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  1. #1
    Legend Balance's Avatar
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    Default Hong Kong Protests - What's The Real Story?

    A good article to understand the current situation of Hong Kong.

    How LONG do you believe the Chinese government will tolerate mob violence in the streets of Hong Kong BEFORE sending in Mainland troops to sort out the protestors?

    When there are massive numbers of body counts in the street daily, and the whole world yelling at China to do something, then maybe China will do something. Which is another way to say “how about never”.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    People still seem to be confused about TWO things :

    1. One is the relationship between Hong Kong and Mainland China.

    2. The other is about the essential Hong Kong society.

    On the relationship between Hong Kong and China - the media portrays it almost like between New York and the US. It’s not - it’s actually more like between Puerto Rico and the U.S. Hurricane Maria left ~ 3,000 dead and an estimated $90 billion in damage in Puerto Rico. Two years later, the US Government has so far handed out $11 billion in disaster relief aid. Just look around you - how heart-broken are the Americans feeling towards the Spanish-speaking Puerto Ricans? Not much? Now you have a feel of how torn up Mainlanders are about Hong Kong & its protestors!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    But let's go back one step and understand the power structure in Hong Kong :

    Hong Kong’s education system is almost ENTIRELY in English & Cantonese, NOT in Mandarin.

    Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, was educated in Oxford. She, and her husband, and her two children, are all holders of British passports. Mrs. Lam is a classic British-trained civil servant until she rose to the level of HK Chief Executive, when she had to give up UK passport for a PRC one, because one really can’t be a UK citizen while being the top leader in a Chinese city. The rest of her family are still British.

    Hong Kong’s BIGGEST bank is HSBC, which made its FIRST pot of gold from financing the illegal opium trade into China, and now a top UK bank headquartered in London.

    Hong Kong is run by TYCOONS, all of them having MULTIPLE foreign passports. The richest HK tycoon is a Canadian living in UK.

    China doesn’t mind if the UK offered ALL HKers UK citizenship at the time of Handover, like what Portugal did to Macao residents. The British government NOT only refused to do so itself, but tried to prevent Portugal from doing so to the Macao residents.

    The rich, and some middle-class HKers got the Anglo passports.

    14 out of 18 judges in Hong Kong’s highest court are foreigners. The latest appointed high-court judges are one from the UK and one from Canada. The President of Hong Kong’s bar association is also a Brit trained in Lincolns Inn.

    Hong Kong has NEVER, EVER, paid a dime of tax TO the PRC. Hong Kong’s GDP is NOT included in the calculation of PRC’s GDP.

    There is a “hard border” between Hong Kong and Mainland China. Visa, passport, customs, tariffs, border patrol, the whole deal.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    OK then, the money is Anglo money, the prominent citizens are British or Canadian, the top executive is Oxford-trained, the judges and lawyers are all British/Canadian/Australian - EXACTLY what is there for China to lose anyway? The zip code? LOL! The zip code goes with the land, and the land isn’t going anywhere.

    The second thing that people don’t seem to get a grip on is the essential nature of the Hong Kong society. It is a known fact that Hong Kong is run by TYCOONS.

    Well then, you may ask, how can a state run by tycoons be a modern society? Well you are right. Hong Kong is NOT a modern society. It’s a throw-back of the medieval oligarchical city-state with 21 century social media tooling. There used to be a lot of these city-states in Europe, especially in Italy, such as Milan, Mantua, Florence, the Republic of Venice, etc. These city-states became prosperous when the surrounding countryside were wrecked by banditry and lawlessness, reaching their zenith during the turmoils, and then all faded away when they became hostages to oligarchical monopoly and cronyism. EVERY SINGLE ONE of them, to be REPLACED by MODERN states.

    Hong Kong follows the SAME trajectory. It got rich when China was closed to the world, and Hong Kong was the only window through which it traded with the rest of the world. Jardine and Matheson were the opium traders, and HSBC was the opium financier.

    *During WWII Hong Kong was defended by the British, the Canadian, and the Indians for a grand total of TWO weeks (yes, 2 weeks), before surrendering the city to the Japanese. What about the native HKers? They didn’t do jack-sh*t. They were the colonized. A different overlord was coming in, so what?.

