entirely.

Ahh, thank you. :)

but is it a bloodless revolution or is bloodshed involved? that matters a lot

They do however produce Constutional Republics.

American Revolution. French Revolution. The entirety of the European Revolutions in the 1850s. The Carnation Revolution.

In more modern times, revolutions have pretty much resulted in more democracies than at any other time period.

Well, when a society is ready for democracy, removing the old regime can produce democracy.

If it's a domestic dictatorship, it will usually evolve into a democracy on its own.

If it's a foreign power oppressing an inherently democratic nation, a revolution might have good results. This is one way to think of the American Revolution, as well as the Eastern European liberation.

You should read up on the French Revolution. It led to phenomenal amounts of tyranny and war. The small flickers of democracy were soon extinguished.

I don't know if the French Revolution is a good example. It certainly didn't produce a stable democracy. The First Republic quickly turned into an empire, and they didn't get a long-lasting democracy until the Third Republic in 1870, about 80 years after the Revolution.

It is difficult to portray the French Revolution as a successful democratic revolution with a straight face. The result was chaos, terror, death, and then Napoleon.

Napoleon was, to put it somewhat mildly, not much of a democrat.

Don't forget Mexico, Brazil, and a bunch of other Latin American nations.

It works in our countries too. Try to pass a terrible bill. Get rejected. Try again. Rejected. Again. Again. Again. They only have to get it through once, since laws are very rarely removed, only added.

I also notice trend of adding some ridiculous/controversial paragraphs to the bill that you can "give up" later. When people are tired after first couple of rejections and general public is annoyed by same bill being constantly mentioned, new one gets thrown into the spotlight and latter one passes without much attention.

It has bothered me for decades that this seems to be a 'bug' in the design of the US government system. ~500 people whose job is to create new laws. 9 people who can effectively remove them (SCOTUS), and who have a very limited schedule. Plus if they are ever too busy and pass on hearing a case because others are more pressing, that immediately cements the law into place and establishes it as having 'survived Supreme Court challenge' since refusing to hear is equivalent to accepting the lower court ruling and establishes it as precedent. I do not see how you can run a system with ~500 'inputs' and 9 low-flow 'outputs' for a long time without resulting in an overflow of oppressive tyranny.

Congress should generally be removing laws, SCOTUS based law invalidation is sort of the last chance removal and ideally wouldn't happen very often, it should be reserved for cases where laws are internally inconsistent (and thus inapplicable) or are trying to invalidly overrule laws that require a stronger majority to change (to prevent constitutional amendments from being passed as regular laws just 'cause).

I think the intent of SCOTUS was originally to decipher laws into a workable framework - given that some laws could potentially interact weirdly with decade or century old laws... and to help highlight incongruities in laws that law makers may have overlooked during their original writing in an effort to spur congress to correct said law.

This is a "bug" in human civilization (hopefully not human nature). We by and large as a species, tend to favor new shiny over maintenance activity. Whether it is tech debt, infrastructure debt, or legislative debt, the task of re-factoring, editing and cleaning up the existing is always given short shrift by overall human organizations, and the more political they are the more pronounced this behavior.

This is especially challenging when cleaned-up platforms are immediately seized upon by parasitic short-term political animals to bodge on quick wins that they successfully trumpet as solely due to their leadership, and the claim works on the stakeholders. This is a problem as our civilization grows larger and more complex. Sustaining the ever-increasing complexity requires the biological equivalent of continuously performing the grunt work cleaning up the free radicals that are making the system inefficient, and re-asserting not just repaired core DNA, but an expressed DNA adapted to changed conditions.

No different than tech debt at places where shipping code is more incentivized than cleaning up code.

Well, things did change after Arab String.

For worse.

Hong Kong needs people in the PRC to start demanding their own representation. The CCP has might, but not enough to take on the Chinese people a second time. You can't be a people's republic if the people didn't vote for you.

Is this sarcasm? While no authoritarian government can exist with no consent of the government, the PRC has no legal vehicle for citizens to disagree with the state.

Well to paraphase, governments are people too.. most middle class folks in China are nominally CCP members themselves.. operationally CCP maps to a corporation in org chart then a democracy of course..

Same difference apparently:


> Every single day in China, depending on which statistic from the Chinese government is used, an average of 16 to 76 people are placed into the new liuzhi detention system and, by definition, disappeared.


> For decades, the Chinese Communist Party’s powerful anti-graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), used the shuanggui detention system to hold suspects for up to six months without charge. Enforcers were not answerable to any state laws. The use of shuanggui has been a strictly internal affair for the members of the CCP, it is completely separate from the state or judicial system. The meant that the normal protections afforded to those detained within the judicial system and rights, such as access to legal counsel, were not available to shuanggui detainees. Once in these facilities, you have no right to have your family informed of your whereabouts. You simply disappeared.

> At the National People’s Congress in March 2018, China introduced a constitutional amendment to establish the National Supervision Commission (NSC), based on the new National Supervision Law (NSL), effectively replacing shuanggui with liuzhi. In practical terms, the biggest change was the NSC has authority over not just the 90 million or so CCP members but state employees and anyone working for an organization that manages public affairs or is involved in public affairs in any manner, right down to the village level. The style of Investigation and detention, despite the change in name, remain the same.

that’s basically true, but it does seem china does have some nominal democracy at local levels, which then in turn elect upper levels and so on [1]

so, while indirect, there does seem some nominal way to disagree as you say

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

One thing you do have to realize is, the Chinese are very good at keeping up the appearances.

While there are local elections, there's usually no right to stand for elections. These so-called elections, generally has only 1 candidate, or a few that are all communist members, with pretty much the same views. "Elections" where people can't stand to be elected freely are not elections, they are just some elaborate ceremony to rubber-stamp government official appointments.

thanks for the reply

that is unfortunate, it seems anywhere you go people try to subvert democracy (to different degrees of success)... i guess that’s why they call it “eternal vigilance”

You say disagree, I say disappear. Tomato, authoritarian regime.

Huh? If we're strict, it has plenty of avenues, including courts and elections [1]. They might be nominal, but legally they do exist and operate:

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

Elections are meaningless if the public can't decide who runs.


More people wanted HRC, though. That's how elections work. It doesn't mean the loser is unpopular or broadly disliked. It means there's another candidate voters like better (or dislike less).


>Primaries/caucuses are managed at the state level, and are not controlled directly or indirectly by the DNC.

Why would that be?

Laws. Traditions. Elections have always been managed on a state-by-state basis in the US, which is why my nice competent Minnesota that runs excellent elections is held hostage on a national level by borderline banana republics like Ohio and Florida, where ballot boxes out of the back of someone's car are considered normal.

>> Bernie lost by three million votes.

Just like Obama lost by couple of hundred thousand votes?


"What’s a political party for, anyway?

It’s easy to bash the DNC’s joint fundraising agreement with Clinton, or the leaked emails showing that DNC staffers were supportive of Clinton and frustrated by Sanders. The DNC is meant to be a neutral presence in party primaries, and even minor deviations from that position are affronts.

The harder question in the larger one: What role should party elites play in primaries? It wasn’t that long ago, after all, that they fully decided primaries, meeting in smoky back rooms during the political conventions to hash out the next nominee. Before 2016, the reigning political science theory of primaries was called “the party decides,” and it argued that political elites still largely decided party primaries, albeit through influencing voters rather than controlling convention delegates."


I think it is quite obvious that the DNC did everything in their power to get rid of Sanders and put HRC into position. The problem was that she was unelectable and many Bernie voters just decided that Trump will be a better president than HRC (and many unfortunate other things, like HRC's popularity went down after every public appearance, all the left leaning social media declared HRC president, etc.).

By public, do you mean the party elites and corporate newsmedia, like here in the west?

If you cannot vote for a different party that doesn’t share the values of the CCP, and can’t form one yourself, elections are meaningless rubber stamps.

You don't need parties to have elections, just like how elections within a single community or organization don't have political parties, just candidates and fractions (voters/executives with different opinions).

As for the values of the CCP, consider them like the Constitution in the US or the values of the "founding fathers". People don't get to change those either in any direct democratic way (but through a slow, ideological and legal process).

Besides, 1 party vs 2 parties alternating seems hardly much of a difference...

Of course you don’t need parties to hold elections, that’s not what I said. I said they become meaningless rubber stamps since all the different factions are curated by the party establishment to the best of their abilities making any challenge to the establishment at best painfully slow (as in people have to be replaced through death or expulsuon for any blockage to stop) and at worst impossible.

I’m not talking about changing the constitution or policy in a direct democratic way, changing them in a representative way through Western style democracy would be a vast improvement. Because the constitutions of Western governments still leave a lot of political room to manouver, such as taxation. In the US, stuff like that was left out of the constitution because the founding fathers knew they didn’t have all the answers, no one does. Especially not the CCP. Instead, things like basic human rights such as the right to not get locked up and brainwashed because of your religion is enshrined in the constitutions of Western style democracies because unlike taxation or government ownership of enterprises that is really important to make sure all individuals matter.

And yes, changing the constitution is very slow, but if you have a multitude of differences with the government and the majority population, you can still progress politically and change one thing about the constitution where you do find common ground if you’re a competent politician. That’s far faster, more efficient and meritocratic than having to share the vast majority of policy with just one arbitrary party leadership to even be elligeble to run.

All of these advantages are still present even with a two party system, but I prefer the multiparty, parliamentary system we have here in the Nordic countries.

There's some major differences here, though.

