Vast protest in Hong Kong against extradition law - Page 20 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15026273
An article from the Guardian exposes the state’s use of propaganda. This will ultimately backfire as the narrative is falsified by contradictory information from sources outside the CCPs control. More mainlanders, particularly those returning from overseas, will see how the state attempts to control their lives.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/11/hong-kong-china-unrest-beijing-media-response

Beijing’s new weapon to muffle Hong Kong protests: fake news

China’s media used to ignore the turmoil. Now the state is waging a campaign that could pave the way for intervention


As Hong Kong enters its third month of mass anti-government protests, across the border in China, people are seeing a very different version of events.

On Saturday, as protests entered their tenth weekend and demonstrators and police clashed in Hong Kong, the People’s Daily posted an article on the Chinese WeChat webchat service saying members from “all parts of Hong Kong society” were calling for the “violence to stop”. As peaceful rallies at the Hong Kong airport continued over the weekend, Chinese state media posted videos on Weibo of a tussle between demonstrators and an angry resident yelling: “We just want Hong Kong to be safe”.

Other special reports include letters between the Chinese and Hong Kong police applauding “the great bravery” of the Hong Kong police – a main target of the protests. Last week, a journalist with state news agency Xinhua travelled to Hong Kong and described the city as “shrouded in black terror”.

Over the past two months, Chinese state media outlets have gone from near silence on the protests and blanket censorship of footage of the demonstrations to actively pushing news, editorials, videos and online discussions.

“On the topic of Hong Kong, the mainland media can’t be seen as journalism. It’s purely propaganda… It is intercepting a small part of the information, distorting it and magnifying it,” said Fang Kecheng, a professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong, specialising in communications.

In Chinese state media the demonstrations, most of which have been peaceful, are routinely described as “riots”. Daily coverage show footage of protesters hurling bricks, jeering at police, and surrounding police stations. The protesters are described as “radicals” and “thugs” seeking to topple the entire system through independence for the city, a former British colony now under Chinese sovereignty.

Chinese riot police
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In Chinese state media the demonstrations are routinely described as ‘riots’. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
Few protesters have been pushing for independence – their demands have included the permanent withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill and an independent investigation into police behaviour.

Taking a page from the protesters’ book, the People’s Daily published a range of posters, one featuring muscular riot police facing off against brick-throwing rioters. “It’s hard to say whether it is right or not to hit them,” the posters declare. “I only hate that they are also Chinese people.”

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Protesters are also portrayed as “lured by the evil winds” of foreign agents. Chinese officials have accused the US and other western countries of being the “black hand” behind the protests – a narrative that pro-government figures and media in Hong Kong have also seized on.

Observers see the shift as a way to prepare the public for more drastic action Beijing or the Hong Kong government may take toward the protesters as well as a chance to push China’s view of events.

“The propaganda authorities perhaps realised this could be an opportunity,” said Fang. “There is not much to say when the marches are peaceful. But now with these violent incidents, the authorities can exaggerate them and stir Chinese people’s emotions. They can play into nationalist sentiment.”

That appears to be working. A discussion topic on Weibo hosted by the People’s Daily – titled “Protect Hong Kong, firmly say no to violence” – has more than 1 million comments, most in support and some calling for more extreme measures. A “protect the national flag” campaign on Weibo has been trending, after protesters in Hong Kong twice threw the Chinese flag into the sea.

Many mainland Chinese believe foreign agents are indeed behind the protests, a claim protesters and observers see as laughable.

“At the end of the day, Hong Kong is still part of China. What they are doing is pointless. The foreign countries pushed and they just followed,” said a student studying overseas in Seoul who asked not to be named.

“I don’t know their motivation is,” he admitted. “The news we receive is biased and only from one perspective.”

Few Chinese residents are clear on why the protests began in the first place. “I don’t know the details,” said Guo, 20, who lives in Beijing. “But I think we should be united and together and we should be patriotic. Only a united country can continue to develop stronger.”

Others also pointed to a lack of patriotism as the problem. “Maybe it’s the education system. If they were educated to be patriotic from an early age, it wouldn’t be the way it is now,” said Liu, 18, a recent high school graduate from Shandong province.

