Hong Kong: what next?

Discussion in 'world politics, current affairs and news' started by treelover, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. treelover

    treelover Well-Known Member


    [QUOTE] Hong Kong: riot police have fired teargas and pepper spray on hundreds of protesters after hours of standoffs at several locations across the town of Yuen Long, where suspected gang members attacked commuters with poles and rods last weekend.

    Thousands had marched in the area earlier on Saturday afternoon in defiance of police, who had banned the demonstration. Marchers said they had come to condemn the use of violence last Sunday to intimidate people into staying silent.

    Shortly after 5pm local time, police began to fire several rounds of teargas at protesters gathering outside the Sai Pin Wai village near the Yuen Long mass transit railway station, after they raised black flags emblazoned with “warning: tear smoke”. Sai Pin Wai village is next to Nam Pin Wai village, where large numbers of men in white entered after the Sunday attack.

    Many protesters left in droves but many remained defiant. “Reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of the era!” they chanted. [/QUOTE]

    Regualr confrontations in Hong Kong now, i have a horrible feeling the Chinese Govt will send in the PLA at some point.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  2. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model every man and every woman is a star

    Sort your link out, that's why the quote won't work
    Badgers likes this.
  3. agricola

    agricola a genuine importer of owls

    CNN are live in the middle of this at present (edit: their reporter has just been tear gassed it seems).
    moochedit and Badgers like this.
  4. Artaxerxes

    Artaxerxes Well-Known Member

    There's apparently a march in London from the Chinese embassy today.

    Won't do much good but if you want to show support better than tweeting things.
    Badgers and SpookyFrank like this.
  5. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank Self-cleaning oven, the whole bit.

    BBC shamelessly saying 'the protestors are becoming increasingly violent' over footage of police gassing the shit out of unarmed people.
  6. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    A few years ago I'd have said the centre would have the sense not to use troops but they believe their own bullshit more and more now so the worst might well happen.
    Idris2002 and Rimbaud like this.
  7. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank Self-cleaning oven, the whole bit.

    Seems they're using triad proxies instead.
  8. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Yeah, my worry is after that doesn't work, which it won't.
    moochedit and SpookyFrank like this.
  9. binka

    binka !!!!!!!!!

    Do the triads in HK want more integration with mainland China? Haven't they done ok out of the current arrangement? Just interested to know why they'd agree to it
    Ted_Dibiase and Celyn like this.
  10. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model every man and every woman is a star

    Money no doubt
    moochedit likes this.
  11. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    As PM says and the footsoldiers do what the bosses say, who will be networked into the new elite/bought off I expect.
  12. binka

    binka !!!!!!!!!

    Ok I get the money bit but that seems very short term, don't they have a long term strategic interest in maintaining the status quo?
  13. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    I could imagine they can see scenarios where crime still pays even under a more consolidated regime - gangsterism is rife on the mainland with tacit official backing in various localities (there is a current crackdown but that as much goes to tell you the extent of the problem). Might have it all wrong btw, not anything like an expert.
    dennisr, Artaxerxes, Celyn and 2 others like this.
  14. binka

    binka !!!!!!!!!

    Maybe, but you're the best we have so you'll have to do :thumbs:
    dennisr, JimW and Celyn like this.
  15. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank Self-cleaning oven, the whole bit.

    I assume they were just paid up front for the intervention, assuming they weren't really just police in civvies.
  16. extra dry

    extra dry Happy to be here

    The Chinese will not stand for this much longer, they will proberly mass arrest and deport the lot. Or start bumping off the leaders of the riots.
    MrCurry likes this.
  17. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model every man and every woman is a star

    Or both
  18. pinkmonkey

    pinkmonkey 2.4 hour party person

    Watching live coverage of the rioting on sky news right now. It's proper going off. :eek:
    ETA that's it for now as the reporter and camera man have been overcome by the tear gas.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  19. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud Well-Known Member

    I think the protestors will win.

