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Old 10-09-2014, 09:22 AM
 
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Hong Kong and its 7m people never had the rights to vote for their leaders. Even before 1997, the HK governor had always been appointed by the British government, not elected by the HK people.

A fact western media never cared to mention. Now they talk as if China is taking away their voting rights (which they never had), and so many people seem to be under the impression that HK was a democratic regime under London's rule and now Beijing is changing that.

Speaking of brainwashing. I don't mind arguing for either side, but at least get the facts straight first.
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:58 AM
 
Location: In the heights
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Yea, I encounter this time and again when listening to people debate this.

However, regardless of that, there was a promise of a democratic system in the hand-off agreement and Beijing is essentially reneging on that.
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:01 AM
 
2,566 posts, read 2,188,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Hong Kong and its 7m people never had the rights to vote for their leaders. Even before 1997, the HK governor had always been appointed by the British government, not elected by the HK people.

A fact western media never cared to mention. Now they talk as if China is taking away their voting rights (which they never had), and so many people seem to be under the impression that HK was a democratic regime under London's rule and now Beijing is changing that.

Speaking of brainwashing. I don't mind arguing for either side, but at least get the facts straight first.
More than enough have been said on this topic, so I'm not going to write out everything that's been mentioned over the past few weeks. Most so-called "western" media do take a one-sided stance supporting the democracy protesters. I mean, do you really expect journalists to write justification for an authoritarian regime that tramples on the very existence of those journalists that report on these issues?

I think most news articles in the west have emphasized the fact that HK clearly did not have direct universal suffrage under the UK, and that what they are trying to achieve is something new, something that was promised by Beijing in 2007 when they first set their goal for 2017 as the year that HK achieves "full universal suffrage." The current situation is more of a protest against what many HK'ers perceive to be Beijing's backtracking on their universal suffrage proposal made in 2007. In retrospect, Beijing should've never put the idea of "universal suffrage as the end goal" out there in the first place. If you can't keep the promise, don't make it in the first place.

BBC's excellent report on mainland Chinese media reaction to HK protest, with word-for-word quote from People's Daily on how "Britain had done nothing for HK democracy":
BBC News - Hong Kong protests: China's guide to democracy

Bloomberg setup a special coverage on HK's current political process, writing in bold letters at the very top of the page how "Hong Kong citizens have never had the power to choose their top leader, neither as part of China since 1997 nor as an outpost of the British Empire for 156 years before that.": Hong Kong

Financial Times reported on HK Chief Executive CY Leung's comment. Specifically, "Mr Leung points out, accurately, that China is offering Hong Kong more democracy than Britain, its former colonial master, ever did."
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/c6d25...tion=uk#slide0

Which prompted an FT reader to write a follow-up critique of the previous FT report, which laid out in detail how former HK Governor Chris Patten's democratic reforms led to a freely elected legislature by 1995 (which Beijing quickly dissolved when HK was returned to China in 1997 - currently only 50% of the seats in HK LegCo was elected by universal suffrage via direct geographic representation): http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9c374...#axzz3FZhThRfQ


Furthermore, I think it is also fair to say that one cannot simply bundle all media organizations with an opposing view to Beijing as "western media", which in itself carries a derogatory connotation as if emphasizing that all those media are in some grand conspiracy to overthrow China (which is true to some extent in that they are very much opposed to many of CCP's draconian censorship policies - opposition to a specific policy does not mean everyone out there wants to overthrow you...). There are thousands of independent media and freelance journalists in the so-called "western media" covering this event, and you can easily find diverse views by an easy search on Google (in fact, I just watched a widely circulated TED talk yesterday which provides some excellent justifications for China's authoritarian political model - https://www.ted.com/talks/eric_x_li_...ms?language=en).

I also want to suggest to those who are interested, to get a taste of what China's state-owned media's reporting style is like on similar issues. China Central Television (CCTV), China's No. 1 state broadcaster, has a nightly news bulletin on all major domestic and international events. The content of that program can be summarized in 2 parts: first 25 minutes of the show is usually about how busy Party leaders are, and showcase examples of national glory, with the last 5 minutes of the show on civil war, chaos, and the impending doom in the rest of the world outside China. All Chinese news channels are required to carry news reports from this program word-for-word. For your viewing pleasure: http://news.cntv.cn/2014/10/09/VIDE1...01129486.shtml

Last edited by bostonkid123; 10-09-2014 at 10:17 AM..
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:49 AM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,895,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Hong Kong and its 7m people never had the rights to vote for their leaders. Even before 1997, the HK governor had always been appointed by the British government, not elected by the HK people.

A fact western media never cared to mention. Now they talk as if China is taking away their voting rights (which they never had), and so many people seem to be under the impression that HK was a democratic regime under London's rule and now Beijing is changing that.

Speaking of brainwashing. I don't mind arguing for either side, but at least get the facts straight first.
OUTSTANDING. Finally, someone said it.

While anyone can argue that the protests are an evolution of society in HK, it isn't portrayed that way. HK was run as a possession, in other words, ownership of the land and its people. While the British can be seen as more compassionate and they have a democratic government, that wasn't extended to HK and HK is part of China.

