web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > Propaganda

Hong Kong Violence Escalates as Police and Protesters Clash at University

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_164551200_b74b511f-dddb-4f91-8dd1-6c92d31cdcbd-articleLarge Hong Kong Violence Escalates as Police and Protesters Clash at University Propaganda People's Liberation Army (China) Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Defense and Military Forces Communist Party of China Colleges and Universities

Protesters threw flaming projectiles at the police from behind barricades.Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

HONG KONG — Hundreds of Hong Kong activists armed with petrol bombs and bows-and-arrows on Monday battled riot police who have laid a days-long siege to a university, the most violent confrontation yet in a half-year of protests.

Early Monday, the police tried storming the campus at the main entrance and made some arrests. But the occupiers fought back with dozens of petrol bombs and set barricades ablaze, forcing the police to retreat.

As day broke, the occupiers and the police were still locked in the standoff at Hong Kong Polytechnic University that began Saturday night, and smoke billowed from the grounds. Some protesters on Monday morning raced for the exits, only to be met with volleys of tear gas.

The police used tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons and armored vehicles to try breach the barricades all day on Sunday. But activists resisted into the night. One police officer was hit in the leg by an arrow, while student leaders said protesters suffered eye injuries and hypothermia after being struck by the water cannon.

The clashes were the culmination of the most disruptive week of the monthslong protests, a period that has focused a global spotlight on the growing desperation of the pro-democracy activists and aggressive efforts by the police to suppress them. It is a sign the conflict is turning more violent as the territory prepares to hold elections later this month.

The activists are struggling against the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing to preserve autonomy for Hong Kong, a political system guaranteed for 50 years by an agreement between Beijing and London. The British handed over the global financial hub in 1997.

The rising tensions and the potential for greater control over Hong Kong’s political and legal systems by the Communist Party have raised questions over the long-term commercial viability of Hong Kong and the integrity of its fraying social fabric.

In Washington, American officials said they were monitoring the clashes as well as reviewing a report by The New York Times on leaked internal Communist Party documents showing how party leaders, including President Xi Jinping, had set up internment camps to hold one million or more Muslims in another frontier area, Xinjiang.

Trump administration officials and Congress have been holding discussions on whether to impose separate sets of sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials for human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. But President Trump has held back for fear of upsetting trade talks.

Hong Kong is scheduled to hold district council elections next Sunday. Some residents worry the government might postpone the vote, though Carrie Lam, the chief executive of the territory, has said the elections will be held on time.

A small number of supporters of Communist Party rule, as well as Hu Xijin, the chief editor of Global Times, a state-run news organization in Beijing, had become so outraged by the Sunday clashes that they said the police should use live ammunition.

The occupation of the university has forced a weeklong shutdown of a tunnel leading to the business districts on Hong Kong Island from Kowloon, and activists said they planned more traffic blockades on Monday.

The university president, Jin-Guang Teng, said Monday morning that he had negotiated a temporary truce with the police, but suggested occupiers still would have to turn themselves in to the police after leaving the campus.

The clashes of the past week began when protesters changed from a regular routine of weekend protests to disrupting traffic on workdays. The disruptions and attempts by the police to breach campuses — considered a last refuge by activists — quickly led to protesters occupying five universities, two of which sit astride key transportation routes.

The police arrested dozens trying to flee, including first-aid volunteers. Mainstream supporters of the movement drove to the campus to try to get the police to back off. On Sunday night, the police threatened to use lethal force if the protesters did not leave.

“I know that there is a possibility that the police will fire live bullets on us tonight, but right now, we have no choice,” William Lau, 22, a protester on campus, said around midnight. He estimated there were about 500 activists on site at that time.

About 50 were arrested after trying to leave, he said, so others were wary of trying to exit.

“The police would never just let us walk out like that,” he said. “I know that some want to leave now but don’t know how, while a fair number want to stay and fight.”

Right outside the campus, pro-democracy lawmakers, a top Roman Catholic official, an American pastor and a student leader called on the Hong Kong government to intervene to prevent bloodshed.

“I want to seek help from the government to stop the police force from their operation and avoid tragedy,” said Owan Li, a student representative on the university council.

