Here's how this works: we express views that anger dictatorships, and if there is even a minute chance that your business tanks because of it - then you were in the wrong market or had the wrong owners.
The right thing to do here for the NBA would be to stand behind this tweet. Corporations need to be constantly trolling China. I'm talking megacorps marking the anniversaries of Tianmen, or calling Taiwan "the totally independent country of Taiwan" and so on.
This is a serious problem, because it's simply not possible to persuade them otherwise, because the channels to do so are censored by the Chinese government. It's a crazily scary issue. My family is half Chinese and my niece came over from China this summer. The only things she knew about the HK protests was that some violent anti-mainlander anarchists had protested against the use of the Chinese flag on some buildings. The vast majority of mainlanders have never even heard of the extradition law.
As a result mainland Chinese see any support for the HK protesters as being a direct attack against the identity, nationality and integrity of China and Chinese people. Foreigners being seen as interfering is seen as further proof that the HK protests are incited by foreigners and are an anti-Chinese plot so unless it's handled very carefully it can make the situation worse, not better.
It's tough, but I think the best approach, if you do want to express support for HK, is instead to focus on the Censorship of the issues by the Chinese government.
While that's true, this is not the driving force behind China's foreign influence in situations like this. There is a far more centralised top-down movement to enact CCP influence outside of China.
I'm in the UK and the Chinese people I know only need to watch the reporting on the BBC to be convinced that a lot of protesters are anti-China and potentially propped up by foreign forces: Violence, attacks on government buildings, attacks on the Chinese flag, flying foreign flags, calling on the Brits and Americans to intervene, etc.
The actions of these protesters have ensured that the Chinese government cannot do anything but standing firm.
I don't know what Chinese TVs show to the public on the mainland, but if they show what the BBC shows then the people can only be outraged and absolutely against the protesters.
The way these protesters behave has completely drowned any message regarding democracy, which the Chinese public might actually be receptive to, though indeed that would be censored by the media on the mainland. That's another reason not to hand the government the stick to beat them with.
Standing firm on what though? Since hardly any Chinese people even know about the extradition law, what does standing firm on that achieve? It has zero relevance to the issue from a mainlander perspective, so conceding on it would have zero negative publicity impact. In fact none of the actual issues are visible to mainlanders at all.
The current violent (and often visibly anti-China) actions ensure that the mainland's public opinion fully supports the government in taking a tough and inflexible stance against the protesters as long as violence and disturbances continue.
The protesters should take a page from Gandhi's book: You couldn't fault him. In HK the government does not even need to try to fault the protesters...
The protests started because of the Extradition Law, but had to morph because of the government's response: 五大訴求 缺一不可 (5 demands, not 1 less). Not a single one of them is about independence nor are any anti-China. You know that as well as I do. Mainlanders should actually read what we want instead of believing their government.
Why do you attack the flag of the country (and even the flag of HK) rather than the flag of the party (there is one), then?
> Not a single one of them is about independence nor are any anti-China.
Then you should stop actions that look anti-China even when they are reported on media like the BBC...
Edit: No answers to these questions, just downvotes... Some might say this speaks louder than words.
It seems to me, that in China to attack the party is to attack the state, and vice verse. To quote France's Louis XIV: L'état, c'est moi.
Am I incorrect?
As mentioned, the party actually has a flag, if they wanted to make things beyond doubt.
Maybe the protestors should use the CCP flag instead, but I would give them the benefit of the doubt.
HN is a community. Users needn't use their real name, but do need some identity for others to relate to. Otherwise we may as well have no usernames and no community, and that would be a different kind of forum. https://hn.algolia.com/?query=by:dang%20community%20identity...
By the way, the flag is very prominently displayed in the annual 1st October parade along with the PLA flag (do you know about that one?), in addition to the country flag.
I'm sure they also know what it means to fly the HK British colonial flag, the Union Jack, etc.
It goes beyond the benefit of the doubt...
For someone who claims to have lived in China for 10 years you seem very not curious about your environment and its history.
Even Cantonese speaking local HKers, who tried to remove roadblocks (so their vehicles could pass) set up by the protesters, were regularly attacked.
I don't disagree there is some racism going on in some areas in Hong Kong. But it is definitely not the normal. You will definite not see that behavior in the financial district.
