Hong Kong protests Chinese extradition bill

Illusive

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Hong Kong—A revolution is rewritten

It is not too late for China to reflect and understand the sanctity of the electoral process. Hongkongers have through the ballot box brought the Goliath down, a revolution rewritten.



In the last few months, protestors in Hong Kong have left no stone unturned to reach their voice to the Beijing-backed government headed by chief executive Carrie Lam. They have marched on the streets. They have wielded Molotov cocktails and bricks. They have sung “Glory to Hong Kong” with tears in their eyes. They have even fashioned “Lady Liberty” after America’s Statue of Liberty, albeit with Hong Kong characteristics—wearing a hat, gas mask and brandishing an umbrella. They have screamed “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times”. They have accused the police of being “Black Police”. But the revolution has unfurled otherwise—through the power of the ballot.

Hong Kong went to polls for district council elections on the November 24. District Council elections take place once every four years, and have till date, never quite been important enough. The responsibilities cover rubbish collection, noise pollution, bus stop replacement, estate beautification and sundry. But this time around, the elections became a proxy referendum on Hong Kong by Hongkongers.

The pro-democrats in Hong Kong swept the stakes with a resounding electoral victory winning in 17 out of 18 districts with 391 seats, or 86.5% of the total of 452 seats. Of the 4.1 million registered voters, an estimated 3 million people came to vote, 71% of the electorate. Four years ago in 2015, the pro-democrats won 116 seats, or 47% of the seats compared to the pro-Beijingers who won 292 seats. Then, of the 3.1 million registered voters, an estimated 1.4 million voters came to vote, 47% of the electorate — half of this year’s count.

The polling day was the only lull in the last six months. The Beijing-backed Hong Kong government led by Lam and the average Hongkonger have been embroiled in a contentious battle for Hong Kong’s future, a future where Hongkongers want to have a say, as opposed to submitting to China’s diktat.

What sparked the Hongkongers ire was Lam’s politically-charged brainwave by way of an extradition bill, whereby Hongkongers could be sent to the mainland for trial. Hongkongers who take pride in the rule of law and independence of the judiciary were as puzzled, as furious. The fury got channeled into island-wide protests with some 2 million people taking to the streets, across society from civil servants to students to doctors to church groups to home-makers.

Instead, Lam (de-facto Beijing) chose to be politically deaf, viewing the development as nothing short of a chance to subdue a population that refused to be as obedient or loyal as the Confucian creed, almost as if this was an insult to the cause of both “Chineseness” and the Communist Party, CPC. That alas, was a wild miscalculation.

In East Asia, “saving face” is an important social norm and is considered nothing short of heroic. The opposite, “loss of face” is mea culpa. Lam persisted in “saving face” by refusing to withdraw the bill, hoping to drag the protestors to the negotiating table, but as she procrastinated, the situation became progressively ugly. The face-off between the Hong Kong police armed with a cache of tear gas, rubber pellets, water cannons and live ammunition versus the protestors armed with home-made Molotov cocktails, sticks and bricks began to take a violent turn.

In October, in a further show of strength Lam clamped down with an emergency ordinance, Emergency Regulations Ordinance (ERO) deployed to ban protestors from wearing masks. This show of strength came quite the opposite, showcasing instead, Lam’s lack of political acumen. Hong Kong’s court declared the anti-mask law unconstitutional. Students took to the streets.

Students, some younger than 18 holed up in two of the well-known Universities, Hong Kong Polytechnic (PolyU) and City University of Hong Kong (CUHK) challenging the ban. The stasis continued until the surprising lull that came by way of the district council elections. As Hong Kong went to polls, there was a last minute surge in voter registration with 400,000 voters registering for the first time.

Beijing read this development as positive. Beijing read the elections as a chance for the “silent majority” to vote. According to Beijing, the “silent majority” was tired out by the disruption of business, schools, daily life and would vote in favour of the pro-Beijing camp aka stability.

But stability is a feeble word to sway a people who demand universal suffrage. The electoral results attest that Hongkongers took the district council elections as a proxy referendum on the government that they felt, had no eyes or ears for its own people.

