Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 02, 2019

Hong Kong Rioters Wage Sabotage Campaign To Press Congress Into Punishing China

The Associated Press is doing its best to make the Hong Kong police look bad by describing an incident without its context:

Late at night Saturday, video from Hong Kong broadcaster TVB showed police on the platform of Prince Edward subway station swinging batons at passengers who backed into one end of a train car behind umbrellas. The video also shows pepper spray being shot through an open door at a group seated on the floor while one man holds up his hands.

Police officers said at a briefing Monday that they rejected accusations that they “beat up” ordinary citizens without first confirming their identities. They said they specifically targeted those who they believed to be rioters, including those who had changed out of their black protester outfits, and arrested 63 people on suspicion of illegal assembly and possessing explosives and offensive weapons.

The incident described in the first paragraph above did indeed happen. But it was only the last part of a larger story which the AP fails to mention. Here is how it started:

The violence in Prince Edward Station began during a dispute between protesters and some older men who were insulting them. One of the men swung a hammer at the protesters, who threw water bottles and umbrellas and later appeared to set off fire extinguishers in the car. After the clashes, the subway system suspended service across much of Hong Kong. Three stations remained closed on Sunday.


Some 30 black clad people with gas masks and helmets had entered a train to ride to another place to create another of their usual flash mob riots. The other passengers clearly disagree with the rioters' plans. Some made remarks the black clad youth disliked.

They later dismounted the train but an argument continued. The black clad people reacted quite aggressively. They stopped the train from leaving by blocking its doors. They threw stuff at the middle aged passengers and tried to hit them with umbrellas and sticks. Some of them rushed back into the train, hit at some passengers and were again pushed out. This went back and forth for a full ten minutes. Finally someone in the black clad crowd snatched a fire extinguisher and let it go off within the subway car. The passengers then tried to get out and more scuffle ensued.

A full 10 minutes long video of the scene can be watched here.

It was the above incident that led the MTR, the public Mass Transit Railway operator, to stop the traffic at the station and to call up the police. When the riot police entered the station it immediately faced resistance:

This train then departed and protesters used umbrellas as a screen to change their clothes, before crossing the platform and boarding a Central-bound train. Before this train left, the Raptors arrived shortly before 11pm.

Protesters confronted the elite force with umbrellas and hard objects while police fought back with pepper spray and batons.

After the Raptors left the train, it was stopped at Yau Ma Tei station and all passengers were asked to leave. Police intercepted and arrested seven people and seized two bags of slingshots and metal balls on the platform.

A badly cut SCMP video of the event is here (scroll down).

The whole scene was not an isolated incident. Black clad folks ripped wastebaskets off the wall and threw them on the rail tacks. They smashed customer service centers, vandalized subway entry gates and hit regular passengers who disliked their behavior. This happened not only in one subway station but was part of a systematic attempt to disrupt the whole service:

The MTR Corporation later issued a statement strongly condemning the continuous vandalism at stations. It said a number of stations including Tung Chung, Tsing Yi, Lam Tin, Kwun Tong, Diamond Hill, Lok Fu, Tsuen Wan, Lai King, Sha Tin, Sha Tin Wai, Siu Hong and Tin Shui Wai were targeted on Sunday, with CCTV cameras, ticket issuing machines and other facilities damaged.

On Saturday, protesters severely damaged facilities at 32 stations.

The intent was obviously not to protest but a well planned and coordinated sabotage campaign against the city's indispensable mass transport system. Sabotaging infrastructure is an old CIA tactic to "harass and demoralize enemy administrators and police".

Which brings me to a Lambert Strether's piece at Naked Capitalism which he headlined:

Clever Tactics “Add Oil” to Hong Kong Protests (and not “Hidden Hands”).

Strether asserts that there are no outside forces fueling the protests in Hong Kong:

[T]his post will have a simple thesis: The people of Hong Kong have considerable experience in running protests, and we don’t need to multiply invisible entities (“hidden hands”) to give an account of what they’re doing. For example, it’s not necessary to postulate that the participants in the 2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests consulted CIA handlers on tactics; their tactics are often available, in open source, on the Internet; other tactics are based on Hong Kong material culture, things and situations that come readily to hand and can be adapted by creative people (which the protesters clearly are).

If one ignores the evidence of U.S. influence one can indeed come that conclusion.

A commentator to Strether's piece correctly notes that this is not a question of either - or:

I am genuinely puzzled, and I have to say concerned, about the way this issue has been framed here. One does not have to accept the argument that *either* (1) the protests are completely spontaneous and genuine; *or* (2) the protests are mainly the product of CIA manipulation of otherwise clueless dupes (a whole lot of them apparently!). This is a false dichotomy. None of the critics of the mainstream Hong Kong narrative that I am familiar with take a position any where close to (2). It is a straw-man position if applied to most reputable “skeptics.”

Rather, the argument I have seen most often among these skeptics (including some commenters here) is that, while the protests *were* authentic and directed at real issues of concern to protesters, there have also been efforts on the part of Western agents to manipulate this situation. This included support of particular, strategically significant leaders and groups and, of course, control of the Western media narrative. We have pictures and stories in even the mainstream press of US officials and representatives of western NGOs meeting with such individuals. Hell, we have US politicians bragging about it.

(There are indeed two distinct groups of protesters which I hope to discuss soon in another piece.)

To claim that the U.S. is not heavily involved in the events in Hong Kong is nonsense. It is obviously not by chance that the U.S. sponsored Hong Kong rabble rouser Joshua Wong gets published in the New York Times with a call for U.S. Congress action against China:

American legislators are supposed to vote on a bill, the Human Rights and Democracy Act, that would give the president of the United States power to penalize Chinese officials who interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs. The law could also allow the United States to revoke the special economic treatment that Hong Kong enjoys, as separate from the mainland.

If the United States Congress passes the bill, it will be delivering a firm message both to other silent allies of Hong Kong and to China’s dictators. The clock is ticking in Hong Kong. Our future is being determined now.

The Trump administration strategy towards the new super villain China is a general decoupling between the 'west' and China. The violent protests in Hong Kong are obviously one instrument it applies to achieve that.

The Trump administration and the rioters hope that the Chinese military will intervene and create another Tianamen situation:

Some of the frustration of the protesters – and I read this more than once in, the go-to online forum for the city’s disaffected youth – comes from Beijing not having sent in mainland troops. For all their efforts and perceived self-sacrifice, many of them would rather face Chinese troops than Hong Kong police because the latter, though considered evil or illegitimate by some in the city, are at least seen as doing their job by most foreign observers. But the presence of Chinese troops in the city, no matter what they do, would immediately cause global condemnation while legitimising and glorifying the local resistance movement universally.

Well, if you wonder why the central government hasn’t sent troops, it’s because they think along the same line as the protesters.

Tianamen was, as we now know, a CIA led color revolution attempt, set up within a background of general protests, in which the U.S. regime change mastermind Gene Sharp was directly involved. The mostly falsely reported incident, during which soldiers were lynched and protesters gunned down, led to 'western' sanctions against China.

Beijing is not going to fall for the same trick twice.

The Joshua Wong op-ed shows that the aim has now been lowered. The riots and the inevitable police response to them are now supposed to push Congress to give the Treasury a tool to sanction Chinese officials for interfering in a Chinese(!) city's affairs.

Imagine the possibilities!



Naked Capitalism provides a daily "Links" post that is a valuable aggregation of interesting and important stuff to read. Up to August 2 the daily "Links" roundup, often edited by Lambert Strether, regularly included links to current Moon of Alabama pieces.

On August 2 your host took to the NC comments sections to argue against this balderdash which, incidentally, was posted by Lambert Strether:

On the question of whether the Hong Kong protests are a US-sponsored “color revolution,” alert NC reader MsExPat threw this over the transom:

"The line about foreign interference is Beijing boilerplate. Everyone here knows it’s bullshit. Laughable. ..."

I commented:

I call bullshit on MsExPat.

The Hong Kong stuff is clearly a U.S. instigated “color revolution” just like the Umbrella movement 2014. ...

MsExPat responded:

The National Endowment for Democracy funding is old news, consistently trotted out by pro-China trolls as a smoking gun. But NED donated to the pan-Democratic old school parties, not to the independent Civil Human Rights front, which is the only large organization that has been involved in these protests from day one ...

Funny how one can assert that the Civil Human Rights front is an 'independent' front when it largely consists of U.S. sponsored "pan-Democratic old schools parties" and other U.S. sponsored entities and when its former convener Ching Yin 'Johnson' Yeung is now a well paid "fellow" at the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy.

