Patterico's Pontifications

8/14/2019

Heartbreaking: Protesters In Hong Kong Apologize

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:38 pm



[guest post by Dana]

This is so sad, and yet so courageous:

Antigovernment demonstrators apologized today after two days of disruptions at the city’s international airport, which said it would limit terminal access to ticketed passengers and airport workers.

“We apologize for our behavior but we are just too scared,” read one post that was widely distributed on social media. “Our police shot us, government betrayed us, social institutions failed us. Please help us.”

A Chinese government spokesman denounced the protests as “conduct close to terrorism.”

Specifically, here is the government spokesman’s full denouncement of the protesters:

“These atrocities, which are lawless, trampling on human rights and inhumane, have completely gone beyond the bottom line of civil society, and is no different to terrorists,” China’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong said in a statement on Wednesday. In a separate statement, the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office strongly condemned the “almost-terrorism behavior” of the protesters and called on them to be severely punished.

After having been shut down for two days due to being occupied by pro-democracy protesters, Hong Kong International Airport resumed normal operations today.

There are also frightening reports of the Chinese military assembling on the border with Hong Kong:

As sweeping protests persist in Hong Kong, satellite imagery purports to show Chinese military vehicles gathering in Shenzen, near Hong Kong’s border with mainland China.

Recently-arrived vehicles can be seen at the Shenzen Bay Sports Center, just across the harbor from Hong Kong.

Trump unhelpfully raised fears by tweeting about the border activity:

When asked by a reporter whether the Chinese should use moderation against the protesters, Trump responded:

“We’ll see what happens. But I’m sure it’ll work out. I hope it works out for everybody, including China, by the way. I hope it works out for everybody.”

And then there is this:

Our deepest prayers and highest hopes for Hong Kong and their quest for freedom.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

-Dana

49 Responses to “Heartbreaking: Protesters In Hong Kong Apologize”

  1. Freedom comes at such a high cost.

    Dana (fdf131)

  2. What should Trump have said? That statement is probably FAR more helpful than I would have expected from him. No threats, no red lines, just a statement that developments are worrisome and a hope that calm prevails.

    Which it probably will — a Chinese invasion would break Hong Kong and lead to a massive refugee crisis as everyone tries to figure how to get out. Not to mention what the Western reaction would do to the faltering Chinese economy.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  3. Send in the English Navy…….

    mg (8cbc69)

  4. Dan Crenshaw = McCain with an eye-patch.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  5. Yes, we must stand with HK, while caving to China on Trade. And we will wag our finger and talk tough.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  6. Hong Kong suits Dan; he thinks the world of Suzie Wong.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  7. Dan Crenshaw = McCain with an eye-patch.

    Two great patriotic American veterans who were heroically wounded in service to our country.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  8. Someone mentioned this on Twitter, but I am getting so feeble-minded I can’t remember who. Corporate America is really big on the idea of boycotting states like Georgia or North Carolina because they don’t like what their state government determines in terms of gay rights or abortion. What exactly are they going to do if the Chinese army goes into Hong Kong and begins arresting and killing demonstrators? Probably just redouble their manufacturing facilities and continue to kowtow to Beijing in order to open up more markets on the mainland.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  9. Breaking-active shooter in Philly standoff; six officers shot.

    Suggest Dan focus less on issues in Hong Kong and keep an eye on those in America’s City of Brotherly Love.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  10. Good point @ 8.

    I think Crenshaw is right to highlight a struggle for freedom taking place on the other side of the world. Not only will the outcome, if it goes one way, have a disastrous impact on a people, as well as the world, it is also good to be reminded of the immense freedoms we already have here at home. I like being reminded of that, frankly.

    Dana (fdf131)

  11. Dan Crenshaw = McCain with an eye-patch.

    That’s a nice compliment, rcocean.

    Dana (fdf131)

  12. Good point @ 8.

    Yeah. Google boycotts state over [enjoined] abortion law, then invests in country where women are forced to have abortions and sterilization.

    Apple boycotts state over resistance to multigender toilets, then builds 100 factories in country that machine-guns kids in the public square.

    And our corporate press goes along to get along.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  13. Some of the protesters in Hong Kong too to wearing eye patches.

    In China, they incorporate things that just happened into their tropes. This gos on all over.

    Sammy Finkelman (ce0839)

  14. #5

    Yer boy is the one caving to the Communists in China. Yer daddy just doesn’t want to be the grinch who stole Christmas.

