Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 22, 2019

Why The Hong Kong Riots Are Coming To An End

The U.S. sponsored riots in Hong Kong are mostly over. They were sustained much longer than we had expected.

The "marginal violence" campaign of the "pro-democratic" students has failed to win more support for them. Regular Hongkongers are increasingly willing to take a stand against further provocations:

Demonstrators gathered at about 12.30pm on a bridge outside Exchange Square, which houses Hong Kong’s stock exchange in the city’s financial heartland, in another round of lunchtime protests that have been staged most days over the past two weeks.

Scuffles broke out after a pro-police group of about 50 people showed up about an hour later, but police arrived soon after to clear the area.

During at least two altercations between some members of each group, an anti-government contingent yelled “go back to China” at their adversaries, and one of their number kicked a woman walking towards the smaller group.

Ten days ago the core of the black clad rioters began to paralyze Hong Kong's traffic during regular workdays. They ransacked nearly every metro stations and barricaded large thoroughfares and tunnels. Schools were closed, businesses and workers were severely harmed.

One 70 year old street cleaner was killed when he was hit by a stone thrown by the rioters against civilians who tried to remove a barricade. A 57 year old man was drenched with gasoline and set alight after he verbally disagreed with the rioter's ransacking of a metro station. A policeman was shot with an arrow.

The rioters occupied the Chinese University and the Polytechnic University (PolyU) which are next to large streets and the important Cross-Harbor-Tunnel. Using the universities as logistic bases and fortifications they managed to keep many roads closed throughout day and night. After some negotiations with the president of the Chinese University the rioters evacuated from there while leaving some 8,000 petrol bombs behind. They concentrated in the PolyU next to the Cross-Harbor-Tunnel.

That was a mistake.

Last Sunday the police surrounded the PolyU and let no one leave. Those who wanted out were either arrested or, when under 18, identified and handed to their parents. There were several violent battles when the rioters attempted to break through the police cordon but only a few escaped.


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After a few days most of those inside PolyU surrendered to the police.

Today there are still some 30 rioter holed up in a PolyU building. The police are waiting them out. They said that they had made more than a thousand arrests. The university is ransacked and there was significant battle damage. The rioters again left thousands of Molotov cocktails and other weapons behind.

The blockage of the city traffic and the increasing damage caused by rioter vandalism has alienated even those who earlier supported them. As the police now have most of the core rioters under arrest there is little chance that such violent protests will continue.

On Sunday there will be citywide district council elections in Hong Kong. China had pushed for the elections to go forward under all circumstances. Riot police will guard all polling stations.

Weeks ago the "pro-dem" candidates, who supported the rioters, were still poised to win more seats than they had held before the protests. But they now fear that the general public will punish them for the mayhem they have caused and will choose establishment candidates:

Chinese University political scientist Ivan Choy Chi-keung said while the turnout could set another record, the overall situation was more unpredictable than before.

“The pan-democrats could have won a landslide victory if the elections had been held in the summer, when the protests erupted,” Choy said. “But after the recent clashes at two universities, undecided voters may be worried about public order and be discouraged from voting.

He was referring to fiery battles protesters fought with police outside Chinese University on November 12, followed by more confrontations outside Polytechnic University last week.

“It will be difficult for the camp to win more than half of the seats, as some originally envisaged,” Choy said.

The Hong Kong government has conceded none of the protesters' "five demands". The only thing that the protesters have won is the passing of legislation by the U.S. Congress:

The House of Representatives on Wednesday followed the lead of the Senate in overwhelmingly approving two pieces of legislation: The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which requires the president to annually review the favourable trading status that the US gives to Hong Kong, threatening to revoke it and impose penalties against officials if freedoms are determined to have been quashed; and the Protect Hong Kong Act, which will block the sale of tear gas and other policing items.

The former, although largely symbolic, could alter Washington’s relationship with Hong Kong and Beijing.

US President Donald Trump has a straightforward choice on legislation passed on to him by the United States Congress supporting the protests that have engulfed Hong Kong – approve or veto. Coming amid tough bargaining on his trade war with China, he may be tempted to make his decision part of the negotiations.
...
But Beijing sees such measures as striking at the heart of Chinese sovereignty. Radical protesters could be spurred to greater violence. Unspecified countermeasures are promised should Trump give his approval.
...
But the trade war, violence and legislation have damaged business sentiment in Hong Kong. Approval or not, pessimism and uncertainty have already been deepened. There can be no winners.

Trump wants the trade deal with China and will therefore likely veto the bill:

Speaking on the “Fox & Friends” morning program, the president said that he was balancing competing priorities in the U.S.-China relationship.

“We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi [Jinping], he’s a friend of mine. He’s an incredible guy, but we have to stand … I’d like to see them work it out, okay?” the president said. “I stand with freedom, I stand with all of the things that I want to do, but we are also in the process of making one of the largest trade deals in history. And if we could do that, it would be great.”

A veto would only have a temporary impact as the law has passed the House and Senate by veto proof majorities.

The idea behind the protests and the rioters In Hong Kong was all along to provoke another Tian An Men incident. This has been quite obvious since the start of the protest. It now gets publicly acknowledged:

BBC Newsnight @BBCNewsnight - 11:00 UTC · Nov 19, 2019

“Some of the protesters seem to have an objective to provoke a military confrontation with China. They seem to want a Tiananmen Square outcome as success.”

Fmr Foreign Sec @Jeremy_Hunt says he is “concerned with the tactics” with some of #HongKong’s protesters

Had China moved troops to Hong Kong, or allowed more force to be used against the protesters, the U.S. would have used that to press its allies to put strong sanctions on China. The protesters' violence was designed to achieve that outcome. The plan was part of the larger U.S. strategy of decoupling from China.

The plan failed because China was too smart to give the U.S. what it wanted. Now it is Trump who is under pressure. He needs the trade deal with China because the current trade war is doing harm to the U.S. economy and endangers his reelection.

Which is probably the real reason why the protests have died down.

Posted by b on November 22, 2019 at 19:02 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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thanks b...

the whole thing hasn't made much sense to me... unless i conjecture that the whole protest was to feed the usa agenda, why the f### is the usa so involved in other countries affairs? i know... they excel at it but c'mon...

Posted by: james | Nov 22 2019 19:17 utc | 1

Next step in Imperial playbook is to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the elections.

Posted by: Arakawa | Nov 22 2019 19:18 utc | 2

yep. excellent and concise as usual.

Posted by: annie | Nov 22 2019 19:21 utc | 3

@1
Why? Because we are the international troublemaker.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Nov 22 2019 19:21 utc | 4

Will this make the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 null and void?

Posted by: Vonu | Nov 22 2019 19:25 utc | 5

Makes sense, b. Thanks.

Any validity to the claim by the pro-dem side that the polytech u was an internet traffic hub and that control of that has great implications for information control?

...

You stated weeks ago that Hong Kong will be reabsorbed. Can you really blame the youth for wanting to be treated this way and used by everyone? First by the British and now as mere pawns between two superpowers? I'd be pissed too.

But trump is not dumb. And pieces in the game will always be pieces in the game.

"to the sage, the people are straw dogs."

...

Oh well.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Nov 22 2019 19:33 utc | 6

@james #1
Well, one possible reason is that it is immensely profitable and power-enabling.
If you haven't read Prouty's book, you should.
Impossible to tell if it is accurate, but it certainly could be.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 22 2019 19:36 utc | 7

Interesting that in The Atlantic magazine article B links to (at "That was a mistake"), the writer Suzanne Sataline followed a rioter all the way through PolyU without saying why she had to do so. Had she been found by police, she would surely have been arrested and charged with assisting in terrorist-styled activities.

Next time The Atlantic sends her on an overseas assignment, perhaps somewhere in the Middle East, Africa or Latin America, she might not be so lucky. Somehow the fate of Marie Colvin in Syria or Lebanon comes to mind. I would not be surprised though if Sataline has never heard of Colvin.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 22 2019 19:49 utc | 8

@4 nathan and @ 7 clue... thanks... i did read confessions of an economic hitman which goes into similar terrain..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confessions_of_an_Economic_Hit_Man

Posted by: james | Nov 22 2019 19:51 utc | 9

The U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan have cost American taxpayers $6.4 trillion since they began in 2001.

