Hong Kong Kowtows To China Again, Turns Virtual Police State Into An Actual Police State

from the cutting-edge-advances-in-bootlicking dept

The Chinese government agreed to stay out of Hong Kong's (government) business until 2047 when it took possession of the region in 1997. It has refused to hold up its end of the bargain.

Its steady encroachment into Hong Kong's affairs has been met with increasingly intense pro-democracy protests. Realizing this wasn't going to make its eventual takeover any easier, the Chinese government increased its pressure on the local government. When that wasn't working fast enough, it started replacing legislators with handpicked pro-China representatives.

When all of that still wasn't enough to get the Hong Kong populace to bend the knee, it implemented a new national security law and imposed it on the region. Being anti-China meant being a threat to national security. Pro-democracy protesters were threatened with life sentences. Pro-democracy press outlets were hassled and their leaders arrested.

Apparently, giving Hong Kong the appearance of a police state just isn't enough. If Hong Kong is going to become China 2.0 far ahead of schedule, it needs to become an actual police state.

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam announced a reshuffle of her cabinet on Friday, placing two ex-cops in key cabinet positions, including the police commissioner who presided over the widespread use of violence against mostly peaceful demonstrators during the 2019 protest movement.

The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) approved the appointment of former secretary for security, John Lee, to replace Matthew Cheung as Lam's second-in-command, while former police commissioner Chris Tang was made secretary for security, the government said in a statement on its official website.

What's left of the Hong Kong government isn't willing to fight back against China's omnipresent imposition of its will. Handing the security of the nation over to police officials who encouraged the use of violence against protesters makes it clear the Chinese government is done fucking around. I mean, it never really was. But it's done making incremental changes.

The remnants of Hong Kong's government are on the side that has the power. Insect overlords are just what the region needs.

Asked if Hong Kong had become a police state, as evidenced by the new appointments, pro-Beijing lawmaker Alice Mak dismissed journalists' concerns.

"If it’s a police state, why not? I don’t think there’s any problem with a police state," Mak said. "When we say a police state, I will view the other side, that is the emphasis on security."

The only thing experiencing any insecurity is the Chinese government, which likely viewed the region as a pushover when it took control in 1997. It probably expected pockets of resistance, but whatever plans it had in place prior to its agreement-violating putsch apparently didn't scale well enough to keep Hong Kong's population silent and compliant.

With cops heading the national security team, there's nothing holding the police back. The national security law greatly expanded law enforcement's powers. Jackbootstrapping the government's national security oversight ensures officers will never have to fear reprisal for their actions, pushback for overstepping whatever boundaries remain, or any judicial roadblocks slowing them down as they inflict China's worst aspects on their fellow countrymen.

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Filed Under: carrie lam, china, democracy, hong kong, national security law


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  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 7 Jul 2021 @ 7:08am

    Guess Britain should have said, "nevermind".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Max, 7 Jul 2021 @ 7:44am

      Re:

      ...or maybe they're too busy taking notes. What's the latest UK camera-per-square-meter figure anyway - has it reached unity yet...?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 7 Jul 2021 @ 9:20am

        Re: Re:

        Pretty sure China has surpassed GB in camera-per-square-meter.

        But you can speak out against those that rule in Britain and not get locked up.

        Contrast/compare.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Jul 2021 @ 1:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Pretty sure China has surpassed GB in camera-per-square-meter."

          Probably not. China and the UK have both read the studies about how useless CCTV really is. The difference is, China listens to the experts and uses the far more cost-effective way of monitoring social media and targeted dissenters instead.

          "But you can speak out against those that rule in Britain and not get locked up."

          China may lock you up but pot odds the majority of the citizenry the government actually caters to will get their first and beat you up. The thing to remember about China is that they are not a short-sighted south american junta. They've practiced selective oppression for millennia and know how to do it without sparking revolts.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 8 Jul 2021 @ 4:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            China is also 9.6 million square kilometers, so one camera per square meter would be almost seven cameras per person. Seems a bit excessive.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 10:32am

        Re: Re:

        "What's the latest UK camera-per-square-meter figure anywa"

        Still nowhere near as big as the number touted when some idiots took a single street in London, counted all the cameras attached to bars, clubs and shops as well as public ones, then extrapolated it to every street in the UK to get their number.

        There's some problems, but that figure was always wrong.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Jordan, 7 Jul 2021 @ 7:30am

    Hong Kong is China

    Hong Kong is China. It was literally extorted from CHina by the British so the Brits could sell Opium.