    Post Korean War in 1953, the US placed PRC on the embargo list, so ALL the Western countries and their allies were not allowed to do business with China.

    NOT even when China was experiencing famine! Did you know that the Aussies and the Canadians were not allowed to sell wheat to China. Hong Kong, being a British colony, was the only route through which trade with China, legal or illegal, occurred. The sole channel to a billion consumers. So it got rich.

    But once the US lifted its 21-year embargo in 1971, Hong Kong’s importance to China trade started to diminish, and it’s city-state trajectory became part of the irresistible grind of the wheel of history, like all those other independent city-states in history.

    So what went wrong? Often, these cities evolved political systems that gave wealthy merchants direct control over governance, and they used that power to make life miserable for the competition.

    The big drawback is that once a group of people are running their OWN affairs, they’re also looking out for their OWN interests. So they start setting up barriers to outsiders coming in and all these restrictions on others engaging in commerce within the city limits.


    The TYCOONS of Hong Kong are NOT any wiser OR more altruistic than the Doges of Venice, or the Medici’s and the Machiavelli’s of the Florentine Republic.

    Thus Hong Kong today :

    1. has 15% poverty rate,

    2. the average Lee pays 70% of his income on rent,

    3. lives in an apartment the size of the average kitchen in the West,

    4. working their butts off for the enrichment of one of the tycoons, but still can’t save enough for retirement.

    But that’s OK because they can still enjoy the “freedom” to oppress their Filipino maids! HKers employ a massive 400,000 Filipino maids to do the cooking and cleaning, who are legally banned from living outside of their masters’ apartments, and legally allowed only one day a week off. And if they get pregnant by their male masters, will, they have two weeks to get out of the city, by Hong Kong’s law! The tycoons live in grand country manors up on the hill, passing their real estate monopoly, utility monopoly, transportation monopoly, food supply monopoly, etc., to their children, without paying a dime in tax. They did NOT build any world-class industry. They don’t have to. *They have written the laws to safeguard their local MONOPOLIES in PERPETUITY*.

    ALL of this is essentially etched in stone at the time of the Handover, and cannot be changed until after 2047.


    The idea that Hong Kong tycoons care about “democracy” is as ludicrous as the Afghan mujahideens care about “freedom". If anybody gives a damn about “democracy”, he’d at least pay taxes and fund a good public education. Not Hong Kong. Hong Kong TYCOONS wrote “LOW tax” into the city’s mini-constitution, and fund fewer of its youngsters to go to colleges and universities than the war-wrecked non-state Palestine.

    It’s not that people didn’t realize where Hong Kong was going.

    The HK people have known this for at least 20 years. This issue was raised even before the handover, because you can literally read about a couple hundred examples of this from history books! But Hong Kong’s problems can only be solved BY HKers, and the worst aspect of the British political culture, which was unfortunately learned by heart by the HK politicians, is basically “ solve INTERNAL problems INTERNATIONALLY, and solve ECONOMIC problems MILITARILY”.

    Well if that’s the case, Beijing is PERFECTLY HAPPY to just close off the border, and let HKers burn down the Admiralty THEMSELVES....

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Now you know why there is such discontent and protests in HK - the youth cannot see a future there anymore.
    Last edited by Balance; 30-08-2019 at 08:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Doggedly sniffing out more food Beagle's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Legend Balance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
    Disgusting and thoroughly inhuman.

    The Brits extracted hundreds of billions of dollars from HK by selling development rights to land, the supply of which they tightly controlled to ensure scarcity and premium prices.

    The tycoons were happy to play along with the game - all of them & the Brits got rich but the general population of HK were left to fend for themselves.

    Compare & contrast how housing is provided with another city state like Singapore which initially had about the same land area as HK.
    Last edited by Balance; 29-08-2019 at 09:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Doggedly sniffing out more food Beagle's Avatar
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  5. #5
    Legend Balance's Avatar
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    There has been a 6,000 strong PLA garrison in HK since 1997, taking over from the British contingent (mostly Gurkha's) when HK was handed BACK to China.