That total is $2 trillion more than all federal government spending during the recently completed fiscal year.

The report, from Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University, also finds that more than 801,000 people have died as a direct result of fighting.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/20/us-spent-6point4-trillion-on-middle-east-wars-since-2001-study.html

Posted by: Mao | Nov 22 2019 19:59 utc | 10

"I think China needs to stop interfering in the internal affairs of the United States because our treatment of Hong Kong is an internal matter," says @MarcoRubio.

https://twitter.com/SquawkCNBC/status/1197511188092985345

Posted by: Mao | Nov 22 2019 20:04 utc | 11

Hong Kong’s opposition unites with Washington hardliners to ‘preserve the US’s own political and economic interests’

While claiming to fight for “self-determination,” Hong Kong opposition leaders are collaborating with regime-change neoconservatives in Washington to “preserve the US’s own political and economic interests.” A new DC lobbying front has become their base of operations.

The Grayzone piece linked above misses the real man behind the lobbying. Andrew Duncan who is a main sponsor of Senator Marco Rubio who is the main promoter on the hill for "activist" and U.S. darling Joshua Wong. Duncan is also one of the producers (financiers) of a film about Wong.

Watchdog group files complaint in shadowy gift to super PAC aiding Marco Rubio

An election watchdog organization filed a complaint Friday with the Federal Election Commission over a $500,000 donation to a super political action committee aiding Marco Rubio from a mystery firm headed by a New York investor.
...
The complaint from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, seeks an investigation into IGX LLC for masking the donation and to determine whether the Conservative Solutions PAC was aware of the origins of the contribution. The actual donor, Andrew Duncan, of Brooklyn, New York, acknowledged to the Associated Press earlier this month that he had routed his contribution through IGX, a business entity registered last year in Delaware.

Posted by: b | Nov 22 2019 20:17 utc | 12

The plan failed because China was too smart to give the U.S. what it wanted. Now it is Trump who is under pressure. He needs the trade deal with China because the current trade war is doing harm to the U.S. economy and endangers his reelection.

Indeed, Trump has lost the trade war:

Weak consumption, economy could sink Trump re-election bid

Here's the interesting part:

The administration isn’t bragging about the Atlanta Fed’s present forecast of just 0.3% annualized GDP growth.

Since then GDP growth has fallen below 2%, as businesses cancel capital investment plans in response to uncertainty about global supply chains, following the Trump Administration tariff war on China and threatened bans on technology exports to Chinese companies. Consumer spending kept the economy growing despite shrinking CapEx and a manufacturing recession that is now in its third quarter. At just 12% of GDP, the manufacturing recession isn’t enough to tip the overall economy into recession.

That means the USA is already in a manufacturing recession for some time now -- but that doesn't matter, because the American manufacturing sector is just 12% of its GDP, making it just a drop in the bucket.

But the situation doesn't appear to be better at the financial sector either:

World’s Largest Hedge Fund Bets $1 Billion That Stock Market Will Fall by March 2020

Bridgewater Associates LP, one of the largest investment management companies in the world, has reportedly bet more than $1 billion that either the S&P 500, Euro Stoxx 50 or both will fall by March 2020.

The capitalist world still hasn't recovered from the blow of 2008. Marxists have already predicted a new great recession will happen probably somewhere at the end of 2020, late 2022 best case scenario. Now the bourgeois institutions are seemingly catching up with the real scientists.

Posted by: vk | Nov 22 2019 20:47 utc | 13

james @ 1 asked;"why the f### is the usa so involved in other countries affairs? i know... they excel at it but c'mon...

It's ALL about commerce james, it's always about the $, which is generated by mega-business, who owns and directs the folks who determine foreign and domestic policies.

It's human history, that $ equates to power, and it's addictive to humans.

Posted by: ben | Nov 22 2019 20:49 utc | 14

@9 James

'Confessions of an Economic Hitman' by John Perkins is a must read. In an enlightened society it would be on school curricula.

Bolivia is a classic example of what Perkins' described in his book. Hong Kong is more the hybrid warfare colour revolutions that typical coups have evolved into since Perkins' days as an 'economic hitman'.

Posted by: PJB | Nov 22 2019 20:52 utc | 15

Thanks for the posting b however I think there is a Taiwan factor is this situation as well that is not explored....they have elections coming up soon as well.

I continue to posit that the base "economic interests" are about public finance that China has and intends to keep which is a very real threat to the private finance Western world.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 22 2019 21:00 utc | 16

If the violence in the demonstrations is being pushed by the US, as suggested by b (and I agree), it doesn't matter very much how popular the demos are. Apart from the need not to look absurdly out of tune.

This is not the first time that I've compared the Hong Kong demos to the Gilets Jaunes in France. The model is identical. Groups separate from the popular demonstrations commit violence; no-one knows who they are. Black-masked unknown individuals.

In Hong Kong, it looks like university students were enthused to join in.

In Paris we had it again last Saturday, but it won't last, as most of the Gilets Jaunes are against the violence. We ran into a group that night; they didn't seem very violent, more like copycats. Their more violent fellows had just destroyed a war monument.

The French always deny that it could be a foreign intervention, but it's so similar to what has happened in Hong Kong.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 22 2019 21:07 utc | 17

b @12

Insightful. Thanks!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 22 2019 21:13 utc | 18

The cognitive dissonance has been overwhelming these past months. "Pro-democracy protesters" who use black bloc tactics of arson and vandalism. "Students yearning for freedom" who organize Molotov cocktail factories. Complaints of excessive "police brutality" when by objective international standards the police were remarkably constrained. "Hong Kong is a repressive police state" says Joshua Wong, and yet it is consistently near the top of the list in the Cato Institute world freedom index. The protesters are "fighting for democracy" even though Hong Kong is democratic, and demand a "universal suffrage" that in practice very few jurisdictions, least of all their beloved US/UK, enjoy. Add a dollop of uninformed virtue-signalling from the usual clueless western cheerleaders, and it has been a festival of delusion which somehow ends with the image of a petrol-bomb-wielding black bloc protester as the new face of "freedom" (as seen on twitter).

Posted by: jayc | Nov 22 2019 21:14 utc | 19

This isn't the only article I've read over the past several days suggesting China won't agree to a trade deal anytime soon. The following are amongst the reasons why:

"China's trade has gradually steadied as the nation moves to explore third markets. 'A substantial decline in trade and a drastic fall in economic growth which some international observers were worried about didn't occur, pointing to the potential and resilience of the Chinese economy,' he went on to say.

"The US, for its part, has seen its current account deficit as a percentage of GDP shoot up from 2.9 percent to 3.2 percent. This suggests the trade war is failing to address the issue of the US' current account deficit, stressed Zhu, who is currently the Chairman of the National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University. He added that, more worryingly, tariffs mean additional costs are put on US companies and consumers."

Evil Outlaw US Empire planners in their hubristic zeal to decouple from China's economy erred massively in thinking China would be the one harmed and come begging for a trade deal. Instead, China's geoeconomic strategy is clearly working and is more potent than what the Empire can bring to the table--Oops! China can now play Trump.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 22 2019 21:16 utc | 20

Laguerre @17: so similar ... violent

I disagree.

Gillets Jaunes protest are throughout the country. And GJ are not trying to maintain any sort of special status like HK protesters.

GJ have not been violent. Its those that are trying to discredit the GJ that are violent.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 22 2019 21:19 utc | 21

This is way OT but regular barflies will understand the context

My message is to Nemisiscalling who I want to suggest go see Isaac Hendler for auricular acupuncture who I just saw for the first time in Corvallis but he works in Portland as well and is GOOD, IMO.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 22 2019 21:20 utc | 22

Makes sense, b. Thanks.

BUT...

Can you really blame the youth for wanting to be treated this way and used by everyone? First by the British and now as mere pawns between two superpowers? I'd be pissed too.

Wow...talk about cognitive dissonance...

