US News: The courage to back down in Hong Kong - PressFrom - United Kingdom
  •   
  •   

US NewsThe courage to back down in Hong Kong

03:05  15 august  2019
03:05  15 august  2019 Source:   thehill.com

Hong Kong's summer of rage now a war of attrition

Hong Kong's summer of rage now a war of attrition Two months after a summer of rage began on Hong Kong's streets, pro-democracy protesters and the southern Chinese city's leaders are digging in for a long war of attrition. What began as a mass display of focused opposition to a planned extradition bill has, over nine consecutive weekends of increasingly violent clashes with police, evolved into something deeper, wider and far angrier. The streets of the global financial hub have become frequent battlegrounds, filled with acrid clouds of tear gas and littered with rubber bullet casings.

Taking to the streets and singing from Les Miserables, hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers protest on the anniversary of the July 1 handover of Hong Kong

Dragon’s Back , Hong Kong Island. Two of the long-distance trails traverse the island – the Wilson and the 50km Hong Kong Trail – and the S-shaped stretch of the latter, through Shek O Country Park along the Dragon’s Back ridge, is arguably the best section from either.

The courage to back down in Hong Kong © ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images The courage to back down in Hong Kong

Editor's note: The opinions in this article are the author's, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

I have been highly reluctant to invoke the Tiananmen Square crackdown of June 1989 to predict the end game of the 2019 Hong Kong protests.

But this reluctance is eroding with each passing day. I was in China - Beijing and Chengdu (the other Chinese city that experienced mass bloodshed) - at the time, and I remember having two distinct feelings. Before the crackdown, I thought, "This cannot end well," although I was thinking in terms of mass arrests after the protests died down not an actual military crackdown.

Mind your own business, China tells Dominic Raab after Hong Kong call

Mind your own business, China tells Dominic Raab after Hong Kong call ‘The UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of supervision over Hong Kong,’ Beijing says.

But alas, the Hong Kong police’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters over the last few days reflects a larger power imbalance between Hong Hong Kong was once a crucial gateway for trade, investment, and capital-raising for its northern neighbor—a role that the 1997 handover only intensified.

Since 2007/08, the Hong Kong Baptist University has required undergraduates to pass a Mandarin language course in order to be awarded their degrees. Tang was leading the race initially but was brought down by the incident, and lost the election to rival Leung Chun-ying.

Gallery: Violent protests continue in Hong Kong (USA TODAY)

After I heard about the massacre the morning of June 4, I thought, "What a profoundly stupid thing for the authorities in Beijing to have done; apart from the horror of killing its own citizens, it will set back China's relations with the West years, if not decades."

The corollary of this second thought - up until June 3, 1989 - was that China would never do something as foolish as putting an end to the protests militarily. But that's exactly what it did.

These same two thoughts have haunted me throughout this summer's protests in Hong Kong. And as the authorities in Hong Kong and in Beijing have allowed the protests to continue for months - itself a parallel with 1989 - patterns have emerged in which these two events appear to be converging, suggesting a similar denouement.

Hong Kong airport cancels all remaining flights due to protests

Hong Kong airport cancels all remaining flights due to protests Hong Kong airport has cancelled all remaining flights on Monday because of pro-democracy protests at the terminal. "Other than departure flights that have completed the check-in process and the arrival flights already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been cancelled for the rest of today," said Hong Kong's Airport Authority. Traffic near the airport was very congested and car parking full, the authority said. People at the airport are demonstrating over a planned extradition law, claims of police brutality and a call for more democracy.

The Dragon’s Back trail begins through dense vegetation (plenty of shade!) with periodic views over the lush, rolling landscape of Hong Kong Island. Head to your left and you will see the road. Directly across the street is the #9 bus stop, which will take you back to the MTR. It is the only bus that

In Hong Kong , the CCP has stayed an illegal guerrilla organization, but they come out every now and then, like now. Second, CY Leung has urged the protesters to back down , but you the problem is that this isn't a single organized group, and there is no one person or group that has control over all of

The courage to back down in Hong Kong © Thomson Reuters Anti-government protesters gesture at police during clashes at the airport in Hong Kong, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Let's be clear about how this started. Beijing has historically done whatever it can get away with, sometimes by engaging in behavior that seems just shy of reckless. If rebuffed, it always finds a way to retreat in a face-saving manner. However, and this has been a key part of its South China Sea strategy, when its bluff is not called, it moves in, occupies and consolidates the political (or military or economic) space.

