China Bans Protesting Cathay Pacific Employees

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific

As just about everyone is probably aware of by now, there have been huge protests in Hong Kong for the past couple of months. I love Hong Kong and I think it’s pretty clear where I stand on this, though I won’t chime in any further because I know how the comments section can get sometimes.

Well, the South China Morning Post is reporting on how China is now looking for a new way to exert control, and it involves Cathay Pacific.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has informed Cathay Pacific that as of Saturday, August 10, 2019, they’ll have to restrict what crews can fly to China. Specifically, staff who took part in “illegal protests,” “violent actions,” and “overly radical activities” wouldn’t be allowed to operate flights to mainland China.

Furthermore, as of Sunday, August 11, 2019, Cathay Pacific will have to submit identification details of all crews on all flights that use mainland Chinese airspace. So this isn’t just restricted to crews operating flights to mainland China, but even those overflying China enroute to other destinations would have their details submitted to the Chinese government

If Cathay Pacific doesn’t comply then they’ll no longer be allowed to use Chinese airspace.

According to the statement:

“The CAAC has issued a severe aviation risk warning after numerous recent incidents exposed safety risks by Hong Kong Cathay Pacific.

Recently, a Cathay Pacific pilot involved in violent activities was charged with rioting but the person was not suspended from flight duties. There was also leakage of passenger information with malicious intent. These have had an adverse social impact and increased the possibility of aviation risks spreading from Hong Kong to the mainland.”

For now, Cathay Pacific has issued the following statement:

“We are treating it seriously and are following up accordingly.

The safety of our passengers is always the top priority of Cathay Pacific. There is zero tolerance for any inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour that may affect aviation safety. We deal with these incidents very seriously.”

I’m curious to see how this is dealt with. One of the major concerns here is how open-ended this is. It’s obvious that lots of Cathay Pacific employees are participating in the protests (lots of flights have been canceled because of this), so saying that staff that took part in protests shouldn’t be allowed to fly to mainland China sure puts a lot of people at risk.

How is Cathay Pacific supposed to determine who all participated in the protest, and what happens if it’s found out that someone on a flight to mainland China did in fact participate in a protest?

What a mess… and just a week later it was announced that Cathay Pacific’s CEO is resigning.

Comments
  1. China’s making the Hong Kong protesters argument for them. What an incredibly stupid decision. China blatantly is infringing on One Country Two Systems with this by saying if you protest in Hong Kong you can’t even overfly mainland China. This really diminishes the reputation of CAAC who has been pretty well regarded until this point.

    Something smells fishy and it seems that this decision is larger than it seems. CX is owned by Swire Pacific (UK based) and HX is owned by HNA (PRC based). HNA / Hong Kong Airlines has been struggling so perhaps this is an attempt to give HX a leg up over CX while using the protests for cover. This is inline with how protectionist the PRC is of locally owned companies.

  2. “I love Hong Kong and I think it’s pretty clear where I stand on this”

    Another self-righteous gweilo who will stand for any BS civil unrest in the east as long as it is labeled as ‘fighting for democracy’. Don’t worry, your brick-throwing flight attendants will never spit in your Krug since you are white, they will only do it to the Chinese passengers.

  3. And then these clowns want to comment about Kashmir Why don’t they worry about Hong Kong first before worrying about what others are doing…

  4. @Noah, I think China only suspend CX employees who took violent actions and were arrested. Actually I am surprised CX still allow those people arrested continue to fly. From passenger view, I don’t think I would feel comfortable to stay on a plane with these crew.

    CX’s statement is so bad that essentially said nothing. There public relation team is as bad as usual. Remember the recent passenger information leak?

  5. As someone from Hong Kong and thus with perhaps greater understanding of the psyche of the Chinese government, I somewhat suspect this is more posturing than anything else.
    It is obvious that this is something that will be very difficult to enforce given that many of those who have taken part in protests have taken steps to protect their identities, most obviously by wearing masks. It may also cause other foreign airlines to fear that China may seek to restrict the freedom of speech of their employees, especially those from countries with historic frictions with China, e.g. Japan and Korea. China obviously would not want to cause mass panic about its openess to investment from foreign airlines.
    It therefore is probably just some overly enthusiastic Chinese official(s) trying to come up with a new way to pressure protestors in Hong Kong in a misguided attempt to show their loyalty to the Communist Party.

  6. Stop being so self-righteous. China has a good aviation safety record for a reason and none of the 1.4 billion mainland Chinese want their airplanes flown by a brick-throwing pilot who hates their country with passion.

  7. @Noah

    This is so not true.

    Protesters working for CX published personal information (home address, personal cell phone number, etc.) of HK Police officers traveling on CX on social media. Those HK Police officers received threats via phone calls, at their living places, and to their families. Such behavior, if happened on other passengers, is totally unbearable and very dangerous.

    And this is nothing about the ownership. CX is also partly owned by Air China.

  8. This reminds me of Venezuela in 2003, when petitions were circulated for an election to recall Hugo Chavez (stay with me…). People would sign the petition, and each name was recorded in a database. Anyone who worked for PDVSA (the national petroleum corporation who also owns Citgo) and who signed the petition was called into their manager’s office and offered a choice: take your name off the petition or be fired. About 10,000 PDVSA workers were purged, including several friends/acquaintances of mine.

    So, iron-fisted dictatorial governments are very well versed in using their muscle to dissuade “the little people” from having a voice. And it rarely needs to come to the use of bullets. Ruining your career is sufficient for them.