Anyway. My argument had consequences. Since August 2 no more links to Moon of Alabama pieces were posted in the daily Naked Capitalism "Links" roundup. I had expected less parochialism from an otherwise open minded site.

Posted by b on September 2, 2019 at 18:59 UTC | Permalink

next page »

>> Since August 2 no more links to Moon of Alabama pieces were posted in the daily Naked Capitalism "Links" roundup.

When it gets tough you can quickly see who your real friends are.

Posted by: Vollhonk | Sep 2 2019 19:27 utc | 1

Thanks b, for the update.

If it weren't for the U$A's sorry historical record of involvement in other countries domestic affairs, someone might believe these "protests" are strictly "grassroots" movements, but the record is clear.

Any countries the U$A sees as competitors economically, will be targeted for disruption.

Posted by: ben | Sep 2 2019 19:28 utc | 2

Sorry about your bad experience with NC. It's mostly a good site but I have had some disagreements with them over the years. Americans are brainwashed and it's a constant struggle to get Americans to admit their country is not a shining beacon on hill, even well educated "progressive" people who ought to know better.

Posted by: Dan Lynch | Sep 2 2019 19:30 utc | 3

You'll see just how open minded Naked Capitalism is if you post anything pro Brexit, regardless of your arguments or motivation.

Posted by: spudski | Sep 2 2019 19:33 utc | 4

I always perceived an anti-China bias in NK. More than half a decade ago they were hinting at the collapse of the Chinese "shadow banking" sector. Soros? Really?

Posted by: Maracatu | Sep 2 2019 19:33 utc | 5

erratum NK = NC

Posted by: Maracatu | Sep 2 2019 19:34 utc | 6

I saw the longer video and it looks like the "protesters" attacked the older gentleman first (along with other train riders). The passengers of the train were trying to keep the protesters off the train and they all had a shouting match before the black clad individuals started throwing water and using umbrellas to stab at passengers on the train through the open door. The older gentleman then took out his hammer from a bag and beat one of them and the rest jumped on the train to attack him. I think he was able to fight them off at the end.

Posted by: Doryphore | Sep 2 2019 19:41 utc | 7

Everybody is open minded as long as they agree with you. Fvck em' as they say.

Any way ..."The other passengers clearly disagree with the rioters' plans. Some made remarks the black clad youth disliked."... nice to see ordinary courage in action against these street thugs unlike Lam who postulates ...""Hong Kong is not dead yet, said Lam. "Maybe she is very, very sick, but she is not dead yet."..., and ..." and that she would quit if she could."...She would quit but the ordinary citizens will carry the fight to these parasites.

Posted by: Taffyboy | Sep 2 2019 19:56 utc | 8

Thanks b.

I think the police are beginning to win on the ground but sadly media and PR are not the forte of the establishment. Even though most events were on live TV things still get misreported or outright fabricated with out of context "evidence". It's even more disheartening when so many simply eat it all up.

to add some color to your example of the hands-up-don't-shoot-mtr-pepper-spraying... Even though they have changed their shirts (SOP) they were still wearing the compression sports leggings the front line rioters all wear to cover up their tats and other identifying marks. It doesn't take a genius to figure out they were rightly targeted.

I believe the core organisers now know they've lost. they've been keeping mum lately so they can distance themselves and say the movement is organic. what's left stew the all-in useful idiots begging the west to intervene. As a result I'm seeing flash riots that are now more violent, but much less organised and coordinated. it's a sign of desperation and the beginning of the end of the violent phase.

But on the other end there's still a massive problem in the fact that most magistrates and judges are sympathetic to the rioters causes, with most of them having been educated overseas. Most of the arrested rioters were allowed bail for seriously paltry amounts like $200-400 USD. Rioters caught with weapons, Molotovs and explosives precursors were also allowed bail, it's absolutely sickening.

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 2 2019 19:57 utc | 9

NC is sore point for many MoA readers. Every time NC comes up, there's always comments describing a bad NC experience.

Welcome to club b.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 2 2019 20:04 utc | 10

I also think that we should distinguish between two very different things when talking about foreign influence in HK's protests/riots. First, whether the motivation from anger is native and, two, whether there is a role of foreign influence through misdirection. Both of these issues can be answered "yes". There is no contradiction. It's a false dichotomy to think otherwise. The people in HK have deep seated concerns about the way the economy has benefited a few and they have concerns about Mainland tourists. But there are direct foreign influences as well and also their indirect mouthpieces in The Apple Daily (which is a tabloid that peddles in anti-China conspiracy theories) is the "newspaper" of choice among the protesters. It's publisher, Jimmy Lai was hosted with John Bolton recently in DC. The influence is through redirection (or misdirection), not creation of the already existing emotions that lead to the protests. The US has essentially used an aikido move in directing the force of that emotional energy towards China when it is the hyper-capitalistic forces that has resulted in so much of the legit gripes HKers have. The foreign actors have marshaled xenophobia, anti-communist propaganda and conspiracy theories to try and hijack the movement.

Posted by: Doryphore | Sep 2 2019 20:06 utc | 11

Yes ,b.Great.

Joshua Wong has had his hagiography in French newspapers as well.Navalny,Guaido,typical that they choose fundamentally unsincere people to carry their poisonous chandel.Lot of common people see through this.

Posted by: willie | Sep 2 2019 20:07 utc | 12

The Associated Press is reporting fake news as usual.

Here is a clip of the entire incident right from the beginning:

It's obvious the rioters attacked first, then blue-shirt old man whipped out a hammer to protect the commuters. Subsequently, the rioters rushed the train trying to beat him, with the rest of the rioters screaming "beat him", and the old man swung for the fences, keeping those rioters at bay and chasing them off the train. That dude was bona fide hard.

But what can you expect from the western fake news media.

Posted by: Cycloben | Sep 2 2019 20:13 utc | 13

Capitalism is never naked in Naked Capitalism but definitely covered - with more like a bikini or something. It’s another exercise in branding as the word naked acquires an inevitable postmodern twist. Yves is like a little yappy dog that snaps at anything it doesn’t like. I see her as the democratic party version of growling old Colonel Pat. These old Wall Streeters - Max Keiser, Nomi Prins and Yves are all the same - promise a lot but fail to deliver.

Having said that, on NC there are some very well-informed comments on Brexit.

Posted by: Lochearn | Sep 2 2019 20:30 utc | 14


(Looks like the Western media got the protests all wrong.)

Citizenship is a fundamental human right. One of the crimes and injustices of colonialism is that it denies people citizenship and the political and other rights that come with it. Even the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a colonial document, as it does not grant the right to citizenship to everyone. Britain was the greatest violator.

Many protesters have been carrying British flags. On Sunday a large protest was held outside the British Consulate in Hong Kong. The protestors were trying to prove their Britishness by waving flags and singing God Save the Queen. These people are BN(O)s who have been denied British citizenship. British National (Overseas) is a non-citizenship that gives the colonial subject no rights.

When Hong Kong was handed over to China, everyone was automatically granted Hong Kong Residency and Chinese Citizenship. If a person rejected Chinese citizenship and had another citizenship or nationality he was given one year to inform the authorities of the rejection. Otherwise any non-Chinese citizenship would be considered null and void by Hong Kong and Chinese authorities.

These protester have rejected Chinese citizenship and instead chosen to hold on to their British overseas nationality, evidently in the hope of eventually being allowed to abode in Britain.

Only the Financial Times reported on the protest, but the story is behind a paywall:

UK risks being pulled into Hong Kong crisis over citizenship row

Britain risks being pulled into Hong Kong’s worst political crisis in decades as thousands of residents of the former colony ramp up a campaign to receive full UK citizenship to secure an avenue of escape from the territory.

About 300 activists on Sunday rallied outside the British consulate to demand they receive a full UK passport in place of their “second-class” British National (Overseas) passports, a document issued to Hong Kong residents born before the handover of the territory from UK to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.

About 170,000 people hold valid BNO passports, according to figures from the UK’s Home Office, but the document awards few of the entitlements of full citizenship, such as the right of abode in the UK. 

“We think this is now or never. If the BNO holders lose this chance to fight for equality, we will never have another chance in history,” said Craig Choy, spokesman for campaign group Equal Rights for British National Overseas.

The demands, which have won some support in Westminster, follow escalating street protests in the territory sparked by a controversial bill that would allow Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to China.

Some have seen these anti-Chinese flag waivers as the driving force behind the protests, or at a minimum as ignorant locals duped by Western propaganda to advance an imperialist agenda. The Guardian is spinning the story to its opposite. The frightened BNOs are now asking for British help because of the Chineses crackdowns.

