FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Hong Kong: No More Mr. Nice Guy?

With the 79-day Occupy Central (OC) movement of 2014 and Mongkok riots last year, Hong Kong suffered its most disruptive, violent mass protests in half a century. The orchestrated, well-financed eruptions prompted savvy Hong Kongers to finger not only local “pro-democracy” ringleaders, but also their foreign backers — notably the superpower that has a patent on “color revolutions” and has been trying to contain China for six decades, with ever-growing urgency. Perhaps its “protection” was what had shielded both ringleaders and shock-troopers from facing the legal consequences of their law-breaching actions, which included violence.

Their ostensible immunity, which has outraged many in Hong Kong, may now be ending. The recent National People’s Congress session in Beijing saw China’s premier and other state leaders take a notably tougher line in public against would-be subversives and other troublemakers in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, including advocates of political independence.

Following two years of virtual non-action by the SAR’s judiciary and judges, lawbreakers of Occupy Central and Mongkok received precedent-setting jail sentences the past couple of weeks. The terms ranged from two to four years. A law-maker turned law-breaker was arrested. And due in court shortly are some OC chieftains — including Joshua Wong, poster boy for “democracy” in Western mainstream media. Increasingly, community leaders are calling for the long-delayed enactment of national-security legislation, as required under Article 23 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s “mini-constitution.” The move has been fiercely opposed by local “pro-democracy” (i.e., anti-Beijing) forces.

Outside Asia, most onlookers may not think Hong Kong politics very significant. But the developments in China’s premier Special Administrative Region are in many ways a microcosm of the age-defining tussle between China and the Western imperium centered in Washington. This is being played out in the evolving politics, values, culture and economy of Hong Kong, in the form of acrimonious as well as less conspicuous struggles.

Hong Kong, of course, was the prime booty of the Opium Wars and was ruled by Britain for 156 years. It has deeply entrenched Western institutions and inclinations. And a generation of refugees from China’s bitter Civil War ensures that there is a deep bedrock of anti-Communist sentiment, which the British played on expertly before their formal departure in 1997. Today, Hong Kong is host to the biggest US and UK consulates-general in Asia.

In the 20 years since reunification, China has exercised remarkable patience and restraint over the HK SAR — contrary to the relentless insistence of local “democrats” and Western mainstream media about creeping “control.” Did Beijing finally read Hong Kong the riot act about putting its house in order? If so, local pan anti-Communists who call themselves “pro-democracy” will scream bloody murder (i.e., repressive interference by Beijing tyrants), as is their wont. But most level-headed Hong Kongers who want the best for their home town would say: Bloody good show — and long overdue.

Carrie Lam, the top civil servant with a reputation for tough-mindedness and executive efficacy, will take political command in Hong Kong, come July. We look set for some interesting times.

More articles by:
April 26, 2018
Robby Sherwin
The Hat
April 25, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Selective Outrage
Dan Kovalik
The Empire Turns Its Sights on Nicaragua – Again!
Joseph Essertier
The Abductees of Japan and Korea
Ramzy Baroud
The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago
W. T. Whitney
Imprisoned FARC Leader Faces Extradition: Still No Peace in Colombia
Manuel E. Yepe
Washington’s Attack on Syria Was a Mockery of the World
John White
My Silent Pain for Toronto and the World
Dean Baker
Bad Projections: the Federal Reserve, the IMF and Unemployment
David Schultz
Why Donald Trump Should Not be Allowed to Pardon Michael Cohen, His Friends, or Family Members
Mel Gurtov
Will Abe Shinzo “Make Japan Great Again”?
Binoy Kampmark
Enoch Powell: Blood Speeches and Anniversaries
Frank Scott
Weapons and Walls
April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Paul Bentley
A Velvet Revolution Turns Bloody? Ten Dead in Toronto
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
Ted Rall
Stop Letting Trump Distract You From Your Wants and Needs
Steve Klinger
The Cautionary Tale of Donald J. Trump
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Conflict Over the Future of the Planet
Cesar Chelala
Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail