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The NBA Feels a Backlash in China After a Tweet Supporting Hong Kong (wsj.com)
135 points by bubmiw 10 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 136 comments





China is offended by him offering an opinion on something. So, that makes them right?

I'm offended by his backpedaling. That makes me right, right?

China really needs to get a grip and understand that with seven billion people in the world, not everyone is going to agree with everything it wants.


This is more representing the power of social media mob justice than what "China" wants. It's really not that different from how the left or the right boycott a business after any other tweet

This is only superficially true.

In China the CPC exercises strict control over what topics are allowed to trend on social media, so what appears to be "mob justice" is actually a carefully curated event. The state media chose to report on this rather than ignore it. The Cyberspace Administration chose to allow this outrage to gain momentum while topics that do not toe the party line are squashed.

You cannot really compare the kind of social media "mob justice" people speak of in the west to how things are managed on the Chinese internet.


This is not completely true, depending on what you mean by "trending on social media". I have witness multiple anti-government trending topics on social media in China as well.

likewise any criticism of Chinese policy that occurs on the internet is no doubt being monitored and influenced by an army of Chinese intelligence operatives

It seems they're downvoting my criticisms :-D

I disagree. This is exactly what the Chinese government wants. They're able to have this outsized influence on American companies because they've heavily invested in them. Going against the Chinese government means risking a significant piece of your business for many companies - it isn't about the "social media mob" at all.

For reference: Force U.S. airlines remove Taiwan: https://time.com/5348666/airlines-websites-taiwan-china/

Hide Taiwan emoji flag in Hong Kong: https://blog.emojipedia.org/apple-hides-taiwan-flag-in-hong-...


Sure it is. One represents free speech in response to market participants making decisions.

The other is an authoritarian government shutting down business ties based on one employee opinion.

How do people not see the difference in this? On twitter, people are to speak whatever they want and can choose to buy whatever they want.

In China. Not so much.


If the NBA were big in Spain, and the guy had said "Fight for Freedom, Stand with Catalonia", I expect he would have had to apologize too. The government is more involved in China, because the government is more involved with everything in China, but there are few countries in the world where people don't get mad at foreigners wading into touchy political issues.

Or if he had tweeted

"Fight for Freedom, Stand with Palestine"

I wonder what the reaction would have been?


> government is more involved with everything in China

There lies in the difference. In Spain, it would be the people demanding it. In China, its the authoritative government that is not only demanding but also threatening.

Its not quite apples to apples.


How do you know that? How many Chinese people have you talked with?

I don't need to talk to Chinese people to know that China is an authoritative government and that Tencent was ordered to stop streaming Rocket games by the government.

Because it is not democratically elected.

That's not logical. Democratic or not is an unrelated issue. The people can still be patriot on this matter.

Democratic means the government is voted by the people and represents the people. Authoritative means its not.

People can be patriotic on this matter, but it still doesn't represent all the people.


It also allows for the people to “change their mind”

Authoritarian governments do not


> How do you know that? How many Chinese people have you talked with?

Do the Hong Hong people count?

How about Tibetan people? Or the sadly famous Uyghur?

And does Taiwan has a say as well?


You obviously do not know China and this issue.

Hongkong's takeover by the British has been a humiliation for China and the Chinese people, which has been provoking strong feelings on their part since well before the Communist Party was even founded.

That China must get Hongkong back is a highly consensual opinion among the Chinese. This was a policy of the Communist Party because that really is something that every Chinese strongly wanted.

There are elements of wanting independence for Hongkong in the current protests and of foreign interference (whether it is true or not, this is how it looks). This is an absolute red flag for Chinese. In fact if TVs were showing everything we are shown in the West the government would have to act more strongly against the protesters by popular demand.

The Chinese government may not be democratic but that does not mean that it can ignore public opinion or that its policies never align with what the people want.

Campaigning for democracy was always going to be a uphill struggle in Hongkong, but these violent protests (which can be qualified of 'riots') have been highly counterproductive.


The 2047 Hong Kong fiasco, the Irish backstop, the US left-right divide, blame it all on the British Empire

The crisis in Hong Kong is not a separatist movement, unlike Catalonia.

Not to mention the people in China are pretty nationalistic and are on the side of the government when it comes to the situation in HK, so the response from the people in China and the CBA is not surprising.