The pro-democrats won a majority garnering more than half of the popular vote (estimates vary as the candidates are hard to classify as pro-democrats or independents). Notable winners are Kevin Lam (who stood in for activist Joshua Wong who was debarred), Jimmy Sham (convener of the pro-democracy organisation Civil Human Rights Front) and Lester Shum (prominent during the 2014 Umbrella Movement).

Beijing’s gamble that the “silent majority” in Hong Kong was not in favour of the protests/protestors has been disapproved. As has been Beijing’s narrative that the protests have been lead by “black hands” (read America and the Western coalition). Beijing called the protestors rioters, terrorists and vandals. That too has been disapproved.
Why do the district council elections matter now? District Elections have long been a stepping stone to the election committee, the 1,200 member body that chooses the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. 117 seats are reserved for the district councilors on this body.

Many also read the electoral success as the writing on the wall for Hong Kong’s political future. There will be elections for the Legislative Council (LegCo, the Parliament) next year. The LegCo is stacked with both elected and non-elected members, the latter are the “functional constituencies” of business interests (agriculture, insurance, real estate, tourism) and pro-Beijingers. But these elections have opened a window for the pro-democrats.

Hong Kong’s Basic Law (mini-constitution) concedes that the aim is for Hong Kongers to employ universal suffrage to elect the chief executive, after nomination by a representative committee.

So far, Ms Lam has acknowledged the “public unhappiness”. Disturbingly, China’s state media has skirted the outcome of elections suggesting sabotage by anti-establishment forces with China Daily going as far as posting a picture on Twitter on the 25th of November suggesting that the protestors mislead the elderly to vote for the pro-democracy camp with the caption “That’s how the opposition tampers with a fair election”.

China, with no past historical or political experience has failed to comprehend the significance of the rule of law in the ruling of the High Court as well as the voice of millions of Hong Kongers out in the streets. Perhaps, it is not too late for China to reflect and understand the sanctity of the electoral process. Hongkongers have through the ballot box brought the Goliath down, a revolution rewritten.
 

ezsasa

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Hong Kong—A revolution is rewritten

It is not too late for China to reflect and understand the sanctity of the electoral process. Hongkongers have through the ballot box brought the Goliath down, a revolution rewritten.



In the last few months, protestors in Hong Kong have left no stone unturned to reach their voice to the Beijing-backed government headed by chief executive Carrie Lam. They have marched on the streets. They have wielded Molotov cocktails and bricks. They have sung “Glory to Hong Kong” with tears in their eyes. They have even fashioned “Lady Liberty” after America’s Statue of Liberty, albeit with Hong Kong characteristics—wearing a hat, gas mask and brandishing an umbrella. They have screamed “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times”. They have accused the police of being “Black Police”. But the revolution has unfurled otherwise—through the power of the ballot.

Hong Kong went to polls for district council elections on the November 24. District Council elections take place once every four years, and have till date, never quite been important enough. The responsibilities cover rubbish collection, noise pollution, bus stop replacement, estate beautification and sundry. But this time around, the elections became a proxy referendum on Hong Kong by Hongkongers.

The pro-democrats in Hong Kong swept the stakes with a resounding electoral victory winning in 17 out of 18 districts with 391 seats, or 86.5% of the total of 452 seats. Of the 4.1 million registered voters, an estimated 3 million people came to vote, 71% of the electorate. Four years ago in 2015, the pro-democrats won 116 seats, or 47% of the seats compared to the pro-Beijingers who won 292 seats. Then, of the 3.1 million registered voters, an estimated 1.4 million voters came to vote, 47% of the electorate — half of this year’s count.

The polling day was the only lull in the last six months. The Beijing-backed Hong Kong government led by Lam and the average Hongkonger have been embroiled in a contentious battle for Hong Kong’s future, a future where Hongkongers want to have a say, as opposed to submitting to China’s diktat.

What sparked the Hongkongers ire was Lam’s politically-charged brainwave by way of an extradition bill, whereby Hongkongers could be sent to the mainland for trial. Hongkongers who take pride in the rule of law and independence of the judiciary were as puzzled, as furious. The fury got channeled into island-wide protests with some 2 million people taking to the streets, across society from civil servants to students to doctors to church groups to home-makers.