Hong Kong protests: calls grow to give citizens right to live and work in UK

Calls for the UK to restore the right of abode to people in Hong Kong are growing as the political crisis in the former British colony escalates.

As fears of direct intervention by Beijing grow, veteran pro-democracy campaigners have argued that Britain has a responsibility to protect residents who hold the passports it issued ahead of the handover.

Several hundred protesters rallied outside the British consulate on Sunday to demand they receive a full British passport, the Financial Times reported.

In the run-up to Hong Kong’s handover in 1997, Britain replaced the British Dependent Territories Citizens passports held by three million people with the British National (Overseas) passport, which grants the right to vote in the UK, but not the right to live or work here. A passionate campaign for holders to be granted the right of abode, particularly in light of 1989’s brutal crackdown on Tiananmen Square’s pro-reform protests, was dismissed – earning the BN(O) the nickname “Britain says No”. Craig Choy, a lawyer who has helped to lead the campaign for equal rights for BN(O) holders has compared the treatment of people in Hong Kong to the Windrush scandal.

Who are these people protesting against? China or Britain?

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 2 2019 20:37 utc | 15


The British judges are basically the judicial wing of the color revolutionaries, the same way the press is the propaganda wing.

Posted by: Cycloben | Sep 2 2019 20:39 utc | 16

The Hong Kong stuff is clearly a U.S. instigated “color revolution” just like the Umbrella movement 2014.

Hong Kong has been a US PsyWar target for several years at least. wiki:

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act was proposed (as a bill) since 2017 by Chris Smith, who is the chairman of Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and Marco Rubio, the co-chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.[1] The bill has bipartisan support and has been re-introduced each year since.[2]
The stated purpose of this bill, if become law, will be "to renew the historical commitment of the United States to uphold freedom and democracy in Hong Kong at a time when its autonomy is increasingly under assault." The proposed legislation will also "establish punitive measures against government officials in Hong Kong or mainland China who are responsible for suppressing basic freedoms in Hong Kong, especially in connection with the abduction of certain booksellers."[1] . . here

The latest incarnation:
H.R.3289 - Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019
Sponsor: Rep. Smith, Christopher H. [R-NJ-4] (Introduced 06/13/2019)
Committees House - Foreign Affairs; Judiciary; Financial Services
Latest Action:
House - 06/13/2019 Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committees on the Judiciary, and Financial Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 2 2019 21:05 utc | 17

>> from an otherwise open minded site.

That’s what I thought, until one day being called a troll and threatened with “delete all your past posts”. Despite years of commenting and generally lauding the posts and other reader comments. Such little respect for regular, enthusiastic patrons?? Something wrong with that, IMO.

Posted by: oglalla | Sep 2 2019 21:09 utc | 18

FWIW - deep fake, or actual?

Note she says that China won't intervene militarily at all and is willing to let the whole thing go on - to be "responsible". No "Tiannaman".

Posted by: DaffyDuct | Sep 2 2019 21:25 utc | 19

Started going to NC 11 yrs ago. Sadly the place is just declining more and more. Tired of the echo chamber it has become. It was a good start to the world of alternative media though. That's how I found out about you and the Saker. Sadly all good things must come to an end. Done with Lambert and Susan now.

Posted by: so | Sep 2 2019 22:02 utc | 20

The proprietors at NC are notoriously thin-skinned. They also no longer publish links from Russia business journalist John Helmer, due to some obscure difference of opinion.

Posted by: Gareth | Sep 2 2019 22:06 utc | 21

National Endowment for Democracy
Expanding Worker Rights and Democracy - NED
HONG KONG (CHINA) 2018 -- $445K

Solidarity Center (SC)
To expand worker rights and democracy and promote the development of civil society in Hong Kong. The center will support partners to strengthen the capacity of trade unions, including migrant and domestic worker unions, to organize, bargain and advocate for better protections for workers, and to raise public awareness and promote participation in worker rights issues.

Promoting Engagement of Fundamental Rights
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)
To facilitate engagement on Hong Kong’s growing threats to guaranteed rights. The institute will organize a seminar series in Hong Kong on how national security can be protected while safeguarding fundamental rights and will facilitate international advocacy for Hong Kong scholars, legal practitioners, and civil society leaders to raise awareness of recent developments among influential international stakeholders.

Strengthening Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Protection
Hong Kong Justice Center
To strengthen democratic institutions and human rights protections. The program will work with civil society networks and political leaders to improve compliance with international standards for human rights, and will seek to increase the international community’s awareness of human rights abuses in Hong Kong through advocacy and as part of the Universal Periodic Review process.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 2 2019 22:09 utc | 22

NED didn't mention funding another Hong Kong NGO. Perhaps they were cut off?

Law Yuk-kai has been the director of local NGO Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor (HKHRM)
Law Yuk-kai: "We have a number of sources of funding including senior lawyers and non-profits like the National Endowment for Democracy." . .here, Dec 27, 2015

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 2 2019 22:24 utc | 23


Naked Capitalism is one of the good guys. Their Commentariate are for the most part, smart, informed and sometimes a better read than the piece they are commenting on. There are, of course those Comment hi-jackers who pop up from time to time (every site has them!) and others who tend to get entangled in the financia1 weeds and the chain wanders off. Yves is sometimes a reluctant Wall Street rebel, but a rebel nonetheless. As for NC's Brexit Straddle, I am on the side of those who feel the Brits should have Brexited the day after the Get Out Of Dodge referendum won. The UK Parliament of Poltroons' 3-yr Brexit sabotage is a disgrace. NC is a bit schizo on that question. However, their ginormous examination of Calpers deserves to go into the Finance Crimes time capsule at the end of the world. And the regular contributions of the estimable Michael Hudson are a must-read for anyone with a functional brain.

Posted by: mrtmbrnmn | Sep 2 2019 22:37 utc | 24

MoA voices the Beijing line again: it's all the fault of the bad people in the USA, the CCP communists who killed tens of millions to get into power are the good guys even though they tried to take over the HK legislature in 2014 - and were pushed back - and then introduced extradition in 2019 (no doubt this was all planned by the USA). No mention of the handling of the situation by the Beijing government? Very one-sided piece concentrating on the worst elements of the protests and then using those vandals to discredit the whole movement as run by the evil USA. More "grass is greener" from MoA. No wonder the yellow vests get no coverage, they are just rioters sponsored by the USA, they have no legitimate grievances. Fuck 'em.

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 2 2019 22:53 utc | 25


I have said as much in my first post on this event weeks ago, this is the only strategy that China MAY win out of this sh1tshow. In all other permutations China loses.

The protestors had openly declared their aim is to burn down HK with themselves (攬抄). Therefore the logical counter (when you can't use force a la occupy central) is to let them burn it down until the silent majority has had enough. we are not quite there yet as the older generation (majority) are culturally conditioned to mind their own business and not stick out or be a hero (各家自掃門前雪). city is dead over the weekend, tourism is hit massively, restaurants are closing en masse. when the mums and dads can't pay their rent or mortgages there'll be hell to pay. of course the protestors will turn it on the government saying if it had got on it's knees months ago this won't have had happened. such retarded logic, but I won't put it pass the idiots.

There are no massing of PLA right now nor there'll be any. this is not the 1980s, armies are trained to kill and ill suited for the job. There's a mass of wujin (armed police) over the border doing show exercises and they're there mainly for domestic consumption, to show the mainland Chinese the government is willing and able to finish the job if HK is unable. because truth be told, the Mainlanders see protesting HKers as a bunch of ungrateful treasonous over-privileged w@nkers.

And on that, the mainlander's disdain on HK protests and support of HK police is real. They see their country is under pressure from all sides and they're not about to let a bunch of useful idiots ruin the progress they made with blood and sweat.

It's important to keep in mind all the so called experts giving soundbites residing in foreign lands are there because they are anti China and therefore have an axe to grind. Just like the student leaders in this episode, they are given scholarships and in time will be some professor of politics in some NED paid centre of some bullshit studies giving soundbites just like the ones that are doing it on MSM right now.

The stronger a country the freer are it's people (think I'm paraphrasing put in here). Almost 150 million mainland Chinese made overseas trips in 2018 yet so few are overstaying their visas or asked for asylum... Go figure.

This is not the 1980s, don't believe the hype.

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 2 2019 22:57 utc | 26


and you're toeing the VOA line.

I live there, I was born there, I also have that useless BNO passport framed just to remind myself of western hypocrisy and they are not to be worshipped like some god of justice and freedom. what I write is from what I see and hear with my own eyes and ears.

