Home > Analysis, politics > Are the Occupy Protesters really about “Democracy”?

Are the Occupy Protesters really about “Democracy”?

September 30th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

false_godsAs the Occupy protests continue in Hong Kong, articles, editorials and op-eds in the Western press continue to characterize the conflict as one between those in Hong Kong demanding “real democracy” and Beijing reneging on its promise of “universal suffrage” under “one country two systems.” Western media and leaders – including the New York Times Editorial Board and President Obama, for example – have all but argued that “universal suffrage” in Hong Kong means that Beijing should have no say in determining which candidates are eligible to run for elections … that the system China has proposed is but a “charade” of democracy.

But does this narrative hold any water?

A quick glance at history and Article 45 of the Hong Kong’s Basic Law is revealing.

Hong Kong’s Basic Law has served as the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China since 1997.  It was drafted in accordance with Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong (The Joint Declaration), signed between the Chinese and British governments on 19 December 1984.

Historically, Hong Kong has never implemented “universal suffrage” for the selection of any of its leaders – not under British rule, and not under PRC rule.   While Article 45 of the Basic Law would provide for a road map to “universal suffrage,” the actual timeline was to be set by the PRC central government.

Finally in 2007, per a decision by the PRC’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the 2017 election for Hong Kong Chief Executive election was set to be first time election of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong would be conducted under “universal suffrage.” 1

The most recent protests were set off in response to the NPC’s recent promulgation of rules on on how the HKSAR chief would be selected for 2017.  Among the issues often cited was the fact that PRC requires that candidates “love the country, and love Hong Kong” — and would “protect the broad stability of Hong Kong now and in the future.”  The protesters demand that the PRC scrap any semblance of a “nominating committee,” arguing such a committee represents an unreasonable constraint on “universal suffrage.”

But a reading of Article 45 shows otherwise.

Article 45 reads:

The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be selected by election or through consultations held locally and be appointed by the Central People’s Government.

The method for selecting the Chief Executive shall be specified in the light of the actual situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.

The specific method for selecting the Chief Executive is prescribed in Annex I: “Method for the Selection of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region”.

Article 45 cannot be clearer in stating of a “selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a …nominating committee.”

The “nominating committee” is not a “restriction” invented by the PRC to constrain what “universal suffrage” is in Hong Kong.  It is the very essence of what “universal suffrage” means in a “one country two system” framework.

Some protesters have called for a relaxed reading of Article 45 that does away with any nominating committee.  But if we are to trivialize the Constitution so readily, why have a Constitution at all?

Constitutions are crucial for democracy.  A democracy unconstrained by a Constitution is but mob rule, as America’s founding fathers had noted.  And a mobocracy is an unstable unjust system that is always hurling toward either a tyranny of the majority or a tyranny of special interests.

What the protesters are demanding is not “democracy,” but mob rule above “law.”  If the protesters can bring forth evidence how the “nominating committee” is not broadly representative of the electorate of Hong Kong, I am always willing to listen.  But to protest PRC’s requirement that candidates for the Chief Executive of Hong Kong “love the country, and love Hong Kong” and “protect the broad stability of Hong Kong now and in the future”?  Why would anyone protest that?

The protesters’ demands belie their true subversive intent. As China’s central government made clear in a whitepaper recently, “one country, two systems” does not mean the right of Hong Kong to subvert against the nation or the central government, or a right to semi-independence or even outright independence.

Some might still nevertheless question why the PRC persists in its demand for a “nominating committee”?  As a matter of Principle, irrespective of what Article 45, does not “universal suffrage” mean that candidates should be selected by the people and the people alone – without interference from powers that be?

But if you look to any of major democracies in the world, the major candidates put in front of the general public have always been “vetted” by the rich and powerful.  In the U.S., for example, for any candidates to become viable, they must first get the approval from the wealthy and powerful – by successfully fund raising from and hobnobbing with the established power that be.

There is a reason why all major democracies have been contested by no more than two – sometimes (i.e. maybe at times, but rarely) three – major political parties.  It is simply not practical for any citizen to become viable candidates on his own merit.  All candidates in major democracies have always been “vetted” and groomed by the established powers that be.

Recently, scholars from Princeton and Northwestern universities showed that America empirically is an oligarchy, not democracy.  The Washington Times reported it this way:

In the study, “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups and Average Citizens,” researchers compared 1,800 different U.S. policies that were put in place by politicians between 1981 and 2002 to the type of policies preferred by the average and wealthy American, or special interest groups.