Instead, Lam (de-facto Beijing) chose to be politically deaf, viewing the development as nothing short of a chance to subdue a population that refused to be as obedient or loyal as the Confucian creed, almost as if this was an insult to the cause of both “Chineseness” and the Communist Party, CPC. That alas, was a wild miscalculation.

In East Asia, “saving face” is an important social norm and is considered nothing short of heroic. The opposite, “loss of face” is mea culpa. Lam persisted in “saving face” by refusing to withdraw the bill, hoping to drag the protestors to the negotiating table, but as she procrastinated, the situation became progressively ugly. The face-off between the Hong Kong police armed with a cache of tear gas, rubber pellets, water cannons and live ammunition versus the protestors armed with home-made Molotov cocktails, sticks and bricks began to take a violent turn.

In October, in a further show of strength Lam clamped down with an emergency ordinance, Emergency Regulations Ordinance (ERO) deployed to ban protestors from wearing masks. This show of strength came quite the opposite, showcasing instead, Lam’s lack of political acumen. Hong Kong’s court declared the anti-mask law unconstitutional. Students took to the streets.

Students, some younger than 18 holed up in two of the well-known Universities, Hong Kong Polytechnic (PolyU) and City University of Hong Kong (CUHK) challenging the ban. The stasis continued until the surprising lull that came by way of the district council elections. As Hong Kong went to polls, there was a last minute surge in voter registration with 400,000 voters registering for the first time.

Beijing read this development as positive. Beijing read the elections as a chance for the “silent majority” to vote. According to Beijing, the “silent majority” was tired out by the disruption of business, schools, daily life and would vote in favour of the pro-Beijing camp aka stability.

But stability is a feeble word to sway a people who demand universal suffrage. The electoral results attest that Hongkongers took the district council elections as a proxy referendum on the government that they felt, had no eyes or ears for its own people.

The pro-democrats won a majority garnering more than half of the popular vote (estimates vary as the candidates are hard to classify as pro-democrats or independents). Notable winners are Kevin Lam (who stood in for activist Joshua Wong who was debarred), Jimmy Sham (convener of the pro-democracy organisation Civil Human Rights Front) and Lester Shum (prominent during the 2014 Umbrella Movement).

Beijing’s gamble that the “silent majority” in Hong Kong was not in favour of the protests/protestors has been disapproved. As has been Beijing’s narrative that the protests have been lead by “black hands” (read America and the Western coalition). Beijing called the protestors rioters, terrorists and vandals. That too has been disapproved.
Why do the district council elections matter now? District Elections have long been a stepping stone to the election committee, the 1,200 member body that chooses the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. 117 seats are reserved for the district councilors on this body.

Many also read the electoral success as the writing on the wall for Hong Kong’s political future. There will be elections for the Legislative Council (LegCo, the Parliament) next year. The LegCo is stacked with both elected and non-elected members, the latter are the “functional constituencies” of business interests (agriculture, insurance, real estate, tourism) and pro-Beijingers. But these elections have opened a window for the pro-democrats.

Hong Kong’s Basic Law (mini-constitution) concedes that the aim is for Hong Kongers to employ universal suffrage to elect the chief executive, after nomination by a representative committee.

So far, Ms Lam has acknowledged the “public unhappiness”. Disturbingly, China’s state media has skirted the outcome of elections suggesting sabotage by anti-establishment forces with China Daily going as far as posting a picture on Twitter on the 25th of November suggesting that the protestors mislead the elderly to vote for the pro-democracy camp with the caption “That’s how the opposition tampers with a fair election”.

China, with no past historical or political experience has failed to comprehend the significance of the rule of law in the ruling of the High Court as well as the voice of millions of Hong Kongers out in the streets. Perhaps, it is not too late for China to reflect and understand the sanctity of the electoral process. Hongkongers have through the ballot box brought the Goliath down, a revolution rewritten.
Chinese are just waiting for an opportune moment.once decision is taken, world can’t do anything about what CCP unleashes in HK.

it’s just a matter of time..

For now I am not sure what is CCP waiting for..
 

Illusive

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Chinese are just waiting for an opportune moment.once decision is taken, world can’t do anything about what CCP unleashes in HK.

it’s just a matter of time..

For now I am not sure what is CCP waiting for..
They are waiting alright, but won't see military action until there is some serious violence. There are too many variables in this for ccp to seriously consider such options, the behind the scene clamp downs will go in through Honk Kong political and security system as usual.
 

