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Posts published in “Politics”

China Gets a Lesson on the Streisand Effect

One of the emergent behaviors that has come about as a result of the rise of the Internet and social media is the “Streisand effect.” If you haven’t heard of it, this is how Wikipedia defines it:

The Streisand effect is a phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.[1] It is an example of psychological reactance, wherein once people are aware that some information is being kept from them, their motivation to access and spread it is increased.[2]

Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

On October 4th, 2019, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey posted a tweet that said “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” That’s all. A short, simple tweet in support of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. It didn’t disparage or insult China or the Chinese leadership in any way.

Despite the fact that the tweet itself is basically innocuous and was posted by someone that is pretty much unknown outside of Houston and hardcore basketball fans, China (the CCP) went crazy over it, cancelling appearances by NBA players in China, citing it as evidence of US meddling in China’s affairs, and severing ties with the Houston Rockets, among many other completely over the-top reactions to what should have been a very, very minor incident. If China had simply ignored the tweet, it would have amounted to nothing, and by now it would have been largely forgotten.

But instead, the CCP turned it into an international firestorm, forcing the NBA commissioner to issue a statement that was a half-apology that then had to be walked back after he got criticized in the U.S. media. NBA stars were asked for comment and subsequently made fools of themselves. Chinese Internet trolls (五毛党 – the wu mao dang – literally translated as the “50-cent party”) even issued death threats over this innocuous tweet, saying it threatened China’s sovereignty and disrespected the Chinese people. Joe Tsai, owner of the Brooklyn Nets, issued a widely-ridiculed statement “explaining” why the Chinese were so sensitive to the tweet.

And in the end, what was the result of all of the uproar? More people than ever in the United States and internationally are aware of what is happening in Hong Kong and support the people of Hong Kong in their fight for human rights and democracy. At a Brooklyn Nets basketball game at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York, hundreds of people wore black Stand With Hong Kong tee shirts and face masks mocking Carrie Lam’s ridiculous ban on face masks in Hong Kong:

In addition, more and more people are aware of and speaking out against the CCP’s other abuses of human rights. At the same game, demonstrators protested China’s long-standing occupation and subjugation of Tibet:

The backlash against China’s completely over-the-top reaction to Daryl Morey’s tweet perhaps doesn’t exactly fit the Wikipedia definition of the Streisand effect, but the principle is the same: attempts to suppress information – in this case, the CCP’s attempt to suppress support of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement by anyone associated with the NBA – just leads to more and more people wanting to know why it is happening and being interested in it. A minor incident that would have been nothing quickly turns into a major, widely known and discussed issue.

The CCP’s over-reaction to Daryl Morey’s tweet and the backlash to it is an example not just of the Streisand effect, but also of an “own-goal.” Here’s another similarly embarrassing one:

Japanese butt own goal

The CCP has an incredibly thin skin, constantly over-reacting to minor slights and insults, which shows their lack of maturity and self-confidence. Will they learn a lesson about the Streisand effect and own goals from this incident? Doubtful.

Men and Women in Black

Anyone that has been following the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong knows that the demonstrators often wear black clothes as part of their unofficial uniform. The Hong Kong police know it too, and often target people wearing black clothes for beatings, pepper spray, and arrest – whether those people are actually taking part in a demonstration or not. Undercover police also wear black to blend in with the demonstrators.

So, after Carrie Lam’s ridiculous ban on masks had no effect whatsoever on reducing the number of demonstrators nor on reducing violence during the demonstrations (not surprising at all, since at least some of the violence is instigated by those same undercover police), the CCP has taken another step to oppress the people of Hong Kong in a way that will no doubt severely impact the pro-democracy movement – they’ve banned export of black clothes from China to Hong Kong!

By taking this extreme measure, the CCP thinks they will no doubt shut down – or at least very nearly shut down – the pro-democracy movement. But here at China Daily News, we’ve heard from reliable sources (ok, really no sources at all) that the pro-democracy demonstrators will retaliate by switching their black gear for this:

Image result for tie-dyed shirt democracy

Hah! Take that, CCP! What color are you going to ban next? All of them?

[Yes, this post is intended to be sarcastic, in case it wasn’t clear.]

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.

The Love of Money

Have you heard the phrase “the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil?” That phrase comes from the book of 1st Timothy in the Bible. Whether or not you believe the Bible, the wisdom in that verse and the preceding verse are undeniable.

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

1st Timothy 6:9,10a New International Version

We are seeing the reality of that all over the world right now. Several companies, from Apple to Blizzard Entertainment to the NBA to Google to Vans, have kowtowed to the CCP in order to continue stay in the good graces of the brutal, totalitarian Chinese Communist Party, so that they can continue to sell products and services in China.