Researchers then concluded that U.S. policies are formed more by special interest groups than by politicians properly representing the will of the general people, including the lower-income class.

“The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence,” the study found.

The study also found: “When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose.”

This should not have come as a surprise.

Scholars like Lawrence Lessig in his recent work “Republic Lost” warns how the American may have lost their “Republic” when they submit to a wealthy elite to pre-screen all their candidates (see, e.g., this TED talk on “Lesterland”).  Scholars like Norm Chomsky and Edward Herman in their work “Manufactured Consent” have long described how mass media, controlled by the society elite and powerful, have come to mold and shape the public to form whatever opinion the elite desired without overt government censorship.

OK – so democracy may be suffering a malaise in the West today.  But that doesn’t mean that protesters cannot appeal to a gilded age of democracy that China should aspire back to.  But was there ever such an age?

Lest one forgets: when the U.S. was founded, only those who owned real property could vote.  Native Americans were not only not allowed to vote, but were systematically exterminated.  African Americans not only disfranchised from the voting process, but were enslaved.  Women did not gain “universal suffrage” until 1920.   The Chinese, for example, were legally prohibited from obtaining citizenship until 1943 and could not legally marry whites until 1967.

The U.S. likes to see itself as the beacon on top of the hill – a beacon of freedom to the world.  But it was a beacon only to certain select groups of Europeans.  It could be a beacon only to certain groups.  These were not just blips of history.  These were the defining currents of history.

Going back further in history to the enlightenment, one sees that demands for various rights such as “freedom of speech” and “freedom of religion” and for people power were the result of power struggles between church, royals (“state”), aristocracy, and the merchant class.  Such rights were irrelevant for the common man then … and irrelevant today.  The common man never had much power or freedom, except as pawns for the powerful to fight over, to recruit and to campaign to. 2

Whatever the rhetoric of democracy, democracy had always been for a select few.  Today elections are expensive reality tv shows run by those beholden to those with deep pockets to beguile a befuddled and ignorant mass. But things were never never that much better in the past.  Democracy was conceived to propping up the then-oligarchy, and it is still being used to prop up today’s oligarchy.

But even if all this is true, one might ask, why cannot China at least grant at least this sort of democracy.  Why must it have a “nominating committee” in Hong Kong?

I’d retort, why must China adopt the Western style conception of democracy.  Sure, the Chinese government can mix politics and economics in a way that allows it to play – and win – at the West’s democracy charade, but why must it?  The Western style of democracy is corrupting and wasteful.  If the West had not had the one-time historical windfall of being the first to industrialize and then to colonize the world, its style of government might never have worked.

The true fight in Hong Kong today is not about democracy, but about the power struggle of anti-Chinese and pro-Chinese forces.  The issues have been muddled because most people – many Chinese included – are blinded by today’s ideological worship of Western political values.

China is committed to “universal suffrage” for Hong Kong, as provided under the Basic Law.  It is however not for appeasing special interests.  It should stand by what is good and right for society, and not back down to the demands of a vocal and destructive few – or surrender to images of false gods preached by the West.

Notes:

  1. See, e.g., http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr13-14/english/panels/ca/papers/ca1209-cdoc20131204-e.pdf
  2. See e.g. Fareed Zakaria’s “The Future of Freedom,” Chapter 1, A Brief History of Human Liberty.
  1. tc
    September 30th, 2014 at 18:24 | #1

    Very well said.
    Totally agree.

  2. Zack
    October 1st, 2014 at 03:19 | #2

    for a start, arrest Joshua Wong and his guardians for attempted treason, conspiracy, terrorism, etc; i understand Wong is a minor, therefore his parents/guardians must bear responsibility for his actions.
    Secondly, confiscate all the assets of those who wish to subvert HK, like the lowlife who runs Apple Daily.
    These fuckers should be forced to sing Les Miserables until they expire

  3. pug_ster
    October 1st, 2014 at 04:05 | #3

    http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/hong-kong-protesters-digging-in/

    That American Lackey Martin Lee that I mentioned a few months back made his cameo appearance in American propaganda. Not surprised.

    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2014/04/07/american-lackeys-of-hong-kong-martin-lee-anson-chan/

    Somehow these lackey’s efforts to disrupt Hong Kong with NED’s help has paid off.

