Sad Layover In A Subtly Unfamiliar Hong Kong

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific, Travel

I wrote about my misadventures during a Singapore layover, though that wasn’t my only layover in Asia on this trip. I also had a quick 10 hour overnight in Hong Kong, as I arrived at around midnight and left around 10AM the next morning.

Even though I didn’t enter the city, the layover made me sad…

Hong Kong Has A Special Place In My Heart

Hong Kong has long been one of my favorite cities in the world. It’s the first city in Asia I ever visited, and to this day it’s a city that I could see myself living in (and there aren’t many cities I feel that way about).

I truly love Hong Kong, and find it to be such a dynamic, international, approachable city.

Hong Kong’s Sad & Inspiring Few Months

As probably everyone knows, there have been huge protests in Hong Kong for months. On the one hand it has been heartbreaking to see, though on the other hand it has been inspiring to see the level to which the people of Hong Kong have come together to fight for what they believe in.

I feel like in the US we constantly have protests with very little follow through. We act outraged about something for 24 hours, and then drop it. In Hong Kong they maintain the outrage for months, and get things done.

Prior to today I hadn’t been in Hong Kong since the protests started. Personally I’d have no qualms visiting the city, and haven’t even avoided it. Rather it just hasn’t been in my travel plans.

My Emotional Hong Kong Layover

Passing through Hong Kong Airport, and even flying Cathay Pacific, felt different this time around, to the point that it made me emotional, and I had to hold back tears this morning (in fairness, I’m also deliriously tired after this travel week, so that might have something to do with it).

What I can’t figure out is if my observations are simply reflecting how I’m feeling about Hong Kong, or if the energy has in fact different than usual.

For one, I stayed at the Regal Airport Hotel connected to HKIA last night, and this morning when I went to the airport I had to show my passport and boarding pass to even enter the terminal. That’s not a big deal, but that oddly resonated with me and made me sad, because that didn’t used to be thing, and we know why it’s now the case.

So, what was actually different? I couldn’t help but feel like the energy of everyone was just a bit off. It wasn’t extreme or readily apparent to someone who hasn’t been to Hong Kong many times before — there wasn’t a huge walk-out, people weren’t crying, and there wasn’t chaos.

Rather there was just this subtle feeling in the air.

From Cathay Pacific cabin crew, to ground staff, to security agents, to many passengers, the vibe that I’m used to feeling in Hong Kong (yes, even at the airport) just wasn’t there.

It really felt like everyone was trying to take a “business as usual” approach, which is all you can do. But across the board people just came across as subtly defeated, tired, and scared.

Bottom Line

Hong Kong is a city like no other, with some incredible people. It has been both sad and inspiring to see what has unfolded there the past several months, and I was curious to see what passing through the airport would be like.

I’ve always thought that Hong Kong had a unique and indescribable energy (yes, even when just flying through there), and that seemed to be missing this time. Now, it’s possible that I have some level of confirmation bias — I was expecting things to be different, and maybe picked up on some things more than I previously would have.

But I most definitely felt that the Hong Kong spirit that I’m used to was missing this time around. I don’t know to what extent that was me reflecting my feelings, or to what extent that was really there.

If you’ve passed through Hong Kong in the past few months, did you notice anything different?

Comments
  1. Had a 2-hour layover in HKG, on Oct 1st, which happen to be China’s National Day, and things were ongoing on Hong Kong streets.
    I was flying Cathay Dragon to mainland China. Didn’t feel anything out of line.

    The flight had roughly only 10% seat taken, and just me and another passenger in business class cabin, which had nearly 40 or so seats.

  2. I traveled through HKIA about a month ago. I was just on a 5 hour connection. But I agree it all felt a bit subdued. I’ve been following developments there quite closely. I’d planned to spend a long weekend there but decided to just stay in Taiwan for the extra time instead. Ultimately I am sure it was the right choice for me. But I have certainly read all of the accounts about effects of the protests on tourists and how avoidable the problems are (or aren’t). In the end I just felt like I would not be able to have a fun, relaxing time there given what’s been happening.

    I’m not optimistic that this will end up well for anyone. Both sides are pretty dug in.

  3. I spent a summer working in Hong Kong at 20 years old. Got off my CX JFK-HKG flight knowing nobody, first time in Asia, and had the summer of my life. Loved it so much I brought my entire family back to visit Hong Kong with me 2 years later, as it had a special place in my heart. Will be very interesting to see how I feel next time I visit.

  4. Your feelings are probably correct. The Chinese police state is slowly crushing the Hong Kong spirit you speak of. It was inevitable and the British were very foolish and short-sighted to believe that the Communist Party would actually allow Hong Kong’s constitutional system to survive for 50 years. Even sadder is the likelihood that China would have agreed to a 50 year extension of the existing treaty with Britain for a price. But for Britain, those days were over and it was cheaper and easier to cut and run.

  5. Went to HKG twice this year…May and November…
    Been there 100+ times and have many friends there. In May I noticed security was a little stricter when I went from HKG to Guangzhou on the high-speed rail. The mainlanders have their own “line of control” within the HKG side rail station. Once you step over, it immediately becomes Orwellian.
    In November security measures were in place inside the airport on both land and airside. MTR boarding platforms were partially closed and security personnel were watching all arrivals. Departure screening began with a queue outside of the airport doors. Bags were scanned and passports and boarding passes checked.
    At night the mood on the streets is tense and I witnessed a couple “pop-up” protests where they blocked the streets and set fires, fleeing before the riot cops showed up. During the day you can hear sirens blaring very frequently, something that you usually don’t hear there.
    The one subjectively bright note here is that the hotel rates are very cheap. I’ve also noticed that the champagne brunches on Sunday have reverted to much more dignified affairs again now that the mainland tourists are staying home.

  6. Maybe all of the energetic people in Hong Kong got tired of of the protests and moved to Shanghai, where I continue to see the same energy, vitality, creativity, and freedom expressed. Check out the contemporary art scene and startling growth of the West Bund, or the urban parks and beautification that has been completed even in just the last two years.

    Maybe people are a bit anxious and a bit less rich due to the trade war.

    Or maybe you’re getting a bit older, you’ve traveled about 400,000 miles a year primarily using miles and points to enhance your first class experiences, and you don’t have quite the same sense of wonderment anymore.

    As someone who has sympathy for both Hong Kong’s democratic freedoms, and the long road that mainland China has taken to its present place as a near-superpower, I encourage everyone to read about and understand the protests from a variety of news sources. The narrative that’s being bandied about in most western news sources is quite simplistic.

  7. For me, Hong Kong stopped being Hong Kong when the British left. Now it’s just another big city in China.

  8. I spent the end of August and the first half of September in HK, while it was “business as usual” people still had an upbeat spirit and I had some of the best experiences that I will cherish forever! Stay strong Hong Kong

  9. @Gregg that’s an interesting point. I only visited Hong Kong after the handover. Can you (or anyone else) comment on some of the differences you noticed before and after the British left? How is this reflected in people’s attitudes and behaviors, or life in the city? Do you think the change is because some of the best and brightest left for Vancouver et. al., or the reduction of British officials in the city, or something else?

    I consider many “big cities in China” to be among the most vital, interesting, and creative places I’ve seen in the world, so I don’t necessarily see Hong Kong’s changes as pejorative, but I’d be super-interested to learn how you and others believe the city has changed since the handover.

  10. @Gregg – I think that was the reality – but at the same time, you can’t fault the people who are born and bred there to try and resist it being just another Chinese city…sadly, the government in China is more concerned about being called Pooh bear than moving forward.

  11. Hong Kong is hands down one of our favorite cities anywhere. Maybe things have changed since P2 was in HK with colleagues for a few days in early November. They reported that the willingness of HK residents to stand up for their freedoms and self-determination was stronger than its ever been, with a significant majority of everyone they spoke with openly critical of Xi and Lam, and the attempted police crackdowns. Sure, some were critical of some of the methods being used by the resistance, but even those people were much more critical of the government. And willing to say so to complete strangers!

    Mr. Kendor has it backwards–the more creative and energetic people from the mainland continue to move to Hong Kong (and elsewhere), where they won’t be interrogated, suspended, fired, jailed, or even worst if they dare speak out against the government.

  12. They still stay at where they are, they went on street to protest, and nothing changed except this is the period of protesting. China does not change too much things fundamentally, tried its best to protect HK in many ways as other parts of the world are watching and criticizing all the time. The real issue is actually the conflicts about HK people’s identities, who they are or who they wants to be?

  13. It is so sad what China is doing to one of the great cities of the world. I hope I live to see the day the people of Hong Kong gain their full freedom and independence from the tyrannical occupation of China.

  14. Very well said, I intentionally went out of my way to had a night stay in Hong Kong, and what you described is exact what I felt like.
    Sad about all the incoming Chinazi trolls. (ps. I don’t condone any sort of violence but everyone should be clear who are worse offender here.

  15. Hong Kong is so overrated. The people are rude and nasty. I am not talking about the brave pro democracy patriot protestors who are wonderful.

    Hong Kong and Singapore are the lazy westerners favorite cities in Asia.

    You recently went on a road trip in Romania. Do something like that in Asia.

  16. The 24 November election results were a clear indicator of who the Hong Kong people are and what they want to be.

  17. So let me share my feelings as a Hongkonger…

    Since June, our freedoms have been suppressed significantly. Random attacks from pro-China thugs (or even police), police shooting live rounds to teenagers at point blank, family of three accused of “unlawful assembly”, reporters detained, universities under siege and all students/staff inside charged with “riots”, unusually high number of missing persons and mysterious suicides…

    Of course there are some actions from protesters that some of us may frown upon, but none of us would choose such extreme methods if not under life-threatening/distressed conditions. We would rather spend our time at The Pier sipping champagne and plan our next ski trip in Switzerland over marching/protesting on streets.

