Category Archives: Hong Kong

Documents from purged Chinese leader Zhao Ziyang to be published in Hong Kong

Benjamin Kang Lim and Ben Blanchard report for Reuters:

A collection of documents from Zhao Ziyang, who was China’s reformist Communist Party chief until he was toppled in 1989 for opposing the Tiananmen crackdown, has been smuggled out of the country and will be published in Hong Kong this month, according to a publishing house that is turning them into a book.

“The Collected Works of Zhao Ziyang”, to be released by the Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, lifts the veil on behind-the-scenes wrangling among top leaders from 1980 to 1989, said Gan Qi, director of the publisher. “The information in these documents provides concrete first-hand evidence of the existence of such conflicts,” Gan told Reuters in an interview.

It is unclear if the documents still come under China’s state secret laws. If they are classified it could provide a test of  Beijing’s commitment to academic and publication freedom in the former British colony, which reverted to Chinese rule in 1997. The territory was rocked recently by allegations that China had abducted and illegally detained five Hong Kong booksellers.

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Hong Kong’s Fight Against Neoliberalism

Ming Chun Tang writes for CounterPunch:

‘[…] As stories on Occupy Central flood the front pages of the mainstream news media, both the BBC and CNN have published handy “explainers” that confuse more than they explain, making no real effort to dig into the economic roots of discontent. The “Beeb” went as far as to ask whether “Hong Kong’s future as a financial centre” was “threatened” – giving us some insight into where the global establishment’s priorities lie.

But regardless of what the BBC wants the world to believe, Occupy Central isn’t so much a fight for democracy as a fight for social justice. It’s true that Hong Kongers are angry over Beijing’s interference in domestic affairs, whether these be immigration from China, encroachments on the freedom of the press, or the nationalistic-propagandistic “moral and national education” program. These issues, while serious, pale in comparison to the increasingly difficult realities of everyday life in Hong Kong. As City University of Hong Kong professor Toby Carroll points out, one in five Hong Kongers live below the poverty line, while inequality has risen to levels among the highest in the world.’

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Dispatch From Hong Kong: China’s Long Game and Occupy Central

Bruce Stinson writes for CounterPunch:

‘As everyone braces for China’s response to the Occupy Central protests occurring in Hong Kong at present, most keen observers of both China and Hong Kong will be stifling yawns.

Will China send drones?   Will the tanks roll down the Kowloon Peninsula towards the city? Will the existing PLA barracks in Hong Kong, whose soldiers are rarely seen or heard, suddenly be activated?  Or will it all conclude with a whimper?

The ill-judged activism for democracy illustrates just why democracy would never work in Hong Kong and certainly not in China.

As an Australian expatriate in his 22nd year in Hong Kong, I am totally convinced that democracy would never work in either place.’

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On Occupy Central’s Ties with the NED

Ming Chun Tang writes for Clearing the Rubble:

‘Numerous alternative media outlets, including WikiLeaks, have pointed out the connections between Occupy Central and the United States government through an organization called the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). I am not surprised at this, nor do I welcome it, given the United States’ questionable record (to put it nicely) at bringing “democracy” to countries where it has intervened in the past. It is most likely in Hong Kongers’ best interests that the US withdraw its monetary support for Occupy Central, as unlikely as this is to happen.

The same outlets, however, have been openly hostile towards Occupy Central for these reasons alone. Tony Cartalucci recently claimed that the protests “masquerade as a “pro-democracy” movement seeking “universal suffrage” and “full democracy,” but are really backed by “a deep and insidious network of foreign financial, political, and media support”. This assessment doesn’t do Hong Kong justice for two reasons: firstly, it portrays Hong Kongers’ grievances at the status quo as fictional and illegitimate, when they are in fact real, and it treats the protesters as pawns, when many in fact are taking to the streets of their own accord. Secondly, by treating the US as the sole independent actor in the movement and focusing entirely on analyzing and criticizing its actions in other countries, it only strengthens a United States-centered worldview that the mainstream media likewise seeks to disseminate.’

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Pro-Beijing groups are systematically attacking protests in Hong Kong

Lily Kuo reports for Quartz:

A pro-democracy student protester, left, is pressed by angry locals trying to remove the barricades blocking streets in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 3, 2014.‘People opposed to the pro-democracy protests that have paralyzed Hong Kong for nearly a week took matters into their own hands this afternoon, in what appeared to be an organized attack on three different protest areas.

The result was a series of chaotic scuffles involving protesters, their opponents, and police. Human rights group Amnesty International accused police of not protecting female students who claimed they were assaulted in the dense crowds.

The groups, predominantly male and middle-aged, tore down the makeshift tents that demonstrators have been using to take shelter from heavy rains, surrounded students, and sometimes physically attacked demonstrators. By nightfall, things had gotten worse, as crowds of people grew.

At a protest site in Mong Kok, a working class neighborhood where protesters have overtaken Kowloon’s normally busy Nathan Road, crowds tore down tents and encircled protesters standing under the last Occupy tent on Nathan Road.’

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Hong Kong citizens step up protests as riot police withdrawn

Tania Branigan reports for The Guardian:

‘Thousands of Hong Kong citizens protested across the city on Monday, blocking roads and prompting the closure of banks and schools, as they stepped up their calls for democracy.

Police attempts to use teargas to clear huge protests from Admiralty and Central in downtown Hong Kong late on Sunday backfired by spurring more people to take to the streets, with numbers peaking in the tens of thousands. Fresh protests sprang up in Causeway Bay and Mongkok, in Kowloon.

Parts of the financial hub, generally known for its orderliness, were paralysed by the demonstrators. The government announced on Monday morning that riot police had been taken off the streets as citizens “have mostly calmed down” and urged people to unblock roads and disperse.’

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Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protesters Defy Police, Tear Gas

Bloomberg reports:

‘Thousands of Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrators defied tear gas and pepper spray to occupy the city center, as police undertook the biggest crackdown since the city returned to Chinese rule.

Police held up warning signs saying “Disperse or We Fire” before lobbing tear-gas cannisters in the Admiralty district near the main government offices, briefly scattering protesters, who regrouped and spread. The demonstrations spilled outside the government plaza, with thousands of protesters blocking traffic on Harcourt and Connaught roads, among the main thoroughfares through Central, the city’s business district.’

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