  9. Thinking from a passenger’s perspective. Even CX has acknowledged “The safety of our passengers is always the top priority of Cathay Pacific”. It is a real and severe flight risk to have disgruntled crew members on duty.

  10. It’s clear President Xie wants to enter Hong Kong (and Macau). This is an interesting way of using smaller and smaller things to do so without getting violent.

  11. I am a journalist on duty in Hong Kong right now.

    Just saw the protestors beating blood out of non-iron civilians on the street.

    If you think they’re “little people who just want to have some voice out”, you’re totally wrong.

    They are armed riots guided by professional western mercenaries, causing severe risks for civilians of HK.

    They are links of videos all over the internet. Feel free to fly here to take closer looks at the truths. Don’t assume with your preconceptions without digging into facts.

  12. Suggesting that the CAAC is punishing CX to give HX a break is absolutely ridiculous. Not sure if you know that, besides the Uk based Swire group, Air China, which is the state-owned flag carrier of the PRC, owns a significant share of CX.
    Ben, the way you put it makes it sound like that the mainland is banning every CX employee who participated in the protests, which is not the case. The CAAC is banning CX employees who are about to face criminal charges (rioting and leaking passenger information), not everyone took part in the protests.

    I wouldn’t get on a flight if I know someone in the crew is a criminal.

  13. Hong Kong is part of China, and it’s common to comply with Chinese rules when flying to China.

    Why non-EU airlines need to comply EU rules on delays?

  14. Typical knee jerk Chinese, also help making points for Hong Kong protesters.
    Stop Chinese tourists and film makers into Taiwan are same.
    Kudos to Chinese.
    Also @Wu, how did you guys fly a 767 into a mountain and being the only dumbass crashing 767 by pilot?

  15. @Noah
    > This really diminishes the reputation of CAAC who has been pretty well regarded until this point

    I encourage you to locate and read a book “Flying upside down” (first google search hit leads to scribd pdf). It has some scathing words about CAAC (and about aviation in China in general)

  16. @Raffy
    Another mainlander who can’t even access Wikipedia without a VPN, who will believe anything the state-run media says.

  17. Lucky, you finally started the topic of Hong Kong, and you knew it won’t end peacefully…anyway.

    I just wish you could have not misguided your readers this time. This is not good, “How is Cathay Pacific supposed to determine who all participated in the protest, and what happens if it’s found out that someone on a flight to mainland China did in fact participate in a protest?”

    CAAC is targeting the **criminal** **crews** only, not other ordinary protestors at all.

    @Abe,

    As someone who is an international relation practitioner, my perspective is clear:

    The Chinese government does not really want to remove the freedom of Hong Kong, nor does President Xi want to “enter” Hong Kong. In fact, the well-being of Hong Kong is crucial to Mainland China, especially during the trade war with the US. The fact is that keeping Hong Kong neutral helps China export their goods to the rest of the world. This is really important. 20% of Chinese good route through Hong Kong. If the trade war escalates, China will strongly rely on Hong Kong, which is the world’s biggest free port.

    Anyone who thinks China wants to remove the One Country Two Systems of Hong Kong is ridiculous. This will result in nonthing good to them at all…China and Hong Kong depend on each other for prosperity.

    Last, think about, who really wants Hong Kong to sink down? Who wants to remove the generous treatments of Hong Kong while fighting a trade war with China? The answer is straightforwardly simple.

  18. @David Chen
    Your points sound identical to those made by Chinese state media. Especially the accusation that protesters are “trained by professional Western mercenaries” without any evidence.

    Any chance you work for the People’s Daily?

  19. @Noah
    It’s not exactly HNA or anything to do with mainland airlines. Three things:
    1. Although Cathay Pacific has not published any statement regarding it’s stance, it has created convenience for its employees to participate in the protest/riot.
    2. Some police officer’s personal info was leaked by one of their employee.
    3. Extreme hate speech among the protest. Likewise US won’t let anyone who have had hate speech with pro-alqaeda position gets hands on a plane. Also pilot suicide is getting common these few years. (Eurowing flight, Egypt Air, Silkair etc.)
    4. Cathay Pacific did have history of discrimination of mandarin speaking customers
    5. CAAC has already gathered enough evidence. Chinese government ususally won’t act until they have enough evidence

  20. @Tam,

    Another extremist who can access Wikipedia without a VPN, who will believe anything the non-state-run media says.

    Why do you think state-run media are always lying and non-state-run are always telling truths…

    Please think critically and judge with first-hand facts.

    If you don’t really know what’s happening, then just don’t judge.

  21. @ezez
    You’re wrong.
    The statement by CAAC clearly states (in Chinese) that any staff who “participate or support the protests” cannot fly to China.

  22. Love how the China-bots turn out, even on a blog on airlines, to defend the motherland. The foreign mercenaries made me laugh hard!!!

  23. @Tam,

    Yes I do have evidence for sure as I’m in Hong Kong.

    What is your evidence? Where does your judgement come from? Just because what I said sound familiar, you judged that I am with the People’s Daily? Is this your independent thinking? So ironic.

  24. @Tam
    I believe the part of the statement that you are referring to literally translates into “anyone who participates in /supports illegal protests.”
    There are differences between illegal protest and peaceful protest. Just FYI, protesting is a constitutional right in both the mainland and hk.
    Let alone the fact that it is impossible for the CAAC or CX itself to enforce the ban on any crew who supports what’s going on in HK. There no magical mind-reading.

  25. The government of China is a heavy-handed, knuckle-dragging bully, straight out of an old black-and-white Stalinist nightmare, run by fools. They are showing how the HK protestors are 100% right.

