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Posts published in September 2019

Hong Kong Police Deny Amnesty International Report

Sadly, but as expected, the Hong Kong police have denied any wrongdoing in their handling of the pro-democracy demonstrations after Amnesty International’s report documenting rampant Hong Kong police brutality.

The evidence leaves little room for doubt—in an apparent thirst for retaliation, Hong Kong’s security forces have engaged in a disturbing pattern of reckless and unlawful tactics against people during the protests.

Amnesty International

The Hong Kong police spokesman’s response is incredibly weak. He basically just says that enforcing the law is really hard. (Yeah, no kidding!) He did not respond at all to Amnesty International’s assertions of rampant police brutality. He also complained that the report did not provide identities of the people that Amnesty interviewed during their investigation nor the time and place of the alleged police misconduct, so that the Hong Kong police couldn’t check the facts. To anyone thinking at all clearly, it is obvious that Amnesty would not provide those details; it would just leave those that were interviewed open to retaliation by the police (who have already shown that they will resort to brutal tactics). So, his complaint is just a flaccid attempt at deflecting Amnesty International’s completely on-point criticism of the Hong Kong police and government.

As we mentioned in our post from yesterday, this report was an opportunity for the Hong Kong government to establish an independent investigation of the Hong Kong police, as the protesters demand. The Amnesty International report says that the Hong Kong police cannot be trusted to investigate themselves and also calls for an independent investigation:

Given the pervasiveness of the abuses we found, it is clear that the Hong Kong Police Force is no longer in a position to investigate itself and remedy the widespread unlawful suppression of protesters. Amnesty International is urgently calling for an independent, impartial investigation aimed at delivering prosecutions, justice and reparation, as there is little trust in existing internal mechanisms such as the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Amnesty International

The Hong Kong government and police force have completely lost legitimacy. The Hong Kong police spokesman’s response to the Amnesty International report sounds exactly like “news” articles published by the CCP’s lapdog media outlets when the CCP has done something especially egregious (a nearly daily occurrence) and the international community takes them to task for it. It is all the usual minimizing, deflection, “whataboutism,” and outright lying that we typically see from China Daily, Xinhua News, CCTV, etc. It is sad to see a police force that was once respected throughout Asia and the world come to the point of having lost all credibility, merely another puppet organization whose strings are pulled from Beijing.

Amnesty International Report on Hong Kong Police Brutality

At China Daily News, we have written several articles on the brutal tactics used by the Hong Kong police. We believe that the Hong Kong police are no longer being directed by the Hong Kong government; it is likely that they are being managed directly by the CCP, and it is also likely that elements for the CCP’s People’s Armed Police have infiltrated or have been embedded into the civilian Hong Kong police force. That would explain the increasing unprofessionalism and brutality of the Hong Kong police, and their seemingly complete disregard for the rights of the Hong Kong people as guaranteed by the Basic Law.

Now, Amnesty International has released a report on their investigation into the Hong Kong police used of brutal and indiscriminate violence against the Hong Kong people, and it supports what we have said here several times.

This is serious business. The Hong Kong police have denied any wrongdoing in their policing practices during the protests. Now Amnesty International, a well-respected human rights organization, has called them out, accusing them of the very things that the protesters have said all along and has been documented on many, many videos. How will the Hong Kong police and government react to this? Will they accuse Amnesty International of lying or bias?

The CCP’s lapdog media (China Daily, Xinhua News, CCTV, etc.) of course will do just that, and they will accuse Amnesty International of “interfering in China’s internal affairs” per their usual, unoriginal, ridiculous playbook. No one need take any of that seriously. But the reaction of the Hong Kong government is a different matter. They have an opportunity to use this report as a springboard for an independent investigation into the police, as the protesters have demanded. Will they take it? Very, very doubtful. Carrie Lam seems to be utterly tone-deaf and uncreative; it is much more likely that the Hong Kong government will play to Beijing’s unoriginal, uncaring, totalitarian tune.

China’s Hostage Diplomacy

In the long history of imperial China, emperors of China (and other powerful officials) would on occasion keep hostages taken from other countries or rival organizations to ensure peace or allegiance between states or groups or as leverage in negotiations. Sometimes even, an emperor would take hostages from the family of powerful officials or generals to make sure that they stayed loyal to the emperor. Books have even been written about this practice.