'Thanks for that lovely meal dear...now it's time for your daily beating...'

Why is it that you can always hear the shills calling...?

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 22 2019 21:35 utc | 23


ya'll understand how 'democracy' works, don't ya?


https://twitter.com/SenTedCruz/status/1197544789987745792
Senator Ted Cruz Verified account @SenTedCruz

#China demands Trump veto bills about #HongKong that passed by overwhelming veto proof majorities. No surprise the Communist Party doesn’t understand how democracy works. #StandWithHongKong

how 'democracy' works for the USA, see for example: Bolivia (2019), Honduras and Ukraine (coups under Obama 2009 and 2014), Chile (1973 Nixon/Kissinger), Guatemala and Iran (1954 under Ike), Vietnam (numerous times, 1963 under JFK), Dominican Republic (LBJ), Italy and Greece 1940s, etc etc ad infinitum infinitum

that's what they exporting 'democracy' overseas.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Nov 22 2019 21:42 utc | 24

I have a niece in Hong Kong, and other relatives on Mainland.
Maybe a primary source would be insightful?

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Nov 22 2019 21:43 utc | 25

The author (b) writes: "Had China moved troops to Hong Kong, or allowed more force to be used against the protesters, the U.S. would have used that to press its allies to put strong sanctions on China."

Ironically, China already moved its troops to the street of Hong Kong this week - to help to clean the street and repair the damages done by the rioters!

I know it is anti-climax, and a big let down for all the Chinese haters like Marco Rubio, Nancy Pelosi, Peter Navarro, Steve Bannon and many others.

Posted by: d dan | Nov 22 2019 21:52 utc | 26

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 22 2019 21:19 utc | 21

You haven't understood the situation. Better to re-read what I said.

The Gilets Jaunes are complaining about abandonment, the development of the economy leaving them aside, much the same as many of the Brexiters in UK. It's a reasonable objection, but not much to do with Macron as current head of state. Not his fault.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 22 2019 21:58 utc | 27

Laguerre | Nov 22 2019 21:58 utc | 26:

The Gilets Jaunes are complaining about abandonment ... not much to do with Macron as current head of state. Not his fault.

I think GJ are fundamentally complaining about a lack of democracy. They view the government as serving the rich . . . a condition which seems to be endemic to Western society but is more apparent in France where neoliberal policies collide with social programs and traditional values.

Furthermore, since Macron has tried to squash the Movement, I'd say he is at fault.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 22 2019 22:14 utc | 28

Excellent as per usual.
The funny thing is that a little bit of effort and the whole thing becomes apparent even through the traditional media reports. Recall that early media reports said there were 1.7 million protesters "according to the organiser's estimates". Once you remember that, then every time you hear millions is a hint to look up the Police estimate (150k) and estimates of maximum numbers in space available - also 150k or thereabouts.

More stories hint of high protester numbers but don't mention numbers -so check the accompanying pictures and videos - we a few thousand (ie well down on ever factual early numbers) and more recently just a few hundred. Police violence - yet every picture or video show large numbers of police acting very very peaceably (compare Paris). HK democracy - yet all the pictures recently have been exclusively of masked blackshirts and if you dig deep most of the violence has been blackshirt on passers by.

There must be picture editors who are stunned by the reports they run.

And obviously the story they are all looking for is the China overreaction that was never going to happen.

The whole thing runs in parallel with the obvious Ujghur 1 million in prison lie (it would be equivalent to every male aged 16-29) where the only witnesses to speak to western journalists have been fed to the press in Istanbul. We all know that Chinese muslims in Istanbul are going to or already in ISIS. James Le Mesurier doing a little extra press feeding in his spare time.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Nov 22 2019 22:17 utc | 29

The blatant lie from the UK consul about being tortured in China is clearly a last step attempt to delay the media calling it all over.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Nov 22 2019 22:18 utc | 30

Got the following email today from my "representative" U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (for whom I have never voted) on the reason for his vote: "The world is watching, and we must step up to hold the Chinese government accountable. Please know that I will continue to fight for an America that brings moral leadership to the international stage."

Merkley remains the darling of self-styled Oregon "progressives", who have no clue about the real meaning of moral leadership. He pulled a stunt a year ago trying to get into an immigration gulag and was refused entry. He conveniently forgot to mention that privatized corporate immigration gulags were established by Democrats under President Obama.

I used to call his office to express my opinion, but no longer bother, he's just another war party flack.

Posted by: Trisha | Nov 22 2019 22:22 utc | 31

The U.S. does not understand China. In addition to little Marco's bill We support HK rioters there is shoot them in the foot conflict on policy.

Over the last 4 days

Ban Huawei.
No, we won't.
Yes, we will.

No. License Granted to Microsoft to Export 'Mass-Market Software' to Huawei

Yes, Ban Huawei: FCC Votes 5-0 To Ban China's Huawei, ZTE From Gov't Subsidy Program

Posted by: Likklemore | Nov 22 2019 22:32 utc | 32

in 1997, the year Great Britain consumed her concession of Hong Kong, the colony, now mainland proper, was counting for 40% of China´s GDP. today hardly 2%. a major factor of the unrest.

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Nov 22 2019 23:15 utc | 33

"They seem to want a Tiananmen Square outcome as success."

The Tiananmen Square outcome was–media accounts to the contrary–that the kids all left the square safely by 7:20 am, just as all the HK demonstrators are unharmed.

There was a riot led by professional thugs elsewhere in Beijing, in Chang'An Avenue, but that was a different matter entirely and one with an interesting sequel. The leader of that riot was exfiltrated to the UK by MI6 and subsequently convicted of robbing and murdering an elderly Londoner. Sweet.

Posted by: Godfree Roberts | Nov 22 2019 23:23 utc | 34

' 44 year old man was drenched with gasoline '

he is 57
'Lee Chi-cheung, 57, was left fighting for his life after the attack, which occurred on November 11 after a dispute with a group of masked people who had vandalised an MTR station in Ma On Shan in Hong Kong's New Territories.;
https://www.asiaone.com/asia/wife-hong-kong-man-who-was-set-fire-tells-heartbreak?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter&Echobox=1574220019#xtor=CS2-4

Posted by: brian | Nov 22 2019 23:40 utc | 35

The decision to crowd hundreds of members of the hard core into a siege situation at PolyU is more than a mistake it will be catastrophic for a movement which is largely peopled by members of the bourgeoisie.
Altho if it follows the form of many other similar resistance efforts it is likely that any proletariat members participating found themselves on the front lines during confrontation because they had the balls to be there once push came to a crack on the melon with a baton.

People whose ultimate goal is a comfortable life in a state which best meets their needs without necessarily concerning themselves with the needs of everybody else, are incredibly vulnerable once arrested.

The best outcome for PRC will be a situation where they have intelligence of what moves resistance may be planning in the future, combined with some ability to control the resistance.

Now that the most violent of the protesters have stuffed themselves into one spot in a way that makes being arrested as they leave the scene they vandalised a reasonable act by police in the eyes of Hongkong citizens and, for that matter, the world, we can be certain many of the arrestees will be 'turned' by the police and intelligence services.

As for that essential ingredient of any resistance movement, solidarity, the atlantic article b linked to denigrates many of those still stuck inside PolyU as "well-meaning, unlucky naifs who didn’t know the geography and didn’t have the guile or foresight to negotiate, bargain, lie, or sneak their way out." that elitist summation of the courageous is likely to have been engendered in the writer by her sources (prolly introduced by amerikan 'friends') who did escape.

Smart proletarian fighters abandoned inside PolyU and desperate bourgeois resisters now facing the disappointment of their families caused by the realisation that their actions have made their future prospects a lot grimmer will cause many to rationalise that they were betrayed & led up the garden path by a selfish leadership. In those circs helping the police is less a betrayal than a reasonable reaction to movement indifference towards them, they will decide.

Perhaps this was a definite police strategy from the start, utilising some of the vandals already arrested at earlier riots. That would mean that some of the escapees were not solely agents of usuk, some were permitted to escape by the police so they wouldn't have to explain away yet another arrest to their comrades.

