America`s influence on Hong Kong protests. Is it actually worth of it? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15048210
Despite the fact that Hong Kong belongs to mainland China, the inhabitants of the autonomy are increasingly talking about the United States. Demonstrations began against changes to the extradition law. When Beijing made concessions to resolve the situation, the protesters did not disperse. On the contrary, the requirements got greater and vaguer. The protesters voiced demands to punish the police for the cruelty shown during the suppression of actions, they showed American flags and posters with the image of Uncle Sam, shouted «we want freedom and democracy». So where did such statements come from?

The American administration openly supports rallies and condemns law enforcement officials in the use of force, turning a blind eye to the fact that the demonstrators themselves are not conflict-free. There are plenty of examples of vandalism and rioting of protesters. Demonstrators blocked roads in different areas in order to paralyze traffic (buses were disrupted on dozens of routes and several metro stations were closed). Masked people blocked the streets (which eventually grew into setting fire to debris and destroying storefronts), built barricades and broke traffic lights. It should be recalled that the situation with the office of the Chinese news Agency Xinhua, when on November 2, a group of radicals trashed the office and tried to set it on fire. When the police arrived, the protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails at them. The guards had to use tear gas.

Despite all of the above, the United States calls the protests peaceful, condemns possible interference by China, prohibits licenses issuance for the export of Chinese military products and services to Hong Kong police, and also adopts several resolutions on China's autonomy. What the intervention of the American administration in Hong Kong affairs can lead to?

The Hong Kong economy is more dependent on services and tourism, and conflicts between demonstrators and police do not attract tourists. As a result of this, there is a threat of economic crisis, which will affect mainland China.

Thus, the whole situation reduces the degree of confidence of Beijing in Washington. Even though the United States and China have reached some commercial agreement, the conclusion of a full-fledged trade agreement is still very far away.
#15048212
During a private phone call in June, President Donald Trump promised Chinese President Xi Jinping that the US would remain quiet on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong while trade talks continued. During the Cold War, most pro-democracy activists in China were CIA spies, plotting to overthrow the communist regime in China. But currently, Washington is distancing itself from Hong Kong protests without intervening directly. Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters carried the Stars and Stripes in the hope of pressing Washington to action. President Donald Trump, however, has indicated that the US would stay out of a matter he considers to be between Hong Kong and China. Trump believes the US trade war with China is making Beijing tread carefully.

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#15048214
ThirdTerm wrote:During a private phone call in June, President Donald Trump promised Chinese President Xi Jinping that the US would remain quiet on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong while trade talks continued.


If it was a private phone call, how did you manage to listen to it ?
Are you a hacker or something ?
#15048334
Patrickov wrote:This article blatantly ignores police violence over the months. It is the police who made violence escalate. I thoroughly condemn the ignorance of whoever writing this article.


Violence and cruelty has been in the blood of any person from the very birth, and if he is given at least a little power, he will begin to go beyond the reasonable.
#15048348
Clare Dauson wrote:Violence and cruelty has been in the blood of any person from the very birth, and if he is given at least a little power, he will begin to go beyond the reasonable.


This is exactly why check and balance is necessary, which is what is lacking in Hong Kong, which is why some turn to the West for help, which is why I am rather disgusted by some senseless claims that the West are meddling. Those claims are effectively denial of our rights of freedom from fear and tyranny, and whoever sharing or advocating those claims are effectively perpetrators themselves.
#15048859
Protester's actual demands:
1. Revenge on police brutality, ruling class' indifference and all their collaborators.
2. Removal of all Chinese influence from Hong Kong and de facto/actual independence
3. Return to imagined glory days during British rule which they have very little knowledge about
4. Forcing all Hong Kongers to pick a side

It is not achievable because of Chinese power, thus they are calling for help from the US, China's arch enemy. US doesn't actually need to do much, some coaching on tactics, some lip service on international news, the protesters can do the rest themselves.
#15049873
The US Senate on November 19, 2019, passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which will now be aligned with a similar measure approved by the lower House of Representatives before it goes to President Donald Trump for his signature. But even before the measure gets the green light, China has promised to retaliate with “forceful measures” if Trump signs the bill. The South China Morning Post’s John Carter and Finbarr Bermingham discuss what impact the law would have on US-China relations as well as Hong Kong’s economy.