  4. hezudao
    October 1st, 2014 at 11:31 | #4

    Very good piece

  5. mousey
    October 1st, 2014 at 15:46 | #5

    Martin Jacques says it has to do more with dislocation and mainlanders success.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/30/china-hong-kong-future-protesters-cry-democracy

  6. Matchut
    October 1st, 2014 at 19:16 | #6

    One of my coworkers is from Hong Kong, and here are his views on the protest:

    – He supports the protesters ideologically, but doesn’t believe that the central government will back down and doesn’t believe that there will be a significant political change coming from the protest.
    – He believes that the protesters aren’t just specifically targeting the fact that there’s a nomination committee, but rather the perceived general and gradual increased control by the central government over Hong Kong (and the existence of the nomination committee is a step in that direction). He personally doesn’t want that because increased central government control would make Hong Kong more like the rest of mainland China, which he believes is lacking in “freedom” compared to Hong Kong.
    – He believes that the introduction of “universal suffrage” is simply a broken promise that the central government previously made, in which they implied universal suffrage without the implication of an additional nomination committee. Since the nomination committee (still) exists, he believes that Hong Kong politics is still completely controlled by the central government, and that the new universal suffrage is not any improvement over the previous situation.
    – When I pointed out that the Basic Law itself already called for a nomination committee, he was silent, but continued to side with the protesters for their perceived opposition against general central government control.
    – He claims that around 1997, either before or after the handover, Hong Kong had some sort of universal suffrage without a nomination committee, or at least with a nomination committee nowhere near as “powerful” as the one today; so as long as today’s nomination committee exists, it’s a regression in freedom compared to some point in the past.
    – Overall, he believes that Hong Kong’s political situation has been “protest-able” for many years already, but it just now happened to really erupt.

    In conclusion, his view is that the protesters are really protesting, in general, against the central government’s perceived plan to take away their freedoms.

  7. Charles Liu
    October 2nd, 2014 at 01:04 | #7

    Not everyone agree with the OC protest. Here’s a video of residents in a neighborhood shouting down Occupy Central protesters and preventing them from illegally blocking street:

    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152377773374290

  8. pug_ster
    October 2nd, 2014 at 02:27 | #8

    It seems that there is some similarities between this protest and the Tiananmen protests in 1989, not how the western propaganda portrays how people want democracy, but rather many people in Hong Kong has issues with social and economic issues that the government failed to deal with over the years.

    I thought this commentator from this website says the best:

    http://disqus.com/embed/comments/?base=default&disqus_version=08f82922&f=thediplomatcom&t_i=39882%20http%3A%2F%2Fthediplomat.com%2F%3Fp%3D39882&t_u=http%3A%2F%2Fthediplomat.com%2F2014%2F10%2Fchinese-foreign-minister-pressed-on-hong-kong-islamic-state-in-dc-visit%2F&t_e=Chinese%20Foreign%20Minister%20Pressed%20on%20Hong%20Kong%2C%20Islamic%20State%20in%20DC%20Visit&t_d=Chinese%20Foreign%20Minister%20Pressed%20on%20Hong%20Kong%2C%20Islamic%20State%20in%20DC%20Visit&t_t=Chinese%20Foreign%20Minister%20Pressed%20on%20Hong%20Kong%2C%20Islamic%20State%20in%20DC%20Visit&s_o=default&l=#

    “HK protesters has legitimate grievances, but they are primary economic in nature. Unfortunately the CIA, doing what it does best, has infiltrated the protest and turned it into a political stunt. We, the HKers, have to refocus back to the economic issues and ignore all the noises created by Western media.

    Behind the facade of laissez-faire economy, HK actually has one of the most unfair economic system in the world. To begin with HK has a regressive tax system. Yes, on the surface HK has a flat income tax but income tax is a small part of HK gov’s revenue, the bulk of tax revenue comes from land sales. The HK gov has a monopoly on land supply and it charges exorbitant amount for building plots. Since the middle-class and the poor spend far greater portion of their income on housing, and since expensive housing is due to gov land monopoly, the tax system is regressive.

    HK also has some of the loosest foreign labor control policy in the world. From household helpers to waitress to construction workers to office clerks to managers, foreign workers are everywhere. When you have no foreign labor control you have unlimited labor supply, and when you have unlimited labor supply going after limited amount of jobs the wages collapse, the big businesses and the rich benefits but the working class suffers. Imagine if the US opens the Mexican border and grants unlimited H1B work visas, what will happen to the US labor market? And now imagine China alone has 10x the population as Mexico and HK is smaller than NYC, and HK’s working class has to compete against such influx of foreign labor.