Jameson Emoni

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Chinese are just waiting for an opportune moment.once decision is taken, world can’t do anything about what CCP unleashes in HK.

it’s just a matter of time..

For now I am not sure what is CCP waiting for..
I believe Hong Kong is China's main link to western trade and commerce network. This is why China is hesitant on rocking the boat.
 

Holy Triad

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Looks like another tibet in the making,reports saying hk protesters are leaving for taiwan fearing persecution.

Once all the leadership(?) figures among the protesters left,rest of population will fall in line...


After Few years,hk uprisings will become just an anecdote(like T. Square )to the rest of the world.

:frown:
 
Last edited:

Illusive

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Largest Hong Kong protest in weeks stretches several miles, signals movement is undeterred by police crackdown.
Hong Kong: Hundreds of thousands of protesters, basking in a recent election victory by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp, poured onto the city’s streets Sunday in one of the largest marches in weeks to pressure the government to meet demands for greater civil liberties.

The huge turnout was a reminder to China’s leader, Xi Jinping, that the months-long campaign against his authoritarian policies still had broad support in Hong Kong despite a weakening economy and increasingly violent clashes between protesters and police.

Tensions in Hong Kong, a semiautonomous territory, had eased somewhat in recent days, after pro-democracy advocates won a stunning victory in local elections two weeks ago, giving new hope to the movement.




On Sunday, demonstrators returned in force, packing city streets to denounce Xi’s government, rail against police brutality and reiterate demands for greater civil liberties, including universal suffrage. They beat drums, sang protest anthems and chanted, “Fight for freedom.” Though the march was largely peaceful, some demonstrators vandalised shops and restaurants and lit a fire outside the high court.

“We want Hong Kong to continue being Hong Kong,” said Alice Wong, 24, a biology researcher who stood among protesters gathered at Victoria Park. “We don’t want to become like China.”

As many as 800,000 people attended the march, according to Civil Human Rights Front, an advocacy group that organized the gathering.

The mood at the march was relaxed, with people taking selfies against a backdrop of the vast crowds. Children, some dressed in black, marched with their parents, holding hands as they shouted, “Stand with Hong Kong!”

A sea of protesters, spread across several miles, filled major thoroughfares as they moved between towering skyscrapers. In some areas, there were so many people that the crowds moved at a snail’s pace and spilled into adjacent alleys. Some small businesses encouraged the turnout by promising giveaways if more than a million people joined the march.

The protesters said they intended to remain peaceful Sunday, but some vowed to use more aggressive tactics if police cracked down. In the evening, police readied canisters of tear gas as they stood opposite crowds of protesters who had barricaded a street downtown in a briefly tense moment.

The large turnout could further embolden the movement’s confrontational frontline protesters, who said they planned to disrupt the city’s roads and public transportation system on Monday. The call for further action seemed to resonate among some protesters Sunday.

“If the government still refuses to acknowledge our demands after today, we should and will escalate our protests,” said Tamara Wong, 33, an office worker who wore a black mask as she stood among the crowd gathered at Victoria Park.

The protesters have demanded amnesty for activists who were arrested and accused of rioting, as well as an independent investigation of police conduct during the demonstrations.

Despite the show of strength Sunday, it is unlikely that the protesters will win further concessions from Beijing, which has worked to portray demonstrators as rioters colluding with foreign governments to topple the governing Communist Party.

Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a professor of political science at Hong Kong Baptist University, said that even though Sunday’s march showed the protest movement remained strong and unified, Beijing was unlikely to listen to its demands.


“Hong Kong is condemned to live in a permanent political crisis as long as China is ruled by the Communist Party,” Cabestan said.

Xi, who has cultivated an image as a hard-line leader, has demanded “unswerving efforts to stop and punish violent activities” in Hong Kong. He has publicly endorsed the city’s beleaguered leader, Carrie Lam, to bring an end to the unrest.

Chinese officials have suggested that the United States is responsible for helping to fuel unrest in Hong Kong, pointing to statements by American officials in support of the protests. Last month, President Donald Trump signed tough legislation that authorises sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for rights abuses in Hong Kong. The move was welcomed by many protesters but also seen as exacerbating tensions between the two countries.

