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

« previous page | next page »

You should go and have a beer ab. It must be difficult to conduct a debate when you have no facts to back your bias.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 3 2019 5:51 utc | 101

@ karlof1 | Sep 3 2019 5:29 utc | 101

... and the arrested 'protesters' will get their US visa/citizenship/+++ after being traded for some Chinese '5G-princess' (or two) down the track.

Posted by: imo | Sep 3 2019 6:41 utc | 102

Yes, America (and its usual partners in crime) are bankrolling and backing the key political players and outfits behind the Hong Kong agitation.

Only pro-America trolls ... my bad ... Righteous Crusaders for Freedom and Democracy™ deny or at least minimize this inconvenient reality.

Behind a made-for-TV Hong Kong protest narrative, Washington is backing nativism and mob violence

Moreover, the Hong Kong agitation bears similar traits to other American regime change/destabilization campaigns such as against Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iran, Russia, and most infamously the 2014 Ukraine coup d'etat.

This includes the use of violent "non-violence" by protesters to provoke the police into an overreaction, which can be utilized as propaganda to discredit the government--and conveniently provide fodder for the international (read: Anglo-American dominated) Free Press to push as a psywar tactic.

Indeed, the Hong Kong agitators themselves even have a theory that guides their seemingly random acts of (non-)violence: Marginal Violence Theory.

Another interesting facet of America's regime change campaigns in general is the attempt to manipulate "swarming adolescents" and "rebellious hysteria" for these hybrid warfare ops.

A New Gladio in Action: Ukrainian Postmodern Coup Completes Testing of New Template

In the Hong Kong situation, the deployment of youth in "flash mobs" and Antifa-style "civil disobedience" has figured prominently in much of the agitation.

Again, the idea is to cynically provoke the police into an overreaction and discredit the government.

And in a broader geopolitical context, America would just loooove to bait the mainland into sending troops into Hong Kong and even cause a Tiananmen-style provocation--all the while Uncle Scam would hypocritically run its mouth about Freedom and Democracy and arouse itself into an anti-China moral lather.

Witness the breathless, almost wishful, chatter from the Anglo-controlled media about a “new Tiananmen.”

Ultimately, what one is witnessing is the contrived application of Gene Sharp--the "Machiavelli of Non-Violence"--and his tactics for American hybrid warfare, as part of America's neo-Cold War against China.

The Albert Einstein Institution: non-violence according to the CIA

In many ways, it is very similar to America's 2014 Ukrainian regime change op against Russia, which is another theater of operations in America's neo-Cold War.

As Pepe Escobar has stated, America is the Empire of Chaos.

This American Empire of Chaos will instinctively, with malice aforethought, sow chaos around the world as a weapon against its geopolitical opponents.

Hong Kong Crisis: Made in America

Roots of Chaos in Hong Kong were Planted in Washington

And crusading for "Freedom and Democracy" is merely the American Empire's version of the Western Civilizing Mission.

Posted by: AK74 | Sep 3 2019 6:44 utc | 103

@aspnaz and ab initio 100

and you should move away from China (including HK) because you hate it so much. The government isn't stopping you emigrating.

are you realising the circular commonality of all these arguments?

are you realising when out of arguments, you resort to calling your opponent names and labels?

you are cherrypicking all the bits you want in the West and conveniently ignoring all the elements that does not resonate with your narrative (輸打贏要). In your mind the grass is always greener on the other side and the West could do no wrong (or the wrongs are always justified). It is immature, naive and what gets children and adolescents killed in every revolution. it is also why they're already recruited early.

In this case the grass is not greener, it's just different. you are deluding yourselves with a utopia that does not exist. you are but a pawn on a chessboard where you're not expected to be part of at the endgame.

also may I humbly suggest searching for the story "the cheese has moved".

I might not speak for all of us but my observation is that the MoA bunch are very seasoned BS detectors and happy to call a spade a spade.

the HK movement with the help of the west has full spectrum media and narrative dominance. every story and every picture is selected for maximum emotional impact, works especially well on the young and casual viewers. don't just believe me, I encourage you to check it out yourself.

in any case this pile of BS is indeed fresh and steaming and doesn't sell here. instead it gets our collective antennae up to 11 because as a healthy skeptic, when we're told so hard to look one way, we owe it to ourselves to check out the other directions, and look for the dog that didn't bark.

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 3 2019 6:58 utc | 104

who is benefiting most of these violences?

Posted by: mikk | Sep 3 2019 7:05 utc | 105

@Gareth #21
Agreed. I read NC because they do a pretty decent job from the vantage point of the left.
However, their commentariat and proprietors are extremely intolerant of any views that disagree with their own.
Given that NC appears to be a for-profit enterprise - or at least, for income, this is understandable.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 3 2019 7:11 utc | 106

@mrtmbrnmn #25
In general, I agree with what you said.
However, there are a number of 3rd rail topics which NC will not tolerate any form of dissent.
Which is really amusing since the left is supposed to be about free speech.
I don't know if this is a result of their protecting their cash flow or actual views of the proprietors, but I personally have long since lost interest in participating in any form of discussion there due to this behavior.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 3 2019 7:19 utc | 107

@103 ab "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?"

Such a bizarre comment. There is no sign that the CCP is any more "hung up" about these actions in Hong Kong than, say, Macron's government is with respect to the Yellow Vests in that disagreeable city that he calls home.

But this is rioting. Damage to infrastructure. Assault of the citizenry. No government is going to see those as anything other than criminal acts, irrespective of whether that government claims to be Communist, Capitalist, or whatever it is that Macron pretends to believe in.

Hong Kong, Paris, Los Angeles, it doesn't matter: riots are riots, and when they occur you send in the riot police.

If the CCP were "hung up" about this then they would have sent in the PLA at the first sign of protest.

But they didn't. They still haven't. Enforcement of the law has been left up to the Hong Kong Police, even to this day, or haven't you noticed?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 3 2019 9:26 utc | 108

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

Well, be fair Don.

Slipping some Polish snipers across the border to take the odd angry shot and then sneaking them back out again before they can be caught is as-easy-as in the Ukraine.

Much harder to do in Hong Kong.

How do you sneak those Korean mercenaries in? How do you get those Japanese gunmen out?

You are talking an order of magnitude greater difficulty.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 3 2019 9:31 utc | 109
"While investigators believe that in a tweet Sinitsa called to kill the children of law enforcement personnel who've been involved in dispersing recent unauthorised rallies in Moscow, the blogger insists that his words have been taken out of context."

I read that the so called protestors in Hong Kong were also targeting families of law enforcement. Names addresses and so forth.
Coincidence or Bolton influence...

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 3 2019 10:04 utc | 110

Grieved @ 39 says:

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

oh really? now that the Chinese government has admitted that the three gorges dam project is proving to be an environmental catastrophe, perhaps we can extrapolate even more effectiveness from their truly astounding 21st century splurge with concrete.

rather than wrapping everything the Chinese do with an aura of ancient wisdom, perhaps you should do a little research into their environmental predicament, even if that's apparently a subject beyond pretty much everyone.

Posted by: john | Sep 3 2019 10:45 utc | 111

Peter @113: Has to be Bolton, nobody else is so publically and overtly in favor of making it personal: hostage taking, threats and killing to send messages. Trump, for example, makes threats, but he always disguises it so he can pretend he didn't mean it.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 3 2019 11:01 utc | 112

Posted by: Jen | Sep 3 2019 2:16 utc | 65
Yes, I know about the murder and the fact that China would not allow HK to have an extradition bill with Taiwan because the Chinese still claim Taiwan as part of China and wouldn’t allow HK to semi-recognise Taiwan. As a result they told HK to set up the extradition law to include China and hence Taiwan. That is the basic story, I am sure there are many more details.

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 3 2019 11:02 utc | 113

john @114: Well you make a sound point, once you get down to it, the Chinese are just big apes too, with the usual obsessions, and a Chinese asshole is no better than an American one, and they certainly can produce assholes.

However, considering the quantity of absolute 100% jingo bullshit I have had to listen to all during the course of my lifetime here as a loyal, generally obedient, tax-paying citizen, and considering what the result is here, I can't get worked up about the Chinese "predicament".

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 3 2019 11:08 utc | 114

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 3 2019 3:16 utc | 71
whereas the Confucian Chinese put the government above all.

This is a classic example of what is so frustrating about MoA. This is like saying that all business men in London wear bowler hats. No they don’t. That may have been true in the past but find me one modern China mainland citizen who this applies to! Even though it is “written in a book”. Chinese have loyalty to their group, their group is more important than the individual, but their group includes what we could refer to as extended family adopted friends as family etc, it does not include the government.

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 3 2019 11:19 utc | 115

The US State Department's "useful idiot" ab finitio asks "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?"