    Good luck Hong King people, those of us in the rest of the world who understand the value of democracy get it and stand with you.

  26. I believe, under the regulations of the CAAC believe anyone who has a criminal record is not allowed to work as cabin crew or pilots . Therefore, it is reasonable for the CAAC to demand that people with a record of violent criminal activity are prevented from operating flights to China

  27. Is it legal in the US to throw bricks at civilians or throw barricades on to running highways?
    Will US police not fire a single shot after weeks being attacked?
    Is it legal in the US that after a pilot was arrested, he can still fly?
    Is it legal in the US for airline employees to expose passenger’s personal info?

  28. Lucky, you are switching concepts here: it is one thing if the protesters are protesting peacefully, it is quite another to beat up police officers with brick & just attacking random people for speaking Mandarin on the street. Cathy employees have leaked HK police flight details to protesters so they can “greet them”.

    Imagine if an AA employee didn’t like the policy of say LAPD’s chief and start putting up his itinerary, email address and phone numbers online. You are seriously telling me that employee is gonna keep his/her job at AA? Nah, doubt it.

    It’s great to have political freedom and have different political opinion, but at end of the day, the minimum ethical standard as an airlines employee still need to be upheld.

    As for CAAC, merely exercising their rights as a sovereign nation’s regulator.

  29. @David Chen,

    Pro-china politicans and Chinese government officials have claimed that HK protestors colluded with “external forces” for years, yet no solid evidences have been provided. If you posess these evidences, why don’t you publish them on the media you are working in?

    Your surname “chen” was a very common name in China but not Hong Kong, I guess there is no surprise that your view is same as the Chinese Communist Party.

  30. @Lucky

    You know that you banned debit for the very reason you posted this. All I can say from the news is many of the protesters aren’t even old enough to remember British colony rule.

    What you should be doing is talk about protesters that have invaded HKG airport and can potentially turn into a mess like what happened to BKK years ago.

  31. Think about this for a moment. We’re talking about people that would prefer not to be under control by a full-on authoritarian and autocratic regime. Is it really “bs civil unrest” for them to fight this?

  32. @ezez
    That still contradicts what you said in your first comment.
    They are NOT only targeting those facing criminal charges.

  33. @David Chen
    You’re the one who made accusations and I’m the one who should provide evidence? LOL. You’re funny.

  34. Sadly these Hong Kong protests will turn into another Tiananmen square. Its warming to the heart to see people protest for freedom as I sit in the USA and watch people demand to be enslaved by a socialist government

  35. When people start using “HK is part of China” as the basis of their arguments, you know the wumaos are here.

  36. @Tam
    Unfortunately every country on this planet including US and UK recognizes HK as part of China

  37. soon China will require you sign a statement “supporting CCP/Taiwan belongs to China/ nothing is happening in XinJiang/no one dies in Tibet/Trump’s tariff is stupid” before giving you 72 hour free transit…

  38. Wow, paid CCP disinformation trolls are certainly well represented in the comment section today!

  39. Funny to see how some are trying to argue with reason, facts, and evidence only to be called “bots” and “trolls” by others on the comment section.
    Who really are the bots and trolls?

  40. I am not comfortable flying with CX when the pilot is under 10 years riot charge (and he was caught at the scene riots?) how many other crews who are participating the riots and are not caught? i dont know.

    it is a lot of stress to be under charge and maybe the pilot decides to do MH370? who knows? mental stability is very important for pilot.

    i have concerns expressing my political belief during flights as I am concerned to be adding substance to my food/drink, as evidence by how some have treated HK police via sharing their private information online like flight information.

  41. Whole lot of wumao in your comment section, Lucky. Are they regular readers or just searching for articles to troll?

    Anyhow, just to address the talking points that they keep repeating, the claim that the HK police+government describing protestors as engaged in “rioting” means that they were actually doing something dangerous or violent requires an astonishing degree of credulity to believe. Meanwhile, triad (Chinese/HK organized crime gangs) thugs are actually beating peaceful protestors with the total acquiescence of the police. The overwhelming majority of Hong Kongers are deeply unhappy with how the PRC and the HK government it backs are treating the territory. Millions of people have participated in protests. The idea that all these people are therefore criminals whose livelihoods should be threatened is completely inhumane.

  42. LOL.
    “Reason, Facts, and Evidence. ”

    Mainland troll army is out of control here.. no use posting anything constructive.

    That being said, I’m sure the Taiwanese are simply giddy with excitement over the prospects of one country two systems seeing what’s happening in HK. /sarcasm

  43. Human Rights and China should not even be used in the same sentence. It is a shame these clowns are part of the UN’s security council.

  44. Lucky, be proud of the fact that your site is so popular that even the wumaos are commenting here.

  45. @Mike

    I find you comment hilarious despite it being utterly pointless just like the many other uninformed and self-righteous comments under this post.

  46. David is on point. The current leader of HK was vetted by the PRC before she was ever allowed to run. Her goverment has introduced a bill to allow extradition with nearly no oversight to mainland China. This is a massive infringement on the one country – two systems policy, as well as Hong Kong’s. They literally just want to make the kidnappings they’ve been perpetrating over the past several years “legal”. I’m glad Hong Kong is saying no to it, despite published evidence of police brutality by officers without badges against protesters.

    With regards to this new “rule”, from the Flyertalk thread it appears much more far reaching than some posters are are trying to claim. It’s not a joke to say that if China follows through with it, they could prevent any crew member they don’t like from being on a flight over the mainland.