Usually it takes a few years before a resistance movement becomes too infiltrated to fulfill its objectives (eg the IRA), if the PRC has managed to do this to a movement which initially had so much popular support, within the space of a couple of months, this a massive win.

Posted by: A User | Nov 22 2019 23:40 utc | 36

@6. The Hong Kong Internet eXchange (HKIX) is at the university. That's a room with telecommunications equipment where internet providers exchange traffic. The university is a convenient neutral point for high tech.

If you want to shut an exchange like that down, you go to the telco that provides the actual connections to the building, and tell them to shut down the line. Or you go to the academic who configures the exchange, and tell him to shut down the switch ports. A backhoe digging a trench through a bundle of fibers will also work.

Posted by: passerby | Nov 22 2019 23:42 utc | 37

Did ya'll know there's an ongoing Bloomberg sponsored business forum happening in Beijing, The New Economy Forum, that Xi addressed today? here:

"'We want to work for a ‘phase one’ agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equality,' said Xi.

"'When necessary, we will fight back, but we have been working actively to try not to have a trade war. We did not initiate this trade war and this is not something we want,' the Chinese leader said in response to questions from representatives of the New Economy Forum organized by Bloomberg in Beijing."

IMO, neither China or Trump's team are ready to sign anything and are still deeply involved in the "dickering" phase:

"Trade experts and people close to the White House told Reuters that the ‘phase one’ trade deal’s completion could be postponed to 2020 as Beijing asks for more extensive tariff rollbacks and Washington counters with increased demands of its own."

As I wrote above, China's in no hurry to sign anything that's a disadvantage to it as it will abide no more unequal treaties. And since we and the Chinese know the Evil Outlaw US Empire isn't agreement capable, the situation will be allowed to fester as all the business and economic indicators favor China. And vetoing the anti-China legislation won't change the overall dynamic. The odds were much better for Trump to get his trade deal prior to the idiotic Hong Kong stunt. IMO, he'll be very lucky to get "phase one" done before the election next year.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 22 2019 23:58 utc | 38

Here's another report on Xi's remarks at the New Economy Forum from earlier today.

"In his meeting with Kissinger, Xi said that 'at present, Sino-US relations are at a critical juncture facing some difficulties and challenges,' calling on the two countries to enhance communication on strategic issues, avoid misunderstanding and misjudgment.

"'The two sides should proceed from the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the people of the world, respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, pursue win-win results in cooperation, and promote bilateral ties to develop in the right direction,' said Xi."

Now we all know TrumpCo will do nothing of the sort regarding the above paragraph, nor would Clinton, Obama, Pelosi, or Biden as they're all connected to the same interests. The Evil Outlaw US Empire only does Zero-sum stuff, not Win-Win, and cannot abide a situation where it isn't in the dominant position. The time-honored doubling down strategy of US Imperialists has finally met its match, although hubris won't allow them to see the true state of their dilemma. China meanwhile just needs to continue to hold its own position, avoid being smug and quietly relish the tables being completely turned from 100+ years ago. And to also know that Hong Kong was a great victory for them over that same attitude from 100+ years ago, which ought to bring a modicum amount of satisfaction.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 23 2019 0:26 utc | 39

See Jeff. J. Brown, Confucius, Laozi and Buddha are humbly winning against the imperial West, in troubled Hong Kong., posted at China Rising back in July. He resides in HK, speaks Chinese, and apparently got it exactly right.

Posted by: Tom | Nov 23 2019 0:37 utc | 40

I can only try to imagine what the Chinese police do to the Filipino mercenaries who make up the core of the US sponsored "protesters" with Molotovs when they catch them. I can certainly understand why they are desperately trying to escape through the sewer pipes of the University etc. Even the dumbest Hong-Kongers have finally cottoned it that they are the big losers of this "democratic revolution".

The Chinese are not really as smart as we thought, are they, or such riots would have never happened (where were the parents of all these kids used by the US organizers?). But credit goes to the smart Chinese leadership for sitting out all the violence of the US-sponsored "peaceful protests" and thus preventing the organizers from involving the rest of the West in the war on China. The organizers will not give up, will try another day another way. But the Chinese authorities must study the Russian experience with prevention, to avoid the huge economic losses. This is a big but Pyrrhic Chinese victory over US. The Return on Investment to the riot organizers was not too bad, for couple tens of million dollars they set back the Hong Kong economy by billions and 5-10 years. Many young Chinese rioters burned their own jobs with their Molotovs, the typical achievement of the professional ideologues - getting the young people to do damaging things to themselves.

Posted by: Kiza | Nov 23 2019 0:50 utc | 41

@ Trisha in comment # 30 who wrote about US Senator Jeff Merkley defending his vote on the HK piece
"
I used to call his office to express my opinion, but no longer bother, he's just another war party flack.
"

Thanks for that. I would just add that I am on his emailing list as well but did not get the notice he sent to you....Hmmmm. I guess since I have berated him about his position on things he only sends me frufru stuff now.

What a political hack he has become. How do these people live with themselves?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 23 2019 0:52 utc | 42

"The plan failed because China was too smart to give the U.S. what it wanted"

You know China might have took the bait, if the US in all it's sheer arrogance didn't ritually and bombastically reminded China about TAM every fucking year for the past 3 decades.

Posted by: JW | Nov 23 2019 2:02 utc | 43

@ Kiza in #39 who wrote
"
This is a big but Pyrrhic Chinese victory over US. The Return on Investment to the riot organizers was not too bad, for couple tens of million dollars they set back the Hong Kong economy by billions and 5-10 years. Many young Chinese rioters burned their own jobs with their Molotovs, the typical achievement of the professional ideologues - getting the young people to do damaging things to themselves.
"
Thanks for your thoughts
China has won in two ways, IMO
1. It will speed the reintegration of HK into the China political economy because it further destroyed the HK of British rule.
2. It is a wake up call to Taiwan about their reliance on and fealty to the West....what benefits are there and at what cost?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 23 2019 2:07 utc | 44

I agree with Psychohistorian. Considering the now ridiculously low, and increasingly lower, share of Hong Kong in China's economy, wrecking Hong Kong economy like it just happened was a Pyrrhic move from the protesters. Hurting HK's economy doesn't hurt China much, actually, it might just boost a little bit more mainland China and weaken the independent-minded HK a bit more. As long as the situation ends up returning to normal and things stay quiet afterwards, I would nearly wonder if some Chinese agents didn't help create that mess in Hong Kong, because Beijing surely doesn't need a booming HK with special status anymore.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Nov 23 2019 2:15 utc | 45

Trump's is trying to teach us something?

“I stand with freedom,..."

A working definition of "Freedom" is "absence of".

So, from what does he want to be absent of? He does not say. We should ask him.

Freedom from starvation? Ignorance? Health? Money? Jobs? Contaminated drinking water?..Who knows ? !

So Trump is coaching us deplorables that freedom is literally nonsense unless we say "freedom from ____ ". [we have to fill in the blank space to make any sense!]

I am sure he knows that. Doesn't he? I am sure you, dear reader,knows it, too.

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 23 2019 2:26 utc | 46

chu teh @44--

Trump wants freedom from taxation. And he wants to be free to oppress others. Also, see Hudson's definition of the term in his J is for Junk Economics as Trump was totally schooled in neoliberal economics.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 23 2019 2:43 utc | 47

psychohistorian | Nov 23 2019 0:52 utc | 40

"What a political hack he has become. How do these people live with themselves?"...

They do not live with themselves. Each of the "they" have little or no idea who s/he really is, or even might be. That is one of the fundamental problems that must be resolved before anyone gets out of here "alive"...as in awake/aware without a body.

Of course , I just made that up.