China's Communist Party is NOT "hung up about it" at all. In fact, the lack of response from the mainland is precisely what is currently driving the histrionics from the gangs of infantile clowns who are vandalizing train stations. Their behavior is childish attention-seeking (very un-Chinese - one needs lack all self-respect to behave this way) but the adults are refusing to give them the attention they are crying out for. What remains of the "protests" is nothing more than a temper tantrum being thrown by a spoiled child trying to get rise out of the adults in the room and the Communists are wise enough to know that if they respond they will just be reinforcing the infantilism.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 3 2019 11:48 utc | 116

@ Posted by: ab initio | Sep 3 2019 5:26 utc | 101; 103

China doesn't have a green card system: if you're a foreigner,you may live there and work there with the appropriate visa, but you'll never have full citizen rights (i.e. access to social security, universal healthcare, public schools etc. etc.).

But, if I had the oportunity to have full citizenship, I would move to China permanently right now.

I understand most of the commenters here are from First World countries, so the choice might not be as clear-cut, but, for people from Third World countries, China is not only a bless, but also a symbol of hope against advanced countries' tyranny.

And who said Beijing is worried about HK? Do you have inside information from the CCP's inner circle?

Posted by: vk | Sep 3 2019 11:49 utc | 117

Here's a very basic and superficial introduction to the Hong Kong system.

As you'll see, its capitalist elite survives on a very fragile equilibrium. It was bound to fail one day or the other:

The tricky link between HK dollar and capital flows

Posted by: vk | Sep 3 2019 11:53 utc | 118

More on Northeast Asian affairs:

Japanese companies sitting on record $4.8 trillion in cash

Why are the Japanese keiretsu (i.e. zaibatsu) sitting on a pile of cash? Because Japan is a capitalist economy: investment only happens when the profit rate is high enough (i.e. at least on the social average). With Japan's economy on zombie mode for 30 years now, that cash won't go nowhere.

Specter of deflation looming larger

But didn't Jae-in Moon say South Korea could "withstand" the trade war pressure against Japan? Without China, that will be hard -- not to say impossible.

Just because you talk tough doesn't make you tough. Words are cheap, actions are what matter -- that's why we listen carefully what Xi and Putin say and ignore what the likes of Macron and Moon say.

Posted by: vk | Sep 3 2019 12:09 utc | 119

re Peter AU 1 | Sep 3 2019 4:35 utc | 98

Without arguing the toss over issues that reactionaries always term 'whataboutery'. It is a mistake to imagine there are any 'good guys' on any side in international politics.
There are two separate threads when it comes down to the decisions political leaders make. The first is about political self interest, that is the truly nasty, cruel and mendacious acts that all leaders of large nations have pulled on the way to gaining and then holding on to their position as top dog. In Oz that is the twisted, selfish & deceitful stuff Morrison has pulled on the way to getting, then retaining the PM job.

That vomit-inducing behaviour is always worse in the Lib party than any other political movement in Oz where the Dutton/Turnbull/Morrison quest boiled down to who was prepared to be the most un-apologetically awful to unwhites. Not because the population wanted it, although a sizeable chunk did, but because the party wanted it as Labour's embrace of white Australia redux had convinced many MHR's they had to become more extreme to clearly define the Lib party.

The ASIS agent trial is also about that. This shameful act against the decent but impoverished people of Timor Leste was committed by the Howard government, the last really popular Lib administration and one like Reagan's american presidency the party needs to be held up as an unblemished exemplar of Lib tough but fair conservatism.

The fact that the Australian government cheated on, then gypped an impoverished ally dowsn't support that so even now the libs are still trying to repress the evidence more than 10 years later.

I'm sure that Xi has plenty of similarly awful skeletons in his closet, he's the supreme leader of a nation whose population exceeds 1 billion humans - it is inconceivable that he doesn't.

That issue may concern the people of Hongkong but it shouldn't worry anyone outside the PRC.

What should worry people in the rest of the world is the other stuff pols get up to - the stuff they do in the name of their nation state when principle is frequently pushed aside in the name of expedience.

I reckon most people are familiar with legion examples of truly awful genocidal stuff which US & uk have committed to further their empires - India, Vietnam, Kenya, Iraq plus both in apartheid South Africa.

People who live in Aotearoa or Australia are also aware of some of the foul strokes the PRC has pulled in both nations political systems paying illegal bribes to political parties, spying on governments etc.
That is a concern to us but no business of Hongkong, yet Hongkong was a mess before this latest round of protest and violent vandalism.

Increasing unemployment partly from the same technological evolution which has made workers in clerical, insurance and banking/finance redundant right around the planet and partly because many of the jobs that were once completed in Hongkong such as transporting and receiving payment for goods made in China and then exported to the rest of the world, have been moved to Beijing, Shenzen & regional centers governed by pols much further up the pecking order than any Hongkong pol could ever get.

Yes the US and probably UK are spending money to crank up the locals in Hongkong, but as anyone who has ever been involved in political struggles knows, it takes more than money to mobilise the masses.
The people of Hongkong are pissed because they have been suffering from an economic downturn at the same time as their city has become the most expensive on the planet to rent in.
They have pretty much the same problem as San Francisco and now Oakland have, but worse. As China's economy has expanded, the numbers of foreigners who need to be based in China for work has increased hugely.
If they can, most guest workers pick Hongkong, english is spoken by many, the culture is less 'foreign' Shenzen the manufacturing and design heart of the PRC is a short drive or train ride away.
Consequently university graduates are likely to be who serves euro/US businesspeople in restaurants and bars. The pay is appalling and young people are stuck living with their parents for the foreseeable future. There are also issues with Hongkong still having a pretty even gender balance unlike much of China so the same incel nonsense is going down with many Hongkong women opting for a more economically secure mainlander.

As much as the americans would like to believe that stirring trouble in Hongkong creates a bargaining chip in their trade contretemps with the PRC, in reality it will have little or no effect.

These issues cannot be fixed in a day, they certainly cannot be adequately addressed by the local legislative assembly, and once all the foreign stirrers have been chased off the island, there will still be a huge cohort of unemployed young Hongkongers educated far beyond the needs of the labour market.

This is a recipe for continued insurrection, no matter what outsiders do. It will require constructive intervention from central government, but it is hard to see they will be interested, because as tough as things are , there are other parts of China with much needier citizens.

The only lever the young people of Honkers have is the knowledge that 'the whole world is watching' a reality that makes it impossible for Xi to apply the usual fix, chase away foreigners then send in the heavies.

Right now he's acting nice telling the police to exercise restraint, but unless he lavishes largesse on Hongkong the trouble will stay. If he does do a drop of lavishing, the regional bosses of other provinces are gonna be justifiably angry as they will want to know why the whiners in Honkers are getting taken care of while their far less fortunate constituents can expect a beating or prison for their whining.

Posted by: A User | Sep 3 2019 12:37 utc | 120

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 3 2019 0:27 utc | 48
Now I understand, didn’t spot it earlier, but you are a guilo, otherwise you would know that your knowledge regarding Cantonese accents is bollocks ... maybe you should do some reading before you lie to the world.

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 3 2019 12:46 utc | 121

sorry, off topic...

"The relations between Russia and Mongolia will enter a whole new level after the signing of a permanent bilateral treaty on friendship and extensive strategic partnership, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview published on the Kremlin website on Monday.

In an interview to Mongolia’s Udriin Sonin newspaper ahead of his visit to the capital Ulaanbaatar, Putin said he would discuss prospects for further promoting mutually beneficial cooperation, including the implementation of the medium term program for strategic cooperation between Russia and Mongolia.

"At the end of the visit, we will sign an interstate treaty on friendly relations and comprehensive strategic partnership, which will raise our bilateral ties to a fundamentally new level," the Russian leader said, adding that the document, based on the 1993 Treaty of Friendly Relations and Cooperation, will have no expiration date."

Posted by: East Wind | Sep 3 2019 12:54 utc | 122

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 3 2019 5:29 utc | 102
I’m being kind here: what do you know about China first hand? I can see that most people here know fucking nothing although A.I. sounds like he knows how to be rich in HK which is the same as being rich everywhere else in the world, it involves looking down your nose at the plebs and pretending that you understand them ... ha ha. Living in HK even 10 years ago doesn’t cut it and reading books about Confucius doesn’t cut it, kind of like watching Blackadder and thinking that is the UK today.

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 3 2019 12:58 utc | 123

Posted by: ab initio | Sep 3 2019 5:45 utc | 103
Thanks for providing some recent first hand experience of HK.

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 3 2019 13:02 utc | 124

Not fiction any more

1984 is just every day news fodder

Posted by: librul | Sep 3 2019 13:22 utc | 125

Posted by: UN observer | Sep 2 2019 22:46 utc | 26

Are protesters ready to sell out to their yesterday’s colonialists?

Posted by: questioning | Sep 3 2019 13:23 utc | 126

Naked Cap played a large role in my "waking up," extricating myself from a life of MSM/state dept indoctrination. Yet the more I've learned & read & (re)educated myself, the more I've begun to be frustrated with much of their posts, much on China a good example. I discovered MOA through NC, & now its one of my top go-to sights (NC no longer is) and I recommend it for others finally waking up...very much appreciate your analysis on China, Syria, etc.