In a possible sign of increased scrutiny of American citizens working in Hong Kong, two leaders of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong said Saturday that they had been denied entry to Macao, a semiautonomous Chinese city. Xi is expected to visit Macao this month to mark the 20th anniversary of the former Portuguese colony’s return to China.

Tara Joseph and Robert Grieves, president and chairman of the American business group, said they had planned to attend an annual ball put on by the chamber’s Macao branch.

“We hope that this is just an overreaction to current events and that international business can constructively forge ahead,” Joseph said.

The protests, which began in June in opposition to a bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, has hurt the tourism and retail sectors, pushing the city’s economy into recession.

In recent weeks, the violence has escalated, with protesters intensifying their efforts to vandalize businesses they associate with hostility to the movement. Police shot an anti-government protester last month, inflaming tensions. Then, in some of the worst violence, universities became battlefields, with black-clad students hurling gasoline bombs, throwing bricks and aiming arrows at riot police, who shot rubber bullets and fired tear gas in return.

Many demonstrators acknowledge that a compromise with the government is unlikely, despite recent victories. Lam, the city’s leader, who is under pressure from Beijing to restore order without weakening the government’s position, has brushed aside their demands and has warned that the mayhem could “take Hong Kong to the road of ruin”.

Government officials have cast the demonstrations as primarily centered on economic issues, arguing that vast inequality in Hong Kong has exacerbated anger among the city’s youth. They rolled out emergency measures recently to counter the effects of the turmoil on the economy, including providing electricity subsidies to businesses and expanding job training for young people.

Authorities have justified their efforts to crack down on the movement by saying that protesters are endangering public safety. On Sunday, police said they had found a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, five magazines, 105 bullets and two ballistic vests, as well as fireworks, among other items, during a series of early morning raids.

Senior Superintendent Steve Li of Hong Kong Police said early in the day that officers had received information that the firearm and fireworks would have been used on Sunday to create chaos.

The police has in recent months banned many protests and rallies in Hong Kong, citing safety concerns. But the government granted a rare approval for the march on Sunday, which was held to mark the United Nations’ Human Rights Day.

Demonstrators said they believed that the turnout sent a strong message: The protest movement would not back down.

“If the government thinks that we will give up,” said Adam Wong, 23, a university student who was waving a black flag, “today’s turnout will prove them delusional.”
 

busesaway

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I support the protesters when it comes to human rights and the independence of HK, but I disagree with their stance on curtailing the economic/political power of Mainland China (which I think is a nice balancing act against the US) and obviously the Chinese have done better at controlling their Muslim community (I am against the support for Muslims that exists in the protest movement). It's also wrong to indiscriminately hate on Mainland Chinese living in HK.
 

Illusive

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Why Hong Kong protesters fear the city’s ‘smart lamp posts’

The New Year in Hong Kong began with a bang — not the usual firework display, which the government cancelled, but the sound of police firing tear gas canisters. Once again, protesters turned out in force to continue their seven-month demonstration against Beijing’s influence in the nominally autonomous region, the lack of real democracy and police brutality. Despite a government ban on face masks, the better-prepared wore them to protect against the tear gas. But the masks served another function too: to prevent identification by automated facial-recognition technology.

Over the course of the protests, legislators have repeatedly asked the executive to clarify its use of such technology on the streets but the government has avoided answering the question. The suspicions around facial recognition in Hong Kong provide a warning of what can happen when a government’s lack of transparency in its use of surveillance tech collides with widespread anger over governance. In the absence of trust, citizens are turning to their own theories of what technology the government is using against them. Last August, a viral video showed protesters pulling down a “smart lamp post” equipped not just with lights but also cameras and Bluetooth beacons. The government has said that smart lamp posts are not facial recognition-enabled but many are sceptical and have crowdsourced their own analyses of what the posts can do.

