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Posts published in September 2019

Carrie Lam Echoes Beijing Line on U.S. “Meddling;” Hong Kong Executive Council Member Throws Wild Accusations at Protest Movement

In a clear sign that Carrie Lam, chief executive of Hong Kong, is controlled by the CCP from Beijing, and echoing the typical CCP rhetoric, she said today that it was unnecessary for the U.S. to intervene in the affairs of Hong Kong by passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

The South China Morning Post quotes Lam as saying:

Any form of interference from foreign congresses is extremely inappropriate,” Lam said. “I hope no more local figures, particular those in certain positions, will ask proactively for the American congress to pass the act.

SCMP article

Ironically, Lam’s remarks show exactly why passing the bill is appropriate and so urgently needed. She is echoing the typical CCP line on non-interference in China’s “internal affairs,” which just lends weight to the Hong Kong peoples’ belief that she is a puppet of Beijing.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the most egregious thing said by Hong Kong government officials today. Executive Council member Fanny Law, appearing on a radio talk show, said this:

Reacting to a listener’s email which alleged that some girls are being tasked to provide “comfort” to frontline protesters, Law said: “I think we have confirmed that this is a true case. I am so sad for these young girls who have been misled into offering free sex.”

RTHK article
https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1479601-20190909.htm

Pro-democracy protesters responded at a press conference:

Speaking at the self-styled Citizens’ Press Conference on Monday evening, the protesters said Mrs Law didn’t back her claims with evidence, and called on her to report the matter to police if she has proof.

“This is another example of the state campaign against protesters and this shows the quality of the government,” said a protester who calls himself Ezra Chan.

“Without legitimately responding to our demands, they have chosen to launch a smear campaign against everyone and this is why we’re against fake news,” he said.

RTHK article
https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1479695-20190909.htm

The Hong Kong government is seriously out of touch and out of control. Flinging wild accusations without rock-solid evidence to back them just discredits the government even more.

China Daily’s Disgusting, Offensive Fake News

When you view as much of the CCP’s pet media as we do, one tends to become inured to the childish lies and propaganda that they spew every day. Most of it is obviously false and convinces only ignorant or weak-minded people. Frankly, it seems aimed more at the legions of the “50-cent army” than it does to people of democratic countries.

However, once in a while, they post something so incredibly stupid and offensive that it is almost unbelievable. Look at this Facebook post from China Daily’s Hong Kong edition:

Anti-government fanatics are planning massive terror attacks, including blowing up gas pipes, in Hong Kong on September…

Posted by China Daily Hong Kong on Monday, September 9, 2019

How anyone thought it was a good idea to use the image of the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York in this disgusting fake news post is just absolutely beyond comprehension. Just how low will the CCP sink? It is yet another reminder that the CCP is run by thugs with no moral compass whatsoever. It saddens us that China, with its long history and rich, fascinating culture is run by fools and knaves, devoid of conscience. The Chinese people deserve a much better government than they have. Support the Hong Kong people in freeing themselves from those tyrannical monsters.

Yet More Police Brutality in Hong Kong

This is insane.

Yes, we are aware that there is a longer video that shows what was happening before the police threw the tear gas grenade. It doesn’t matter. The police have no right to throw a tear gas grenade with no warning and with no idea who is in the area. In this case, the grenade struck a journalist in the head before falling to the ground and exploding. If the timing had been just a little different, that journalist could have been seriously injured or killed.

Some people claim to hear the police officers speaking Mandarin Chinese. The Hong Kong people generally speak Cantonese, which sounds quite different. This writer cannot hear what the officers are saying clearly. It does not sound like Cantonese, in any case. Many people are speculating that these officers are actually mainland China People’s Armed Police officers dressed as Hong Kong police. If so, it would explain why they are speaking what sounds like Mandarin, rather than Cantonese, and why they are so uncaring and ill-trained that they would throw a tear gas grenade directly into a group of journalists.