    Btw, Taiwan is a free country separate from the PRC, and no amount coerced hotels and airlines you force to change their search boxes will change that fact.

  47. @Liam

    The points you bring up are legit.
    President Xi definitely wants the “system” to be maintained due to various reason you mentioned. However, you have also forgot the fact that China is a country that tolerates 0% of democracy, and we see the trend that the mindset of democracy is spreading across HK. It’s better to kill this mindset before it spreads into mainland China. If the economical reason is what deemed first priority of president Xi, he would have conceded to US for the trade war.
    Second, president Xi believes in “bringing Hans great again”. You see how hostile has China became towards Taiwan after president Xi take power. Taiwan has basically no ties and would make no difference if they declare independence, but why won’t president Xi let go? It’s just a matter of his ideology world.

    I’m pretty shocked that the Chinese government would raise this issue to such level. First Qatari then HK airlines, just doesn’t make sense to me that this is of people’s (not only Chinese or HKers, but all travellers) interest.

    I’ll pray for HK and hope things can turn well. No matter it’s full democracy or the resettlement of one-country-two-system.

  48. I thought you mentioned “illegal protests,” “violent actions,” and “overly radical activities” earlier in the article, but ended with “who participated in the protest”.

  49. Facts? The Hong Kong cops are photographed to be teaming up with the Chinese/HK thugs to beat up the peaceful protestors. Calls to 999 (911-equivalent in the US) resulted in more than 4 hours of wait for the cops to show up. College student buying laser pen for college orientation was arrested for possessing illegal weapons, beaten up, hospitalized, and later released with no charge. Communist party encouraging gangs to stir up the riots in media. These are facts the trolls casually ignores.

  50. When you don’t understand or embrace cultural differences between China and western countries, politically correct anti-China comments would just expose your ignorance and prejudice.

  51. The Chinese Communist Party is a terrorist organization. It’s time for Hong Kongers writ large to seriously consider an independence movement. China’s slow destruction of Hong Kong’s unique culture and identity is a crime against civilization.

  52. @Robert, some of CCP’s policies may not be popular, and CCP is definitely not a democratic party, but CCP is certainly not a terrorist organization, and there is no legal basis whatsoever on which Hong Kong can ever achieve independence from China.

    The ban on certain Cathay crew members was triggered by a Cathay pilot who was charged with rioting and released on bail. Regardless of my political stance, I don’t feel comfortable taking a flight with him as a crew member. I believe it’s better to error on the side of caution.

  53. so many white wumao here are spilling out false information. i wont step on a cx metal if someone is leaking my personal information.
    would you? @lucky

  54. As a long term reader, I rarely comment here. @Lucky, If an AA/UA/DL employee leaks your person information to public because s/he does not like your political view or your comment on the airline and the airline publicly keeps the person’s active duty, how would you respond?

  55. I’m shocked by some of the comments. Does anyone honestly think that the prosecution of high level chinese public officials for corruption was really an anti corruption initiative by the president? Or were those guilty officials his internal political rivals? Is it not uncanny that the Chinese President revised the rules to allow him greater power and longer term – almost Maoist in nature. Clearly he concentrated power and now any person who throws a stone at a police officer who stands for allowing China to violate the agreement and extradite people from Jong Kong (see fate of former Chinese officials) is wrong? Seriously?? And what about the Chinese official who was head of Interpol – just gone. Arrested. Gone. They are fighting for due process people. Don’t castigate them for being violent and agree with China position that pilots or FAs are endangering anyone. This is all about power for the current regime. Read all about it from the 50s to the 70s. History does repeat. Unless courageous people fight back.

  56. @David

    The fact that you equate attendance at a political protest with being “disgruntled” and unfit to fly reveals how little regard you have for free speech and democracy.

  57. I could be wrong but I am pretty sure the CX FA union was encouraging their members to take part in the strike.

  58. Honestly this whole Hong Kong situation has become insane. It’s terrible for the people of Hong Kong because we don’t know what lengths China will go to bring Hong Kong in line *cough* Tibet and Xinjiang *cough*. It’s terrible because Hong Kong is (as you said) a wonderful city, home to great people, food, shopping and much more. I just want this whole thing to end so I can return to one of my all time favourite cities. I still remember when it was British.

  59. @AK sez: “Human Rights and China should not even be used in the same sentence. It is a shame these clowns are part of the UN’s security council”. So, which countries do you think should be on it? The USA, land of war criminals and 21st C gulags? Russia, full of thugs? France, destroyer of Libya and perpetrator of colonial horrors? Britain, ’nuff said?

  60. Thank you for not making it overly political. I just unsunscribed from View from the wing for his post about the same news. If your blog is about travel, airlines, hotels, miles and points, please stick to them. I don’t want to listen to my favorite chef talking about his sexual encounters, however interesting they are.

  61. Going to a protest that had almost 1/3 of the city out on the streets to protest makes you unfit to fly? That’s how I know someone isn’t for a country with free speech.

    And the person who claims you are legally allowed to protest in China: you are also given a lot of “legal rights” in China, sadly they mean absolutely nothing in practice, because there is no separation of government or due process. The judiciary acts as an extension of the CCP so good luck trying to argue you have the legal right to protest when they haul you to court. Unsurprisingly, the conviction rate in China is 99.9%.

  62. China is a pos bully and most ppl in HKG hate mainland China.
    The person who indirectly empowered all of this from thuggy China is Trump.