    We can’t just return to our “normal life” as how it was.

    Sorry to let you down this time but I sincerely hope your “familiar” Hong Kong will welcome you back with open arms on your next visit.

  18. Hong Kong has (or had) a certain dynamic energy that is unmatched in mainland China…even in cities like Shanghai, it just doesn’t compare.

  19. It is interesting to know Lucky can see himself living in HK. It sounds like a compliment for the city but it is actually the problem is. Why some foreigner who would be so quickly fall in love in the city that he has no connection to? If someone is too good to be true, then it probably is .

    HK has long enjoy the privilege to be the gateway between China and the West. They take advantage of the isolation of China and enjoy big profit from rent seeking business. But with things changed, they are fading away and some people certainly don’t like it.

    Democracy is just a excuse. Let’s assume HK got independence and universal suffrage , their problem will not go away and the society will quickly collapse regardless.

    HK is not like Singapore which under a strong government has been prepare for the future and diversify their economy for decades. Name one thing HK is doing well besides Finance. I will give them restaurant, but that is about it. Singapore has some quite sophisticated hi-tech industries on the other hand.

    People like Lucky would like HK much more than Singapore because HK is what you can call a libertarian heaven. The HK ‘s problem ironically exactly because what you think NOT: no interference from Beijing and have too much freedom.

    When people think about freedom , they always think about their own personal freedom; what they forgot is when there is no restriction, people with wealth and power always gain disproportional from freedom and have big impact on entire society. Every time HK government try to do something to expand the city’s economy portfolio, such as build hi-tech centers, it was defeated by big interest groups which Beijing just sit on their hands to maintain the 1-country/2-system image.

  20. You’ve hit the nail on the head.

    Definitely not a confirmation bias here Ben; the ongoing events–and the unknown and probably scary future– are constantly at the back of our minds, even as we put on brave faces and go on our lives as usual. I bet that’s what bothering every single local that you have met during your layover. Businesses are definitely as usual, but I am impressed by how you were able to smell that fear in the air. It’s true. And it will stay true for a while.

  21. @ JetAway
    “Even sadder is the likelihood that China would have agreed to a 50 year extension of the existing treaty with Britain for a price.”

    I think that scenario is utterly implausible.

    In fact, the British had the theoretical option of keeping the core city (which was assigned to it in perpetuity) and merely handing back the New Territories (the large surrounding area, which was the bit on a time-limited lease).

    In practice, the core on its own was unsustainable. The boundaries were drawn with the idea of what geographical area was necessary for a nineteenth century trading enclave, not what was needed for a very late twentieth century global city.

    The British had a desperately weak negotiating hand: apart from the very dubious morality of being an imperial power (with a long record of economic exploitation), it was under huge time pressure (the clock was ticking on the lease), and it had no leverage — even, ultimately, militarily it would have been unlikely to be able to defend HK over vastly extended supply lines against adjacent China (in the Falklands War it could barely defeat weak Argentina (which was in a worse position than China was over HK) since it also struggled with supply issues). Global projection of power is increasingly difficult (arguably only the USA and (maybe) Russia still have the ability to globally project large scale military force; the UK and, maybe, France could mount small operations worldwide on their own, but only against weak opposition. Everyone else would likely be limited to regional power projection).

    In the circumstances, it was difficult to see how the British could have got any deal better than the one they managed: “one country, two systems”.

    Frankly, the biggest British failure was in not permitting HK people to emigrate to the UK prior to the handover: strict migration quotas were put in place. The dynamic transformation of the stodgy UK economy caused by an influx of, say, a million entrepreneurial Chinese can only be imagined.

  22. Ya, I think that difference in protest follow through you point out is the difference between people that are actually outraged their freedom is being threatened versus whatever dressing up like a bumblebee in protest of the weather is supposed to be.

  23. Not sure when so many people are obsessed with Hong Kong. Did you guys love Hong Kong because there was freedom? Then why was it any different from a random city in the West?

  24. @msmcmotown I was being slightly flip and obviously facetious with the comment that all of the interesting HK-ers have moved to Shanghai (or Vancouver, or wherever), though I think it’s useful to counter people’s stereotypes and latent xenophobia/racism with the reality that there are many vital, interesting, energetic cities in Asia, including many in mainland China.

    Summoning up images of Stalin, Nazis, or 1984 is an easy narrative, but I don’t think it accurately describes what’s happening in Hong Kong (or China) right now. I say that not supporting all of the actions of HK government/China, and also not supporting the more extreme, armed, and violent elements of the protests, e.g. https://nypost.com/2019/11/11/hong-kong-protests-man-doused-in-liquid-set-on-fire-after-shouting-at-protesters/ . If you truly support free speech, maybe don’t incinerate people whose point of view is different than yours.

    I’m still a bit baffled why the British chose to leave in the way that they did.

  25. @Iu
    “ have too much freedom”

    There’s a rallying cry: stupid people, let brave and mighty government officials take control of your lives, because you have too much freedom and you should instead be a cog in the machine which has been created — and is managed — by people who are much more worthy than you.

    Bring on Ming the Merciless…

  26. Ben, thanks for writing this piece.

    I recently read a New York Times Opinion piece by Karen Cheung titled Living in Dark Mode. It is an excellent read and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a glimpse of what this feels like to a Hong Konger. There is a line in there that resonates where she says “I look at Hong Kong and wonder whether this is what the end of the world feels like.”

    I myself was born in Hong Kong. Left with my parents when I was 7. That was 40 years ago. I’ve returned to HK regularly for most of my adult life. I was just there in May before the protests started enjoying my stay at the Ritz Carlton on the 108th Floor basking in the glory that is Hong Kong. I’ve been to 109 countries but EVERY TIME I land at HKG, I feel like I’ve come home. It is part of who I am. It is in my blood. To see this happening just breaks my heart. It brings tears to my eyes.

    I don’t know how this will all end but I think part of Hong Kong is dying with each passing day and I just can’t bear it.

  27. You must have boarding pass to get into terminal? or proof of departure like reservations & ticket and get boarding pass in terminal?

  28. JetAway,

    The Brits left Kong Kong because they really only had the island. All the power, water etc was in Kowloon which China was entitled to take back anyway.

  29. @Jeff (way off topic) Every time I see “Democracy Dies in Darkness” on the masthead of the Washington Post, I throw up in my mouth a bit. It’s like the drama queens from a third-tier J-School took over the editorial board of the Washington Post. It’s not the job of supposedly objective newspapers of record to trot out propaganda and maxims about Right Thinking, nor to virtue-signal how awesome they are above the fold. Leave this kind of thing inside the fortune cookie where it belongs.

    Full disclosure: don’t like Trump at all, do prefer quality journalism.

  30. @Kendor–I’m relieved to see that you were being “slightly flip and obviously facetious,” because the arguments you made were very similar to those being spread throughout much of Europe (and probably elsewhere) by the Chinese government’s troll farms–as are your efforts to create a false equivalence between the massive systemic violence being waged by the authoritarian Chinese state with the desperate actions of some Hong Kong citizens.

  31. Eye roll. So much drama. Did you even go into the city? Sounds like your reflections were from staying at the airport & airport hotel. LOL.

  32. @msmcmotown You can have a look at the history of my posts and decide if authoritarian China is outsourcing its PR to me. I’d strongly suggest they look elsewhere for their help.

    My layperson’s advice to the HK protesters is to lose the facemasks, clubs, and body armor unless they’re willing to turn what should be a principled and articulate stand for free speech and autonomy into an American-revolution-style armed conflict. Armored protestors engaging in organized violence leaves people like me, who are typically vigorous defenders of free speech and the first amendment, not knowing quite what to think.

  33. @Tom British HK was over 1000 km square and included a Kowloon Lantau Island and the New Territories all the way to the border with Shenzhen

  34. @Kendor
    I’m confused then. What is the course of action when the government disregards protests from a substantial portion of the population, starts tear-gassing approved and completely nonviolent marches, and eventually stops allowing marches all together? Because that’s what happened back in June and early July, before anyone got killed from either side. What’s your recourse when you can’t vote the policymakers out and they have no desire or incentive to compromise with you or even listen to you?

  35. As someone who has lived in mainland China and Hong Kong, I never considered Hong Kong to be China in the sense that it always felt free as opposed to authoritarian. I stand with Hong Kong in its fight for freedom and democracy. The Chinese government is committing crimes against humanity and the world has to stand up to its tyranny.

  36. I was in Hong Kong last week for a long planned holiday. Having visited the city many times, I agree that there is now a different vibe. Visibly, the city has changed, as there is graffiti everywhere – on the ground, walls, underpasses, road barriers, etc. Pavements are like patchwork, as paving blocks have been ripped up, and temporarily concreted over. Chinese owned banks are boarded up and their ATM machines unavailable, including those in the malls. All the MTR stations are scarred with broken ticket machines and turnstiles. Many entrances are boarded up for protection, or closed altogether.
    The city is still busy, but it’s not as packed as it used to be. Stores are half empty. I visited the Museum of Hong Kong and counted just a couple of dozen visitors in my two hour visit – albeit that it had just re opened as it was close to the Polytechnic University. The Night Market was slow, and there were sparse crowds in Mongkok, Sham Shui Po, Wanchai, and even Causeway Bay. The Star Ferry had few tourists. There were police everywhere. In riot gear. They were In the MTR, on street corners, and on the foot bridges.
    I observed the protests first-hand on Sunday in Tsim Tsa Tsui, and observed how quickly crowds gather, and disperse. These sights were all new to me.
    It’s a transitional time for the city. I left it wondering what comes next. However, I’m in no doubt that HK has lost its ‘mojo’, and the city many remember won’t be the same again. It is still an exciting safe city to visit and has a lot to offer, but it has changed.