I was brainwashed to hate commie China just the same as the kids protesting are today. iraq II WMD and Yugoslavia opened my eyes why don't you open yours too (boom boom)? or is doing some reading too hard for you and prefer the media to think for you instead?

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 2 2019 23:16 utc | 27

One theory nobody discusses is maybe China is behind this. Lets face it, those thugs using violence are terrorists. The triads are violent groups and many are connected with elements in China, and were used by China in the 60’s to destabilize HK

One thing we know from experience is when state directs terrorists attacks against its own population,they blame it on someone else and use it to gain support for changes that otherwise would not be supported. A lot of local business and working people in HK would like to see an end to the madness. Peaceful protests over a weekend are one thing, this is terrorism.

Perhaps ending Hong Kongs status as a special territory is the end game, or perhaps simply smashing the illusion that Hong Kong can self rule and progress to Democracy is enough and giving Beijing more of a say, I cant say for sure.

Its interesting that the US allows mainland goods that go through Hong Kong to be tariff free. This makes Trumps tariffs even weaker sauce than it already is, and helps remove some of the pressure from its importers and consumers. If China were in direct control of Hong Kong he would be forced to close that loophole. This would turn Hong Kong into a lesser territory and allow a transfer of wealth and business to those on the mainland who are most important to the party. Hong Kong has also served as a tax haven for exporters, businesses, and party elite who wish to avoid China taxes. Xi wants to end that. Hong Kong has served a great purpose. Now it needs to be forced to submit without any special privileges to avoid any appearances of a double standard and to close loopholes. The protests will give them the excuse to make it happen

Maybe US is coordinating this to some extent to help Xi out. More fake wrestling.

Posted by: Pft | Sep 2 2019 23:20 utc | 28

NC has long targeted the PRC. Commenters like myself who attempt to counter their (usually baseless, MSM) assertions are permanently blocked.

Too bad, because it is a useful service in many ways. Their expose of Uber has been wonderful.

Posted by: Godfree Roberts | Sep 2 2019 23:22 utc | 29

@29 A.L.

That was well said. Thank you for your perspective.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 2 2019 23:24 utc | 30

Not two weeks ago it appeared that the Anglo-American destabilisation agencies had their Chinese enemy at a serious disadvantage, exploiting Hong Kong disaffection to produce a new Tiananmen spectacle and just in time to send a message to Taiwan for their upcoming elections. The clearly evident coaching of the demonstrators aimed to display just enough violence to provoke a repressive crackdown on the part of the police suitable to the purposes of the desired media message: 'Authoritarian Repression against the Tender Buds of Chinese Democracy'. But now, only a short time later, it appears to me that perhaps the Beijing authorities presently take the view that the incessant 'provoke a bloody response' tactics might well be sending just the right sort of message to Taiwan. I'm speculating that the managers in Beijing are thinking: 'let the kids trash the city and induce capital flight'. They'll promote Shenzhen anyway and as for the Taiwanese the relevant message becomes: 'if you want to play freedom games you'll have to forget about order and prosperity and join the ranks of failed polities like Hong Kong'. It's all aimed at the Taiwanese middle classes who don't want 'authoritarian crackdowns' but even less do they want stick wielding hooligans taking over their streets; it's bad for business. Dragging things out while refraining from sending in the troops serves Beijing's purpose. Hong Kong can be sacrificed. Here, radical secessionist protestors line up with corrupt oligarchs, tax evaders, and anti China traitors. But still, we'll see how things pan out.

Posted by: Kevin Frost | Sep 2 2019 23:25 utc | 31

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 2 2019 23:16 utc | 30

I live in Yau Ma Tei, I saw the riot police running into the station. You should get past your bias and consider this: “who is benefiting most from the violence?”. You can see, just by reading MoA, that China is benefiting from the violence, it is also all being done on China’s schedule, before golden week. There are also a lot of mainlanders amongst the rioters. This is certainly the mainland’s modus operandi, so why is the USA guilty because they had a few “public “ meetings with pro democracy people? Why?

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 2 2019 23:26 utc | 32

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 2 2019 22:57 utc | 29

Why would the PLA come dressed as PLA? If they want to avoid media criticism they will be dressed as HK police: and without IDs, like now.

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 2 2019 23:32 utc | 33

Doryphore @ 11:

The phenomenon of genuine protests being infiltrated and hijacked by outside forces which turn the protests away from protesters' original girevances into violent anti-govt insurrections is not unusual. The US and its allies did the same in Dar'aa in Syria in 2011. The original protests there were about rising food prices. These protests were taken over by gangs of thugs who proceeded to burn down a police station and a building owned by the Ba'ath Party.

The protests in Iran over late 2017 / early 2018 almost could have taken a turn for the worse in the same way. The shooting of Neda Agha-Soltan during protests after Iranian presidential elections in 2009 may have been intended to bring on a govt crackdown on protesters that could have given an opportunity for gangs of thugs or snipers to escalate the violence and start a war.

You can usually recognise when a protest movement ceases to be a genuine protest movement: when the original aims of that movement are answered by the government in power, and the protesters then escalate their complaints to demanding things the government cannot possibly fulfil, because it would mean the government having to break its own laws or to resign. When the government at this point refuses to give in to such demands, then protesters turn to violence to bait police and riot police.

Also at this point most of the international media not only starts to cover the protests in more detail, it takes the protesters' side and presents the protests as a black-n-white heroes-vs-villains issue.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 2 2019 23:37 utc | 34

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 2 2019 22:57 utc | 29
You also seem to discard the possibility that Beijing also know how the USA operates. Is that a possibility? Maybe they are playing this to pin the blame on the USA, knowing that there are a lot of people out there who are more than willing to pin everything on the USA.

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 2 2019 23:39 utc | 35

On a recent open thread there was discussion on China's so-called "ghost cities".

I often cite Godfree Roberts as a source of reliable statistics as well as civilizational understanding about China. As it happens, he had just written a long piece about China's amazing pace both of building and of populating its new cities. Shame we missed it a the time, but here it is now, and I highly recommend it as a solid reference:

A San Francisco Every Month - How China’s Urbanization Pays for Itself

As we said in our earlier discussion, and as Roberts details, China's cities do get populated, and as a UN worker quoted in the piece says, he keeps heairng about ghost cities but in his constant travels across China her has yet to find one. My view is that, after the revolution brought city-quality education and enfranchisement to the countryside where most Chinese lived, so too has urbanization taken on extraordinary dimensions following that great equalizing measure.

What's happening now is a project on an almost inconceivable scale (unless you're Chinese, of course). The whole piece is fascinating, but here here are a couple of snippets:

China’s landlords, the world’s oldest social class, maintained their grip on the country’s land for three thousand years until, in 1949, Mao placed it in public trust, divided[1] it, and began a series of experiments that continue to this day. In 1960 he combined individual plots into communal farms for the Great Leap Forward. In 1978, Deng redivided them into family plots that proved inefficient, but attempts to recombine them into larger, more efficient farms failed until 2012. Then a Trial Spot in Sihong County created land management rights that farmers could rent or pledge as collateral, so long as their land remained agricultural. Beijing promoted Sihong’s solution nationwide and, today, millions of rural people are unlocking twenty-two trillion dollars of previously inaccessible wealth.


Since the effective size of a labor market is defined by the average number of jobs accessible in a sixty minute commute, well-designed infrastructure is vital to the current phase of urbanization. Cities generate ninety percent of the world’s economic growth, so Chinese planners studied prosperous megacities like Seoul and Tokyo and concluded that there is no need to limit their size if they are well planned. Now they are creating nineteen supercity clusters, the five biggest of which average 110 million people, which they expect to generate ninety percent of the national economy by 2030.

Notice the use of Trial Spots. Everything in China is trialed somewhere to see if it works. Only after rigorous examination that proves effectiveness does an experiment become a policy to be rolled out on a larger scale.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 2 2019 23:46 utc | 36

Posted by: Jen | Sep 2 2019 23:37 utc | 36
Indeed, distraction leads MoA to report on violence and forget the original cause: just helping TPTB to move us plebs away from our fellow plebs’ grievances. Doing the same job as the MSM.

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 2 2019 23:48 utc | 37

One of the most serious problems with color revolutions is that they delegitimize authentic people activism. I think the Hegemonic sponsors of such color revolutions are not at all unhappy with that aspect though; I think they oppose real democracy.

Someone mentioned that the color revolution folks seem to have hypnotized at least some folks in Hong Kong into blaming the worng people for their troubles. It's important to see that the same thing has been done in our country, where folks like Trump have very successfully channeled popular unrest caused by economic inequality into hatred against foreigners, etc..