  63. Not sure about the amount of involvement China has in Cathay Pacific (if any) but if it’s 100% Hong Kongese then they could make a very bold move and cease all flights to China and stop using Chinese airspace however, it would be a very risky move as if/when Hong Kong fully integrates into China Cathay Pacific will likely cease to exist.

    Anyway, pros to Lucky for NOT using his platform to spread his political views, one of the many reasons I, and others, value this blog highly.

  64. So many comments generalize supporters of China as trolls or Ccp, because they refuse to believe that there are plenty of people who are legitimately anti HK protests. Of course everyone against them MUST be paid by the government. That just show how little they know.
    I grew up in this democracy and really don’t see what’s so great about it. It gave us Trump and wars with Middle East that led to 9/11 and not being to do anything about guns, all because it’s a democracy. Not saying communism is the way to go, China is not true communism anyway, but just that there is not a perfect govt. China has China problems and west has west problems. So the basic idea that HK being free or democratic is just somehow going to be automatically better is full of shit. (Also they were quite free as it was, but maybe that’ll change now, thanks to their own riots.)
    Now based on the above, I really didn’t care much about the protests, but since then I’ve become very against them when the riots started. I have to date not seen any Chinese news coverage of the unrest, I only watch SCMP which has been reasonably neutral, but even from there you can clearly see it’s not the cops ripping out bricks from pavement, besieging neighborhoods and setting buildings on fire. Sorry (not really) but I cheered a little when the black shirts got beat up by local mobs, though both sides deserved the arrest they got. I was really upset when I saw that airline pilot and staff became involved too.
    Bottom line, good bye Cathay and it felt good reading the CAAC announcement, hah.

  65. @Jake
    He have used this blog for some political purposes, and that’s for sure. Especially like “death penalty for gays in Brunei” or “President Trump’s Muslim Ban”.

  66. @Charlie,

    I got your point. It makes sense, but between economical and political motivations, I strongly believe that Xi is leaning towards the economy of Hong Kong at the moment. It’s because Chinese citizens currently care money much more than political rights. They are extremely material. The GDP growth of the past decades gave them great amount of money, power and pleasure. However at the moment as Trump started trade war and global economy stagnates, China is facing really bad economical growth problem. If you know Chinese people very well, especially those in mid-tier and lower-tier cities, they are quite used to a non-democratic society while making money for their own. The Hong Kong’s democracy has been itself since 1997, and you can read from China mainland’s news and posts that the mainlanders are not really interested in Hong Kongers’ life; they sort of despise it.

    So in short, if Hong Kong can help Xi make money for the government as well as citizens, there is no reason Xi wants to do anything crazy if he still has any rationality.

  67. CCP and the US are not the same. The Chinese government commits far more, FAR more against its people than the US ever had. That conversation is a false equivalency. Whatever your position, how CCP enforces its policies are inarguably draconian by design and intention and without real regret. Nobody can be taken seriously without starting with that fact. There’s no debate at all.

  68. caac are aiming the illegal rallies. for example, one co-pilot was arrested by the policy when he was attending illegal rallies and did some violent activities last week.

    generally, the HK policy are quite neutral to the protest/rally applications. many applications were granted the Non-objection replies. even this Aug 10-11 weekend, there are more than 10 rallies approved. so let me put it clearly that attending an illegal rally is a high bar in HK.

  69. Chen/Chan is the same as Lee/Li, western interpretations of a Chinese name, it is VERY Hong Kong indeed.

    Not sure how aware you are but the main body of protesters are a young crowd, who doesn’t know their history very well. HK was never a country, never had freedom. Same group of people that protested in 2014 Umbrella Movement.

    First weeks in June the whole community was out to go against extradition bill, and it was killed.

    Now, it is down to less than 10% of the initial participation, mostly rowdy students who wants their friends to get released after throwing bricks and sending trolleys with fire towards the police.

    The main cause is over, only the rough ones left fighting for something that has never been real…

  70. The point is that the situation of HK right now has totally gone out of the control of the CCP, and of the locals as well. The CCP claims that foreign intelligence is behind all of this.
    Personally I know someone at HKU who went to one protest and he got a 3000hkd compensation for his participation, and this is a common thing, believe it or not.
    You guess where that money come from.
    I don’t normally buy whatever the mouthpieces of CCP say but this time I must say their claims are worth examining.

    And something off-topic:
    It always amazes me when I hear someone talk about that “British HK nostalgia.” Was British HK ever a democracy? Lol. That’s double standard for sure. (Save you effort justifying british rule in hk as I’ve seen too much of it)

    And something off-topic 2:
    I see a lot of comments mentioning “independence” of either Hk or Taiwan. For those not quite familiar with the CCP’s take on separatism, there is nothing I can say for sure at this moment about the future of the mainland, hk, and of taiwan but one: the very second either one of them declares independence, the mainland declares war.

  71. I am not even surprised by this blog and the comment section anymore. It’s honestly disturbing how people can feel comfortable talking about something they clearly have very limited information on.

    Not even going to get into all that. I am just going to comment on the airlines

    Please kindly check your caucasian privileges when you praise CX’s service, as they are infamous for discriminating against Mandarin speaking passengers.

  72. Holy crap. Premier Vinnie the Pooh’s mainland keyboard chimps are flooding this conversation. Journalists and “foreign relations practitioners “ wtf are even commenting . Pure comedy gold from these comrades. Hong Kong has long faded from what it was once. If you loved the old Hong Kong lucky I can suggest Taipei as there is still some civility left there do to the lack of mainland invasion. Full solidarity with the brave native people of Hong Kong not the PRC.