1) In America, I can just decide to run for office. Especially at the local to state level, independent candidates can be totally viable. Random everyday people cannot run for office in China. The party selects candidates to stand for election, and they generally run unopposed, or opposed by someone who is nearly a perfect mirror on policy.

2) In America, I can run on values that are against the Constitution or the founding fathers. How many people run on platforms of curtailing or amending the second amendment? You see that all the way up to candidates running for the Presidency. You will not see candidates run on policies that are opposite of the CCP in China.

One party that controls which candidates can run means they are effectively just appointing people to positions, while giving the illusion of choice or citizen impact on elections. There's a lot about the US system of representative democracy that could be justly criticized and would be improved by reform, but acting like it is even remotely similar to China is absurd.

Although it's nothing like China, by what means can the average citizen in the UK, for example, raise an issue if their representative is of another party? Example: I care about issue x, but the people I live around don't. So I create a petition on the parliament petition website. Just like every other petition to date (to my knowledge) no change comes about because of it. How can I, as an individual citizen, disagree? Some philosophers of democracy argue that voting isn't worth the cost of actually voting, since your vote is unlikely to make a change in the first place.

Lots of things beside petitions.

You can run for office. If you find no parties that share any of your values, form one.

You can raise the issue in the media which would pressure the government. You would probably not get kidnapped while on vacation in Thailand, and then get locked up without a trial and a forced confession through torture, just for criticizing the UK government.

If it's something that affects an entire class of people, such as a certain profession, you could organize something like a labor strike or a protest.

And if all else fails, you could actually just break an existing law you think is unfair. You would get an actual trial administered by an independent justice system where you get to defend your actions, you can then argue that the law is unfair and restricted your life in a cruel way. Sadly, it had to come to measures like this for LGBT rights to improve in the UK.

You also mentioned "but the people I live around don't". In China it wouldn't matter if everyone around you care about the issue, something will only happen if the CCP deems it necessary.

You can run for office. Of course, you need to convince enough other people to agree with you.

Why would it be sarcasm?

> PRC has no legal vehicle for citizens to disagree with the state.

Yes that's true. There should be one. People in Beijing and Shanghai and everywhere else deserve leaders that actually represent them too. Do you think otherwise?

Every party member can petition the state to make changes.

Can I join the party if I fundamentally do not agree with its values? Such as, I think the party should have absolutely no control over the army, the judicial process, the selection of ministers, influence over state controlled media and many, many other presumably big points of contention?

Because in the West you can form a party even if you fundamentally disagree with the parties already in power. If you go back a few decades the green parties and the nationalistic parties as we know them today didn't exist in most of Europe and were formed as reactions to feeling of the government not sharing the same fundamental values.

>As impressive as they are, how long can Hong Kong people keep up this level of protests? Beijing can keep the pressure forever and play the long game

As long as they have food, water and the will to fight. They can play the long game too if they are so inclined. Eventually the CCP will get tired of the expensive, resource sucking bridge to nowhere. Sure, China could carpet bomb HK but the more you destroy it the less it's worth and the harder it is to justify involvement.

China has far too much to lose to back down on this one. One could argue the HK protests threaten the survival of the Chinese Communist Party.

Far better for them to lose HK and be condemned globally than lose the all of China.

But the question is how far are both sides willing to go with the violence?

The further the CCP goes the more they risk deepening the resolve of your opponent (especially with a highly united population as in the case in HK). So far it appears that all escalations have done just that. The crux of the issue is that the people of HK do not want to be ruled over by the iron fisted CCP that drives tanks on people. Any escalation by the CCP confirms to the people of HK that the CCP is in fact the iron fisted CCP that drives tanks on people, not the new friendly CCP that does not drive tanks on people. So what does the CCP do then? They either back down or try to up the violence hoping it'll be too much for them. By upping the violence the CCP is gambling that they draw throw in the towel before HK does. At some point (only recognizable in hindsight) the line between protests/riot and open revolt will be crossed. Beyond that point it's fundamentally a gamble that a strong majority of people in HK would rather accept subjugation than die. Since this is somewhat an existential issue for them they may very well choose the latter. How does the CCP "win" against that? People who accept that they are probably going to die resisting are un-govern-able. Your soldiers can patrol the streets and they will still take pot-shots at you. Every time you get one another will pop up. There is no way to "win" against that unless your definition of "win" includes complete eradication. The only historical occurrence I can think of where a people who had resigned to death wound up surrendering involved strong central leadership telling them to surrender.

Obviously it's a shit situation no matter how you look at it with outcomes ranging from bad to worse in the short and medium term.

China relocated millions of urban youth to country side reeducation camps during the cultural revolution. If push comes to shove, it's well within the capability of the CPC to relocate the problem population in HK. The fact is, Beijing has not used any physical levers yet.

China's cultural revolution occurred at a very different time geopolitically. Currently, China is attempting to establish itself as the new bipolar alternative to the United States.

This cascades into a lot of different things, but ultimately collapses down into trust. Just as the Cold War did.

Counterparties and potential allies are less likely to ally themselves with you, if they see you're intractable even with your own people. What does that say about how you would treat an ally or trading partner?

Furthermore, China is also attempting to integrate itself into the existing multinational trading and governance frameworks. That depends on votes from non-Chinese-controlled sovereign states. Being an international pariah makes that a lot more difficult.

Additionally (although somewhat tangentially), China would really like Taiwan back without having to invade it. It doesn't matter much in the global scheme of things, but it's been a splinter in the CCP's claim to legitimacy and supremacy ever since it was created as an independent government.

Oppressing Hong Kong makes peaceful Taiwanese reunification increasingly unlikely. On a decades / generations time-frame.

My reply was merely to address that China has extreme but "bloodless" options of dealing with HK protesters.

As for political trust, difference in values and great power security competition with US means the west is broadly not going to trust China regardless. China's revisionist vision for existing framework is to pivot away from rules and values (that benefit the west) and focus on mutually beneficial development. It's an extension of old ASEAN tributary philosophy, get rich, try not to meddle in other's internal affairs. And I think the lack of response on XinJiang means that pivot is working. Regardless, Chinese trade-GDP is only 18% (~14% accounting foreign value-add), it has not been an export economy since late 2000s, apart from select strategic products like airplane engines and silicon, China can survive without Western trade.

I think the real issue is Taiwan, and on that front the damage has already been done, which is the real loss to CPC. China wants Taiwan by 2050, I think HK removed cultural reunification off the table. There's only economics or war now which is concerning.

> the new bipolar alternative to the United States

That's one hilarious characterization of a government.

Peaceful reunification is already unlikely.

Nobody is doubting they can. It's whether or not they will. It's not 1960 anymore. Nobody in the west back then was gonna complain if the commies were starving themselves. China is also more connected with the world than before and on some level there's expectations of following certain behavioral norms that come with that. It's a fine line between "solving the problem" and getting slapped with sanctions that materially affect mainlander's lives and make them question why they even care about Hong Kong.

There's no good way out at this point. Somebody is gonna lose.

Normally I would attribute cold technocrat calculations to Beijing as well, but circumstance is dramatically different as of 10 days ago. Xi just scored "people's leader" on August 25th, announced they will not appease HK protesters a few days later, domestic nationalism as been endorsed and cultivated (extremely rare for HK / internal matters), 70th anniversary is on October 1st. I don't think Xi is going to start his first month as people's leader capitulating to HK when the mainland is already at a frenzy. There's a reason CPC doesn't usually play the nationalism card, it's extremely hard to walk back.

Exactly, the protesters have to win every day. China only has to win once.

That sounds likely. When Britain colonized Hong Kong, it took them more than 70+ years to pacify the people.

Especially after the ‘67 protests, that resulted in 51 deaths.

China is hoping the next generation will be more friendly. Like how the people of Macau are.

The 1967 riots were instigated by Maoists in an attempt to topple British rule. It had nothing to do with "local people". Recall that it happened during the Cultural Revolution.


Maoists are not local, and liberal democrats are, (supposedly).

I wonder what kind of formal logic is this.

If it wants the people to be friendly, it should probably start pumping a lot more money into jobs programs, addressing income inequality, and building a helluva lot of housing.

Happy people don't protest as frequently. People who feel they have dim future prospects do.

(Simply from a realpolitik perspective)

That's what Tung Chee-Hwa tried to do as the first beijing friendly chief executive. Beijing can't decide what the legco votes for (since the functional constituency is by definition allocated to the local oligarchy who prefer to keep the status quo of focusing on wealth management, private banking than building productive, middle-class-geared economies).

I agree and I find it kind of ironic that those so-called communists turned out to be more nationalist than the nationalists who are now the liberals of Taiwan.

Based on what evidence did you come up with 70 years?

This is what I find the missing perspective in the coverage of this issue, I think instead of any hard actions, Chinese Govt is likely to just wait, perhaps for years and see the protests lose steam, while doing a few cursory measures to dissipate the protests. There is no sense of urgency the Government is showing towards tackling the protests.

If you want to see a really, really brutal version of this.

Go look at how Stalin did the Collectivisation in Russia.

There were multiple slowdowns and removal of some of the harshest demands, but after a couple of months or years they came back, sometimes this happened multiple times. The amount of violence was also regulated up and down.

That said, the opposition defiantly helped, and in the End even Stalin did not get close to as far as he had hopped to get.

I'd be surprised if CCP exists in 2047.

What odds are you offering?

I mean, to be fair, everyone thought the soviet union was ironclad, and a lot of people were surprised when it fell.

that said, i'm not optimistic that communist china will reform any time soon.

