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Author Topic: Hong Kong.. Tianmen Square 2.0?  (Read 319 times)

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Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Hong Kong.. Tianmen Square 2.0?
« on: September 30, 2014, 10:52:03 PM »
I've been watching the protests going on in Hong Kong with interest. I was surprised that the Chinese government hadn't tried to kill the golden goose yet but part of me wonders if they will eventually cme down on the protests very hard. This isnt' like Tianamen Square in that it's one single location that they can effectively quash, but I don't see them having any problems sending army in and shipping off train loads of protestors to prison camps if they don't back off when the leadership says 'Stop'.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Hong Kong.. Tianmen Square 2.0?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2014, 12:43:47 AM »
  This has the potential to turn very ugly fairly fast. The leadership of China wants to control who leads in Hong Kong and I can't see them relinquishing that right to the HK population even under international pressure. China is very reluctant to let any international pressure from deterring it from doing what it wants within its own borders.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Hong Kong.. Tianmen Square 2.0?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2014, 01:05:48 AM »
True.

Having been to Hong Kong three times in my Navy career, I love the place. It is, to me, unique and special. I fear what will happen in the coming days. A decade ago, they would have been boxed up and shipped out already but this isn't like the protests in Tianamen Square and let's be honest a broken Hong Kong loose them tons of standing and capital.

I give it a 1 in 3 chance of some sort of accord being offered. The central committee can't concede but they might make some very telling concessions.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 01:07:02 AM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline Zakharra

Re: Hong Kong.. Tianmen Square 2.0?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2014, 08:26:36 AM »
  I honestly think they'd rather break Hong Kong than make concessions about the political set up of the city and area. Since any concessions will likely mean less control from Beijing.

Offline kylie

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Re: Hong Kong.. Tianmen Square 2.0?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2014, 10:10:19 AM »
         I wonder if they won't try for some sort of small symbolic compromise that doesn't change too much...  But I'm not sure if people will go for that.  Or perhaps a crackdown more focused on the protest leadership first?  But I'm just guessing around.

         Now for something totally unrelated but rather silly...  As this is now a big political holiday, apparently they are checking birds in Beijing for contraband.  Very thoroughly.  Don't ask me how they selected the birds, or how long they have been out rounding them up to get this done with 10,000 birds!  Sigh

        Oh...  And that square, it's properly Tiananmen.  The "Gate of Heavenly Peace," ironically enough.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 10:12:04 AM by kylie »

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Hong Kong.. Tianmen Square 2.0?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2014, 11:03:03 AM »
         I wonder if they won't try for some sort of small symbolic compromise that doesn't change too much...  But I'm not sure if people will go for that.  Or perhaps a crackdown more focused on the protest leadership first?  But I'm just guessing around.

         Now for something totally unrelated but rather silly...  As this is now a big political holiday, apparently they are checking birds in Beijing for contraband.  Very thoroughly.  Don't ask me how they selected the birds, or how long they have been out rounding them up to get this done with 10,000 birds!  Sigh

        Oh...  And that square, it's properly Tiananmen.  The "Gate of Heavenly Peace," ironically enough.

Thanks for the correction. I couldn't recall the correct spelling when I was posting.

I think you're right though, there will be a minor token gesture and when it's declined, the party will crush the protesters. Party leadership isn't going to give up control of Hong Kong. They'll play the long game and figure that outsiders will forget in time.

Offline Caeli

Re: Hong Kong.. Tianmen Square 2.0?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2014, 01:03:26 PM »
I've been following this story with great interest, as I have family in China and they frequently travel to/through Hong Kong.  I am hoping that this can end peacefully but I personally do not feel that it is very likely.