Or how people talk about boycotting stuff from China due to their political issues. Even before the trade war tariffs, there were American consumers that made it a habit to not buy Chinese because of their political stances.

If American are offended by the violation of free speech, they should boycott NBA like the Chinese do.

Already done.

Except, I'm just a one person boycott, since I don't have to agree with what my government tells me.


These incidents remind me of the self-censorship amid threats from militant Muslims back then over depicting Muhammad.

>China really needs to get a grip and understand that with seven billion people in the world, not everyone is going to agree with everything it wants

1.4 billion of those people are Chinese, and they can get outaged over whatever ridiculous shit they want.


It's controlled outrage. The Chinese government controls what they see and therefore where the outrage is directed towards. The average Chinese person either doesn't know about Tinanmen or agrees with it, but are outraged by this.

"The average Chinese person either doesn't know about Tinanmen" I am an average Chinese person but I know it since I was a teenager. I suggest that you don't assume that Chinese people is controlled like puppet, that's simply wrong.

How did you find out about the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests? Was it at school? From family or friends? Online? Do you use a VPN?

I'm curious because I don't know how that information would spread in China or if it is talked about much.


I watched the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests on China official TV daily when it was broadcast until the end of May 1989. I was a teenager at that time. we talked about it at school. we talked about at home. we talked about it heavily at college. we just didn't talk much about it publicly. nobody got arrested by simply talking about it, which may not be like what you might be thinking.

when I was young, there was no GFW. I remembered that I visited lots of western medias about it to better understand it by two-sided stories. and I believe that I did better understand it.

I do use VPN as many of others when I am in China. It's a common thing.


> we just didn't talk much about it publicly

"just"? Not being able to say something in public is like not being able to say it at all. What you just talk about with your friends or family is as relevant to the public sphere as your private thoughts are.


"Not being able to say something in public is like not being able to say it at all."

buddy, being so cynical is not really helpful for any constructive discussion. not mention that I was telling a fact not argument.

even in many democratic countries, in terms of political correctness, you don't want to talk about some subjects in public. Does it really mean not being able to say it at all?


> even in many democratic countries, in terms of political correctness, you don't want to talk about some subjects in public.

Yes, and to the degree that happens, things disappear from the public sphere.

I'm German, and the Nazis are not a happy subject one wants to talk about, but being forbidden from talking about that would be so much worse. And while not everybody "wants to hear about it", there is no difference between "in public" or "in private" really, it what matters more who you talk to, or who overhears it. Neo-Nazis don't want to hear about the Holocaust, Antifa has no problem with it, for example.

The way Tiananmen is taboo in public discussion in China is an entirely different thing I would say, simply because it mainly comes from the CCP and repression, rather than the opinions of people. People may say they "don't feel the need" to talk about it, but if someone talked about it in public and wouldn't stop, they would be stopped, and people know that.

> Does it really mean not being able to say it at all?

Yes, for all practical purposes in context of what we're talking about. Maybe this will help explain:

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/arendt/#CitPubSph

> For Arendt the public sphere comprises two distinct but interrelated dimensions. The first is the space of appearance, a space of political freedom and equality which comes into being whenever citizens act in concert through the medium of speech and persuasion. The second is the common world, a shared and public world of human artifacts, institutions and settings which separates us from nature and which provides a relatively permanent and durable context for our activities. Both dimensions are essential to the practice of citizenship, the former providing the spaces where it can flourish, the latter providing the stable background from which public spaces of action and deliberation can arise. For Arendt the reactivation of citizenship in the modern world depends upon both the recovery of a common, shared world and the creation of numerous spaces of appearance in which individuals can disclose their identities and establish relations of reciprocity and solidarity.

In China one might even say the CCP allows criticism, but tries to keep that public sphere non-existent, regardless of whether it is supportive or critical: https://gking.harvard.edu/publications/how-Censorship-China-...

But I agree that this also is a problem in the West, the public sphere isn't exactly healthy, though at least it still exists. A quote by Arendt I posted recently also applies here, both to China and the West: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21175000

And from "Origins of Totalitarianism":

> The deprivation of humans of their rights, the killing of the juridical person in them is just a precondition of their being totally controlled, for which even voluntary agreement is a hindrance.