The Hong Kong bills passed by both chambers of Congress require Donald Trump's signature. It is interesting to see how Trump will do, given the promise he made with China. China will retaliate with “forceful measures” if Trump signs the bills. Trump may not cooperate with Congress that is trying to impeach him.
#15049964
ThirdTerm wrote:The US Senate on November 19, 2019, passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which will now be aligned with a similar measure approved by the lower House of Representatives before it goes to President Donald Trump for his signature. But even before the measure gets the green light, China has promised to retaliate with “forceful measures” if Trump signs the bill. The South China Morning Post’s John Carter and Finbarr Bermingham discuss what impact the law would have on US-China relations as well as Hong Kong’s economy.



The Hong Kong bills passed by both chambers of Congress require Donald Trump's signature. It is interesting to see how Trump will do, given the promise he made with China. China will retaliate with “forceful measures” if Trump signs the bills. Trump may not cooperate with Congress that is trying to impeach him.

It passed the Senate unanimously which essentially spells veto proof. For what it's worth I think the bill is retarded.
#15050011
benpenguin wrote:Protester's actual demands:
1. Revenge on police brutality, ruling class' indifference and all their collaborators.
2. Removal of all Chinese influence from Hong Kong and de facto/actual independence
3. Return to imagined glory days during British rule which they have very little knowledge about
4. Forcing all Hong Kongers to pick a side

It is not achievable because of Chinese power, thus they are calling for help from the US, China's arch enemy. US doesn't actually need to do much, some coaching on tactics, some lip service on international news, the protesters can do the rest themselves.


The four points, I am afraid, vary in solidity.

Point 2 probably is the most factual and solid point, and I have nothing to add on it.

Point 3, while serving as the ulterior motive behind Point 2, is somewhat mixed with the Honourable Gentleman's perception. A more accurate description would be "a return of the status during the last two decades of the British Rule, which saw great progress in the standard of life as well as administrative justice and freedom". The desire of many for removal of Chinese influence is duly because most of them see the Chinese way, and Socialism / Communism as a whole, an arbitrary destruction of "administrative justice and freedom" which, if combined with external factors, would lead to a rapid fall of standard of life.


Point 1 should be split into two smaller points.

The "ruling class' indifference and all their collaborators" has been around for very long. I assume the "ruling class" here means the ones in China; and their "collaborators" are generally DAB, BPAHK, FTU and alike -- they are, in fact, at odds with the "old" ruling class in Hong Kong, a.k.a. the likes of Li Ka-Shing, and represented by the Donald Tsang administration as well as the Liberal Party. In a lesser extent, the two biggest pan-Democrats parties in Hong Kong, Democratic Party and Civic Party, represent traditional elites under British Rule as well.

Understandably, in a transitional time like the past three or four decades, the Chinese rulers and their collaborators have been eager to extend their influence. However, they either fail to realize their ways are not in the best interest or Hongkongers; or worse, they knowingly do that, in the aim of forcefully take over matters themselves, and reap whatever loot they can get. If any PoFo member wants to know how these people think, just observe how a certain poster behave on this forum. Conversely, if any PoFo member wants to know what the above Honourable Gentleman means by "protesters wish to revenge on these people", an easy reference is how I was carded earlier this month.

For the four Chief Executives so far, Tung Chee Hwa (#1, r. 1997-2005) and CY Leung (#3, r. 2012-17) are representatives of the Chinese interests; while Donald Tsang (#2, r. 2005-12; jailed a few years later) represented the older elites, as I have said. Carrie Lam is a special case -- she effectively came from Tsang's group but the Chinese promoted her as she was an excellent technocrat. Unfortunately Hong Kong politics nowadays is far beyond technocrats can handle, and her desire to make a mark of her "loyalty" only made matters worse.