  73. @ Wu. It is probably your country but for sure not their country. Ask any person from Hong Kong or Taiwan if they are Chinese. They will answer negative.

  74. China seen to be bullying HK will almost certainly lead to the re-election of Tsai in the 2020 Taiwan presidential election. “ There but for the grace of God …”
    Carrie Lam is a political dead duck and should quit, stat, if there is to be a resolution.

  75. @Liam
    I agree with you to a certain extent. But my point is that President Xi wants in on the economic action for him and his buddies, and throw a couple of corrupt people that they don’t have authority over at the moment.

    This makes him look like the good guy like he’s already done on the mainland. For the record I’m not saying taking control over Hong Kong is necessarily a bad thing. I actually think if Xi does it correctly he could rid the island of a lot of the bad corruption and fraud that goes on. We all know of the shady, bad characters who operate between Hong Kong and Macau.

    Frankly, a lot of these protestors are being used as pawns (even if they believe in their cause) by very rich and powerful people in HK who in no way shape or form want the chinese government being able to exert any control over HK or Macau. This includes rich triad, corrupt banking officials, corrupt money launderers etc etc etc…

    I personally believe President Xi could clean the place up, but he’d have to do it peacefully without any internet crackdown and brainwashing which I’m not sure he’s able to accomplish?

    In any event I find the events unfolding very interesting because it’s the first time in history something like this is occurring.

  76. I sincerely think the article gained nothing but polarized political arguments purely based upon personal opinions. Simply stop posting on these topics please.

  77. @Alfred Wainwright Kudo’s to Brain washes minions who sprinkles democracy from internet to developing worlds and simply hope it will work.

  78. Support CAAC this time. Regardless of politics, terrorists should not allowed to fly a plane. Avoid another 911.

  79. Hey westerners !I m from China and live in U.S& China ,the freedom I had in China is as much as I have in here U.S. I don’t understand those western people like to say Chinese no freedom /no human rights/full controlled bla bla ,just being judgements by read the news on media , have you really lived in China ? If not where did you get this ideal that China has no freedom? In U.S the so called democracy is true Freedom ? If so how come people got shoot all the time ? Last week 20 people killed in El Paso , is that you call freedom? Democracy? Anyone can get gun whatever and shot anyone they want , cuz of human rights there is no death penalty so worse scenario is life sentence in jail with free accommodation by killing innocent people . Where is the victim’s human rights?Is that a great concept of democracy? Ask yourself how much freedoms you really have in USA , can you beat a cop here in U.S? Do you really elect the president? Or they present few politicians and you can only vote one of them ? Doesn’t president assign the judges? And the other important positions? You really think all of them chosen by you as a individual citizen ? I love both countries and I travel back forth , the two countries have two different systems but doesn’t mean one is better than another. They just different, as someone who grew up in China and I can tell you , we like the way it’s and we like the rule there which is best for Chinese.

  80. STAND UP AND SUPPORT HONG KONG PEOPLE FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM. UNLESS YOU ARE A COMMUNIST, YOU SHOULD STOP TRAVELING TO CHINA AND BOYCOTT ALL CHINESE CARRIERS UNTIL THE DEMANDS OF THE PEACEFUL, CIVILIZED PROTESTERS ARE MET. DON’T LET CHINA BULLY PEOPLE WHO VALUE FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY.

  81. @ezez
    I personally know the handler who gave you 5000 RMB for you to troll on this blog.

    See? That’s just as believable as your claim.

    Keep repeating your made-up story, you’re just fooling your own people.

  82. So to summarize, the wumao story is that millions of citizens took to the streets to protest, because “Western powers” paid them money and provided training.

    Just think, is that even feasible? How much money would they need?

    There are many pro-Beijing media in HK, they keep repeating the same claim, yet none of them could produce any remotely credible evidence.

    On the other hand, we saw videos of participants in pro-Beijing rallies collecting money after the rallies. I am not saying this proves anything — I’m not like those wumaos — but this is more evidence than the other side could ever provide.

  83. To everyone who expressed their support for HK people: Thank you so much! We appreciate your support.

  84. @Tam,

    Enjoy your soliloquy. Time will tell. Nothing will be changed. But your voice is well heard.

  85. @Tam,

    No matter how much you scream, you cannot change the downturn of Hong Kong and you cannot help Hong Kong become a better place at all. The more you speak, the more pathetic you look. The fact that more and more smart & rich Hong Kongers move to mainland China is unstoppable, leaving the incapable, talentless and violent Hong Kongers rioting with themselves. Hong Kong is still the Hong Kong, but mainland China has been developing rapidly for four decades and will not stop due to this protests. I am not pro-China nor pro-HK, but I just feel that the what is happening right now will be as trial as possible if you look at the history from a bigger perspective.

    As someone living in Singapore, I feel very comfortable in such a country without much democracy. Maybe you think we are crazy, but from our Singaporean perspectives, as long as the government is focusing on improving citizens’ life qualities and social prosperity, there is indeed not much to complain. Everyone here loves Lee Kuan Yew enough though he was quite a dictator.

    It reminded that 10 years ago Hong Kong and Singapore were competing with each other in many fields, everyone knew that Hong Kong was simply a puppy of China, and Hong Kong will be a disaster without the support from China. Since then, We Singaporean have proven a better path to become a highly developed country by a powerful central government in which of civil happiness level is much higher than that of Hong Kong.

    Good luck Hong Kong. Good luck Taiwan, and good luck South Korea. This century is definitely a century of China. We have to face the reality.