What is voluntary can change, and this is not permitted with some things (or under totalitarianism, a lot of things, until history gets rewritten and then it's not permitted to not change them).

People in the West do that all the time, too: pretend like "that's just how the world is" and they are adapting to it, rather than, as they say that, acting in a way which, together with millions who act similarly, creates and continues the situation they claim to simply adapt to. We don't fear the secret police, we just don't want to be frowned on, we just don't want to lose sleep or our appetite. That's much worse, but two wrongs still don't make a right.

I don't think the CCP is "the villain" and the rest of the world free and saintly, at all, it's just that I can't make an exception just for the CCP and pretend 2+2 is 5 in their case. So while I mean all my "cynical" (I would call it blunt) words, don't take them as just aimed at the CCP (and people who may think they might not be sooo bad etc.)


The moment you want you access the internet as a chinese kid, you can google tianmen and get information about it. Its not of course always the correct information that is on the first results, but its not like its completely wiped.

you are right. but there is bigger question of what information is "correct". no offense, it'd be naive to treat the first result of google result as being correct. we all know there is such a thing called SEO.

Yes. That's what I said:

>Its not of course always the correct information that is on the first results

That seems like it would pertain to any google search query tho. I don't think I ever just click a single link when I'm trying to find information about a subject.


This is absolutely wrong.

> 1.4 billion of those people are Chinese, and they can get outaged over whatever ridiculous shit they want.

Only in your own thoughts and dreams (for now). You're not allowed to outrage on Weibo or WeChat. Is this correct?


I highly doubt they'd object to people angrily repeating the state's position to an American country.

Most of them are brainwashed by one party politics and one party news in their own country so I am not sure their outrage means anything.

how many Chinese people have you ever talked to before you say "most of them are brainwashed"? If more than 1 billion people are brainwashed in the era of Internet, either 1. it is a huge success of Chinese government or 2. it's not the truth.

As we all know, VPN is very popular in China. It's just an easy job to access information out of Great Fire Wall.

thinking critically, could you be "brainwashed" by some degree when you assume more than 1 billion people got brainwashed?


vPN is very popular in China? In what range? Thousands of users? Hundreds of thousands? Dozens of millions? Hundreds of millions? The scale matters completely for the discussion.

And brainwashing does not start with the internet. education is a major source of brainwashing and do not discount mass media either which still shapes culture even in hyper connected countries like the US.

Brainwashing works, its not even a remotely disputable claim, we have had two large countries going thru major brainwashing efforts in the 20th century with the Third Reich and the Soviet Union and the results were very convincing in terms of how effective brainwashing can be. Not sure why you would discount brainwashing when China went thru the Cultural Revolution to basically make all dissident voices extinct or irrelevant.


>education is a major source of brainwashing and do not discount mass media either which still shapes culture even in hyper connected countries like the US

How much of your belief that the Chinese are brainwashed people who's opinions should be ignored came from school and media?


if you don't know or doubt how popular VPN is used in China, it indicates that you know little about modern China. everyone I know uses VPN or know how to use VPN if they need. as for exact scale, I'd leave that to you. you could easily figure that out as there are ton of such information online.

If brainwashing really worked greatly like you said, Soviet Union would still exist now. It was their people who overthrew Soviet Union.

exactly because of China going through the disaster like Cultural Revolution, many people just don't believe these propaganda anymore.

my point was not there is no brainwash. it's everywhere including China and US. my point was in the era of Internet and the popular use of VPN in China, i don't think the brainwash really works greatly like you'd think.


So how many millions of VPN users please?

didn't you see this "as for exact scale, I'd leave that to you. you could easily figure that out as there are ton of such information online"?

i encourage you to find out the answer by yourself.


I have often wondered about the fact that 'outrage' and 'outage' are only off by one letter.

You're not a global power.

"The Pope! How many divisions has he got?" --Stalin

Today the Vatican is still a state. The Catholic church remains influential. The USSR has fallen and the Soviet system has been discredited.

The above article would not have been written if the CCP's objections were an effective way to silence western critics. It would not be unreasonable to expect a truly powerful entity to be unconcerned with criticisms from a basketball team's GM.

History will tell all.

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin


> Today the Vatican is still a state. The Catholic church remains influential. The USSR has fallen and the Soviet system has been discredited.