Posted by: tricia | Sep 3 2019 13:45 utc | 127

@63 snake

to give it the full treatment will mean hijacking the thread. Also I'm not a subject matter expert but I will try to do the cliff notes version here:

1. hk uses English common law, and foreign magistrates and judges are specifically negotoated to be allowed under the basic law, hk's pseudo constitution.

2. being English common law the catchment area for recruitment and invitations is quite large internationally.

3. there are rules on how many can sit on whatever panel. detail escapes me but the head of the final courts of appeal has to be Chinese.

4. they all have to pass the same test and take the same oath to serve.

5. you can call it baggage from colonial days or what you will, the rationale is that this will give hk jurisprudence system legitimacy in the eyes of the west. to certain extent I do agree here, at least in the beginning, especially on commercial matters. however it is also sad as a Chinese person to consider the moronic corollary that if there's no foreign judges it follows that hk jurisprudence cannot be trusted, how much more colonial can you get? In any case it is the reason so many Western businesses accessed China by first dipping it's toes in hk.

6. for the most part it works, and works quite well.

7. the number of foreign judges and magistrates has been falling over the years to just south of 50% IIRC.

so on the surface it looks quite good and in practice, works quite well. until the matter has political ramifications. you see, these judges still have to go back to their home country one day and worry about getting judged by their family and peers. they are also worried about who they meet and who their golf partners are in the jockey Club and other colonial, aristocratic establishments in hk, where western liberals ideals and extreme capitalism reign supreme. pressure from all sides.

I believe judges can be truly impartial when the matter at hand has zero bearing on their own well-being. The current situation clearly is not, and it shows. suspects that are clear flight risks are given bail. suspects caught attacking police are given paltry bail bonds less then shoplifting, just to immediately go to the next riot. basically a catch and release program.

big name high dollar barristers are lining up outside the courthouses to defending virtual nobodies (of course they'll tell you it's pro bono work) they could well be, who knows ;)

the police are onto this however, they have upped their game in arresting rioters so repeat offenders are now in contempt of court and these judges will now have to eat their own dog shit. break common law precedence or do their job.

it is IMO the same reason the violence has escalated, rioter realised they have to go all-in, wrap up the game and get the amnesty (3 of the 5 demands) or they're screwed.

note - the demand for an independent investigation into police brutality is actually a Trojan horse for amnesty as it could grant rioters self defence as a mitigating factor.

so the 5 demands boils down to:

1. no extradition treaty (already achieved IMO, and HK shall remain a hotbed of money laundering and a heaven for future fugitives)
2. Amnesty
3. Amnesty
4. Amnesty
5. universal suffrage (which I do support, but would you give these irresponsible kids live grenades to play with? now? at this moment? you don't give your kids knives to play with until they can show some responsibility, it's that simple)

The movement is trying to get every supporter registered for the upcoming election, and that's fair play to them. my fear is the silent majority are too indifferent to go register themselves thinking others will do it for them and their voices will not be heard. alas, that's democracy isn't it.

...a people always get the government they deserve.

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 3 2019 13:51 utc | 128

Bemildred @ 117 says:

...I can't get worked up about the Chinese "predicament"

well, too bad, 'cause that predicament afflicts the rest of our undeserving planet as well.

Posted by: john | Sep 3 2019 14:00 utc | 129

The nation’s health as measured by gross domestic product per capita would plunge into negative territory without its dependence on borrowed money, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In fact, the U.S. would fall almost to the bottom of a ranking of 114 economies by GDP per capita. Only Italy, Greece and Japan would fare worse. That’s a seismic shift from America’s comfortable No. 5 spot on a list based on conventional measures.

To get this somewhat dystopian measure, Bloomberg took each economy’s 2020 GDP as projected by the International Monetary Fund as a starting point. We then adjusted the number by removing the ability to borrow, while adding reserves to create an alternative wealth measure.

U.S. per capita income of $66,900 would be slashed to a negative $4,857 using this measure. That’s a total loss of almost $72,000 for every man, woman and child.

Posted by: From Bloomberg | Sep 3 2019 14:07 utc | 130

A User 123

No country is perfect to all people. I now only when use one criteria when looking at governments. Are they genuinely working in the interests of the majority or are they working in the interests of a small elite group.
I do not know much about Xi's rise to power but I do know Putin used the oligarchs to ensure his first election win. After a short period of consolidating power he then took down the oligarchs and the majority have had continuously improving living standards since then.
The vast majority in China have had constant improvement of living standards through several generations of leaders since the early eighties, at the same time strongly protecting China's sovereignty.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 3 2019 14:07 utc | 131

Peter AU's proposed standard @235 has a lot to say for it as an empirical standard. The thing is, I disagree completely as to the facts about Putin. He did not take down "the oligarchs" he reigned in those who kept intervening against the government and protects the ones who will support the Yeltsin succession. His government policies are neoliberal, as in pension reform. And he prefers that almost the entire country outside the privileged centers of Moscow and St. Petersburg are continually declining. He's entangled Russia in several endless wars for dubious gains (especially Tartus.) He's resorted to Trumpian lies about superweapons. So, no, I do not see Putin's government as equivalent even to Venezuela, with its imperfections.

Xi? Xi seems to want the Communist government of Korea to fall. Xi seems to want to reduce growth to what is profitable. And Xi seems to want to consolidate his power to levels even higher than Mao (yes, Mao had policy opponents in high places) in order to ram this through. But Xi hasn't quite succeeded in this. As for Hong Kong, Xi seems to want the Hong Kong billionaires to play their part in the national government, so Xi lets Hong Kong be the worst SEZ/SAR for inequality and material deprivation for the masses in highly developed China. Xi seems to want two systems in China because he's hoping one day the Hong Kong system will be the only system.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 3 2019 15:00 utc | 132

Posted by: aspnaz | Sep 3 2019 12:46 utc | 124

but you are a guilo, otherwise you would know that your knowledge regarding Cantonese accents is bollocks

A Chinese bigot, and an ignorant honky to boot - A.L. seems to be a rare bird indeed! Also, speaking of bollocks and the need to inform ones self before commenting:

Posted by: farm ecologist | Sep 3 2019 15:01 utc | 133

that comment was correct and it's funny that so many people are mentioning NC's apparent stance on brexit because i see the same false dilemma there.

are some of the brexit supporters dumb limey racists who voted "leave" because they hate them muzzie ferriners? sure. are they all that way? nope. nor is every "remainer" is an EU stooge begging for enslavement by an unaccountable bureaucracy outside their formerly sovereign borders. but some are. there are good and stupid points to both arguments.

it was also this way with recent tantrums in russia and venezuela. any country in transition against the will of the "blob" will have a malleable minority that's willing to act like assholes at the behest of the "blob's" highly trained spook agitators. spoiled, entitled yuppies are a ubiquitous plague in our capitalist world. but even that odious group will attract a few people who have some actual grievances.

Posted by: the pair | Sep 3 2019 15:18 utc | 134

@135 Peter

my personal wish for years past was that looking at China's progress over the last 30 year, warts and all, was nothing less that astonishing. HK could have been the guiding example for China over the next 30 years until they become one. sadly it has now become the polar opposite and a textbook example of why you don't let the insane run the asylum.

@124 aspnaz

muhahahaha. I'm a gweilo? who's the racist now? Gotcha. letting slip some true colours there my friend.

You know there was a time in my youth, whilst in a boarding school somewhere in the West, taking discriminatory insults and bullied almost every day; being labelled a gweilo would probably be the best day ever. Then I grew up, we all grew up, we have our laughs in reunions realising it was just kids and their fears. I'm 1000% Chinese, i gave my background in previous related threads and better yet, I'm the Chinese you wish you were.

yet again you resorted to insults and labels when no one is buying the candy you're pandering. This is exactly what is happening in hk. The movement appeals to the emotions of the naive and weak but if they can't sell it, you must be a commie and be mobbed and lynched immediately.

I applaud the Movement's PR campaign, the romantic solidarity of the youth and their misguided courage to act. But by mobbing people with a different voice you're behaving just like a bunch of Hitler youth.

Right now the majority are too scared to speak out against the mob in public, lest they themselves be mobbed and attacked. tell me, what flavour of democracy and freedom are you peddling here? your political fundamentalism sure sounds like a group that starts with I and ends with S but I digress, please, inquiring mind wants to know.

Are you:
a. butthurt at my adequate command of English and therefore I must be a gweilo, and thus my views are null and void?

b. butthurt that someone educated in the West like me could actually be against your movement? blasphemy!

truth hurts but welcome to the intervention, take a deep breath, count to ten, let it sink in. then look up "5 stages of grief".

my work here is done.

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 3 2019 15:30 utc | 135

c1ue @110 and tricia @131

Agree completely.

Posted by: spudski | Sep 3 2019 15:31 utc | 136

"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."