Given the escalation of undeniable police brutality in Hong Kong over the past few weeks, it is entirely believable that the Hong Kong police have been infiltrated, or possibly even taken over, by the People’s Armed Police or elements of the PLA. This is entirely speculation, but could the rotation of the PLA unit stationed in Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago been part of this?

Students Form Human Chains in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Free Press reports that students today formed human chains in Hong Kong in peaceful demonstrations in support of the protest movement.

Hong Kong Free Press

We posted an article on August 24th about the human chains that were formed across Hong Kong – the “Hong Kong Way” chains – to demonstrate for the rights of Hong Kong and in celebration of the “Baltic Way” chains that were part of the demonstrations that led to freedom for the Baltic countries from the Soviet Union.

These kinds of protests are effective, especially for students that are too young (in our opinion) to face the dangers of physical confrontations with Hong Kong’s increasingly violent police. Singing, holding hands in solidarity, and other non-violent demonstrations by young people can be very powerful, especially in gaining support from the older people, who naturally want to protect them.

That protection is needed, as the Hong Kong police have even resorted to beating high school students while they are at school. It’s hard to image, but unfortunately true:

Hong Kong Free Press video at YouTube

Fortunately, today’s demonstration by school students was not violent. Other protests in Hong Kong today, sadly, were.

Bring Taiwan into the United Nations

In an article in The Diplomat, Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Jaushieh Joseph Wu, argues persuasively that Taiwan should be included in the United Nations. ChinaDailyNews agrees.

Taiwan’s government is freely, fairly, and democratically elected, and thus is a government that legitimately represents the people of Taiwan. The undemocratic, repressive, dictatorial CCP-controlled government of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing does not and never has. By what kind of twisted logic does the United Nations, an international body ostensibly committed to human rights, allow the CCP to claim that it does?

Of course, the United Nations is mostly ineffective and useless, especially the egregious “Human Rights Council,” which spends a substantial part of its time issuing resolutions condemning Israel – the one country in the Middle East that actually respects human rights.

Despite that, allowing Taiwan to participate fully in the United Nations is just and fair. It is deplorable that the UN member nations have allowed Beijing to bully them into blocking Taiwan’s participation in the community of nations as represented there. We urge the U.S. government and the other democratic, freedom-loving nations of the world to resist the CCP’s bullying and restore Taiwan’s membership in the U.N. as the Republic of China.

Support for Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act

UPDATE: Incredible pictures and video on Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

You might think it’s #America Day in #HongKong after you see these photos and videos with so many American flags and a man dressed as the Statue of Liberty.🗽But it’s not. Scroll ahead to see for yourself. It’s thousands of Hong Kong citizens asking, pleading, demanding and hoping the U.S. Congress will take up and pass a bill to protect “basic freedoms” in this embattled city. 🇭🇰 It’s called the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. Many Hong Kongers feel – and fear – Beijing is eroding them away. So they marched past the U.S. consulate Sunday in this 14th straight weekend of anti-government protests. Many see the U.S. as the only country in the world that has leverage over #China. 🇨🇳 Many would say they’re right. Many others would say it’s a mistake for the U.S. or any foreign power to get involved; especially with Beijing leveling accusations of foreign interference. Regardless, protestors are angry at their leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who they want to resign. They say she’s a puppet of Beijing, though she adamantly denies that. They’re angry at the police because of violent images of officers beating and pepper spraying people; they’re accused of police brutality and want an independent probe. That’s why they’re giving them the middle finger today. Yet police supporters would say they’ve been put in an impossible situation trying to uphold the law in the face of more violent protestors who are breaking that law. These people marching are people who are angry and they hope the #US and the world are taking notice. What do you think should happen? What do you think will happen? @CBSNews is here. We’ve been here ever since Week 1 – back on June 12th when our great team of @erinelyall and @cbs_randy and I were teargassed by police along with so many protestors – telling the #HongKong story. We are still here. #cbsnews #asia #international #news #reporting #history #bts #behindthescenes #american #flag #statueofliberty #middlefinger #protest

A post shared by Ramy Inocencio (@ramyinocencio) on Sep 8, 2019 at 5:39am PDT

Ramy Inocencio, CBS, on Instagram

Today, protesters in Hong Kong marched to the U.S. Embassy to ask that Congress pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

South China Morning Post video posted to YouTube

The full text of the bill is here.