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  15. The bottom line is that Silicon Valley and other multinationals had aligned with China, the EU and the former Clinton-Bush axis in the USA to bring the world to a global corporate state. Trump (ironically) has disturbed this progression, as has Brexit, and the corporate powers are irate.

    Hence the bile and hate shown by the corporations and their running-dog press.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  16. #14 Gibberish is rarely spoken these days. Try English next time.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  17. #14 Gibberish is rarely spoken these days. Try English next time.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  18. #14 this is not an attack. I literally don’t know what you are trying to say.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  19. rcocean, he is pointing out that Donald Trump is a weak leader, who has given the Chinese and other tyrants praise because he is afraid of the price of freedom.

    Thank God that Donald Trump wasn’t the president on 9/11. Like Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, the USA will still eventually pay for Trump’s lacking abilities. You can’t paint a giant name on an airplane and buy a prostitute to compensate for this kind of thing.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  20. Donald Trump is the one who caved to China on trade, while wagging his finger and talking tough,

    nk (dbc370)

  21. Because he’s a Fredo, too. A pasta fazool.

    nk (dbc370)

  22. Damn I want some pasta right now.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  23. To be fair, Clinton, both Bushes and Obama didn’t even rise to “caving to China on trade.” They spent their terms on their knees, start to finish.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  24. I don’t think China will move in and start murdering protestors, they know how much is at stake financially and what the impact of capital fleeing HK would have on the mainland. Trump needs to be more aggressive and leverage the situation and the dislike the people of HK have for China. This can be valuable in our dealings with China.

    As Niall Ferguson has recently said, we are currently in a second Cold War, this time with China.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  25. #19 Thanks for the translation.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  26. rcocean, he is pointing out that Donald Trump is a weak leader, who has given the Chinese and other tyrants praise because he is afraid of the price of freedom.

    Yes, I know, Dustin…

    Dana (fdf131)

  27. 20. I don’t think that’s his finger he was wagging, IYKWIM.

    Gryph (08c844)

  28. Trump resisted aide’s pressure to back the protesters in Hong Kong:

    Donald Trump’s top aides are urging him to back Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters, but the president isn’t interested, multiple people familiar with the administration’s internal debates say.

    In recent days, national security adviser John Bolton, China hands at both the National Security Council and the State Department, and several economic advisers have pushed for a more assertive posture on the Hong Kong demonstrations, which have paralyzed the former British colony and roiled markets.

    They are finding little traction with a president focused more narrowly on trade negotiations with Xi Jinping — and worried that criticizing the Chinese leader’s efforts to stamp out dissent in Hong Kong will scuttle the possibility of inking a deal this winter.

    As the protests have intensified over the past month, the president has remained determined to keep China’s human rights abuses from complicating his trade negotiations, going so far as to make a unilateral concession to Xi in the run-up to the G-20 Summit in June, according to three people briefed on the conversation. Aspects of the conversation were first reported by the Financial Times.

    But after the initial publication of this report, the president appeared to reverse himself, issuing the latest in a series of contradictory remarks on the issue on Wednesday evening — this time demanding that Xi “deal humanely with Hong Kong.”

    This was Trump on Twitter:

    Of course China wants to make a deal. Let then deal humanely with Hong Kong first!

    I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man in a ‘tough business.’ I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?

    So in answer to your question, Kevin M, maybe Trump giving his full-throated, unwavering support to the protesters and democracy.

    Dana (fdf131)

  29. When did we start linking to Politico? I thought that was frowned upon.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  30. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man….Xi wants to… humanely solve the Hong Kong problem

    “Great leader”?

    Respect of his people?

    Good man?

    Humanely solve?

    Hong Kong “problem”?

    Oh, c’mon.

    Dana (fdf131)

  31. 30. First, convince me that Trump has the respect of his people. Then talk to me about Xi.

    Gryph (08c844)

  32. He should be insulting Xi, that works well with the Chinese.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  33. What is with the police in Philly?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  34. In other words, Xi is everything Trump is not.

    nk (dbc370)

  35. When did we start linking to Politico? I thought that was frowned upon.

    That’s our host’s policy in retaliation for Politico harassing some college journalists over trademark issues when they tried to blog under the domain name StudentPolitico some years back. I try to remember that policy when I blog here, but sometimes I forget it. I’m sure the same goes for Dana.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  36. 19:

    Aside from the ritual denunciations of Trump, just what do the “adults,” here think we should do? The people who want the US to be ‘Strong,” and who sagely state or bitterly imply that they know better than the Orange Simpleton “how” to deal with nations like China. What do they think the US should DO for the 7 million in Hong Kong?

