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Posts tagged as “hong kong government”

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?

Unmasking Hong Kong – updated

UPDATE: The anti-mask regulations have been enacted. Carrie Lam has learned nothing, and she simply is unable to understand the effects that her actions will have. She clearly does not understand the thinking or motivations of other people.

We hope the law can create a deterrent effect.

Carrie Lam, cited in SCMP reporting on Lam’s press conference

We think the law will not have just the opposite effect and predict that there will be more protests with people continuing to wear masks. Hong Kong is becoming more and more a police state. People with money in Hong Kong markets and businesses would be well-advised to move their investments elsewhere.

There are reports today from various sources saying that the Hong Kong legislature will pass regulations banning people from wearing masks at protests.

Of course, the Hong Kong police are behind this repressive and ill-advised scheme. They’ve completely lost their minds.

It is common in Asia for people to wear masks when they have colds or for other reasons. The new regulations will allow the police to make people remove their masks whenever an officer asks them to and completely bans wearing masks at large gatherings. Will the police stop thousands and thousands of ordinary Hong Kong people to make them remove their masks? Will they arrest thousands and thousands of people even at completely peaceful demonstrations?

Of course, the Hong Kong people will have their say about the matter.

Note the strobe lights on the police helmets, used to try to prevent video of what the police are doing.

This is a great idea!

As we’ve said here before, the Hong Kong government has no idea how to handle the protests. They want to hold “dialogs,” but they won’t listen to or consider the pro-democracy demonstrators’ demands, so the dialogs are useless. The police only know how to ratchet up the violence to higher and higher levels, even to the point of actually shooting demonstrators, trying to intimidate them into silence. It isn’t working, and just makes the demonstrators more and more angry.

The Hong Kong government, and by extension the CCP, has to realize the until they are actually willing to negotiate in good faith (not their usual “say one thing and do another” negotiating tactics, i.e. lying to get what they want), the protests won’t end. The police force has to be brought under control, police brutality must be independently and fairly investigated, and officers perpetrating acts of brutality must be arrested and prosecuted. The police must follow the law, wear identification and show warrant cards as required by law, and they must behave professionally and use the minimum force required to discharge their duties. If those things are not done, the protests will go on, unless thousands or tens of thousands of Hong Kongers are murdered in the streets. Carrie Lam, is that what you want?

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.

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.

Carrie Lam’s Political Theater

Today Carrie Lam, chief executive of Hong Kong, held the first of her “dialogues” with about 150 citizens/residents of Hong Kong. These dialogues will accomplish little or nothing, as the Hong Kong government has already ruled out any concessions to the pro-democracy demonstrators remaining demands, especially their demand to an independent investigation into the actions of the Hong Kong police. Recent events have shown that an independent investigation by someone with powers of prosecution is desperately needed. Despite clearly documented evidence of police misconduct and brutality, the Hong Kong government and police ridiculously deny that there are any problems in their policing policies or use of force.

Police tactics were a common theme at Thursday’s dialogue. Many speakers demanded tougher action against what they believe to be police abuses of power, such as excessive violence against antigovernment protesters and perceived leniency toward pro-Beijing groups who have attacked demonstrators. 

Wall Street Journal article

But of course, despite many people speaking directly to her about the problem with the Hong Kong police, and thus proving that the “dialogue” is a sham, Carrie Lam refused to even consider the idea:

Mrs. Lam stuck to her view that an ongoing investigation into police actions by Hong Kong’s independent police complaints council is sufficient. Critics have objected to its lead role, as the body doesn’t have investigative power, can’t summon witnesses and comprises many pro-government figures.

Wall Street Journal

The Independent Police Complaints Council is not independent, and it has no power to prosecute, so what is the point of its “investigation?” There is none. Carrie Lam is just trying to buy time with these so-called “dialogues,” hoping the protests will die out on their own. We think she is mistaken.

The people of freedom-loving countries around the world are more and more fed up with the CCP’s totalitarianism, lack of respect for the natural rights of all people, bullying, and brutality. Demonstrations will be held in cities throughout the world to reject totalitarianism and stand with Hong Kong. Please attend one if you can!

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Carrie Lam Would Quit “If She Could.” What is the Path Forward?

Multiple news sources are posting on a Reuters report on Carrie Lam’s talk with a group of business leaders. Reuters obtained a leaked audio recording of Lam’s remarks.

During her talk, Lam said she had caused “unforgivable havoc” by introducing the extradition bill, and that she now has very limited room to maneuver politically to resolve the crisis, as it has become a national security issue for the Beijing government.

If I have a choice, the first thing is to quit, having made a deep apology.

Carrie Lam in Reuters report on her remarks to Hong Kong business leaders

It’s nice that Lam recognizes her enormous blunder, but at this point it is really too late for regrets. Since Beijing has elevated the crisis to a national level, and is not willing to back down lest it “lose face,” Lam must do everything that she can to convince Beijing to completely withdraw the bill. She must also try to restore the Hong Kong government’s relationship with the people to the state it was in before she introduced the bill. This is a next-to-impossible task, given that she has already (no doubt at Beijing’s orders) flatly rejected all of the protesters’ demands, and given the police brutality experienced by the people of Hong Kong. Restoring trust in the government and in the police will be a long-term, arduous, and challenging process, and that process cannot begin at all as long as Beijing and the HK government will not negotiate with the protesters in good faith.