Last but not least, the police part of Point 1, along with the whole of Point 4, are just specific response to the events happened during the protests, and only serve to strengthen the sentiment in the other points. In my opinion, neither of them are solid demands in their own right.
#15050160
Thing is, my own view:
1. They need to be punished, replaced and held into account
2. I do not mind reasonable Chinese influence, even a bit of a Sinophile myself, sufficient checks and balances is enough. I strongly dislike bigots on the Hong Kong side.
3. British rule has seen bright and dark days - and the progress has a lot to do with the geopolitical environment and the rise of China. However, I do admit, while their rule is more skillful, it hasn't been more benevolent nor democratic. It was Chris Patten who promoted democracy just before he left to leave behind a minefield for China, but he didn't practice any of it.
4. It happened during the protest yes, but it's now it's on everybody - restaurants and malls and school teachers all need to pick a side. I hate both sides, I disagree with most of the demands from day 1, I have a family to feed and I am forced to ride on this pain train like the rest of Hong Kong.

Patrickov wrote:For the four Chief Executives so far, Tung Chee Hwa (#1, r. 1997-2005) and CY Leung (#3, r. 2012-17) are representatives of the Chinese interests; while Donald Tsang (#2, r. 2005-12; jailed a few years later) represented the older elites, as I have said. Carrie Lam is a special case -- she effectively came from Tsang's group but the Chinese promoted her as she was an excellent technocrat. Unfortunately Hong Kong politics nowadays is far beyond technocrats can handle, and her desire to make a mark of her "loyalty" only made matters worse.

Tung Chee Hwa has some reasonably policies that would have been good for Hong Kong, but sabotaged by the property barons and the opposition. Don't forget Beijing at that time wanted to win over our hearts and started with very favorable policies. They didn't anticipate Hong Kong's different game rules.
You are right about Donald and Carrie, no arguments.
CY Leung is the true enemy of the people - He represents the hawks in Beijing - "勇武" of their side. Fond of dirty tactics and a bit of a psychopath himself. Recently had a look of his facebook account, the guy is pretty messed up. Anyway, people did said he has some good policies for the poor, and he tried to go after the property barons - I never dived deep into that.
They all represent Beijing's interest as that is their job, but they are increasingly disconnected with Hong Kongers. Is that Beijing's fault? Probably. But the hostile media and opposition has also played a part - it is sometimes quite hysterical and unreasonable. I guess this "Twin boss" model is bound to explode someday.
#15050184
benpenguin wrote:Thing is, my own view:
1. They need to be punished, replaced and held into account
2. I do not mind reasonable Chinese influence, even a bit of a Sinophile myself, sufficient checks and balances is enough. I strongly dislike bigots on the Hong Kong side.
3. British rule has seen bright and dark days - and the progress has a lot to do with the geopolitical environment and the rise of China. However, I do admit, while their rule is more skillful, it hasn't been more benevolent nor democratic. It was Chris Patten who promoted democracy just before he left to leave behind a minefield for China, but he didn't practice any of it.
4. It happened during the protest yes, but it's now it's on everybody - restaurants and malls and school teachers all need to pick a side. I hate both sides, I disagree with most of the demands from day 1, I have a family to feed and I am forced to ride on this pain train like the rest of Hong Kong.


Tung Chee Hwa has some reasonably policies that would have been good for Hong Kong, but sabotaged by the property barons and the opposition. Don't forget Beijing at that time wanted to win over our hearts and started with very favorable policies. They didn't anticipate Hong Kong's different game rules.
You are right about Donald and Carrie, no arguments.
CY Leung is the true enemy of the people - He represents the hawks in Beijing - "勇武" of their side. Fond of dirty tactics and a bit of a psychopath himself. Recently had a look of his facebook account, the guy is pretty messed up. Anyway, people did said he has some good policies for the poor, and he tried to go after the property barons - I never dived deep into that.
They all represent Beijing's interest as that is their job, but they are increasingly disconnected with Hong Kongers. Is that Beijing's fault? Probably. But the hostile media and opposition has also played a part - it is sometimes quite hysterical and unreasonable. I guess this "Twin boss" model is bound to explode someday.


I thank my Honourable Friend for his insightful post.

In personal ethics Tung is undoubtedly the best one. I tend to view him as a bit like Li Yuanhong, the early 20th century Chinese President who had the best intentions but with insufficient ability and insight. Had the Hong Kong society not been so complicated Tung would have been a good CE. While I do not forgive him for the side he's taken, he's certainly a much more honourable person than many (even myself sometimes) suggest.

Leung's accession is probably Beijing's response to our -- and as you said, property moguls' -- resistance.

