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Posts published in “Government Disinformation/Fake News”

Who Ya Gonna Believe? Me or Your Lyin’ Eyes?

The title is a pretty well-known phrase in the U.S. often attributed to comedian and film star Groucho Marx, but actually appears to have originally said by his lesser-known (but still famous) brother, Chico Marx, in the film “Duck Soup.” (So the phrase probably actually originated with the scriptwriter for the movie, or perhaps it is even older than the movie, and it’s true origins are unknown).

This little saying is a really succinct form of the gaslighting concept that we wrote about yesterday. It’s a tactic employed again and again by the Hong Kong police – deceiving the public and shamelessly lying to journalists, denying the obvious reality right in front of our eyes. They did it yesterday, denying the obvious targeting of the Hong Kong mosque by the water cannon.

Today, they did the same, but even more egregiously. Listen to Swalikh Mohammed, Superintendent of Cybersecurity for the Hong Kong police, say that the police used the water cannon on a small group of peaceful, non-violent people in front of the mosque to “protect the mosque.”

To protect the mosque? From what? No one was attacking the mosque; the people were just standing in front of the mosque, minding their own business. And if they were protecting the mosque, why did the police (there were several police vehicles accompanying the water cannon truck) immediately drive away after spraying the irritant blue dye all over the front steps and grounds of the mosque?

Do the Hong Kong police think everyone observing what happened and listening to what they say is stupid or blind? It’s obvious nonsense. They obviously don’t fear any repercussions for their brutality and lying. It cannot stand. The Hong Kong police must face sanctions and punishment for their crimes.

Recurring Themes: Brutality and Gaslighting

Frankly, it’s getting a little tiresome to write so many articles about the Hong Kong police force’s brutality against the people of Hong Kong. We could post about some incident of brutality or another literally every day – even multiple times a day. But we really feel like we are left with no choice but to continue. If the world stops paying attention, the situation in Hong Kong very likely would be even worse than it already is. Even though this site doesn’t get many readers, it’s our mission to highlight important news from Chinese communities around the world, and we will continue to do so. What is happening in Hong Kong is one of the most important things happening in the world right now, so we have to write about it.

The brutality and unprofessionalism of the Hong Kong police has been well documented by several respected observers and news organizations: Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the New York Times, and many others, as well as in dozens, even hundreds, of videos taken by professional and amateur videographers. With cell phone cameras in the hands of just about everyone on the street these days, incidents of police brutality are almost certain to be recorded by someone. In press conferences, the Hong Kong police have been confronted by these videos showing their brutality many times. Not surprisingly, the police have been retaliating against journalists, targeting them for violence and harassment. Like this:

The police officer threw a tear gas grenade directly at reporters covering the Hong Kong demonstrations, hitting or nearly hitting one female reporter in the head, then the police just boarded their busses and left. What was the purpose of that, if not just to harass journalists?

The oppression of organized religion by the CCP is also well-known. Was the CCP behind today’s incident where the oldest mosque in Hong Kong was targeted by a police water cannon spraying blue dye and irritants? Or was it just more brutality, hostility, and unprofessionalism by the Hong Kong police? Whatever the case, a small group of people was standing in front of the mosque, not doing anything illegal, not violent, when a police water cannon truck stopped in front of the mosque, and twice sprayed the front steps and the small group of people.

In this video from above, you can clearly see the small group of people in front on the mosque, then the water cannon truck stopping and firing the water cannon at the people, deliberately dousing the people there and splashing the steps and grounds of the mosque with blue dye and irritant chemicals – and then, like in the case where the police targeted the journalists with a tear gas grenade, they just drove away. It serves no legitimate purpose; it’s just harassment and terrorism.

Making the situation worse was the gaslighting by the Hong Kong police.

As anyone can see by watching these videos, there was nothing accidental about the water cannon being used on the small, peaceful group of people in front of the mosque. It was deliberate targeting of people doing nothing illegal, nothing violent.

In this case, even the tone-deaf, obtuse, stupid Hong Kong government realized that the police had gone too far, and they were forced to apologize:

Carrie Lam had to make an appearance at the mosque to try to smooth things over.

While the Hong Kong police brutalized Hong Kongers, the pro-democracy demonstrators and other ordinary Hong Kong people gathered to clean up the mess that the police made:

Hours later, continuing their gaslighting of the people of Hong Kong, some police showed up at the mosque to stage a photo op and PR stunt to show how concerned they were by “cleaning up” the blue dye that had already been cleaned up. According to reports, they were there for about five minutes:

This kind of gaslighting by the Hong Kong police, denying obvious reality and daring anyone to say anything about it, is a common tactic when confronted with their brutality and law-breaking. Here a Hong Kong police officer says he works for the U.S. FBI when asked for his identification:

A couple of weeks ago, Vasco Williams, a senior officer of the HK police said in a press conference in front of dozens of journalists that a video of the police kicking a member of the “Protect Our Children” group in a yellow vest just showed them kicking a “yellow object.”

What he said was so ridiculous and stupid that he had to walk it back later, but he continued to insist that the police had done nothing wrong, even in the face of video evidence of the officers kicking a prostrate, unresisting person – that is not even a protester!