But its no different that some Beijingers thinking southern people are barbarians is it? You simply ignore and move on.
> Even Cantonese speaking local HKers, who tried to remove roadblocks (so their vehicles could pass) set up by the protesters, were regularly attacked.
This is clearly bias. Given, the only people that would try to remove roadblocks are pro-china people. Most local HK people avoid the protest areas and stay indoors.
And people who needed to use the road to get somewhere are automatically "pro-china"? And they deserved to be attacked?
Can you even believe yourself? Honestly?
They kidnapped one person, as far as I know. I agree they crossed the line there, and there's no excuse for that. But that's an exception, not the norm.
> They have said they were not behind the Extradition Law, and yet they force our government's hand.
Where's the evidence they are behind that? How are they forcing the HK government's hand?
> They have said HKers have freedom, and yet they call us terrorists and cockroaches for exercising it.
You have the freedom to peaceful demonstrations an protests, not violence or destruction. And the CCP most certainly did not call you cockroaches, some angry mainlanders maybe, but not the CCP.
(EDIT: downvoters, please use the truth to argue your side, instead of downvoting me to try to suppress it.)
You don't know much, which is why you're being downvoted. The extradition law that sparked these protests was a formalisation/legalisation of a decade long string of kidnappings with increasing frequency and visibility.
But these are still exceptional cases, the vast majority of HK people have no reason to fear the same fate.
> The extradition law that sparked these protests was a formalisation/legalisation of a decade long string of kidnappings with increasing frequency and visibility.
Where are the reports to back up this "a decade long string of kidnappings"? Or are there just the same three cases?
Where's the evidence China was behind the extradition law?
In any case, the extradition law has been officially (announced to be) withdrawn. Stop using it to justify the continuing and escalating violence and destruction.
Would you reconsider your viewpoint even if you were given an entire essay detailing everything you just asked for? If you can honestly say yes, I'll consider it. But I have a feeling there isn't enough evidence in the world for you.
I can't reconcile your comments with conscionable good-faith behaviour that's commonplace on HN.
I didn't discard anything, I never said kidnappings are OK.
Neither are your violence and destruction. Stop justifying your own evil with China's.
Well surely one is enough to be angry about
Let's be angry about it, let's protest peacefully, let's demand answers, let's demand their return.
But let's not use the kidnappings as an excuse for violence and destruction.
Please, ask me for sources. I have probably over a hundred unspinnable photos and videos collected from r/HongKong by now. New ones keep coming every day.
Here's an appetiser:
Here's a video of the same protester shooting the airsoft glock on the bridge where they threw molotovs. You can keep trying to spin your "unspinnable" photos taken out of context, people have been trying non-stop. But the fact remains that despite overwhelmingly biased western MSM support of the protesters, no mainstream outlet has endorsed these paranoid PLA agent provocateur narrative, or the many other outrageous misinformation attempts especially by r/HongKong users (Legco was inside job, look at the commissioner watch and other extremely stupid conspiracy theories). Confidently believing /r/HongKong is a reliable source of information is media literacy 101 tier ignorance.
One day we read an interview with a guy who took part in the storming of the LegCo and everybody here is in awe before its determination. The next, someone criticise violent actions and you guys claim that they are by government' agents provocateurs...
And every day I can watch BBC reporters following violent protests from within.
There is nothing wrong with admitting that some forms of protest are hurting the cause of democracy.
We already know how that turns out.
Aren't you intentionally turning a blind eye to the fact that the Chinese government has been conducting false flag operations where they plant heir operatives within crouds disguised as protesters to then vandalize and attack not only bystanders but also the police to justify drawing a violent reaction and smear the reputation of the pro-democracy protesters?
It seems odd that you are so against violence but somehow fail to mention the fact that the Chinese government is using violence to discredit pro-democracy protests.
It’s well known that the BBC has its own political agenda; there is no shortage of admirers of Mao in its staff.
That's exactly what I am advocating, in a smart way that effectively counters the CCP narrative.
So basically we can't talk about things to Westerners like we would, because Chinese citizens might overhear on the web and freak out? And not complying is us interfering?
What if suggesting so would get you ostracized in democracies? If you had to pick one or the other?