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 23 2019 2:45 utc | 48

I think your reasoning is far too complex, and I here in Australia, (a Serial Email-er to the National Broadcaster "The ABC") emailed some months ago my impression the Government in Beijing would sit on its hands and watch the show across the moat from Shenzhen 35 Klms away, which it sees as the replacement for Hong Kong?
I don't think the Chinese have forgotten the Opium Wars and the arrogance of the Poms which occupied Hong Kong from 1841 to 1997 with a short intermission in which the Japs took residence. So I believe they just watched Hong Kong destroy itself, and didn't care who was behind it and as a result would be in a far more powerful position when they expose the British and the US for their part in this exercise.
There never was going to be a Tienanmen event as I predicted several months ago about which the idiots in the ABC salivated and all sorts of stuff was written about the impending "Invasion" of the "Democratic" Island where these over indulged brats had their Hissy-Fit.
Hong Kong never in its History has ever had "Democracy" as it was a servile "Stateless Outpost" dictated by Buckingham Palace via the "Foreign Office" and the Resident Governor!
<<<<<<<<<<<< So suck it up! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Posted by: William Kierath | Nov 23 2019 3:08 utc | 49

I feel these terms "pro-dem" and "pan-democratic" in HK politics should not be allowed to stand uncontested. Sure, the government in mainland China is not democratic (refreshingly, at least it doesn't pretend to be). But the Beijing-friendly parties in Hong Kong contest the local elections under exactly the same (flawed) rules as every other party; so it seems to me they're all equally democratic. Rather, the pan-dem (pandemic?!) bloc in Hong Kong is pro-American -- that's the real difference.

It's already long, long ago that I noticed the same sleight of hand in Serbia, where MSM conflated "democratic" with "pro-EU".

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Nov 23 2019 3:48 utc | 50

It's funny, in a silly kind of way, that the US Congress has decided to "own" the Hong Kong riots by recognising them as 'legitimate'. The protesters shot themselves in the foot when they rejected Carrie Lam's offer to convene a summit at which protest reps and HK Govt reps could negotiate their differences - without pre-conditions.

She subsequently sounded the plot's death knell the day she announced that her government won't recognise ANY of the protesters' infantile supplementary demands and declared violent masked protesters to be illegal and illegitimate.
...
A week or so ago ABC.net.au's reporter in Hong Kong said that the protests were confined to a very small area representing Hong Kong's "financial heartland." He stated that two blocks from the Media Circus/protests it's business-as-usual in the rest of Hong Kong.
I haven't heard this claim made by any other MSM 'news' source...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 23 2019 3:54 utc | 51

Earlier I thought China was too soft on the rioters but they have played it well. Like Russia separated moderate rebels from jihadis in Syria, China separated the regime change rioters from the genuine protestors in Hong Kong.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 23 2019 4:16 utc | 52

Hoarsewhisperer

ABC bats for the home team now days (since the days of Abbot), and the home team in the form of Morrison and cronies is pro Trump, so b may be right in Trump wanting to wind down the Hong Kong regime change operation.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 23 2019 4:22 utc | 53

"Hong Kong is a repressive police state" says Joshua Wong, and yet it is consistently near the top of the list in the Cato Institute world freedom index.

Posted by: jayc | Nov 22 2019 21:14 utc | 19

In the past, I thought that Hong Kong was dominated by a narrow rich oligarchy with rules that kept the input from hoi-polloi to the minimum, which meant low taxes for business and the rich etc. From the point of view of Cato Institute it is the definition of paradise, but the life in paradise may have its discontent. Compare with Chile that has exemplary record of "property rights" since Pinochet era with a constitution that makes it very hard to change, and yet, the locals are not happy and neither Russian nor Bolivarian agitators were identfied. Or Colombia, another shiny bastion of democracy, allowing very wide spectrum of relationship between bosses and workers (assassinations of uppity organizers included). I would be curious if systematic and widespread murder in the defense of freedom merits downgrading in Cato Institute world freedom index.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 23 2019 4:44 utc | 54

@ King Lear # 53

Please go to the latest MoA Week in Review comment # 232, read the complete link content that karlof1 provided then come back and tell us why Putin thinks you are full of BS but he is wrong.

Thanks

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 23 2019 5:17 utc | 55

Below is a quote from part of a Reuters article about Trump and the HK bills

"
In one of his most grandiose statements yet over relations with China, Trump said he had told Chinese President Xi Jinping that crushing the Hong Kong protesters would have “a tremendous negative impact” on efforts to reach an accord to end a 16-month trade war between the United States and China.

“If it weren’t for me Hong Kong would have been obliterated in 14 minutes,” Trump told Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” without offering any evidence.

“He’s got a million soldiers standing outside of Hong Kong that aren’t going in only because I ask him please don’t do it, you’ll be making a big mistake, it’s going to have a tremendous negative impact on the trade deal and he wants to make a trade deal,” Trump added, referring to Xi.
"

Will China say anything about Trump hubris?

I certainly hope so.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 23 2019 6:06 utc | 56

I agree completely with what many other commenters have written, the whole rigmarole was just an US attempt to instigate a "Colour Revolution".
Modus Operandi fits perfectly with what has been done in many other places.
It is about time the US tastes its own soup....
And we dont even have to supply them weapons, they have got plenty

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Nov 23 2019 6:13 utc | 57

Below is a quote from a Xinhuanet posting in response to the King Lear comment saying that China is a toady of empire.
"
BEIJING, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday realizing the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation is by no means to seek hegemony.

Saying he has full confidence in China's prospects for development, Xi noted China does not intend to replace any power, rather, its aim is to "regain the dignity and status it deserves."

The president made the remarks when meeting with foreign delegates attending the 2019 New Economy Forum held in Beijing.

China, with a 5,000-year-old history of civilization, is home to the four great inventions that had contributed tremendously to the progress of human civilization. The country had become a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society since the Opium Wars, but the Chinese people had never yielded and spared no effort in seeking a path to national rejuvenation, Xi stressed.

Earth-shattering changes have taken place since the founding of the People's Republic of China 70 years ago, and the humiliating history of China as a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country will never be repeated, he said.

"The fundamental reason is that we have found a correct path that suits China's national conditions, conforms to the trends of the times and enjoys the support of the people. The path is socialism with Chinese characteristics," Xi said.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 23 2019 6:37 utc | 58

King Lear 57 "he suffers from extreme naïveté, in that he assumes every new U$ president.."

obviously you have not watched many Putin interviews or speeches.
Rather than naive, Putin hopes for the best and prepares for the worst - the reason Russia now has weapon superiority over US. Research into new weapons was begun back in 2002 - the moment US pulled out of ABS treaty. The same distrust carries through to politics, but is more in the line of speak softly and carry a big stick.
I guess you're another of those who think Russia is nothing more than a gas station and should mouth bravado to cover their (imaginary) weakness.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 23 2019 6:43 utc | 59

...
when it is blatant to any sane, free-thinking person, that “Red” China is a U$ satellite that is one of the key pillars to the U$-led, Unipolar, (((Liberal))) rules-based order, that it’s suppose to be demolishing with its fake Silk Road, (which is merely just a trap to get Russia and Iran dependent on the U$ satellite state otherwise known as “Red” China), when in reality all “Red” China really is, is just a giant Sweatshop for Wall-mart and a bulwark against Russia (the major country the U$ really wants to destroy).
Posted by: King Lear | Nov 23 2019 5:00 utc | 53

Hey, thanks King Lear! I love the smell of tomfoolery in the morning!

Since you're focused on 'facts' would you mind explaining how you reconcile the 'fact' that, since circa 1975, China has raised 500 million Chinese citizens out of poverty whilst the USA has plunged a similar number of citizens of multiple countries, including in the USA itself, into poverty?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 23 2019 6:43 utc | 60

Here's a handy piece of advice for non-American nations around the world:

Whenever some American starts running its mouth about crusading for Freedom, Democracy, Human Rights, or similar propaganda slogans, get ready to defend your nation.

These slogans are merely the American version of the White Man's Burden and Western Civilizing Mission.

They are a clear and present threat that the American predator is slouching towards you.