Well, it looks like HK is "all-in" as well - and they have a lot more to lose. It may seem like the protests can't possibly accomplish anything, but they have successfully alerted the world to the soft coup in progress and are now forcing Beijing to escalate to a very public hard coup.

Forcing the issue this way may appear pointless, but it's the possibly superior option to sliding gently into that good night.

It is unclear whether Beijing endorsed this or not.

Why they would not have endorsed this - for the CCP maintaining authority is the paramount objective. At no point can the Party "lose face" by giving in to external demands because that would erode the Party's authority. Any erosion of authority (the thinking goes) could eventually lead to a catastrophic collapse of power leading to civil war like in 1911-1949. This was Deng Xiaoping's overriding concern during his time as paramount leader and he made sure his successors learned it as well. For example, even when the students in Tiananmen Square offered to leave in exchange for some paltry concessions he denied it and cleared the Square with the military. In his opinion and the Party's opinion, negotiating with students would have eroded Party authority irreparably, even if no actual concessions were made. For similar reasons, Lam's request to withdraw this bill earlier this summer was denied by the Party.

If Beijing endorsed this, then it could mean the Party playbook on unrest is being modified as we speak.

If Beijing didn't endorse this, then Lam will now suffer a fate similar to Zhao Ziyang, the Premier during the Tiananmen Square incident. He broke with the other Party leaders and supported the students, leading to his house arrest till his death in 2005.

> Her legacy is already ruined

Lam’s family has British citizenship. That means she may be able to share her side of the story down the road.

Her situation might seem reasonable, forgivable, even, once she shares the facts. Activating the ERO, however, would be unforgivable.

> That means she may be able to share her side of the story down the road.

If anybody ever sees her again, sure.

She better be on a plane to US. Probably the only place PRC kidnap squads can’t touch her.

I read this exact same comment on Reddit. Word for word. Very strange.

Edit: Its same user id, probably this user just cross-posted.

Do you have a source for this claim that Beijing instructed her to not give in to any demands?


>The Chinese central government rejected Lam’s proposal to withdraw the extradition bill and ordered her not to yield to any of the protesters’ other demands at that time, three individuals with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

This comment makes a lot of assumptions about what people are thinking and saying behind closed doors. Do you have deep sources in Beijing? Are you close friends with Carrie Lam? Or are you just making up what you think happened?

This news has been censored in the mainland press, so no one there is reacting to it either way.

I think this is best workaround/outcome for both parties. With protesters not backing down, Beijing can now declare Lam has gone rogue and save its face. Cracking down on protesters definitely was not working. With international media presence they cannot crack down on protesters Tiananmen square style.

Western media was present for that

There is a difference in kind. If China does anything, people all over Africa will see it happening in real time, for example. That is scary to the Chinese who have too much investment at stake there to see an additional revolt to their authority.

I'm not sure losing control of a subordinate counts as "saving face"

By declaring former subordinate as "rogue" they can save both average Chinese Mainlander wrath and save Lam from being ousted.

It's not clear to me if Xi and Co wants this or not at this point.

It's possible Lam going rouge would allow Xi and Co to possibly save some face ... while giving them time to subvert the protester's cause in less obvious ways.

It is possible they simply want to back away for a bit, and deal with things more quietly.

Most important thing for CCP right now is have to this settle.

Formal withdrawal of this bill will at least meet a huge demand of the general public. As to other demands, the support will be waning. That would be what the central government wants.

It seems Beijing can go either way but are paralysis in making decision. It seems the people in charge are afraid of taking the responsibility for a decision and its outcome, and prefer no change. Well, sometimes events will make the decision for you if you don't act. Things are increasingly getting out of hand. Carrie Lam was going to take the fall anyway for the whole debacle so might as well she can make the decision now to back down and resign.

Hopefully it will lead to a real election to elect a leader that truly represents the citizens rather than special interests.

If that's the case what happens to her personally? I read that her family has british passports, will she have to flee?

I think that is their only way to save face is for her to give up. That way they can have someone to blame it on. She's not so stupid as to give in without China's acquiescence. She knows that it means getting disappeared or at best life in prison if she doesn't do what they OK.


> the drastic shift we have undergone as a human consciousness

I don't really know what this means, but if you think that the inherent nature of the human soul has changed in the last few decades, think again... If tomorrow there was a catastrophic event such as a worldwide nuclear fallout, humans would be at each other's throats in the blink of an eye. The only thing really keeping us together are institutions and collective constructs such as "human rights", which are far from permanent. It is hardly our evovled 21st century post-modernist souls keeping us prosperous and peaceful - we are fundamentally not different from the Romans, who enslaved people and had them mauled by lions in giant arenas. Or hey, the Nazis, which were a thing like 70 years ago - practically yesterday.

Also, tell Beijing about the wonderful droplets of color that are the people of Hong Kong and see what they think. They'll probably laugh heartily while they order their tank commanders to raze the city, if they become persuaded that that's what needs to be done to fulfill their vision of a dominant China.

I think “human consciousness” is perhaps a poor way to describe the core idea. When you put on a glove you stop thinking about your hand as the flesh inside the glove, but rather as including this new exoskeleton. Technology gets integrated in a similar fashion.

“I will call you back” is arguably not just a linguistic shortcut for “I will initiate the process that starts a phone call.” Rather it’s an inclusion of technical capacity as part your your idea of self. Building on that idea gets you into some odd places.

Anyway, I suspect people would have quickly used cell phones in a similar fashion if someone had somehow been selling similarly useful and affordable devices 3000 years ago.

Are you, by any chance, a Scott McCloud fan?


Wow! the connection to inanimate objects is very real --

Yes! Precisely! I'm certain cavemen would wear crocs

I think humans have become less prone to cruelty over the centuries. Bear-baiting was a common sport; these days, I bet most of you will have to look up what it even was, and will be horrified to learn about it. War remains horrible, but it is no longer fought within grabbing range with great big hammers and sharpened pieces of metal. Humans aren't just genetics: We're culture and, perhaps, epigenetics as well, and culture plays a big role in psychology.

I know a Romanian who was 18 at the Romenian revolution. He says it takes only 2 weeks to get used to dead bodies on the street.

Anyway you slice it, we are all reflections of one consciousness spreading its own message through mass media, you and I are not as separate as we may infer from sensory stimuli -- people are awakening to this idea more and more be it consciously or subconsciously and our unity will triumph over forces seeking to profit from artificial division or subjugation

That's very kind of you to reply arcturus17 -- no question human nature hasn't changed since the days of the Romans and we're certainly at each other's throats but I'm telling you the tank commanders are more sentient than they were in 1989 by all accounts they're millennials just like the rest of y'all

>we are fundamentally not different from the Romans

We have retained the capacity to regress in the blink of an eye, and we have also acquired fundamentally new powers of thought on an unprecedentedly broad scale.

> I don't think Beijing anticipated or endorsed this.

This is endorsed and approved by Beijing, she already declared the bill dead this is just a matter of wording. Legally it can be brought back as laws are always evolving and Hong Kong needs an extradition treaty with other jurisdiction including another system in its own country.

For Mainland Chinese citizen the narrative will be altered, but will still be seen as symbolic defeat and for Hong Kong Chinese citizens it will be a symbolic win.

As it is said in order to win larger battle one needs to lose smaller one, extradition bill was already dead, now it's withdrawn until it's introduced by someone else later. In larger picture it will be sacrificing pawn.

If the violent protest continue, then it will be seen as challenging one country two system as the Hong Kong CEO proclaimed in her pre-recorded message. She is just saying in an indirect way this is her last ditch effort to salvage the situation.

Hope this brings down the tempers and hopefully this put an end to violent protests, which has destroyed city and society. Violence can never be a solution, only peaceful non-violent struggle can bring about real change.

>only peaceful non-violent struggle can bring about real change.

Utterly false, but persistently preached by those in power to ensure there's never any real threat to their position. "Just lie down while I stomp your neck. Don't resist. We'll discuss your objections later, at a more convenient time."

All political power emanates from the barrel of a gun. All civil power emanates from the people's latent threat to revolt and string up the members of an oppressive regime from lantern poles. The Founding Fathers understood that more than anything else. The First Amendment is worthless without the Second Amendment.

Violence should never be the first (or even second) answer, but it is the ultimate answer, and should never be excluded on principle.

The non-violent protest thing seems like a myth that needs to be taken out back and shot, violently. We've seen for decades what they accomplish - absolutely nothing.

It reminds me of this. https://theconversation.com/the-forgotten-violence-that-help...

This NPR podcast/article argues different.

"...found that major nonviolent campaigns are successful 53% of the time, while violent campaigns are successful only 26% of the time."

The Protest Tipping Point (podcast): https://www.npr.org/2019/06/25/736007317/the-protest-tipping...

The Magic Number Behind Protests: https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2019/06/25/735536434/the-...

Was the Civil Rights movement in the United States violent or non-violent?

MLK may have been the face of it, but the man that really brought the government to the negotiating table was Malcolm X... Because of the implicit threat that if non-violent resistance won't work, here's a guy that is perfectly happy to have his supporters sit outside congress, armed with assault rifles, exercising their second amendment rights.

Non-violent protest often wins because the powers that be want to avoid antagonising the violent arm of the movement.

It should also be pointed out that while MLK wasn't interested in engaging in violence himself, he had rather harsh words for people who cared more about non-violence than civil rights (see: Letter from a Birmingham Jail).

> Non-violent protest often wins because the powers that be want to avoid antagonising the violent arm of the movement.

