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Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

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Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby macbone on Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:36 am

Guys, I'm seriously worried for the kids protesting out there in Central for universal suffrage. The police just released 17-year-old Joshua Wong, the guy who led the fight against national education last year. The Hong Kong Public Teachers Union just called for a teachers' boycott of classes to support the demonstrators.

The older democracy protesters have been horning in on the action, but it's been the students who have been on the forefront here. It's scary, guys. I'm worried about these kids. 11 students from my university have been arrested so far, and things are only going to escalate from here as we move toward National Day on Oct. 1st.

Here's one place to get up-to-the-minute news on what's going down: https://www.facebook.com/tyrmag

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Last edited by macbone on Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tienanmen Square?

Postby mrswdk on Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:13 am

It won't turn into a new Tiananmen, don't worry.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tienanmen Square?

Postby Dukasaur on Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:32 am

mrswdk wrote:It won't turn into a new Tiananmen, don't worry.

Oh, that's reassuring.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tienanmen Square?

Postby notyou2 on Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:32 am

It's the only way to foment change.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tienanmen Square?

Postby DoomYoshi on Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:35 am

The cops have this braindead expression in the 2nd pic. Like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tienanmen Square?

Postby KoolBak on Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:39 am

They all got pretty impressive builds too....the force must require lots 'o upper body workouts....
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tienanmen Square?

Postby 2dimes on Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:02 am

macbone wrote:
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Dukasaur wrote:
mrswdk wrote:It won't turn into a new Tiananmen, don't worry.

Oh, that's reassuring.

He's right. Tanks are no good for a crowd like that. Definitely air strike.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby macbone on Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:04 am

Yeah, police in Hong Kong (and Japan) are a lot different from the States. They have pretty high physical requirements, and they're not necessarily ripped, but they're physically fit. (Asian standards are different from Western standards, too, but they're pretty strong.) They're also pretty well respected in spite of events like this.

Hm. The Hong Kong Professional Teachers Union announced a few hours ago that they were calling for a general boycott of teaching to support the student protesters, and their website is down right now. That doesn't look suspicious.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby muy_thaiguy on Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:23 am

Not surprised Hong Kong is doing this. Up until recently, they had Western standards of freedom. Now, they're under Chinese rule, and look at Tienanmen Square. Be safe Hong Kong residents.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby macbone on Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:36 am

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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby mrswdk on Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:35 pm

Some differences between the Tiananmen incident and now:

- Hong Kong has a free press and the internet now exists, meaning the CCP would have no hope in hell of suppressing coverage of any incident
- The current regime is significantly less hardline and repressive than the one in power in '89
- These protests are in Hong Kong, not Beijing. Hong Kong has a separate legal system, police force etc. etc. and so ultimately these protests will be dealt with by the city of Hong Kong, not the central government
- China is a lot more plugged in to the global economy than it was in 1989, and so foreign opinion matters a lot more to Beijing now than it did back then
- Troops stationed in Beijing refused to put down the '89 protests. The only soldiers Deng could find to participate in the Tiananmen suppression were dumbasses from the countryside who knew nothing of the protests other than what Deng told them (which was along the lines of 'they are terrorists/rebels/rioters/whatever'). Good luck finding soldiers who would be prepared to march on kids in Hong Kong.

I imagine these students are going to be getting cleared out one way or another, seeing as their aim appears to be to paralyze Hong Kong as much as possible, but they won't be getting strafed by the army.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:35 pm

mrswdk's points are worth considering.


In my opinion, the protest can fizzle out when the PRC "chief" of Hong Kong and HK's underlying democratic government coordinate a plan which grants some concessions, most of which will be nominal. This seemed to have happened in Egypt during the Cairo Square protests. The military-government grants a concession, and the protestors go home, but not much changes. Then the protestors go back out, so the military-government strikes a deal with Muslim Brotherhood, which then abandons the protest. This leaves the "democratic liberal" (whatever they really are) protest group without much of a voice, so they become very easy to manage through force. [Cue the presidential election, MB's grab for power, and the military coup d'etat].

I don't think the chain of events following the concession will happen, but the HK and PRC needs to target certain protesting groups and then satisfy them without giving up too much political influence over HK. The support for the protest then bottoms out and can 'safely' be cleared by the 'humane' police forces.