  6. #6
    Doggedly sniffing out more food Beagle's Avatar
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    Throwing bricks and Molotov cocktails at police looks like an invitation for serious trouble to me irrespective of the validity of some of the protestors grudges.
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    Have to agree Beagle, they're not helping themselves and/or is it a few jumping on the bandwagon for a bit of 'fun' like some of the 'proffesional' protesters here

  8. #8
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    Never a good idea to play with fire...
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  9. #9
    Legend Balance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
    Never a good idea to play with fire...
    The protestors are playing to the media (predominantly Western) and using increasingly anti-China & Xi rhetoric - pulling the tiger's tail so to speak!

  10. #10
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    Yeah its purrfectly safe to pull a tigers tail...what could possibly go wrong
    Paper Tiger used to love me pulling his tail
    Last edited by Beagle; 31-08-2019 at 07:53 PM.
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  11. #11
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    "A good article to understand the current situation of Hong Kong."

    Certainly interesting.

    Out of idle curiosity, your article or a repost of someone else's, Balance?

  12. #12
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    Here here balance, thanks for a much unbiased view of the HK situation than western media gives (who tend to paint China as a Tyrant).

    I also noticed another poster on the Black Monday thread talking about China's takeover of Tibet. Sure it could have gone smoother, but think about the relatively recent history in the area at the time.

    The two Opium Wars showed China that the British could not be trusted by any stretch of the imagination. With the British imposing illegal drug trafficking by forcing it on the Chinese with gunboat diplomacy, subsequent loss of China's economic power and sovereignty, indeed they knew they could not trust Britain. As Britain withdrew from India, they still were determined to support Tibet - they still had people "liasing" with Tibet as the Chinese sent troops into Tibet. But you can't forget that Tibet was part of China since the 13th century, right up to the fall of the Qing dynasty which happened AS A RESULT of the Opium Wars caused by the East India Company's immoral and disgusting use of the drug to subjugate populations (or "gaining customers" as I am sure they called it). Sure - it's arguable that China wasn't really in control of Tibet through the Ming dynasty, they operated more like an autonomous region, but the Ming still had military bases in Tibet and claimed it as their territory. The Qing dynasty re-established full control in 1720 - another 200 years under direct control. At the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912, there was a situation where Britain was still on China's border, through their ally at the time - Tibet. If you look it up, you can see that the British encouraged Tibetan leaders to keep all foreigners out of Tibet - oh EXCEPT the British of course!

    It should have been fairly obvious what China was going to do. Having almost got rid of all the foreign influence in China, the government went about re-establishing it's territory. Tibet was severely influenced at the time by Britain - the country who had imposed horrific crimes against China and pretty much all of it's colonies. There is no way they could have this untrustworthy foreign influence on it's border, particularly in a former province, particularly whose only goal in the region appeared to be weakening China.

    So once the Chinese expressed their interest in removing this threat, what did the "peace loving" and "non violent" Dalai Lama do whose highest calling and only real concern should be enlightenment? He raised an army and rejected the 17 point agreement proposed by the Chinese. Had this been accepted, Chinese control of Tibet would have been relatively bloodless and it would have resulted in another semi autonomous region, with all religious rights and politics respected. Instead the Dalai Lama rejected the agreement and after it's armies were routed (having been trained by the British and CIA) they had to run away. Then the 17 point agreement was forcefully imposed. Had it been accepted originally, China's iron hand in Tibet most likely would not have happened and there would have been a lot more development of stronger relations. The people of Tibet, who follow the Dalai Lama, would have accepted Chinese integration peacefully - instead he told them to reject it - hence the last 70 odd years of violence. What an amazing peace loving man the Dalai Lama is! He should have accepted the 17 point agreement and welcomed China with open arms, knowing that if he fought, it would impose a horrific cost on his people. It reeks of him being more concerned with trying to hold POWER which corrupted him. Remember Tibet under his rule was a serfdom with slavery and basically a theistic monarchy.

  13. #13
    Legend Balance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTM 3442 View Post
    "A good article to understand the current situation of Hong Kong."

    Certainly interesting.

    Out of idle curiosity, your article or a repost of someone else's, Balance?
    Not mine, written by an American history teacher based in Beijing.

    Forwarded to me.

  14. #14
    Legend Balance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blobbles View Post
    Here here balance, thanks for a much unbiased view of the HK situation than western media gives (who tend to paint China as a Tyrant).

    I also noticed another poster on the Black Monday thread talking about China's takeover of Tibet. Sure it could have gone smoother, but think about the relatively recent history in the area at the time.

