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Hong Kong Protests/Free Speech

aud10_fr3ak

1 month ago

The elephant has now arrived (in the room).

This is a topic that I have been able to witness firsthand: https://pcpartpicker.com/forums/topic/321347-not-a-vacation

You see, 3 or so months ago, protesters blocked up a train station. I was in a completely separate part of the city so I wasn't affected. I got out before the airport was blocked. But it's not like I don't support the protestors.

I haven't really gotten around to starting a discussion because I thought someone else would, but here we go.

List of things off the top of my head to get your brain functioning in order to have a good discussion so I can see what you know/I'm too lazy to explain everything, and frankly can't in one sitting at 12pm and really should go to sleep or else I will cease to function as a human being. Maybe I will when I get enough sleep.

Comments

  • 1 month ago
  • 9 points

we should give Winnie the Pooh laser pens so he can start a protest in Hong Kong with LeBron in the middle of a Blizzard.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

I wonder what he was protesting about? Maybe an unsuccessful extradition to China? Maybe they want Tiger too

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

And can't forget Eeyore, as they would need the exclusive enthusiasm only he can bring!

  • 1 month ago
  • 9 points

Yeah, China should really [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] because [REDACTED] is not [REDACTED] [REDACTED], although [REDACTED] [REDACTED] shouldn't have [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED]. Also, [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED].

(This comment has been edited by the People's Republic of China.)

  • 1 month ago
  • 5 points

It's a terrible situation.

  • Foreign powers that try to support Hong Kong risk angering China.

  • Domestically, protestors are risking what remains of their freedom. China could end the two-systems policy and assimilate Hong Kong. It would certainly be condemned in the West, but that's a distinct possibility.

  • Police are stuck being attacked by protestors but at the same time are trying to uphold law and order to prevent the previous point. It wouldn't surprise me if many agreed with the protestors.

  • International businesses with significant Chinese operations have to dissociate from Hong Kong or risk losing access to the Chinese market completely. This leads to unfortunate events like Blizzard's ban. From a corporate standpoint, the bad press and outrage was probably the better option than losing access to China.

  • Corporate events and tournaments are platforms to speak up. However, free speech does not apply. It doesn't matter if the speech is something you agree with or not, if the company does not want it associated with their IP or event, they are well within their rights to take action against it, as long as that action meets other legal constraints such as not discriminating against a protected class.

  • There is a debate about whether social media is free speech. For example, should Twitter be allowed to censor the legal content it hosts, whether by using algorithms to reduce visibility, banning users, or deleting tweets? What if China demanded they alter or remove any trending tags about Hong Kong, etc.? What if a political organization demanded the removal or restriction of accounts like the NRA or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? To what extent is it a public forum, and to what extent is it a corporation provided service?

  • How far do you go when meddling in the affairs of another country based on ideological differences?

It's a quagmire with no easy answers.

Personally, I want the people of Hong Kong to enjoy the rights and liberties afforded to industrialized Western nations like they did under British rule. Protesting may be futile or even counterproductive, but if that's how they want to utilize what may be the last days of their freedom, then I really do wish them all the best. I can respect "We will not go quietly into the night" action.

  • 1 month ago
  • 3 points

From a corporate standpoint, the bad press and outrage was probably the better option than losing access to China.

Yeah I would agree. I don't like it, but agree. After all, there's a pretty good precedent of all this blowing over in a couple of weeks/months and years of revenue from China will be worth way more than anything lost by the most outspoken customers who've decided to cancel accounts and boycott.

And I think there's a lot of my fellow Americans who are going to learn some hard lessons over the next few decades about the limits of their beliefs and values outside our borders. And as long as the goal of business is and the expectation is that they're supposed to be making money we probably can't expect them to represent cultural values. You can't serve two masters.

  • 1 month ago
  • 4 points

China is literally nazi Germany at this point and the sad thing is that I am not joking or being dramatic. Genocide, organ harvesting, "reeducation"/torture camps, trying to take over Hong Kong, no freedom of speech, government censorship, dictatorship, etc.

  • 1 month ago
  • 4 points

**** China

  • 1 month ago
  • 3 points

I mean, I wouldn't.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Gork, we don't agree on much but we're on the same page with this one.

  • 1 month ago
  • 0 points

Yeah, I can agree with this.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

I've agreed with this for a long time.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

The extradition bill

Complicated because its China and legal for the government to abuse.

If it were another country say the U.S. not having laws like that would like being able to commit a crime in Texas run to California and be free from prosecution because a blue state would never send you back to a red state.

The rest falls under if freedom of speech and freedom of opinion exists or applies because they are or maybe representing others who may or may not agree, which is a giant question and subject to change depending on where the person with the opinion is.

Things might have been simpler if the U.K. had kept Hong Kong.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Things would have just been as complicated if the UK kept part of Hong Kong.

What people forget (not saying you did) is that there are actually three treaties at point Hong Kong was handed over to the UK.

  • 1842 Treaty of Nanking - covering HK island
  • 1860 Convention of Peking - covering additional islands
  • 1898 Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory - this last one covers the New territories and it actually had a time limit of 99 years so the lease would end in 1997.