  37. You’re sad? Well, I would be too if I just flew on an airline that decided to side with the Chinese dictatorship in crushing the employees who want to keep their freedom. I would be sad if thought that my feelings about the “energy” of the airport were relevant at a time when millions of people are fighting against a murderous, tyrannical regime; where people are dying to save their freedom.

  38. Yet people in the US get “outraged” by a Peloton commercial and dont realize how we have it better than 99% of the world.

  39. @Icarus Only Hong Kong island and the tip of Kowloon peninsula were permanently ceded to the British. The rest including Lantau and New Territories we’re leased for 150 years to the British under a second treaty (hence the name New Territories). The lease ended in 1997. Then why the hand over was in 1997. All the major reservoirs, container terminals and airport are on the leased land. Without the New Territories portion, Hong king is not sustainable. Sad for someone who grew up in Hong Kong. I am also very proud of the young people having the courage and determination to seek a better deal for themselves. As they say I was from the rootless generation and I don’t think people from my generation would have such courage.
    All the best Hongkongers.

  40. @Michael–that is very sobering, as were the comments from @Cliff and others with personal connections to HK. I guess I’m past the sad stage of grief, and am full throttle angry. I’ve also been very disappointed that miles and points bloggers who have pitched HK as a fabulous destination for many years have largely not stood up and used their platforms to stand with HK against the encroachments and violence being waged by the mainland.

  41. This very much reflects an itinerary my wife and I had SEA-HKG-BKK a few weeks ago. All of the FAs on the two flights seemed very depressed. They executed their duties in the usual manner, but their usual CX friendliness was replaced with a very subdued and simple politeness. The mood seemed even worse on the ground (at least FAs get to constantly escape). It was very, very sad. I only observed a handful of people exit through immigration, probably 95% of people at the time we arrived were connecting onward.

  42. I had a similar experience. My mother and I flew AUH-HKG-TPE on 16 November. I booked two one-way tickets using AA miles (Thank you Lucky!). The first segment is with EY while the other is on CX. Etihad claimed it was impossible to issue CX portion of the BP as two airlines do not have any agreement. When we stopped by the transfer desk to get our BPs, CX agent issued my mother’s ticket but questioned me if I was to terminate my travel in Taipei since I have US passport. I told her I would be leaving Taipei the following week for Singapore before returning to U.S. She then asked to see my travel document or she could not issue my BP. I was at lost at first as I did not see the connection between the two trips. I had to scramble to find my SQ itinerary on my phone as I booked the flight last year. Not only did the agent read the e-mail, but she started typing ??? into the computer system. I was very uncomfortable but decided to stay put because I would only ask for trouble.

  43. @JeyAway – Can you be specific about the deal on the table? I was living in Hong Kong during the negotiation and don’t seems to recall any reasonable viable options proposed.

  44. On a different angle, if the so-called “freedoms” of Hong Kong are so threatened, or as Ali (and some media in the West put it): “The Chinese government is committing crimes against humanity and the world has to stand up to its tyranny.”
    Then why is the United States not stepping in like it did with certain (oil-rich) countries in the Middle East? The reality is that the economic ties between China and the US are simply too strong. Additionally China are by no means a weak nation and the US wouldn’t stand a chance. So money and corporate power are the real leaders here.

    Regarding HKG, I still love this airport. I love the fact you are not stuck in a shopping mall style corridor and have and uninterrupted wall of glass to observe the aircraft and surrounds. When I last passed through in September, it was quiet, but I didn’t feel any impact from the protests.

  45. @Sherry, this is normal for foreigners entering the US. Are you saying your freedom felt threatened? Because that’s how I feel every time I have to enter the US

  46. I wonder if we went to the same Hong Kong. I was in the city for a brief day visit in September and then again for a few days in November. Yes, hotel prices are rock-bottom and yes, the sidewalks are roomier thanks to many mainland Chinese tourists staying at home. Some slogans painted on walls and some ticket machines closed in the subway, but other than that, it was business as usual everywhere and full flights both ways, both BKK-HKG-BKK in Sept as well as HEL-HKG-HEL in Nov.

    Lucky, we all feel more emotional in the air: https://time.com/5274209/airplane-cry-emotion/

  47. Had a layover in Hong Kong last week and everything was pretty quiet at Tsim Sha Tsui, some police here and there but nothing really crazy. Flew CX J but did not notice any weird things on the plane..

    Hong Kong is nice and vibrant and for someone who has lived in China for a while (near Shanghai) it’s easy to see the difference between the two; it’s the really small things that the HKG government do to make it a bit more comfortable for foreigners. However, Shanghai is still my favourite city; a beautiful mix between old and new.

  48. @Lu

    ‘HK is not like Singapore which under a strong government has been prepare for the future and diversify their economy for decades.’

    You do realise what ‘strong government’ means now do you? Singapore has all the bling bling but talk smack about this ‘strong government’ and they will put you away.

  49. I love Hong Kong. It feels almost like a home away from home because of the amount of time I’ve spent there. There are some reminders of my home in the UK as well so Hong Kong has always held a special place in my heart particularly as it was the first city I ever traveled to in Asia. I went just after the SARS epidemic as I was a student and very tight for cash at the time.

  50. @Dusty: there’s two or three distinct issues here that may be getting conflated.

    The first is the legitimacy and rights of HK people to protest, violently or not, what they see as an erosion of guarantees that were offered to them by China as a part of the handover.

    The second issue is whether it is fair or appropriate to analogize China and Chinese freedoms to Nazis, Soviet Communists, or Orwell’s 1984. Having traveled a lot in China (and HK, and Taiwan), and spoken to many people in those countries, my personal feeling is that sort of rhetoric is not accurate and not helpful.

    The third point of discussion is how these protests are being covered by American media. As is typical of American news sources, I find the coverage fairly incompetent. It is not the job of the media to pick sides or to graft an external narrative from our own histories onto what’s happening in Hong Kong now. I’m not sure many Americans even recognize the distinct political organizations and forces at play, here. Some elements of the unrest are crossing over from being mass peaceful protests by “the people” into what would pejoratively be called rioting and less pejoratively called “resistance” or “rebellion” or “sometimes violent struggle for democratic guarantees.” Note that I am not making any kind of comment on whether these various forms of protest are justified or not. I am certainly not saying we should take up China’s language or characterizations of the present protests. But I feel like American media needs to adjust its language and its descriptions as the protests change, so they can be descriptive, accurate, and somewhat impartial. I do not want our media to create an easy-to-understand novelization of the present situation based off of easy-to-digest tropes from American history.

    Folks who are interested in China, Chinese history, colonialism, and how all of that translates to the behavior, tendencies, and attitudes of the Chinese government today might enjoy reading _Gunboat Justice_, a fantastic three-volume history of “extraterroriality” in China written by British barrister Douglas Clark : https://www.amazon.com/Gunboat-Justice-British-American-Courts/dp/9888273086 . I had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Clark speak at a literary festival in Shanghai a few years ago. I’m not a lawyer, but I found it fascinating. At its height, there were something like 22 separate Western court systems operating in Shanghai. As part of the (humiliating) treaty provisions with Western powers, a Western person who committed a crime in China generally could not be tried by a Chinese court. The Chinese police’s only recourse was to turn the offender over to the authorities and court system for their particular nationality. As you might imagine, this led to a lot of abuse and justice denied. It also led to very strange and amusing legal outcomes: Clark describes one case involving (I think) a German, an American, a Frenchman, and some other nationalities who were caught gambling together. Some of the accused walked free — gambling was perfectly legal in their countries — while other nationalities were convicted and punished by their respective court systems for identical behaviors.

    _Gunboat Justice_ has given me some insight into what may be some of the concerns of some of China’s leadership. Which isn’t to excuse every behavior, but it is useful to understand how its historical traumas may translate into China’s present attitudes and tendencies.

  51. You should have stayed at Marriott SkyCity… kick ass! I had a 17 hr layover, went out to ride the cable cars to the giant Buddha, really nice views!! Flew in with Cathay… WOW… NEVER AGAIN…..they didnt have any upgrade available for purchase at counter in SIN, so stuck in economy emergency exit window seat…. OMFG… it made American Airlines econ look like a FIVE STAR!!!!! My way into Asia with JAL dallas – Narita. JAL one of my ALL TIME FAVS!!!!!

  52. So here’s the dilemma. At his point in time, many people, Universities in particular are attacking the British colonial history as a very bad thing. And sadly many people who live wonderfully free and safe lives in countries built on the British system with many are still part of the Commonwealth.
    On the other hand is Hong Kong where the people are facing a rapid transition to a non British organisation and law system and they are mortified by the loss of safety and rule of law that westerners take for granted. And this has occurred in numerous countries in the past 50 years as internal power-mongers have asserted their rights to self-determination, and in the majority of cases the people are less safe, democratic process has largely gone by the wayside and the majority have a less comfortable lifestyle.
    Lets watch how Hong Kong’s situation evolves, and learn that our own lives in a safe western democracy is worth protecting, and many activists and University Politics Professors should look very carefully about the alternatives before declaiming the proud traditions of western democracies.

  53. Hong Kong is over. It’s done. From a business perspective, it’s just another Chinese city. There is no reason to maintain it over Shanghai, because it is not trustworthy. Courts are not independent, and the government is controlled by Beijing.

    Companies are fleeing Hong Kong, as well they should. Without an economy, the city has no reason to exist.

  54. @Kendor- I lived in HK for 6 years -3 before and 3 after the handover There was no significant change back then. As a matter of fact, except for yet another incompetent chief executive who ended up stepping down a few years later, ( Tung Chee Hwa) some might argue that things improved slightly once the British FILTH (Failed In London, Try Hong Kong losers) could no longer automatically get jobs in HK and needed to show some basic work skills to get a work visa ( before people overreact, this was NOT all Brits, just a fair number of clueless, adventurous losers).