Posted by: paul | Sep 2 2019 23:50 utc | 38

@36 Jen

Yes, and who was it said recently that you could tell a legitimate protest - such as the Yellow Vests in France now in their 42nd consecutive week of struggle - by the fact that they are completely ignored in the western media.

Conversely, the Hong Kong situation is shown to be false by its headliner status in the west.

@33 Kevin Frost

I tend to agree, although I think China's reluctance to intervene doesn't come principally from those calculations - they are simply some of the ramifications among others that all flow from the truth of the situation itself. China gave Hong Kong "One Country, Two Systems" until the 2040's, and has no special desire to interrupt whatever may develop out of that time period.

Beijing can wait another generation or so to see how Hong Kong will throw off its fading imperialist culture, with its inadequate systems, and snuggle back into the motherland of its own accord. All China has to do is get on with its exemplary (to Hong Kong) path, and be heedful of the integrity of all borders.


I personally would be sad to see the mainland have to send soldiers into HK - one hopes the police can handle this.

And any concept that mainland China is actually behind this protest simply doesn't wash - there's no logic of that scenario that actually matches the overarching imperatives and power balances of this time and this situation. China doesn't have to go looking for trouble. She holds all the cards already, and there's no reason at all for her to have instigated this.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 3 2019 0:04 utc | 39

Very thin at NC. B, you probably criticized one of their major donors. That's the kiss of the death. The atmosphere there is very clubby and self-righteous when it comes to their interpretation of events. I still visit daily for the links, but I know my place. Unlike here, the comments are heavily censored and anyone who fails to meet their criteria is called out and threatened with expulsion. They've built themselves a nice little community and are very proud of the princples upon which they stand. Lambert takes his marching orders from Yves and will defend her to the death. They are loath of ever making a mistake or admitting one. If they cut you off, you're dead to them. Sorry, but you will never hear them utter that word.

Posted by: RenoDino | Sep 3 2019 0:06 utc | 40

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 3 2019 0:04 utc | 41
She holds all the cards already, and there's no reason at all for her to have instigated this.

China instigated the 2014 and 2019 protests by forcing legislation onto the HK legislature. There are rumours - who knows whether they are true - that Carrie Lam proposed withdrawing the extradition bill but was stopped from doing so by Beijing. Your assertions are backed by nothing, China knew the outcome in 2014 so would certainly have predicted the outcome in 2019. In addition, they are the one country that will benefit from the riot phase of the protests, speeding up the integration of HK into mainland China and enabling them to disregard the grievances of the plebs.
Just because China does not shout their intentions from the rooftops does not mean they are sitting there idle, they are just as criminal as any authoritarian who has absolute power.

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 3 2019 0:21 utc | 41

We need those white shirted citizens to organize and fight back again. They may be linked to organized crime, but they fight back because they saw that the protestors were getting out of hand.

Posted by: Toxik | Sep 3 2019 0:25 utc | 42

Moon, SST and NC are too important to stop frequenting over sibling squabbles. Hong Kong, Damascus and Kiev riots all have too many similarities to be a coincidence. Ethnic conflicts are being used as profit centers by western military contractors and jobs for the intelligence community. Joe Biden with help from Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton changed everything in 2014 by restarting the Cold War. This forced Russia, China and Iran to ally. In order to survive these nations are facing reality, defending their interests and countering western corporate propaganda. Half a century ago the Soviet Union was able to assist the anti-war protests due to the draft of 18 to 26 year-old males facing going to fight in an unwinnable war. After the end of the draft and with an economy dedicated at that time to helping workers, the protests died away. Today on USA’s Labor Day, the United Kingdom and the United States both have been purposely divided into separate ethnic tribes so the rich can exploit workers and the environment. A hard Brexit, the endless wars and the loss of democracy in both nations may light the fire to regain the people’s right to good governance.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Sep 3 2019 0:25 utc | 43

Naked Capitalism won't publish points of view they disagree with.

I've tried numerous times to publish reasoned pieces based on my 3 years working in China, and my many years working overseas in Oceania
and Africa and Latin America.

None of my comments have ever been published.

NK is Yves personal lectern.

Take anything published there with a grain of salt.

In my view the PRC should announce supremecy of PRC law, that extradition is not necessary because HK is part of china.


Draft all HK residents 18-30 years old into work camps in rural china, round them up and march them to Shenzhen over the bridge, with no food and no water until they reach Shenzhen.



Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Sep 3 2019 0:26 utc | 44


It is the way of the movement to come up with it's own rumours to justify its bias and anger. If it was the PLA their accent will give themselves away from a county mile. Even Guandong Cantonese is different enough to be distinguished easily.

besides if it was the PLA, the mtr will be full of body bags now. as I said before, armies are trained to kill, not mess about.

count your lucky stars the HKP is so tolerant, may be because they still see the kids as one of their own.

and the so called movement rewarded the police by publicly outing their personal and family details on the net, and mobbing their homes and families? openly calling for discrimination and physical harm to their children in schools?

I never denied there is support for the movement in hk, but they are not the majority. every protest numbers are stupendously inflated 3 to 10x, even if I concede the totally bullshit 2 million march the other 5 million of us are still at our post, proving the general strikes were total failures.

the riotors then resort to enforce our involuntary participation to the bs strike by paralyzing public transport routes and systems, then tell the world what a success it was. such democracy!

right now the movement is basking in the aura of its own bullshit. they're the only ones telling themselves they're right, egged on by its political or financial benefactors, taking advantage of the adolescent need for binary reasoning, solidarity and support (even if false), justifying all means and methods.

Democracy demands responsibilities. right now it is proven beyond doubt it is a responsibility the movement does not yet possess.

You are here because you have doubts, you're angry because I'm right. It's ok, it's natural, I've been through it. Use that anger and seek the truth, with a healthy skepticism comes thought independence and true maturity. I've been lurking here for years, not everyone see eye to eye on everything, but this joint is alright.

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 3 2019 0:27 utc | 45

What kind of an idiot looks at the post-Cold War quarter century and can't figure out that CCP China won it hands down.

As UniParty Democrats and Republicans shouted about Tiananmen, American industry and jobs were outsourced to China.

Regardless of what outside meddling may or may not be in the Hong Kong protests, the objective is to blame POTUS Trump whatever the outcome.

Posted by: MLK | Sep 3 2019 0:32 utc | 46

@ b who wrote
I had expected less parochialism from an otherwise open minded site.

Almost Naked Capitalism is the Huffington Post of Western finance. Their TINA attitude about global private finance is what got me called CrazyPants on my way out of being a regular commenter/supporter there. I find your use of the term "parochialism" humorous having spent 12 years in parochial school. I continue to associate the term with faith based narrow mindedness which fits with the West's faith based fiat/debt money that has no intrinsic value....this point to be driven into the public conscious clearly quite soon. IMO

Hong Kong is another front in the West pushed WWIII against China who continues to insist on public finance as the core element of their social organization. As Grieved linked to and described above #41, China's socialism with a Chinese face is pragmatic and succeeding which is and will continue to make the cult of private finance in the West look bad. I agree that China can let Hong Kong stew in its own fetid myth of "democracy" as it continues to move its and associated countries forward. It sounds like the elders of Hong Kong are starting to fight back which will end this display of fake revolution for the Western MSM that is ignoring the ongoing "yellow vests" protests in France

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 3 2019 0:41 utc | 47

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 2 2019 23:26 utc | 34

“who is benefiting most from the violence?”. You can see, just by reading MoA, that China is benefiting from the violence

Those clever Chinese! They've manipulated the mainstream media into reporting that the protestors are innocent victims, and that the entire HK population supports them. Meanwhile, they've tricked the US Government into tabling a "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act". If you think about it long and hard enough (maybe after dropping a few hits of acid), the benefits to China are clearly obvious.

Thanks for opening my eyes to this diabolical game of Asian 14-dimensional chess.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Sep 3 2019 0:42 utc | 48

@farm 50

I just spewed coffee all over my phone. thanks.

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 3 2019 0:53 utc | 49

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 3 2019 0:27 utc | 47
I posted the other day that the Chinese are racist and arrogant - an observation, not a criticism - and I thank you for providing me with more evidence.

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 3 2019 0:54 utc | 50

Regarding NC, at the end of the day it is still probably the single best independent news aggregator, AND they do original content that is generally excellent, AND their comment section is well kept and full of thoughtful observations.

Like everyone else, they have their views, receive certain subjects more sensitively, and even have some prejudices as we all do.

