26.09.2019 Author: Joseph Thomas

Hong Kong Protests: Fading Foreign Tantrum, Not Genuine Revolution

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Just as unfolded in 2014 during the so-called “Umbrella protests” or “Occupy Central” movement, a growing backlash has begun across Hong Kong against US-funded protests that have attempted to disrupt governance and commerce as part of a floundering movement to maintain Western influence in the region.

The Sydney Morning Herald in its article, “Triads linked to violent pro-China gangs as Hong Kong protests enter dangerous new phase,” ignored weeks of violence carried out by US-backed protests in Hong Kong, and portrayed locals retaliating as “violent pro-China gangs.” It should be pointed out that Hong Kong is in China.

The article claims:

Turbulence in Hong Kong has reached a dangerous new phase, analysts say, amid escalating violence and the failure of Chief Executive Carrie Lam to respond to the political crisis. 

Television broadcasts on Monday were dominated by scenes of white-shirted men believed to be triad members caning and chasing train commuters as they hunted for democracy protesters on Sunday evening. People screamed as the gangs entered train carriages at Yuen Long station.

Having failed to attract wider public support, US-backed protesters have begun resorting to increasingly disruptive activities including raiding government buildings, storming commercial districts to intimidate visitors from mainland China and even targeting public transportation.

Backlash Follows Weeks of Violence and Vandalism by Pro-Western Protests

Before the SMH’s “violent pro-China gangs” showed up, US-backed protesters had admittedly stormed Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo) building.

The BBC in its article, “Hong Kong police evict protesters who stormed parliament,” admitted:

Activists had occupied the Legislative Council (LegCo) building for hours after breaking away from a protest on the anniversary of Hong Kong’s transfer of sovereignty to China from Britain.

The BBC also admitted the protesters carried out vandalism inside the building:

Inside, they defaced the emblem of Hong Kong in the central chamber, raised the old British colonial flag, spray-painted messages across the walls, and shattered furniture.

The Financial Times in their article, “Hong Kong protesters target Chinese government office,” mentioned another government building targeted by the protesters, the Liaison Office for Hong Kong representing Beijing. The article reported:

Demonstrators spray-painted over the lenses of security cameras in front of the building and one threw an egg that splattered on its glass facade. Others wrote graffiti on a wall including an insult against China, and defaced lettering on the building’s gate.

The Guardian attempted to conceal the nature of the protests in its article, “Hong Kong protest ends in chaotic clashes between police and demonstrators,” which was ultimately about protesters targeting a shopping centre popular with mainland visitors.

The article would claim:

Violent clashes have erupted between Hong Kong police and protesters at the end of a peaceful demonstration against the controversial extradition bill. The incidents took place late on Sunday in a bustling town between Hong Kong island and the border with China. 

The scene descended into chaos shortly before 10pm local time (1400 GMT), after riot police chased protesters into a shopping centre in Sha Tin.

However, the Financial Times in its article, “Hong Kong protesters try to woo Chinese tourists to their cause,” admitted the protesters intentionally targeted the shopping centre rather than merely being “chased into it.” The article admits:

Hong Kong protesters against a controversial extradition bill for the first time targeted a busy shopping district popular with mainland Chinese tourists in an attempt to raise awareness of the issue across the border.

A recently built high-speed train station connecting Hong Kong with mainland China was also targeted. AFP-JIJI in its article, “Hong Kong protesters march on station to get message across to visiting Chinese mainlanders,” would admit:

Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters on Sunday rallied outside a controversial train station linking the territory to the Chinese mainland, the latest mass show of anger as activists try to keep pressure on the city’s pro-Beijing leaders. 

The US-backed protesters have also targeted journalists. The New York Times in its article, “Hong Kong Protesters’ New Target: A News Station Seen as China’s Friend,” attempted to defend the targeting of journalists perceived as being “pro-Beijing” claiming:

The confrontation on Wednesday, when the TVB journalist was surrounded, was not an isolated incident. Last month, protesters heckled another TVB video journalist, unfurling umbrellas to block his camera and chanting, “TVB news, selling out the people of Hong Kong!”

The New York Times fails to mention that opposition media is almost exclusively funded and supported from abroad, particularly out of Washington DC. If Beijing has no say or influence in Hong Kong, territory literally within its own borders, what say does Washington have so many thousands of miles away?

Together, the increasingly disruptive behaviour of the protesters coupled with growing violence and overt endorsement and even support being provided by the United States and other foreign interests, are attempting to target and impact virtually every aspect of life in Hong Kong linked to stability, peace and prosperity.

If the United States cannot maintain Hong Kong as its foothold inside Chinese territory and enjoy the benefits of its prosperity, no one else will either.

Hong Kong is China 

The government of Hong Kong is elected by both the people and organisations representing influential business communities there. The government is overwhelmingly pro-Beijing because Hong Kong is now firmly part of China. It was handed back to China in 1997 by the UK after over 170 years of British subjugation.

An influx of mainlanders, major infrastructure projects and flourishing business between the former British colony and China’s mainland has begun the irreversible re-integration of Hong Kong back into China.

Notions including “Basic Law” and “one country, two systems” were imposed on Beijing which at the time still lacked the political, economic and military power it now possesses. Both Basic Law and the “one country, two systems” arrangement were imposed on Beijing by London specifically as a means of technically handing Hong Kong over, but in practice, maintaining Western influence and the region’s role as Anglo-American foothold within Chinese territory.

As British influence across Asia-Pacific waned over time, Washington took over. Core leaders of Hong Kong’s ongoing protests against Beijing are funded and directed by Washington with many of these leaders, including Martin Lee, Joshua Wong and Benny Tai having literally travelled to Washington to receive support and even awards for their continuously disruptive behaviour.

Beijing has patiently weathered the West’s disruptive activities within its territory. In addition to Hong Kong, the US has nurtured separatism and terrorism in China’s Xinjiang region as well as armed insurrection and separatism in Tibet that has spanned more than half a century.

All of this is part of an admittedly decades-long strategy of encircling and containing China’s rise as a global power in order to preserve American primacy.

China’s answer has been meeting US-backed identity politics designed to divide and destroy, with massive infrastructure, education and economic programmes that have clearly gained the upper-hand even in places like Hong Kong where Western influence has been so deeply entrenched.

When faced with the choice of political instability or infrastructure and economic prosperity, the choice is very simple for the people of not only Hong Kong, but also Xinjiang and Tibet.

It is no wonder residents in Hong Kong have responded negatively to the violence and disruption perpetrated by US-backed protesters. The majority of Hong Kong has nothing to gain from disrupting commerce, targeting infrastructure, blocking roads and the vandalism of public property especially considering why it is really being done.

It is not being done for the people of Hong Kong or the nation of China of which Hong Kong once again now belongs. It is being done for Washington and is just one small part of a much wider, global slash-and-burn foreign policy. The protests in Hong Kong are also part of that policy failing. As US primacy fades across the globe, Washington has resorted to increasingly desperate and spiteful acts of destabilisation, as seen in Hong Kong.

The protests have no future in Hong Kong. They are led by an increasingly unpopular minority backed by a fading global power, and fighting against a growing global colossus within its own borders. The only real question is; how much damage will Washington and its proxies do as they throw this final tantrum?

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


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