Sunday 3 May 2020

‘No future for Hong Kong if protest violence returns, Beijing warns’ | SCMP

China liaison office in Hong Kong
This is in the "you brought it on yourselves" category. What did the protesters expect? That Beijing would say "oh yeah, I see your point. Let's sit down and discuss how you folks should be in charge of the city". [Reference]
To be clear: sitting here in Hong Kong I don't like it one tiny bit that China, the Beijing of Xi Jinping, is speaking out more via its HK liaison office. Xi Jinping's rule is not one I like at all. Just today there's news that a mainland lawyer journalist has been jailed for fifteen years on clearly bogus charges ("inciting arguments", etc…). And author Fang Fang is being harangued for a memoir of the Wuhan lockdown. Xi has kept China stable. Ok. But at the cost of freedoms and censorship, at the cost of their international bullying.
So there's nothing to like there, at least for me.
But that's the whole point. Precisely because he's such a bully, a tough nut, a dictator for life, is reason to assume he's not going to put up with the protests in Hong Kong for ever. Already they've put up with nearly a year of massive demos and damage to our city, while basically sitting in their hands. Remember early in when people thought (maybe secretly wished?) that the PLA would send in the tanks? And they didn't.
Now they're speaking out more. I certainly don't like that. And for sure it will infuriate the hard core protesters. They will likely come out in even greater numbers, contra the calls for calm and quiet.
But I can't disagree with this comment from the China Liaison office:
"We strongly condemn extreme radicals for staging unlawful gatherings again during the Labour Day holiday, disturbing shops and throwing petrol bombs," a spokesman said. "People around the world have set aside differences in fighting the pandemic. It was only in Hong Kong that the extreme radicals have continued to incite people to engage in violent activities and threatened to plant bombs in public places. If we appease them, can Hong Kong have a future?"
Maybe except for the last sentence there. "Appease"? It might have been better if Carrie Lam had at some stage last year talked to protesters about, for example, having an independent investigation into police behaviour. She had the authority to do that. It wouldn’t have been appeasement, bit compromise. Now? Too late, I fear.
Another quote I can agree with. Doesn’t make me a Beijing stooge. Just a realist who hopes to maintain the very real freedoms we have:
The violence and the “if we burn, you burn with us” mentality had undermined the rule of law and freedom, the liaison office said, marking the fifth time since April that it has spoken out in this manner.
And it’s TRUE. The radical “you burn with us” mob have undermined the rule of law and freedom. Simple examples: fire-bombing subway stations, tearing up roads. Setting fire to people who disagree with them.