In modern China, the practice of taking hostages continues, but in a somewhat different form. China frequently arrests and detains foreign nationals, accusing them of crimes and holding them for “investigation,” at times for months, without contact with lawyers, family, friends, or officials from their home country. This practice of holding people incommunicado is part of the reason that the Hong Kong people want nothing to do with China’s “justice” system. Sometimes, prisoners disappear permanently – killed or dying while in detention in China.

Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that China seized a U.S. citizen, a pilot for FedEx named Todd Hohn, accusing him of “transporting ammunition” on a flight where security had already cleared him. The “ammunition” in question was plastic pellets for a low-powered replica gun. They are common in Hong Kong, where he lives.

Not long ago, President Trump ordered FedEx and other package delivery companies to increase their inspections of packages entering the U.S. from China as part of a crackdown on fentanyl smuggling into the U.S. Recently, enough fentanyl to kill 14 million people was seized in Virginia. It was shipped from a vendor in Shanghai. China has denied has denied that it is the source for fentanyl entering the U.S. Of course, that is just more CCP propaganda.

Along with the fentanyl smuggling problem, trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are starting soon, and the U.S. Congress is pushing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act through the legislative process, on its way to becoming U.S. law.

So given this background, from China’s point of view, detaining a FedEx pilot – better yet, an American citizen living in Hong Kong – on this phony charge makes perfect sense. China gets some leverage over FedEx in enforcement of shipping regulations, and over the U.S in the trade negotiations, and China can also use it to pressure the U.S. Congress against passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and to express its anger at U.S. support for the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement. Given China’s long history of using hostages as pawns in diplomacy and negotiations, it isn’t really surprising that they would do this, but it is still despicable.

China at this moment is holding citizens of Australia, Canada, and the United States, and possibly other countries, on politically-based charges. It is unfortunately typical of China to engage in “hostage diplomacy,” and that fact is yet more evidence that the CCP is uncivilized, and not worthy to be a member of the community of nations. We will say it yet again: the Chinese people deserve a much better government than the one they unfortunately have.

Powerful Testimony By Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Activists Before U.S. Congress

Today, Hong Kong pro-democracy activists Denise Ho, Sunny Cheung, and Joshua Wong testified before the U.S. Congress on the Hong Kong protests. The South China Morning Post has an excerpt of their power testimony on YouTube:

The entire hearing (nearly 3 hours long) is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQJZTi-XRls

We understand that the Trump administration wants a trade deal with China. President Trump is a businessman, and it is likely that he identifies with U.S. business leaders that want a deal. The U.S./China trade war is affecting the world’s economy, though it hasn’t so far impacted the U.S. economy much. On the other hand, it seems to have affected China’s economy, which was already facing a slowdown for other reasons, including the swine fever epidemic, which has increased pork prices in China. Beijing does not want the trade war to continue, so no doubt is willing to negotiate an end to the tariffs.

But some things are more important than profits – and the plight of the Hong Kong people is one of them. Beijing has broken the treaty that was negotiated with the U.K. establishing Hong Kong’s Basic Law guaranteeing the rights of the Hong Kong people. The Hong Kong police are increasing violent and are cooperating with triad gang enforcers to oppress the pro-democracy movement. The Hong Kong government led by Carrie Lam is incompetent and ignores and denies the movement’s demands and concerns.

The pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong in China can only succeed if it has the backing of powerful allies (just as France backed the Americans in our revolutionary war). The very least that the U.S. can do is pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. President Trump should not let the Chinese hold the Act hostage to passage of a trade deal.

Zhejiang University Steals/Copies Boston Dynamics Technology. Marco Rubio Pushes TAIPEI Act. Continuing Protests in Hong Kong.

While not denying that it happens, this writer has sometimes thought that the talk of China stealing much of their technology from the U.S. and other countries has been overblown. China certainly has plenty of smart engineers and scientists, so do they really need to steal that much technology? But after seeing this video, it certainly looks like some well-known technology was stolen, or at least copied, from the U.S. company Boston Dynamics.