The Russian federation still exists, is controlled by a former KGB operative from the Soviet Union, and is actively waging war in Europe while annexing parts of neighboring countries.

And the pope still has zero divisions to oppose that.


US companies are increasingly "owned" by the Chinese government through Chinese investment. None of them are willing to risk the financial backlash that would occur if they spoke out against the Chinese government - so they are willing to censor their own platforms and sacrifice their own stakeholders and users to please them.

This is an increasing factor in the US motion picture industry. Major studios are generally unwilling to produce movies that show China or the Chinese Communist Part in a negative light due to the need for financing and distribution.

> This is an increasing factor in the US motion picture industry.

In the first Top Gun movie Maverick's (Tom Cruise's) jacket had the flags of Japan and Taiwan. Images from the upcoming sequel show that they're gone:

* https://www.indiewire.com/2019/07/tom-cruises-jacket-taiwane...

* https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/19/tom-cruises-top-gun-jacket-s...

I wonder if they'll be any modifying done for the final release: one set of flags for China print, another set of flags for not-China.


Studios will absolutely modify screenplays, or else edit the films specifically for the China market to remove offensive or politically sensitive topics.

It’s worth a lot of money to them to make a product which sells well in the Chinese market.


Could be an interesting market niche for a studio that makes movies that unapologetically espouses western values and doesn't take any money from nondemocratic funders. See if it's possible to earn a profit without selling out.

> See if it's possible to earn a profit without selling out.

Unfortunately it's not possible.

Nearly everyone on HN would rather invest in a total stock market index fund, simply because it gives better returns. How much different? Approximately 1% more.

So there you have it. People will sell out for 1% of their portfolio. Myself included.


Oh come on that's not fair. Me choosing a passive index that doesn't pay someone to guess the market again(because I've already chosen my entry into the market) is not me cheaping out.

Google said no to China's censorship and is doing pretty well.

Is this actually still true? I know initially they exited China because they wouldn't play by the rules, but they definitely re-entered China, and as far as I know, they did it by agreeing to censoring their search results in China.

In 2018, Google made 3 billion in Chinese ad sales. Facebook made 5 billion.

My thought is that it's ok to deal with China as long as they play by our rules not their rules (such as censorship). If they see that they can still operate successfully under a system with freedom of speech, maybe they won't be so against it.

But yes, you do have to be careful not to let them become a large enough percentage of revenue that the company would be in danger if China started threatening to pull out.


I agree that if you don't want to beholden to foreign rules, then don't become dependent on foreign markets. But what is this "our rules" business? Google lobbying rules that's currently clashing with the EU. Or US foreign policy rules?

Freedom of speech

Also shoot whole new scenes for movies just for the Chinese market. I worked in post-production on Iron Man 3 and there are scenes that exist for that movie for China that don't exist in the US release.

Not sure if it's a contractual thing to get the coveted release window there or extra $.

Or look at The Meg, which was a US-Chinese co-production that was like a tourist video for Sanya Bay towards the end of the film.

But Hollywood isn't going to stand down over taking Chinese money. Right now, most of the money is made overseas on the big movies. Much like Germany was a huge overseas market in the 30s.


If nothing else, we should be thanking China for exposing the bullshit "end of history" promises of neoliberalism and globalization: namely, that more free trade and laissez-faire capitalism will automatically lead to democracy spreading everywhere.

Actually, no: companies are pure amoral profit-seekers, and so if the most important market in the world demands these companies fall in line, then they do, freedom and Western values be damned. Womp womp.


In fact China proves that capitalism (of a "curated" kind), can be successfully decoupled from Western values. And capitalism has proven that Communism (of the CCP kind), cares more about authority over it's citizens than the democratic engagement of it's citizens (and by this, I'm implying that the bread-and-circuses of capitalism can be used as a lever to stifle dissent, through sufficient satisfaction of materialistic desires).

Yup. This situation is about to get somewhat complicated.

Many American C-level execs at many large tech companies are huge pro basketball fans.


"If you want to know who rules over you look at who you are not allowed to criticize"

You can criticize China, but then you lose their dollars.

So in the end, the thing that rules over you is actually money.


There's a difference between a who and a what.