Not really a non-violent protest wins because majority move away from a violent group to a non-violent group.

So it makes a violent person who already has fear, more scared of being left alone. Non-violent protests need to be planned and require strategy in such a way, it helps those non-violent protestors to self-defend with the use of non-violent means, i.e. using deterrents which create fear in aggressors mind on use of violence.

That might just mean that violent protests are deployed too widely. It's impossible to say in unique situations whether violence or nonviolence will fare better.

I'll take a look, thanks.

> Utterly false, but persistently preached by those in power to ensure there's never any real threat to their position. "Just lie down while I stomp your neck. Don't resist. We'll discuss your objections later, at a more convenient time."

The post you responded to did not say "don't resist". It said "don't use violence".

Peaceful protest has some track record of bringing down systems, ending regimes, and enacting lasting change. Violent protest has a worse track record; it mainly alienates the man on the street and it cannot build consensus.

War can bring about lasting change, but only if your side wins. The difference between war and violent protest is that war implies two sides, each of which has a strong consensus. Violent protest only implies factions. Eliding this difference is a mistake.

This is not to say that violence is unjustified, just that violent protests almost never enact lasting change (because they do not create consensus).

> All political power emanates from the barrel of a gun

All political power emanates from consensus. Violence and coercion can only replace consensus for short periods of time. Consensus can be established and maintained through propaganda and brainwashing - which is frightening and complicates the picture.

If Mao was right then there would be no difference between a gunman and a police officer with a gun. Of course there is every difference in the world between those two figures, a fact proven by how differently we react to them.

> All civil power emanates from the people's latent threat to revolt and string up the members of an oppressive regime from lantern poles. The Founding Fathers understood that more than anything else. The First Amendment is worthless without the Second Amendment.

I agree: sovereignty is defined by the ability to make exceptions. Citizens are only sovereign insofar as they can choose to remove themselves from their obligation to their nation.

My sense is that peaceful protests are the best way to bring about lasting change in China. What the anti-PRC groups need to do is build consensus. Once they've done that, if change does not follow, then war is on the table. But until consensus exists, I believe that violence will fail spectacularly.

> Utterly false, but persistently preached by those in power

A non-violent protestor is a person who does not fear anything, and the person who doesn't fear is the most powerful one.

Violence is a result of fear, that's the reason need to use weapons and aids to fight back to increase the chances of survival. A true warrior is a fearless person who respond to violence with non-violence and make violent person ashamed of themselves.

It's very easy to fight violently, every animal do it including us. We are at least evolved to tame our violent urges and that's what makes us a human.

> All political power emanates from barrel of gun

This is the famous quote of Mao Zedong (毛泽东). "Power flows from the barrel of gun"

You might believe in it like every violent protestor. I don't. I believe power flows from the depth of heart and mind based on our connection with universe, nature and our endeavor to keep it balanced without resorting to violence.

> Second amendment

It's not a sacred thing, there are many places in this world way more safe and peaceful without the second amendment.

>Violence is a result of fea

Violence is a means to enforce ones will on another. It is only one of such means. It is the mean by which the entire legal system falls back on. It is the mean by which Americans won their independence. It is the mean by which bad people do evil things.

>This is the famous quote of Mao Zedong (毛泽东). "Power flows from the barrel of gun"

And it is the truth, especially if we see take this to be an analogy for strength (before guns, it was swords, before swords it was sticks, before sticks it was fists, these days it might not be guns at the national level, and one day it may be something else entirely).

>It's not a sacred thing, there are many places in this world way more safe and peaceful without the second amendment.

Generally with the backing (perhaps unwillingly) of the nation that has the second amendment, and even those places still use guns to enforce their will on those who do not play along. The smarter areas use it as a last resort and not the first response, but they still use it.

I understand and agree with what you're saying, but your points about the American Revolution and the Second Amendment could potentially be interpreted as permitting violence from protestors.

The US Revolution truly began forming after British soldiers started gunning down colonial civilians. For example:


>"John Adams wrote that the "foundation of American independence was laid" on [the date of the massacre], and Samuel Adams and other Patriots used annual commemorations (Massacre Day) to encourage public sentiment toward independence.

The colonists didn't just shoot the evil British tyrants telling them to go away because of their oppressive policies. They probably would have lost the war if that's how it started. That's not how you start a revolution. It started because the British fired the first unfair shots (or at least that was the perception).

Some protestors have been quoted saying they want a protestor, or a police officer, to die and become a martyr for either side so that a true revolution can begin. While the citizens of Hong Kong absolutely deserve democracy and civil rights, wishing death is not the way to do it. If the government does start the violence towards civilians of their own accord, with cruelty and brutality, perhaps reciprocal violence in self-defense may at some point become justifiable, but this is a very fine line and only a hypothetical scenario to be considered in response to grave danger, not something anyone should ever wish for.

Mao also said this,

“A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”

Tianamen square and the surroundings are safe and peaceful, for decades now indeed.

Well, you know. You expect the violent person to be ashamed of themselves. That's a very bold assumption. A psychopath or sociopath won't feel a thing when they order their army to mow down peaceful protestors.

It's a beautiful idea really. But when you are given no option other than to fight, do you think it's wrong for them to do so? Jewish, Armenians, Chinese under Japanese occupation? Might have not mattered, might have. I guess it depends on the person. An exaggeration of course compared to the issue at hand, but it seems wishful idealism. In some cases, yes, it works. But when your adversary doesn't care, it's quite ineffective. Game-theory wise I think equal repercussion works quite well, where violence is met with violence in order to prevent it from happening. Sure not always, but if there is no punishment it's simply much too advantageous to use violence if it solves the problem.

I mean school bullies probably won't stop unless you hit them or they get some sort of punishment. Sure you'll feel probably mighty wise if you don't resort to violence or any kind of resistance, but it's unhelpful if it doesn't stop it. And in the meantime you'll be suffering tremendously.

It's not just a claim many studies do prove non violent struggle are more successful in bringing change than violent once. [1]

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2014/07/24/the-proven...

I'm not disagreeing that in this case non-violent approach isn't the best. But depending on the setting, the parameters if you will, that approach might be inefficient. Another example would be the people living under the Stalin's rule in Soviet Union. Even if you resisted peacefully, I'm sure you would have been taken to the gulag either way.

The circumstance where non-violent behavior works is very specific and is best when there's:

A) much stronger opponent (British Empire, Chinese government)

B) level of civilization where both parties do not want to engage in violence (the majority of modern civilizations)

C) good chance for massive unrest if violence were to happen (no ruler wants to deal with domestic terrorism and internal squabbles, unless of course your regime is breaking up already and that's the only way to keep control)

The more primal the opponent, the worse are your chances. Aztecs would have welcomed non-violent behavior with open hands, they would have cheerfully enslaved people who didn't put up a fight. The reason why they stopped was basically the destruction of their civilization by the Spaniards. But maybe I'm mixing here war with protesting, which is a more of problem after you have lost and are under the oppressive regime. Then your options are limited: it's either violent insurgency or non-violent protesting. In modern world luckily we have electronic mass-media that helps immensely with the non-violence.

Safe and peaceful is not the same thing as free.

I get what you're saying and share your idealism. But you've been the beneficiary of many, many guns. And much violence. So while you may sound good, it's not based in reality.

Regardless, violence is relatively at a historically all-time low[1].

[1] https://stevenpinker.com/pages/frequently-asked-questions-ab...

This sounds like a naive dream.

Connection with the universe does not change political structures.

>A non-violent protestor

Just an ordinary citizen, whose opinion can be disregarded.

> Violence is a result of fear

That's the part you got right: https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/cxz64b/300_uncut_...

But to just speak of violent protestors, while ignoring the triads and people with odd markings doing odd things, the police brutality, and things like this, is also not even close to a complete picture: https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/cv9y4c/protesters...

> A true warrior is a fearless person who respond to violence with non-violence and make violent person ashamed of themselves.

You cannot make a person have empathy, you can appeal to it, where it exists. Otherwise, you have to defeat them. Not "crush" them, but disarm them and establish boundaries. Without military defeat of Nazi Germany, anything like reflection or reconciliation wasn't even thinkable. As a matter of fact, without their military defeat, we wouldn't know most of what we know about their atrocities today, they were set to purge all evidence as thoroughly as they had exterminated people.

Factual reality, which is at stake, is something even more important than peace -- in the same way atoms are more important than water or orange juice, without atoms, you can't have either. Peace can always erupt again, but destroyed facts remain destroyed, and that being done well enough, can make genuine peace impossbile. A static state of submission is not peace, peace without truthfulness is not peace, and low-intensity people getting disappeared, not asking what happened to your neighbour, is not peace.

    doesn't hurt anybody
    with the exception of those
    who can be hurt
    because nobody knows about it
-- Erich Fried, "Vorteile der Unwissenheit (in allen Ländern der Hochsicherheit)", or "Benefits of ignorance (in all high security nations)"

A revolution is round :-) Of course one can't generalise at all, but very frequently quick change results in replacing one system with another that resembles the first one an awful lot. Real, long lasting change requires a long time to influence culture and to wait until the time is right to move.

However, I will also agree that usually violence is involved, even if one side doesn't participate. Gandhi referred to the people who participated in non-violent protests as soldiers because he knew that many would die.

I don't think violence is the ultimate answer. The ultimate answer is the answer that works. There are many paths to the same location. It's probably best to review your options before you decide which ones to exclude.

Look into the American Revolution.

That's actually a perfect example of a revolution resulting in a system that looks a lot like the previous system.