Now look at a short clip of Boston Dynamics’ Spot Mini that will be for sale commercially soon – one of a series of similar robots that the company has developed:

The similarities are unmistakable. Was Zhejiang University’s robot technology stolen or copied? We can’t say. But it is certainly not original.

After the Solomon Islands switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to mainland China, it has been facing backlash, most prominently from Senators Marco Rubio and Cory Gardner (both Republicans). They are pushing for passage of the TAIPEI Act, which promotes diplomatic recognition of Taiwan by other countries and sanctions countries that switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to mainland China. The bill has bipartisan support, but did not pass the Senate in 2018. Given recent events in Hong Kong and elsewhere, we would not be surprised if the bill gains more support this year.

This Taiwan News article has more details: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3778287

The protests in Hong Kong continued today, with the Hong Kong police once again demonstrating that they are completely out of control and lawless, and the leadership denying that there is any problem at all. First of all:

And then, of course, Hong Kong police spokespeople saying they don’t see any problem:

There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.

Increasing Violence in Hong Kong; Entering Category 2 Phase of Insurgency?

Sadly, but predictably, there seems to be more and more violence in Hong Kong. The CCP has decided to use a tactic of more direct confrontations with the protests. This has happened just in the past couple of days, In the past, there were frequent confrontations between protesters and Hong Kong police, but not many between pro-Beijing people and pro-democracy demonstrators. Now, there are more and more confrontations between pro-democracy demonstrators and pro-Beijing elements, presumably triad gang members and possibly People’s Armed Police agents and agitators. Since there were few direct confrontations between pro-democracy people and pro-CCP people, it is likely that many or most of the pro-CCP people are paid agitators and provocateurs.

War correspondent Michael Yon has been on the scene in Hong Kong for some time with first-hand reporting and video. His Facebook page has many videos and first-hand observations and opinion on the situation there.

In a Facebook post from September 4th, Yon describes five phases of insurgency:

Hong Kong: Category 1 phase of insurgency — will it go beyond this? I do not know. And so I keep watching and…

Posted by Michael Yon on Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Yon describes category 2 insurgency as “Economic damage increases. Dehumanization increases in preparation for economic, political, and physical combat. Killing begins.” Is Hong Kong nearing category 2 insurgency? This video, of protesters beating a pro-Beijing man unconscious make this writer think that perhaps it is.

The CCP’s pet media, like Global Times, is playing this as much as possible to turn public opinion away from the pro-democracy movement. Because it is such a violent attack, the CCP’s propaganda may work to some degree. (Note that pro-CCP agitators have been seen wearing blue shirts recently).

On the other side, pro-CCP goons attacked and beat pro-democracy demonstrators at an MTR station:

These clashes are looking more and more like rival gang battles. With the backing of the Hong Kong establishment, government, and police, and possibly People’s Armed Police agents, the pro-Beijing gang would seem to have an advantage, but the pro-democracy demonstrators have the advantage of numbers, passion, support of most residents of Hong Kong, and international support (whether or not international support makes any difference remains to be seen). These are perilous times in Hong Kong. If a police officer is killed, that may be the trigger (the trigger Beijing has been looking for?) to unleash a bloody crack down on the pro-democracy movement. Let us all hope that it doesn’t come to that.

Beijing Ramping Up Violence in Hong Kong

Several media sources are reporting on clashes between pro-democracy demonstrators and pro-CCP agitators in Hong Kong.

SCMP Post on Twitter
Tom Grundy of Hong Kong Free Press

Pro-CCP agitators attacked random passers-by – it appears just about any young person – and when Hong Kong police arrived, none of the blue-shirted agitators was arrested. The Hong Kong police appear to be cooperating with pro-Beijing thugs (triad gang members?). Note also that some of the police are in plain clothes and are not carrying identification. When asked by reporters to show identification, as they must according to Hong Kong law, they threatened the reporters. Are they actually Hong Kong police, or are they mainland China People’s Armed Police that have infiltrated the Hong Kong police?

Kids as young as 11 years old were arrested by the Hong Kong police.

All of this happened in the past day, and it is intentional.