    I’m sure they’re fine people. But they can’t do a thing on their own. It has no military: never saw fit to develop one. Too bad. Too busy making money, and eating out I suppose. Kind of like Taiwan, although it has at least a parade ground army.

    And we don’t “owe” them: did HK ever send anyone to help us in Iraq?

    We don’t have leverage: troops are OOTQ (out of the question). More tariff wars? The adults have spilled vats of ink dumping on Trump for the ones he has imposed for our benefit. I don’t think we owe HK a tariff war for their benefit.

    Joint action with the EU? Wake me when it happens. Baguette hurling won’t impress China.

    So were back to empty talk.

    But talking like Justin Trudeau when you are actually the US, will only inspire a mistaken impression that we will back them, and we can’t. It may get people hurt and make relations with China–a big power–icier than now.

    So if I missed something we can do, let me know. I see nothing, except empty inspirational words that will mislead people here and abroad.

    Orange Man is 100% right here. You can light candles, take out ads, sing songs, and say we “stand shoulder to shoulder” with HK, which of course, we cannot do, and they never did that for us. Its not ally Japan, or ally Australia.

    There is nothing we can do. And its not fair to burden US citizens with more, for HK which never saw fit to prepare to defend themselves.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  37. 34: Well the New York Times thought Xi was “enlightened” in 2009.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  38. Ahem, Hong Kong was a British colony that the British surrendered back to China because their lease expired in 1999. It was never a “they”.

    nk (dbc370)

  39. What would Tom Friedman do?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  40. Lest we forget that Trump has already used Bejing’s language with regard to the protesters:

    Trump earlier this month referred to the protests in Hong Kong as “riots,” adopting the language used by Beijing and suggesting the U.S. would stay out of an issue that was “between Hong Kong and China.”

    Who is trying to appease?

    Dana (fdf131)

  41. This is what happens when the US withdraws from the world stage. Isolationism, xenophobia, protectionism, tariffs and trade wars inevitably lead to conflict, as history has shown over and over again.

    What is going on is the collapse of Pax Americana established after WW II. China has been preparing for this event for decades, as has Russia.

    When the US withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, China moved in and established their own trade deals with over a dozen countries along the Pacific rim, including Japan, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. Mr. Mudd is correct that there’s nothing we can do about it now, because we threw away our leverage, but he’s incorrect that these events are due to anything other than American laxity.

    Alienating allies, praising authoritarian regimes is no basis for foreign policy. But Trump never had much of a brain, nor did Navarro, Miller, or Bannon.

    I’ll repost this link: https://www.lawliberty.org/2019/08/14/the-battle-for-hong-kong/

    Hong Kong is Anglophone, as is India, because they actually benefitted from British colonialism. History is complex, but today everybody complains about British colonialization, but nobody complains about the Spanish conquest. The former was about bringing civilization, the latter was about plunder. Look at former British colonies like Hong Kong, India, hell look at America, and then look at the countries the Spanish plundered. The former are successful economies, based on individual rights, freedom and liberty. The latter, not so much.

    So it is a question of what the purpose of America is. The British Empire fell apart. America didn’t form an empire. What we did was start a revolution, and win two world wars. What we did was try to establish a peaceful resolution to conflicts. That’s Pax Americana.

    Individual rights, free trade in free markets. Hey, a willing buyer and a willing seller willing to make a deal. It’s not very complicated. Proof of cash or financing is all that is required to make an offer, or make a deal.

    China is expanding its influence throughout the Pacific. Russia is expanding its influence throughout the Middle East. What is the US doing? Withdrawing. None of this this ends well.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  42. Trump has made concessions to Xi, but exactly what did he get in return?

    Dana (fdf131)

  43. Trump on Twitter:

    I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it.

    This is logically identical to saying:

    If Xi ends the crisis quickly, but he doesn’t end it humanely, it is because he doesn’t want to.

    Sammy Finkelman (ce0839)

  44. How a real American leader should respond to the situation:

    The eyes of the world see that the people of Hong Kong are not terrorists. They are freedom fighters. To the people of Hong Kong, we are praying for your safety and believe that democracy is worth fighting for. We hear you and we stand with you!

    McCormack suggests some courses of action when/if the Chinese starts cracking skulls, but why not phase them in, starting now.