Yea, yea, "global condemnation". The bulk of intelligentsia in Burkina Fasso will start hating PRC government. Really?

"Global opinion" consists of statements of a few Western government and Western government friendly press. Thus there are unimportant issues, like military and electronic lockdown of Kashmir were autonomy principles were abolished with a rather crude violation of Indian constitution, and important issues like "resistance" in Hong Kong. Clearly, it is directly connected to the strategies in respect to PRC (to inflame the confrontation) and in respect to India (to keep a tight lid on disagreements and gradually pry it away from reliance on Russia). Those strategies are not related at all to human right issues, but the concerns about those issues is totally connected.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 3 2019 15:34 utc | 137

I wonder how much of these protests are simply because the youngsters in Hong Kong aren't getting the soft cushy life they thought they would have, as members of China's "Gateway to the West".
In South Korea, for example, the seasonal student protests are directly proportional to their job prospects (or more specifically, lack thereof).

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 3 2019 15:37 utc | 138

@137 farm ecologist.. of the 2 relatively new posters discussing hk and more, i now know which one to read and which one to skip!

Posted by: james | Sep 3 2019 15:41 utc | 139

Enormously helpful thread, but then China is an enormous country with an enormous history. Here in the US it is very clear that our elites have failed dismally at the task of educating the population towards merit - instead they have educated towards greed. That's not success for an entire country; that's success for just a few at the top.

It is however worth contemplating that there are elements of the US historical tradition which both Russia and China are emulating today with considerable success. They are taking (though each from its own traditional background,) the truths 'we know are self evident' and applying them in ways that we in the West would do well to apply them ourselves. We do not need to become Chinese or become Russian. We simply need to become ourselves.

I wasn't born into this country, the US of A. I joined it. The problems of oligarchy got more visible here, as they have been in China and in Russia and in the EU, and now in Hong Kong. Young people, the next generations coming up, are confused. They are young people! In that state they can be manipulated, especially if they have known nothing but the era into which they were born. We throw them into prison. How STUPID is that?

I was impressed with how the Chinese people are using the internet. Citizen participation is possible for large populations and they are exploring this tool which we have given them. We need to learn much more about what is happening both in China and in Russia, because they have learned from us! Thanks to all who are opening China here - this instrument can teach, and I have learned a lot about why I like President Xi so much.

Thank you, b!

Posted by: juliania | Sep 3 2019 16:04 utc | 140

"..there are unimportant issues, like military and electronic lockdown of Kashmir were autonomy principles were abolished with a rather crude violation of Indian constitution, and important issues like "resistance" in Hong Kong."Piotr Berman@141
This is indeed true.
We live in a world in which hypocrisy and special pleading have become the major characteristics of public discourse.
No attention is given to the massive riots in Honduras protesting against dictatorial rule of the worst kind.
But the mere suggestion by the former President of Constitutional change to be considered in a referendum was seen-by western media-as an excuse to kidnap and deport the President.
The same thing had happened in Haiti- the present regime having been established after the President was kidnapped, deported and his party banned from future elections. The current government stole-in daylight- billions of dollars in aid (from Venezuela!!) but has full, and fulsome, support from the US and its poodles.
Then there is Venezuela: its economy being slowly crushed by sanctions after criticisms of its electoral system-one of the most transparent and fair in the world and light years in advance of that in the USA-where direct election is still viewed as dangerously 'majoritarian.'
And Libya, Syria, Ukraine and so on etc. ad nauseam...
It is a reasonable presumption that if the "western media" favour a movement, that movement is almost certain to be bogus, heavily subsidised by the CIA and its drug money, and opposed to the interests of the people for whom it substitutes itself.
"b' is performing a public service by pointing out a counter narrative to the tall tales bein g promoted by imperialist propaganda central.

The case of Haiti, incidentally, is a perfect example of what R2P produces. As if working to a script left to us by Greek dramatists: the invading armies included a contingent from Nepal which brought the cholera plague with it. Upwards of 50,000 Haitians were casualties of that particular import courtesy of hypocrites and cowards everywhere.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 3 2019 16:09 utc | 141

I want to say that the example China gives of progress is that of 'trial spots' which I think is simply wonderful. What this does is focus attention on a small version of what will be considered as national policy if it is successful. As a practical measure this cannot be argued with - things often seem doable and turn out not to be when adopted. I'm remembering what I brought up about Obama - that he rejected universal health care by saying that would take a complete overhaul of the system. I wish we could have pushed him to do a 'trial spot'. It would have proven itself at once (which is probably why he didn't consider it.)

Another 'trial spot' I'd like to suggest would be have a state do elections the way we want them, paper ballots counted by hand, no money in electioneering, open running for candidates without monetary sponsorship, league of women voters monitoring debates.

I suggest New Mexico as the trial spot!

Posted by: juliania | Sep 3 2019 16:21 utc | 142

William Gruff @119--

As I've written before, I find the comparison between Macao and HK very educational--Macao is very peaceful and serene--Why? 1966's 12-3 Incident could easily be seen as a Color Revolution launched by the CCP versus Macao's colonial government, and that was followed up by the 1974 Carnation Revolution which essentially ended Portuguese authority and Macao became de facto Chinese. So, there're four big differences: Macao's long history as a Portuguese Colony masks the fact that it was very thoroughly Sinofied for most of that period; until very recently, Macao lacked HK's level of wealth, prestige, and corruption being almost a backwater by comparison; the 1966 success in Macao versus the 1967 failure in HK; and the deep penetration made in HK by MI-6, CIA and Kuomintang Tong Mafia. Since CCP was able to take over Macao's management sooner, it was made into an international showcase to both compete with and to be compared to HK. Macao is now known as the Asian Las Vegas with 7X the latter's revenue.

As the transit system videos show very well, HK's adults well know the attempted Color Revolution isn't at all to their benefit and are actively fighting back. It also needs to be remembered that Xi doesn't govern alone, that he's the head of a very large governing council allowing him to delegate the chore of dealing with HK to help the already existing department charged with Mainland-HK affairs. As the latest rebutting of Western Fake News shows, China's playing the situation very well and is basically telling the Outlaw US Empire's China Hawks that they can decouple all they want to their own detriment.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 3 2019 16:39 utc | 143

I have learned a lot about why I like President Xi so much.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 3 2019 16:04 utc | 144

I'm sure that Xi has plenty of similarly awful skeletons in his closet, he's the supreme leader of a nation whose population exceeds 1 billion humans - it is inconceivable that he doesn't.

Posted by: A User | Sep 3 2019 12:37 utc | 123

While China provides a very useful counterweight to US foreign policy, and under Xi the standard of living has increased, we shouldn't let our rose colored glasses prevent us from noticing any red flags. The removal of presidential term limits in China is disquieting although we don't know how long Xi will want to or be able to retain power. Also, according to my mainland Chinese friends people there are increasingly worried that speaking their minds could get them into trouble, in contrast to the greater openness of a few years ago. Although the mainstream western view of repression by the current government there is almost certainly exaggerated, based on the past history of the CPC we would do well to reserve judgement.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Sep 3 2019 17:10 utc | 144

John;forbes?haha.Boy,I'd move to the Russia and China,if they've receive me.My wife will divorce me,she has brainwashes on them.

Posted by: dahoit | Sep 3 2019 17:21 utc | 145

I had expected less parochialism from an otherwise open minded site.

If they are not with us they are with the Imperial establishment no matter what they profess to write say or do. Without question after watching the process for 4 decades, 2 of it closely.. This applies across the entire spectrum.. They are not all that open minded.. But since they talk a load, we assume they are.. But its all bull since if we say anything against what they are saying, the repercussions are almost immediate.

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Sep 3 2019 17:22 utc | 146

A few years ago the USA government wanted to hurt the image of Dominican President Leonel Fernandez and funded the yellow umbrella movement to request a 4% increase in Education Funding.
It was very succesful the government executed the requesed after many protests.
The CIA carried this out as a practice run or intimidation tactic to show color revolts do work.

Posted by: Fernando Martinez | Sep 3 2019 17:24 utc | 147

farm ecologist @149--

Several months ago during a discussion on China, the issue of its Development Goals was broached which spurred me to discover China's projected goals under the UNDP and the extra heavy emphasis given to improving environmental quality and economic resiliency in the face of the Climate Crisis. When combined with the BRI vision, China is planning to improve the lot of all its people in a manner the leaders of the USA would never even consider.

As for the change in term limits, Xi got a reminder when his proposed trade war settlement was rejected and the CCP issued its White Paper on the topic. I also note that Global Times is focusing more on other government officials whereas not so long ago Xi held the spotlight. Note that the US Senatorial Delegation now visiting China was met by Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee instead of higher level officials. Such treatment is perhaps a result of Pompeo's pomposity:

"Li Haidong, a professor with the China Foreign Affairs University's Institute of International Relations, told the Global Times that Pompeo himself is 'always thinking of others as the bad people. In the diplomatic fields globally, almost no one likes him. Diplomats are supposed to make as many friends as they can, but Pompeo has done the opposite and offended as many as he can.'"