The ultimate reason of opposition hysteria is that the Chinese regime is based on nothing about freedom and democracy. Both their administration skills and intentions are well beyond what Hongkongers can accept, and is actually the reason many of them are here in the first place. Many in Beijing (as well as in between) know that themselves, but they also know that if they publicly acknowledge this, at least their regime is not more, and things will probably much worse than just that.

It is just that we are so threatened on losing what we have been used to, that we are more and more disillusioned to whatever might happen in Mainland -- they seem bound to despair and injustice anyways, so why is it wrong for us to put our own asses as the first priority?
#15050197
The assumption of Chinese ill-intention, in the first place, has been a delusion, and now a self fulfilling prophesy. While I stand against their current Hong Kong policy, it is partly the party eagle’s rashness and HK opposition’s hysterical Sinophobia, in turn due to narrow mindedness, arrogance and ignorance, fed by the echo chamber of a hostile media.
The easiest example is 2007 election proposal - it was way better than the election committee, and certainly a great step forward. Why did the opposition have to fight tooth and nails? Carrie wouldn’t have dared to propose the extradition bill were she elected. And don’t get me started on 85000 housing scheme by Tung.
The Hong Kongers, in solidarity, has shown Beijing that we cannot be reasoned with, and so “conversation has failed”, and we bred monsters like CY Leung and the militant localists. It’s on us as much as on them.
#15050250
benpenguin wrote:The assumption of Chinese ill-intention, in the first place, has been a delusion, and now a self fulfilling prophesy. While I stand against their current Hong Kong policy, it is partly the party eagle’s rashness and HK opposition’s hysterical Sinophobia, in turn due to narrow mindedness, arrogance and ignorance, fed by the echo chamber of a hostile media.

The easiest example is 2007 election proposal - it was way better than the election committee, and certainly a great step forward. Why did the opposition have to fight tooth and nails? Carrie wouldn’t have dared to propose the extradition bill were she elected. And don’t get me started on 85000 housing scheme by Tung.

The Hong Kongers, in solidarity, has shown Beijing that we cannot be reasoned with, and so “conversation has failed”, and we bred monsters like CY Leung and the militant localists. It’s on us as much as on them.


The 85,000 thing caused a lot of people to suffer negative equity and a bad economic recession. My family was rather fortunate not to be one of them. I do not deny the years afterwards represent some kind of reactionary response, but I do not really blame people for condemning a poorly executed policy, even with the best intentions.


The 2007 scheme did not include universal suffrage, while the 2017 one did. IMHO had the 2017 scheme been proposed in 2007 it would have had a much higher chance of getting through, especially as Szeto Wah was still alive back then -- I think the LegCo progress was largely attributed to him, and Democratic Party he led must be credited of bringing the only meaningful progress. As they themselves suffered electoral setback over the subsequent decade because of this, history should really recognize these people's bravery, as they actually sacrificed themselves in the aim of our common good.


All in all, the Chinese (and of course, or even especially, their collaborators) had been incompetent at first. After that, they simply let corruption and violence take over. It is these injustice which fueled bigotry and hysteria among us, not Western propaganda -- I mean, the Chinese did not slack in spreading propaganda at all (a certain poster here is, by comparison, taking it easy), but why is it so ineffective? This is the one thing that I could not let myself agree with My Honourable Friend, and I hereby ask for his forgiveness on this.
#15050296
Patrickov wrote:ll in all, the Chinese (and of course, or even especially, their collaborators) had been incompetent at first. After that, they simply let corruption and violence take over. It is these injustice which fueled bigotry and hysteria among us, not Western propaganda -- I mean, the Chinese did not slack in spreading propaganda at all (a certain poster here is, by comparison, taking it easy), but why is it so ineffective? This is the one thing that I could not let myself agree with My Honourable Friend, and I hereby ask for his forgiveness on this.