    We have so many legal and illegal foreigners in HK that there are more babies born in HK every year to non-HK parents than babies born with at least one HK parent!

    Foreigners, legal and illegal, not just disrupted the labor market they also put severe stress on HK’s healthcare, school, transportation, and housing systems. HK’s ultra liberal judges has ruled that as soon as an illegal landed in HK s/he has the same right to HK’s very generous welfare as full HK citizens. Imagine if the US has this type of policy all the illegals can collect benefits from day one…

    All the illegals should be turn back. We already have more legal foreigners than we can handle in HK we simply can’t handle any more. Before 1997 some of the illegals came to HK due to political reasons (my parents came to HK in the 70s because of that). But now HK is part of China the only reason illegals still come to HK is economic reasons, and that does not justify right to asylum.

    In Mainland China, villagers cannot easily move to cities, and even if they do they will not enjoy the same benefits as city residents. Why can’t HK do the same?

    All of these problems actually benefit the rich HKers and their big companies tremendously. And this is extremely unfair to the regular HKers. And this corrupted/ twisted economic system is what needs to be fixed. Democracy is not the solution because if you look at the US those who got elected are either part of the rich or owned by the rich, besides Beijing won’t allow that anyway. HK protesters should demand Beijing’s assistance in transiting to a more fair, more working class friendly economic system- this is something that Beijing can and will be willing to do. And this is something that will actually make a big difference to the daily lives of the majority of HKers.”

  9. Black Pheonix
    October 2nd, 2014 at 07:49 | #9

    1 person boiled down his argument (after I wore him down with niceties):

    It’s about “gentrification” of HK, which some blame the whole thing on mainland and the Pro-Beijing “stooges”.

    He even went as far as to say, he rather have any “SCUMBAGS” democratically elected than the stooges, because they will at least be his scumbags.

    While I can sympathize with the problems in HK, well, “gentrification” is everywhere. Considering the pace of gentrification in HK for the last 17 years, it has been quite slow, and HK’ers themselves were largely responsible for it.

    How many HKer did not try to speculate in their own real estate market?? It was a gold rush market in the early 2000. Well, when HKers do it, it brings in others. Mainlanders see HKers make money from the real estate in HK, they go in too. HKers made money selling properties to mainlanders. That’s not just the corporations or the government.

    HK government sells the “land leases” at 50 year terms, yes, but they don’t control the market demands. ONLY when the demand went up high, that’s when the leases become expensive. HKer’s have only themselves to blame for starting that bubble.

    And do Democratically elected “scumbags” have solutions for gentrification?

    Hell no.

    I watch gentrification happen faster in many US communities. Let’s just say HK got lucky, it got 17 years of slow gentrification along with good economic growth.

    Would disrupting/destroying HK economy end gentrification?

    Hell no.

    If HK economy goes down, HK properties only become cheaper for rich mainlanders to buy up.

  10. raffiaflower
    October 2nd, 2014 at 09:08 | #10

    Ho-hum, another year; another color revolution, another bunch of useful idiots. In Myanmar, it was the monks, in Hong Kong, thousands of over-privileged and pampered gremlins. Deja vu. Following article from Morning Post, 2007.

    http://www.scmp.com/article/612322/myanmars-monks-had-us-training.