    ● Halt trade negotiations with Beijing
    ● Sanction senior Chinese Communist Party officials
    ● Revoke the U.S. visas of Party leaders and their families
    ● Curtail student visas for Chinese nationals
    ● Demand the expulsion of Chinese officials from leadership positions in international organizations
    ● Revise the Hong Kong Policy Act

    I would add sanctioning any number of Chinese companies cheating on IP theft or using prison labor.

    Paul Montagu (a2342d)

  45. “What would Tom Friedman do?”

    The next six months will be critical

    Davethulhu (bc6fa6)

  46. 41.

    “This is what happens when the US withdraws from the world stage. Isolationism, xenophobia, protectionism, tariffs and trade wars inevitably lead to conflict, as history has shown over and over again.”

    If by “withdrawing” GG, you mean we’re done paying for NATO countries that spend their military budget on social projects, thank god.

    Not paying for the tanks, subs, jet fighters, installations, and rockets that Germany won’t pay for? While piously going green, buying Russian gas and paying for a million new immigrants? About time.

    Diverting billions from our roads, schools and health care, to defend Euros, who sneer at our leaders, and our military has been bad enough. Their refusal to pay for their own defense makes it intolerable. Readers of Foreign Policy may adore that policy, as they regard the US taxpayer only as a source of income for grand schemes. But its neither sustainable nor sensible.

    If shaking up ending the multi-decade vanity projects NATO and SEATO is a “withdrawl,” it was long over due.

    “What is going on is the collapse of Pax Americana established after WW II. China has been preparing for this event for decades, as has Russia.”

    Yes, and? Is the US taxpayer to be dunned for the defense of the entire world forever? When did you take that vote?

    Please note: China has been enriched by the same Wise People who fashioned our current level of commitments–who thought they knew it all: they did NAFTA draining our jobs for the benefit of Mexico; they allowed China into the favored nation group for its benefit. They wanted TPP which only really gave countries access to our markets (Vietnam wouldn’t be buying much hardware).

    And China had set up companies in Vietnam to use TPP for its own advantage. No one considered the benefit to the US. They felt we could endlessly cede advantages -our markets-to make the world a better place.

    Well of course it didn’t work. Now nations everywhere want to trade with the strong power. Even our movie industry panders to China. The views you espouse–the US on the hook for and paying for, everyone–have–with all respect, made us a weak power. An over-committed weak power.

    Our seemingly endless security commitments to countries that cannot/will not defend themselves, has made us weaker, not stronger. Its encouraged weakness among so-called allies.

    “When the US withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, China moved in and established their own trade deals with over a dozen countries along the Pacific rim, including Japan, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil.”

    China has money to spend and loan. They didn’t need TPP for trade deals. The fact that they did them with our so-called “allies,” Canada and Australia for example, tells you what you need to know. Those allies shelter behind our nuclear umbrella, while selling us out, just as South Korea has done.

    Rebuking “allies” that won’t meet their 2% NATO commitment is reality. Ignoring that isn’t “politeness.”

    This is an end to the fantasy that depended on endless US taxes. And a “polite” US that pretends it didn’t see it was being cheated by its “allies.” Politeness mattered more to Foreign Policy than reality.

    Sorry GG, I think you’re living in the past. When the US was unchallenged. Richer than now. Not running deficits. When China was poor. When at least some NATO countries carried their weight. That age is gone.

    We didn’t withdraw. The beneficiaries of our policy started treating our generosity as our obligation. They shed their military and trade with our enemies. Wake up.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (0c349e)

  47. The eyes of the world see that the people of Hong Kong are not terrorists. They are freedom fighters. To the people of Hong Kong, we are praying for your safety and believe that democracy is worth fighting for. We hear you and we stand with you!

    Haley’s statement is light-year’s better than Spanky’s, but using language like “fighter” and “fighting” doesn’t seem like the best idea. The demonstrators are peaceful, and if the government cracks down it will try to obscure that fact. We shouldn’t help them.

    I’d call them patriots (not freedom fighters) and say that democracy is worth protecting (not fighting for).

    Encouraging unarmed protesters to “fight” heavily-armed and ruthless para-military forces is irresponsible unless we’re prepared to directly assist them (which clearly we aren’t).

    Dave (1bb933)

  48. demonstrators apologized today

    They didn’t apologize for demonstrating. Tey apologized for what went on at a demonstration.

    Actually, that’s a pretty smart move, because the Chinese government was making moves toward blaming the whole movement for what any person involved with it (including agent provacateurs) did.

    They’re inoculating themselves against that, probably successfully. Now the Chonese government will can not believe that will work. (it woudn’t work very well, anyway, but they might believe it would.)

    Sammy Finkelman (ce0839)


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