China recently produced a White Paper on "Vocational Education and Training in Xinjiang" designed to refute all Outlaw US Empire accusations. Quite frankly, it's always a requirement to have your BS Detector turned up regarding any statement made by any government; but at this time one government has lost so much credibility that most of what it says is almost always BS--and China is not that government.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 3 2019 17:55 utc | 148


China's government has published what has become a long list of White Papers on numerous topics. Here's the link to their archive of 58 such papers going back to 2010. Most archived paper's page has links to other related policy statements and news releases. In light of current and future events, this 2016 paper "The Right to Development: China’s Philosophy, Practice and Contribution" barflies ought to find useful. A taster:

"Development is a universal human theme, providing for people’s basic needs and giving them hope of better life. The right to development is an inalienable human right, symbolizing dignity and honor. Only through development can we address global challenges; only through development can we protect basic civil rights of the people; only through development can we promote the progress of human society.

"China, with a population of over 1.3 billion, is the largest developing country in the world. Development is the top priority of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in governance and national revitalization, and the key to resolving all other problems. Based on its prevailing conditions, China adheres to the Chinese socialist path and to the philosophy that development is of paramount importance. China integrates the principle of universal application of human rights with the country’s reality. While striving to enhance the people’s well-being through development and materialize their right to development, China endeavors to achieve higher-level development by protecting their right to development. In this regard, China has made notable progress and blazed a path in protecting human rights during the development of human civilization."

As most know, critical assessments and analyses are crucial for developing proper goals of all sorts. That China willingly translates and publishes them is testimony to CCP's adherence to its goals regarding China and Chinese of all types and a valiant attempt to purge the manufactured negative image of Socialism from global discourse.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 3 2019 18:30 utc | 149

Does any one know what happened to the Syrian Perspective site?

Posted by: NJ Duke | Sep 3 2019 18:32 utc | 150

I unsuscribed from NC recently after a dreadful China/Nazi post introduced by Yves Smith with what I thought were weasel words. I don't miss it; the comments had dropped off too and I had long since given up bothering with Lambert Strether's TLDR burble. The one commenter I did always read gave the post a good Aussie bollocking hich it thoroughly deserved.

Posted by: Albacore | Sep 3 2019 19:15 utc | 151

it's always a requirement to have your BS Detector turned up regarding any statement made by any government

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 3 2019 17:55 utc | 150

I have no argument with anything in your post, and I concur that info provided by the US Govt and its minions is about as unreliable as it gets. Although I view the Chinese Govt to be more honest, that does not mean we should not automatically trust everything it says.

My views gleaned from Chinese immigrants that I know are admittedly second hand, but I have no reason to disbelieve these individuals. One is a colleague who travels to China a few times a year to interact with other scientists, and his clear impression is that things have gotten a bit uncomfortable there. Given how academics have been treated by the CPC in the past, one could forgive them for being worried.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Sep 3 2019 19:18 utc | 152

@ Posted by: farm ecologist | Sep 3 2019 17:10 utc | 146

Many Western Democracies don't have term limits for the main office of the Executive power. FDR, for example, ignored the unwritten rule that no POTUS should bid of a second re-election and died in his fourth consecutive term. Term limit for POTUS only became official with the 22nd Amendment (1947).

Most, if no all, Western Democracies have unlimited terms for the Legislative power and perpetual terms for the Judiciary. Those are the two powers that guarantee bourgeois rule in times of peace, so we can say Western Democracy system is undemocratic.

Xi Jinping never removed the term limits in China because it never existed. It is like it was in the USA pre-1947: a convention. Besides, he sill didn't complete his second term (in China each term is five year, correspondent to the five-year plan), since he first took office in 2013.

Posted by: vk | Sep 3 2019 19:26 utc | 153

NJ Duke @152--

According to, the domain name expired on 8/28/19. The owner's Twitter has no recent tweets. These Twitter sources are a good substitute: YNMS, Geroman, Canthama.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 3 2019 19:40 utc | 154

farm ecologist " The removal of presidential term limits in China is disquieting"

Term limits for a countries leader or leadership seems very much an American construct. Very few governance systems have limited terms. Parliamentary systems have none and a PM remains for as long as he shecan rake in votes. Why turf out a leader that the majority believes is doing a good job.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 3 2019 19:50 utc | 155

farm ecologist @154--

Thanks for your reply! My connections to Chinese from HK, Macao, Taiwan, and Mainland have dwindled over the years. Their present conditions always varied, but the underlying cultural mores and associated societal ethos remained quite constant. Managing the ongoing development of 1.4 Billion people isn't an easy undertaking, and deliberate interference in that task IMO amounts to War. IMO, China's to be praised for its restraint, domestically and internationally. IMO, the Outlaw US Empire is showing the world its fundamental philosophy: If you can't compete with a nation on an even footing, then use whatever means to blow it up--the Threat of a Good Example cannot be allowed to exist.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 3 2019 20:03 utc | 156

@157 Peter AU 1

"Why turf out a leader that the majority believes is doing a good job." Why, indeed.

From Washington to Truman, 150 years, the US had no term limits on the presidency.

Posted by: spudski | Sep 3 2019 20:09 utc | 157

Yeah, Right | Sep 3 2019 9:31 utc | 109
Anent no snipers in Hong Kong: I see that FedEx was caught bringing a gun into Hong Kong illegally. They are going to be investigated, according to Global Times.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Sep 3 2019 20:52 utc | 158

Until 1941, all presidents observed the rule of custom that no president would serve longer than Washington's two terms.

Posted by: lysias | Sep 3 2019 21:17 utc | 159


Do not think that the NED funded riots are for your benefit. The real purpose is to embarrass China in order to complete a Ukrainian style coup during the Taiwan elections scheduled for January 2020. The general election in Taiwan is between incumbent Tsai Ing-wen and opposition nationalist Han Kuo-yu. Han opposes a “one country, two systems” China policy while Tsai support continued autonomy of Taiwan.

“Han Kuo-yu is the only candidate who has a really strong appeal to the lower middle class,” said Joanna Lei, CEO of the Taiwan-based Chunghua 21st Century Think Tank. “Han, 62, has vowed to make peace with China. In March he signed deals with four Chinese cities including Hong Kong to sell $167 million worth of Taiwanese agricultural products.”

“Tsai and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have recovered from a crushing defeat in last year’s regional elections by firmly rejecting Beijing’s “one country, two systems” formula for Taiwan, stridently supporting protesters opposing Hong Kong’s controversial extradition law, and securing close ties with the United States, culminating in a US$2.2 billion arms sale approved earlier this week.”

I would expect the HK rioters to get increasingly violent in order to provoke the Chinese government. This strategy will fail and the chips will fall in HK following the Taiwan election.

Posted by: Krollchem | Sep 3 2019 21:21 utc | 160

A User
I guess names are meaningless here. Good to see your opinion again.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 3 2019 21:58 utc | 161

Yeah, Right @ 109, Foolisholdman @ 160:

I recall reading somewhere online (but didn't take note of the address) that the US consulate in Hong Kong has about 1,000 employees and the British consulate there has about 700 employees. Quite large numbers for two consulates in a city-state of some 7 million. I would say not all of these people are in HK because they have special expertise in areas related to HK relations with their home countries. Julie Eadeh, the US consular official (official title: political unit chief) caught conferring with Joshua Wong and some other leaders of the Demosisto Party in early August, is apparently not known to be a China expert or specialist. On the other hand, these employees may be specialists in other areas.

As for bringing guns, other weapons and ammunition into HK, why would you use FedEx when you could use diplomatic bags instead? Do only the Saudis use diplomatic bags when transporting things from Istanbul to Riyadh that they don't want customs officials to see? In 1984, a machine gun used to kill a British police officer, deployed to monitor an anti-Gaddafi demonstration outside the Libyan embassy in London, was sent out of the UK in a diplomatic bag.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 3 2019 22:27 utc | 162

The two-term rule for Presidents was enshrined in the Constitution precisely to make sure nothing like FDR ever happened again in our electoral politics. After a couple terms Presidents learn enough to be effective and develop a mass base, can't have that, Congress might be held accountable. We might get real reform.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 3 2019 22:30 utc | 163

K @ 118:

Hong Kong now operates as a tax haven for foreign (mainly Chinese billionaire) money.

I recall reading Nicholas Shaxson's book "Treasure Islands" on the global financial industry and the role of tax havens. There was a chapter on Jersey Island (part of the Channel Islands group) which itself is a tax haven and has many of the problems that HK has. Outsider billionaire money sloshing into the local economy encourages property speculation and drives up property prices, and local people end up being shut out of owning or investing in local property because their wage and salary levels either stay the same or rise too slowly to meet local costs of living. This is not unlike the situation in HK where property speculation has made the territory the highest priced real estate in the world while most HK people, even including those earning decent money as IT workers or designers, either live in apartments the size of rat-holes or live with their birth families and find forming their own families difficult. I've heard that Luxembourg, another major tax haven, has a similar problem.