As the police fired tear gas, Bishop Joseph Ha tried entering with the lawmakers and the American pastor, William Devlin of the Bronx, but were turned away by the police.

“If the police are to launch a clearance, they should use as minimal force as possible because lives are precious,” Mr. Ha said.

Mr. Devlin said in a telephone interview that he had been on campus for about four hours as the clashes unfolded and had left, but was trying to re-enter.

“They were not being deterred,” he said of the protesters. “They were ready to be arrested. They said, ‘We stand for freedom, dignity, democracy, human rights.’”

Mr. Devlin said he had been on the front line in the late afternoon Sunday when the police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons against protesters.

He said he had seen protesters throw 10 to 20 petrol bombs to deter the police from advancing. At least two were armed with bows and arrows, he said.

Louis Lau, the police superintendent, said before midnight that an officer had fired a live round at a vehicle charging toward officers in an area near campus.

“Coldblooded rioters can only imitate terror acts,” he said.

Protesters confronted the police throughout the night in nearby neighborhoods to try to draw them away from the campus. The presidents of five universities released a statement calling for restraint by all sides and asking everyone on the campus to leave.

Denise Ho, a pro-democracy pop singer who has been banned on the mainland by Beijing, invoked the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre on Twitter and said, “World, please help Hong Kong and save our students!”

The police tried sending an armored vehicle across a bridge on the east side of campus. Protesters set the vehicle on fire with petrol bombs, forcing it to retreat.

Mr. Hu, the chief editor of Global Times, posted a video of the vehicle aflame on Twitter and said, “Police should be permitted to fire live rounds in this case to counter rioters.”

The violence came after protesters at the university on Friday prepared for a long siege, as they poured gasoline into glass bottles to make hundreds or thousands of bombs and practiced throwing those into an empty swimming pool. They also did target practice with catapult-style slingshots and bows-and-arrows.

The police began advancing around 10 p.m. Saturday, and the clashes reached a high pitch on Sunday afternoon.

In nearby Kowloon Tong on Saturday, Chinese soldiers jogged out of their barracks by Hong Kong Baptist University and cleared bricks from streets that had been placed there by protesters to block traffic.

The soldiers wore T-shirts and basketball jerseys, and carried brooms. The Hong Kong garrison of the People’s Liberation Army is based in 19 sites once occupied by the British military. Even though Chinese troops have been stationed in Hong Kong since 1997, they almost never venture into the city.

The cleanup, which was lauded by Chinese state-run news organizations, prompted a torrent of criticism from local residents. Pro-democracy lawmakers issued a statement saying that the local government and the Chinese military had ignored restrictions imposed on the troops by local laws.

Edward Wong reported from Washington, and Mike Ives, Tiffany May and Katherine Li reported from Hong Kong. Paul Mozur and Ezra Cheung contributed reporting from Hong Kong.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Hong Kong Protests: Police Rush Barricades at University Campus, but Retreat in Face of Fire

HONG KONG — The Hong Kong police early Monday morning tried to enter in force a university campus that antigovernment activists had occupied for days, a tense moment that could significantly escalate the monthslong political crisis gripping the semiautonomous Chinese city.

Student leaders said police had carried out “a massive arrest of persons within the campus” and that there had been multiple injuries, with three people suffering injuries to their eyes and 40 suffering from hypothermia after being hit with water from police water cannons.

At one of the entrances to the campus, the police were able to arrest a few protesters at the outer edges of a barricade protecting the university, but they fell back after other students set the barricades on fire and threw dozens of petrol bombs at the police.

The police have been surrounding Hong Kong Polytechnic University and have threatened to use “lethal force” to arrest those who did not surrender. The incursion on Monday was the police force’s most direct intervention yet onto one of the city’s university campuses, which until recently were safe spaces for young demonstrators.

The police assault began at about 5:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, and at 6:15 a.m., the fire at the barricade set ablaze by protesters was still big enough, and burning bright enough, to be visible at a distance.