    There is no reason for China to not do whatever it wants with its own city.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      icon
      Valis (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 8:42am

      Re: Hong Kong is China

      Absolutely 100% correct! The British had a 99-year lease that ended in 1997. The West is acting like a tenant going back to a property they rented years ago and telling the landlord what they're allowed to do with their property. But you can hardly expect anything different from these narcissistic, xenophobic Westerners who have always believed they own the whole world and think they have the right to tell other sovereign nations how to manage their affairs.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Talmyr, 12 Jul 2021 @ 4:00am

        Re: Re: Hong Kong is China

        Technically, the 99-year lease was on Kowloon, the landward port for Hong Kong. The UK had Hong Kong in perpetuity. However, control of the island of Hong Kong was meaningless without control of Kowloon, so it was arranged for Hong Kong to revert back to the PRC as well. The UK tried to protect the residents as best they could, and the PRC did agree (however dishonestly) to terms which is it now abrogating. The UK's major sin in this was in making it harder for HK citizens who wanted to leave to come to Britain and settle.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 7 Jul 2021 @ 8:49am

      Re: Hong Kong is China

      There is no reason for China to not do whatever it wants with its own city.

      Who are those "People" in "The People's Republic of China"? Apparently not the people in Hong Kong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 8:58am

        Re: Re: Hong Kong is China

        Who are those "People" in "The People's Republic of China"?

        The Oligarchy that run the party. It is a slightly extreme version of the problem that the people who run a country think that they are the country, and preserving their power is best for the country.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Jul 2021 @ 1:39am

          Re: Re: Re: Hong Kong is China

          "The Oligarchy that run the party."

          Close but not quite. China still operates on old imperial rules of government; Cater to the majority. Push hard on agriculture, education and infrastructure. Publicly reward the outstanding. Come down like a ton of bricks on the minority who won't fall in line.

          The big difference between China and any other dictatorship is that China has a carrot to go with the stick. As long as you're ethnic Han and always bend your neck to Beijing, life will be good.
          If you happen to be in an area with a history of dissent or rebellion, not so much.

          This makes it pretty difficult for a popular uprising to happen - because 9 out of 10 chinese live in a global hegemony of prosperity and opportunity. The remaining 10% become the more or less public demonstration of what happens to the ungrateful sods who harbor treachery against the Son Of Heaven.

          This has proven to work quite well for millennia and there's no sign China is going to change just because a bunch of mayfly regimes among the tribes of the western barbarians have decided to let apostles of chaos and anarchy reign.

          There's a lot to unpack when it comes to China but we aren't going to understand how that place works by trying to fit it into the templates we're used to from short-lived juntas and dictatorships like the USSR.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Jordan, 7 Jul 2021 @ 1:22pm

        Re: Re: Hong Kong is China

        Hong Kong is a city in the People's Republic of China.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 10:52am

      Re: Hong Kong is China

      There is no reason for China to not do whatever it wants with its own city.

      Sure, if you completely ignore the rights of the residents in favor of authorianism. I wouldn't want to live in a place where the government can do "whatever it wants".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Jordan, 7 Jul 2021 @ 5:49pm

        Re: Re: Hong Kong is China

        Like virtually every country does?

        Hey should the USA give Hawaii its freedom? I mean they literally conquered it.

        The USA does whatever it wants.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Jul 2021 @ 1:57am

        Re: Re: Hong Kong is China

        "Sure, if you completely ignore the rights of the residents in favor of authorianism."

        It's not that easy. and some western nations in particular have lost any semblance of moral high ground to shout from. China treats some 10% of it's citizenry like dirt. The remaining 9 out of 10 Chinese are going to tell you they are quite happy to live in the land of prosperity and opportunity.

        HK especially is a bit thorny to pigeonhole; annexed by 18th century drug lords at gunpoint, returned to China with advance warning. Even if China jumped the gun on violating the sino-british treaty the residents still had decades of warning that their lease was up and the landlord coming back. They all knew what to expect.

        The closest analogy I can envision is that if you've lived in an apartment for a long time and are notified that the rules - and your rights as tenant - will radically change for the worse twenty years from now...then you have plenty of time, almost no matter your fiscal situation, to adapt to pending circumstances or move.
        If you insist in staying when the rules change and still want to claim the old rules apply you end up in a legal squabble which you will eventually lose. In this case compounded by the fact the "landlord" has an army and a police force.
        And that the reason the landlord hasn't been around for a while is because the local mafia ran him off a few years back.

        You could argue squatter's rights but if that's the argument to bring to the table then a number of native american tribes might want a word with you as well about some pretty hefty extra reparations.

        This puts the younger generation of HK residents in a pinch; their parents chose to stick around. As a result of which they grew up in that brief interim window from the point where UK gave HK independent rule to the point where China took over. Their lives as they knew it, is gone. Cue demonstrations and protests with predictable results from Beijing.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Upstream (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 7:35am

    Obligatory comment re-run

    I know it has been said many times before by many people, but the only thing that is not surprising about all of this is that it didn't happen in 1997 (or very soon thereafter).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 8:56am

    China problem

    I really dont get the idea that china is Communist anymore.
    HK, has a power they can use but hasnt. JOBS, money, power, exports.
    It used that long ago against China. And then China took the idea and ran with it. Keeping people working making things for the world. They started learning the problems with that When they had the Olympics there, and Why many other nations stopped heavy manufacturing.
    If the corps walk out, they take all the money thats Probably corrupting the upper areas of China society.
    The words Chinese nationalist ranks up there with white supremacist. That have a population 10 times the USA, and 1% smaller then the USA. And a good percentage Live/work on the pacific coastline. If anything happens, it will happen there.
    What are the protestors really doing tho? What are the odds that want better wages? Since a good share of the problems seem located directly in HK. not the surrounding manufacturing and support area.