Right now, there's some kind of push-and-take. E.g. send out the police, shoot some tear gas, and see how strong the protest reacts. (Again, I don't think this degree of top-down control and foresight exists; it'll be mostly trial-and-error with much typical bungling on part of the protestors and the government).
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby notyou2 on Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:41 pm

mrswdk wrote:Good luck finding soldiers who would be prepared to march on kids in Hong Kong.


Oh really

http://www.scmp.com/business/article/1582406/rumbling-pla-carriers-hong-kong-set-minds-rolling
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby GoranZ on Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:34 pm

muy_thaiguy wrote:Not surprised Hong Kong is doing this. Up until recently, they had Western standards of freedom. Now, they're under Chinese rule, and look at Tienanmen Square. Be safe Hong Kong residents.

You mean Hong Kong was under 150 years concession of UK that "recently" ended... That "recently" was in 1997, 17 years ago :D
Hong Kong is not under Chinese rule... its essential part of China, and in China apply Chinese rules.

I think now China understands why straighten its ties with Russia will bring bigger stability for her.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby macbone on Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:33 pm

Things are calm now, which is good. The tear gas didn't chase off the protesters last night.

Mrswdk, I'm not really sure what the PLA would do here. There are at least two different PLA bases in Hong Kong, and they're pretty isolated from the rest of Hong Kong, even though one's in Central and the other's in Kowloon Tong. I see the troops inside sometimes as they patrol the perimeter in pairs inside the fence. I don't know if they have permission to mix with the general population or not, but they're not from Hong Kong, and I doubt that they feel much loyalty to the people of Hong Kong, who aren't allowed to serve in the PLA.

The teachers' union website is still down. Traditionally, they've been pro-democracy here in HK, organizing June 4th vigils every summer. The Education Bureau suspended class around the protest area. I wonder how many of the secondary school students will join in the protests. They had a designated day on Friday for them to participate.

I'm not looking forward to National Day on Oct. 1st. If things stay calm like they are right now, everything will be ok. If the Central Government sends the PLA garrisons in to disperse the protesters, though, I'm not sure what will happen.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:37 pm

GoranZ wrote:
muy_thaiguy wrote:Not surprised Hong Kong is doing this. Up until recently, they had Western standards of freedom. Now, they're under Chinese rule, and look at Tienanmen Square. Be safe Hong Kong residents.

You mean Hong Kong was under 150 years concession of UK that "recently" ended... That "recently" was in 1997, 17 years ago :D
Hong Kong is not under Chinese rule... its essential part of China, and in China apply Chinese rules.

I think now China understands why straighten its ties with Russia will bring bigger stability for her.


You say that as if it's a good thing. Why is it reasonable for HK to increasingly resemble the Chinese model of government--when HK's model has produced one of the richest and more free places in the world?
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby macbone on Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:07 pm

GoranZ, Hong Kong enjoys something called "one country, two systems," where in principle they retain certain freedoms not afforded in mainland China, such as the freedom of the press and the promise of universal suffrage in 2017. What that is going to look like is what is currently under debate, with China saying, OK, guys, you have to do things the way we say, and pro-democracy Hong Kongers expecting China to honor its promises when it signed the hand-over agreements from Great Britain.

The HK government is still concerned about the situation, understandably:

The potential for a "mini-Tiananmen" movement to evolve from pro-democracy class boycotts at local secondary schools and universities worries the government, a former chief of the Security Bureau says.

Suspicions have also been aroused in the corridors of power that the students are becoming a tool for Occupy Central to boost its fight for genuine universal suffrage, because it has failed to mobilise support from the middle class, according to executive councillor Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee.

But she doubts the pressure will succeed in making Beijing cave in and retract a reform framework laid down on August 31 - ruling out a genuine choice of candidates for voters in the 2017 chief executive poll - despite the political tensions weighing on the Hong Kong government.

Ip told the South China Morning Post of prevailing sentiments in the government last week while the class boycotts were in full swing, ahead of the formal launch of Occupy's first operation yesterday.

"On the face of it, the students are voicing their demands for democracy and self-determination," Ip said.