The standoff at the PolyU campus, in which a police officer was hit in his leg with an arrow, shattered a fragile calm that had returned to Hong Kong after a workweek marred by severe transit disruptions and street violence. Protesters on the fringes of the campus continued their multiday blockage of a nearby and vital cross-harbor tunnel, and stepped up their tactics by setting fire to two nearby bridges and an armored police vehicle.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_164572914_5405566b-67d7-40bb-8ec0-81fce29066c4-articleLarge Hong Kong Protests: Police Rush Barricades at University Campus, but Retreat in Face of Fire Propaganda People's Liberation Army (China) Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Defense and Military Forces Communist Party of China Colleges and Universities

Protesters continued a multiday occupation of the Polytechnic University campus into early Monday morning.Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Here’s more on the latest developments in Hong Kong.

PolyU’s president, Jin-Guang Teng, said in a prerecorded video released after the police tried to storm the campus that he had negotiated a temporary suspension of violence with the police, but suggested that protesters occupying the campus would still have to turn themselves into the police.

“If the protesters do not initiate the use of force, the police will not initiate the use the use of force,” he said in the video statement. “In addition, we have also received permission from the police for you to leave the campus peacefully, and I will personally accompany you to the police station to ensure that your case will be fairly processed.”

The president’s statement came after a night of confrontation.

After nightfall, the protesters set fire to a flyover near the tunnel and a pedestrian bridge leading to the campus, forcing an armored police vehicle to retreat and setting another police vehicle on fire. Plumes of black smoke billowed across the campus.

Superintendent Louis Lau of the Hong Kong police said in a video statement that an officer had fired a live round at a vehicle that charged toward officers Sunday night. “Coldblooded rioters can only imitate terror acts,” he said, warning that live rounds could be used as a “necessary minimum force.”

The police later said in a statement that “rioters” had jeopardized public safety by hurling bricks and gasoline bombs, and that “such behaviors cannot be condoned.”

Before the attempt to storm the campus, a riot police officer on the site warned that protesters were surrounded and that the force would use lethal force against them if they did not surrender.

“Time is running out,” the officer said through a loudspeaker. The police also warned anyone inside the campus to leave immediately through a designated exit, which was later set on fire.

After many protesters and journalists left the campus ahead of a 10 p.m. deadline the police had set, several protesters returned to an entrance, chanting “Hong Kongers, take revenge.” The police fired volleys of tear gas and streams of a stinging blue dye at the protesters, who shielded themselves with umbrellas and threw petrol bombs.

In a statement issued just before midnight, Civil Human Rights Front, an umbrella group that organized large, peaceful marches in the early weeks of the protest movement, urged the government and police to de-escalate what it called “state violence.”

“With the tense atmosphere and escalation of the use of force by police, we worry that the protesters, most of whom are our young and future generation, will face arrest with bloodshed,” the statement said.

Dozens of civilians and volunteer drivers have poured into nearby neighborhoods, trying to help protesters trapped inside the campus escape arrest or injury.

An American pastor and a half-dozen Hong Kong lawmakers said late on Sunday that they were calling on the Hong Kong government to prevent any bloodshed. They said they had asked the United States Consulate to get the police to allow them inside the campus to ensure protesters’ safety.

The pastor, William Devlin, said in a telephone interview that he had been on campus for at least four hours as the clashes unfolded, and had left at 8 p.m. But he was trying to re-enter with the lawmakers at a northwest entrance.

Mr. Devlin estimated there were many hundreds of determined activists still inside when he left, perhaps up to 1,000. He said they were spread out across all parts of the campus, with at least 200 in the cafeteria.

“They were all in good spirits,” he said. “They were not being deterred. They were ready to be arrested. They said, ‘We stand for freedom, dignity, democracy, human rights.’ They said they were staying.”

Mr. Devlin said he had been on the front line with the activists in the late afternoon when the police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons against protesters. Much of that took place outside a main southwest entrance to the university that is a 15-minute walk from the bustling commercial strip of Nathan Road.

He said he had seen protesters throw 10 to 20 petrol bombs to deter the police from advancing. Officers deployed at least one water cannon truck and two armored vehicles. At least two protesters were armed with bows and arrows, he said.

Mr. Devlin said he would call an American diplomat before midnight to ask for help getting the police to grant him permission to re-enter the campus with six Hong Kong legislators. They want to “make sure the students are being treated fairly,” he said.