Yves at NC clearly believes that China is a bigger threat to Chinese citizens than the US is to US citizens. I.e. the Chinese system is more authoritarian. I would agree with the authoritarian part. But I would also say the more relevant comparison should be (1) whether China or the US is a bigger threat to Chinese citizens and (2) whether China or US is the bigger threat to US citizens. I think breaking it down that way makes a big difference, though it is a rather tortured way to resolve this.

The HK story might be examined by comparing it to some of the Arab Spring episodes perhaps. Organic protest movements seem easy to steer but the range of outcomes varies wildly, and unfortunately the record is clear that US involvement reduces chances for a happy outcome. HK residents with genuine grievances should keep in mind also that the people currently running US foreign policy are a bit below average in ability to handle subtleties and nuance. It is not an enviable situation.

Posted by: Ptb | Sep 3 2019 1:02 utc | 51

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 3 2019 0:53 utc | 51

My pleasure. But more importantly, thank you for giving us a Hong Konger's perspective of this issue.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Sep 3 2019 1:06 utc | 52

I hadn't gone to Lambert's commentary, b, so I find it equally disappointing. The one excuse I've had for NC in its generally antiChina links was that bringing those to the table at least gave opportunity for some very worthwhile comments arguing against bad ideas, as also with the Brexit. I actually haven't done more than read the headlines for most of their links, as they were to sites I would not visit, but I was grateful to them when they linked to your expositions as that made the site more balanced.

Abruptly, there are now no comments at the site, for a respite period, which would be understandable indeed, given the few folk running it. Still, one can't help feeling in this increasingly surveilled and programmed existence the US has become that maybe even a site such as this has become, dare I say it, a judas goat. They do seem very deeply into the political scene, for a site whose emphasis is on the economy.

I will be very sorry if the absence of counterargument continues there. Even we, who are always right ;) need that.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 3 2019 1:08 utc | 53

don't confuse confidence with arrogance. I do my research and make up my own mind, sometimes getting lablled as arrogant comes with the territory. I'm ok with that.

but trying to put words in my mouth by casually planting the word 'racist' in a reply? cmon, that's just poor show.

while you're there why don't you just outright call me a paedophile too?

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 3 2019 1:14 utc | 54

What I find amusing is the belief by the Outlaw US Empire's China Hawks that they can somehow outwit a civilization and associated wisdom that's well over 6K years old, that like The Borg of Star Trek, merely assimilates those who would invade and occupy.

Instead of wasting time and resources trying to fight something that's unconquerable, the idiots in charge of the Outlaw US Empire ought to try and actually compete with the BRI--how else to actually Make America Great Again?!

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 3 2019 1:19 utc | 55

On the Hong Kong issue, I am just very sad for the young people. Whoever is doing it, I think they are being played. And China's forbearance so far does remind me a lot of Putin's patience in the Ukraine situation. I hope they can keep it up.

Cui bono? Something Hong Kong should consider. If the people do have sagacity, perhaps they can bring order to chaos without further violence. Crimea is a case in point. Though different in its infrastructure and history, there really are similarities.

Thanks, b. This is indeed a very far-reaching issue.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 3 2019 1:22 utc | 56

Alleged “liberals” tend to be brainwashed, CNN/DNC zombies and “Naked Capitalism” has quite a few. I personally suspect that US, UK, Israeli bots try to censor everything on the web that contradicts their propaganda by complaining or trying to ban people. I was banned from democratic underground (weanies) fduring the 2006 hez war for very politely defending Hezbollah. Its a tactic they use..banning.

Posted by: Alaric | Sep 3 2019 1:27 utc | 57

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 3 2019 1:14 utc | 56
So you are reading the daily reports from the China security services? The people who are no doubt calling the shots on all protests that happens in China? You are a fool if you think you know what is going on, you have nothing but your own preferences and you have probably never even talked to a protester, so have no idea as to what the plebs are thinking - the easiest side to investigate. Nobody here knows what is happening.

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 3 2019 1:28 utc | 58

@ aspnaz 52
the Chinese are racist and arrogant
Baloney. That's a stupid comment.
You're talking about a couple billion people, what are your credentials for that stupid comment?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3 2019 1:32 utc | 59

The main complaint, the only complaint, of the violent protesters is that they are treated violently. They have no other agenda! And some US politicians are crying crocodile tears over that! Politicians who have never ever complained about the assassination of black Americans by American police!. .It drives me to exclamation points!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3 2019 1:40 utc | 60

But on the other end there's still a massive problem in the fact that most magistrates and judges are sympathetic to the rioters causes, with most of them having been educated overseas. Most of the arrested rioters were allowed bail for seriously paltry amounts like $200-400 USD. Rioters caught with weapons, Molotovs and explosives precursors were also allowed bail, it's absolutely sickening.

by: A.L. @ 9 most interesting observation.. could you outline the social hierarchy in HK or tell where to get an English explanation of it.. How do outsider educated judges get into judge jobs in HK? One book I read said nearly every judge in HK was CIA.. M16 or Mossad.. but no where else have I seen that point so it is unconfirmed at the moment.. Also what is the law in HK is it still British or what/ thanks.

Posted by: snake | Sep 3 2019 1:40 utc | 61

Aspnaz @ 43:

You say you live in Yau Ma Tei so presumably you know about the 2018 St Valentine's Day murder in Taiwan and its connection to the extradition bill.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 3 2019 2:16 utc | 62

thanks b... i don't follow NC and might have read an article or 2 by them, but it is not on my radar.. maybe that is a good thing!

thanks aspnaz and A.L. for the back and forth commentary...

aspnaz, i am curious... do you figure MOA has a bigger following then the NYTimes? why is it that Joshua Wong gets published in the NYTimes? is that supposed to be pro china? maybe b ought to ask the NYt to publish his stories, then your concepts here might hold a bit more weight... and what explains "The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act" being run by usa lawmakers that dipshit pl is discussing here? is that another byproduct of MOA's superior influence on the world to push a pro china viewpoint? i am sorry, but i have to agree with A.L. in his gentle comments to you.. welcome to moa and i hope you continue to read, and comment..

Posted by: james | Sep 3 2019 2:33 utc | 63

Someone pointed out recently that 150 million Chinese are traveling abroad each year, and practically every one of them comes home. The point is that they can get out of the country if they want to, but they don't want to. China's population as endlessly surveyed by the government is about 85% happy with the direction the country is going in.

The concept that China is "authoritarian" is one that needs to be addressed, but with the standard caution that China is a civilization whose people and their state have their own model of society - largely drawn from Taoist wisdom, which is itself drawn from the observation of how nature and reality actually work.

So, applying western concepts to Chinese civilization results in missing China. Instead, one must approach China as if attempting to learn, from a clean slate, how the ancient civilization actually works.

One might as well jump in with the very hardest one of them all, the "Social Credit" experiment in China. Abandon all western yardsticks, and settle in for 4,000 words by Dr. Godfree Roberts again:
Social Credit, Datong Dreams

Roberts explains the ancient aspirations of China, of the two civilizational stages of xiaokang and dàtóng.

In 2011, the Prime Minister defined xiaokang as ‘a society in which no one is poor and everyone receives an education, has paid employment, more than enough food and clothing, access to medical services, old-age support, a home and a comfortable life’ and, when China reaches that goal on June 1, 2021, there will be more drug addicts, suicides and executions, more homeless, poor, hungry and imprisoned people in America than in China.

Guided by Xi Jinping Thought (which, like Deng’s Thought which preceded it, is a plan and its ethical justification) the National Family will then attempt to create a dàtóng society, an advanced version of Marx’s notion of Communism, ‘from each according his ability, to each according to his need’. Once it is clear that virtually every Chinese is on board with this program, this account of the steps towards it makes sense.

I find it crucial to understand that today's China is completely made up of experiments followed by rigorous analysis and tweaks. The Trial Spot that I highlighted earlier is how China is finding its best practices, and the social credit experiment is proceeding in the same way, with local variants and different cohorts for testing. It has elicited massive feedback and commentary within China, and this is the other crucial aspect, in my view, namely that no government in the world surveys and solicits feedback like the Chinese government does. How much of these two things belongs to the ancient China, I don't know, but it's a signature part of the modern China.

While I'm on the Roberts kick, here's a brief, 700-word primer on how the Communist Party is structured, and a bit of a look into the governance of China:
The Chinese Communist Party


What I found interesting also with the main article are the comments. I liked to scroll down through them and read Roberts's own, color-highlighted responses, a great source of additional information. He's writing a book, and this article has a book quality to it. He's very generous with the data in his responses too.