That is what the Extradition Law was: Beijing's attempt to sand down the contours of "one country, two systems" a bit more in favor of Beijing. The Hong Kong electorate rejected this by taking to the streets. Beijing did exactly the right thing by withdrawing the bill from consideration, albeit not permanently.

The courage to back down in Hong Kong © Thomson Reuters An anti-extradition bill protester throws a tear gas cartridge during clashes with police in Sham Shui Po in Hong Kong, China August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

This was the inflection point. Beijing might have told Hong Kong's consistently tone-deaf chief executive, Carrie Lam, to quietly remove the bill from the docket altogether, weeks or months down the road. But this would have been too little, too late, especially for the people of Hong Kong

Galway teen (19) dies after becoming unwell at Debs dance

Galway teen (19) dies after becoming unwell at Debs dance Galway teen (19) dies after becoming unwell at Debs dance

Hong Kong Players Ltd is presenting its first youth production, staged with and for teenagers in May. The wicked queen rules cruelly over her stolen kingdom, and no-one has the courage to stand up to her. Hong Kong Players have been staging a traditional Christmas panto for more than 50 years.

Meet 20 of Hong Kong ’s most accomplished residents and discover their unique stories as they take you through the Old Town Central is Hong Kong 's most historic neighbourhood, where east meets west, past meets It gave me so much support, courage and inspiration during my time growing up.”

This summer of protest has become a referendum on the whole "one country, two systems" idea. It reanimated all the ways in which China has neglected Hong Kong - by manipulating its burgeoning democratic institutions, allowing the physical infrastructure to crumble, boosting Shanghai and the greater Pearl River Delta region at Hong Kong's expense, opening the borders to the mad scramble of tourism from the Mainland, imposing cultural markers onto a proud and rich Cantonese society, etc. - and brought them again to the fore.

Now the endgame is hiding in plain sight, if we choose to see it.

The courage to back down in Hong Kong © Thomson Reuters An anti-extradition bill protester tries to extinguish a tear gas canister after the police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstration at Sham Shui Po, in Hong Kong, China August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

What is happening in Hong Kong has tremendous significance for Taiwan Straits relations, as the "one country, two systems" framework always had Taiwan's reunification with the Mainland as its ultimate target. Each day of protest in Hong Kong serves to further delegitimize the "one country, two systems" formula and, with it, its prospects for success with "bringing Taiwan back into the fold."

Galway teen (19) dies after becoming unwell at Debs dance

Galway teen (19) dies after becoming unwell at Debs dance Galway teen (19) dies after becoming unwell at Debs dance

Hong Kong was a British colony for 156 years, so it’s no surprise that the tradition of afternoon tea is Many people assume the history of Hong Kong begins when the British founded the territory in Up in SoHo, off historic Pottinger Street, J Boroski specializes in custom cocktails—it’s down a dark

This is bad for Hong Kong . The territory’s four leaders since the handover in 1997 were all chosen in Beijing and Activists in Hong Kong have vowed to launch a campaign of civil disobedience which they call The activists’ aim is correct and their courage impressive, but their tactics may be mistaken.

As far as the Chinese side is concerned, the stakes are every bit as high as they were in May of 1989; indeed, they are arguably much, much higher. We underestimate how bankrupting of the "one country, two systems" formula gets to the very core of the Chinese Communist Party's own legitimacy at home. Thus, when Fareed Zakaria argues that Beijing's response to the Hong Kong protests shows China's "fragility," he's absolutely right, but his argument is also irrelevant.

The courage to back down in Hong Kong © Thomson Reuters A riot police raises a warning flag as they try to disperse anti-extradition bill protesters by tear gas at Sham Shui Po in Hong Kong, China, August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

We already see that Beijing has been busy sowing the ground for a subsequent post-crackdown narrative. The idea that the U.S. is behind the crackdown is absurd on its face.

Nevertheless, the mainland-based media can point to Julie Eadeh as the proverbial "smoking gun" to the only audience it cares about-its own citizens. These citizens have been primed to think negatively about the U.S., thanks to incessant propaganda from China's vast media apparatus and by the Trump administration's own misguided China policy.

And if this wasn't enough, the Chinese authorities have spiced up this pre-emptive narrative with references to "color revolutions" (code for upping the stakes) and, most recently, "terrorism." Somewhat working at cross-purposes, Trump himself gave Xi an invaluable gift to bolster this narrative when he called the protests a "riot."