> unless it's handled very carefully it can make the situation worse, not better.
The violence against the protesters has been constantly ramping up, for months. It's not like the other side fails to understand the demands, they simply will ignore and brutalize the people until they stop protesting. Do you think there will be new information that will change things?
> After all, an end in terror is preferable to terror without end.
-- Leaflet #2 of the White Rose
There might be no clean and neat way out of this, but none of the people you are asking to provide one wanted or started any of this. That burden is not on them. They came across an aggressor and a victim, and it's not just a misunderstanding that can be cleared up without stepping on anyone's toes. You either step on the toes of victim or aggressor -- since you are already aware of the deed, being neutral isn't an option.
Yeah, it's not fun, but it doesn't become more fun by avoiding what cannot be avoided. And downvoting within 1 minute without reply just proves how important this is, and how long we have allowed ourselves to slip and prefer distortion and silencing over intellectually honest argument, even about uncomfortable things.
I'm just showing how this is perceived from a mainlander perspective, and why people that could be allies have been manipulated into a confrontational stance. I think the best way to fight this is to point out the way they have been manipulated. It's a matter of tactics. I'm making a suggestion, that's all.
> And not complying is us interfering?
That is how it is perceived by mainlanders, due to the way they have been manipulated.
This is a trap set by the CCP. When your enemy lays a trap, saying "I'm completely entitled to go where that trap is, nobody's going to impinge on my rights of free passage" and then walking straight into the trap doesn't help anybody.
I am not advocating stepping on the toes of the protesters, or mainland Chinese. I'm saying attack the real target - the Chinese Communist Party. They are the real opponent here. Call them out. Point out their role. Show how they are manipulating the narrative. That's my advice.
I was talking about using Western media to talk to a our friends and within our societies though. The trap might also be being chilled into giving up our freedom to think, and therefore to act, and to be in solidarity with those who need and deserve it.
I agree that "Free Hong Kong" is not a good slogan, and that mixing up the Chinese and the CCP is doing the CCP's work for them, and I also think that explaining that secession is not meant here isn't "appeasement" either. If you mean those things with "trap", I agree. But not insofar as just "speaking freely" is concerned.
I mean, it's not like the CCP wouldn't come up with things to keep people in line in absence of Westerners saying offensive things, or that even the most moderate and well reasoned argument that isn't revisionist and obedient to the whims of the CCP, cannot somehow be twisted into being offensive. So the way I see it, we'd lose something crucial and valuable if we censored ourselves, and would gain little to nothing, since that wouldn't change the mind of the CCP or loosen its grip.
> I'm saying attack the real target - the Chinese Communist Party.
I agree with that 100%, and I harbor no ill feelings towards the Chinese people as such. But the context isn't someone denigrating all Chinese people, it's someone showing solidarity with the Chinese people in Hong Kong. Though I agree that "trolling China" is a terrible suggestion, and don't troll the CCP either, resist and call it out in no unclear terms.
In the case of football, that means taking money from dictatorships to host the World Cup in unbearably hot countries in stadia built by slave labour. Why should basketball be any different?
It's not as if American sport has covered itself in glory in its response to athletes making the smallest, most respectful domestic protest possible about police violence.
In this particular case I think the idea of applying Chinese censorship to people in the US (which is effectively what this is) in order to let the Chinese regime maintain its story about what's going on in HK is absolutely absurd.
What stands on the other side of the equation here aren't the villains and misdeeds elsewhere, it's the protesters in Hong Kong, and the reasons why they protest. Not all of them saints, all the time, but generally, I would very much sum them up as both innocent and correct in their demands, which so far have only been met with violence, in some cases extreme violence. In the last weeks I've seen so many videos of police attacking people basically for "fun" e.g. police throwing a garbage bin onto protesters from a bridge, just throwing tear gas at idle and unsuspecting journalists with no protesters in sight, and so on. Even American cops wouldn't remotely dream of acting like that, not sustainedly and while being surrounded by journalists.
Isn’t that put on by the ostensibly non-profit FIFA? It seems closer to the Olympic Games to this very casual observer.
I'm going straight to Godwin's Law on this one:
What I mean is, your comment reads like you are writing an indictment about our "system," with its problems being money, markets; but then you go on to support this with problems of slave labor, tyrannical regimes.