Posted by: AK74 | Nov 23 2019 6:48 utc | 61

One last response to King Lear is the link to the posting containing the quote I provided above from Xinhuanet

I suggest you go look at the picture of the delegates to this meeting and tell us here at MoA that all of them are deluded about the path China is on.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-11/23/c_138576426.htm

And only you know the real picture of the geo-political world, right?.....grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 23 2019 6:51 utc | 62

psychohistorian 63
I see Trump's envoy Kissinger is standing next to Xi. Seems like Trump is trying to cook something up with Kissinger regularly on the scene when it comes to Russia and China.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 23 2019 7:06 utc | 63

Hmm this is a tough one for a determined contrarian who believes all the f+ckers speak with fork tongues, but I have come to the conclusion that King Lear, just like that dead french arsehole Charles de Gaulle used to, is sayin' the right things for the wrong reasons.

Posted by: A User | Nov 23 2019 7:20 utc | 64

A User

You've always been anti authority and king lear is ACLU. This is what comes up when clicking on lears username.

Immigration
LGBTQ Rights
Reproductive Rights
Criminal Justice
Security and Privacy
Voting Rights
Capital Punishment
Disability Rights
Free Speech
HIV
Human Rights
Juvenile Justice
National Security
Prisoners’ Rights
Racial Justice
Religious Liberty
Smart Justice
Women’s Rights

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 23 2019 7:34 utc | 65

@14 ben.. yeah.. money = power and we all know there is no shortage of folks grabbing for either...

@ 14 pjb... that is a cool idea putting that book on the school curriculum! i agree more would benefit from reading it..

Posted by: james | Nov 23 2019 7:38 utc | 66

Clueless Joe #43


As long as the situation ends up returning to normal and things stay quiet afterwards, I would nearly wonder if some Chinese agents didn't help create that mess in Hong Kong, because Beijing surely doesn't need a booming HK with special status anymore.

Yep, and I would think that the Chinese leadership took exactly that calculated risk to neutralise the HK status and snuff out some fifth column saboteurs. Beats disappearing them and all that untidy stuff.

As for any comparison with the Gillet Jaunes by other contributors, I do not see that at all. I agree people are in the streets but the GJ are in solidarity with their fellow citizens whereas the HK rioters are murderous thugs pissing on their fellows. The role of the police forces are entirely opposite with the HK police exercising phenomenal constraint. The HK rioters could learn something if they followed the Maoist history of struggle or even the history of the west. Losers and creatures of the USUK private finance fascisti.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 23 2019 7:59 utc | 67

Peter AU1 #64

psychohistorian 63
I see Trump's envoy Kissinger is standing next to Xi. Seems like Trump is trying to cook something up with Kissinger regularly on the scene when it comes to Russia and China.

Interesting that Kissinger is there. Steve Pieczenik takes the very strong view that Pompeo is a dead man walking. Worth every second of his five minute discourse. What I like about Steve and his various takes on people of note is that he assassinates them immediately and intensely with a quick turn of phrase.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 23 2019 8:09 utc | 68

uncle tungsten

Kissinger was also Nixon's envoy. He engineered the split between China and the Soviet Union amongst other things. China and Russia's current leadership though may be above Kissinger's pay grade.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 23 2019 8:20 utc | 69

I wonder if this PolyU seige was meant to be some sort of Odessa style Tienanmen event. I mean, what can you do with 8000 molotov cocktails without getting roasted in the process? Common sense prevailed on both sides. Rioters who left the scene and surrendered just chickened out. They love a good riot but did not sign up to get themselves identified by their dental records. It would not even surprise me if there were any snipers out there waiting to shoot protesters running for their lives fleeing a burning building. MSM would have a field day.
When that failed, Trump being Trump claimed credit (Psychohistorian #55)

Posted by: Joost | Nov 23 2019 8:50 utc | 70

Peterau@ Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 23 2019 7:34 utc | 67

Fair enough chap; I rarely click on linked nyms because they tend to reveal blatant agendas which are most often a disappointment.
Without getting into a serious debate about it, I have come to the conclusion that when Xi runs the Zhou Enlai 'completely uninterested in intervention' line which he has been sticking to since the kick-off off the latest attempt by usuk to take advantage of the people of Hongkong (despite anyone who can think, asking themselves that if the englanders really cared that much about their Honkers subjects, WTF didn't they give 'em all brit passports when they were asked to), he seems least credible.

This is a bloke who runs a line much closer to the old school, 'rich do what rich do', line that his parents promulgated, than he ever has to either Zhou's or Mao's unapologetic socialism stance - (although it must be emphasized that there is a vast difference in both means and goals between the act which wealthy Chinese merchants in China pulled and the sociopathic, anti-humanist line that modern usury based capitalism spruiks) unfortunately neither advocate for the humanist, everybody deserves a fair shake of the stick mantra, which is the only line that can possibly lead to the continuing existence of human beings.

Posted by: A User | Nov 23 2019 9:10 utc | 71

Pardon the off topic comment, but seems to me this is important to prior conversations about Epstein

what do you make of this short video This video seems to be a real plea for help.. maybe the bar here should think about the plea this person is making and whether or not the message she is expressing about Epstein is real or not..

Posted by: snake | Nov 23 2019 9:20 utc | 72

hong kong is just a small piece of the puzzle, a tiny bit of the apple in the big strudel which is the US hurry hurry rush, particularly since obama and clinton, to 'pivot to Asia' and try to 'contain' once again a rising superpower, China.

china is pretty clearly the new next up and coming world empire, (anyone really see any other competition against the US? and don't count on europe to offer much resistance to much of anything that the US wants/demands either, though there are notable exceptions, like Nord Stream)


peter lee/chinahand tells me something I didn't yet know, about the china chicken hawks:

https://twitter.com/chinahand/status/1198018591548989441

"....donnie came into office w/ aspirations as a china dealmaker/korea peacemaker. but his political weakness forced him to pivot to milsec his best base of support. & the China hawks took over literally every lever of policy. From Schriver at the Pentagon to Pottinger at the NSC to the purge of Thornton at State. Now that China hawks run the policy apparatus, China threat is entrenched as the Beltway consensus and the indispensable political accessory for Dems & GOP alike, Donnie's outlived his usefulness...."

so while the US has wasted at least $6 trillion since 2001 on a futile and endless series of north african/middle eastern wars of aggression (and blowing lots of things up, just like in those hollywood movies), China and built and built and invested its trillions in productivity. Hong kong is important in the chess game, but really just as a sideshow and irritant

Posted by: michaelj72 | Nov 23 2019 9:29 utc | 73

Hoarsewhisperer #60

Hey, thanks King Lear! I love the smell of tomfoolery in the morning!

Since you're focused on 'facts' would you mind explaining how you reconcile the 'fact' that, since circa 1975, China has raised 500 million Chinese citizens out of poverty whilst the USA has plunged a similar number of citizens of multiple countries, including in the USA itself, into poverty?

Well said brother Hoarsewhisperer. Can I add all the millions of innocents smashed into their graves by the USUK mendacities.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 23 2019 9:46 utc | 74

Peter AU1 #72

China and Russia's current leadership though may be above Kissinger's pay grade.

Yes to that which makes them totally beyond Pompeo's thirty pieces of silver. I recall many of Kissinger's roles over the many decades I have frolicked about this planet and I thought his China trick with Nixon was a mighty clever global poitic. I would never turn my back on this turd though, he makes the grade alongside Hermann Goering.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 23 2019 9:54 utc | 75

Off-topic, but relevant, since this site is a dot org site:
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/11/20/org_registry_sale_shambles/

Posted by: Hope | Nov 23 2019 10:33 utc | 76

The problem for the US has been that unlike previous trade competitors, Japan, Korea and Germany, there is no standing UIS army in China, so they don’t have to do as they are told. Now even though HK has shrunk from 25% of Chinese GDP at handover to less than 3% now, it remains strategically important, especially as China builds out its capital markets. As such, threatening the separate economic status of HK is a pretty powerful stick which the Neo cons have just given themselves. In my opinion it is no coincidence that what began as a peaceful protest over the extradition treaty (whipped up by the tycoons and the triads who have most to lose) turned into an antifa style textbook color revolution immediately after Rubio et al had launched the bill in the summer. Given that prior to two weeks ago most members of the House would have struggled to find Hong Kong on a map it was mightily helpful that the protesters decided to ‘spontaneously” switch to telegenic firebombs and tactics to ensure 24/7 news coverage on C(IA)NN in the days leading up to the vote. The WP and NYT as well as the FT and Economist all did their bit of course, as did all the breathless ‘embedded reporters’. Result, the US has just awarded itself the right to meddle in the political affairs of Hong Kong including specifically setting a timetable for universal suffrage on the LegCo. This is technically not a big deal as the people of HK were supposed to get that in 2015, but, (and get this) the so called pro democracy purists refused to accept it unless they also got the right to both nominate and select the chief executive as well, something that was not being offered. Bottom line, tycoons have what they want, the State Department has what it wants and while the Taiwanese would like to keep the pot boiling for their elections in January, most of the vested interests are done now so the propaganda machine can move on.