"I think the worry on the part of the Hong Kong government is, what if it becomes a mini-Tiananmen? Who is behind it?"


http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/arti ... na-ip-says

At 7.15pm, police issued a statement saying that protesters violently charged the police cordon outside the government headquarters. "After police repeated warnings and protesters refused to leave, police decided to escalate the use of force and tear gas was used to stop those acts which endangered public safety and public order," it said.

But protesters were shocked. A 13-year-old boy said: "I was here for the past two days and I can't believe police would resort to tear gas. My eyes hurt so badly and my lungs are burning ... police have used excessive force today."

Felix Tang, 25, who had been protesting near Admiralty Centre, said: "No one even guessed the police would be so violent. We are unarmed, we only have our hands."

His friend, Eric Lai, 27, who was not wearing goggles, said: "Don't let my look fool you - I am really scared."


Jesus. 13 years old? Last night on the news, doctors were warning that police might use real bullets rather than the rubber bullets they've been using.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/arti ... e-tear-gas

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This reminds me of a Five Iron Frenzy song:

"You want riots, wear your riot gear
You want violence, then shoot some tear gas in the air."
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby 2dimes on Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:31 pm

Stay safe macbone. Are you thinking of leaving town?
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby muy_thaiguy on Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:07 am

Be safe Mac.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby mrswdk on Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:26 am

Apparently the riot police have by-and-large been withdrawn now.

Those protestors are treading a very fine line. Deliberately choking off the business district and transport networks, with the effect of forcing business closures and other disruptions? I mean, one can understand that they feel the need to make a strong point but, frankly, they are just begging for a heavy response from law enforcement.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby Endgame422 on Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:18 am

mrswdk wrote:Apparently the riot police have by-and-large been withdrawn now.

Those protestors are treading a very fine line. Deliberately choking off the business district and transport networks, with the effect of forcing business closures and other disruptions? I mean, one can understand that they feel the need to make a strong point but, frankly, they are just begging for a heavy response from law enforcement.


In all honesty, I am thinking a heavy response is what they want. Nothing draws attention to your cause like 13 year olds being tear gassed, except maybe a couple of students beat to death.

In the event Beijing takes any drastic action it will only serve to further the protesters cause and to swing international support towards HK. If they are smart(and I assume they are), they will just let the occupy movement burn itself out(like it did here) and try to minimize the impact on the day to day.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby 2dimes on Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:38 am

I was going to post about that. Endgame422 probably worded it better. People who did not attend occupy have pretty much forgot about it. Everyone remembers tiananmen.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby mrswdk on Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:21 pm

And in the mean time, Instagram is down and the web censors are pulling another all-nighter.
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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby AndyDufresne on Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:37 pm

I've now learned about "Mesh Networks." Thanks, world.


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Re: Is Hong Kong going to be a repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Postby GoranZ on Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:51 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
GoranZ wrote:
muy_thaiguy wrote:Not surprised Hong Kong is doing this. Up until recently, they had Western standards of freedom. Now, they're under Chinese rule, and look at Tienanmen Square. Be safe Hong Kong residents.

You mean Hong Kong was under 150 years concession of UK that "recently" ended... That "recently" was in 1997, 17 years ago :D
Hong Kong is not under Chinese rule... its essential part of China, and in China apply Chinese rules.

I think now China understands why straighten its ties with Russia will bring bigger stability for her.


You say that as if it's a good thing. Why is it reasonable for HK to increasingly resemble the Chinese model of government--when HK's model has produced one of the richest and more free places in the world?

Economically, both China and HK are doing quite good, and hardly which country in the world can compare to their economical success. So both systems create rich people. However demonstrations like the one happening now undermine economic growth in both systems. The conclusion that HK will become less democratic after 2017 is more or less a speculation... Even now HK(or most of the other "democratic" countries in the world) actually dont have democratic system. Only ballot paper with "none of above" in their list can create Democratic system, everything else is a farce(but this is different story).

macbone wrote:GoranZ, Hong Kong enjoys something called "one country, two systems," where in principle they retain certain freedoms not afforded in mainland China, such as the freedom of the press and the promise of universal suffrage in 2017. What that is going to look like is what is currently under debate, with China saying, OK, guys, you have to do things the way we say, and pro-democracy Hong Kongers expecting China to honor its promises when it signed the hand-over agreements from Great Britain.

Apparently Chines government decided that they want HK to look more like China and less like Great Britain which is within Chinese internal matters.
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