    China can't send the PLA in without destroying their own economy.

    China's CCB to give $291 billion in financing support to Hunan province - Reuters

    Hunan province just got a central government bailout of USD 291 billion, that's worth 58% of the provinces total GDP.

    Hunan accounts for 4% of total GDP of China. Considering that Poland accounts for 3% of the EU economy and Netherlands 4.8%, this is a bit like If the EU had quietly given one of those countries a bailout equal to 60% of their total GDP. This gives you some idea of the dire straits China is in financially at the moment. Debt has risen to over 300% of GDP, and that number doesn't actually capture how bad the situation is - having 300% of your GDP as debt is manageable if it is good debt which is being repaid, but an awful lot of this is in non-performing loans. Debt financing infrastructure and then growing out of that debt only works up to a point, but they have passed that pont and now they are just building useless infrastructure. Entire ghost towns that are already crumbling into disrepair, deserted shopping malls, empty airports, roads to nowhere, subway stations that had an exit in the middle of a field miles from the nearest road (not joking, Chongqing's line 6 metro has somewhere like this) ... When I lived in Chongqing, the high speed rail line to Wanzhou was always dirt cheap and usually almost empty because nobody ever used it. All this has been paid for with debt and a hell of a lot of that money is never getting paid back. On top of that, they have been massively over-reaching with their Belt and Road Initiative which also has generated a huge amount of white elephants.

    Why is this relevant to HK? Because, as the Yuan is not a freely traded currency, China needs foreign currency reserves to service their international debts which have grown as a result of their silk road project. HK's special status is because it is a useful source of foreign currency, especially USD. China burned through 25% of its foreign currency reserves from 2015 to 2017. They've focused on building them back up since but as international debt grows they need more USD.

    HK is an important source of USD for China, via the HK stock exchange.

    Sending the PLA in to HK is certain to destroy it as a financial centre and create huge international blowback, and it is no exaggeration to say it would collapse China's economy - it would end with China's currency becoming almost worthless and spiralling hyperinflation.

    The Chinese government knows this so will tread likely.

    In mid August, the civil service will strike if demands aren't met. I could see pro-democracy forces getting a victory in the November local elections, leading up to a push for universal suffrage for the Legislative Council elections in September 2020. Based on what we've seen, the protestors are more than capable of setting up voter registration and polling booths independent of Beijing, especially if the civil service unions are on side and if pro-democracy forces are given concessions in the November local elections.

    If an election with universal suffrage was held and the civil service and much of the government recognised the elected government's authority rather than that of the Beijing backed candidate, then the police force would fall in line and Beijing's only option would be an invasion, which would collapse their economy and probably lead to the end of the CCP, or they would reluctantly accept the government and try to reframe their defeat as them wisely and peacefully resolving the crisis. I think they would choose the latter option.
  20. tim

    tim EXPLODED TIM! (Help me!!!)

    Isn't that just what they're doing?
  21. mwgdrwg

    mwgdrwg Be a Pisces. Jam.

    Kicking off now :(

    There is live coverage on Twitch!

    pinkmonkey and cupid_stunt like this.
  22. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt Dyslexic King Cnut ... the Great.

    Sky has a reporter on the ground, that keeps popping up with live coverage, looking grim.

    He's wearing a gas mask, so I can't understand a word he's saying. :mad:
    Badgers, pinkmonkey and tim like this.
  23. Yossarian

    Yossarian free shrugs

    I wandered down tonight to see if I could make myself useful but the protesters had largely dispersed and there were about 50 million cops, along with a cloud of tear gas from Central to Sai Ying Pun - I don't know where this is going to lead, but I know it's not going to stop - there is a large number of very committed protesters and their skills seem to be improving week by week.

    20190728_234822.jpg 20190728_233655.jpg 20190728_233550.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
    Celyn, tim, crossthebreeze and 3 others like this.
  24. Idris2002

    Idris2002 perkins saved by moscow gold

    Rimbaud argues up the thread that the local financial markets wouldn't stand for the use of force, and as the mainland depends on those markets for that tasty hard currency, the mainland won't use force in a big way.