    The two Opium Wars showed China that the British could not be trusted by any stretch of the imagination. With the British imposing illegal drug trafficking by forcing it on the Chinese with gunboat diplomacy, subsequent loss of China's economic power and sovereignty, indeed they knew they could not trust Britain ....... .
    Used to be said that history is written by the victors but these days, it is clear that not only current affairs but history are written by those with biased and ill-intent towards Asia, especially when it comes to the rise of China.

    Nothing suits them more than the China & Asia of all - poverty stricken, disease ridden and downtrodden masses to be exploited by the colonial masters, US being the latest in the 20th Century.
    Last edited by Balance; 02-09-2019 at 10:15 AM.

  15. #15
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    The most disgusting aspect of the coverage of the protests at the moment is the fact that the Western media hardly ever cover the protests with the camera/video angle showing the protestors attacking the police and others.

    What we see are the police taking action against 'civilians' many of who are violent protestors hiding amongst the civilians, and what we definitely do not see are the protestors viciously attacking the police and anyone who dares to stand up to them. Commuters who tried to reason with the protestors have been attacked and injured - seen any coverage?

    All rather sad as the HK people do have legitimate gripes and concerns which should be surfaced and sorted out.
    Last edited by Balance; 02-09-2019 at 06:14 PM.

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    In a previous post it was mentioned that the HK chief executive family was British. However I think the UK created a new class of citizenship for HK (and other colonies) - British (Overseas). It is a coach-class type of British citizenship without the same rights as regular citizenship I think to forestall a mass influx into Britain of Chinese ex-colonials. A pre-taste of the (racist?) anti-immigrant sentiment that was a big influence in Brexit.

    The Weeks of disruptive protests would have tested the police forces in every country - how would USA police have reacted to such protests?
    Last edited by Bjauck; 02-09-2019 at 12:16 PM.

  17. #17
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    Re blobbles on Tibet:

    "Had this been accepted, Chinese control of Tibet would have been relatively bloodless. . ."

    And the rights of the Tibetan people to self-determination and the freedom to control their own destiny just fade gently into the darkening night?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Balance View Post
    Not mine, written by an American history teacher based in Beijing.

    Forwarded to me.
    Thought it wasn't quite your usual style.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTM 3442 View Post
    Re blobbles on Tibet:

    "Had this been accepted, Chinese control of Tibet would have been relatively bloodless. . ."

    And the rights of the Tibetan people to self-determination and the freedom to control their own destiny just fade gently into the darkening night?
    With the British influencing them heavily, were they really free to pursue self determination? Were they pursuing it? Or were they pursuing the British agenda - which clearly wanted a weak China? If you read the 17 point agreement, you will realise they could have had near autonomy anyway, with freedom of religion/politics etc. What do a land of Buddhist monks care about borders and armies etc? The foundation of economic policies of Buddhism is to minimise suffering of all living things and practice non violence... how does that gel with raising an army and waging war? So where did those ideas come from? And how well were they implemented?

    It's pretty hard to talk about self determination "of the people" when those they worshipped actively courted people from countries half a world away whose only goals turned out to be stopping a huge bogeyman (Communism) and undermining Chinese influence in the region by using them as expendable tools for their own purposes.

    If anything the leadership should have welcomed China who are/were expert administrators. They would have run the region well (much as they did with the rest of China), without the iron fist that is a direct result of the Dalai Lama's foolish opposition. It may have even tempered Mao's terrible cultural purge, which was most likely exacerbated when he saw religious regions opposing a unified China. Instead, they get decades of repression, while a Dalai Lama still flies around the world not admitting he was being used, was foolish in his opposition and that the people of Tibet would have been much better off if they had welcomed the Chinese government as long as they could practice religious freedom - a key tenet of the 17 point agreement.

  20. #20
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    I may seem very "pro China", actually I can see some horrific things they have done in the world and call them out on it (the Cultural Revolution, the theft of IP from developed countries, the horrific court system not separate from politics, some of their trade policies in Africa, their continued claim of being a "developing country" when clearly they are not etc etc). Really, I just think I understand the history and motivations of the people there having lived and studied there for quite a few years. This gives me a much more balanced perspective, not one heavily influenced by western bogeymen and completely misunderstanding western media/opinions.

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