Mostly self-governing colonies with Parliament exercising some limited control over them turn into mostly self-governing states with a Federal government exercising some limited control over them.

Pretty much the only things that changed short-term were foreign policy and what kinds of imported goods were taxed.

The American Revolution was won by leveraging Iroquois-style confederacy [1] as effective propaganda [2], and by employing guerilla warfare tactics learned fighting the Algonquin. This enabled securing enough victory (i.e. Saratoga) to get the French involved as the focus shifted to the Southern theater.

It was the first successful war of independence [3], lead to establishing the modern elected head of state, outlawed explicit nobility, and inspired fanatical devotion to an earthly cause.

For the previous hundred years, Jacobite rebellions in Europe had been crushed, seemingly due mainly to tactical failure (e.g. Culloden, the last pitched battle in Britain).

But then, a few years after the American Revolution, the French: guerilla warfare, beheaded head of state, banished nobility, fanatical devotion to an earthly cause.

(Interestingly, the French Revolution occurred right around the time they hit 50% literacy [4], increasing the viability of written propaganda.)

Then Haiti launched the second successful independence war in 1791, kicking off centuries of decolonization.

The American Revolution was a break from history.

We haven't cycled back to pitched battles, if anything guerilla warfare is still under active development and experiencing significant growth. Propaganda, as an instrument of war, is only becoming more important. And colonial aggressors continue to lose when on someone else's home field.

1. https://archive.org/details/indiantreatiespr00vand/page/78

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Join,_or_Die

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_of_independence

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy#/media/File:Illiterac...

Look into Northern Ireland.

> The First Amendment is worthless without the Second Amendment.

The 2nd Amendment was never (and still isn't) meant to ensure the right of people to violently resist or overthrow the government. The way to influence the US government is to become involved in the process, not (threaten to) shoot people. If that's ever not the case, you don't have a country, you have a failed state.

It is simply a fact that the Second Amendment was meant to preserve the people's right to overthrow the government (or, at least, to defend themselves against the government). Madison famously wrote that state militias would keep a federal army in check.

It's a persistent myth that this is not the case. The US was born in revolution and the founders were very concerned about the possibility of a tyrannical government.

> It is simply a fact that the Second Amendment was meant to preserve the people's right to overthrow the government (or, at least, to defend themselves against the government).

Nah, this is totally wrong. The Constitution explicitly gives Congress power over state militias to suppress insurrections:

"The Congress shall have Power To... provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions" [1]

Further, the Militia Act of 1792 allows the president to take control of State militias, and this was famously used by George Washington himself to quell the Whiskey Rebellion.

> Madison famously wrote that state militias would keep a federal army in check.

He did, yes, but he was talking about States vs. the Federal government. He also later saw how bad militias were at being an army (a point Washington argued over and over again) in the War of 1812 and changed his position in favor of a strong, standing, Federal army. And FWIW, we put the question of States keeping the Federal government in check to bed in the Civil War.

[1]: https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcri...

The right to bear arms arrived to the United States via English common law. It existed in English common law for the purpose of self-defense, resistance against oppression, and to assist the defense of the realm.

Whether or not Madison (or Washington or whoever) changed his mind at some point does not change the fact that this is the purpose of the Second Amendment. No other laws (like the ones you cited) change this fact, nor does the Civil War.

You can argue that this interpretation is obsolete, but it's the interpretation that was predominant when the Constitution was ratified. Denying that is ahistorical.

I'm sure many people interpreted it that way, but they're also wrong, and they evidently didn't write either the Constitution or the Militia Act, or 2A. And I guess when I refer to intent, I mean those authors.

Militias were explicitly under the control of both Congress and the president, by law and the Constitution. And militias were used to quell rebellion, not to serve it. These are facts. I understand they're counter to your and others' interpretations, but that doesn't make them any less factual.

And when you consider:

- 2A only applied to militias

- Any "security from tyranny" was States being free from Federal tyranny

- the Civil War erased any doubt about the States rebelling against the Federal government

- The last Militia Act in 1909 made militias into the _National_ Guard

then you have to concede 2A is just a relic from a time when the US had neither the resources nor the political will to create and maintain a standing army.

Even if it wasn't explicitly stated, the Second Amendment was written by people who had just used militias as a big part of their force to overthrow the government. They weren't senile. They hadn't forgotten. They knew what they were saying.

In a failed state scenario, as you mentioned, what's the recourse of the people?

Well, sadly, it's of course violence. The basic contract of government is you give up some liberty for safety (Hobbes), i.e. you don't go around robbing people, and the government will see that no one else goes around robbing you. But this sort of first form of government was inflexible, and if you wanted to change it you basically had to kill the people in charge. The chief innovation of liberal government was "self governance", and the trade there was "OK, we'll listen to you, you don't have to murder us to effect change". Practically everyone does this via some form of voting.

But as soon as that contract breaks down, i.e. the government stops listening to you, then that contract is breached and generally trouble starts. It gets (arguably) even worse if the government falls entirely, because then you get the kind of lawless marauding you had before any government.

Exactly. Hence, to me, the 2nd Amendment of US Constitution.

Obviously it's and absolute last ditch, not taken lightly and very undesirable. But, to have the option, is true sovereignty to me.

I mean, I guess the argument here is "well, if the gov't goes crazy we still have weapons because 2A let us amass them". But in reality, the US government is unimaginably powerful. Like they could easily take control of all energy producing facilities everywhere, every major city, port, road, railroad, airport, hospital, etc. There are probably close to a million law enforcement officials in the US. And all that's to say nothing of advanced military, surveillance, and espionage capability.

Basically, the idea that 2A would let us protect any semblance of our current way if life is fantasy. The most you could hope for is to join a resistance and dig in for a generations long, probably species destroying authoritarian regime to run its course.

I agree as far as unimaginably powerful. However, see: Iraq War, Afghan War, Am. Revolution, Guerilla warfare, etc. And it's not a fantasy.

If you go out and start shooting people you are quickly going to end up with the reputation of a school shooter, as opposed to, say, George Washington. Most people prefer peace and safety over any particular ideology, and they will turn against anyone who throws away the former to achieve their particular version of the latter.

> Violence can never be a solution, only peaceful non-violent struggle can bring about real change.

That’s facially not true. The American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Bangladeshi War of Independence, Irish independence, etc. History is full of examples where the right to self determination had to be vindicated with guns.

Categorically delegitimizing violence against an oppressive state is a bad precedent. Obviously it should not be accepted as routine. But it is an important safety valve. The Irish won their independence, after hundreds of years of oppression at the hands of the British, by starting a shooting war that the British could not put down while maintaining appearances among the community of nations. If violence had been categorically delegitimized in the early 20th century, the British could have used more heavy handed measures to put down the Irish Revolution while the community of nations looked the other way.

Now, whether Hong Kong wants to or has the capability to do that against China is an entirely separate matter.

History is littered with graveyards upon graveyards of violent struggles for independance that didn't end up so well. Meanwhile, in the modern times, peaceful protests can being down even nuclear armed superpowers as we've seen in the 80s. Take a look https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_revolutions_and_rebell...

And peaceful protestors can also be massacred and completely fail to bring about any change.

Peaceful protests can work sometimes. Other times they do nothing. Same with armed resistance. Declaring one or the other to be the only possible way to bring about change is in direct contradiction to the facts.

And protest movements don’t always need to be all violent or all peaceful. School children are taught about Nelson Mandela peacefully bringing down Apartheid. But there is a reason the logo of the ANC is a hand holding a spear and shield. Mandela co-founded the military arm of the ANC: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umkhonto_we_Sizwe.

> And peaceful protestors can also be massacred and completely fail to bring about any change

Can you give an example? Every example I can think of right now that had a massacre of innocent protestors and no armed struggle either led to some change later down the road (eg. galvanizing the movement, reforms, or total collapse of the opressor), or became a major problem for the oppressor later down the track. A massacre is not that easily forgotten.

Just some random examples: The Polish protests of 1970, resulted in 42 people killed and protestors were overpowered by tanks and military, but the killings arguably accelerated the popularity of the movement. Look up the story of "Janek Wiśniewski" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janek_Wi%C5%9Bniewski

Tiananmen Square. Rabaa (Egypt, 2013). Prague Spring. Some more are scattered around this Wikipedia list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_events_named_massacres

The aftermath of a massacre comes down to the government’s willingness and ability to control the narrative and suppress further dissent. Some governments can be quite successful at this. There’s absolutely no guarantee that a massacre of protestors results in anything beyond dead protestors.

Tiananmen Square still continues to be a major thorn for the CCP today, both internally and diplomatically, it's obvious that ramafications are continuing, and why Beijing just can't march in to Hong Kong.

Prague Spring lead to reforms and set the inspiration for the next generation that ended in victory (source https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/commentisfr...) .

Rabaa, the situation is still ongoing, and unfortunately it's not a completely peaceful movement right now as it escalated to insurgency... (Source https://timep.org/esw/non-state-actors/revolutionary-punishm... )

What practical consequences did Tiananmen Square have? You say it’s why they can’t just march into Hong Kong, but I don’t believe that. They can’t just march into Hong Kong because of the international condemnation that would ensue, and because it would wreck an economically valuable city. Both of those would remain true if Tiananmen Square had never happened. You say it’s a “major thorn” for them today; how? Domestically, it’s like it never happened. Internationally, they happily ignore pressure to do better on human rights. I don’t see any consequences that vaguely resemble what the protestors wanted.