I've mentioned Perenna Kei on other HK-related comments forums at MoA - for a time, she was HK's youngest billionaire and one of the youngest billionaires in the world - but if you read articles about her and where her money comes from, you'll realise she has reason to remain ... secretive about her wealth.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 3 2019 23:47 utc | 164

Always fun to see the people who very clearly never actually read NC talk about how NC is some sort of pro-American, faux Wall Street critic bastion (the second one really makes me laugh. Smith/Webber is firming part of the 'abolish economics departments and throw banksters in jail' crowd). Or that they're particularly anti-China. They aren't, and in fact they have consistently rejected all the 'Thucydides Trap' blather about China being a dangerous rising power, their position being that it's actually a long standing Great Power reasserting its natural dominance.

As for the claim that they're thin-skinned and have parted ways with John Helmer, that must be very recent indeed, considering they posted a new article by him little more than a month ago.

As for them being anti-Brexit, they are consistently anti-EU, especially the single currency. But that doesn't change the fact that No Deal Brexit is going to be a disaster. And a few months from now that position is going to be indisputable. I well remember when NC was raked over the coals for being critics of Syriza's negotiating tactics, to the point they temporarily closed comments. Well guess what? NC was right, and Syriza was an utter failure that is now out of power.

Posted by: Merasmus | Sep 3 2019 23:47 utc | 165

I believe Helmut Kohl served as Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 (1982 to 1989: West Germany; 1990 - 1998: united Germany), serving a total of 16 years.

Canadian Prime Ministers had a tendency to serve long terms in the past. Justin Bieber Trudeau is quite literally a ... hmm, umm, an infant compared to his predecessors. (Some Canadians probably hope he stays that way!)

Posted by: Jen | Sep 3 2019 23:56 utc | 166

Bookmarked for later. Just quickly skimming, totally concur with B's analysis of the events in HK. Naked Capitalism is generally a very open-minded site,
with well-informed posters who have consistently dismissed Russiagate as the dangerous psy ops it is. It was quite surprising to read LS's dismissal of the many cogent arguments and articles showing that events in HK are being orchestrated by the US. Not sure what's going on.

Posted by: MG | Sep 4 2019 0:24 utc | 167

@Alaric 52

I am banned from Democratic Underground also. I have been banned from Daily Kos twice. I am usually banned the very first day I register there. I am banned from Mother Jones. I am banned from Media Matters.

I got banned from Alternet but got a new name and came back and am now safe for a while. In other words, I am usually very quickly banned from all liberal Democrat sites, usually amidst screams that I am a Republican! Except that I'm not a Republican. I think Democrats are too rightwing. I'm a flaming out and out Leftist.

Suffice to say that these are all liberal Democrat sites except for Alternet, which is more Leftist.

There are few things more awful than an American liberal Democrat, mostly because there is almost nothing liberal about them. They all support US foreign policy to the hilt. They all believe every lie the media ever shoved down their throat.

They all believe every lie foreign policy wing of the state ever told them. They're flag waving patriotards. At the moment, they are frothing with hatred against the evil Russia and the evil Putin. They all supported the Maidan. They all think Russia shot down that jet. They all hate Assad and support arming the jihadis and Al Qaeda against him. They all think Assad gassed his people.

No matter what lie you shove down their throat, they swallow it right up. They reject all alternative explanations to US propaganda because it comes from Iran, Russia, etc. And they don't believe one word those nations say.

You throw evidence at them, like people on videotape confessing their CIA induced nefarious acts or even CIA statements (for instance, half of the CIA says Ukraine shot down that jet), and they shoot it all down.

Everyone that goes against the US government/corporate media one party propaganda line is "lying." Anything other evidence is "unproven." Any theories against US government and media propaganda lies are "conspiracy theory" that must be subjected to "extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence," evidence which, of course, is never enough.

Bottom line is they will never admit they were wrong. And they will never change their mind, ever, about anything. Liberal Democrats are some of the most rigid minded, hopelessly brainwashed people I have ever met.

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Sep 4 2019 0:56 utc | 168

@169 robert lindsay... there is no @Alaric 52... mind telling us what post you are replying to??

Posted by: james | Sep 4 2019 2:00 utc | 169

james @170: what post...?

Alaric has a comment @57.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 4 2019 2:20 utc | 170

thanks jr.. i was looking @52 and before, and around but missed it... cheers james

Posted by: james | Sep 4 2019 2:22 utc | 171

ot - btw jr - it is panning out exactly as you outlined regarding boris and brexit as memory serves..

Posted by: james | Sep 4 2019 2:59 utc | 172

lol a the poster who claimed nc is an apologist for private finance. obviously never read nc. i also don't think streither was arguing that the u.s. has no influence on the student protest, rather that it isn't running it like it runs jihadi opposition in syria. those are two different claims.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 4 2019 4:38 utc | 173

does moon have a way of identifying posters who use multiple identities on the same thread?

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 4 2019 4:39 utc | 174

@ robert lindsay
"They all believe every lie foreign policy wing of the state ever told them. They're flag waving patriotards. At the moment, they are frothing with hatred against the evil Russia and the evil Putin. They all supported the Maidan. They all think Russia shot down that jet. They all hate Assad and support arming the jihadis and Al Qaeda against him. They all think Assad gassed his people."

since that doesn't describe nc at all, i wonder exactly why you agree with the post you replied to?

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 4 2019 4:42 utc | 175

I have come to one conclusion after reading through this discussion. I do not have a clue what is going on in Hong Kong.

Posted by: dltravers | Sep 4 2019 5:03 utc | 176

@175 pretzelattack.. i think b does, but we don't... he can see the ip address, although real frauds have a scrambler i guess...

Posted by: james | Sep 4 2019 5:07 utc | 177

Following on from my earlier reply to S now @67

The white guy in the video looks to be Jeremy Christian.

He belongs to a group called Patriot Prayer. The image is from this article.
The leader of the group Joey Gibson and at least one member were at the earlier Hong Kong protests - riots. This video posted July 8.

Patriot Prayer website.

Another US supremist or exceptionalist group involved in Hong Kong is the American Conservative Union.
The American conservative union is chaired by Matt Schlapp.
Matt Schlapp founded Cove Strategies.
"Founded in 2009 by Matt Schlapp, Cove Strategies is a boutique government and public relations firm ..."
"Cove Strategies specializes in established relationships and connections to Republican officeholders and center-right influencers. Public policy is a dynamic business, and the political environment surrounding an issue increasingly affects the outcome. The team at Cove understands this and we apply our extensive experience in determining the best way to build outside support for the desired legislative outcome."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 4 2019 5:49 utc | 178

I got a better look at the right ear of the the white guy in this video and no piercing so not Jeremy Christian of Patriot Prayer.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 4 2019 6:52 utc | 179

@179 Peter

I do use VPN and did not give a valid email because you never know who's keeping score.

However my handle is indeed my initials, which is more than I can say for the trolls.

tho having been a lurker here for years I'm more than happy to prove who I am to b if required.

Posted by: A.L. | Sep 4 2019 7:36 utc | 180

A User @123 stated his opinion: "I'm sure that Xi has plenty of similarly awful skeletons in his closet, he's the supreme leader of a nation whose population exceeds 1 billion humans - it is inconceivable that he doesn't."

One's inability to conceive something and one's conviction without evidence that the opposite must thus be the case is illogical and irrational. There is likely an unhealthy dose of national or racial chauvinism in such a stance as well with the unstated assumption that it is impossible for the Chinese to come up with a system that filters out the trash when we superior people in the West consistently end up with garbage like Trump and BoJo for leaders.

No, this post by A User says more about the poster's egocentrism and narcissism (rampant in the West) than it does about China.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 4 2019 11:12 utc | 181

Karlofi @55

"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?!"

IMO, they are competing with China the only way they compete with anyone who is perceived as getting in their way to the full spectrum thingy.

I think the smart and really only move in the 21st century is to join up with them in the OBOR. That is how else to actually Make America Great far as I can tell.

Posted by: arby | Sep 4 2019 14:31 utc | 182

"Guarimbas" Hong Kong style. I gotta say that the similarities with the venezuelan "guarimbas" are atonishing; they too attacked and assaulted common people on the streets and caused several incidents at "Metro de Caracas" and at "Metro de Maracaibo", I don't know any chinese but I'd bet they were shouting at the passangers:"we're fighting for you" just like the assholes who called themselves "the liberators" in Venezuela used to do. While watching the 10 mins video all I was thinking was "wow, this is like watching the "guarimberos" in Caracas" they burned a couple of people in there who survived but suffered some injuries unlike Orlando Figueroa, who was stabbed several times and set on fire alive and finally died at a hospital. To this day, none from the opposition nor from the US or any other nation has said anything and/or condemned that atrocious crime, for them it's like it never happened.