Throughout the entire 20 weeks (at this writing) of pro-democracy demonstrations, these things come up over and over again. The Hong Kong police brutalize the people and then deny, obfuscate, and outright lie about it. They are gaslighting the people of Hong Kong and the world. This outrageous behavior cannot stand. They must be held accountable.

Hong Kong Police Infiltrated by Mainland People’s Armed Police?

We have speculated here on China Daily News, as have many others, that the Hong Kong police have been infiltrated by People’s Armed Police from the mainland, and perhaps are being directly run by the People’s Armed Police now. It is possible that some regular Hong Kong police have been supplanted by People’s Armed Police officers and agents. The Hong Kong police leadership could be serving just as figureheads, with real control exercised by People’s Armed Police (the CCP, essentially) from behind the scenes.

It hasn’t made much sense that one of the most respected police forces in Asia would suddenly become out-of-control, brutal thugs completely disregarding the law and the rights of the Hong Kong people. Infiltration by People’s Armed Police would explain that.

In press conferences, the Hong Kong police leadership has denied that mainland People’s Armed Police or People’s Liberation Army units are embedded in the Hong Kong police force.

Today, however, more evidence has come to light that there are, in fact, mainland police in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong people usually speak Cantonese, a language spoken widely in southern China, including in Hong Kong. Mandarin is spoken in mainland China, and originates in northern China. They do not sound the same. This writer has studied Mandarin for over ten years, and it is pretty clear that the police in this video are speaking Mandarin. Native Mandarin and Cantonese speakers viewing the video have said the same.

What is actually happening in Hong Kong? Hong Kong police are also infiltrating the pro-democracy movement, and have admitted doing so, to arrest “extremely violent protesters.” There is clear evidence of it happening, like this Hong Kong police identity card dropped by a “protester.”

So how much of the violence and vandalism has actually been committed by CCP infiltrators and agitators posing as members of the pro-democracy movement in order to blame the demonstrators and turn public opinion away from them? At this point, who can say? Infiltration and espionage have long been a favored tactic of communists, going back to the earliest days of the CCP in its fight against the Nationalists.

The CCP’s pet media lapdogs, China Daily, Xinhua News, CCTV, Global Daily, etc. incessantly call the pro-democracy demonstrators, “rioters,” and show lurid images of violence and vandalism supposedly committed by them. But given that we know that the demonstrations have been infiltrated by the Hong Kong police, and the Hong Kong police have been infiltrated – or even taken over – by the CCP-controlled People’s Armed Police, is there really any doubt that CCP agents provocateur have also infiltrated the demonstrations? Who is really behind the violence and vandalism?

Full House in Shanghai for NBA Pre-Season Game

Well, this has got to be a little embarrassing for the CCP…

On the other hand, we all know that the CCP is incapable of feeling shame, so maybe not.

In any case, all the fire and brimstone cast down on the NBA and other companies by the CCP, as usual, is just a lot of hot air. The actions of Chinese people tell the real story. The CCP can bluster and bully all they want, but they don’t represent the majority of the Chinese people. Only around 6.5% of the Chinese people are CCP members. The CCP has an outsized voice, because it controls the Chinese media, but U.S. and international companies doing business in China need to realize that if a product is popular there, the Chinese people will get it, one way or another. Companies don’t have to, and should not, kowtow to the CCP’s demands. Have moral courage and be smart.

More on Hong Kong Police Brutality

The New York Times has produced this video report on the Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrations and the brutal police tactics being used to oppress them. Please watch. It is extremely important that the world see clearly what is happening. Pressure must be put on the Hong Kong government and police to protect and uphold the rights of the Hong Kong people.

Amnesty International has also documented numerous instances of violations of human rights by Beijing and police brutality in Hong Kong. Human Rights Watch has also urged the Hong Kong police to “exercise restraint.”

Numerous videos, like this one, have also documented without ambiguity, brutal and unwarranted beatings and use of pepper spray by the Hong Kong police:

Earlier today, Hong Kong police beat and arrested a volunteer from the “Protect Our Kids” group – an organization that tries to mediate between the police and protesters. Although, the video isn’t really clear (mostly because HK police shine their flashlights into the camera to hide what they are doing), it is clear that officers surrounded and beat a person in a yellow shirt. Spokespeople for the Protect Our Kids group later said it was a member of their organization.

We are infuriated by this incident of police brutality. Our member did not resist arrest nor in any way attack the police,” said preacher Roy Chan, also a member of the Campaign. “We have contacted our member’s legal representative, and learned that his gums and teeth are bleeding and that he is experiencing dizziness.

Protect Our Kids member Roy Chan, quoted in Hong Kong Free Press

But as usual, the Hong Kong police have denied any wrongdoing, and claimed that the video only showed a “yellow object.”

This is exactly why the pro-democracy demonstrators do not trust the police and insist on an independent investigation.