These are not, for the most part, random Hong Kong people that are “pro-Beijing.” They are paid agitators, triad gang members, perhaps even People’s Armed Police agents, and the Hong Kong police are cooperating with them. Despite all of their rhetoric about returning Hong Kong to normal, stopping the violence, and so on, Beijing is ramping up the violence on purpose. They want to violently crack down on the pro-democracy movement, but they also don’t want to be seen as overtly doing so, so they resort to covert tactics like these to give themselves plausible deniability. Arresting and beating children and teenagers, even when they aren’t taking part in any protest, is intended to scare these kids and their parents from participating in demonstrations or supporting the pro-democracy movement. Using triad gang members and plainclothes People’s Armed Police agents as provocateurs and shock troops allows Beijing and the HK government to deny responsibility for the violence. But it is Beijing and the Hong Kong government and police that are responsible. At this point, we are speculating that the Hong Kong government may have entirely lost control of the Hong Kong police. The police no longer care about the law; they are openly beating people in the streets, violating Hong Kong law, arresting people for no reason whatsoever, and even arresting young children. Has someone from Beijing taken direct control of the Hong Kong police?

China’s Gulag

At China Daily News, we’ve focused much of our attention on the ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong. Because Hong Kong is still (for now) open and accessible, we hear much more about it, and the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement is technically and media-savvy, so it is adept at drawing people’s attention.

Arguably, however, what is happening to the Uyghurs in Xinjiang province is a much larger humanitarian and human rights crisis. According to reports, as many as one million Uyghurs have been rounded up and sent to “re-education” (read “concentration”) camps. [Human Rights Watch report here] [UPDATE: This Financial Times article says 1.5 million Uyghurs have been sent to the camps.]

Of course, the CCP does its best to keep this out of the news and minimize whatever reporting does come out about it. Fortunately, there are prominent leaders in the U.S. that have been paying attention.

Senator Rubio, Florida Republican, has been urging the U.S. Congress to pass the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act and for President Trump to sign it into law. Today, it passed the U.S. Senate, and next will be taken up by the House of Representatives, where it is also very likely to pass.

We completely agree with Senator Rubio’s statement, but would add that it is long overdue that the democracy and freedom-loving people of the whole world start standing up to the CCP’s oppression and bullying, not just of other countries, but of its own people – whether they are Xinjiang Uyghurs, Tibetans, the people of Hong Kong, or the everyday people – the laobaixing -living throughout China. Human rights are human rights – and even if someone happens to live in China, those rights still exist. The CCP may violate and oppress people’s rights, but they cannot take them away – they are inherent in being human.

We urge the full U.S. Congress to pass the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act and the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act as quickly as possible, and for President Trump to sign them into law, irrespective of the status of any trade negotiations taking place with China.

No Hong Kong Protests out of Respect for 9/11

We posted an article on September 10th, 2019 on China Daily’s disgusting and offensive use of images of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York City. China Daily claimed that the Hong Kong protesters were planning massive terror attacks in Hong Kong. Of course, like so much that the CCP’s media lapdogs reports, it was complete and utter nonsense (stronger words come to mind, but we like to keep out articles free of profanity).

Today, the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong proved that it was nonsense and also that it is a group with morals and conscience. They released a statement that there would only be peaceful protests on 9/11 – non confrontations with the police. The Hong Kong Free press reports:

As an American, this writer truly, truly appreciates this gesture. Watching the second jetliner crash into the WTC tower was one of the most horrifying events I have ever experienced – perhaps the most. Watching people – my fellow Americans – make the terrible choice to commit suicide by jumping out of the tower, rather than be burned alive was unimaginable and heartbreaking.

The contrast here (to continue a theme for today) shows the character of the CCP versus that of the protesters. The CCP’s media lapdogs continually try to smear the protest movement as violent, and even as sex abusers, but in actual fact, it is the CCP and its supporters who are devoid of morals, abusers of the natural rights of all humanity, thieves of others’ property, and a danger to the entire world. We have said it before – the Chinese people deserve a much better government than they have.

A Study in Contrasts

Hong Kong people singing the Chinese national anthem at a mall in Hong Kong:

Hong Kong people in a mall singing the unofficial anthem of Hong Kong, “Glory to Hong Kong”:

Does anything more need to be said about the popularity of the pro-democracy movement versus the popularity of the CCP in Hong Kong? We think not.

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