    NOW if you want to look at it the strange way. We can ask Why NOT, the Chinese gov. instigating this? The democracy idea has been around along time, and mostly the younger people are into it. But, it might be the Gov. is learning things as Ours did/does. The FBI/CIA dont just SIT over there and watch things happen. They (sometimes) jump in to see what Would happen if a few radicals were added to the pot, to gather those of Like, temperament.

    http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/politics/difference-between-socialism-an d-democracy/

    Synopsis.
    I love the idea that people in the USA are never taught the differences and concepts of gov. and economy, and how they can be stretched, IF you dont know what things are.
    General comment: that ANY gov. can be created and work, as long as a few things are met. That the Counter to what is wanted, is part of its structure(nothing is perfect) as in Fascism but also that the Poor need to survive as you need workers/replacements. Make them all comfortable and you wont have allot of problems. The other part is Corruption, ANY gov. can be corrupted, esp with capitalism/opportunism, and that those on the Top of the heap get LAZY. As in the past, the old money dont like NEW money Coming to knock on the door.

    JUST an OPINION.. Dont kill me for it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 9:02am

      Re: China problem

      I really dont get the idea that china is Communist anymore.

      It never was, as revolutionary doctrine said that establishing a socialist regime was to be the pre-cursor to establishing a communist system. However once the party gained power, it decided to keep it, rather than arrange to hand it to the people.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 6:04pm

        Re: Re: China problem

        The strange part tends to be getting the people to understand Wht they can do. and Also loose allot of friends.
        Other nations tend to Try to ignore China, but What could be done if another naiotna wished to attack china? get people on their side and Promise to give it back to the people?

        The think about this is some of it happens Here. Those people in congress are generally related to other family that Had a political/state/fed job also.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Jul 2021 @ 2:04am

        Re: Re: China problem

        "It never was, as revolutionary doctrine said that establishing a socialist regime was to be the pre-cursor to establishing a communist system."

        Except that it also never did. I mean, don't get me wrong, the "interim regime" is pure old marxist doctrine.

        Just that China never tried it. For millennia they've been a bureaucratic oligarchy working around the base of agriculture, market economy, education and social engineering. They still are. The only thing which really changed in Mao's little revolution was the removal of deadwood and the abolition of the Emperor as a figurehead.

        They can call themselves a "socialist republic" all they like. Doesn't make it true.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 9:34am

    Hong Kong has been ignored or abandoned by the west its a police state any form of protest is illegal free speech exists in that it's OK as long it does not criticise the government the police or voice anti China sentiment
    The next step will be closer online monitoring and censorship of any content that might be vaguely political
    Even standing on a street with a blank banner will resist in being arrested
    Media will be allowed to continue as long as its bland and non political
    Hong Kong is no longer a democracy only pro China Politicans
    will be allowed to hold any political power
    It's very sad as Hong Kong was a beacon of free speech and
    had a great output of movies and art before China clamped down

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jordan, 7 Jul 2021 @ 1:23pm

      Re:

      Abandoned? We never had it.
      Why is Hong Kong special but Beijing isn't?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Tanner Andrews (profile), 7 Jul 2021 @ 11:40pm

      Re:

      It's very sad as Hong Kong was a beacon of free speech and
      had a great output of movies and art before China clamped down

      That was actually only during a fairly narrow window. For most of its time under British rule, it was operated by a governor and cronies appointed in London and generally accountable only to their corporate masters.

      Shortly before the handover, Britain allowed some representative government to be set up. It was always understood that representative government was intended only as a poke in the eye to Red China, and that it would be abolished when it became inconvenient.

      It has become inconvenient. Red China is therefore clamping down on those recent representative institutions, and indeed on all insufficiently obsequious speech. Try to act surprised.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2021 @ 12:44pm

    and yet again the UK does absolutely fuck all! shows how gutless the government and armed services have become. they dont even up token complaints anymore, leaving all those who were relying on the UK to stand by them, to help them and when needed, to protect them, right in the crap with the definite possibility of jail or worse! should be ashamed!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GORS, 23 Jul 2021 @ 3:38am

    Pot/Kettle:

    The situation on mainland China is far more peaceful than ANYTHING in either HK or the USA.

    And if "democracy" only boils down to "how many billion dollar NED funded NGO's can stir shit up,and "good movies and "free speech*" and cocaine fueled disco and dimsum all night long" who needs such a democracy? That's not "freedom" that's delusion.

    Police state?

    All these TD stories about the FBI and DHS black op's certainly indicate that the US-FVEY's are all police state's by the very definition of the term; and democracy is long dead in the US--lets deal with that.

    *free speech isn't free, it's subsidized and privileged by billionaires and their policies of "philanthropy". The proof of that is the US "hate speech laws" that protect cops--and their cronies in the ethno-nationalist ADL and its ilk, manipulating web searches with Moonshot CVE and similar programs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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