  86. @Abe,

    Generally I agree with you. I do look forward to what is going to happen next. Using millions of pawns (like the #Tam# above) probably was out of the expectations of Hong Kong governors and President Xi. Nonetheless I won’t be surprised to see things go back to normal within a month. This cannot last much longer.

    Interesting article to read: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/0CswtWbqGzvzQTk6ElR7ww

  87. “Regardless of politics, terrorists should not allowed to fly a plane. Avoid another 911.”

    That has to be the most disgusting and insulting comment yet. What a horrible comparison to make.

    “In U.S the so called democracy is true Freedom ? If so how come people got shoot all the time ?”

    Typical deflection. People getting shot by private citizens isn’t something you can compare to government suppression policies and lack of political freedom.

    “Where is the victim’s human rights?”

    When their assailants get prosecuted by the government?

    “Do you really elect the president? Or they present few politicians and you can only vote one of them ? ”

    Any choice is usually better than no choice. Just saying.

    “Doesn’t president assign the judges? And the other important positions? You really think all of them chosen by you as a individual citizen ?”

    Um, that’s how the democratic system of the US works…you elect someone that you hope will appoint people to positions that reflect your voting choice.

    I’m not saying the US is perfect, far from it, it has it’s share of problems. But it is years ahead of China in terms of human rights and political freedom.

  88. “The fact that more and more smart & rich Hong Kongers move to mainland China is unstoppable, leaving the incapable, talentless and violent Hong Kongers rioting with themselves”

    Any statistics to back this up?

    “I personally believe President Xi could clean the place up”

    Shouldn’t he focus first on cleaning up the corruption and fraud in China?

    “As someone living in Singapore, I feel very comfortable in such a country without much democracy.”

    That might work for you and the people of Singapore, but apparently not for the people of Hong Kong.

  89. @Julia,

    “That might work for you and the people of Singapore, but apparently not for the people of Hong Kong.”

    True. Back in the days during the British colonies, Singapore and Hong Kong were indifferent. Then Hong Kong was given some freedom to some extent, but Singapore was developed in a much healthier condition.

    Now, Hong Kongers want *more* freedom through riots… I have to give my most sincere wishes to you guys.

  90. Geez, someone riled up Winnie the Pooh’s propaganda machine. The comment section here has completely gone to trash. The only winner here is Lucky who collects the cash.

  91. Hong Kong has missed so many chances to become a better place. Now it’s a black hole fully controlled by those real estate and financial monopolies. Then what? Most citizens can barely pay the rent, while cannot find a good job in any innovative and technology companies…

    I just cannot see any good future of Hong Kong. No matter it’s managed by China, the old money triads or the protests.

    It’s an upset and factual reality.

  92. @David,

    Yes. Both Chinese and Hong Kongers are terribly desperate.

    Lucky has got so many free traffic and money by bringing this up. Such a smart businessman.

  93. @ Goodluck
    You think China could give 2 hoots about Singapore? Some people do argue that on the basis of some familial connection. I don’t buy it. Already the wheels are coming off theSingapore economy and there’s no salvation in the Silk Road proposals.
    As for Hong Kong, the Beijing muppets and local lapdogs just couldn’t leave well enough alone but had to push on with the extradition law. Absolutely crazy.
    Long time HK observers will recall the case of ‘ Big Spender ‘, an incompetent crook who pinched a lot of money. When he got caught, public sympathy was well and truly on his side. But Beijing rushed him across the border in the middle of the night, for a kangaroo court case and execution. That case made HK’ers very angry. Without the unhindered application of HK law, anyone would be vulnerable to Beijing’s whim and fancy.

  94. @GoodLuck
    Oh how Singaporean — always competitive. It seems that you think Singapore has “won” in every way, but you still care enough about Hong Kong to write 4 long comments about it.

    I will just say that my generation had never considered Singapore a “competitor”. Feel free to overtake us in every metric — for some reason this seems very important to you guys. That’s fine. We just don’t care.

  95. Singaporeans are pretty well disliked by most other Asians. Go ahead and ask any FA on any Asian airline which Asian routes they dislike the most, and SIN will invariably come up. GoodLuck is a good showpiece for why.

  96. Dear Ben,
    I have always appreciated your analysis on aviation news, but since last time when the well-beyond-aviation-bound discussion about Xinjiang province get propped up on a flight from Urumqi to Vienna, I began growing suspect over your political positions. This post only further solidifies it. As it had turned out, sometimes, people sitting in Business class with votes in hand really preassumes that it is the case everywhere. This is what I am most concerned about.

  97. @Julia, I am an American and a westerner.

    But for those unfamiliar with what President Xi has done for China are naive. Study history and look and some of the things he has done. Is there corruption in mainland China? Sure. Is there corruption in the USA? Sure.

    But when he came to power in 2012 he arrested people who were so corrupt in mainland China because they thought they could not be touched given their communist party background. He broke the status-quo and had them arrested. Not to mention the trade war and economic position he’s put China in.

    So is President Xi a dictator? I would say it depends on your perspective. This is not a a black and white argument. I would definitely compare President Xi to Lee Kuan Yew Of Singapore. He was autocratic, but he was extremely effective. It continues to be like that in Singapore.

    This mantra of “Hong Kong good, China bad” is just juvenile. The whole dynamic and situation is very complicated.

