The recent post by pugster about rioters in Hong Kong brought to my mind some thoughts I had as the Umbrella Revolution was flaming out a couple of years ago.
One of the arguments many people in the West used to denigrate the HK and Mainland government in support of the Umbrella movement was that the rioters had a right to block streets and shut down districts to get their message out. When some Hong Kongers – siding with HK and Mainland government – pushed back that while freedom of speech grants them the right to protest but not a right to shut down entire districts, they were ridiculed and shamed by the Western press.
Of course, as we know, when the occupy movement flamed across the Western capitals of the world, those governments acted very differently. The police (even paramilitary forces) soon cracked down and order was soon restored. But in China, so-called rule of law quickly gets tossed aside in the name of mob rule (I mean “democracy”). All this reinforced in my mind how “political” “free” speech is. It is “free” when the politics is palatable. But when it’s not, the “costs” – be it national security, social peace, whatever – gets framed as the main (only) issues.
This reminds me of another story last year when the Pope visited the U.S. If people remember, the pope got a “rock star” reception from the media – with the press trumpeting how popular, socially and morally in tune the pope is, especially compared to China’s President Xi (also visiting the U.S. around the same time) who allegedly got a stiff and cool reception. Continue reading Free Speech Definitely Doesn’t Mean Cost Notwithstanding Speech
It seems that the Western Paid Rioters are at it again, this time they are ‘protesting’ against the removal of Illegal food stalls in Mong Kok and starting their ‘fishball revolution.’
These Right wing rioters including the HK Indigenous, Civic Passion, Hong Kong Localism Power, Hong Kong Independence Party that has plagued Hong Kong about 18 months ago with their ‘Umbrella revolution’ threw bricks, started fires, and beat up on police and reporters. Western propaganda seems to fixate on 2 warning shots up the air. Sad on the state of Hong Kong that this kind of riots are even tolerated because if this kind of stuff would happen in America these people would be promptly jailed as terrorists.
So it looks official now, Hong Kong’s Legislature has officially rejected the Election Reform promulgated by PRC’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. (For more on this topic, see this previous post late last year) The central government has responded that the election rules stands and now it is the hope of many that Hong Kong will continue to find a way to execute full democracy under the Basic Law and NPC rules.
Continue reading Hong Kong Legislature Rejects Election Reform
This is actually a respond to Plutocrats Against Democracy but I got carried away and wrote this article.
What LCY want to say about the pitfall of 1 person 1 vote is that the majority would vote HK into a welfare state as there is a sizable of not too well off people in HK. This is actually the biggest fear of China’s top leadership, in their view this is hurting the so-called western democracies economic recovery. They don’t fear democracy per se but rather what it would do to the social economic structure of China. It is not that they feel welfare is bad but China simply couldn’t afford it. To be honest how many states in the world can really afford the lavish welfare of Switzerland, Norway, Germany etc? The minimum welfare of states like UK, France, Italy, Spain etc is already bankrupting those nations. The US which has even less social welfare protection is also mired in deep debt! Continue reading My Take on HK’s Occupy Movement
Hong Kong’s Umbrella Freedom Fighters can’t possibly be fighting for “freedom” in one of the most indulging communities on earth; it’d be like fish keep asking for more salt in the ocean. If succeeded, it’d turn them into anchovies.
A popular reason cited by supporters is that China’s an authoritarian state, therefore to be loathed unconditionally. Anyone who reads mainstream newspapers would know that much. If this fear is indeed the real cause, I’d like to take this opportunity to examine China’s authoritarianism by reviewing some known facts:
1) In 1949, when the Communist Party took over, average life expectancy in China was about thirty-five, illiteracy was 80%, and GDP was lower than Qing Dynasty’s. After a century of pillage and plunder by colonial powers, the country was struggling to recover from near-fatal wounds inflicted by opium, corruption, barbaric invasions and civil wars. Sixty-five years on, it’s the world’s second largest economy. In the past thirty years, the miraculous transformation (GDP growth, productivity, urbanisation of population etc.) of this continent-sized country is comparable to (relatively tiny) Britain’s evolution after the industrial revolution, which took about 200 years. Martin Jacques’ book contains a lot of hard data for comparison, in plain English (<a href="http://www.martinjacques.com/books/when-china-rules-the-world/"). However, economic development isn’t everything. It shouldn’t be.
Continue reading Umbrella Revolution and Authoritarianism with Chinese Characteristics
The news of Hong Kong Police using tear gas to disperse crowds aimed at occupying government buildings and public spaces to protest against Beijing rules on how Hong Kong residents vote for its next leaders are plastered on the first page of all the major news site today.
The Wall Street Journal, for example, has this story.
HONG KONG—In the harshest response against protesters in Hong Kong in nearly a decade, police used pepper spray and several rounds of teargas to disperse pro-democracy crowds blocking traffic on some of the city’s busiest streets.
An effort by police to keep protesters away from government buildings appeared to backfire on Sunday. As police converged on the scene and protesters spread out from its center, the conflict spread across three of Hong Kong’s most important commercial neighborhoods.
When police started lobbing tear gas at the crowd, protesters dispersed but quickly regrouped and retook some ground. They ignored police signs telling them to leave and used metal barricades to prevent officers from moving them away.
Late Sunday evening, thousands of protesters were still spread through downtown Hong Kong, and police continued to pour into the area. But the Hong Kong Federation of Students around 10:10 p.m. started urging protesters to leave, citing a fear that police would start using tactics such as firing rubber bullets. Continue reading What is Your Take on Hong Kong Police Breaking Up Protesters Occupying Government Buildings and Public Spaces?