I see this pattern in comments every day on social media all the time. Criticisizing money, voluntary exchange, markets--what is economic liberalism--but then supporting their criticism with problems of the exact opposite, authoritarianism.
I think you're reading rather a lot into my post that I didn't write. But one lesson of China is that you can have "money, voluntary exchange, markets" and authoritarianism at the same time. Especially in the context of international trade, where A voluntarily exchanging money for products made by B with the slave labour of C happens a lot.
What happens when marketing products (in this case, sport) to a non-free country with an official nationalist ideology (in this case, China)? The customers voluntarily choose not to give money to products that don't support the Chinese state. That leads to westerners voluntarily choosing to support authoritarianism, so long as it's happening to someone else. All through free exchange.
(I am certainly not offering a solution to any of this!)
Going back to at least the Greeks.
It's not pressure from a dictatorship that's making them back down, it's pressure from a big potential customer. The dictatorship part is both incidental and irrelevant to the NBA.
That's my point when I said "you are in the wrong market". If you need to self-censor to make a billion in China, please leave that Billion on the table.
As Sebastian Haffner said, by raising the Jewish question, and many other questions like it, constantly coming up with new ones, the Nazis skillfully managed to evade the Nazi question -- namely, whether they should exist.
Megacorps need us more than we need them, spectator sports certainly needs us more than we need it. And you can't be friends with everybody, either you insult the murderers and their fans by calling it murder, or you insult the victims and yourself by failing to do so. It's not a game where you can join all factions by picking the right dialog options or having enough money.
> 1.4 billion Chinese citizens stand united when it comes to the territorial integrity of China and the country’s sovereignty over her homeland. This issue is non-negotiable.
First off, that's like saying all Germans supported the Nazis because the ones who didn't were dead or didn't dare to speak up. Secondly, it was about always about 5 demands, not secession, and those demands being met with violence, for months.
He doesn't want to be treated remotely like he, by looking away, is implicitly advocating for others to be treated, he simply preaches water and drinks wine, preaches torture camps and police terror and breathes fresh air.
> In 1937, Japan invaded China by capturing Beijing, Shanghai and the then-Chinese capital Nanjing. Imperial Japanese troops committed mass murder and rape against the residents of Nanjing, resulting in several hundred thousand civilian deaths.
Anyone who condemns that, but doesn't condemn what the CCP does, has simply no case, no standing, is the last person who should bring it up. You cannot pick and chose when you apply principles, if you actually have them. A just as valid way too look at it would be totalitarian murderers attacking innocent people. Yes, in that case they were Japanese, but if you support totalitarian murderers, that similarity outweighs what is written in the passport.
Last but not least, if someone in America said "black people are just as decent human beings as white people", and the KKK went apeshit and demanded a retraction, would you care how many members they have, or that they have guns? Or that they are so angry, so badly educated, that they can't be reasoned with? That's what you're going to throw away the few noble things humanity achieved in the last few centuries for? Not in my name, and not with my support.
Unless I hear those "other perspectives", I'll simply assume he was exposed to pressure, not reason.
Now that China is the second largest economy, it has a lot of global influence.
It only has influence if we give it influence, through crushing dissent like this. The NBA is complicit in the destruction of democracy and the ethnic cleansing of a religious minority; don't forget that.
Teams & players should be taking a strong stand here to support one of their own, but this really shows that there is a $$$ value for everything, including freedom of speech and expression.
Economic threats from a foreign government should be treated the same as military ones. I'm sure Rockets games will be back on air in an instant if US sanctions expand to completely block NBA broadcasting in China, player visas and sports apparel manufacturing.
If Trump started an anti-NBA campaign that directly affected their future profits, they would absolutely apologize. See the NFL.
You tell me. Didn't the NFL just drag a couple of their players through the mud for having the audacity to kneel in solidarity with victims of racism?
My take on it is that not making authoritarians feel uncomfortable - via exposing them to non-conformity during an anthem - is very important to the NFL. The only expression of politics it permits is a pro-government, unquestionably patriotic one. Which is pretty normal for a sports league.
Although this is a bit different, because this happens on the field, whereas Twitter is more separate.