Posted by: Moltke | Sep 4 2019 15:02 utc | 183

Jen | Sep 3 2019 22:27 utc | 164

As for bringing guns, other weapons and ammunition into HK, why would you use FedEx when you could use diplomatic bags instead?

I also read that there was a FedEx shipment of "forbidden knives" into HK that the customs authorities intercepted. I have no suggestions to offer as to why FedEx rather than the diplomatic bag. Maybe it was a private initiative?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Sep 4 2019 16:32 utc | 184

Pep-Talk with Chinese Characteristics is the best way to describe this Global Times editorial. The outlook and related governing philosophy stands in stark contrast to that of the Outlaw US Empire where the State is directly adversarial to most of its citizenry. An excerpt:

"Doing our own business well, accelerating China's development, rationalizing benefit distribution and promoting people's living standards to the highest extent have been and will continue to be China's real foundation to confidently deal with any complexity. China should never deviate from this route."

Quite laudatory goals that actually paraphrase the US Constitution's Preamble's rationale for the federal government that were deviated from so long ago. The only way the USA can catch up with China and the Eurasian Rise is to return to the goals of its roots while destroying the deep corruption that deviated the nation from its promising path 140 years ago and now threatens to sink the nation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 4 2019 16:33 utc | 185

If this is not a straight call to off HK police officers, this time...
And zero coherence in explaining the supposed advantage of China of Lam's wavering.

Posted by: fx | Sep 4 2019 16:49 utc | 186

@187 karlof1

Good one, thanks. I was struck by this extract (my emphasis):

...our society's resilience will be repeatedly tested because our country could face greater impact from and friction with the diverse world as China rises. It is impossible for China to build a shield. It has to consolidate its national security in an open environment, and sometimes in reluctant interactions with others.

If ever there was a clue to China's Taoist understanding of how to operate in the world, it comes from that declaration, I suggest. The conclusion extends this even further:

No matter how complicated the world is, China will become resilient. This is not just a slogan but a real asset the Chinese political system endows its government and people.

It's a short editorial. I recommend reading every word to understand the suppleness of policy employed by the rising Chinese civilization as it realizes itself and furthers its influence throughout all of the world.


And yes, I do suggest, ALL of the world. Even the west will need a vision to cling to as it one day rises from its own ashes, in the perhaps not-so distant future.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 4 2019 17:54 utc | 187

Update from today's events:

I completely disagree with Peter Lee's opinion.

For me, the explanation is much simpler: Beijing does respect the 1C2S system. Is it too hard for a Westerner to grasp with the idea that China obeys the Rule of Law? What is it so difficult to understand?

Carrie Lam is not a communist. She's a die hard capitalist. She was handpicked by the Hongkonger capitalist elite and Beijing, because of the 1C2S, accepted the indication. Beijing doesn't do this because they are closet capitalists (or "Stalinist restorators", as the Trotskyist like to tell) or because there's a mindblowing conspiracy theory behind.

The only red line for Beijing is for Hong Kong's liberal ideology not to spread to the Mainland -- which is perfectly fine with the 1C2S in the first place. Carrie Lam is on her knees because her life is to serve capitalism, not socialism: these liberal protesters are shooting themselves on the foot because their Trotstkyist-like theory doesn't make any sense. For propaganda to work, it has to mix truth with lies: the more truth in the mix, the more effective the propaganda. That's why the CIA chose the Western Center-Left ("non-communist left" -- NCL) as its weapon of choice during the Cultural Cold War, and not the liberal right or the religious (evangelical) far-right: it made more sense for the average Joe and thus made the propaganda much more effective.

Of course, Hong Kong's elite is in a very fragile state, and, if the city's government (HKSAR) crumbles, the PLA will have to crush whatever is happening there -- it's still a Chinese city, after all, as the "One country..." part makes it very clear. However, that will only hurt HK capitalism, not Chinese socialism.

Posted by: vk | Sep 4 2019 18:06 utc | 188

@183 William Gruff

Thank you for saying that. I was wearied just by the thought of trying to put a counter into words.

We are constantly accused of using rose-tinted glasses, or portraying governments as possessing an ethical base that the accuser claims cannot possibly be.

There's that image of the pointing finger of the fist, with 3 more fingers pointing back at the pointer. Those who decry the possibility of ethics in China's governance have simply not troubled to learn from sources how much work goes into screening for admission into that governance.

The short piece I linked from Godfree Roberts way back up-thread details how hard it is to enter the Communist Party in China. Xi was rejected 6 or 7 times before he was admitted. He has risen on his qualities, as tested, demonstrated and continuously peer-reviewed.

And children in the west claim - without even knowing Xi's background in the lice-infested peasant commune as a young man, and the character that those who wish to study the matter can see amply demonstrated by Xi, and that was developed from his experiences with the hardships, not privileges, of life in this world - these childish minds claim that he has room in all his effort to excel, and effort simply to do his daily job, as to have a secret place in his mind to harbor corruption and venality.

When, as with Putin, he doesn't have the private place anywhere in this world to squirrel away a private fortune, let alone any spare minute to spend it.

People are so corrupted themselves by centuries of imperialist propaganda, and by the utter degradation and venality of the west in its decay, that they can no longer recognize the good of things that shine before their very eyes, can no longer accept that such things can even exist in this world anymore.

Those three fingers point back to a terrible waste of a good spirit.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 4 2019 18:13 utc | 189

vk @190--

Lam serves a mixed economy which is neither 100% capitalist or 100% socialist. I think we'd agree that 1C2S is slowly converging, the big difference being public versus private banking, finance, and infrastructure--including land--ownership. Eventually, HK then Taiwan will be assimilated into PRC, while an extremely corrupt elite work hard to prevent that eventuality since they stand to literally lose their heads. People get to be incorrect, as Peter Lee is in this case.

Grieved @189--

Thanks for your reply! I agree that much is packed within that short editorial. That it's congruent to the Preamble testifies to the socio-political wisdom of the Preamble's authors.

This development will assuredly shake the gameboard:

"China will invest $280bn developing Iran's oil, gas & petrochemicals sectors. China will also invest another $120bn in upgrading Iran's transport & manufacturing infrastructure. 5000 Chinese security officers will protect Chinese interests in Iran."

Related to that announcement is this Global Times op/ed regarding France's $15 Billion Iranian "bailout package":

"The struggle between Paris and Washington is a game which will determine the future of US-Europe relations. The US is attempting to dominate Europe, but the latter is showing increasing reluctance to be a US pawn.

"The current dilemma reveals a painful reality: Regardless of efforts to avoid being dictated, Europe still cannot but act in accordance with the will of the US....

"Certain European nations consider China a global rival. They need to get a clearer understanding of the situation. The true threat to them does not come from Beijing, but from Washington. The US no longer considers Europe an ally, but a subordinate that can be bossed around.

"The Iran issue is a crucial global topic, not only due to Iran's vital geopolitical position, but also because it helps the world to clearly view US-Europe relations and the West's future.

"If Europe keeps allowing itself to be a US pawn, it may despise itself someday. Only if the continent becomes its own master can it earn recognition from the rest of the world and be supported by the international community."

Overall, Europe is shrinking in its global importance and soon will genuinely need to "be supported by the international community" in a manner unthinkable just a generation ago. For China in particular, it's immensely incumbent on the EU+3 to hold up its end of the JCPOA if they want to be considered as worthy BRI partners, which happens to be Europe's only way out of the economic hole its dug for itself.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 4 2019 18:38 utc | 190

192 Cont'd--

Article source for Big Development which is the fruits of Zarif's recent visit to China carrying Iran's initial 25-year BRI plan. This comment made by the Tweeter:

"No[w] we know why the Iranians don't care about Orange Trump & two-faced Europe at all. China to invest up to 1 trillion US dollars in the Iranian economy. China will build bridges, roads, factories. Develop gas/oil fields. Share technology. A 25-year deal!"

And I'll wager USG T-Bills held by China will be the financial power fueling the development in what will become one of history's greatest ironies. No wonder Zarif was so confident and assured in the Malaysian video I linked.

And as I drift further OT, there's this Tweet and ensuing thread that might provide the answer for those asking about Iranian aide to Houthis:

"The Saudi regime believes the UAE is helping Iran transferring missile parts and drones to Houthis."

Do read the thread as it has additional info on the growing schism between UAE & Saudi.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 4 2019 19:05 utc | 191

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 4 2019 18:38 utc | 192

Hong Kong is not a "mixed economy". It's 100% capitalist. The only change that happened after 1997 was that the government system is now partially vetted by Beijing. But its system is untouched (as agreed with the British one decade earlier).

Indeed, that's the reason HK's color revolution won't spread to the Mainland (although efforts were made at the second week to spread it to the New Territories): the contradictions that exist in HK don't exist in the Mainland. Shenzhen is a tier 1 city right on the other side of the canal: why aren't we seeing liberal-type riots there? No domino effect for now.