    Tolerance of deviation from the party line has changed most significantly under Xi Jinping, just as it has elsewhere in China. The screws have been tightening everywhere in China. Mr Xi relies on economic growth and brute force elsewhere to tamp down discontent. I’t may work in the short term but is unlikely to work forever. History shows that it doesn’t once most basic needs (food, shelter) have been met.

  55. Having just returned from HK, I now have much, much less sympathy for the protesters. They vandlized over 100 of the metro stations, some of the train track switches, many of Nathan Streets signal lights/pedestrian buttons, and as you know, blockaded the Harbor tunnel. Many of them are violent and don’t don’t seem to respect much. How does vandalizing people’s way to reporting to work, or wherever help? I saw the news footage of the protester severely injuring with a metal pipe the counter protester who simply tried to remove a street barricade. And the university—how they trashed so much. These are such thugs, reminds me of the senseless violence of the USA after a NBA victory or just general rioting, smash and grab merchandise, etc.

  56. @Dennis – not sure if I understand your comment. I was only connecting @ HKG on the air side with no overnight stopover.

  57. Very interesting comments from all, and it’s quite incredible how much interest HK generates.

    I’m curious that no one has brought up the hapless leadership of HK. Sure, she is under the ultimate control of China, but within that, many things could have been done. The situation is somewhat similar to the board and management of any company – the CEO can and should be someone who asserts authority, not just blindly take orders from the board.

    For example, she could have communicated a lot more with HKers; could have withdrawn the bill much earlier; could have allocated a much bigger budget to public housing. These are all well within HK’s own powers and didn’t need China’s approval.

    Instead, there is a scarred HK, fleeing immigrants and capital, and hardened attitudes from China about giving HK too much freedom.

  58. I’ve traveled to HK every few years since 2006 from the states, even studied at CUHK as an American. Every time I go back to Hong Kong it’s vibrant glow, glows a little less and less. I haven’t been back since these most recent protest started, but I don’t think your feelings are incorrect.

  59. Passed through four times in the past three months, not really much significant difference. Service are getting slightly cut though, from the lounge etc. Flight not significantly different.

  60. Having done 75 plus trips to HKG, some extended. I have come to love the city and consider it my “home away from home” when in Asia. I always feel something very special when I land. It’s hard to explain and one of the things I appreciate about this thread is how I now know I am not alone in my feelings. Hong Kong has an incredible energy level yet is romantic at heart. I love the efficiency of the infrastructure and rule of law left by the British (please let it remain), the spectacular skyline over Victoria Harbour, the warm camaraderie I enjoy with the business acquaintances and friends I have made over the years and the thrill of hearing fabulous Philipino bands in the clubs belting out Queens’ WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS’ with all singing along passionately…really meaning it. That to me is the spirit of Hong Kong. After the handover left Hong as a SAR sitting next to its powerful owner promising to allow 1 country, 2 systems to remain in place for 50 years but could pounce at any time , I could not help but have my doubts as to its sustainability. I watched since 1997 as Hong Kong was slowly yet steadily losing its rights under the scheme, one piece at a time. Then in June, the dam burst. The thought of being extradited to Mainland to face their “justice” along with other grievances proved too much. I stand with the Protestors because their aim is true: Their way of life and liberty are threatened. How could anyone not feel sadness and fear in the air?

    I sat down today to begin planning for my 76th or so trip over with a feeling of sadness yet anticipation. I am truly looking forward to the trip and hope that in time, David will be able to defeat Goliath.

    Long live Hong Kong in freedom, peace and pride!

    @Lorraine: Thanks for the tip on the Op-Ed.

  61. ”In Hong Kong they maintain the outrage for months, and get things done.” What did they achieve? Nothing! It’s sad that you share their negativity. Shame.

  62. @Kendor – your comment is thoughtful but unwelcomed. Most people in the US do not really know (nor do they care about) the actual history of HK or China. It is simply too much for them to process. And the media coverage here is doing nothing more than meeting people’s emotional needs of “supporting democratic justice”

  63. @Dennis
    “Then why is the United States not stepping in like it did with certain (oil-rich) countries in the Middle East? The reality is that the economic ties between China and the US are simply too strong. Additionally China are by no means a weak nation and the US wouldn’t stand a chance.”

    Read this article?

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3039673/donald-trump-signs-hong-kong-human-rights-and-democracy-act

    How you explain China’s current dire economics compared to United States?

  64. @Stacy Simoni — “Many of them are violent and don’t don’t seem to respect much. How does vandalizing people’s way to reporting to work, or wherever help?” —

    How does that old saying go … something to the effect of “desperate situations create desperate responses”? Don’t forget that HK Police resorted to violence early on (including blinding a female protester’s eye and shooting student protesters at point-blank range with live bullets, etc, etc, etc).

    Both sides have experienced violence, but I do often wonder whether there have been intentional infiltrators from China who were tasked to sow overt violence from within the democracy protester groups in order to publicly discredit them in the worst ways?

  65. HK was both subdued and quietly on edge this summer. I wish them well in resisting the Chinese. They clearly have spirit and will we do not, as you’ve pointed out. Western protests tend to be silly, self indulgent affairs. Given the genocide happening on the mainland they must know this fight is their best opportunity for any kind of freedom.

  66. Lucky, thank you for a kind and heartfelt piece.
    As someone who has traveled to HK for >35 years, it is very naive to think that Communist China’s government intent was anything other than transitioning HK to just a part of China with the same restrictions and limitations that exist in the rest of the oligarchic entity.
    Britain saw no upside to hanging on to this distant outpost.
    For the Chinese New Empire oligarchs it is a matter of pride to assert their heavy handed rule over these unruly stepchildren.

  67. A Hongkonger here, I was born here and live here for entire life, we are business as usual for most of the time, and not most of the people are fight for the matter just under their imagination. We haven’t lose any freedom and human rights at all. The only freedom we have loose are when the protestors going out to fight with the police and we can’t go to the certain area.

  68. @Kendor
    Thank you for multiple paragraphs that completely failed to answer the question I posed. It’s like I’m watching the police press conference.

  69. @Dusty
    You are most certainly welcome. Your gratitude is a gift. I had a lot of help from my friends, and of course my teachers. (Where, where?)

    I don’t have a concise or insightful answer to the question you posed. But just talking speculatively like a version of myself 30 years younger: if I were in charge of persuasion and propaganda for Hong Kong rén looking to assure their democratic liberties, I would arm my fellow marchers with GoPros, custom tailored suits from tailor Linda in the South Bund Soft Spinning Market, soothing speeches that connected HK vitality with China traditions, and understated commentary about how decades of colonialism of course turned Hong Kong into something “different” and “special.” I know this is really crazy talk, but I actually would ban black clothing, body armor, improvised weapons, hardened face shields, and petrol bombs from my marchers, even the smart ones. I would march here and there and everywhere, articulating the value of my special HK traditions and history and democracy. If the police want to rush in and beat up a bunch of neatly tailored people who are guilty of of the crime of calmly talking, that’s going to play in an entirely different way than someone walking up and clubbing a policeman with a metal pipe. Ideally you end up having a lot of conversations with people who are soothed by your careful emphasis on social order, and you talk, and talk, and talk, and talk some more. Bureaucracies are good at that, bureaucracies like that. Engage them on their terms.

  70. “Hong Kong felt off. Hong Kong felt off. Hong Kong felt off.”

    Man, that is all you said, but to fill space I guess you said over and over again. Not even a description of one incident, much less any reference to what is actually happening vis-a-vis the politics in Hong Kong. All the interesting discussion is in the comments, too bad there was nothing substantive in your blog posting. I think I am going to unsubscribe, as I am slowly realizing there is no longer really anything substantive in your blog any more.

  71. Anyone planning a visit to HK, or even transiting, should carefully check the T & C’s of their travel Insurance (you all have some, right?)

    Since the Chinese government has rather hysterically classified all disturbances as ‘riot’, insurers can view their liability quite differently, and deny you coverage if you knowingly visit any area where riots have/are occurring. Plans can be majorly disrupted if airlines cancel flights (due to low loads, or in extreme cases safety of crew). Visitor personal safety may also not be covered if thing suddenly pearshaped also.
    There are many things which could go wrong which your insurance might not cover. Better safe than sorry IMO!

  72. As a hongkonger, I think this may just be your jetlag kicking in. I’ve flown a lot during the protests and the last few weeks have been quite ‘normal’ in terms of vibe at the airport especially. Yes there are the clues like the showing boarding pass before entering the terminal, but the rest is quite normal.

  73. HK is an amazing city to visit but unless you are in a very high income bracket it is honestly not a great city to live in. Housing is incredibly unaffordable and tiny, there’s ever-declining lack of job opportunities and the general vibe among the locals is pretty sad and depressing (even long before the protests started). This is one of the key reasons for the protests, even though they were sparked by the now cancelled extradition bill.

  74. Having visited HK a few times and having good friends there I found some comments here very enlightening, especially those of @Kendor and @The nice Paul, and their analyses were way more sophisticated than the rubbishy tropes being peddled by Western media, especially American ones. There seems to be nostalgia amongst some young HKers for the British era. But I used to visit HK then and I can tell you that democracy was nowhere in sight and my Chinese friends resented the racist baggage that colonialism is always associated with such as exclusive clubs, etc. And I found it ironic to see protesters unfurling the American flag, presumably as a beacon of ‘freedom’. Were they to do what they did in the US of A there’d be blood, gore, and deaths galore and the shenanigans will be put down in a couple of days. So the Chinese and HK govts. have been amazingly restrained in their response considering the extreme provocations.