Hong Kong’s Leader Pleads for Order in a City on Edge

Hong Kong’s Leader Pleads for Order in a City on Edge Hong Kong’s embattled leader on Tuesday pleaded for order after days of escalating chaos, mass protests and violent street clashes that have put the Asian financial hub on edge. 

Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung, the lawmakers at the heart of a Hong Kong political firestorm, are standing firm in the face of intense criticism and apparently overwhelming odds.

Hong Kong is a chaotic, pumping city that ignites the senses. Smell the fish markets, see the views from the Peak, taste world-class pork buns, and soak in the silence at one of the many temples in the city. We recommend staying in Tsim Sha Tsui, which is on the northern side of Victoria Harbour.

Video: China military gathering on Hong Kong border (FOX News)

Finally, a group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill have sought to seize the discourse and condemn China ex ante. Regardless of their motivations, the effect is to further reinforce Beijing's narrative.

But even more importantly, the effect is to paint China's leaders into a corner. That is particularly dangerous with a leader like Xi Jinping, who has already demonstrated an unprecedented and uncharacteristic degree of restraint thus far that cannot last. Xi is almost certainly being furiously lobbied to get tough by hardliners in Zhongnanhai and Beidaihe who have demonstrated a vastly stronger preference for the stick over the carrot.

The courage to back down in Hong Kong © Thomson Reuters A man reacts after the police fired tear gas to disperse anti-extradition bill protesters demonstration at Sham Shui Po, in Hong Kong, China August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Rather than escalate further, all sides need to summon the courage to stand down as quickly as possible. They must all take a breath and establish a set of confidence-building measures that will create a kernel of trust upon which to draw down from this situation, learn from it and build upon it.

As difficult as it is, the protesters need to check their frustration and disgust and refrain from unnecessarily antagonizing the mainland authorities further, for example, by defacing the Chinese Communist Party Liaison Office, waving American flags with the express intention of taunting Beijing and continuing to occupy Chek Lap Kok Airport- all of which shift Beijing's calculus strongly in favor of intervening militarily.

China 'will not sit on its hands' over Hong Kong protests

China 'will not sit on its hands' over Hong Kong protests The Chinese government will "not sit on its hands" over the protests in Hong Kong, Beijing's UK ambassador has said, adding it has "solutions". It came as new pictures emerged showing the build up of armed forces in the city of Shenzhen, just across the border with Hong Long.

All of Hong Kong ’s Recently Opened Bars and Restaurants. On our radar. Ice ice baby. Cool down this summer with these delicious frozen treats.

Hong Kong is so much more than Victoria Peak and Disnelyland. Discover 7 out-of-the-world Hong Kong is a unique blend of fascinating skyscrapers on one hand and rolling country side on the other. The rest of the trail is a normal path where I met a few friendly locals who marvelled at my courage

The courage to back down in Hong Kong © Thomson Reuters Police clash with anti-government protesters at the airport in Hong Kong, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

The Hong Kong authorities - particularly firebrands like Junius Ho - need to take it down several notches and think about their Hong Kong constituents. The white-shirted goons need to be taken off the streets and the MTR stations immediately, and the police need to scale back their violent crowd control measures. Beijing must engage the citizens of Hong Kong in a way that recognizes and appreciates their grievances with credible and demonstrable promises to do something about them, while simultaneously drawing down its military activity on Stonecutter's Island and along the border with Shenzhen.

The courage to back down in Hong Kong © Thomson Reuters Police advance through the Sham Shui Po neighbourhood during clashes with anti-extradition bill protesters in Hong Kong, China August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

And if the Trump administration is incapable of brokering some sort of temporary peace, it should at the very least avoid giving Xi any more rhetorical ammunition and making the situation worse. Finally, Congress should think through its actions and about the inevitable outcome of its own baiting of Beijing, working instead for the betterment of the people of Hong Kong, rather than virtue signaling and scoring political points at home.

Otherwise, this will end badly, and the effects will be worse than we imagine.

Explore the issues faced by the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people this summer and discover what you can do to help.​​

Hong Kong protesters are calling for massive ATM withdrawals in an economic warning to China.
Hong Kong protesters are trying something new on August 16 - withdrawing their money from banks or converting it to US dollars. 

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 2
This is interesting!