Time and time again, the Hong Kong police have brutally attacked protesters; it has been clearly documented on video and by eyewitness accounts. But when confronted with the evidence, the police shamelessly lie and claim that the attacks were appropriate use of force and were completely justified. It’s horrifying and maddening. Police are supposed to protect people’s rights, uphold the law, act professionally, and behave with honor and integrity. In most places that claim to uphold human rights, and in most circumstances, they do. But the Hong Kong police, once regarded and respected as one of Asia’s best police forces, have completely lost control and have lost all sense of honor and integrity. How can this police officer, Acting Senior Superintendent (Operations) Vasco Williams, and the many other Hong Kong police officers that have done so, sit in front of journalists and lie with no sense of shame? He asks “would any police officer be so stupid as to assault anybody in public?” Yes, Officer Williams, they absolutely would be so stupid. It’s been documented over and over and over again, and it’s enfuriating.

The world must stand with Hong Kong.

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.

HK Police Inciting Violent Confrontations?

We cannot vouch for the veracity of this picture. We saw it earlier today, but did not post it, because it was almost unbelievable. Now, others have seen and posted it, so we will repost it, without commenting on its reliability. If this picture is authentic, then it appears that a man armed with a pistol (some are claiming it is a Glock of a type used by the HK police) is igniting and throwing a “petrol bomb.” Again, if it is authentic, the residents of HK are not allowed to own firearms, so the only other possibility is that it is a member of the HK police or a CCP infiltrator. The only purpose for that would be to incite more violence and have it blamed on protesters.

On the other hand, we have commented earlier about real-looking, but fake, weapons being used in the protests. Without being able to see the entire pistol closely, it is impossible for us to say that this is an actual HK police service pistol or a fake. That said, it doesn’t seem likely any protester would carry a fake pistol when it would just increase chances of being shot by the police.

It is entirely believeable that CCP infiltrators are throwing these petrol bombs and performing other acts of extreme violence in order to blame the protesters and facilitate the CCP disinformation campaign again Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists.

The CCP’s Disinformation

We’ve written and posted numerous articles on the Hong Kong protests since ChinaDailyNews opened August 10, 2019 – undoubtedly more than on any other topic. It is our sincere hope that in the future, Hong Kong will achieve true freedom, and we won’t be writing about protests in Hong Kong, but rather, about the freedom, success, and prosperity of Hong Kong and its citizens.

Until then, we will – must – continue writing about Hong Kong and its troubled relationship with the Beijing government.

One aspect of that troubled relationship is the disinformation – lies – promulgated by Chinese state-controlled media sources about any number of topics, including Hong Kong and the protesters. The disinformation serves several purposes: 1) to cover up misdeeds by the Chinese government, the CCP, and its agents; 2) to attempt to discredit opposition and blunt criticism of China and the CCP; 3) to steer public opinion, both domestically and internationally, in favor of China, the CCP, and their policies; 4) failing that, to confuse people and muddy the waters, so that people don’t know what the truth of an issue is; 5) and many other purposes, no doubt.

In raising this, we want to make a clear – very clear – distinction between the Chinese government/Chinese Communist Party and the people of China. In no way are we saying that the people of China – the laobaixing as they are known in Mandarin Chinese – are involved in any way with the CCP’s disinformation.

Nevertheless, that disinformation is pervasive and rampant across many media sources and taking many forms. Let’s take a look at some from just today.

British consulate staff member (and Hong Kong citizen), Simon Cheng, has been detained in China for several days. The consulate had heard nothing about him until today, when the Global Times Editor-in-Chief said he was detained for visiting a prostitute.

Could that be true? Certainly, but his family says that is isn’t.

Who to believe? Well, given the Chinese media’s track record, and the additional detail provided in the Hong Kong Free Press article, it is a whole lot easier to believe Simon Cheng’s family than the editor of the Global Times. Even if Cheng was with a woman, it could very well be an instance of the honeypot trap.

In 2009, the British MI5 distributed a 14-page document to hundreds of British banks, businesses, and financial institutions, titled “The Threat from Chinese Espionage”. It described a wide-ranging Chinese effort to blackmail Western business people over sexual relationships. The document explicitly warns that Chinese intelligence services are trying to cultivate “long-term relationships” and have been known to “exploit vulnerabilities such as sexual relationships … to pressurise individuals to co-operate with them.”[2]

Wikipedia article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_trapping

Until Simon Cheng is released, we don’t know his side of the story, and even then, there might be more going on in this story than it appears. Little that Chinese state-controlled media says about anything controversial can be taken at face value.

More evidence of that fact appeared today, when Google announced that 210 YouTube accounts connected to China’s disinformation campaign aimed at the Hong Kong protests had been removed.

Earlier this week, as part of our ongoing efforts to combat coordinated influence operations, we disabled 210 channels on YouTube when we discovered channels in this network behaved in a coordinated manner while uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. This discovery was consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter.

Google blog post on YouTube account removal

We had posted previously on Twitter and Facebook removing phony accounts; now Google says that YouTube accounts were also a part of the CCP’s disinformation campaign. It isn’t surprising at all. Take everything said on any controversial topic by Chinese state-run media not just with a grain of salt, take it with a whole pound of salt.

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