William Lau, 22, a protester on campus, said around midnight that about 500 activists were still on campus. “I know that there is a possibility that the police will fire live bullets on us tonight, but right now we have no choice,” he said.

About 50 activists were arrested after trying to leave via a northwest entrance, he said, so others were wary of trying to exit.

“The police would never just let us walk out like that,” he said. “I know that some want to leave now but don’t know how, while a fair number wants to stay and fight.”

Scores of protesters in nearby areas of Mong Kok confronted the police in an attempt to draw forces away from the campus. On Hong Kong Island, protesters with the same aim put up barricades in Central, the main business and luxury shopping district.

Louis Lau, the police superintendent, said before midnight that an officer had fired a live round at a vehicle that charged toward officers.

“Coldblooded rioters can only imitate terror acts,” he said, warning that live rounds could be used as a “necessary minimum force.” The police also said they might use lethal force if the protesters do not leave the campus.

Civil Human Rights Front, an umbrella group that organized large, peaceful marches in the early weeks of the six-month-old movement, urged the government and the police to de-escalate what it called “state violence.”

“With the tense atmosphere and escalation of the use of force by police,” the group said in a statement, “we worry that the protesters, most of whom are our young and future generation, will face arrest with bloodshed.”

For hours on Sunday, the police fired gas and sprayed water cannons at young demonstrators who were continuing a multiday occupation of the campus and blockading an adjacent tunnel that connects Hong Kong Island with the Kowloon Peninsula.

Ensconced above the Kowloon streets in fort-like enclosures, some of the protesters spent hours throwing gasoline bombs, some from improvised catapults. Others were armed with bows and arrows, and the police said an officer had been hit in the calf with an arrow.

Dozens of hard-line protesters also clashed with riot police in several working-class neighborhoods nearby, apparently in an attempt to divert the force’s energies away from the campus.

The PolyU campus, which sits beside the harbor tunnel and a Chinese military barracks, is one of several that young protesters had occupied days earlier, turning them into quasi-militarized citadels. Most of the other sieges gradually tapered off.

The Sunday clash came on the heels of a particularly intense week of transit delays, street scuffles and flash-mob-style demonstrations across the city. The unrest was prompted in part by the police shooting of a young demonstrator at point-blank range. He survived.

On Saturday, Chinese soldiers jogged out of their barracks near Hong Kong Baptist University and cleared bricks from streets that had been swarmed days earlier by young demonstrators.

The soldiers wore T-shirts and basketball jerseys, rather than military uniforms, and carried brooms instead of weapons. Their appearance threatened to inflame tensions in the semiautonomous Chinese territory, where many are deeply sensitive about what they see as Beijing’s growing influence over their lives.

The Hong Kong garrison of the People’s Liberation Army is based in 19 sites once occupied by the British military before the former colony returned to Chinese control in 1997. But even though Chinese troops have been stationed in Hong Kong for years, it is highly unusual for them to venture into the city.

Hong Kong’s mini-Constitution says that P.L.A. forces “shall not interfere” in local affairs and that the local government may ask for the army’s assistance for disaster relief and maintaining public order. The Hong Kong government said in a statement on Saturday that the soldiers’ cleanup had been a self-initiated “community activity.”

The cleanup, which was lauded in China’s state-run news media, prompted a torrent of criticism from local residents. On Saturday, 24 lawmakers from Hong Kong’s pro-democracy legislative minority issued a joint statement saying that the local government and the P.L.A. had ignored restrictions imposed on the troops by local laws.

Ezra Cheung, Paul Mozur and Keith Bradsher contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

China’s Political Correctness: One Country, No Arguments

Westlake Legal Group 11newworld-1-facebookJumbo China’s Political Correctness: One Country, No Arguments Propaganda Politics and Government Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots China Censorship

Hong Kong’s protests have disrupted Yang Yang’s family life. Though the 29-year-old lives in mainland China, he was inspired by the demonstrations to write a song about freedom and upload it to the internet. When censors deleted it, he complained to his family.