Why Beijing would want Lam to remain in office at this point is very difficult to understand. She has proven herself incapable of handling the crisis and incompetent as a chief executive. Her personal regrets and misgivings are signs that she perhaps has learned something from her mistakes, but if Beijing will not allow her to act on what she has learned, her new understanding of the situation is meaningless for Hong Kong.

What would a reasonable path forward look like? In our opinion, the Hong Kong government, with the support of Beijing, can start by doing these things:

  1. Remove Carrie Lam from office (accept her resignation) and elect/appoint a chief executive respected by the protesters and acceptable to Beijing.
  2. Release an announcement by the new chief executive that the extradition bill has been completely withdrawn and will not be resurrected under any circumstances. Re-affirm the “one country, two systems” principles and the Basic Law. Reject any pressure by Beijing to erode the rights of the Hong Kong people.
  3. Announce a general recognition of the Hong Kong people’s right to assemble and have their grievances addressed in stated in the Basic Law; stop the “white terror” at Hong Kong businesses (e.g. Cathay Pacific Airlines). Reject pressure from Beijing to make HK businesses comply with their demands that are not in accordance with Hong Kong law.
  4. Announce a general amnesty for all protesters and release any still held, with some exceptions (maybe) for those involved in extreme assaults against police.
  5. Remove riot police and other special tactics units from the streets, unless extreme elements within the protest groups continue attacks against police, civilians, infrastructure, or government buildings and property. Strictly instruct and train riot police and special tactics units that they cannot violate the rights of the people, and that they cannot under any circumstances use violent tactics, unless they encounter resistance, and even then, limited force may only be used in order to secure an arrest. Violations of people’s rights or excessive force by police must be met by dismissal from the police force and potential prosecution.
  6. Remove any and all CCP-controlled personnel (People’s Armed Police or other infiltrators) from the HK police force.
  7. Independently investigate and remove any police officers identified as having used excessive force from their duties, and prosecute those that used extreme violence without any justifiable cause. The HK police leadership must not be seen as protecting officers violating the law and the rights of the people.
  8. Re-affirm the rule of law and allow the people of Hong Kong to freely elect their own representatives to the government, per the agreements between China and the U.K in the handover treaties and as set down in the Basic Law, reversing the CCP Standing Committee’s ruling on universal suffrage.

In short, the Hong Kong government should meet the protesters Five Demands.

Finally, if Beijing wants to truly restore Hong Kong, it should announce that the Basic Law will be the governing law in Hong Kong in perpetuity, not just until 2047. Although the Hong Kong people, with good reason, do not trust Beijing, only that step will truly have a chance of giving the people of Hong Kong confidence that their freedom in the future is ensured.

We understand that the CCP will not take our recommendations on this matter; nevertheless, this is what we believe to be reasonable and necessary steps for Hong Kong to be truly restored.

SCMP: Editorial and a Related Article on Hong Kong’s Economy and Political Situation

The South China Morning Post published an editorial titled, “More than money needed to resolve city’s political crisis.” The editorial argues, as the title says, that the political situation in Hong Kong cannot be resolved by pumping money into HK’s economy. We agree. As we said in this article on this site, “You can only buy people off for so long.”

Hong Kong is facing both political and financial problems, some brought on by the U.S. tariffs, and others brought on by Beijing and the HK government’s ham-fisted handling of the political situation (brought on by the proposed extradition amendment to HK’s laws) and the resulting protests. As committed authoritarians and statists, Beijing just cannot see why people would be angry at the loss of their political freedoms and right to self-determination. They seem to think that if people are prospering financially, then they won’t care what kind of government they have. That might be true in mainland China, where the people have never had political freedom or lived under the rule of law. Hong Kong is a much different case. Once people are free, they will not willingly surrender their freedoms. This is a huge blind spot for Beijing.

The SCMP editorial concludes:

The political crisis can only be resolved by political measures. It is incumbent upon the Lam administration to gear up for the challenge, not just to help businesses weather the storm, but also tackle the root of the problem.

SCMP Editorial

The editorial is no doubt in response to measures introduced by the HK government to deal with HK’s economic problems, reported on in a related article cited in their editorial.

The sweeteners, spanning help for small businesses to student subsidies and fee waivers for low-income households, will cost the government nearly 50 per cent more than it had originally planned for one-off measures in the annual budget for this year, which carried the price tag of HK$42.9 billion.

Making the announcement, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po
 cited a host of reasons for the relief measures but studiously avoided the word “protests”, describing the anti-government demonstrations of the past two months instead as “recent social incidents”.

SCMP Article

The SCMP editorial is spot-on. Unfortunately, unless and until the CCP is willing to allow political freedom in China as a whole and let the Chinese people exercise their right to self-determination that all people naturally have, this problem will not be resolved.

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