    Washington foundation helped clergy, activists protest at junta
    Monks in Myanmar have been taught how to stage non-violent protests by a US taxpayer-funded foundation.
    At camps in Thailand, the National Endowment for Democracy has paid for monks and activists to be trained in how to select targets and opportunities for protest, protect themselves from infiltration by agents provocateurs and make best use of mobile phones and computers.
    The endowment – which also funds human rights and civil society work on the mainland, including Tibet, and in Hong Kong – has been helping Myanmar’s exiled pro-democracy groups for the past 10 years. Funding has risen gradually, and amounted to US$3.9 million last year.
    It is expected to spend a similar amount this year and next.
    The money funds media, human rights work and foreign lobbying in addition to training in protest tactics.
    Endowment officials acknowledge its help had prepared monks and activists for the ‘saffron revolution’ launched in August but suppressed violently by the Myanmese junta, which arrested thousands.
    Brian Joseph, the endowment’s director for South and South East Asia, said the operation could not be considered a success given the recent crackdown.
    ‘We are not thrilled at what is happening right now … it is once again confirming just what a repressive regime the Burmese junta is,’ he said, using the former name for the Myanmese. ‘But it has also once again indicated the incredible resolve of the Burmese people.’
    The money the endowment receives is provided by the US Congress, which created the body in 1983, and administered by the US State Department, which sometimes earmarks funding for specific projects.
    However, the endowment describes itself as a non-government body and officials deny links with intelligence agencies.
    Mr Joseph described the Myanmar situation as a ‘special case’ in the region, saying its role in trying to bring democracy to the country was vastly different to its work in China, North Korea and Vietnam.
    He said the body did not drive action inside Myanmar.
    ‘Our goal is to empower and strengthen initiatives that come from within … but we do not initiate or direct or channel the movements,’ he said. ‘We are very strict about that.’ He added: ‘It’s not that much money, certainly not enough to buy democracy.’
    The endowment does not carry out the training but funds groups – including the International Republican Institute, which has run training camps in Thailand and elsewhere. Experts from the United States, India, South Africa and Serbia have been involved.
    Myanmese activists say the US funding, and backing they receive from European nations including Norway and Denmark, has helped their efforts. They say they take funding from a range of sources to keep their independence.
    ‘It is useful to get ideas and assistance but that is the end of it … we are determined to run the show,’ one activist said.
    Junta officials have said several times in recent weeks that the US is meddling in Myanmar through organisations such as the endowment.
    The spotlight has fallen on the endowment in a week in which US President George W. Bush widened economic sanctions on Myanmar in the hope of ending 45 years of military rule.

  11. October 2nd, 2014 at 12:10 | #11

    @Matchut

    Thanks for that perspective. It’s definitely a sincere opinion expressed by some people in Hong Kong. The real issue, I believe, is certain Hong Kong segment of population looking for any catalyst to express their fundamental political stance that Hong Kong ought to be separate – independent or semi-independent – from China. These people look down to China and Chinese history … and see the West as something lowly Chinese ought to aspire to.

    Whether it’s democracy … or public peeing – they single out China as the opposite of their ideal … but when one more carefully digs under the cover, it’s B.S. that holds no water under the sun.

  12. scl2
    October 2nd, 2014 at 13:05 | #12

    NED is in the forefront of this sort of things as usual: http://www.ned.org/publications/annual-reports/2012-annual-report/asia/china-hong-kong

    Some interesting points: http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/

    The typical Western mainstream media report about OWJ was how dirty the protesters were – only slightly better than pigs, so they had to be cleared out for the sake of public health. I hope the Hong Kong and Chinese governments have learned something from those reports.

  13. Matchut
    October 2nd, 2014 at 18:54 | #13

    @Allen
    The specific person whom I’m talking about doesn’t actually have anything against Hong Kong being part of China. If mainland China were ever to become as “free” as he thought Hong Kong was at some point, then he genuinely wouldn’t care either way.

    He’s more someone who advocates for “general freedom” as he understands it (and he seems to care about the situation of Hong Kong more than that of other places, because of his Hong Kong familial connections). For example, he lived for a long time in Singapore, and he lumps the PRC and Singaporean governments in the same “bad” category for lack of personal freedoms. (He says that Singapore’s perceived wealth is only from rich foreigners who have been attracted there by the Singaporean government, but that’s off-topic.)

    So you believe that a significant number of protesters here are actually against Hong Kong’s political and/or cultural association with China, and not primarily for more perceived freedom? It sounds plausible to me, but I’m just asking.

  14. October 2nd, 2014 at 23:36 | #14

    @Matchut

    I see…

    Well then … and I know I am swimming against the tide, but I will argue that Hong Kong is not any freer than China Mainland or Singapore. The “freedom” is a mirage.

    U.S. and Europe may have all these laws that treat Al Qaeda members as terrorists and allow for their prosecution. China may not. Does that make China “freer”? It does … but only if you are myopic.

    When China does feel threatened – such as with ETIM – then it imposes same laws.

    So what is “free” or “not free” depends on your worldview and political leaning … not with anything objective.

    I’ve written a lot on this topic here and there … although not really enough…

  15. October 3rd, 2014 at 08:12 | #16

    Interesting story about a “protest” in Colorado over “patriotic” education. It’s deemed a fight between conservatives and non-conservatives. Not between good and evil. And the “protesters” did not block busy intersections, or disobey police, or break an laws, etc.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2014/10/03/school-board-pushes-patriotic-history.html

    A school board in suburban Denver that has been under fire for proposing a review of Advanced Placement U.S. history has voted to include students, parents and administrators in its curriculum reviews, but isn’t backing off its original proposal to assess the course with an eye toward promoting patriotism. The proposal from the Jefferson County Board of Education angered students and others in the school district, who charged that the board’s new conservative majority was trying to influence children with their political views. New board members have proposed a curriculum that relies on teaching materials that promote patriotism and “positive aspects” of U.S. history and downplaying civil disorder. The proposal sparked nearly two weeks of student protests. The latest compromise measure passed by a 3-2 margin. The dissenting board members sought a delay on the vote, but failed.