In the USA, don't we see all States as contributors to the Union? That isn't what the students want. They want something else and see that they really don't need to be part of China.

Not all people in HK agree with the students either, something else not really talked about. We really need to stop helping seed these kinds of things (and have no doubt, we are) because at some point, China will have enough and in that situation, we aren't coming out the winner.

If protests of such a scale stopped all business in NYC, how long would it be before the National Guard and State Police got out to clear the streets and allow business get back to operations? About 5 minutes.
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Taipei
6,781 posts, read 5,142,063 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
OUTSTANDING. Finally, someone said it.
I think there were quite a few people bringing this up in those long-ass and eventually-gotten-boring threads.

Quote:
If protests of such a scale stopped all business in NYC, how long would it be before the National Guard and State Police got out to clear the streets and allow business get back to operations? About 5 minutes.
HK police force tried to clear the streets after 5 minutes as well, but they failed because they were out-numbered. If the same thing happened in NYC and there were hundreds of thousands of protesters, National Guard and State Police couldn't get rid of them all within 5 minutes. Unless you think the White House would bring out the Army, then that's something new.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:40 AM
 
3,139 posts, read 2,711,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Hong Kong and its 7m people never had the rights to vote for their leaders. Even before 1997, the HK governor had always been appointed by the British government, not elected by the HK people.

A fact western media never cared to mention. Now they talk as if China is taking away their voting rights (which they never had), and so many people seem to be under the impression that HK was a democratic regime under London's rule and now Beijing is changing that.

Speaking of brainwashing. I don't mind arguing for either side, but at least get the facts straight first.
The reason western media never mentioned much about democracy in for instance 2006, was because Hong Kong was doing well. Hong Kong people was confident, libertarians looked up to Hong Kong and the economy was growing fast. So why talk about democracy? People start talking about democracy when the country/state becomes mismanaged. To understand how the protest started you must understand what has happened with the Hong Kong economy.

In 2006 property prices was the same as 1994. Hong Kong confidence in "one country, two systems" had never been higher and was at nearly 75%. But since then Hong Kong has not being doing well. In 2014 the property prices are 150% higher than 2006. As wages has not increased much, then that means most young people cannot afford a place to live. Most people feel that they have much lower spending power than they did 8 years ago. This can easily be reversed but the current politicians in Hong Kong do not care about their own citizens. Not surprisingly the confidence in the "one country, two systems" has dropped to 37.6%.

That is the problem, Hong Kong people never cared much about democracy. But they do care about their lives. They see democracy as the only way to get a leader who care about Hong Kong, instead of a leader who only cares about enriching rich property investors from China.

Last edited by Camlon; 10-09-2014 at 11:56 AM..
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:52 PM
 
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^ you talk as if every young HKer need to buy an apartment to live.
Does everyone ins New York or San Francisco own an apartment or house?

Plus, your logic is extremely weird. So when the economy is doing well, democracy doesn't matter, when the economy is bad, it suddenly becomes an issue? I don't even know how to start comment on that. So if the US economy grows at 5% a year, it means they could choose to abandon their democratic system? There is absolutely no evidence that says democracy will improve people's living standards - otherwise, India would be light years ahead of China.

As to the property bubble, it is not the first time HK experience that (often thanks to the US and not China). Why do you think democracy will help with that? HK had its good days even in the absence of democracy, didn't it? If the HK cared about their lives, they shouldn't have blocked the streets, shutting down business. Retail sale during the China national day long weekend was down 40%, the first decline in 15 years. Is that gonna help the economy?
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Old 10-09-2014, 02:24 PM
 
2,566 posts, read 2,188,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
^ you talk as if every young HKer need to buy an apartment to live.
Does everyone ins New York or San Francisco own an apartment or house?

Plus, your logic is extremely weird. So when the economy is doing well, democracy doesn't matter, when the economy is bad, it suddenly becomes an issue? I don't even know how to start comment on that. So if the US economy grows at 5% a year, it means they could choose to abandon their democratic system? There is absolutely no evidence that says democracy will improve people's living standards - otherwise, India would be light years ahead of China.

As to the property bubble, it is not the first time HK experience that (often thanks to the US and not China). Why do you think democracy will help with that? HK had its good days even in the absence of democracy, didn't it? If the HK cared about their lives, they shouldn't have blocked the streets, shutting down business. Retail sale during the China national day long weekend was down 40%, the first decline in 15 years. Is that gonna help the economy?
Botticelli, I think what some HK'ers are trying to convey in this protest is that: whether or not a people enjoyed democracy in the past is a moot point, because this does not justify not carving out one's own democratic path for the future. Very few nations had democratic systems or rule of law 150 years ago. Does that mean their peoples shouldn't have democratic aspirations for the future?