Posted by: Mark T | Nov 23 2019 11:55 utc | 77

On-topic. There are several Youtube sites with good footage from Hong Kong; they are being in some cases demonetised by Youtube, and in some cases actually suppressed by Youtube for viewers from the Five Eyes countries. The sites are from:
Nathan Rich (longtime westerner in China example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32kz1YNPD_M)
numuves (Canadian in China site - just went to HK to see what was happening - has since received death threats - example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQMWSjTRd9g
Toby Guu (travel site - he's now in France, I believe, but was in Hong Kong last month - example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcw7lcZA7SE)

Posted by: Hope | Nov 23 2019 13:39 utc | 78

@ Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 23 2019 6:37 utc | 58

Xi Jinping tells that bullshit little story about China's 5,000 year History, but the truth is really much more pragmatic: China doesn't aim to be an empire for the simple reason it learned from America's mistakes.

The CCP already knows that being the sole superpower is unsustainable and, in the medium term, goes even against its main objective, which is to establish a "moderately prosperous society" in China until 2030 (they consider the 2000s Belgium as the standard for "moderately prosperous").

Socialist China has shown, so far, an incredible capacity of learning from other nations' mistakes:

1) It correctly read the historical conjuncture of the late 1960s, by concluding that the historical cycle of socialist revolutions was over, and moved on to try to break the Cold War embargo in order to initiate a cycle of wealth production. They achieved that in 1972. This was when Mao Zedong was still alive and commanding China with absolute authority, so it's a myth China "freed itself" only when and because Mao died (1976);

2) It learned from the failed experiment of the Brazilian liberal dictatorship, by doing exactly the opposite of the Zona Franca de Manaus. The result was the creation of the Special Economic Zones, which allowed capitalist investment from abroad to come to China but in quarentene, and with technological transfer.

3) It learned from the trap the USSR fell, and used a peaceful geopolitical strategy. It avoided an arms race and was able to expand its allied nations portfolio and slowly tightened its grip over the American economy.

4) It learned from the the failure of Soviet socialism in producing very good quality consumer goods. It solved this problem by "opening up" for capitalist exploitation the sectors which produced and distributed consumer goods, without affecting the strategic sectors (defense, finance, natural resources, etc.).

5) It learned from the failure of the American empire of maintaining its status as the world's "lonely superpower" by not adopting a war culture in China and by being more tolerant with its neighbors. But that didn't mean they didn't consolidated position: military spending continues to go up and the Armed Forces continues to be modernized and under firm CCP control. The South China Sea is a "corridor of life" for the Chinese, so the CCP quickly, but in a peaceful manner, took control of it, very aware that it would probably cost the Vietnamese friendship. But that was the exception that proves the rule, an exceptional situation where the benefits were greater than the costs.

Posted by: vk | Nov 23 2019 13:58 utc | 79

.
. There are two quotations from the great writer, essayist, polemicist and critic Lŭ Xùn*/(real name: Zhōu Shùrén) that all educated urban Chinese Mainlanders will know:
.
1: "The first one to eat a crab must have been a very brave person."
.
2: "Chinese history can be divided into two sets of epochs: (a) Those times when they wanted to be slaves and succceded to become slaves and (b) the times they strove to be slaves but did not succeed.
.
. To my great grief, Lŭ Xùn's writings were prohibited in the province of Táiwan until into a few years after the abolition of the Guómíndǎng (Koo-min-tang) one party dictatorship a few decades ago. And he is very poorly represented in Chinese language readers in the Hòngkóng school systems.
.
. Wish young Hongkongers had read a lot more of their Lû Xùn-- at least at school!
.
*/Lŭ Xùn/魯迅(25. september 1881--19. october 1936) : also spelled Lu Sin, Lu Hsün a.o.

Posted by: Ts'yew T'aw-Loh | Nov 23 2019 14:01 utc | 80

Here are some interesting takes on the origins of the HK protests:

This has an unfortunate title. It has nothing to do with Africans. It is referring to the fact that there are always locals that benefit from being part of a colony.

http://www.unz.com/ishamir/house-niggers-mutiny/

These are focused on the very human response to a loss in status, as well as the problems of living in a economic entity controlled by oligarchs.

http://www.unz.com/avltchek/some-in-hong-kong-feel-frustrated-as-their-city-is-losing-to-mainland-china/

https://spandrell.com/2019/08/25/hong-kong-and-the-perils-of-nativism/

Posted by: SteveK9 | Nov 23 2019 14:26 utc | 81

Those of us who understand how China is violating the terms of the lease know the reasons for the protests.

and, b, can you define "violent protests" to us?

Posted by: Bardi | Nov 23 2019 15:21 utc | 82

"Violent protests" is a polite and charitable way to say "mindless riots".

"Mindless riots" is the more accurate term for what is taking place in Hong Kong now.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 23 2019 16:03 utc | 83

@ Posted by: Bardi | Nov 23 2019 15:21 utc | 82

The spirit of the "One country, two systems" deal is that HK should remain capitalist until 2047. It is possible for a capitalist society to also be a dictatorship (Fascist Italy, Third Reich, the military dictatorships of Latin America of the 1950s-1980s, Thailand etc. etc.), so, even if Beijing deprives the people of HK (which is a city, not a country) of directly choosing its leadership, the 1C2S social contract remains intact.

Capitalism doesn't equal democracy.

--//--

Posted by: Ts'yew T'aw-Loh | Nov 23 2019 14:01 utc | 80

Well, if that's the brilliant conclusion this "Zhōu Shùrén" came after carefully analysing 3,000+ years of Chinese History, then he's wrong.

Posted by: vk | Nov 23 2019 16:27 utc | 84

@vk #84: You should familiarize yourself with who Lu Xun is.

Posted by: S | Nov 23 2019 16:40 utc | 85

@ Posted by: S | Nov 23 2019 16:40 utc | 85

Lu Xun grew up (and died) during the "Century of Shame". That period was exceptional, not the rule, in Chinese history. In that context, I understand his stance. But that's definitely not what China is today.

Sure you could teach his works to the people of HK, but they could as easily interpret his opus on the reverse: that the HK are the new "Chinese", and thus must liberate themselves from the "other" -- Beijing. So, I don't know what lessons, beyond the specific historical period the writer lived in, you could take in modern geopolitics.

If you want not only to understand the social world, but to change it in a scientific, rational way, Marxism is the only way to go nowadays.

Posted by: vk | Nov 23 2019 16:51 utc | 86

..As for any comparison with the Gillet Jaunes by other contributors, I do not see that at all. I agree people are in the streets but the GJ are in solidarity with their fellow citizens whereas the HK rioters are murderous thugs pissing on their fellows. The role of the police forces are entirely opposite with the HK police exercising phenomenal constraint.
Uncle Tungsten @67
I agree there aren't many who view the GJ in that way, but one of them, a regular visitor with good info from the Middle East, is so invested with Macron, and always has been, that he refuses to see that the GJ are exactly what they seem to be- a genuine grassroots provincial movement with conservative attitudes. By which I mean that they want to conserve the welfare state features that have made France a relatively civilised society. Macron, on the other hand, is a gung ho market reformer who can't wait to smash the unions, privatise the railways, restore the profit motive to the healthcare system and generally make the rich happy. Macron is a groupy of and an eager collaborator with the oligarchs. In fact he is, as the behaviour of his police forces and the relentless force used against demonstrators confirms, an authoritarian in the French tradition which gave rise to fascism and a conscious inheritor of the mantle of Petain and those who collaborated with the Nazis to preserve 'order and hierarchy.' The last French election was a contest between two schools of fascist and Macron won.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 23 2019 17:10 utc | 87

snake @72: This video seems to be a real plea for help.