  16. pug_ster
    October 3rd, 2014 at 22:56 | #17

    It has to happen. People in Hong Kong are getting sick and tired of these American paid protesters who are basically disrupting their daily lives, livelihoods, and how can they get back home. Of course, Western Propaganda has no problems telling us that these ‘anti-protesters’ are mandarin speaking people who are paid by the Chinese government.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBj287eaFGE&list=PLeIzHhBSrVIbKmZ5apGC80Bev5nNN2V1d&index=10

  17. N.M.Cheung
    October 4th, 2014 at 12:22 | #18

    I suspect what happened in Hong Kong not only reflected the colonial education system, but also the alienation of the young and estrangement from China. When Hong Kong was returned to China, the worry of the residents was China might interfere with the freedom that Hong Kong was used to. China has been more than sticking to the agreement not interfering. There were the usual annual June 4 protests, Google withdraw from China and base its China operation in Hong Kong. And when China tried to introduce modification in education curriculum a few years ago it was shouted down. Thus the question of love Hong Kong and love of China became meaningless and more of what’s in it for me. The economic reform of the last 35 years pushed politics and spiritual values to the background and fostered corruption. Despite what happened during Cultural Revolution Mao is still revered and nostalgic about the egalitarian values of serve the people. I think it’s time for push back not only in Hong Kong, but Xinjiang and rest of China.

  18. raffiaflower
    October 7th, 2014 at 20:30 | #19

    Western media had an attack of cognitive dissonance in the coverage of protests. They conjured a wanking fantasy about Beijing shitting bricks, fearing the contagion of democracy spreading to the mainland. Hong Kong has already alienated the upcountry with its hostile attitude, calling names like locusts, overplaying behavior like dumping in public, queue-cutting.
    There is little reason for mainlanders to share the misguided aspirations of the island minority; doesn’t even have support of Hong Kong itself.
    Granted there are people who dislike the authorities, pretty much like everywhere. Chinese people smart enough to know the difference between loyalty to the country, and the government, not to ruin what they enjoy, imo.
    As for clamping down on social media and news of the protests, that pretty much killed off any chance of Western `sleeper’ operatives on the mainland from exploiting social issues under the catch-all banner of `democracy’. It ain’t going nowhere soon in Hong Kong or mainland.

  19. danielxu
    October 7th, 2014 at 21:53 | #20

    Okay children, party is over, now back to school.
    You have done well with the umbrella. Uncle Sam will visit you soon to discuss the next strategy, some financial support is on the way; maybe we can bring your brothers from old Tien-An-Men Protest to give moral support and speech about democracy. Some of you who have done so well are invited to USA, country of Free of Speech, Human Right, etc. to meet our senators.
    One more thing before I forgot, as consolation we will give you Gordon chang’s book, “Pending China implosion”, for free, take as many as you like.
    Keep up the good fight, one of you might get Nobel Peace Prize.

  20. pug_ster
    October 9th, 2014 at 09:22 | #21

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/10/09/354632365/economics-tensions-with-mainlanders-fuel-hong-kongs-protests

    I thought that this is a really good article about the issues that they have in Hong Kong and none of it is about democracy. Part of it is that the majority Hong Kong’s economy is controlled by a essentially 6 families within Hong Kong and the gap between Rich and poor is so great that Hong Kong government failed to deal with for years, which goes back when it was ruled by the British. The government has alot of money yet it failed to do alot of welfare programs for the poor.

    Not all the problems is because of Hong Kong government’s fault. Part of it comes from Hong Kongers who think that they are better than the mainlanders but slowly the opposite case of it is true because alot of wealth is coming in from the mainland. Part of it is as many Hong Kongers leaving there towards Canada and the US, more mainlanders are coming to live and stay in Hong Kong that Hong Kong is becoming increasingly gentrified more like the mainland and many Hong Kongs don’t like it. For that this is what many of them won’t accept.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/10/09/joshua-wong-on-dwindling-hong-kong-crowds-protesters-will-come-back/

    Yes the protest ‘leader’ seems like some kind of village idiot who can’t hold the protest movement together…

You must be logged in to post a comment.