Offline Mistyy

Re: Hong Kong.. Tianmen Square 2.0?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2014, 08:26:47 AM »
It's basically a waiting game. If the protesters actually start to occupy buildings as they have threatened, that will give a good reason for the police to start cracking down the protest. CCP leadership doesn't want to make a huge deal out of this as it would make them look really bad and they would lose even more distance with Taiwan for example. Let's face it really, Hong Kong will never really achieve full democracy, there will be pre-chosen candidates as the leadership has stated. The whole point of the 50 years of autonomy is to prepare Hong Kong to be integrated tightly into the mainland as a standard Chinese city and it doesn't make sense to take it even further from the mainland style cities, also the relevance of Hong Kong is declining. China has stated many times that Shanghai will be the "head of the dragon" in the future.

Offline kylie

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Re: Hong Kong.. Tianmen Square 2.0?
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2014, 09:09:15 PM »
         Looks like someone's not waiting all that long...  More, fighting before anyone even gets around to entering buildings.

         Government offered some sort of talks, but no leadership resignation, at the last minute.  And the same night, violence breaks out when the numbers on the street are small.  Protests are saying it's a mafia hire operation and the police didn't arrest the thugs for hours.  Now the protest leadership says talks are off.  Granted there have already been warnings against moving into government buildings... 

          But it will be curious to see how many people find stomach to remain on the street how long.  My feeling is Tiananmen went on a lot longer than this, but then HK is also a quite compact and populated area where it may not be so culturally simple to have an armed intervention if the protest were to stay large.  It's also a sort of prestige area...  Larger scale violence in a prime "international" business district wouldn't look all that great. 

Quote from: Mistyy
Let's face it really, Hong Kong will never really achieve full democracy, there will be pre-chosen candidates as the leadership has stated. The whole point of the 50 years of autonomy is to prepare Hong Kong to be integrated tightly into the mainland as a standard Chinese city and it doesn't make sense to take it even further from the mainland style cities, also the relevance of Hong Kong is declining. China has stated many times that Shanghai will be the "head of the dragon" in the future.

           As for the 50 year plan as it were...  That might be the going narrative, but I'll withhold judgment on how likely it is to materialize.  Economic growth was hardly going to go on at the 1990's rate for even 20 years.  Betting on steady domestic growth (and on an international environment that will continually support it) in today's world is something of a leap of faith, as the West has already seen.  And China has a lot of internal issues that flare up from many different angles. 

           It would be surprising just now if the protests were outright successful, yes.  But when you say "mainland style cities," what is your point of comparison exactly if Hong Kong is somehow supposed to be guided to get "closer"?  Even Beijing, despite its relatively greater share of luxuries and technology, is generally recognized as an environmental mess and a somewhat dastardly managed zoning show (thinking of populations being shuffled around for the Olympics). 

           I'm sort of struggling here with the idea of Hong Kong somehow physically becoming more like many mid-sized mainland cities...  But then the level of English or technology at least in the center of HK really does not appear comparable...  At least, not in the tiny glance at HK I've had, and the news reports seem to back that up.  I don't know HK all that well honestly -- but I can't see that being easy to change, nor as something economically profitable to change.  Or are you saying it's somehow inevitable that HK can rather, absolutely will be culturally manipulated into a values change simply by being coddled and prodded and smacked around with less preferential treatment when necessary?  On that angle...  I suppose I'd take a swing at maybe, but I wouldn't go so far as "let's face it" I guess.   

           It would also be pretty surprising if Beijing more seriously worked to tear down some of the particular culture that's made Hong Kong so recognizable as a potential international business area historically.  Wouldn't it be so much easier for them to bet on the inequities of capitalism to keep the place basically under wraps.  I would expect they'd be quite happy to focus on any voices saying, 'Stop protesting cause you know, it's just bad for business and logistics.  Clogs up the streets and keeps the tourists out [we really mean the billionaires, but sssh.]  Calm down and a rising wave will help all ships, just sit tight and trust me!' 

             I'm dubious that HK is hugely "relevant" to Beijing anyway except as a sort of international image piece and a certain source of income...  But then I'm also not clear about how smoothly that could really be reduced, either.   
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 09:13:26 PM by kylie »