But what's sad about the comments is how many people want to challenge the facts that Roberts lays out, by arguing as if from first principles, and of course using western concepts. So we see the kind of approach that says, "I can't believe X..." or "Surely the people can't really want Y". Useless argumentation instead of trying to listen and learn.

Speaking as a westerner, I find that this is an alien civilization, made up of the most human of people. Much is familiar, some things are not. You can't reason out China from first principles. You have to learn what it is.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 3 2019 2:45 utc | 64

Reading b’s posts on HK one would come away with the conclusion that b believes the people of HK have no legitimate grievances and the protesters are just robots programmed by the evil Americans.

It should be obvious what b’s bias is.

I lived in HK for several years. The situation is far more complex and nuanced than what b is portraying. My experience while living there is that there are a number of HKers who are suspicious of and don’t trust the Chinese Communist Party. Many in the young generation want a more pluralistic system with basic political and other civil rights that is not available under the communists.

How many who comment here want to live in a society where there are no basic civil liberties? If you believe that the Chinese Communist Party is the epitome of the society you want to live in have you considered immigrating there?

Posted by: ab initio | Sep 3 2019 2:55 utc | 65

ab initio

Explain more or list what comes under your term "civil liberties".

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 3 2019 3:10 utc | 66

Another example of Western “non-interference” in HK affairs: an American (or Australian, can’t tell by his accent) verbally abuses and provokes HK police:

Posted by: S | Sep 3 2019 3:13 utc | 67

@ 66
If it is considered that China is "authoritarian" then there is a reason for it. Many Westerners make the mistake that Asians, Chinese in particular, think and react like Westerners about social and political matters, but they don't.

First, Westerners, the US in particular, emphasize individual rights whereas the Confucian Chinese put the government above all. (Of course one can argue that individual rights suffer in the West.
..looking at the hierarchies, China vs. West, top to bottom:
top ----> bottom
Gov't/Leaders ----> individual
individual -----> Gov't/Leaders

So looking at Hong Kong, the only support for what these young puppies are mindlessly doing against their government will come from the people who benefit from it. These youngsters will have no sympathy in China where their elders are venerated not attacked..

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3 2019 3:16 utc | 68

I'm not sure that differences between China and the west are as vast as people tend to think. China and the US are both surveilance states, although China seems to be becoming more overtly so.

Also, is a one-party system really that much worse than a dysfunctional "two-party" system that has been thoroughly corrupted by money and special interests and consistently acts against the desires and best interests of the majority? Looking at the current leadership of exemplary democracies such as the US, Canada, Israel, Great Britain, India and Brazil, who would be tempted to implement such a system in their own land?

Posted by: farm ecologist | Sep 3 2019 3:20 utc | 69

@ ab initio 67
. . .b believes the people of HK have no legitimate grievances
Okay, what are their legitimate grievances that allow them to conduct their violent attacks?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3 2019 3:21 utc | 70

@ farm ecologist 71
I'm not sure that differences between China and the west are as vast as people tend to think.
You're not sure. Have you gotten off the farm and lived in China? . . .I have.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3 2019 3:24 utc | 71

S 69

American. The accent came through when he said he said "fuck you".

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 3 2019 3:25 utc | 72

@67 an initio I'm (slightly) curious: are you suggesting that billions of Chinese have to change their entire decades-long system of governance simply so that the mainland can assuage the "suspicions" of the "younger generation" of a pissant city that is now little more than a pimple on the body-politic of China?

Wow. Talk about feeling entitled.

The deal that the CPC struck with the UK prior to handover left the people of HK massively over-privileged in comparison to their fellow citizens on the mainland.

And as the old Credence song goes, it appears that all they want is More, More, More.

Ungrateful bastards.

The crux of this issue is very simple: some of the people of Hong Kong have a massively over-inflated sense of their own importance. They are about to be rudely corrected.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 3 2019 3:26 utc | 73


What does it mean in Australia?

Posted by: ab initio | Sep 3 2019 3:31 utc | 74

@ 75
Yes, ungrateful bastards. Hong Kong has a preferential trade relationship with the US, for one thing, and -- get this -- a US senator has now threatened to cancel that relationship! . . .hah. . .You can't make this stuff up.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3 2019 3:33 utc | 75

Finally one Western economist with at least a little bit of honor:

Only China Can Save Us Now

That's why China is still alive and the USSR isn't. As I've posted here many times already: no new economic system is born ready and perfect (like the goddess Athena out of Zeus' head), it is prone to many births and deaths, many progress and falls.

Is China the final answer to socialism? No. But it represents the next step in relation to the USSR (the first truly proletarian State), and is all we have now.

I was lucky to be too young to see the disgusting image of the Soviet flag being removed from Moscow and the CPSU being thrown into illegality like a bunch of cheap thieves by an ungrateful generation. I'm sure many leftists (most of them ex-communists) in the West were happy with this -- without knowing what would wait for them in the 21st Century. I don't intend to commit the same mistake the generation of my parents commited, and I recommend whoever is still breathing right now to do the same.


As for the HK riots.

It's clear the protests are now reduced to the student movement and some elements (who probably come and are from the student movement) under the USA's hand.

As I've mentioned here many times, a color revolution won't work without at least one of these two: 1) high levels of infiltration (which was Brazil's case) and/or 2) the backup of unconventional warfare (UW).

The degree of American infiltration in China is very small -- the last significant CIA remnants were found out and executed in the 1950s. An attempt to use Tibet's Dalai Lama in the 1970s-80s failed miserably precisely because of the lack of UW backup (and because there wasn't and substract for a Tibet-based color revolution). Nowadays, the CIA is improvising and using HK students to try to do something.

History demonstrates it: students alone don't do revolutions. Leftist student movements (some of them guerilla) were encircled, divided and massacred by the liberal dictatorships of Latin America in the 1960s-1980s. I'm sure there are many other examples around the world like those. It is only the working class enters in the scene that governments face the real possibility of falling. That's what happened in Latin America in the 1980s: crisis, general strikes, capitulation of the generals in a matter of years or months.

HK's color revolution will fail because, ultimately, the Hongkonger working class -- its true working class, not those upper-middle class imposters that are marching in black under American payroll -- has chosen to back the government.

Now, which government it is, remains to be seen. This was a huge blow to the Hongkonger capitalist elite, who lived in the best of the two worlds possible (pun intended). Beijing will only accelerate the demise of the city by diverting investment in Shenzhen and Shanghai, but it will have to do it slowing -- preferably, in a period of at least 70-80 years -- in order to avoid spreading the liberal germ in the Mainland (mass exodus from HK).

Posted by: vk | Sep 3 2019 3:34 utc | 76

when china was taking back hong kong in the 90's, a lot of wealthy hk people moved to vancouver, canada area... they wanted to safe guard their wealth and have a few more options... so, 1997 came and went and technically hk is supposed to be a part of china... hk has in many ways been overshadowed economically by places within china.. perhaps the prestige that hk had of itself has taken a beating and the people living in hk resent the fact that they haven't seen a similar expansion of their wealth in the same way that china has in some respect.. this is just conjecture on my part, but i am sure this must factor into why these protests are happening now.. the younger generation are having their sense of entitlement challenged by the sweeping changes implied by hk being more a part of china and having to fit in, as opposed to standing out...

good luck trying to get back what hk had prior to 1997... most folks have moved on... if the usa wants to use it as a prod on china - i really don't think that is a great idea, or that it will work... it worked to an extent in ukraine, but i think the set up here is very different..

Posted by: james | Sep 3 2019 3:36 utc | 77

It seems you are unsure of what you mean by the term civil liberties. I tend to think of it as how many rules and regulations govern our daily lives. The very noticeable difference that I found between Australia and China, was to my surprise, the Chinese had less rules and regulations governing their daily lives than we have here in Australia.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 3 2019 3:36 utc | 78

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3 2019 3:24 utc | 73

Was there for three weeks a few years ago, and I enjoyed it a lot. Of course there are significant differences, but generally it looked like people were just going about their business like they would anywhere else. Their "otherness" was mostly lost on me, but then again I don't speak much Mandarin.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Sep 3 2019 3:38 utc | 79

The US has lost its touch. In Kiev they had snipers on the roof picking off demonstrators. (sigh)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3 2019 3:38 utc | 80


Are the violent attacks exclusively the protesters? What about violence by HK police? What about violence against protesters by gangs? What about violence by Communist Party provocateurs?

If you believe there are no legitimate grievances then you are blinded by your own prejudices. In speaking with my contacts in HK who are apolitical I sense there is a lot more sympathy for the young protesters than the Beijing controlled administration in HK.