Also consider: you can ask a PRC official what they think, and you'll get a response. Try to do the same thing to a pile of money? Crickets.


That's not obvious at all in any place in the world.

Same as China and USA. China can criticize USA, but they will lose money.

China's economic tactic is to convert their manipulated currency into dollars. China is desperate for dollars. No one trades in or trusts RMB.

Except when they need to buy anything from China. Or are all those factories an illusion as well?

I buy from China as part of my job and we usually either buy in Hong Kong dollars, US dollars or RMB and dump the RMB as soon as possible. One of the reasons that HK exists in its current form is to allow us to easily dump RMB.

Isn't that conducted in dollars?

Just as a heads up, this statement is often used as an anti-Semitic canard. You obviously didn’t mean it in that context, but you may want to use that quotation with caution.

Can you explain a little context behind this? I am not Jewish so I am just purely curious as to why it would be anti-Semitic.

There's some disagreement over who originally made up the quote, but it may have been a neo-Nazi named Kevin Strom.

You are free to do anything you want. You just have be responsible for the result. It is just how everything works.

This can only become partly true if you're using a definition of "free" that's so broad, it becomes meaningless. Even then, we all live in societies that preclude us from choosing to do certain things. In the US, I can't buy anything from North Korea, for example.

The quote is a truism but what is the source? Google brings up a very limited, maybe filtered, list of results. Orwell, Voltaire, a white supremacist? I don't really care which. Just curious about the historical origin.

It's frightening to what degree China is able to censor people living well outside of their jurisdiction.

Indeed, at what time and place do we decide to draw a line? I feel that time and place is nearly here.

10 years ago would have been an opportune time, that no one is able to refuse their censorship seems like reasonable proof that they've become too powerful to do anything about.

so we roll over and just take it?

That seems like one of many plausibly optimal approaches, but no one is able to see the future.

The time for such conversations is long past, and it certainly wasn't me assuring people that this massive experiment will undoubtedly work out just fine.


I am surprisingly conflicted. My strongest urge is to plainly say, screw them. China is a dictatorship, they are actively stomping out freedoms which I very much believe everyone living person had a right to. If they can't stand hearing the truth, fine, no NBA in China.

In the back of my mind, I also recognize that isolation and division breeds more isolation and division. No NBA in China means less Western and Eastern cultural exchange. China doesn't have that kind of influence in our country, yet our American sport is hugely popular there.


“China doesn’t have that kind of influence in our country”. Yet here we are discussing them.

What does China produce that we have fans for? I don't see many cultural exports from them in America.

Instead wasting time to build culture influence. They simply bought companies from western and become rule maker.

For example, Tencent already bought two popular esport game companies from U.S.(riot game /epic game). Not only for making money, also for ruling esport world.

https://www.pcgamer.com/every-game-company-that-tencent-has-...


The point is the Chinese market is so large that “American” cultural exports are often tailored to the Chinese.

Stick with "screw them". The other option plays straight into their The Art of War type strategy.

Which is essentially: keep your enemies close and be their friend and milk them for all they're worth while learning their weaknesses then wait until you grow stronger than them and when they're vulnerable, you pounce.


> China doesn't have that kind of influence in our country

When China tells American business to jump, they ask how high.

He who has the gold makes the rules.


All major Hollywood movie studios pro-actively doctor their scripts to make them China-compliant, and you think basketball is somehow going to do better?

On a related note, this thread went from #6 on the front page to #105 (as of right now) in mere minutes. Maybe the mods, who are quite willing to pop in and tell people off whenever someone mentions astroturfing or censorship, would like to explain how a very recent thread with high upvote and comment count can sink so fast all by itself? It's not like users can downvote threads on HN. Threads mentioning China in a bad light tend to de-rank at astronomical speed, for some mysterious reason...


There's a flamewar detector that gets triggered usually through chat behavior which leads to thread suppression, i.e. upvote to comment ratio, maybe the level of toxicity in comments according to number of controversial down-voted comments.

And this is how China slowly takes away American's freedom of speech. This is their 'soft' power.

Why can't Hong Kong just vote then we can end these protests? The people could vote for a leader who wants closer ties and one who wants more autonomy but let them vote and have a say in the matter. I do not think voting will lead to secession but maybe to a sense of freedom and the ability to influence direction of country.