The bill has several sections, but the main points of the bill are to:

  • Affirm support of the Hong Kong people and their rights by the United States, including universal suffrage, the ability to freely choose and elect candidates for chief executive and other legislative positions, free speech and free press, and freedom from arbitrary arrests and detention.
  • Protect U.S. citizens from rendition (extradition) to countries, including mainland China, that do not have independent and fair legal systems.
  • Allow Hong Kong residents that have participated in protests, and have been arrested for participating in protests, to still obtain visas for travel to the U.S.
  • More strictly enforce U.S. customs regulations on items imported into Hong Kong, including items that might be or are used in constructing products used for mass surveillance or in the construction of China’s “social credit” system.
  • Encourage U.S. businesses to continue to operate in Hong Kong.
  • Identify persons involved in denying rights to Hong Kong citizens or involved in extra-legal renditions to mainland China and subject them to financial and other sanctions.

The Hong Kong people want and need the help of the United States in their fight for freedom and democracy. Public statements by U.S. Representatives and Senators are helpful, but this bill sends a message to Beijing and includes some measures to enforce that message. Passing it is a concrete action that the U.S. can take to back the people of Hong Kong. We support the passage of this bill completely. If Congress does pass the bill, President Trump should sign it into law, regardless of the status of any trade negotiations with China. The rights of the people of Hong Kong are more important than any trade deal, and any attempts to tie trade negotiations with enactment of the bill by Beijing should be ignored. Free Hong Kong!

More Police Brutality in Hong Kong

People may be tempted to think that the police brutality being perpetrated on the Hong Kong people is isolated and rare. It is not. There are numerous videos showing the police beating and pepper spraying people, whether or not the are resisting or involved in protests at all. Here is yet another example.

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Posted by 上帝 on Saturday, September 7, 2019
Hong Kong police beating HK citizens

These kinds of videos need to be highlighted and circulated widely. Until now (as far as we know), no one has been killed by the HK police, but many people have been seriously injured by their out-of-control violence against the Hong Kong people. Few, if any, of the people in this video are dressed like protesters – no helmets, no masks, just people dressed in normal, everyday clothes. They are not resisting the police, nor committing any crime. Yet the police beat them with their truncheons. It is simply assault and battery. The police have become the criminals.

The police are aware that what they are doing is illegal. They have started targeting photographers and journalists, pushing them away from places where they are engaging and arresting protesters, verbally abusing journalists, and even pepper spraying them. There is plenty of video evidence of that happening as well.

Hong Kong Free Press

Many people are speculating that the Hong Kong police force, once one of the most respected in Asia, has been infiltrated by elements of China’s People’s Armed Police. Seeing how ill-trained and violent some of the HK police are, it is not at all hard to believe. A fully independent investigation into the actions of the police is urgently required.

Protests in Hong Kong Continue after Withdrawal of the Extradition Bill; Where Does It End?

Despite the withdrawal of the extradition bill, the protests in Hong Kong are continuing, as we expected. The protesters have adopted “Five Demands, Not One Less” as one of their slogans. They will not be satisfied with the easy half-measures taken by the HK government. Beijing and Carrie Lam’s leadership still don’t understand the movement. If they thought that just withdrawing the bill would end the protests, they were badly mistaken – again.