The New Territories actually make up nearly 87% of what is Hong Kong. Its very unlikely China would have allowed a continuation of the lease (infact recall China saying they would march on the new territory at expiration of the lease if not handed over), so there would in effect have meant UK left with 13% of a territory, part of which is an island. In all under 150 km2. For reference, Washington D.C capital area is bigger at 170km2. Reality is at that point with infrastructure being so intertwined, not to mention people, it would have been pretty impossible to split the territory really.

Add to fact, by that point the UK was at a relatively weak point anyways and no doubt pressure behind the scene by UK companies etc, would have been pretty impossible for UK to keep HK. In reality the handover and 50 year system was a way to save face against the inevitable.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Like I said might have been simpler.

It was a different world back then.

More then likely it would have ended in a classic blunder, al-Qaeda taking the lack of focus to recover sooner, and unrecovered Russia on the edge with only one card to play.

WW3 instead of China playing diplomacy to get what they want.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

It seems to me like an immoral thing to cave into China's demands and put money before the liberty of others. But I suppose it's probably a lot more complicated than that. I still have no respect for organizations that are giving in to China's demands just to make more money.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

I have no idea what the protests are all about. Been wondering for a while now - but I suspect whatever I find will be biased in one direction or another.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

China doesn't have an extradition treaty with many foreign governments, and part of the hand over agreements was leaving the Hong Kong government in place when U.K. turned it over.

Even before the turnover there were cases of people attempting to escape to HK to avoid persecution/prosecution/just have a better life.

Problem is it's China and everyone knows it will be abused, but at the same time pretty much every country that has separate local governments already has similar laws in place so you cant just jump a county/province line and be home free.

So nobody has a legal standpoint to argue against it even though everyone knows its China and will be abused.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Hong Kong was a British territory, and they let them do just about anything. It is the perfect case study for unbridled capitalism. You could start your own company with like $15 license. They have the most free economy in the world. British gave a 100yr lease and then it went back to China, who has had it for a while now (1997). They have the 6th largest stock exchange in the world. China supposed to keep them under same rules and not turn it into China government, but they don't like that and now you have this. It could be the last days of freedom for them, just like if the bill of rights were trashed here in US. Say goodbye to free speech and all that stuff, you can get run over by tanks or put in a camp instead. You can have google watch you every day and send all the results to your govt so the SS can keep an eye on you.

It is something to see this going on like people were born yesterday. Did we have a cold war with USSR for fun? Or wait, was there a reason for that? Why did WWII happen? You have something like a 50/50 chance (whatever) that a communist/dictator type government is going to turn rouge and do bad stuff and kill a lot of people. China has a terrible record of this. Yet here we have a national sports organization who makes billions here now saying don't dis mother China, and another similar organization that said it was OK to dis the USA long as you're protesting. I don't see any of them leaving this dumpster country. IMO you want to get in bed with people like China, you will get the problems that come with it. Even if you are making coin you figure out a way to control it and not say much. I'll never buy a nike product again. If the NBA can make more money in China then go there, have fun, I don't want to hear about you getting slapped because some random American said something. That is your problem, get your nose back up there and make your money. I didn't go to China, you did.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the explanation.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

The extradition part isn't clear to me. Are we talking about speech/thought, or are we talking about thieves, murderers, rapists, whatever, or are we talking about whatever some "prosecutor" type of "Chinese Lawyer/Bureaucrat" decides to prosecute? Maybe the Owl could set everyone straight?

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

It is for genuine crimes. It started initially as part of a Taiwanese man killing his Girl Friend and Fleeing to HK. There is no extradition treaty in place however. A treaty / change in law was going to take place, however it appears that rather then just becoming a treaty between HK and Taiwan, it morphed into becoming larger in scope allowing extradition to Mainland China. At the moment, HK does have some arrangements to extradite suspects to around 20 countries (https://www.doj.gov.hk/eng/laws/table4ti.html) but as I say, this new treaty was going to allow extradition on a case by case basis to countries not currently in the list including China.

People were fearful in HK of the long arm of the mainland hence the initial protest. Since then, it has become much wider in scope beyond the treaty which in itself has been withdrawn (for now)

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

I’ve been following the Hong Kong thing for a few months now; it’s really gotten much more public attention in the last week or so, and I’m interested to see what official governmental responses will be.

What should the U.S. do? Maybe the best thing would be to just ignore it, but with the recent rise in awareness, I’m not sure if that’s how it will play out. So then, should the U.S. side with China or Hong Kong? Morally, Hong Kong seems to be the best bet (and this is what the American government seems to be leaning towards). It’s an area with many of the industrial and cultural benefits of western civilizations since it was British until about two decades ago. But if we side with Hong Kong, how can we even help? I don’t want a war with China, and a Hong Kong proxy war could potentially lead to that exactly. So, it might honestly be best to ignore it.


One idea I’ve come to agree with is a purchase of Hong Kong from China. I’ll list the most major pros and cons, and you guys tell me what you think about the idea.

