Hong Kong has a large community of people bursting with anger after seeing (first-hand or, more frequently, on video) thugs attacking pro-democrats and cops bullying schoolkids, stomping on people’s heads, using crazy amounts of tear gas, pepper-spraying bystanders and even shooting protesters. It also has a fair number of (typically rather older) people equally outraged by transport stoppages, road obstructions, a guy being set on fire, the stabbing of a pro-Beijing politician, bow-and-arrow attacks on police, vandalism of shops and campuses and other nastiness.
These things are all undeniably horrible and disturbing. But to fixate on them as morally abhorrent or unacceptably disruptive is to ignore what is really happening. The legitimacy of Hong Kong’s government has largely collapsed. Look beyond the highly visible and sometimes traumatizing local strife, and set aside your own ‘yellow’ or blue’ inclinations, and what you have is a conflict between the people of Hong Kong and the Chinese Communist Party. The violence on either side is not ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – it is just an inevitable side-effect of that (highly asymmetric) struggle.
Got that off my chest. Been hearing too much whining from expats whose daughters were late for their piano lessons.
(And I just received an article doing the rounds on blue-ribbon social-media headed ‘From Nury Vittachi, who works at Poly U’. A quick Google search reveals the same text posted on a Singapore forum called SG Talk, so I’ll just link to that: behold CITIZENS OF THE WORLD: YOUR MEDIA IS LYING TO YOU. A major rant about Western media finding Hong Kong sexier than Chile, people crying at bus stops, and then a descent into ‘National Endowment for Democracy financing guerilla vandals’ land. This is fixating squared.)
Back to the action…
Jerome Cohen adds his opinion on Beijing’s claim that Hong Kong courts have no right to rule on constitutionality of laws. As it happens, it seems Chinese state media have quietly toned down the mouth-frothing about the High Court’s rejection of the mask ban.
They have their
hands mouths full
freaking out about the US Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which has
now passed in the House. A brief but cliché-packed Reuters
report (‘a person familiar with the matter’, ‘speaking on condition of
anonymity’, ‘a move sure to anger China’) says Trump will probably sign it.
In a move sure to impede the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to win Hong Kong’s hearts and minds, UK Consulate staffer Simon Cheng has opened up about his mysterious disappearance on the Mainland. (His account, and the BBC report.) Many astute observers vaguely guessed that he had: a) been nabbed by Mainland security at West Kowloon High-Speed Rail Station; b) confessed to the inevitable ‘visiting prostitutes’ charge; and c) been tortured to admit British involvement in the protest movement. And they were right. Surprise, surprise.