    My friends in the PRC are convinced that there are Western black hands at play in HK; this is doubtful but who can blame them due to the penchant of Americans to sponsor and promote self-serving ‘colour revolutions’ to dislodge govts. that the US of A think inimical to financial rapine? Westerners promoting human rights in China; ha ha, imagine that after their Middle East wars, holocausts against native Americans, Jews, and the Roma; the imprisonment of brown children ongoing in the US; Abu Ghraib; Guantanamo; etc., etc. etc. That the violent protests come at a time when Uncle Sam is trying to strongarm China financially, commercially, and militarily is not lost on the Chinese and adds to their fury.

    I am afraid this is not going to end well for the people of HK. China is no pushover and the Xi regime is certainly not going to climb down and show the people of Taiwan and the border regions how to win an argument. It all started with a not-unreasonable demand from the PRC to hand over a murderer who had fled to HK. The protests seemed admirable at first but then got taken over by violent thugs. The people of HK should have pulled back at that point and been thankful that the giant next door had given in and accepted a reversal on the issue. Any visitor to HK would have noticed the wealth of the people. What the heck were they protesting about? Freedom? HKers were much ‘freer’ than mainlanders but everyone knew the deal when the Brits pulled out. Of course, as in all such ‘revolutions’, the moderates were pushed back and the violent extremists took over.

    Enough! Now both sides pull back!

  75. My spouse and I quite frequently visited Hongkong and the city holds a dear place in our heart. We traveled there the last time just over two weeks ago. The city has definitely changed, changed to a point where we both had tears in our eyes over what is going on there. We stayed at the same hotel near Victoria Harbour, and the concierge whom we have known for years bit us farewell. He is moving back to the UK with his family and he said the Chinese will crack down on the protesters at all costs. The spirit of Hongkong is dying. Really, really sad.

  76. @endre, so its only ok if Kongers are ruled by the white ppl?! Pls do F off. China has obey the agreement and allowed Kongers to run their own city to the ground. Crackdown?! What crackdown?! However the low skilled foreign workers should be kicked out like your so called friend!

  77. Hong Kong is one of my favourite places! THEY (China) are trying to destroy (hide) the special energy of the city, since you cannot destroy energy…

    Energy is a real thing, and people are starting to get a lesson in this. I hear you today!!!!

    2020 vision is coming.

  78. “Which isn’t to excuse every behavior”

    Sure, Jan. You seem to be subtly trying to excuse the behavior of the Chinese government, while at the same time trying to blame the victims (the people of Hong Kong) for resorting to the tactics they are using since they basically have no other options to effect change anymore.

    @Stacy Simoni & Pacificohk & Indopithecus

    You’re not fooling anyone either…

  79. You’re not really attempting to commentate on the situation on the ground in Hong Kong based on a quick transfer through the airport, are you? I’ve never considered you a proper traveler, but this is reaching, even for you.

  80. I was in Hong Kong from Mon 28th Oct to Friday 8th Nov ( 10 days ) , staying at Butterfly on Morrison hotel in Morrison Hill Road in Happy Valley .
    I had to go for business , otherwise , I may not have bothered .
    On Sat 2nd Nov , I was in a bar nearby watching the World Cup Rugby final and protesters/rioters were around Queens Road East and Times Square wrecking Xinhua ( Chinese news agency ) and damaging traffic lights, road signs, road dividers and rubbish bins .
    It was violent damage and when I was able to get out of the bar and walk 7 minutes to my hotel , it was so sad. After 25 years working in Hong Kong , I have never seen on a Saturday night at 1930 the streets empty of people , buses, trams , and cars and such needless damage .
    I saw the protesters/rioters running away up side street as the police vans started to arrive .
    Sad to see this in such a beautiful city . My wife who is half HK Chinese was stranded in Robinson road in Central and walked an hour 15 minutes to get to the hotel , there was no transport and black shirts were everywhere .
    We had originally planned to stay longer , but instead went to Da Nang in Vietnam for 2 weeks .

  81. I love Hong Kong. I have been there so many times that I have lost track. It is also the city where I fell in love with my wife over 30 years ago. I haven’t been back in 2 years (highly unusual for me) and am looking forward to coming back again. I don’t know why, but every time I have landed in Hong Kong I have a feeling of happiness (probably because of all the happy memories I have of the city). I hope things get back to normal. I really hope so.

  82. Had an overnight transit stop a couple months ago and stayed at marriott near HKG airport . Departures is a bit inconvenient especially when its a struggle for a trolley. People had to go inside to get one a trolley.

    Going back to you story the day before re getting around singapore airport. I cant fathom how you could do that. You arrived in terminal 1 why not go to the new qantas first lounge at that time and then go to terminal 4 for cathay. Yes you take the train and its a bit if a walk then its one security screening and you get the shuttle bus. Its a distance, sure, but it’s easy. And the bus certainly didnt wait to fill up, it goes at scheduled times. Ive done this several times.

  83. Lucky

    Those energies you felt in your visit that made you cry. I am impressed. That’s entry level esoteric skills (like when you enter buildings and feel cold or welcome, meet someone and fall in love, compared with just wanting sex or not noticing them). Treasure that skillset, you could build upon it to gain a wide range of ancient skillsets; answering the supposedly unanswerable eternal questions, remote viewing, political predictions, do well in things like the Good Judgement Project etc.

    Never been to HK, and I hope that wisdom prevails and calm returns to the city.

    But HK, since my childhood, a long time ago now, has been a place that is very close to my heart. There is no rational explanation for it, I once very nearly upped sticks to apply to join the Royal HK police decades ago. I didn’t but it came close. I rather suspect that in a past life (yes I do believe in reincarnation) I was a Chinese fisherman, possibly on Cheung Chau. And I seem to have a lot of fond memories, that I don’t obviously remember, anymore that a general feeling of connectiveness, not dissimilar to what you described in your post.

    I do a lot of political analysis Lucky, and have a decent provable track record. So far my conclusions are…

    1. As a Brit I obviously have sympathy fo the people in HK, on all sides.
    2. But HK is China, and whether China takes full control in 2020 or in 2047 is largely up to the people in HK.
    3. Destroying Mainland Chinese assets might have been a step too far. That took the issues and escalated them in ways that if I were a senior Chinese figure I would want to deal with it.
    4. Fear is bad, it erodes, it destroys, it causes ill health. Harmony and balance are much better ways. So I truly hope that the Chinese people and everyone who lives and works in HK find and maintain the courage to be wise and rid the city of fear, and go back to building decent lives for themselves and for their families.
    5. The simple reality is that by 2047 it will be full integration. The best that anyone can do is prepare for the changes peacefully and get on with life. HK isn’t Britain or America, where leaders and policies come and go. That’s the reality. Short of some completely unforseeable event, China will win this one. China already has hypersonic weapons (details in The Economist I think) that can take out US Carriers, and the US has supposedly no defence against. If that is true, that effectively renders the US Military might a bit ineffective. And as China continues its global rise, the US relatively falls. So reigning in HK would not be so much of a problem if China decided enough is enough.
    6. I would have thought that the best way to maintain freedoms in HK would be to abide by the law, and show mainland China that HK has a valuable place to play in China’s future post 2047. Yes things will change in 2047, but a city that can prove itself able to overcome its frustrations and return to a harmonious way of life, while contributing positively to China, should impress nearly everyone. One which is a troublemaker, well we all know what happens from the press.
    7. So the big question is do you get yourself ready for 2047 and be as happy as you can, or do you destroy and bring 2047 forward to 2020? Either way it’s going to happen. It’s just a question of when. And that choice, for the moment, lies within the hands and power of the people in HK.

    Anyway, as always I could be wrong, and I do wish everyone, on all sides of this the best. Be wise, and as someone who has incurable cancer with an expected life expectancy of less that 5 years (statistical median so could be more or less), enjoy life while you can. Fighting destroys, fear saps energy and destroys, enjoy your life, your families, your futures. We are all where are are. I have incurable cancer. HKers have HK, treasure it. China will fully integrate HK, it’s just a question of when and how. It is what it is. But for the moment how and when China does that lies pretty much in the hands of HKers, and the wisdom shown by HK. 2020 or 2047 that’s the decision HKers need to make fast.

    Apologies now to everyone my post may have upset. I do truly hope that wisdom prevails, harmony returns and people and power find a way to positively move forwards peacefully. Treasure life don’t destroy it.

  84. It is really interested to know that most of you reckon or feel that HK is stepping down from an ex-British colonial city to by a communist governed city, in terms of freedom, democracy and human rights. I mean, I myself start to be confused after I just typed those words. Surely HK is now not any city like in Europe or America, but it was like neither of them even before the handover. Since when the values of HK became those things? I am just confounded.
    I feel HKers are really struggled. They want to embrace the western world with those values which are not rooted in their society but like the fancy jewellery seduce them to take next bold move. They also want to be isolated from China mainland since it is ruled by an evil party, at least most people said that (and who give a damn to the heart-break truth that communism was raised when Marx foresee the end of capitalism), and the more they are desperate escaping from this control, the more they find themselves tightly bonded to this huge regime.
    I support HK become a city of one kind, a special one compared to Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shanghai. But at least the naive protesters need to know HK cannot be re-built in a day. The dead bill is a good start but the five demands have gone too far. It will take much more time and even more stressful experiences for them or their leaders to seriously think what they really want to be and how they want to accomplish.

  85. @kendor “The second issue is whether it is fair or appropriate to analogize China and Chinese freedoms to Nazis, Soviet Communists, or Orwell’s 1984. Having traveled a lot in China (and HK, and Taiwan), and spoken to many people in those countries, my personal feeling is that sort of rhetoric is not accurate and not helpful.”