The Prague Spring’s reforms were quickly reversed and the country was communist business as usual for decades afterwards. Crediting it for the fall of communism in 1989 seems like quite a stretch; for any successful protest, there will be failed ones that came before and provided influence. Does that mean that all protests are successful by definition when you look at a long enough timeline? Seems like a highly pointless metric if so.

> What practical consequences did Tiananmen Square have?

CCP is still grappling with it.

Quote "As foundational as the crackdown at Tiananmen may have been to the CCP’s current strength, it remains largely invisible to the people. Despite claiming the moral high ground against what it calls a “counter-revolutionary” rebellion, the Party is still sensitive to the fact that its slaughter of students and laborers put a stain on its legitimacy."


Sorry, but you can't just burry a massacre, especially if it's been well documented.

> Does that mean that all protests are successful by definition when you look at a long enough timeline?

They may also look like separate events on the timeline, but still part of the same overall movement. Change doesn't happen overnight.

That quote is vague fluff, not “practical consequences.” What actual change was brought about by those protests? As far as I can see, there was none: no democratization or other political liberalization happened, just a bunch of dead or disappeared people.

> it remains largely invisible to the people

No, it's certainly not visible to the people. If you are talking about Chinese people, not HK people.

> What practical consequences did Tiananmen Square have?

It began the process of deterioration of relations between the PRC and the Western democracies, a process that has continued to the present day. People began to realize that China may not liberalize on its own the way Taiwan did—that the government of the PRC is often hostile to liberal democracy. One of the consequences of this realization is in fact these Hong Kong protests. There are numerous other consequences of this cooling in relations too—for example, protectionist tariffs against a country seen as hostile to Western values are easier to sell politically in the West. Tariffs obviously impact China.

Tiananmen didn't achieve what the protestors wanted, but it's clearly a significant historical event.

Your reading history backwards. You assume that while 1970 protest, leads to 1980 protest and that lead to the fall of the Soviet Union. However that is wrong way to look at it, the right way is that in 1970 the Soviet Union had the will do stop the protesters, but not later. Those things mostly have to do with the discussions and political institutions the elites were working in.

The protesters in late 1980 might have been larger and more popular, but if the Soviet unreleased it might, it would not have mattered.

Nope. Totally wrong. Those early protests, even though seemingly unsuccessful at the time, gave the people one important thing: hope.

Of course, the other motivating factor was that the economy went to shit. People were hungry and tired of waiting in long queues with shelves at the stores almost empty. Nothing to do with "discussions and political institutions the elites were working in" though.

You are totally fundamentally wrong. You are disagreeing with most scholarship on how revolutions happen in political science.

Hope doesn't work if there are tanks who shoot at you. The people in Poland were not braver then those in China or those in Hungary. The difference is that in those cases the political system had the will to oppose them with the force required.

Unarmed protestors simple can not win against an army. Its pure idealism to believe that.

- The 2014 "Umbrella Movement" was peaceful yet the only thing achieved was the incarceration of the student leaders.[0]

- On June 9th this year, a million people joined a peaceful march fighting this bill. Carrie Lam's response? Go ahead with the Second Reading anyway.[1]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbrella_Movement

[1] https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201906/10/P2019061000710...

Arguably, even if the 2014 "Umbrella Movement" didn't resolve anything immediately then, the repercussion are still continuing today so it's unfair to say it didn't do anything. It's too early to say.

So far, it seems like it helped to inspire the current protestors, and they're much better organized this time round.

This is the typical old and wrong view about both the end of the cold war and other situations.

Revolutions, specially non-violent once succeed if the political establishment does not have the will or tools to resist.

The protestors in Europe and China were probably equally as brave. While in the Soviet system the elites had already divided and paralyzed themselves, that was the fundamental condition that allowed protest to be successful in eastern Europe.

The people in China, were simply shot down and 30 years after the CCP is in control still. The exact same thing could have happened in the Soviet Union, if the elites had not already crippled themselves.

Governments with modern arms don't fall to rebellions unless some significant part of the elite is either at least passive or actively supporting the revolution.

There are many studies done and in many non violent struggles are more successful in bringing change. [1] [2]

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2014/07/24/the-proven...

[2] https://www.fastcompany.com/3040831/peaceful-protest-slow-an...

You said: “violence can never be a solution.” Your studies do not prove that. They prove that non-violent resistance is usually more effective than violent resistance. That doesn’t mean that, in any given situation, the non-violent solution will be superior. For example, it’s possible (even likely), that people only resort to violence where things have gotten so bad that political approaches have failed. Such situations are of course less likely to result in change than situations where people felt non-violence can work. That doesn’t mean that in that specific situation non-violence would have been more effective. (C-sections have a higher mortality rate than natural birth. That’s because C-sections are disproportionately used in more dire circumstances. But in the same given emergency situation, the C-section could well be more effective than going forward with natural birth.)

>Violence can never be a solution, only peaceful non-violent struggle can bring about real change.

I think that's the exception rather than the rule. More societies have gained independence through being a perpetual thorn in the side of whoever is subjugating them than any other way. If you make subjugating you an expensive road to nowhere they will eventually screw off. With the unanimity of opposition to mainland rule HK stands a pretty good chance. Imagine the troubles but without local opposition stabbing the IRA in the back at every turn. That's the kind of fight the PRC is in for if the situation spirals into a full blown shooting conflict.

IMO it's endorsed and approved in the sense that Lam left them no choice. Her resignation leak was yesterday, partly to signal to Beijing that ERO will not happen under her watch without an attempt at reconciliation and within 24 hours we get this announcement. 5 days ago, Beijing instructed her not to give a single inch and hinted at ERO was on the horizon.

>For Mainland Chinese citizen the narrative will be altered, but will still be seen as symbolic defeat and for Hong Kong Chinese citizens it will be a symbolic win.

Any other time and I would agree, but Xi just scored "people's leader" on August 25th, 70th anniversary is on October 1st, "symbolic defeat" is not in the cards. Together with rejection of Lam's proposal and effort to appease protesters as little as last week, I think we can either view this development as Beijing dealing with Lam cracking without warning. Or this as a calculated ploy to justify ERO on the assumption that the olive branch will not be well received by protesters. Lam's speech politely but explicitly said 4/5 demands would not be met.

"This is endorsed and approved by Beijing, she already declared the bill dead this is just a matter of wording."

My understanding is another bill would need to go through the original process that first introduced it which is a longer process.

How does Hong Kong legislation work? Do all bills need to be individual, separate bills? Or can they sneak in an unrelated bill into a more popular one?

The Rules of Procedure[0] are available online.

The bill in question is now at the Second Reading stage, specifically at the "[Reading] may be resumed on notice by the Member or public officer in charge of the bill" step. The "House Committee" debate was basically skipped.

[0] https://www.legco.gov.hk/general/english/procedur/content/pa...

> Violence can never be a solution Clearly you missed WWI and WWII.

Violence, sadly, is almost always the solution. A tough pill to swallow.

Actually, violence is at the heart of every revolution and is absolutely the answer when facing tyrants.

The whole world is in for a seismic shift, not just HK.

Xi used the word "struggle (斗争)" 58 times in his speech yesterday at the Central Party School.



Another important thing is the collapse of Chinese pork industry due to African swine fever, unlike other monoculture diseases such as mad cow and banana Panama disease, it has no cure and prevention, it's doomed in the foreseeable future.

It hit China particularly hard because pork is their cheapest(by a large margin) and main red meat, compounding it is that China can't deign to import cheap NA feed crops and pork coz America is the enemy now, price is now around 3 dollars per 500g, pricier than imported Australian beef (Chinese beef is usually twice the price of pork), and is expected to hike even more during holiday season and Chinese new year, maintain a high level after that.

Chinese people don't care about politics, but pork prices will push basically everything more expensive and force them to care, and that's dangerous for the party.

A few months ago China banned Canadian pork on the grounds of forged export certificates (without specifying which exporter). It was seen in Canada as more retaliation over the arrest of the Huawei exec.

Now they are looking pretty silly with vastly less pork being produced domestically.

Well, the party has stated loud and clear that China will fight America (and the evil West) no matter what, at all costs and to the very end.

Soviet communists also used to say this.

Interesting yes.

There's a great Freakonomics about the history of supermarkets which turns out to have been a major force in the cold war. USDA pushed and supported cheap mass production and even transportation, making what we now expect in a big, well stocked market with low prices and wide selection. We set up modern demo markets in the Ukraine which probably hit home, literally, because the Soviet markets were bare and droll. This tech was even studied by the Soviets but they couldn't reproduce it.

It seems hitting the stomachs was just as important as hitting the minds and the missiles.


Americans say this all the time, too. Remember McCain, and his promise of one hundred years of war in Iraq?

Seems like that ones coming through on schedule.

Well as work in meat industry obviously everyone in this business know which Canadian plant involved. Canada pork exporters not 100% innocents and also everyone knows since June the Canadian pork just temporary banned.

I like to spend time "deciphering" the extremely carefully worded, and innuendo ridden press releases of the central government. Much of a riddle, add to that I am not a native speaker.

Internal edicts of the government leak all the time, but they also not far from official PR. Officials themselves have to decipher party's esoteric slang.

Is this how the Third World War starts?

Over pork? Hope not. Bidding war for Brazilian pork exports, perhaps.

Pork consumption 2016 in metric tons:

China 54,070,000 America 9,452,000 Brazil 2,811,000

It's estimated that the supply gap will be 20,000,000 tons in 2020, I don't think Brazil can supply that even if they ditch pork.

The whole planet can't supply it.