Pros

  • Hong Kong is an area with great infrastructure.
  • Already more used to western ideas and culture (as evidenced by the protests for rights and such that brought this whole thing up in the first place).
  • The transfer of Hong Kong all those years ago included the agreement that Hong Kong would be under a sort of double government, both under their own rule in some aspects and Chinese rule in others. Sound familiar? It’s a system of federalism and could work quite nicely with the U.S. federal government, which could better support Hong Kong’s interests.
  • If a conflict ever did break out between the U.S. and China, having land in China/Asia could be a huge boost for the U.S.

Cons:

  • The big issue here is tensions between the U.S. and China. Do you really think China wants to be that close to the U.S.? And next to only a small part of it, that has good potential for invasion?
  • What kind of price would China offer for Hong Kong, or would they not even be willing to sell it at all?
  • I’m not hearing about protests in other places of China. Taking Hong Kong out might remove the ideas for the gaining of freedom in all of China, almost condemning the people of China to stick under the oppressive, authoritarian rule. Though maybe the ideas can spread even better since there would be a moderately-safe land-border full of people eager to preserve rights in China.

There are some other things, but those are the big points.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

There is zero incentive for China to sell off HK, especially to the USA of all people. Your Cons touched on why in the first bullet point.

Ultimately there isn't much for the USA to do. We won't get involved unless we want war with China, and we don't. So, vocalized support for HK is the most to be expected, and even that will be on a case by case basis.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

“There is zero incentive for China to sell off HK”

Money.

“Ultimately there isn't much for the USA to do. We won't get involved unless we want war with China, and we don't.”

I too believe that letting it be would be for the best, but the leaders up in Washington disagree. We’ve actually seen quite recently (yesterday) the beginning of something that might escalate way too much in the near future.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/10/15/politics/hong-kong-house-vote/index.html

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2019-10-16/china-threatens-retaliation-if-u-s-passes-hong-kong-bill

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2019-10-16/senators-press-ahead-on-hong-kong-bill-despite-threat-from-china

I don’t know how far this will go, but I think the attempt of a purchase could definitely be preferable to what’s going on in Congress right now.

  • 1 month ago
  • 3 points

Money.

Economically Hong Kong is way to important for China for example:

According to Bloomberg Economics, roughly 58% of Chinese outbound investment is channelled through Hong Kong

Money moves to mainland China through Hong Kong's stock exchange, too, which was the world leader in IPOs last year with 135 companies raising a collective $36.5 billion. There are over 1,100 mainland firms listed in Hong Kong with a total $2.6 trillion market cap—a 64% share of the total market at the end of 2018.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

This is a great point.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

There is no amount of money that would justify it, imo. China isn't strapped for cash, and it would be a politically-suicidal move to hand off a rebelling territory to one of your geopolitical adversaries, and thats to say nothing about ceding land to the US that is right on your doorstep. I mean the implications for defense would be catastrophic.

the leaders up in Washington disagree. We’ve actually seen quite recently (yesterday) the beginning of something that might escalate way too much in the near future.

I wasn't aware of all this that you shared, thanks for that. TBH, this is awesome. Hope they go through and force it into law.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

I suppose we’ll never know what they’d offer if we never ask.

“and thats to say nothing about ceding land to the US that is right on your doorstep. I mean the implications for defense would be catastrophic.”

It could be a deal where we’re not allowed to put militant forces there or only a limited amount. Not the worst clause out there, and enforcement of it could have stopped WWII from getting as bad as it did.

“all this that you shared, thanks for that.”

How far do you think it could escalate though?

  • 1 month ago
  • 3 points

As above, absolutely 0 chance for China to sell HK off. Even asking the question would likely be seen as an insult.

China is not short for money and similarly China is in a expansionist phase and forcibly laying claims to territory. They are not militarising the South China Sea for example for fun. They are doing it to forcibly bring that area under there influence and little anyone can do about it, they will simply ignore the UN ruling against them brought by Philippines. Likewise in passive way, in even movies they are forcing this area as showing as part of their territoryhttps://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-50093028

Likewise, they are not building infrastructure around the world for fun, they are doing it to broaden influence. Good example is the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka, build a useless port for Sri Lanka with crippling debt, then in lue of debt take it over and land around it gaining a strategic location.

Point being, Hong Kong is already a part of China (abit with special conditions). They have a heavy hand as you can see in their western regions and they are going to massive length's to bring areas not in their influence under their influence. With all that in mind absolutely no way they would sell HK to anyone, least of all the USA who are arguably their global rival in many spectrum's.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Well if they push Trump to sign it/override him, then China may retaliate economically. Who knows. It's not like we aren't already economically salvoing so that doesn't really change much.

It might incentivize China to back off HK pressures, maybe. But there is a strong incentive for them to keep control. Once you get HK "winning" against the mainland, they lose authority. Now you've lost sway in any future events with Taiwan. Now Macau starts getting ideas. Maybe more citizens of mainland China start thinking outside party dogma, too. China has a lot invested in control.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

I mean like, what's the easiest way to run guns to the HK peeps? Big govt sucks.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Probably a concerted effort among the Indians and US taking advantage of China's weak navy to bypass blockades and customs.

Foodstuffs and supplies, though, more difficult.

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