We are reminded of another verse full of wisdom:

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Matthew 16:26 New International Version

There is nothing wrong with making money and being successful through honest hard work, risk taking, smart investing, and so on. Money is not evil, per se. But the love of moneygreed – is evil, because leads to bad decisions and moral compromises that endanger not only the greedy person or organization, but also the many, many other people affected by those bad decisions and moral compromises made for the love of money.

Selling out to the evils of the Chinese Communist Party, being willfully blind to the horrors it has perpetrated on humanity, are a prime example of this. Not only is it wrong morally, but in the long run, it is bad business. By at first kowtowing to the CCP, then backtracking and saying they support free speech, the NBA has alienated both their Chinese fan base, and their U.S. and international fan base. The same kind of thing is happening to other U.S. companies that kowtow to the CCP’s bullying. There is a price to be paid for being complicit in clear evil.

The NBA has said that they support free speech, and we respect that. Still, fans are being removed from pre-season games for showing support for Hong Kong and the Hong Kong people’s fight for freedom and human rights.

Let’s hope that the NBA and all American companies realize that they must not give in to greed and stand up against evil and for good. It is the moral and smart thing to do.

One More Step in the Right Direction

The U.S. needs to do much more of this:

The Chinese understand their own government quite well. That is why wealthy Chinese move their money out of China and buy real estate in Canada and the United States. Cities along the West Coast and a few others (e.g. Toronto) have had a major influx of Chinese buying expensive (multi-million-dollar) homes, usually paying cash for them.

So, restricting visas may have some impact to those wealthy (and influential) Chinese, and at the very least, sends a message that the U.S. is paying attention to what is happening in Xinjiang.

The Trump administration has also discussed limits/regulations on U.S. capital being invested in Chinese markets and companies. We think such limits and regulations should also be put in place. China’s economic rise was largely financed by capital from western countries, Japan, and Taiwan investing in China after the “opening up.” That rise was unequivocally good for the Chinese people. But there is no good reason for U.S. capital to continue to fund oppression by the CCP under Xi Jinping’s increasingly totalitarian, nationalistic, and closed rule.

Unmasking of Hong Kong: The People Say No

As anyone with any sense predicted (obviously that excludes Carrie Lam and the Executive Council) the ban on masks has just led to more protests and more violence, include a 14-year-old boy being shot in the leg by an off-duty police officer.

Within hours of the ban being introduced, there were massive protests involving thousands of people – most all wearing masks.

It is just unfathomable just how stupid the Hong Kong government and police are. This wasn’t a hard call to make. Everyone knew this would happen – except apparently, Carrie Lam. Once again, she’s proven how out of touch she is. She doesn’t understand the thinking and motivations of other people at all. At this point, the whole Hong Kong executive council, starting with Lam, should resign in disgrace. At every turn, they’ve just made matters worse. Can they really not understand that more oppression only leads to more resistance? Can they really not understand that more harsh tactics and brutality by the police just leads to more violence from the protesters as they fight back? The people of Hong Kong will not be intimidated into silence – that’s clear to anyone observing what’s been happening that has any critical thinking ability and an open mind.

The pro-democracy demonstrations and protests will not end until the Hong Kong government responds in a positive way to the Five Demands, or the CCP kills thousands or tens of thousands in the streets of Hong Kong. What will the CCP choose to do?

A Day of Mourning

Yesterday, of course, was the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. In Beijing, the CCP held a huge military parade, complete with goose-stepping soldiers and military hardware, to celebrate its “achievements,” as totalitarian states often do.

Meanwhile, pro-democracy demonstrators held peaceful marches and protests throughout Hong Kong, that later (as everyone knew would happen) turned violent. For the first time since the demonstrations started around four months ago, the Hong Kong police shot a protester with a potentially lethal bullet (not a beanbag round or rubber bullet). The victim of the shooting was just 18 years old, still a high school student.

The failures of the CCP, the Hong Kong government, and the Hong Kong police in handling this entire series of events, starting with the introduction of the extradition bill several months ago up until today with the potentially fatal shooting of a young high school student, cannot be overstated. They are arrogant, ignorant, stupid, lack creativity, and refuse to admit mistakes or take responsibility. On a day that anyone with any sense knew was going to tense and probably violent, Carrie Lam jetted off to Beijing to take part in the 70th anniversary celebrations there – just further cementing in everyone’s minds that she is totally a puppet of Xi Jinping and highlighting how uncaring and completely out of touch with the situation she is. Over and over again – including today after the shooting of the young student – the Hong Kong police have refused to ever admit mistakes or to any brutality whatsoever. Over and over again, their mistakes and brutality have been documented on video and by eyewitness accounts. But when confronted with this clear evidence, they shamelessly deny any wrongdoing and shamelessly lie in front of the journalists’ cameras for the entire world to see. The CCP and Hong Kong government have no answers, other than to ratchet up the violence day after day, trying to intimidate the population of Hong Kong into subservience to the CCP’s oppressive, totalitarian regime. It isn’t working.