By the way, I was reading through old articles from People's Daily, the Communist Party's official newspaper, and found this front page editorial published in 2011 on the importance of tolerance and free speech: People’s Daily editorial urges tolerance for “differing ideas” - China Media Project Whoever wrote this article for publication clearly had the backing of some very powerful leaders at the time, because any editorial on People's Daily is in essence an official directive from CCP's Central Committee. Below are a few quotes from the editorial that are extremely thought provoking and even shows a lot of foresight in predicting what is happening in HK today, and all this coming from the Communist Party's official mouthpiece:

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” This [quote from Voltaire] expresses a kind of openness, and even more a sense of confidence."

"China’s society today stands in an age in which ideas and culture are pluralistic, diversified and always changing. As we move into the deep zone and a crucial stage of reforms, the modulations and game playing of different interests will naturally give rise to the expression of different demands. As our opening expands and we move deeper into globalization, it is inevitable that various values and ideas, traditional and modern, foreign and homegrown, will collide and clash."

And it goes further, "In dealing with criticism and differing opinion, some not only fail to keep an open mind, but even raise charges of “slander” and exercise their power to suppress different voices." It's almost as if the People's Daily is indirectly critiquing the current Chinese administration's handling of HK protests.

"In dealing with ordinary people, those rulers who hold power especially require this “tolerance.” [tolerance of contrary ideas and values] While the narrow-mindedness of the former might amount to verbal violence, the narrow-mindedness of the latter can lead to real harm."

"This is why Mao Zedong said that the sky wouldn’t fall if people were allowed to speak. This is why Deng Xiaoping said that “seven mouths and eight tongues are not frightening, but most frightening is when not a crow or sparrow can be heard.”"
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Old 10-09-2014, 04:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
^ you talk as if every young HKer need to buy an apartment to live.
Does everyone ins New York or San Francisco own an apartment or house?
Yes, young people in Hong Kong do need to buy an apartment if they want to start a family in Hong Kong.
I guess they can rent, but are they going to rent forever?

Americans can always move out of New York and San Francisco and then start a family. I guess Hong Kong people can move to the mainland, but even there the property prices are very high, living conditions are often poor and you need contacts to get decent paying jobs.

Quote:
Plus, your logic is extremely weird. So when the economy is doing well, democracy doesn't matter, when the economy is bad, it suddenly becomes an issue? I don't even know how to start comment on that. So if the US economy grows at 5% a year, it means they could choose to abandon their democratic system? There is absolutely no evidence that says democracy will improve people's living standards - otherwise, India would be light years ahead of China.
Its not weird at all, when the economy is mismanaged then people want different rulers, only democracy can give them that.

If US economy was growing with 5% a year, then I am quite sure Americans would care less about democratic erosion. This is not an uncommon thought. A lot of people say that China need to keep growth rate high to avoid unrest.

Also, the question is not if China does better than India, but would India have done better under a dictatorship? China may do well, just like Taiwan/Japan and South Korea, but does North Korea do well? How has Venezuela developed as they have moved closer and closer to dictatorship? There are a lot of messed up dictatorships and remember there is a difference between local dictatorship and foreign dictatorship. Foreign dictatorship is much worse, because the dictators do not care about you.


Quote:
As to the property bubble, it is not the first time HK experience that (often thanks to the US and not China). Why do you think democracy will help with that? HK had its good days even in the absence of democracy, didn't it? If the HK cared about their lives, they shouldn't have blocked the streets, shutting down business. Retail sale during the China national day long weekend was down 40%, the first decline in 15 years. Is that gonna help the economy?
I think democracy will help, because the current leaders don't care. As I said they are more concerned about their own pockets than the people of Hong Kong. And it is not difficult to reduce property prices
1. Open up more land for sale
2. Restrict Chinese property investment into Hong Kong, for instance requiring that you have to live in Hong Kong to buy Hong Kong property.

And you are simply playing the devils advocate. Sure, they could protest in some forest where no Chinese tourist will see them and then retail sales wouldn't drop. But then why even protest? Sometimes you need to sacrifice a little for a greater good. Maybe instead of blaming the democracy protesters, how about blaming the people who have made Hong Kong people trust in "two systems, one country" go from 75% to 35%.

What are you saying, that when people see the city they are living in get screwed over by unelected dictators, then they should just bend over and accept it. And you are living in Canada? What do you think Canadians would do if they were in a similar situation. If Hong Kongers were Canadian, I don't even think CY Leung would have a head anymore.
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Old 10-09-2014, 06:07 PM
 
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^ one doesn't need to own a home to have a family. Switzerland has an even lower home ownership rate than HK.

List of countries by home ownership rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Regarding the rest, I can surely tell you that China can grow this fast precisely because it doesn't have the multi-party democratic system and the government can focus on getting things done and long term planning instead of only caring about votes and the next election.

And don't forget history. Taiwan and S Korea didn't have democracy before they become this wealthy. Singapore is still largely a one party system. There are also dozens of democratic countries that are pissing poor. Democracy didn't make Bangladesh wealthy, did it? The assumption that only democracy can foster stability and prosperity is entirely wrong.

Democracy is so overrated and misunderstood as if it were the only right way of governing a country. It is NOT.
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