She says: "I was trafficked for 17 years."

That's just not credible. Epstein's blackmailing operation needed very young women. He wouldn't have used any one of them for more than a few years.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 23 2019 17:12 utc | 88

claims UAW and Israel behind Iraq protests Humm Is there a central "start a protest, riot or invasion task group somewhere .. Where are these fake or overtaken protest and coup-de-riot plots planned? Where is the play book? Who funds them and why? Is it possible these RIPOFFs are private interest planned, state funded and private contractor executed? Who writes the reports about them..
Who studies them (what schools what people in those schools teaches this kind of stuff). How can copies of reports about riots, protests and invasions that were planned by outsider third parties be obtained.. ??

Studying reported results by those who planned the protest or the riot, invasion or whatever would or could reveal the methods and give strong indicators about the true source of each new riot, invasion, protest or false flag [RIPOFF]

Where do they start.. (seems like the young people mostly..) but I do not know
How long does it take to get a riot or protest organized ?
How much money does it take to get a riot or protest organized?
How many experts does it take to get the riot or protest organized?
did the same people that planned the riots in Hong Kong also plan the riots or protests in Iraq and Lebanon/



Posted by: snake | Nov 23 2019 18:26 utc | 89

Sure about the UAW?

Posted by: bevin | Nov 23 2019 18:42 utc | 90

@Mark T #77
I'm not clear that having US troops stationed would make any difference.
Germany, Japan and South Korea are all much, much smaller than the US in population.
China is much much bigger.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 23 2019 18:56 utc | 91

"Epstein's blackmailing operation needed very young women. He wouldn't have used any one of them for more than a few years.!!" Jackrabbit@88

Young nubile women. Which means that to call him a pedophile or a person involved in a pedophile ring is simply demagogy. A lie told to attract attention. If the charges made against Epstein were true he will have been guilty of many things but there is no more evidence of pedophilia on his part than there is of cannibalism.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 23 2019 19:01 utc | 92

More about China calling out the US for meddling from Reuters this morning

"
BEIJING (Reuters) - The United States is the world’s biggest source of instability and its politicians are going around the world baselessly smearing China, the Chinese government’s top diplomat said on Saturday in a stinging attack at a G20 meeting in Japan.

Meeting Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok on the sidelines of a G20 foreign ministers meeting in the Japanese city of Nagoya, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi did not hold back in his criticism of the United States.

“The United States is broadly engaged in unilateralism and protectionism, and is damaging multilateralism and the multilateral trading system. It has already become the world’s biggest destabilizing factor,” China’s Foreign Ministry cited Wang as saying.
The United States has, for political purposes, used the machine of state to suppress legitimate Chinese businesses and has groundlessly laid charges against them, which is an act of bullying, he added.

“Certain U.S. politicians have smeared China everywhere in the world, but have not produced any evidence.”

The United States has also used its domestic law to “crudely interfere” in China’s internal affairs, trying to damage “one country, two systems” and Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity, he added.

"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 23 2019 19:06 utc | 93

Bevin @ 92:

Please stop the quibbling over Epstein being a literal paedophile or not. You are making yourself look obtuse over the fact that he and his assistants and friends were running a virtual prostitution and sex trafficking operation that sucked in huge numbers of teenaged girls at varying stages of development. No-one here takes you seriously on this issue and you only make yourself look more seedy the more you concentrate on the ages of the victims and trying to prove Epstein is not a paedophile. If you have no compassion for the victims who were lured into his web with false offers of money, work or other financial support, then leave the subject of Epstein alone.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 23 2019 19:45 utc | 94

You are arguing in favour of lynch mob demagogy, Jen. And there is nothing seedier than that.
I have a great deal of sympathy for the victims in question. I also have some sympathy for Epstein who seems to have been murdered while society looked the other way saying "served him right, he was a pedophile."
And he wasn't, so far as we know. He was simply a rich man abusing his power over vulnerable people- needy girls and frustrated guilt ridden old men. A very nasty business indeed, to which we can add his apologies for the terrorist zionist state and his support for the US Empire.
But once it becomes accepted that a man called a pedophile can be killed or tortured with impunity we are half way down the road that led to Auschwitz and leads to Gaza. And we can be assured that it will become a regular smear against dissidents-as it was against Assange- that their sexual habits, tastes or behaviour put them beyond the pale.
Most of your comments are sensible and indicative of decency and thoughtfulness on your part, which is why I urge you to be very careful on this and other matters not to follow the bourgeois herd- Bill Clinton, for example is a war criminal and deserving of punishment. But the only fault the bourgeoisie can find with him is that he is sexually promiscuous.
As to the specific charges made against Epstein, they will never be proved, which is probably why he was killed, which was made very much easier when he had been labelled a 'pedophile' and
driven out of 'decent society.' Which is itself, if you think about it, a place so sordid-if you want to talk about trafficking look at a fashion house's sweatshops in Bangla Desh- that Epstein fitted right in.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 23 2019 21:43 utc | 95

Here, Jen, is an example of how the attitudes that you defend, and seem to urge others to adopt towards me, play out in real life'
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/11/23/meto-n23.html

Posted by: bevin | Nov 23 2019 21:56 utc | 96

@ bevin | Nov 23 2019 21:43 utc | 95
_________________________________

Thanks for this. I share your perspective.

It seems that "celebrity-class" reprehensible creeps are on the ascendancy-- or that may be a perception induced by sensational, febrile Western mass-media coverage of all things reprehensible and creepy. Unfortunately, so is binary thinking.

As it happens, I just watched a recent Rolling Stone "Useful Idiots" video; I'm ambivalent towards hosts Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper, but sympathized with Halper's outburst to the effect that she's getting sick and tired of having to bend over backwards to defensively point out that she's not "for" Trump, not a Trump fan, etc. every time she expresses any point that is arguably in Trump's favor.

I can relate. Epstein induces a similar reaction: even attempts to simply be clear or factual in matters relating to such social monsters provokes (self) righteous outrage.

BTW, I'm also ambivalent towards your comments because they reduce me to the status of virtual "dittohead". ;)

Posted by: Ort | Nov 23 2019 22:15 utc | 97

Bevin @ 95, 96:

Now you're really sinking into a pile of shit of your own making.

I am referring to the way you quibble over the definition of paedophilia, trying to narrow it down to a purely biologically based definition in comments on previous MoA comments forums, and now you accuse me of lynch mob demagoguery and trying to encourage others to do the same.

If you had only said that you had sympathy for the victims, then we might agree to disagree and let the issue go.

I am not happy that Epstein is dead: he is a victim of his own greed and desire to be someone influential, and he ultimately was a plaything of others for whom he was running his blackmailing scheme and the associated sex trafficking.

You continue to damn yourself by suggesting that "frustrated guilt ridden old men" were also vulnerable and as much victims as the teenage girls were. Did any of these "old" men (Prince Andrew in his 40s at the time, old? - maybe in the head but not chronologically) in their frustration realise they were being manipulated by Epstein and contact the authorities, even though they would have risked their careers and reputations? They had a choice in the way that the teenage girls did not have a choice: they could have chosen not to participate in the activities at Epstein's mansions or in Little St James and walked away.

I do not accuse you or other MoA barflies of such attitudes in the way you accuse me @ 96. This is really low behaviour and you ought to be ashamed of that.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 24 2019 4:11 utc | 98

Foreigner in Hong Kong has had enough of the rioters.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1194486618633035776

Posted by: Goldie | Nov 24 2019 4:22 utc | 99

wow, topic successfully hijacked! what does Epstein has to do with HK right now? smooth...

just put my vote in in HK. guess we'll see. The brainwashed are out 1000% voting in their chosen agent of chaos. I hope the moderates will see the truth and vote accordingly but I'm not holding my breath.

but that's democracy isn't it.

Posted by: A.L. | Nov 24 2019 5:06 utc | 100

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