The founding of the fascist CCP regime responsible for more deaths than any other in the history of the human race is nothing to celebrate. But the oppression and violence of the CCP isn’t just a matter of history (as they want you to believe), it is constant and pervasive, happening today in the South China Sea, where China bullies its neighbors over rights to resources and expands its military presence; in Tibet where the unique Tibetan culture is being demolished; in Xinjiang province, where the Uyghur people are being forced into concentration camps for re-education and worse; in Hong Kong, where brave freedom fighters are facing down the might of the CCP; and in mainland China, where most people do their best to stay out of the CCP’s way so they don’t get “invited to tea” with the police.

No, the anniversary of the subjugation of China by the Chinese Communist Party is a day of mourning for the world. Once again, the Chinese people deserve a much better government than the one they unfortunately have.

Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Bill Protests and China’s “Legal” System

As most everyone knows, the current protests in Hong Kong, which have been running for over 17 weeks now, were first organized as peaceful demonstrations against a bill introduced for consideration by the Hong Long legislature that would allow Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to mainland China for prosecution in some circumstances.

Why is that so concerning to the people of Hong Kong? This embedded tweet and the article by The Guardian make it clear.

Australian citizen living in the U.S. and former Chinese diplomat, Yang Hengjun, was detained in China last January and has been held incommunicado since then, with no contact allowed with the Australian embassy, lawyers, or his family.

He is allowed to shower once a week, and has access to a small enclosure outside his cell – with access to fresh air and natural light – for one hour, twice a day.
He is able to drink water when he needs it, and can purchase additional food, including fruit, biscuits, and chocolate.
He shares his cell with two other prisoners. The lights are on in the cell at all times.
Yang is taken from his cell once a week for interrogation, for up to four hours at a time. His hands and feet are shackled with heavy chains during questioning.
Investigators from the ministry of state security have reportedly told him he is shackled because of the seriousness of the crimes he is alleged to have committed. He has been told he potentially faces the death penalty.

The Guardian – emphasis by China Daily News

Yang is an Australian citizen, but the CCP seized him and holds him incommunicado on made-up charges of espionage, with no way to defend himself. The charges are completely motivated by Yang’s criticism of the CCP and pro-democracy writing. He is being tortured to “admit” his “crimes.”

This is how the CCP treats people, especially those that are Chinese – no matter where they reside – that criticize it. The people of Hong Kong are very well aware of this – some booksellers in China were subjected to the same kind of treatment. Is there any doubt at all that political dissidents in Hong Kong would be even more likely to disappear – sometimes permanently – should that extradition bill become law?

On the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, no one should forget or ignore the true nature of the Chinese Communist Party – the political party and government directly responsible for the deaths of more people than any other in human history – perhaps ten or more times as many as the Nazis in Germany. CCP sympathizers like to say those things are all in the past, and the CCP is no longer like that. The case of Yang Hengjun, and many others, prove it’s a lie. The CCP is every bit as brutal and tyrannical today as it ever has been.

More Unbelievable Hong Kong Police Brutality

This kind of thing is becoming pretty much an every day occurrence, sadly.

Agnes Chow Ting, one of the leaders of Hong Kong’s Demosisto, a pro-democracy organization founded by students, including Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and others, posted this on Twitter today (in Japanese).

The video shows someone having a discussion with Hong Kong police officers. The discussion appears somewhat heated, but peaceful. The person is not violent in any way, but suddenly one of the officers sprays him directly in the face with pepper spray.

What isn’t clear in the video, but is said in Ages Chow’s post, is that the person that was sprayed is Eddie Chu, a lawmaker in Hong Kong!

Translated (by Google):

While Hong Kong legislator Eddie Chu was discussing police power abuse with police, another police officer put pepper spray on his face. Violent response to peaceful discussions. This is the Hong Kong police.

Agnes Chow – automatic translation by Google

Imagine the outrage if the police anywhere in the U.S. pepper-sprayed a lawmaker (state or U.S. representative or senator) without provocation. The police officer would be almost certainly fired and probably prosecuted. The police in Hong Kong are out of control. An independent investigation of the Hong Kong police is absolutely required.

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