Inside the battle for Hong Kong The moment the lamp post was felled, protesters scavenged components. Others analysed their functions. One anonymous researcher warned that facial-recognition algorithms could run on any video footage with sufficient resolution, even if the cameras didn’t contain hardware that suggested links to facial-recognition firms. This is correct; as long as the footage can be streamed to another computer, citizens cannot know what is being done to it. Thus the government is being asked to prove a negative, that it is not running any facial-recognition algorithms on public surveillance footage or passing the footage on to third parties — such as China’s mainland police, who we know are using such algorithms. The only way that it might prove such a negative is if it had, early on, credibly committed to transparency and to constraints in its use of surveillance technology. Hong Kong’s own Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, which allows people to request their data, does not do the job, as it has broad exemptions for “the prevention or detection of crime”. The problem is Hong Kongers already disagree with their government over what is criminal, and the category of “prevention” is broad and vague. Other city governments have begun to engage in discussions concerning the boundaries of surveillance. Last year, San Francisco was the first major city to temporarily ban government use of facial recognition by passing a surveillance ordinance. It also ensures that government purchases of other surveillance technology must be approved by an oversight body. Several US cities have or are considering passing similar laws. Such agreements would change the landscape of state surveillance, not just in Hong Kong or mainland China, but also in the UK and other democracies. Police in London kept quiet their involvement with a clandestine facial-recognition program in King’s Cross until it was revealed by the FT last year. Other cities may not face the breakdown of trust that has happened in Hong Kong. But placing explicit limits on surveillance would help citizens fight more specific injustices; San Francisco, which has a commitment to not help deport undocumented immigrants, has decided not to share certain data with immigration police. There is also the problem of misidentification by the technology, as well as databases being leaked — a common problem in China, where the government has hastily rolled out facial-recognition-enabled surveillance cameras. In China, a public debate is now brewing over facial recognition. But whether your government is a one-party autocracy or a functioning democracy, it’s always more effective to start the discussion over surveillance technology before your town has been turned into a “smart city".

 

Illusive

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I was in the middle of the speech (as I criticised recent police atrocities) when our assembly forced to cancel. Shortly after I heard on stage police starting to fire bullets on us.
 

Dovah

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Swallowing is one thing, maintaining is another.
Yes, but protests are not going to pick momentum/eyeballs like the last time. CCP will be comfortable with tenuous peace as long as HK economic engine does not slow down.
 

IndiaRising

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Yes, but protests are not going to pick momentum/eyeballs like the last time. CCP will be comfortable with tenuous peace as long as HK economic engine does not slow down.
have you seen the videos from HK?
 

Dovah

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have you seen the videos from HK?
Yes. And they pale in front of anything from the last year. What was the outcome of that?What country spoke up for HK beyond platitudes? HK has gone the Tibet way.
 

IndiaRising

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Yes. And they pale in front of anything from the last year. What was the outcome of that?What country spoke up for HK beyond platitudes? HK has gone the Tibet way.
mostly due to the corona factor but the sentiments are still the same. HK and Tibet are 2 different beasts. One is barely inhabited and completely locked from the civilized world while the other has been a democracy for the past century that have nothing in common with mainlanders. All that’s required is for external forces to arm them to keep the CCP at bay.
 

Dovah

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mostly due to the corona factor but the sentiments are still the same. HK and Tibet are 2 different beasts. One is barely inhabited and completely locked from the civilized world while the other has been a democracy for the past century that have nothing in common with mainlanders.
Fact #1: Protests on a massive scale did nothing to stop China from virtually annexing HK.
Fact #2: Same level of protest is not possible again because of COVID, while China has reinforced itself through its forces in HK as well as legally.

Hong Kong has more in common with the mainland than Tibet or even Xinjjang did.

All that’s required is for external forces to arm them to keep the CCP at bay.
Who is going to do that? Who armed the Tibetans? Why would HKers living far above even first-world standards pick up arms?

Dreams of an violent insurgency in HK are just that.
 

Rxbanda

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Today, I reported to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China, given facts on the ground. The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong.
 

Illusive

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Hello world

If you see this post, please retweet and let the world see how Hong Kong people are being tortured in China.We are being beaten like animals and kept as slaves.I urge countries around the world to show Solidarity with us. https://t.co/LiKY3lgA7q
 

Holy Triad

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15 Chinese PLA police officials harassing, beating and humiliating 1 unarmed, dis-abled person with no legs who was protesting for Freedom on occupied #HongKong
@zlj517
your coward PLA police need 15 to beat one Disabled?

Shame. #FreeHongKong




Respect
 

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