#OccupyHongKong (Still)

James Fallows has been providing a most informative series of links at the Atlantic. He wrote on Tuesday:

It would be wonderful to think that the PRC leadership would take the soft-power, high-road route out of this confrontation. It could recognize the maturity and responsibility of the newly politically aware Hong Kong populace. It could cannily assess the advantages to China of “controlling” Hong Kong while letting it continue to operate with rule of law, uncensored Internet, untrammeled media, free universities, transparent financial markets, and all the other attributes of a first-world center. With a light hand, the PRC government could have it both ways.

But that’s not likely. Any more than it’s likely that the current leaders will throw the doors to China open to the world’s journalists—which would be the best way to advance the country’s image, given that more interesting/good is underway there than depressing/bad—or that they’ll uncensor the Internet or realize that they’re magnifying their problems in the long run by jailing, for life, a moderate, intellectual leader of the Uighur cause. This is why it is hard to imagine a pleasant ending to the currently inspiring movement in Hong Kong.

I could say that the Chinese leadership is on a self-destructive course—but, hell, I have said that about America at countless stages. For now, thanks to Hai Zhang; consider reading these items; and most sincere admiration and best wishes to the people of Hong Kong.






17 replies
  1. 1
    Ramalama says:

    Have you seen this article in Foreign Policy about how the Uighers are eyeballing the Hong Kong protests? The Uighers, Muslims, have a female head.

    Which reminds me of a recentish CNN interview, talking about Muslims and how the interviewee says, Billions of Muslims are not in favor of beheading, they don’t do it, they’re peaceful, etc. He has to say, Yes, beheadings are terrible, no one is defending them. And then the CNN co-anchors go on and on about beheadings and aren’t they terrible, and then oops, time to wrap up: so Muslims are terrible because they chop peoples’ heads off.

    In sum, Hong Kong, China, Uighers, Muslims, Muslims, Bali, Max Headroom.

  2. 2
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “I could say that the Chinese leadership is on a self-destructive course”. Wishful thinking. China survived Tianaanmen Square, so I don’t see Communist China self-destructing over some protesters in Hong Kong.

  3. 3
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    So I see the MSM is finally getting it’s act together on their narrative after three days.

    . Any more than it’s likely that the current leaders will throw the doors to China open to the world’s journalists

    Yes, were is China’s Fox News and Poltico we ask? How can one be a modern functional state without a news media seeking to constantly sensationalize policy into a kind of sporting event? Were, we ask, is the both sides do it in this protest?

    For shame China, for shame.

  4. 4
    p.a. says:

    Will China produce a Gorbachev? Doubtful. Especially since they can see what happened to the USSR: dismemberment.

  5. 5
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    It would be wonderful to think that the PRC leadership would take the soft-power, high-road route out of this confrontation.

    Used to work there. Will not happen. They’re too much in love with their own power.

  6. 6

    I heard an interesting thing. As mentioned, the Chinese government censors the internet. Apparently they don’t forbid content that includes political protests, discussions of Democracy, anything like that. They forbid organization, of any kind. If it’s about people getting together, it’s blocked.

  7. 7

    Am I the only one who’s left wondering why that protest leader is cosplaying Radical Edward?

  8. 8
    Mike in NC says:

    It would be quite ironic if we were to learn that the Chinese government bought its tear gas and rubber bullets from a manufacturer in the good old USA.

  9. 9
    Tenar Darell says:

    @Ramalama: I read the transcript shortly after it happened, so I didn’t get the emotional overtones, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a clearer example of interviewers with an agenda not responding at all to what the interviewee actually said. Camerota and Lemon just kept circling back around trying to get Aslan to agree with them. It’s not reporting anymore, it’s an amalgam if laziness, propaganda and entertainment. Every once in a while, a person being interviewed manages to show how dumb it is by not losing focus, and the curtain lifts.

  10. 10
    PJ says:

    @Patricia Kayden: 25 years makes a difference – a new generation has arisen that has access to, from 1989’s standpoint, incredible means of communication. (Of course, the PRC is no slouch at blocking/controlling communications.) Can the Party afford another Tiananmen Square? Millions of angry people are being left behind by the crony capitalist gold rush, who knows what might set off an avalanche . . .

  11. 11
    Suffern ACE says:

    I promised myself after Ukraine that I would try to avoid these kind of calls to back any protesters simply because they are on the streets. But damn, I think some of the organizers are being bold which is difficult enough. I hope they don’t need to be brave as well.

  12. 12
    Woodrowfan says:

    where’s BoP to tell us that the protesters are all neo-nazis and we’re being fooled by the MSM??

  13. 13
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Woodrowfan: I’m sure the Chinese government will be on the case soon enough.

  14. 14
    Mike in dc says:

    @Woodrowfan: Probably haggling over exchange rates.

  15. 15
    Suffern ACE says:

    Joshua Wong might be the best face of a democracy protest for quite some time. There is no way you can look at him and think he might be dangerous or looking to promote violent responses. I think he is semi-safe because he is now known, so he will continue to get the harshly harrassed, arrested and released treatment that Ai Wei Wei gets. But picking a physical fight with him clearly makes the regime bullies.

    I better stop paying attention. I just am not hopeful that they will get what they want.

  16. 16

    […] know enough to add anything to what much more informed people have saying.  As noted in Anne Laurie’s post this morning, old China hand Jim Fallows has been tracking the story closely, and has been […]

  17. 17
    mclaren says:

    Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we had these kinds of protests demanding democracy and accountability in America?

    Oh, wait…we did. They were called the “Occupy” protests.

    And President Obama rolled out the DHS armed with military-grade weaponry to beat and blast and terrorize the protesters until the protests collapsed.

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