    Umm…why not? The Nazis killed 6 million Jews and millions more in their attempt to conquer Europe, the Soviets killed 9M or more just under Stalin, while the Chicoms killed anywhere from 18 to 56M in the Great Leap Forward alone. If you want more recent, one need only look at the organ harvesting. Is that Orwellian enough?

  86. Just returned from Hong Kong. Hong Kong is an amazing place and hope that the city can return to the way it was. As was mentioned you needed a boarding pass/itinerary and passport to get into the airport. I was unable to get my mobile boarding pass due to the fact that they needed to check i had a departing flight from my destination. Overall i enjoyed my time there.

  87. @Stewart Edwards — “China already has hypersonic weapons (details in The Economist I think) that can take out US Carriers, and the US has supposedly no defence against. If that is true, that effectively renders the US Military might a bit ineffective. And as China continues its global rise, the US relatively falls.” —

    With all due respect, relying on The Economist for military analyses about hypersonic weapons capabilities is over-simplistic, since that is not their expertise! I’ve read this claim about China’s hypersonic superiority naively spewed over and over among multiple Asian media, but what none of them understand is how an attack against an enemy target actually gets carried out — there is a sequence of events that must function properly during such operations (ie, the “kill chain”), and any single mis-step in that chain will ruin the success of the attack. The logistical portions of that kill chain can be vulnerable to many forms of attack to disable or degrade their functionalities. So unless China has already integrated full-level human intelligence (beyond typical A.I.) directly within their DF-21/DF-26 missiles in order to be totally self-sufficient, even those “most formidable” weapons are still subject to various classes of vulnerabilities.

    The same can also be said of advanced weapons systems from the side of USA, but those have already seen lots of actual battle actions and have, therefore, been “tuned” for proper kill chain operational integration. Also noteworthy is that USA has recently pulled out of that dinosaur INF treaty with the former Soviet Union, so very aggressive R&D programs are already underway with hypersonic weapons and counter-weapons … clearly this cat-and-mouse game is now full-on!

    As for China rising vs. USA falling, just look at the relative status of each country’s economy today, and realize that such a view overtly reflects “yesterday’s perceptions” vs. “current-day realities” … who would have believed that such a humongous reversal of status to favor USA could possibly occur, even as recently as 4-years ago?

  88. @Stewart Edwards

    What you wrote sounds like something that went through Google translate. Also, it seems like you are subtly telling the people of HK to just give up and stop their protesting…any and all kinds of protesting.

    You say you’re a Brit who has never been to HK, but it’s somehow it’s close to your heart and you applied to the Royal HK police? None of that makes much sense.

  89. This is first takeover of a democratic part of a world by a communist power since Vietnam War. This is also first takeover ever by a communist power without winning a war.
    @GipperPDX completely agreed! One of the few countries to have communist party, internet censorship, concentration camps! This is the country that severely oppresses people from religious minority(Fa Lun Gong) or ethnic minority (Tibet, Uighur). This is sequel to Stalinist Soviet Union, and first Orwellian Eurasia in the making.

  90. @Aaron

    It happens to be the truth from my own life. Does it make sense? To you, perhaps not, but to me yes, it makes perfect sense, after all I have lived my life.

    In no way am I telling the people of HK what to do, I am just a casual observer, in another country (Britain) just trying to make sense of the situation, while looking at the pragmatics of the realities of the situation. I just hope that wisdom prevails and as happy an ending is found as is possible.

    My post was more aimed at Lucky, as per my initial sentences. Though I do have a deep interest in global stability and politics.

    As a dying man though, it does make me wonder what my life would have been like had I joined the RHKP all those decades ago.

  91. The level of arrogance and self-righteousness displayed here is DISGUSTING. So your opinion is proper and entitled and part of the “freedom ideology” BUT you deny anyone who is proud chinese to hold a different opinion. Such hypocrites!

  92. @TW

    Nobody is denying anyone to hold a different opinion, it’s just that most of us do not agree with yours. Unless I missed the part where Lucky is deleting pro-Chinese comments?

  93. Yet, the fact of reality is: HK is Dying and eventually it will absorb into Mainland China.
    Can anyone or any nation to stop this…? If so, how and at what cost?

  94. one of the responser pointed out:
    Quote
    As someone who has sympathy for both Hong Kong’s democratic freedoms, and the long road that mainland China has taken to its present place as a near-superpower, I encourage everyone to read about and understand the protests from a variety of news sources. The narrative that’s being bandied about in most western news sources is quite simplistic.
    Unquote

    I totally agree this view. The western nations all condemn the Hong Kong government and police force without understanding the true nature of the demonstrators. Don’t be fooled, as most of the Hong Kong population support the police.

  95. @julia how do you inform you view?! Have you lived in China or have actual Chinese people as your friends?! Then you are just blindly taking in what West media feeds you. So don’t give me or anyone crap about propaganda or brainwash.

  96. @Lhyw — “The western nations all condemn the Hong Kong government and police force without understanding the true nature of the demonstrators. Don’t be fooled, as most of the Hong Kong population support the police.” —

    I guess your definition of “most of the Hong Kong population” is very unique, as evidenced by the actual results of Hong Kong’s recent District Council elections, where anti-establishment parties won 86.3% of the seats (comprising 17 out of 18 districts), with an unprecedented voter turnout rate of over 71% … (first remove [ ] from the following URL) —

    slate[.]com/news-and-politics/2019/11/hong-kong-election-results-historic-win-pro-democracy-movement-rebuke-beijing-china.html

  97. @TW — “The level of arrogance and self-righteousness displayed here is DISGUSTING. So your opinion is proper and entitled and part of the ‘freedom ideology’ BUT you deny anyone who is proud chinese to hold a different opinion. Such hypocrites!” —

    Exactly what are you so triggered about? Anyone/Everyone has been entitled to personal opinions here, and can openly and freely express their views (even if sometimes totally lacking in technical or scientific factual foundations)! Exactly who has been denied their rights to express their opinions?

    Are you totally engaging in psychological self-projection with your complaints?

  98. FWIW, if you grew up in a free and democratic society, and are now caping for the Chinese Communist Party, you are either evil or stupid or both.

  99. The poster who recommended people read what is going on in HK from multiple sources is 100% correct. Before making judgement on this event, we should try to understand the full story from both sides, and the historical events leading to this.

    HK as a city was a product of colonial British rule. A brutal Opium war that the Brits ruthlessly asserted their powers.

    Where was these ‘democracy’ advocates when the Brits were running HK? There have never been democracy in HK. All the governors of HK were appointed by the Brits. All the important laws have to run through the Brits. Nothing have changed.

    Why protest now? maybe its because these HKers now are upset that they are on equal or most times lesser grounds than their ‘Mainland comrades’? For decades, HKers thought they were so superior to the mainlanders, because they were ‘British’. Well reality have set on them that they really are not British, when they really are Chinese. And can’t handle that the mainland Chinese are doing better than them.

  100. @BillC of course! You slams China (a country of 1.4b ppl mind you!), it’s ok as it represents “freedom and democracy”. If anyone says anything different or depend China, oh you are “communist” and “Chinazi” lol

    FML, do any of you white ppl know any history about China?! What China is?! And anything about history of HK?!!

    Anyway say what you want to say, HK is a chinese territory now and not longer a colonial playground for you lot. Better start getting used to it.

  101. @TW

    We know the history of both China and Hong Kong. Some of us have even visited and lived in both. So we’re not quite as ignorant as you assume we are.

    Also, most critiques are of the Chinese government and it’s policies. Not against the people or it’s culture.

    Also also, “HK is a chinese territory now and not longer a colonial playground for you lot. Better start getting used to it.” The people of HK don’t seem to be getting used to it…also, it hasn’t been a colonial playground for over 20 years. We are all well aware of that.

  102. @TW — “If anyone says anything different or depend China, oh you are ‘communist’ and ‘Chinazi’ lol

    FML, do any of you white ppl know any history about China?!” —

    So … can you point out exactly which of my posts included those derogatory attacks against China, that you claim? And as for your own racist accusatory self-projection about my ethnicity, you’ve just outed yourself as the actual racist, since I’ve never brought up the issue of race in any of my posts here — instead, I much prefer to deal with actual facts! Shame on you for perpetrating such sweeping false generalizations against me!

    As for knowledge about history of China and Hong Kong, are you insinuating that only you know about their histories? Hong Kong is still legally considered to be SAR until 2047, so it’s not totally the same as China proper, as yet, due to the so-called policy of “one country but two systems” … which now appears to be prematurely converging into “one system”!

  103. I am sorry to hear you are so sad Ben.
    Having lived there for years including the 1997 handover, those poor folks, the ones being squeezed by the tycoons every day, were supposed to have the right to vote in 2019.

    Instead they were handed a proposed law of extradition to China mainland. They have achieved knocking this one down but still it is only tycoons who get to vote for the Chief Executive.

    There is a strong constitution of the people in Hong Kong, they have little choice to protest or have no future.

  104. @Aaron, where was this cry for democracy and freedom for HK before 1997?
    There never was freedom and democracy for the HK people throughout the history of HK’s existence.
    They were under the rule of the British colonial powers…..They didn’t get to elect their Governors, all the governors were chosen by the Brits….the HK ‘council’ was as much a puppet of the Brits as they are now under the Chinese gov’t.

    Nothing have changed…..Those saying HK people deserve freedom….Why didn’t the Brits give them that before?

  105. @AlanY — “The poster who recommended people read what is going on in HK from multiple sources is 100% correct. Before making judgement on this event, we should try to understand the full story from both sides, and the historical events leading to this.” —

    I’ve seen this line of retort from American Progressives on other blog sites recently, when facts were clearly not on their side … they try to hide under that old cloak about “hearing both sides,” yet they, themselves, never want to actually hear other sides for themselves … hypocrisy at play?

