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China Daily News

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

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.

Extradition Bill Withdrawn. What’s Next?

So, as we reported last night, the extradition bill that was the initial impetus for the protests in Hong Kong has been withdrawn by Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam.

That’s excellent news, but where does that leave the protest movement? Let’s take a look.

Of the Five Demands that the protesters have made, one has been met. What about the others? Here is what we know right now about any progress in meeting them.

  • An independent investigation into the actions of the police. In a press conference, Lam did address this, saying that the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Council) will investigate. Protesters have criticized the IPCC as being dominated by pro-government members, doubting that the investigation will be independent. It is unlikely that an IPPC investigation will be acceptable to pro-democracy protesters.
  • Stop characterizing the protests as “riots.” This demand is important because if the protests are called “riots” and the protesters are called “rioters” then those that were arrested during the protests face more serious charges and harsher punishment. We have not seen or heard anything from the HK government regarding this demand.
  • Release of all protesters that have been arrested and dropping of all charges against them. Again, we have not seen or heard anything regarding this demand. [UPDATE: Lam said in her press conference, “we cannot accept letting criminals go under the existing legal system.” So, the HK government will not accept this demand.
  • Resignation of Carrie Lam and universal suffrage for the Hong Kong people for chief executive and other legislative and government positions. Nothing has been formally said about this, either, but it would not be at all surprising if Carrie Lam steps down soon. [UPDATE: however, in her press conference, Lam said, “My personal stance has made known for months, my team and I will remain and will tackle the problems, with the priority on stopping violence.”] As for the demand for universal suffrage, we regard this as the most important of the protesters’ demands for Hong Kong’s future, and the one least likely to be acceptable to Beijing.

Withdrawal of the extradition bill is an important first step toward a free and prosperous Hong Kong, but it is by no means the end of the road. Many pro-Beijing, business, and establishment leaders will say that the reason for the protests has been removed, so the pro-democracy movement should stop the protests, and Hong Kong should return to “normal.” The CCP state-run media will portray any continuing protests as unreasonable (well, they’ve portrayed the protests as violent and unreasonable all along). The pro-democracy movement should continue to protests for all of their demands to be met, but they must do so carefully, being mindful of public opinion. Right now, the protesters have broad support, both within Hong Kong and internationally. Loss of that support will hand Beijing the final victory, even if the protesters won the initial fight over the extradition bill.

Hong Kong Extradition Bill to be Formally Withdrawn

This is incredibly important, if it is true. The Hong Kong Free Press is reporting that Carrie Lam will formally withdraw the extradition bill. This bill is the initial cause of the protests that have convulsed Hong Kong for over three months.

If the bill is formally withdrawn, the Hong Kong government will meet one of the five primary demands of the protesters, and it could pave the way for negotiations on the other four of the protesters’ five demands.

That said, if the bill is withdrawn, look for Beijing and the HK government to pressure the protesters to relent. If the protests continue anyway, many people, both in Hong Kong and internationally, will tend to view the protesters as unreasonable. The protest movement must play this very carefully, or they will lose the public support that they currently enjoy. Beijing may be counting on more radical elements in the protest movement to overplay their hand, alienating their base of support. That must not happen if the protest movement wants to effect lasting change in Hong Kong.

In any case, if the bill is withdrawn, it does appear to be a victory for the protest movement – but let’s not celebrate too early. This is an early report, and it is likely that Beijing has other plans in effect to disperse and blunt the effect of the protest movement.

Must-Watch CBC Interview of Anson Chan

The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) has posted a fascinating interview with Anson Chan, former head of the civil service in the Hong Kong government, on YouTube.

CBC YouTube video

As the headline on the video says, Mrs. Chan believes that Carrie Lam has “lost all will to govern.” The government of Hong Kong certainly has done little-to-nothing to address the protests constructively, so it seems that Mrs. Chan’s observation is spot on.

You may have seen this video of Mrs. Chan being accosted by two pro-Beijing people on the streets of Hong Kong.

Her class in the face of these rude confrontations is incredible. She is very admirable.

Austin Bay on StrategyPage: “On Point: Hong Kong Moves From Protests to Civil Unrest As China Threatens Intervention”

Austin Bay has posted an article on the Hong Kong protests with observations from Michael Yon, who has been present at many of the protests, observing and reporting.

Police overreaction and treating protestors as criminals enraged Hong Kongers (the name many prefer). The escalation process began as protests “drifted into general civil unrest where the obvious majority of people were just sick of the police and government in totality. The general population seems to view the government as illegitimate.” Yon cited the July 1 incident as an early indicator of this sentiment. On that date, protestors broke into Hong Kong’s legislative council offices. He witnessed the event firsthand.

Austin Bay at StrategyPage

“I’ve been in more than 40 protests so far and can say with certainty that the mood becomes more violent week by week.”

Michael Yon, quoted in StrategyPage article

Austin Bay’s article and Michael Yon’s first-hand observations are in line with our observations of Chinese and Hong Kong media reports. The recent police brutality and complete intransigence by the Chinese and Hong Kong governments does not bode well. Rather than being cowed into submission, the protesters are becoming more and more angry and willing to physically confront the police in situations where they have an advantage of numbers. The police are likewise becoming more violent and out-of-control, with several instances of obvious police brutality documented in video recordings.

Bay’s article concludes:

Beijing must de-escalate the Hong Kong crisis. If the regime resorts to force and kills hundreds, if not thousands, of Hong Kong citizens, President Donald Trump will use that heinous act to unite the world against communist China.

Auston Bay on StrategyPage

The question is how to de-escalate. The protesters do not trust Beijing nor the HK government, so concrete, verifiable steps need to be taken that will satisfy the protesters. As we said in our post from yesterday, Beijing and the HK government must carry out the measures spelled out in the protesters’ Five Demands.

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