You do realize:

1- voting got implemented over there only a few years before the handover. It's a relatively new and fluid concept to them.

2- industries/businesses get to vote. These are increasingly owned by China

3- China maintains veto power for any political candidates

If only it were as simple as "just vote"


Even with our fake democracy, it's very common for people to buy votes from elderly people, who make up much of the population, and don't really understand democracy.

We have a lot of poverty here so it's very easy to buy votes by just hosting a dinner at a average restaurant, telling the people all the wonderful plans you have for HK then giving them a trinket to help them remember to vote for you.


China will not allow real democracy in Hong Kong under any circumstances. They take this so seriously that when Britain proposed democratic self-rule in HK in the 60's (in keeping with the democratization of their other colonies at the time), China said they would invade immediately if that happened, and the idea was scrapped.

>Britain proposed democratic self-rule in HK in the 60's

This is a false narrative originally perpetuated by VJMedia.hk, pro-democracy activists in League of Social Democrat that managed to gain traction on English internet via QZ. The primary sources (FCO40/327 and the Thatcher memo) used to substantiate these claims has nothing to do with democratic reforms but UK seeking HK sovereignty as a self-governing dominion like Singapore (not just democratic reforms) as an alternative to handover because it would stabilize investor fears - the concerns were purely economic. Obviously China would reject this proposal which basically tried to circumvent handover by making HK dejure independent in 1997. The reason why UK/Patten introduced some democratic reforms near handover was a last minute effort to maintain some political and economic influence over the colony. There was never any effort in the 60s to grant HK democracy within the context of Extension of Hong Kong Territory lease - they asked for sovereignty which was never an option - and what little that was given was a last minute geopolitical power play.


The entire content of the tweet:

"Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong"


Did NBA compare Xi to Winnie the Pooh? Haha. Seriously, China should stop being so authoritative.

A bit interesting to contrast this to the NFL anthem protests. In both cases, there's been a lot of political pressure and some social media backlash. However in the US, to the best of my knowledge, sponsors have stuck on the "right" side and, according to wiki, have been rewarded for it.

While I'm not a fan of how the NBA is handling this, I kind of lay the whole thing on their doorstep.

Political commentary is not new in the NBA. LeBron was told (indirectly) on Fox News to "Shut up and dribble" as an example. So if China/Hong Kong was an untouchable topic as it now appears to be, why not send out communications to teams that people aren't to comment on it? Does that stop someone from doing so? Not really, but in this particular case he walked it back and the NBA now has to be incredibly defensive. This seems like it could've been avoided so it is an unforced error on their part.


As South Park brilliantly told us: “You’re gonna have to lower your ideals of freedom if you want to suck on the warm teat of China.”

I don't understand many people's view of the Chinese. This is not the state of China ordering the NBA around, this is an action by their people.

And though it is likely that China helped make the people aware of this event, nationist individuals using blatant propaganda to attack people on Twitter is not a problem unique to China.


He didn't even tweet it, just a like. And the media and west should stop pretending that the people don't like and support the party.

[flagged]


Jeezy petes

they need to up their game. that was downright silly.

"I can't read the article"

"Chinese censorship is good, actually"

"Also it's easy to get around"

...Is this a parody account?


Are we all going to become chickenshits to earn Chinese money?

The companies and people of the Western world need to stand up to authoritarian China ... or else, in 25 years our kids are all going to be tasting the boot heel of whatever god emperor China has on its throne at that time (probably still Xi).

We are all underestimating how authoritarian China is and how much crime the Politburo members get away with.


indeed, the price of a cheap TV is becoming to high

It would be interesting to understand why an American basketball team thought it would be a good idea to make a public political statement, on a foreign issue that does not concern them, when their (main?) sponsors are apparently from the country they decided to effectively criticise... It is puzzling.

I suspect this might just be their Twitter guy who screwed up, and might now be out of a job.


What does fighting for freedom and standing with Hong Kong have to do with promoting sport?

Why not just shut the fuck to and promote sport?

This is how we know some (many?) successful people just got lucky with the birth lottery and generally being in the right places and knowing the right people.


It doesn't have anything to do with promoting sport, which is why the guy tweeted on his personal account.

Except that Daryl Morey, as a public figure in his role as general manager of an NBA team doesn’t get much of a distinction between personal and public.