Posted by: ab initio | Sep 3 2019 3:40 utc | 81


Your response is instructive. Rules and regulations.

Not the freedom to express your opinions or associate with whom you choose or due process. Maybe you don’t value these things. The Chinese Communist utopia seems like an ideal society for you.

Posted by: ab initio | Sep 3 2019 3:46 utc | 82

@ farm ecologist 81
Of course there are significant differences, but generally it looked like people were just going about their business
re: karlof1 57
What I find amusing is the belief by the Outlaw US Empire's China Hawks that they can somehow outwit a civilization and associated wisdom that's well over 6K years old
That's a good stab at the differences. Yes these are people who go about their business every day just like us. But their view of life is fashioned more, much more, from tradition. They (generally) are tied to tradition and not to any newfangled recent (last few thousand years) monotheistic religion, for example. This is how the impudent young Hong Kongers got perverted, by the British.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3 2019 3:52 utc | 83

ab initio

due process - Julian Assange, witness K and his lawyer.. plenty of other examples.
Freedom to associate - I did not see chinese being barred from associating with other Chinese and foreigners, so I take it you mean the freedom to associate with groups or individuals engaging in subversion. I think this is frowned upon in most countries.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 3 2019 3:56 utc | 84

@79 james - "this is just conjecture on my part"

I was planning not to comment any more tonight but your comment is so good...yes, I think there's a large aspect of envy here, and you've hit a big nail right on the head.

I don't know why there's so little clarity on the point that to the extent there's legitimate grievance in Hong Kong, this grievance is not against mainland China but against the actual system the Hong Kong residents live with - i.e. the very different, legacy colonial, not-very-good, not-very-free system left by the British imperialists.

Anyway, why I highlighted your mention of conjecture is - how could you have missed the short, 9-minute clip by Martin Jacques on Hong Kong that I posted a couple of times a few weeks back?

Enjoy, and conjecture no more:
Martin Jacques‘ view on the Hong Kong development dilemma

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 3 2019 3:58 utc | 85

@ ab initio 83
Obviously you can't answer my simple question in 72.
What are their legitimate grievances that allow them to conduct their violent attacks?
And it's hardly surprising that violent, destructive attacks against public property and other people is countered with violence. It should be.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3 2019 3:58 utc | 86

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3 2019 3:16 utc | 70

South Korea and Japan are more confucionist than China and are very capitalist.

We should be very careful when teleporting philosophies of hundreds of years ago to the present time.

Posted by: vk | Sep 3 2019 4:09 utc | 87

Grieved "Hong Kong residents live with - i.e. the very different, legacy colonial, not-very-good, not-very-free system left by the British imperialists."

Human trafficking on a massive scale. The Brits took the territories in China by force and extortion. The Chinese on those territories were treated as chattel or infrastructure that went with the land. When UK handed the land back to China it handed back the citizens with it as though they where part of the infrastructure. Problems that could be solved buy Hong Kong and China under a peaceful atmosphere, but problems that can be exploited by five eyes. In exploiting the problems, the Hong Kong people are no more than consumables to be used.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 3 2019 4:09 utc | 88

their view of life is fashioned more, much more, from tradition.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3 2019 3:52 utc | 85

And there's a lot to admire and agree with there (leaving aside the mysogynistic aspects of Confucionism). Respect for elders and family, high regard for scholars and farmers (I'm not one, btw), relatively low regard for merchants and entertainers..

Posted by: farm ecologist | Sep 3 2019 4:10 utc | 89

VietnamVet @45

"Moon, SST and NC are too important to stop frequenting over sibling squabbles."

Couldn't agree more. Well said.

Posted by: WJ | Sep 3 2019 4:16 utc | 90


In Australia you can’t associate with other citizens that oppose the Australian government policies as it would be considered “subversive”?

I agree with you that Julian Assange is being denied due process in Britain and charged for exercising his rights to free speech. But it seems you don’t care about that as there is none of that under the Chinese Communist Party.

Posted by: ab initio | Sep 3 2019 4:20 utc | 91

That Naked Capitalism oulet rather sounds like a "controlled oppostion" website. Is that Lambert Strether a fictive signature for the most heterogeneous collective of writers as well (like Zero Hedge's "Tyler Durden")?

Posted by: Red Corvair | Sep 3 2019 4:23 utc | 92

@87 thanks... he says it a lot better then me and no more conjecture as you state!!

Posted by: james | Sep 3 2019 4:31 utc | 93


While Lam said that now was not the time for "self-pity," she spoke about her profound frustration with not being able "to reduce the pressure on my frontline police officers," or to provide a political solution to "pacify the large number of peaceful protesters who are so angry with the government, with me in particular."

Her inability "to offer a political situation in order to relieve the tension," she said, was the source of her "biggest sadness."

Why do you think the large number of peaceful protesters are angry with the government? Just because the Americans told them?

Posted by: ab initio | Sep 3 2019 4:35 utc | 94

Assange has not recieved due process in Australia no will he recieve it in the US. I take it you have not heard of witness K, the bugging of the East Timor cabinet offices, the raid and arrest of the Australian lawyer, Downer and Woodside ect. Gag orders silenced dissent. A number of cases I know of have been silenced by gag orders and there will be many others I have never heard about because of gag orders. Brits have a similar thing and US have their secret courts along with black sites and whatever else.
The average chinese have more personal freedoms than we do here in Australia. Police on the street do not carry guns. and the roads are not swarming with gun wielding traffic police taking in revenues or clocking up brownie points for promotion.
Why should I complain about civil liberties in China when we have less. Most people in China I saw were happy. Their standard of living was constantly rising and they were optimistic about the future.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 3 2019 4:35 utc | 95

@ 96 ab not because the americans told them, but the western msm is trying to take advantage of it and trying to create a wedge with it... that is the clear made in america part.. see the link that grieved provided @87.. the sense of entitlement is misplaced.. china has moved on.. hong kong would be better served figuring how to integrate more with china and instead of bemoaning the good old days are gone.. see the video.. it is really educational...

Posted by: james | Sep 3 2019 4:38 utc | 96

In any case, and most casually, Lambert Strether is the name of the protagonist of Henry James' novel "The Ambassadors", on a mission in Europe (Paris) on behalf of a US family to try and settle the private affairs concerning the smooth running of a successful family business, whose nature is kept a secret for its triviality.
All this said even if some may prefer Bertold Brecht of course.
I tell you we must die!

Posted by: Red Corvair | Sep 3 2019 5:23 utc | 97


You should move to China as Communist Party rule is so much better than Australia.

Posted by: ab initio | Sep 3 2019 5:26 utc | 98

It is one of the oddest places to learn about Chinese ways, but it has proven to be one of the best over the decades since it was published--James Michener's Hawaii--where the fate of a Chinese immigrant is chronicled over several generations. Michener was well known as an excellent documentarian of the peoples/cultures he portrayed, providing details often only known by specialists. To read it is to learn about how the Chinese diaspora feels about its homeland, and about how a traditional Chinese family operates, how it organizes itself for resiliency and success. IMO, the HK protesters are Fake--Pseudo--Chinese. They remind me of the gangs depicted by the Kung Fu movie genre--a bunch of hired uncultured tools differing little from other gang-bangers found worldwide: If they survive into their late 20s and avoid long prison terms, they'll finally realize they need to do something else or suffer greatly when they grow old. As a threat to Mother China, fleas have more power.

Historically, China fought a very intense war against the Mongols; but although eventually victorious, the Mongols were swallowed by China and are now one of many minorities. That several hundred year event IMO is the epitome of the impossibility of overcoming China and turning its peoples against their Motherland. The British and other Imperialist nations--Outlaw US Empire included--all gave it their best at the time and miserably failed. Read about the true nature of Chaing Kai-shek and his Kuomintang and you'll learn why Mao won--IMO it was simply amazing that the USG kept supporting what it knew was a bunch of losers--"gangsters"--as they were called in the FRUS--and the Outlaw US Empire is doing the same thing again!! Utter stupidity on a massive scale!!

The China Hawks don't know a god damned thing about China, its people or their culture--I don't think they have any conception as to what there're really up against in their--miserable --challenge. The protests will end; Trump will lose his Trade War; and the 21st Century will continue its to attain its destiny as the Eurasian Century.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 3 2019 5:29 utc | 99


If HK is just a “pissant city that is now little more than a pimple“ why is the Chinese Communist Party so hung up about it?

Posted by: ab initio | Sep 3 2019 5:45 utc | 100

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