But sure, convergence will happen someday and will happen gradually. By 2047, Hong Kong will be, ceteris paribus, socialist -- like it or not.

Carrie Lam is no communist. She's a pure blood, 100% capitalist. The concept of "mixed economy" is a Western construct that really isn't a thing in Northeast Asia: nobody in South Korea and Japan will tell you they are "keynesian", they'll simply tell you they are either common sense or, if you find an enlightened one (very rare in those two countries) a confucionist-capitalist society.

Posted by: vk | Sep 4 2019 19:29 utc | 192

vk @194--

So, the entire infrastructure of HK is private, as in not owned by government whatsoever? The elections are held by a private corporation and not government? and so forth...

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 4 2019 20:29 utc | 193

I ran onto this piece the other day.
"Staggered 25-year deal could mark seismic shift in the global hydrocarbons sector
Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Zarif paid a visit to his Chinese counterpart Wang Li at the end of August to present a road map for the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership, signed in 2016.

The updated agreement echoes many of the points contained in previous China-Iran accords, and already in the public domain. However, many of the key specifics of this new understanding will not be released to the public, despite representing a potentially material shift to the global balance of the oil and gas sector, according to a senior source closely connected to Iran's petroleum ministry who spoke exclusively to Petroleum Economist in late August.

The central pillar of the new deal is that China will invest $280bn developing Iran's oil, gas and petrochemicals sectors. This amount may be front-loaded into the first five-year period of the deal but the understanding is that further amounts will be available in every subsequent five-year period, subject to both parties' agreement.

There will be another $120bn investment in upgrading Iran's transport and manufacturing infrastructure, which again can be front-loaded into the first five-year period and added to in each subsequent period should both parties agree."

Worth a read through the complete article.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 4 2019 20:36 utc | 194

William Gruff and Grieved

More just a strong distrust of authority, perhaps from experience, in the comment.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 4 2019 20:49 utc | 195

I should have checked your first link. I see we both ran onto the same article.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 4 2019 21:05 utc | 196

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 4 2019 20:29 utc | 195

Then, by your logic, there's no pure capitalist country in the world.

Just because the State has property doesn't make a country socialist. The State can -- and do, in capitalism -- behave just like any other "player" in the market.

Statized property ≠ socialized means of production.

Posted by: vk | Sep 4 2019 21:14 utc | 197

From Pepe Escobar's Facebook (he classified it as an "absolute must read"):


Why are so many young Hong Kongers so angry? Why do they hate China so much -- despite HK under Beijing’s sovereignty being visibly freer and more democratic than it ever was under the British? What makes their frontline rioters so violent, in zombie-like fashion? What really motivates them?
The following account is circulating in various online platforms. It is purportedly by someone who joined the blackshirts for two months and observed them close-up. The observations seem to tally with other assessments, direct and indirect.

After two months of undercover contact, I was able to fathom some of the blackshirts’ thinking. It had been hard for me to gain admission into their ranks and get accepted. But after shouting some slogans with them and badmouthing the government, I passed the test and became a blackshirt. Even so, I discovered surprising things after I began to understand the mentality of the rioters.
Most of the young blackshirts look moderate, with some sporting innocent smiles. How could such people have mustered the courage to play the dangerous adult sport of street rioting? It turns out that the blackshirts have a great need to be recognized by others. Without the riots, they wouldn’t have made one another’s acquaintance. They would have spent their adolescence as home-bound boys and girls. Working long hours, their parents neglected family communication. But after joining the rioters’ corps, these homely youngsters received much “peer” recognition.
Their extreme need for such approval isn’t something the pro-establishment camp understands. Having passed their youth, establishmentarians carefully weigh consequences before taking action.
As for the kids, they encourage and care for each other. The guys soon become comrades in arms, while guys and girls become lovers. Some young women offer themselves freely, especially to those who fought the police so valiantly on the front lines. Previously girl-shy young men now find themselves embraced, even by well-born, well-to-do women they wouldn’t have dreamed of approaching.
Fame, sex and peer recognition are powerful spurs to ever more heroic exertions on the battlefield. At the start of each riot, groups of three to five pep-talk one another. Core members can enjoy “drug treatment.” Organizers hand out drugs said to numb the nerves, the better to withstand blows from police batons.
I often ask them about their political goals. But apart from shouting slogans about the “five demands” and other issues, they seldom discuss political topcs. This applies even to their iconic “double universal suffrage” (chief executive and legislature) and “anti-extradition to China.” At first I thought it strange: blackshirts who are sacrificing themselves to politics being reluctant to discuss politics. Rather, their conversations most often center on racist comments about new immigrants and other Chinese mainlanders. For example, their supposedly uncivilized behavior, and how the newcomers “robbed” local resources.
Only after nearly two months’ association with the blackshirts did I grasp a second reason for their rioting. They want recognition from the world at large.
They believe that Hong Kong people must differentiate themselves from Chinese mainlanders. They are especially concerned about how the world views Hong Kongers. They do not wish to be “degraded” by others within a single sovereign framework. It may sound ridiculous, but underlying these kids’ drive for Hong Kong independence is a deep concern about … face. Of course, the fuse must be lit for the explosive to go off. And the extradition bill provided the fuse that was lit by the instigators behind the scenes.
Sadly, in raising the stakes so high, these face-conscious youngsters were lethally abetted by the rise of social-media platforms. On Facebook is so much distortion and incitement to hatred against the Chinese people, as well as endless disinformation. Well-known anti-China writers unconscionably spread their black propaganda. This generation of young Hong Kongers has been hard-brainwashed to become Nazis. Such notions as compassion and diversity are swept aside. Their hearts are full of hatred, the kind that breaches the bottom lines of human nature. If these brainwashed youngsters had the power to wage war against the Chinese mainland, they would kill unblinkingly, like the Japanese aggressors of old.
I came across another “coincidence” about the blackshirt rioters. Many of their frontline warriors were surnamed Nguyen. It’s well known that there are hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and their descendants in Hong Kong. Formerly from anti-communist South Vietnam, they had come to Hong Kong as refugees in the late 1970s. Nguyen is a common Vietnamese surname. As it happened, the first to clamor for “Hong Kong independence” had come from their ranks. They indeed were not Chinese. Together with other politically motivated China-haters, these Vietnamese scions helped cover online platforms with anti-Chinese postings in Chinese and English. Of course, it’s too much to expect their youthful audiences to spend time verifying the materials. The latter simply got on the bandwagon and joined in the China hatefest. They came to regard themselves as Hong Kongers (Hong Kongese) and not Hong Kong Chinese.
It dawned on me that the biggest spark for war is not political disputes but racial or ethnic hatred. Hitler incited the Germans to hate the Jews, then rose to power in Germany and waged war against Europe. The Japanese labeled the Chinese the “Sick Man of East Asia” to launch aggression against China. Trump incited racial hatred and successfully became president of the United States. Conflicts too have been fueled in Europe, the Middle East and Africa by the incitement of ethnic animosities. Seizing on this point, anti-China forces in Hong Kong have incessantly demonized and incited hatred towards the Chinese among local youth for their own political ends.
My hearts sinks further with every paragraph I write. Political disputes can be resolved through the search for common ground. But ethnic hatred is hard to eradicate, as it’s like poison seeping into the brain. Only when the disease is identified can proper medicine be prescribed. I have glimpsed the affliction, but have no idea what the right medicine is. I hope we can work together to find a cure for the hatred infecting our young people, before it is too late.
(Translation by THWP)

Posted by: vk | Sep 4 2019 21:38 utc | 198

vk @199--

The proper term is a Mixed Economy. As far as I know, every nation on the planet has an economy mixed to some degree--even the USSR had a mixed economy when the underground/black economy/market is acknowledged. As you're aware, the ongoing debate is over public versus private banking and finance and the resulting immorality of Financial Capitalism as promoted by Neoliberalism and its capture of governments. The essence of the current Great Game is Neoliberalism's effort to capture China and other remaining resistance nations which it's now clearly losing. It's hypothetically possible to have a 100% Capitalist economy provided the government could become an actual business with bureaucrats and politicians its paid workers involved in the selling of services to the public. Some private entity other than the public-at-large would need to be the owner and primary shareholder; for if the entire public were the owners and shareholders, then it would be a Socialist government, although the economy itself could be privately held. Yes, the potential combinations are many. Most fundamental of course is who/what owns the government. In the USA, the theory is the people own the government, while in practice they only own some of it thanks to rampant corruption that in all too many instances is de jure.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 4 2019 21:49 utc | 199

Peter AU 1 @198--

Nice to see you back and commenting! Hard to say, but IMO the overall situation's improving. Hope you caught my link to PRC's White Paper Archive upthread as it's a trove of information. Seems most of Trumps Maximum Pressure ploys have failed, so I wonder what he'll do now? When he threatened to force all US corps to remove their operations from China a week or so ago, I felt that was his last straw indicating he wouldn't seek reelection as opposition to that ploy was 100%

My Best!

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 4 2019 22:05 utc | 200

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