Observers say Chinese state media have purposefully obscured why the protesters have been demonstrating for the last two months, focusing instead on violent clashes between the protesters and police. Chinese state media have described armed men who have attacked commuters and protesters as “patriots”.

“Left out is reporting on and images of police violence, of which there has been a good deal and the attacks on unarmed protesters by armed thugs,” said Jeffrey Wasserstrom, a historian of modern China at the University of California, Irvine.

“The implication is that what protesters have been doing is creating ‘chaos’ or luan, a very freighted word in the People’s Republic of China,” he said, referring to the term’s usage to describe the upheavals of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s as well as to criticise protests in Tiananmen Square that were violently put down on 4 June 1989.

“This echo is worrying, even if it is always too simplistic to look for history repeating itself step by step in a different context,” he said.

Not everyone subscribes to the official media’s version of events. Images have circulated online of ID cards posted by Chinese netizens in support of the protesters.

A blogger on Weibo, who asked to identify herself only as Z, has been trying to share articles she believes show the real nature of what is happening in Hong Kong. Her posts are often deleted or blocked on Wechat or Weibo. An article she and her friends tried to circulate, with a timeline of events in Hong Kong and answers to questions about the protests, was blocked after receiving more than 100,000 views.

“The main reason why Hong Kong people are against the extradition bill is distrust of the mainland judicial system, so how could they let the 1.4 billion people of China see that?”

“I think all the actions that Hong Kong people took are reasonable and understandable. I feel sad and heartbroken,” she said.

She added: “As a citizen, it is common to protest against what you think is unreasonable. It’s just that this is not common here on the mainland.”
#15026305
Rancid wrote:One thing I've noticed the last few days is the that protests are getting talked about more in the business news media. I guess it's because now that they are a sustained event, they are starting to affect business relations.


It's because the Hang Seng is naturally struggling currently.

Surprisingly there has not been a Stock Market Crash yet. Probably due to the sustained elongated nature of the protests which are from that point of view less volatile than say an immediate massive riot or immediate sudden protest. The Hang Seng is also mostly online trading now. This does go against the tradition of crashes(They usually crash following a Protest, Crashed in 1967 following the leftist riots, crashed in 1989 following Tiananmen, crashed in 2015 just one year after the 2014 Protests), but possibly the crash could come later in the year during the "fallout".
#15026359
foxdemon wrote:More mainlanders, particularly those returning from overseas, will see how the state attempts to control their lives.


People know that anyways. If you live under a dictatorship, you mistrust your political leaders anyways, even if they tell the truth.

I think the protests in Hong Kong will persuade mainlanders that democracy and freedom aren't any good because they lead to turbulence and economic problems.
#15026361
Atlantis wrote:I think the protests in Hong Kong will persuade mainlanders that democracy and freedom aren't any good because they lead to turbulence and economic problems.


The problem is the Mainlanders have done jack-shit to help the situation calm down. Instead Mainland China is issuing images(they totally know what message they are sending by amassing the military vehicles there and they know they are being photographed), like those found below:

https://www.9news.com.au/world/hong-kon ... 341c09a8cb

...... I'm sure that will calm the protestors down....

Telling them you just might Tiananmen Hong Kong if they don't shut up.

Fuckers.

I hope this turns out to be the beginning of the end of Communist Rule.
#15026366
colliric wrote:I hope this turns out to be the beginning of the end of Communist Rule.


Doubtful.

The only thing that would end their authoritarian rule is economic collapse. As far as we can tell from the outside, that is not going to happen any time soon. That said, there are concerns with the Chinese economy, for example, the use of IOUs (estimated at $200 billion https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/business/circulating-in-chinas-financial-system-more-than-200-billion-in-ious/articleshow/70576962.cms) to companies that are doing business there (foreign and domestic). It's really odd that companies are getting delays in payments by the government for projects. That doesn't make sense for a country that is drowning in money. There's also the shadow banking sector as well. It's really hard to judge if these issues are tiny or large. I think for now, we have to assume these issues are tiny, to be taken with a grain of salt, and not a problem. Thus, there's no reason to believe the Chinese economy will collapse, and thus, there is no reason to believe the CCP will somehow lose its grip.
#15026372
Rancid wrote:Doubtful.