    Of course it’s best to understand issues from multiple perspectives, but lately there’s a huge problem with this normally reasonable attitude, as American Progressives have now resorted to misinformation, disinformation, distortions, lies, propaganda, fabrications, and fake news to pollute and obfuscate discourses that they’re not able to factually defend … so in today’s world, one must still rely on certified credible sources from which to obtain such multiple perspectives!
    ————————————————————————————————————————
    @AlanY — “Where was these ‘democracy’ advocates when the Brits were running HK? There have never been democracy in HK. All the governors of HK were appointed by the Brits. All the important laws have to run through the Brits.” —

    So there have been many allegations verging on “autocracy” under British rule before 1997, but we never saw the scale of protests by Hong Kong people against those Brits … but now we’ve seen upwards of 2 million take to the streets to protest against their current Hong Kong administration that is subservient to China … just why is that, since Hong Kong is now totally “free” of prior British “hegemony”?
    ————————————————————————————————————————
    @AlanY — “Why protest now? maybe its because these HKers now are upset that they are on equal or most times lesser grounds than their ‘Mainland comrades’? For decades, HKers thought they were so superior to the mainlanders, because they were ‘British’. Well reality have set on them that they really are not British, when they really are Chinese. And can’t handle that the mainland Chinese are doing better than them.” —

    There is this observation about lack of support by citizens in China for Hong Kong … when you have an entire generation in China that was born and grew up under current governance and “enjoy” their current lifestyles and standard-of-living, but know nothing about any alternative governance that provide tremendous personal freedoms, then, of course, those millennials in China will not identify with the freedom-based struggles currently happening in Hong Kong … but as they become more aware about availability of tremendous personal freedoms under those alternative governance, domestic discontent has already started to manifest, as has started to occur in Guangdong Province, due to its proximity to Hong Kong … it will be interesting to observe how Beijing handles this potentially explosive “awakening” within its borders!

  106. I transited through Hong Kong in August. I was lucky. It was one day after the closure, however I heard that many could not get through immigration due to the protest activity. We were there again in November. We stayed at the Regal Riverside not knowing that it was right in the middle of the protests. The area has changed a lot. We couldn’t rely on transport and the local shopping centre and stations were closed for our stay. We ended up staying at the Regal airport on our last night, so concerned about getting stuck.

    I don’t think you’d consider leaving the airport on a stop over any more. I used to do that all the time and especially loved going to Stanley.

    It’s changed and I think Singapore is probably a better option now

  107. @BillC
    To really understand what is going on in HK right now, and in lesser extend in China, once had to experience both what it was like to live in HK and in China prior to 97 and after 97. Or know family and friends that had.

    There was always a ‘superiority’ complex for Hong Kongers prior to 1997 over the rest of Mainland China. That is why they never raised any stink over being ruled by the ‘foreigners’…They had it good compared to their ‘friends’ and family back in China.
    Why rock the boat when things are going well for them. But don’t confuse that contend with freedom and democracy. There never was freedom for them…they were always a subject to the british rules.
    But they accepted it as way of life, since the alternate was much worse.

    Now post 1997, they are experiencing the opposite. Their family and friends in China are enjoying more opportunities and life is better for them than they are. They no longer have the ‘bragging’ rights, and the ‘face’ they so much desire.
    That is the gizz of this protest. The face they lost.
    They lost their identify…..They were never superior ‘British’…they were always going to be Chinese…
    The kids that are demostrating and protesting, they thought they were superior to their counterparts in China, since they are HKers. There was a speech prior to 1997, that in HK, everything smells better, even their shit. They can’t face reality that things have changed.

    What is the alternative for them? Even if they were back to British rule, the likely hood of similar outcome is the same. They have to realize they are an island with no natural resources. Other than finance, they have no competitive advantage to their neighbors.
    They enjoyed 40-50 years of superiority not because of freedom/democracy, but more due to lack of competitiveness from China, now the landscape has changed, and they can’t handle the facts.
    The Brits ruled them with autonomy , there were never democracy and freedom in their lives. Just because they lived ‘better’ than their Chinese counterparts for a brief time in history, doesn’t make they have any freedom.
    Hong Kong never had freedom from the Brits, or had they ever had democracy, lets not try to change the course of history. The Brits were brutal to their colonies.

  108. @AlanY —

    Yes … I understand your perspective about all of this, since back 25+ years ago, I even had a business office in TST, HK and transited through there regularly on various business trips to/from Asia … I loved HK back then! I also have friends who were born and grew up in HK. I currently have a neighbor who is from HK … and no one is pleased with the situation there today!

    I agree that back then (pre-1997) HK might have had a somewhat “arrogant” attitude towards China, since China was, at that time, still recovering from its ignoble Tiananmen event. But I’m not convinced that their issues today are centered on loss of “face” as compared to those in China (ie, about lost identity). Let’s recall how this whole mess got started — over an extradition law that was deemed overly threatening to the tenets of common law that we mostly take for granted in western societies. Protests have grown, since then, to incorporate other demands, but the original igniting issue had more to do with perceived threats to human rights and freedom in HK, than “loss of face”. Some nonconformist HK print publishers had already been “kidnapped” and “extradited” to China for prosecution … and directly from within HK’s own “separate” territory under their “One country, Two systems” governance! That would be enough to worry most “aware” citizens there; furthermore, China’s all-pervasive public facial recognition networks and the looming threat of integration with China’s Social Credit system can’t make citizens of HK very happy! Under such circumstances, HK might still feel that they are, for now, still “better off” than those within China; hence, their resolve to “defend” whatever they have left, given the constraints that they’re under. Witness how the vast majority of HK definitively spoke out through their recent district election results — totally unprecedented! The people in HK totally understand what they’re facing in the future, while we’re merely side spectators on the outside!

    With respect to “autocratic” rule under UK (pre-1997), what I’ve observed is that UK had been mostly benevolent in helping HK develop its presence on the world stage, as a Financial Center and Trade Gateway into China. Sure … the Governor of HK was appointed from UK, but I didn’t get the impression that most people there cared tremendously about “free elections” at that time, since they were more focused on economic developments. We didn’t see any mass protests against British protectorate rule back then, either, unlike today under governance that is, by definition, subservient to China.

    I think that it will be to China’s best interests to somehow “convince” HK that it’s not yet 2047, and then take a more “hands off” approach towards HK going forward. China can afford to be more “magnanimous” on this issue; otherwise this mess might not get resolved in an acceptably civil manner, to the detriment of HK, China, and even the rest of the World!

  109. Interests disclosure: English/Mandarin speaker that had unpleasant experiences in HK (and my friend is chased, humiliated, and wounded by protesters because he was asking for directions in Mandarin). I may be speaking biasedly unfavorable.

    Having flown/transited through HKIA a couple of times after the protests, I noticed a much fewer crowd, more security officers, and stricter controls, but nothing too different (including CX personnel that discriminates Mandarin-speaking passengers as always). I am relocating to Singapore from Hong Kong under the advice of my company (which is not a mainland-Chinese firm) as well: it simply is not “business as usual” in HK these days. When the protesters started to destroy and seize assets and disturb the weekday commute, they are unfortunately on the highway to hell.

    The mainland governments, I assume, feared the June peaceful protests: the “peaceful, rational, and non-violence” tactic showed the resilience of HKers and all the most excellent traits of democracy: so the firewall was working diligently to stop news coming into the mainland. But since violence prevailed, mainland media has a significant daily coverage (although biased and incomplete) on it. My sense of traveling back and forth between Mainland China and Hong Kong is that the mainland government enjoyed taking advantage of the Hong Kong unrest to educate mainlanders how everything can go wrong when you have “too much freedom:” and people are buying this.

    How unfortunate: I have a mixed feeling on HK. It was a beautiful mess of warmness and coldness, history and modernity, and businesses and leisure. I may still travel via HKIA in the coming days: can’t beat the convenience. But that city simply becomes unfamiliar, unfriendly, and unapproachable to me. By not steering clear from violence, they are doing a disservice to themselves on pushing everybody into a “Great Depression,” and favor to mainland governments for proving their “stability overtakes every goal” principal.

  110. @AlanY

    Just because they didn’t protest in the past doesn’t mean they can’t protest now if they want to. Maybe the pre-1997 generation wasn’t into that. The people in HK now, today? They are into it.

    What a stupid argument to make.

    “as American Progressives have now resorted to misinformation, disinformation, distortions, lies, propaganda, fabrications, and fake news to pollute and obfuscate discourses that they’re not able to factually defend”

    Any examples of that?

  111. @Aaron — ” ‘… as American Progressives have now resorted to misinformation, disinformation, distortions, lies, propaganda, fabrications, and fake news to pollute and obfuscate discourses that they’re not able to factually defend’

    Any examples of that?” —–

    Live in USA?

    Just watch TV networks CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc and then read websites NYT, WashPo, HuffPo, etc … specifically note their Total Farce to so desperately try and impeach/remove President Trump over absolutely nothing illegal! Also note their coverage about the Greatest Hoax upon Mankind — Anthropogenic Global Warming!

  112. @Aaron — “Just because they didn’t protest in the past doesn’t mean they can’t protest now if they want to. Maybe the pre-1997 generation wasn’t into that. The people in HK now, today? They are into it.

    What a stupid argument to make.” —–

    I guess I might as well comment about your reply on this, too — where did you read anything which gives the idea that “… because they didn’t protest in the past doesn’t mean they can’t protest now if the want to”? I always thought that people in HK could protest at any time and about any issues that really concerned them? Perhaps there weren’t any such issues of importance to protest about, back before 1997?

  113. @BillC

    The fact that you just shifted from a discussion about HK to one about Trump and global warming being a hoax says more about you than any of your previous posts did.

    “here did you read anything which gives the idea that”

    Um, from AlanY’s comments?