> "You will never be hungry in China"

Quite a bold statement, given China's recent history.


I actually read it in a very dark way. Same as "You will never be hungry when you have some dwarf bread" (i.e you would be willing to eat anything else).

Given the history and what starving people are willing to eat, the saying takes a pretty black humour quality

“Dark humor is like food: not everyone gets it.”

This was 60 years ago...

Nowadays China is a cornucopia of food of all sorts.

I believe that's not how economics works, it's like you can't just close your eyes to rocketing condo prices and expect evetything else to remain the same like salaries.

Every animal protein source will be driven to raise prices coz it's not like China could produce vastly more but refrained, arable land is not enough, it imports 30% of it's food, they just can't produce the cheap feed crops needed not to mention the amount.

It is only in the recent 15 years that the average people could afford to put meat in their daily dishes (and aboslutely not in the sense as Ameicans eat cheap meat as a staple), that's why Chinese dishes are so heavy in carbs and veggies and soy. To take that away from many is the difference of have and have not.

I hear pig farmers will have lots of land available soon.

>Recent 15 years

Impressive how arrogant and ignorant this statement is. 15 years ago is 2004 and fk how superior am I to eat meat since 80’s in a third tier city

I agree. When I lived in China in 2002, meat wasn’t that rare, even in tier 88 cities I travelled to. The cafeterias in Beijing’s universities definitely had no problem finding it. Maybe in the 70s and early 80s?

The rate of urbanization in 2002 is 39.09%, note this includes small towns which are much poorer than cities, that means the majority of the population was still very poor and the trend to work in coastal factories barely began, so could you really see average people's daily dishes as a guest?

I'm not saying it's rare to eat pork, what I’m saying is eating pork almost everyday like it's a super normal thing, not just every now and then or even ocassionally. I don't doubt there were many people who can afford to tho it's 1.4 billion afterall.

In my mid-sized town eating pork was a treat back then, especially when there were guests or holidays, definitely not everyday, it was soy products, fish (near a big reservoir) and eggs, people's wages were 50 to 100 dollars, farmers were even poorer coz it was all susbsistence farming.


There's no reply button.


Do the math, pork was fluctuating around 1 dollar per 500g back then.

Yunnan is mountainous so it probably doesn't even qualify as susbsistence farming, but it's warm and has fruit industry and tourism now, you can still find extreme poverty in Guizhou's mountains which is right above Yunnan.

Leiyang is not a town in the American sense, it was a county now a city. Village → town → county → city → capital → province.

I don’t know what you would consider a small town like Leiyang Hunan (small being relative, it has a couple hundred thousand urban and almost a million rural). Of course, Hunan is a bit different from poorer Jiangxi or even Henan. Heck, when I visited the yunnan country side in 2002, I was told many families were so poor they only had one pair of pants (seemed like an exaggeration, but who knows).

In the 80's the Chinese navy was using warships to smuggle insanely profitable sedans, coastal cities have secret private workshops which was punishable by the law until 2009, students marched in Beijing to protest againt crony speculatiors including sons of party high officials, city population is 20% of the country, farmers need application and strickly controlled permits to work in cities. Even in the early 2000s farmers aka "blind migrants" were still being rounded up in Shenzhen and arrested.

So I don't really know if you are fk superior.

I'm not entirely sure your statement can offset the fact that many Chinese dishes use pork.

While they won't get hungry there should be some sort of anger and resentment for having to change their diet.

When I wrote my reply the comment I replied to only contained its first three lines. There was nothing about pork in it then. It was edited since then.

The shift has already happened and pork prices are politics bro -- if we're to reduce the argument back to roman days, pane et circenses rules the day

斗争 means conflicts, not struggle.

Don't believe in her word yet. Her word is "move a motion" when the Legislative Council resume in October, and the Security Minister, John Lee Ka-Chiu, submit the withdrawal to LegCo.

At that point, the pro-Beijing LegCo member can reject such motion and continue the third reading of the bill and Beijing win.

The other possibility is where we, the Hongkonger, continue demanding the rest of the four major demands, and CCP and Lam got so annoyed and trying to order a curfew. Again, this is not something any of us want.

This is another fake move by Carrie Lam. A withdraw only requires a simple declaration and not a motion that require a vote.


Link is Chinese. Just FYI to other non-Chinese readers.

What are the LegCo rules of procedure around this? Is there something we can read in English translation?

Whether or not a motion is required seems a major point.

* Updated: Office of the Chief Executive just responded to media inquiry [4] and clarified that the withdraw will be an announcement not involving vote or debate per rule 64. (I haven't found an English copy yet.)

Before update:

Today's press release [1]: "The Secretary for Security will move a motion according to the Rules of Procedure when the Legislative Council resumes."

The relevant official text of the above chinese link: Rule of Procedure of the Legislative Council (LegCo) 64(2) and (3)[2]: "(2) The Member or public officer in charge of a bill may, by an announcement made in Council at the beginning of proceedings for the resumption of the second reading debate on the bill, withdraw the bill if -

(a) the purpose of the resumption is for making such an announcement; and

(b) such purpose has been so stated in the notice of the resumption of debate given under Rule 54(5) (Second Reading). (L.N. 74 of 2005)

(3) The Member or public officer in charge of a bill may, in making an announcement for the withdrawal of the bill under subrule (2), address the Council on matters relevant to the withdrawal but no debate may arise on such an address. (L.N. 74 of 2005)"

So no motion/debate/vote is needed. People are saying the Article 23/national security bill in 2003 was withdrawn by simple gazetting, without any motion or debate. This is the equivalent press back then [3].

[1] https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201909/04/P2019090400666...

[2] https://www.legco.gov.hk/general/english/procedur/content/pa...

[3] https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/200309/05/0905155.htm

[4] https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/ch/component/k2/1478843-20190905.h...

Thanks. Informative. I agree, it seems that simply gazetting a withdrawal without debate is consistent with the rules.

This shows how little trust is left with the government (if any). Carrie Lam went from, "all works has stopped" to "the bill is dead" while refusing to follow proper process until today. Finally doing what she previously claimed to be unnecessary, after so many pain and damages.

Five demands, not one less.


For comparison, the Yellow Vests movement in France obtained basically none of their demands after months of protests. Some demands were partially implemented by the government, but I can't think of any demand that has been effectively fully approved and implemented.

I’m surprised it’s still going on!

With how the English language media is reporting, I would have thought the Yellow Vest protests are over.

It's mostly over.

For comparison the yellow vest represented not even a percent of the population during the biggest event, and barely a few thousands most of the time in a country of almost 70 millions. They didn’t represent the majority at all and while Macron approval rating may seem low at just above 30% it’s still the highest rated party leader left or right wing. It’s a long going protest of a vocal minority (which doesn’t say anything about them being right or wrong, but the government cannot completely change its stance because a small minority blocks the streets and ask for it.

At their highest the HK protest had like half the population in the street.

> For comparison the yellow vest represented not even a percent of the population during the biggest event

I've always wondered about public support, is this 1% based on substantial polling?

I really love the way the first part of this sounds when spoken. Amazing how handy this family of languages is for sloganeering.

Can someone translate / explain this ?

Explanation part:

The Hong Kong protestors have five demands.

According to this subreddit post (https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/czhs4q/the_five_d...) the five demands are:

1. Full withdrawal of the extradition bill 徹底撤回送中修例

2. A commission of inquiry into alleged police brutality 成立獨立調查委員會 追究警隊濫暴

3. Retracting the classification of protesters as “rioters” 取消暴動定性

4. Amnesty for arrested protesters 撤銷對今為所有反送中抗爭者控罪

5. Dual universal suffrage, meaning for both the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive 以行政命令解散立法會 立即實行雙真普選

五大訴求,缺一不可。 Five big demands, can’t do without any of them.

五 5 大 big 訴求 demands 缺一不可 fixed expression “none is dispensable” (缺 lack 一 one 不 no 可 can/possible)

The five demand in question are the ones there is broad consensus on, see other threads.

> Can someone translate / explain [five demands, not one less]?

From the article:

“Apart from the formal withdrawal of the legislation, the protesters have asked for the government to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate police conduct in tackling the protests, grant amnesty to those who have been arrested, stop characterising the protests as riots, and restart the city’s stalled political reform process.”

All that said, this is just a slogan. Different protesters put weight on different elements of this menu. Each concession takes people off the street. Given how reasonable many of the demands are, it makes sense for someone to be an adult in the room to Xi’s pettiness.

The problem is that some of these demands are unrealistic and some are downright unreasonable.

Full democracy is a legitimate demand but one that you need to be extremely optimistic, to say the least, to believe that the central government will agree to budge on.

On the other hand, demands regarding rioting are unreasonable. There objectively has been rioting going on and no government will accept to send the message that it is acceptable to throw petrol bombs or to ransack government buildings, or to use violence in general. The only leeway in these cases is usually the penalty courts hand: Very heavy to send a message or relatively light to appease.

If the economy suffers too much, there will be real internal pressure against protesters, especially against any violence.

If the bill is indeed withdrawn it allows protesters to stop while claiming a victory. This does not mean giving up on broader democratic demands but allows them to catch their breath and ponder a long term strategy.

> There objectively has been rioting going on and no government will accept to send the message that it is acceptable to throw petrol bombs or to ransack government buildings, or to use violence in general

I believe most protesters would agree with that. The fear is authorities using riot laws against peaceful protesters.

In this, again, there is reasonable compromise.

If I understand HK law correctly there are 2 offences: taking part in a an "illegal assembly" and "rioting".