The only thing that would end their authoritarian rule is economic collapse. As far as we can tell from the outside, that is not going to happen any time soon. That said, there are concerns with the Chinese economy, for example, the use of IOUs (estimated at $200 billion https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/business/circulating-in-chinas-financial-system-more-than-200-billion-in-ious/articleshow/70576962.cms) to companies that are doing business there (foreign and domestic). It's really odd that companies are getting delays in payments by the government for projects. That doesn't make sense for a country that is drowning in money. There's also the shadow banking sector as well. It's really hard to judge if these issues are tiny or large. I think for now, we have to assume these issues are tiny, to be taken with a grain of salt, and not a problem. Thus, there's no reason to believe the Chinese economy will collapse, and thus, there is no reason to believe the CCP will somehow lose its grip.


I wouldn't even say that China is communist. Half the people in their top positions of government are billionaires.
#15026390
Palmyrene wrote:I wouldn't even say that China is communist. Half the people in their top positions of government are billionaires.


Yes, this very true. China is not communist. It's just a hold over we've all become used to. It's more like a state managed/controlled capitalism. Additionally, with a heavy hierarchical culture, and heavy social restrictions.

They are very good Capitalists actually. They are playing the Capitalism game better than anyone has ever played it in the history of the world. WAAAAAAY better than the US.

The west calculated incorrectly that capitalism would open up and liberalize China.
#15026396
Rancid wrote:Yes, this very true. China is not communist. It's just a hold over we've all become used to. It's more like a state managed/controlled capitalism. Additionally, with a heavy hierarchical culture, and heavy social restrictions.

They are very good Capitalists actually. They are playing the Capitalism game better than anyone has ever played it in the history of the world. WAAAAAAY better than the US.

The west calculated incorrectly that capitalism would open up and liberalize China.


Capitalism doesn't instantly make a country liberal and free. If anything it's the opposite. The already hierarchial and repressive nature of China is reinforced by the introduction of strict economic classes.

The result, like in Russia, is former party members using their prior leverage and position to amass great deals of wealth and utilize said wealth for their own selfish gains. In the end, you just get rule by oligarchs with only Communist window-dressing.

This is also a misunderstanding of the West's own history. Social progress happened in the West due to opposition to state and capitalism. Unions, civil rights, feminism, etc. all fought for greater freedom in spite of the whims of government and capitalism.

Western political leaders assuming that if China went capitalist it'll become super free and liberal is retarded and speaks to their own conceptions about what "liberty" is (to them, liberty is just the ability to spend money in different countries) than the deaf ears of working class Chinese.
#15026397
Palmyrene wrote:Capitalism doesn't instantly make a country liberal and free.


Of course not, but there are examples of capitalism liberalizing countries in the past. When I say liberalize, I mean business becomes less restricted. Nixon thought that engaging with China, and having them join the global capitalist system would liberalize in the same way India has over the roughly the same period of time.

India & Vietnam come to mind.
#15026400
Rancid wrote:Of course not, but there are examples of capitalism liberalizing countries in the past. When I say liberalize, I mean business becomes less restricted. Nixon thought that engaging with China, and having them join the global capitalist system would liberalize in the same way India has over the roughly the same period of time.

India & Vietnam come to mind.


I mean they are liberalized in that sense.

I think what he means by liberalize is "let American/Western businesses run rampant".
#15026407
Palmyrene wrote:I think what he means by liberalize is "let American/Western businesses run rampant".


Well yes, but just because you allow foreign businesses to come in, doesn't mean you will get exploited. However, you need STRONG institutions in place to prevent from getting exploited. Both the US and China have such strong institutions. There are countless foreign businesses in the US for example (I work for one of them). The US is not getting overrun or exploited by them. Same is true for China. There are countless foreign businesses there as well. They too are not getting overrun.

So it is possible that liberalizing your economy can actually benefit the country. India is one of them, I think. Not so sure about vietnam though.
#15026415
Palmyrene wrote:Capitalism doesn't instantly make a country liberal and free. If anything it's the opposite. The already hierarchial and repressive nature of China is reinforced by the introduction of strict economic classes.