1. Developing countries are corrupt - it's a result of fast economic development and it is not unique to China. The day when China stops developing, the corruption will be gone. Not to mention, they have done quite a lot fighting it, and there are plenty of visible improvements.
2. Hong Kongers lack basic understanding of national development and geopolitical awareness - The propaganda games plays a part, but the echo chamber of bigotry plays a much bigger role. China's struggle forward is imperfect and difficult - and us, a bunch of middle class snobs - sit back, sneering from afar, laughing at every misstep and misfortune while they pushed forward. Before we knew it, they are well ahead of us, and our arrogance turned into hysterical fear - that's nothing to be proud of.
3. China government's rule has sometimes been suffocating, but highly effective - having lived and worked in a couple countries now, I haven't seen any other government even close in that regard. Hong Kong's government on the other hand, is not. Do not confuse the two.
#15050380
benpenguin wrote:1. Developing countries are corrupt - it's a result of fast economic development and it is not unique to China. The day when China stops developing, the corruption will be gone. Not to mention, they have done quite a lot fighting it, and there are plenty of visible improvements.
2. Hong Kongers lack basic understanding of national development and geopolitical awareness - The propaganda games plays a part, but the echo chamber of bigotry plays a much bigger role. China's struggle forward is imperfect and difficult - and us, a bunch of middle class snobs - sit back, sneering from afar, laughing at every misstep and misfortune while they pushed forward. Before we knew it, they are well ahead of us, and our arrogance turned into hysterical fear - that's nothing to be proud of.
3. China government's rule has sometimes been suffocating, but highly effective - having lived and worked in a couple countries now, I haven't seen any other government even close in that regard. Hong Kong's government on the other hand, is not. Do not confuse the two.



Without a free, open and fair society the improvement ends up limited.

I do not actually think China has "overtaken" us. While some of their policies are undoubtedly better than what is present in Hong Kong, the general picture is still the same. Otherwise, why so many Chinese flee the country and settle themselves or their offspring overseas, or at least in Hong Kong?

My Honourable Friend mentioned the word "suffocating". Most of my contemporaries do think the "suffocation" is the main problem, and has the ability to undo any achievements the Chinese administration has made.

In the previous post I thought of saying "Deng Xiaoping might have made a mistake of demanding the United Kingdom to hand back Hong Kong". I did not come up with much more to say so I did not post it. However, My Honourable Friend has pointed out the problem here -- having a developing nation taking over a well-developed society full of "middle-class snobs" can be quite a gamble. From how they have handled the situation, I think the statement I wanted to make is not unfounded.
#15050420
Patrickov wrote:Without a free, open and fair society the improvement ends up limited.
Improvements are pretty darn significant and is still going fast, so I haven't seen said limitation yet. Most "free" societies on the other hand, hasn't even come close.
Patrickov wrote:I do not actually think China has "overtaken" us
It has, in more ways than Hong Kongers would admit or even understand. I wouldn't even go to statistics - Just personal experience of people that I worked with - many of the brightest minds are mainland Chinese. In terms of personal quality, ethics and professionalism too, if you want to go there.
Patrickov wrote:Otherwise, why so many Chinese flee the country and settle themselves or their offspring overseas, or at least in Hong Kong?
A lot of Chinese migrated from China to developed countries for a variety of reasons, better perceived quality of life and freedoms amongst it - some found it, some don't. It's pretty common in developing countries - but even the "Fleeing en masse" meme has been outdated at least a few years. Many overseas Chinese students I know, are returning to China after graduation for better prospects. Even earlier immigrants are regretting their decision or planning to come back. On the other hand, top Indian university students, whom their government spent most of their education budgets on, are moving to the US for greener pastures. What does that tell you?
Patrickov wrote:Most of my contemporaries do think the "suffocation" is the main problem, and has the ability to undo any achievements the Chinese administration has made.
Many Chinese I know would argue otherwise, including myself. I have seen the alternatives - how other large continental countries fare, when they lack a strong central government and not US aligned - not a pretty picture. To each his own I guess.
Patrickov wrote:having a developing nation taking over a well-developed society full of "middle-class snobs" can be quite a gamble.
It is indeed. They tried to make it work with the best intentions, no matter the result I will not deny that.
#15050532
benpenguin wrote:Improvements are pretty darn significant and is still going fast, so I haven't seen said limitation yet. Most "free" societies on the other hand, hasn't even come close.

It has, in more ways than Hong Kongers would admit or even understand. I wouldn't even go to statistics - Just personal experience of people that I worked with - many of the brightest minds are mainland Chinese. In terms of personal quality, ethics and professionalism too, if you want to go there.