Rioting involves violence and I don't see the government budge on that. The fact that the protesters' demands mention a blanket amnesty and use the term 'riot' makes the demand unpalatable.

Regarding illegal assemblies there might be leeway in how strictly people are charged, or whether charges are dropped in many cases.

Hong Kong almost passed a law allowing extradition to China, a country lacking the rule of law. This is why the legal code failed to mollify the population. It was the law itself the protesters were protecting.

Some western countries have extradition treaties with mainland China.

Beyond the obvious lack of trust the issue with such treaty is the procedure. Indeed it could give a say to HK courts or it could simply create a simple procedure where HK courts have no say beyond checking that the right forms were filled. I don't know how the bill was drafted.

In general, it is not unreasonable for HK to have extradition procedures with the rest of China at large (mainland, Taiwan, Macau) but again, the devil is in the details.

(Note that HK is formally part of the PRC, so saying "HK extradition to China" may ruffle some feathers).

> Some western countries have extradition treaties with mainland China

Few, and with strict legal and political supervision [1]. The proposed law would have single-handedly smothered Hong Kong’s rule of law and stability. It was a stupid, unnecessary move pursued solely for Xi’s political concerns.

> HK is formally part of the PRC

Hong Kong is Chinese territory from a military perspective. Civically, legally and administratively, it is separate.

Hong Kongers used to identify as Chinese. But due to Xi’s hamfistedness over the past few months, that is no longer the case.

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

The list does not strike me as "few", which is by the way irrelevant to the point... As I said the devil is in the details, not the principle.

HK is part of the PRC, that's what many people miss. It is granted special status within the PRC by a national law. Hence the official name "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China".

This is quite different from what, e.g. British people might expect. For example HK was never part of the UK and Gibraltar today is not part of the UK.

The point being that opposing "HK" and "China" as is often the case in western media is inaccurate and perhaps not productive as it sometimes seems intended solely at annoying the Chinese government.

> intended solely at annoying the Chinese government

This seems enough reason to me. Did you ever read about their antics in regards to Taiwan? They deserve everything that’s coming to them.

> Few, and with strict legal and political supervision

The strict supervision is the key here - there could not be true supervision of an extradition treaty with China when the executive is appointed BY mainland China.

In all English news and the first article it's literally called an extradition bill, what would you call it instead?

> Rioting involves violence and I don't see the government budge on that

No it doesn't. It's ridiculously easy to be charged for rioting. Here's the legal definition: http://www.hklii.hk/eng/hk/legis/ord/245/s19.html

"breach of the peace"... Considering that the legal system is descended from the British system (and actually this law dates from British rule), this means:

"when a person reasonably believes harm will be caused, or is likely to be caused, to a person or in his presence to his property, or a person is in fear of being harmed through an assault, affray, riot, unlawful assembly, or some other form of disturbance" [1]

This is legal speak to mean violence against people or property.

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

Read it more closely.

- Violence doesn't have to be actually carried out.

- Once a "breach of peace" is declared, everyone in the general vicinty can be charged with rioting.

In general, behaviour that is threatening enough to cause alarm is considered violent. This what this law says, which is fairly standard.

If you take part in a riot/violent protest you may be charged with a criminal offence.

This is the way it works in most countries, including the UK. There is nothing extraordinary there.

Being arrested or even charged is also not the same as being convicted.

Note that the definition also includes unlawful assembly, so the people involved would already be in the wrong.

I think some people are trying a bit too hard to excuse violent protests as if HK was somehow a special case.

So explain why even first aid officers and social workers were charged with rioting?

Your occupation does not prevent you from taking part in a riot.

That being said, again let's also see who ends being convicted.

Of course these were not merely their occupation, they were on active duty when they were arrested.

With prior cases as precedent, and with how loosely the law is written, the chances of them not being convicted after being charged is slim.

I'm wondering how a social worker could be on "active duty", let alone in a violent protest. I'm also wondering how a member of the emergency services on duty could be arrested.

Without details your claims do not make much sense, including your claims about precedents and likelihood of conviction.

I'll try to find some English sources.

Arrest of social worker:



I might be misremembering the likelihood of being convicted with "riot", but from what I can remember, several people were convicted with riot in the 2016 unrest; they were later acquitted several years later through costly appeals.

Let's see how many gets convicted this time.

It's referring to a specific event on June 12th where police referred to a peaceful protest as a riot.

Those demands essentially amount to amnesty for protest-related crime and civil diobedience, an attempt to avoid a post-protest "reprisal" regime.

Wait. You think wanting the government to change (democracy) is a legitimate demand, but wanting them to stop calling protests riots is unreasonable?

Not the person you're replying to, but in some ways it is.

Part of Hong Kong Basic Law (their Constitution, which was adopted during the handover process) stipulates that "the ultimate aim" is elections by universal suffrage for both the Chief Executive as well as the Legislative Council. So the demand for universal suffrage is simply asking the government to make good on their promises from 1990/1997.

One of the reasons that the extradition bill caused such an uproar in the city is that Hong Kong citizens are protected by rule of law in a way that doesn't exist in China. The law has clear definitions and punishment for rioting, and the actions of some protesters could very well fall into that category. So to ask for all rioting charges to be dropped is asking for the government to give in to mob rule. (Caveat—I don't think the rioting charge would be as big of a deal as it is if it didn't carry a 10 year prison sentence. But it's hard for the protesters to ask for anything less than blanket amnesty... Without looking at a specific case, where do you draw the line? What sort of punishment is reasonable?)

> On the other hand, demands regarding rioting are unreasonable

How else are you supposed to fight against a dictator for life in a system that's not a democracy?

I think this example has been set by the UN time and time again now. You send them a strongly worded letter.

What is the logic in demanding a general amnesty? There are lots of videos showing protesters rioting, throwing firebombs and the police and so on.

Third and Fourth are ridiculous. I'm sorry but you don't set things on fire on the streets, bite people's finger off, throw petrol bombs, tie up people at the airport and say hey guys please grant amnesty, this wasn't a riot. Please grow up and take responsibility. If you choose to make those actions you take the consequences for them.

Fifth, I can understand and dialogue can start and bickering in legislation, whatever, depending on definition this is achievable, but if you expect a democracy overnight then I have a strong urge to post a link to a music video.

Hense, as per my comments below, demanding all five demands to be satisfied is not constructive and to some degree immature.

It is not an amnesty. It is a necessary condition for a return to peace. There is zero incentive to stop for the protesters if they are going to be jailed for protesting. The alternative is an ever escalating oppression-protest cycle.

The incentive is to avoid the PRC Army.

I believe this was covered by

> The alternative is an ever escalating oppression-protest cycle.

Anyway, I don't believe recreating June 4 is a wise move for PRC at this time. The whole world is watching.

There's an unequal power dynamic. There's been excessive aggression on both sides. There are many example of the police using far excessive force, of shooting tear gas in MTR stations, of terrorizing innocent bystanders when going after protesters.

If the protestors are prosecuted for what they did, but the police get to walk away, it's unacceptable to them. They won't accept it.

You have to rember that numerous people have been outed as false flaggers.

You do list quite a few allegations against protestors. Let me remind you that the level of police brutality is unprecedented during this 86 days.[1] All these events have made meeting the five demands becoming the least HKSAR govt. aka CCP can do to calm the society down. Asking Hongkongers to take it as is now is not constructive and to some degree immature. I urge the govt please grow up and take responsibility.

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

You're correct, assault is assault and should be punished. Incidentally, most of the more intense violence I've witnessed has been from the HK police: a quick selection from the front page of https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/

- https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/cz2dba/hong_kong_...

- https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/czgvb7/emily_lau_...

- https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/cz93rd/suspected_...

- https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/cz797d/man_punche...

- https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/cz4fjm/why_contin...

But categorizing 2 million people who participated in the protests (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-48656471) as rioters is ridiculous.

Just FYI, both Reuters and CNN dispute the 2 million number, as some of the photos were manipulated,

- https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-extradition-back...

- https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/19/asia/viral-photo-hong-kong-pr...

That's not what you links said. Would you like to correct your assertion?

1. Full withdrawal of the extradition bill

2. A commission of inquiry into alleged police brutality

3. Retracting the classification of protesters as “rioters”

4. Amnesty for arrested protesters

5. Dual universal suffrage, meaning for both the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive

from https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/czhs4q/the_five_d...

Another thread discussing the demands, though I'm sure there's more on that sub: https://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/cqnxh9/the_5_dema...

it directly translates to "5 requests, not 1 is missable". What it means is that the 5 requests of the protestors are non-negotiable.

It's referring to the manifesto of the protesters.

There's the usual boilerplate about releasing arrested demonstrators, arresting the cops who bashed them up, and sacking the government.

There are two big demands. The first is withdrawing this bill, which has reportedly been granted. That's a big deal. The communists have let the "terrorists" win.

The second demand is Australian quality democracy in Hong Kong. If they get that, it will be a massive, world historical deal.

At least everyone now has an excuse to stop throwing Molotov cocktails.


No seriously, these demands are a joke and not constructive. If anything it's just being used as an excuse to cause more chaos.

I'm trying to keep this comment as a logical opinion since I know hn isn't a place for flamed political views

If you say something is a joke, and post an opinion through a music video. You cannot then claim your opinion is logical. Protestors opinions cannot be reduced to a joke without any explanation.

Without any context, this comment actually just reads like a pile of garbage.

It's true the protesters have adopted an equally rigid stance, both sides will have to somewhat soften, but history will prove that freedom reigns

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