Which is why we’re here having this conversation.


So many misunderstandings around this. For one, in the US we have free speech. That means that you can say anything you want, but you have to accept that you may lose customers for saying it. It doesn't matter if you believe that your customers shouldn't be pissed off. It's the Chinese in this case, but it could be any other relevant group.

Second, perhaps because most Americans haven't been to China and cannot read Chinese, they can't really appreciate this situation. Hong Kong is a part of China, and they are in the middle of a transition period from British rule. It's inevitable that they will be incorporated into the country, and it's really too late to try to turn that around. They could have tried to stay under British rule, but they gambled on the fact that they expected a very different future for China. The gamble did not pay off, and it is what it is. The rest of China (not just the government) wants them to assimilate, and it will happen. If you live in Hong Kong and you don't like that, really your only reasonable option is to move. It's not a given that the protestors are in the "right" and it's not a given that there is a right side on this. Just misaligned interests.


> They could have tried to stay under British rule, but they gambled on the fact that they expected a very different future for China. The gamble did not pay off,

As if this was a choice for people from Hong Kong


How was it not a choice? HK living standards rocketed when it was the only place for China and international capital to meet. The whole nation prospered from it, and now they are paying this price. Thats what this situation looks like to me unfortunately.

> they gambled on the fact that they expected a very different future for China.

Hong Kong was always going to return to China in 1997 due to a British-China deal. There's no way for HK to NOT return to China.


Technically the Hong Kong lease was perpetual, only the new territories lease expired in 97. But the British didn't want to deal with another partitioned colony, so they just gave up the whole thing.

Isn't that up to the people of HK?

Short of an actual revolution no.

that to is up to the people of HK, if thats what it takes

by that argument everything is always "up the people". "well if they don't like $X they can always revolt."

revolt isn't a very flexible means of expressing the wills of the people.


But if the people in power use force to prevent a legitimate discussion then the only avenue left is revolution. There is no legitimate way for the people to involve in discussion, the HK protesters want democracy, the Chinese government doesn't. What alternative do the HK citizens have apart from not be part of China?

Edit: further there is no way to express dissent in China, the HKers are taking their life in their hands by expressing dissent. I can think of no time this happens in the west.


"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

A people of an area have a right to self determination. They never had a real opportunity to express that. So, why should they be forced to leave their home instead of just granting them this right?

What does the supposed "inevitability" of anything have to do with what should happen?

Any argument that employs "well just move if you don't like it" is probably wrong.


Hong Kong is definitely heading in the direction of complete independence. Thankfully.

I agree completely that the angst in HK is caused by outsiders. It has to feel terrible for HK people having their representation grabbed by agents of Beijing. They should apologize and grant universal suffrage to all people born in HK.

Most important in this is HK establishing its own military service, intel service, constitution (not just the Basic law oath of fealty to PRC), and UN representation. These are the remaining things HK needs to be treated like any other nation.

Since the rule of law is what matters, it will be important that judges and lawyers have adequate time to adapt to the any changes in the legal process after transition is complete.

The thing that has yet to be decided is how the legislature in HK will be structured though. Maybe in /r/hongkong they can bring it up.

But most important will be China staying out of meddling in Hong Kong's internal affairs. This is about Hong Kong people planning new system separate from PRC. After that is complete PRC has the same right to establish treaties the same way as Japan, USA, etc.


This post does not represent what HKers involved in the movement want, which is autonomy (as per Basic Law), not independence.

You are right in regards to the current movement. In the 5 demands it says, "...implementation of universal suffrage for Legislative Council and Chief Executive elections"

Which could feasibly be done within the confines of the basic law. It is true many pro-democratic HKers don't want independence.

For some more context for those reading into it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong_independence vs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Hong_Kong_protests

But I should also be complete and let you know there is a fledgling and growing movement, the so-called "Republic of Cantonia", who believe all Guangdong should be break into its own nation. You can see the flag here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Flags_of_active_autonomis...


That would never happen because HK is already part of China, while it's political system differs than Mainland China - It's still effectively China. It has PLA garrisons all around HK.

Would highly recommended reading about Taiwan. Taiwan is what China should be but with the amount of manipulation and corruption i don't see it ever happening.




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