Protesters are now demanding accountability for the police that stormed subway stations last week, indiscriminately beating and pepper-spraying passengers that were not resisting, without ever even attempting to identify whether or not they were involved in the protests. Regardless of whether any of the passengers were involved in any protests – even if they had committed crimes – the police do not have the right to beat and pepper spray anyone that is not resisting. The protesters demand for accountability for police brutality – and there have been numerous instances of it documented clearly on video – is entirely reasonable. MTR, the company that operates the commuter trains in Hong Kong, must release the video captured on security cameras in the subway stations. Why refuse? Are they afraid that the video will reveal just how brutal and out of control the police were that day? Are they protecting the police? If not, then release the raw, unedited video. You can bet that if the video showed that the police acted reasonably, it would be released immediately. MTR’s refusal to release it shows that the HK government has something to hide. The protesters skepticism towards an “investigation” conducted by any agency or organization associated with the government, like the IPCC, is well-founded. The HK police have already tried to whitewash, justify, and coverup the brutality that was been committed by their comrades (we use the word intentionally).

More, um, enthusiastic members of the protest movement have continued to vandalize train stations and other infrastructure and to aggressively confront the police. We understand their thinking that peaceful protest is ineffective. They may even be correct. But without a doubt, the CCP propaganda machine will (continue) to do their best to turn public opinion against the protesters. The pro-democracy movement must be careful not to lose its base of support. On the other hand, the CCP’s pet media has been painting the movement as violent and unreasonable from the beginning, so it actually may not make any difference in that respect.

Either way, we hate to see violence continuing in Hong Kong. Many people have been injured, some quite seriously. One of the things that motivates the protesters targeting of MTR and demanding release of the security camera video from the train stations is their belief that some protesters were murdered by the police. After seeing video of the vicious beatings perpetrated by the police on the protesters, it is easy to understand why they think some might have been killed. But to be fair, some protesters have also attacked police when they’ve had a tactical advantage. We hope that both sides would step back from violent confrontations.

The question that remains, of course, is what is the end-game? Will Beijing back down, and allow for free and fair, truly democratic elections, in Hong Kong? It is exceedingly unlikely. Will the Hong Kong government allow for an in-depth, independent investigation of the Hong Kong police? Doubtful – but perhaps not completely out of the question. Will the protesters that have been arrested be released without charges? Carrie Lam said no, so probably not. Will Carrie Lam resign? She has said she won’t, but given that she has said she would like to, it is possible.

Where, and how, does it end?

Do You Hear the People Sing?

This is beautiful.

Students sing “Do You Hear the People Sing” over the Chinese national anthem

Music is powerful. Hearing Hong Kong school students sing the famous song “Do You Hear the People Sing” from the musical Les Misérables over the top of the Chinese national anthem sends a powerful message.

 Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?

Then join in the fight
That will give you the right to be free!

The “One Country, Two Systems” agreement ends in 2047, less than 28 years from now. These young people understand what is at stake for them when Hong Kong completely loses its independent status. No more rule of law. No more elections – not even the Beijing-rigged elections that they have now. No more free speech, and no more right to assemble peacefully. They will lose their status as citizens, and becomes subjects of China’s central government, with their lives held at the whim of the CCP.

These young people, with all of their lives ahead of them, are the ones with the most to lose when Hong Kong loses its freedom. The world needs to stand with them in solidarity. Free Hong Kong!

China Daily: Protesters Have No Excuse to Continue Violence

Just as we predicted in our previous post and our post from last night, Beijing has started its propaganda machine on ending protests because the extradition bill has been withdrawn.

Hong Kong is expected to be free of any more violence, including rioting, now that the special administrative region’s chief executive has withdrawn what was a well-intended bill to amend the extradition law

Chinadaily.com.cn

Of course, as events have shown over and over, much of the violence has been instigated by the Hong Kong police, so whether or not there is any violence at protests in the future depends as much on how the police behave as it does on how the protesters behave.

As we’ve said, the pro-democracy movement needs to play this very carefully. If there is any violence at future protests, you can count on the CCP’s pet media to blame it on the protesters, trying to discredit the movement. After withdrawing the extradition bill (which was really the easiest of the protesters’ demands to meet), the CCP and the HK government are trying to claim that they are being reasonable.

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