    “I always thought that people in HK could protest at any time and about any issues that really concerned them? Perhaps there weren’t any such issues of importance to protest about, back before 1997?”

    Now you’re recycling what I said, which is strange because you seem to be arguing with me…?

  114. @Aaron — “The fact that you just shifted from a discussion about HK to one about Trump and global warming being a hoax says more about you than any of your previous posts did.” —

    You wanted some examples of the one-sided coverage from USA’s mainstream media, so I gave you some, as back-referenced to earlier posts regarding the necessity of reading reports from multiple perspectives … you didn’t say that it had to be about Hong Kong, but if you want it specifically about Hong Kong, then just refer to the coverage from China’s media about how “spoiled” and “violent” protesters in Hong Kong are, with implications about how “too much freedom” creates such “misbehavior,” and just how “ungrateful” they are to have the privilege to be under China’s rule … so you can say that China’s media are basically in the same category as USA’s Progressive media!
    ——————————————————————————————————-
    @Aaron — “Um, from AlanY’s comments?

    ‘I always thought that people in HK could protest at any time and about any issues that really concerned them? Perhaps there weren’t any such issues of importance to protest about, back before 1997?’

    Now you’re recycling what I said, which is strange because you seem to be arguing with me…?”
    —–
    Huh? What you just quoted was from my earlier reply to you that was timestamped on December 9, 2019 at 2:24 am … not that it’s that critical, but I was just wondering where AlanY made a claim to the effect of, “because they didn’t protest pre-1997, they shouldn’t be protesting today?” Perhaps I somehow missed that claim when reading his posts? Oh well …

  115. “You wanted some examples of the one-sided coverage from USA’s mainstream media”

    No, you didn’t provide anything specific, you just threw out random names. Nothing specific or concrete examples.

    “not that it’s that critical, but I was just wondering where AlanY made a claim to the effect of, “because they didn’t protest pre-1997, they shouldn’t be protesting today?””

    You really need to improve your reading comprehension skills…

  116. If mainland china envelops Hong Kong, it will ruin it. I hope HK never becomes a part of mainland china. It has the potential to turn a great region of the world into a POS.

  117. @Aaron, of course they can protest all they want. But don’t make the argument that they want to have the same freedom and democracy before 1997. Since they never had Freedom and Democracy.

    @BillC, the extradition bill was just the tipping point. The sentiments of the HKers have been there since the beginning. One just had to go to some of the shopping centers, and see the resentment/jealousy and bad attitude towards the Mainlanders who can afford to buy all the merchandises. They lost their ‘superiority’ complex, and still can’t adjust to not being the ‘Big man on campus’ anymore, in this case the ‘Chinese’ with the better opportunity and higher spending powers.

  118. @TW — “glad to have you ticked you off.” —

    ROFLMAO! No … that was not me being “ticked off”! You do not want to see my posts when I do get ticked off! 😛

  119. @Aaron — ” … No, you didn’t provide anything specific, you just threw out random names. Nothing specific or concrete examples.” —

    You neglected to answer one of my prior questions about where you’re located (in USA or not?), so I didn’t know how to give you specific examples that you could relate to … I also assumed that you (in the worst case) could Google such cases on your own …

    If you do live in USA, then you can use as a prime example of Progressive media fabrications, the case where Congressman Devin Nunes is suing CNN for fraudulently reporting that he was in Vienna meeting with Ukrainian officials to get “dirt” on Joe Biden, when he was actually totally somewhere else on other matters —

    www[.]washingtonexaminer[.]com/news/nunes-sues-cnn-over-demonstrably-false-ukraine-report

    With respect to China’s media biases, you can reference this sample article that is full of propaganda solely representing their views (of course) —

    news[.]cgtn[.]com/news/2019-11-22/A-wake-up-call-for-young-protesters-in-Hong-Kong-LOWE9Ge5l6/index.html
    ——————————————————————————————————-
    @Aaron — “You really need to improve your reading comprehension skills…” —

    The way you wrote your reply appeared to make an insinuation that AlanY implied the point in question … perhaps it’s not my reading comprehension skills, but your writing skills that come across as confusing to some readers?

  120. @AlanY — “… The sentiments of the HKers have been there since the beginning. One just had to go to some of the shopping centers, and see the resentment/jealousy and bad attitude towards the Mainlanders who can afford to buy all the merchandises. They lost their ‘superiority’ complex, and still can’t adjust to not being the ‘Big man on campus’ anymore, in this case the ‘Chinese’ with the better opportunity and higher spending powers.” —

    Again … I do understand what you’re saying about this dichotomy between HK citizens and visitors from China, because the same type of reaction also manifests in Taiwan, based on what I’ve heard … but the cause of such friction goes beyond the “… resentment/jealousy and bad attitude towards the Mainlanders who can afford to buy all the merchandises.” It appears as if those Taiwanese don’t care about such “envy” and welcome business opportunities from everywhere — they even go above and beyond to accommodate large groups of visitors from China by closing department stores to locals, when such groups want to shop there!

    However, based on local reports, visitors from China often exhibit overtly arrogant attitudes towards the local citizens, and have very bad manners, with respect to being rude and untidy with their “habits”! Despite heavy reliance on visitors from China in the past, the local business owners, nevertheless, were relieved once those visitors departed. It also appears as if many visitors from China tend to treat locals as an “inferior class” of people. Recall that China insists on “dominating” Taiwan as its “own”?

    Today, Taiwan has focused more on attracting visitors from SE Asia and, so far, reports indicate that SE Asians are much more “respectful” and “friendly” in their attitudes and behavior towards locals.

    So the resentment shown by locals to visitors from China can certainly go beyond the perceived “envy” of the nouveau wealth status of visitors from China. Mutual respect between visitors and locals are also important!

  121. @BillC, of course mutual respect between both sides is up most importance. What I am trying to say is these people in HK could care less about Freedom and democracy. The protest really isn’t even about that. Of course there will be the few hardcores that are preaching about freedom and democracy.
    More at the heart is they lost their superiority, and can’t handle they are no longer the ‘bigger’ brother to their weakling family members
    Its just like in North America, during the pre-teen years, the bullies may be picking on some kids during the school year. Then over the summer, that puny kid had their puberty growth spur, and when class starts again in September, they are no bigger and taller than the bullies.
    The bully no longer can pick on the kid, and starts complaining.

  122. @AlanY — “… these people in HK could care less about Freedom and democracy. The protest really isn’t even about that.” —

    So 2 Million HK citizens will ostensibly protest about something that they don’t care about, and are just exhibiting personal “envy” against visitors from China — 2 Million “envious” HK citizens all together in one movement?

    I guess you just have a very different interpretation about this event than most others …

  123. Well! Tell your lousy President and politicians to stop interfere Hong Kong and China and stop sending people to train the gangs on how to protesting against the government and making petrol bombs and other weapons. Hong Kong used to be a peaceful city and people were nice and non violence but now United States is destroying this city and people.

  124. @Jose — “Tell your lousy President and politicians to stop interfere Hong Kong and China and stop sending people to train the gangs on how to protesting against the government and making petrol bombs and other weapons. Hong Kong used to be a peaceful city and people were nice and non violence but now United States is destroying this city and people.” —

    Do you have any actual Proof of your contentions, or are you merely regurgitating the standard tired old retorts from China about this?

  125. Don’t forget that HK Police resorted to violence early on (including blinding a female protester’s eye and shooting student protesters at point-blank range with live bullets, etc, etc, etc).
    all these incidents occurred after protestors were violent. The student protestor who was fired at was attempting to kill a policeman on the ground with an iron bar, another incident was where the student was trying to grab the gun from the policeman or don’t you look at the videos of the incidents, maybe they were made up.
    These were not desperate measures but calculated. The police were disciplined and used minimal force the real problem was Protestors took to destroyng things and rounding on anyone who disagreed. Since then they have destroyed shops, set fires, stoned people (killing one) , set alight a man who tried arguing with them about their destruction saying lets talk about this and . Hong Kong is a haven for foreign criminals and corrupt businessmen. yet when a government tries to bring in an extradition treaty full of safeguards
    for polictical offences or even any offence that was either not an offence in Hong Kong or had less than 5 years imprisonment they objected. Even the Hong Kong Bar only complained really about the fact that any court in China rather than the major ones could ask for extradition. Curiously they never objected to corruprt courts elsewhere asking for it. The opponents of China whipped up the discontent which was prevalent. Housing, healthcare and access to good jobs in face of stiff competition. Yet they failed to direct it to the real culprits.
    when China tried to bring in better Housing after the takeover it was defeated by the Hong Kong elite. They are the problem in Hong Kong as they prevent any social welfare and help to the poor while normal Hong Kongers struggle to live financially.
    The incidence of social mobility and the gap between the rich and the poor has increased dramatically in Hong Kong. Carrie Lam and her ilk should have ignored the elite most of whom have dual nationality and will leave with their money. Hong Kong has more democracy now that it ever did. that is a fact. the newly appointed local councilors have a chance to show that they can be responsible although sadly 6 of them have shown how childish they are
    by disqualifying themselves as they tried to change the oath of office. At least Sinn fein refuse to take the Mp’s oath and refuse to sit in westminster. the new councilors can show by their actions that they can work for the good of local Hong Kong people and improve things instead of destroying them.
    As for the rest until people hand over the ones who destroy and use violence then why should anyone listen to them. Indeed if they were in the west they would be found guilty by association as the ones doing the violence,
    Hong Kong will never get independence however if its people hand over the violent protestors then calmly protest and use non violence and put forward demands for better housing, social welfare etc then their voice will be heard and their fellow Chinese will listen.
    As i have visited Hong Kong, have friends there as well as living in China i guess that rednecks like Julia will whine that i am a 5 center. In fact i am British and fully aware of my country’s shameful past in respect to Hong Kong.

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