  98. Lucky, you’ll discover when you post anything which is construed as anti-China, such comments will be seized upon and swarms of negative and hateful comments towards Hong Kong people. This thug mentality has been witnessed worldwide as HK students are harassed and even assaulted when they share information about the city’s current situation. Let’s be clear: Millions of people have demonstrated (2 million alone on 16 June) and the airport protests have been peaceful. This is all about the Chinese Government fearing protests will spread. As a HKer, we will continue to make sure the world knows about the Dictatorship in Beijing and their attempts to break the 1984 Joint British Sino Agreement. Their behaviour is reminiscent of Nazi Germany. If you want more information, watch Vox HONG KONG Protests explained for more info.

  99. Ask some of these commenters what the term LOCUST means … GoodLuck is the best example of this term.

  100. @Tam
    I feel so sorry for you.
    As I have said, I simply said what I knew, and you have your right to believe it or not.
    You pointed that the idea of “millions of protestors” getting paid is not even feasible and you know what I agree with with on that. But have I ever said that they all get paid? No, I said I knew someone who got paid for going to a protest. No matter how hard you try still you can’t disprove me, can you?
    “I personally know the handler who gave you 5000 RMB for you to troll on this blog.” You don’t even know me.

    Attacking me hysterically and personally with this made-up crap is utterly disgusting. I genuinely feel sorry for you. Get out of the bubble of your fellow local feiqings and go get a life, please.

  101. I am a Chinese. Although I like those protesters, I support the decision of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

    Reasons:
    1) CAAC is preventing “Genmanwings-flug 95252” happened on Cathay now. Although it is very low chance that, nobody can guaranty it.

    2) Banning those heat crews to china will stop passing a contaminated food to mainland passages and no spitting in the food too (LOL). Those crews don’t like Chinese government, and some of them hate the mainland people for sure. Cathy can fly them to US, to European but not China.

  102. I guess the pro-China comments coming from Western people here are not especially shocking. Most of the this blog’s Deplorable readers are against the Chinese government only in as much as its maneuverings reveal Trump to be an ignoramus. They couldn’t care less about human rights abuses or the asphyxiation of democracy—those things are only pertinent when they happen to white populations.

    Also, I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but Taiwan is essentially independent already. And if the Hong Kong protests don’t reach a sane, pro-democratic conclusion, President Tsai is going to be re-elected in a landslide in January, and the conversation about actual independence is only going to intensify. Taiwan is not going to let itself become the next Hong Kong.

  103. @Proud Hong Konger, @Tam,

    I am a Hong Konger and am ashamed at what you were saying. We Hong Kongers should stop abuse Chinese verbally and bring up facts and reasons logically, rationally and civilly. The way you speak did not help us. It only make fools of 7 million Hong Kongers.

  104. The CAAC is the most backwards, punishment and fear driven institution/governing body in this world.

  105. @Chill It is simple, can you log on to Facebook in China without a vpn, go on Google or any search engine and search “June 4th”, or can you vote on anything in China? Not saying America is the world leader in democracy or any sort of freedom but sure it is light years ahead of China. People will say that it is a violent protest but when a pretty large proportion of people protested mostly peacefully, the government didn’t give a damn, what do you expect the people to do? Laughable to say you have as much freedom in China as most places in the world.

  106. @LOVEHK

    Throughout June, protesters sought dialogue but the Government disappeared. Now we have triad-alligned police who are out of control and no sign of dialogue.

    The business elite in HK only care about making money and are willing to sacrifice HK’s Youth’s future. CATHAY PACIFIC is not the only company nor sector of the community protesting. This is a city wide movement. This is something that people like LOVEHK just cannot accept.

  107. Politics aside, the local police did do unspeakable stuff and would have been sued in the western world. For instance, they shot a medic blind last night, and pushed protestors down a running escalator (both were on live feeds). That’s pretty messed up.

  108. Totally reasonable to ensure the safety of passengers. If Cathay Pacific does not comply, it may be denied usage of mainland China airspace, which surrounds HK.

  109. Goes to show businesses should always stay out of politics. You should never bite the hand that feeds you. It’s really just common sense. China certainly has a legitimate security concern here. Flight security should never be taken lightly. Who knows what the staff or pilot can do to sabotage China and its people? I don’t think China is being harsh here. It’s just pure stupidity from Cathay Pacific to allow its staff to protest publicly and leak customers information out (in this case, the customers were the Hong Kong Police soccer team).

  110. Good Riddance. Cathay asked for it. How can their management be so dumb and irresponsible. They need to pay the price for their stupidity, endangering the lives of travelling passengers: it’s plain common sense – pilots and air hostesses are not supposed to engage in any such anti-social activities that are in direct conflict with their day-to-day jobs. Airports are a virtual home for pilots and air hostesses. There is no better example of a direct conflict of interests. It’s incumbent upon any Airline employer to immediately fire any of their airline employees who participate in such anti Govt rallies associated with rioting, arson and destruction of public property. Not doing so, geometrically increases the risks to all flights and their passengers. These airline personnel have direct access to security areas within the Immigration area and to critical areas on the aircraft’s in which they fly. What’s to prevent delinquent airline personnel from carrying out sabotage or acts of terrorism. Today it’s protesting and rioting at the airport terminal, tomorrow these radicalised nut cases could carry an offensive weapon or explosives on to the aircraft. Simply cannot be tolerated. They are free to resign from their jobs and become professional rioters. If not they should be fired forthwith and banned from the airlines. Senior management at Cathay who didn’t display simple common sense and responsibility to allow this to happen should also be placed under scrutiny for their sheer incompetence.

    Don’t blame China for Cathay Pacific’s mismanagement and downfall. Chinese authorities, CAAC had already given CX the choice. Don’t fly into mainland China’s airspace and CX doesn’t need to comply with their directives. This was very clearly stated. Their country, their law.

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