The result, like in Russia, is former party members using their prior leverage and position to amass great deals of wealth and utilize said wealth for their own selfish gains. In the end, you just get rule by oligarchs with only Communist window-dressing.

This is also a misunderstanding of the West's own history. Social progress happened in the West due to opposition to state and capitalism. Unions, civil rights, feminism, etc. all fought for greater freedom in spite of the whims of government and capitalism.

Western political leaders assuming that if China went capitalist it'll become super free and liberal is retarded and speaks to their own conceptions about what "liberty" is (to them, liberty is just the ability to spend money in different countries) than the deaf ears of working class Chinese.



You have a good understanding of development. Two Asian countries that went from developing to developed status in the last 30 years are S Korea and Taiwan. Both had an authoritarian period but transitioned to accountable governance as people became wealthy and educated.

There are two questions in politics:

1/ who gets what, when and how.
2/ to what extent are those who make those decisions accountable for the choices they make.

As the people become more educated and wealthy, they prefer a state which is limited in power so it can’t just arrest them or take their shit. A developed country is dominated by it’s aspirational class and reflects their interests. And their interests are best served by accountable governance. IE: the state is subject to law, the one law rules over all, even the sovereign. Rule of law. Rule by law, is when those with power impose the law on their citizens but aren’t subject to it themselves. Law becomes an instrument of social control.

China has to make this transition from absolutism to limited government or else the growing aspirational class will wither or leave. It looks like the leaders want to keep their one party state indefinitely. As a result, I predict more turmoil and ultimately failure to transition into a developed society.
#15026417
foxdemon wrote:You have a good understanding of development. Two Asian countries that went from developing to developed status in the last 30 years are S Korea and Taiwan. Both had an authoritarian period but transitioned to accountable governance as people became wealthy and educated.

There are two questions in politics:

1/ who gets what, when and how.
2/ to what extent are those who make those decisions accountable for the choices they make.

As the people become more educated and wealthy, they prefer a state which is limited in power so it can’t just arrest them or take their shit. A developed country is dominated by it’s aspirational class and reflects their interests. And their interests are best served by accountable governance. IE: the state is subject to law, the one law rules over all, even the sovereign. Rule of law. Rule by law, is when those with power impose the law on their citizens but aren’t subject to it themselves. Law becomes an instrument of social control.

China has to make this transition from absolutism to limited government or else the growing aspirational class will wither or leave. It looks like the leaders want to keep their one party state indefinitely. As a result, I predict more turmoil and ultimately failure to transition into a developed society.


I'm not sure this is the case. For starters, Tunisia has a highly educated population and a very small government yet it has a very high unemployment and high brain drain. The government there is the quintessential watchmen state yet, as a result, the newly educated majority population plays second fiddle to the already established landowners and bourgeoisie from the previous regime who have kept their wealth from that period.

However you are right that the wealthy a population is the less of a state it wants. But this is a bad thing in the long term as you can see with the Baby Boomers in the US who have damned the new generation for the sake of their own benefit. As a result the US cannot properly accommodate the poor new generation of Americans.
#15026420
foxdemon wrote:You have a good understanding of development. Two Asian countries that went from developing to developed status in the last 30 years are S Korea and Taiwan. Both had an authoritarian period but transitioned to accountable governance as people became wealthy and educated.


Good point. I forgot about SK and Taiwan. Very true, these are nations that liberalized their economies and have seen great success. Both these nations (yes, I'm calling Taiwan a nation, fuck China) have strong government institutions. Thus, they managed to be exploited and turned into middle income trapped nations.

My thesis is this:

If you have a strong government institutions (i.e. little corruption), you can see great success if you liberalize your economy. This has shown to be true in many nations. This is why Nixon thought China would follow suite if they ere encouraged to liberalized. At the same time, my thesis holds, because China too has strong government institutions. Albeit, strong authoritarian institutions... Strong, nonetheless.

This is why a lot of Latin America is stuck in middle income. Their institutions just aren't strong enough. Thus, when they liberalized, the US and other foreigners were able to exploit them.
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