    I'm not sure that follows. Under British rule, HK wasn't governed by camomile tea-drinking guardian readers: it would have had, I assume, the same emergency legislation that other British colonies had (weren't baton rounds invented in HK?). That legislation allowed for the use of force in ways that were very . . . . forceful. And local elites in post-colonial societies held on to that sort of law because they found it useful too.

    Maybe the local "financial services industry" will have a principled opposition to the crushing of the people. But my guess is that they will be more concerned about order and its preservation. And if the mainland can deliver that, they won't care about how many skulls get broken, or about how much tear gas (or lead) gets fired.
    Artaxerxes, teqniq and Poi E like this.
  25. Yossarian

    Yossarian free shrugs

    I don't think China will see any need to send in the PLA, tbh - Hong Kong has a very large police force with almost unlimited resources, and from what I've seen over the last few days, they mostly seem to have resolved any qualms they might have had about using force on unarmed protesters and bystanders.

    I think we're going to see a major escalation in police violence against "unauthorized" protesters over the next few weeks, including the use of water cannons etc., and some mass arrests until people return to just marching along approved routes in large numbers and being mostly ignored.
  26. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud Well-Known Member

    You misunderstand me. I never suggested a principled opposition, but if the PLA starts shooting teenagers on the streets of Hong Kong you can bet they would start relocating to Singapore, or Vietnam, or Taiwan - do you think employees and executives of Goldman Sachs et al are going to stay in a warzone when they can simply decamp to Singapore?

    China still needs HK as a source of foreign currency reserves, which it needs more and more to service international debt relating to the Silk Road Initiative. Sending soldiers into HK would be certain to end its status as a financial centre, and on top of the international backlash that would come as a result this would be too much for China's overstretched and debt ridden economy to bear.

    Even Hu Xijin, rabid nationalist editor of the Global Times has warned that the cost of sending troops to HK would be too much to bear.

    They can win. Beijing will bluff and threat and bluster and slander, but in this situation they are a paper tiger. As long as HK people don't let themselves be intimidated, they can win.
    dennisr, Bahnhof Strasse, tim and 3 others like this.
  27. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud Well-Known Member

    I don't think the police can contain it tbh.

    Hong Kong police have been sent to Xinjiang for training and Xi Jinping has embraced fascist ideology more or less openly. There is no doubt about Xi's ambitions, the hope that China might become more tolerant is long dead, and the protestors can see from Xinjiang what fate will befall them as Hong Kong becomes more absorbed by the mainland. The protestors know this is do or die - they will never be able to feel safe ever again after this, because you can bet Chinese intelligence is furiously taking names at the moment, and people remember the booksellers who were kidnapped a few years ago. Whether the extradition bill passes or not, they will never be safe in Hong Kong now, and they will never know for sure how much info Chinese military cyber ops have gathered from hacking and scouring online activity. The fear will always be in the back of their minds that years from now they'll be taken in the night to a black prison in China for their actions over these last few months. This is why you see such resilience and staying power.

    This is really their last stand and I don't think local police are cut out for it - mass arrests are more likely to inflame the situation than anything else.

    It will certainly keep up some form of momentum until the local elections in November, where it will enter a new phase.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  28. Yossarian

    Yossarian free shrugs

    A cop pointed his shotgun at unarmed protesters near Kwai Chung police station after people gathered to protest 44 of the 45 people arrested over the weekend being charged with rioting - I think things might get very ugly on the weekend, when police will apparently be ready to deploy their new water cannons.

  29. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel This Machine Kills Progressives

    Make sure you stay safe Yoss
  30. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud Well-Known Member

    Quite worrying.

    There has just been an announcement that mainlanders will be forbidden from travel to Taiwan effective tomorrow.

    There are also reports of either soldiers or military police massing on the border.

    Scary stuff...

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