While I have not seriously been to the Mainland for maybe a decade (although my last visit was no more than 2 years ago) I work for a company who have significant business in Mainland China, and many of my contemporaries (including my immediate boss) go to the Mainland on a regular basis (by regular I mean up to every few weeks). I do not find them having a very positive view of the place.

Meanwhile, I also have a large group of (distant) relatives there. While they hold positive views to the Government, my family and I found the main reason is that the Government is effectively paying them considerable subsidiaries, and we suspect whether the model is sustainable.


benpenguin wrote:A lot of Chinese migrated from China to developed countries for a variety of reasons, better perceived quality of life and freedoms amongst it - some found it, some don't. It's pretty common in developing countries - but even the "Fleeing en masse" meme has been outdated at least a few years. Many overseas Chinese students I know, are returning to China after graduation for better prospects. Even earlier immigrants are regretting their decision or planning to come back. On the other hand, top Indian university students, whom their government spent most of their education budgets on, are moving to the US for greener pastures. What does that tell you?


First, I never see India (or indeed, most countries east of the Oder-Neisse Line, west of East China Sea / the Line of 38th Parallel North, and north of the Timor Sea) better than China. Second, the students might go back to China on graduation, but I am talking about those with an established life.

However, I do agree that there would be many who regret their decision. There were reports that even some North Korean defectors genuinely considered going back. As much as I think China being rotten, it has not descended to that level yet.

Meanwhile, I do not see there were many willingly to go to China for more opportunities. Third-world countries and countries like Russia maybe, but less so for the West.


benpenguin wrote:Many Chinese I know would argue otherwise, including myself. I have seen the alternatives - how other large continental countries fare, when they lack a strong central government and not US aligned - not a pretty picture. To each his own I guess.

It is indeed. They tried to make it work with the best intentions, no matter the result I will not deny that.


I do agree that a strong central government (which mean it must be of some size) is important. The problem here is, the central Government we are talking about is adapted to a very different environment, and (with my best-intended speculation) it seems (objectively) hard for them to know much more than imposing that way here, regardless of how hard they try not to.
#15050543
Patrickov wrote:While I have not seriously been to the Mainland for maybe a decade (although my last visit was no more than 2 years ago) I work for a company who have significant business in Mainland China, and many of my contemporaries (including my immediate boss) go to the Mainland on a regular basis (by regular I mean up to every few weeks). I do not find them having a very positive view of the place.

Depends on the companies you engage with - I general deal with IT circles, people generally have an open mind, sharp wits and a pleasure to deal with. On older industries - SOEs especially, then you have more of the horrid "old china". Prejudice from Hong Kongers play a part too, I find - so don't judge until you made friends yourself with more mainlanders and see for yourself.
Patrickov wrote:Meanwhile, I also have a large group of (distant) relatives there. While they hold positive views to the Government, my family and I found the main reason is that the Government is effectively paying them considerable subsidiaries, and we suspect whether the model is sustainable.

I generally don't take my own Guangzhou relative's comments seriously, whether positive or not, they lack education and consumed way bit too much propaganda/fake news on Wechat (There is both very positive and negative views, mind you) - I do however, observe their quality of life, and they are indeed enjoying it. (Not that I enjoy watching their boring TV shows, go on food trips, and gossip about each other everyday)
Patrickov wrote:Meanwhile, I do not see there were many willingly to go to China for more opportunities. Third-world countries and countries like Russia maybe, but less so for the West.

I just came back from Shanghai like 2 days ago - it's chock full of white dudes. I actually used to work for a Mandarin speaking French boss 4 years ago, he is based in Shanghai. There are lots like him.
In any case, don't forget English is the world language (also liberal democratic ideals to a sense) enforced through the barrel of a gun, so it is much easier for world citizens to move to the west, than the other way around...
Patrickov wrote:I do agree that a strong central government (which mean it must be of some size) is important. The problem here is, the central Government we are talking about is adapted to a very different environment, and (with my best-intended speculation) it seems (objectively) hard for them to know much more than imposing that way here, regardless of how hard they try not to.

No disagreements there - It would help if Hong Kongers are a little more accommodating - but in any case, for a strong central government to tolerate a completely different system is no easy feat. I'd say they tried their very best...
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