They weren’t sympathetic. “How can you support Hong Kong separatists?” they asked. “How can you be anti-China?” His mother threatened to disown him. Before Mr. Yang left on a trip to Japan in August, his father said he hoped his son would die there.

Hong Kong’s protests have inflamed tensions in the semiautonomous Chinese city, but passions in the mainland have been just as heated — and, seemingly, almost exclusively against the demonstrators.

A pro-protest tweet by a Houston Rockets executive, Daryl Morey, ignited a firestorm of anger against the N.B.A., demonstrating the depth of feeling. Joe Tsai, the only N.B.A. owner of Chinese descent, said all of China — yes, more than one billion people — felt the same way.

“The one thing that is terribly misunderstood, and often ignored, by the western press and those critical of China is that 1.4 billion Chinese citizens stand united when it comes to the territorial integrity of China and the country’s sovereignty over her homeland,” he wrote. “This issue is non-negotiable.”

For Westerners, this is strange language. You don’t hear about the common feelings of 300 million Americans or 60 million Brits, especially in the era of Donald Trump and Brexit.

Yet, in China, there is some truth to it. Of course, it’s a vast country brimming with opinions. But the Communist Party has spent decades preparing the Chinese people for a moment like this. The stir over Hong Kong shows, in dramatic fashion, how successful it has been, and how the world could be shaped by it.

“As soon as the Communist Party pushes the patriotism button, Chinese will rise up like zombies to unite against the foreign forces, be it Japan or N.B.A.,” said Mr. Yang, the singer-songwriter. “They don’t always know why they’re against those things. In fact, many Chinese like Japan and the N.B.A.”

Until Thursday, when China’s internet minders dialed down the passions, the Chinese online world was filled with denunciations of the protests. Some Chinese people have even scaled the Great Firewall, China’s highly effective online censorship system, to post anti-protest messages on services like Facebook and Instagram that their own government doesn’t want them to see.

Their comments reflect a narrative that China’s top-down education system delivers from a young age. A united China, a country with a common purpose, can stand strong against outsiders, according to this narrative. A divided China could slip backward, losing decades of progress and plunging the country back into chaos.

Any Chinese person who has gone to elementary school or watched television news can explain the tale of China’s 100 years of humiliation. Starting with the Opium Wars in the 19th century, foreign powers bullied a weak and backward China into turning Hong Kong and Macau into European colonies. Students must memorize the unequal treaties the Qing dynasty signed during that period.

There’s even a name for it: “national humiliation education.”

This narrative glosses over a lot of history, including the cruelty of Mao’s revolution, the starving of millions during Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the madness of his decade-long Cultural Revolution. When it does include the 1989 crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square, the protest and its aftermath is mentioned in one sentence and portrayed vaguely as a political incident.

These lessons and propaganda sound crude, but they work. For years, I regarded Chris Patten, the last Hong Kong governor under the British rule, as “a sinner condemned by history.” That’s what state media called him, especially after he approved spending heavily to build Hong Kong’s new airport, leading to accusations of waste. Today, I regularly use that airport, a marvel of modern transportation, as do millions of others.

Of course, my friends and I watched with great pride Hong Kong’s handover ceremony from Britain to China in 1997. Territorial integrity achieved!

At the graduate school of journalism at Columbia University in 2002, one American student told me about his trip to Tibet. I was so incensed by his remarks that I blurted out, “Tibet is part of China!”

For Westerners, perhaps one way to understand would be to read “Educated,” a memoir by Tara Westover about escaping her survivalist Mormon family in the mountains of Idaho. It has nothing to do with China. But her struggle to unlearn what her parents taught her felt familiar to me after I left China and began to learn its history on my own.

The rise of the internet and China’s opening were supposed to widen views there. Instead, the party is narrowing them more. Education officials over the past two years have been increasingly enforcing a widely ignored 2004 effort to make education even more Chinese focused.

In some middle school history books, the Cultural Revolution is described as “a detour in the Communist Party’s expedition,” rather than as a mistake. Some universities have replaced textbooks by Western academics such as Milton Friedman and N. Gregory Mankiw with books written under a program called “Marxist theory research and building project.”

Textbook publishers have cut back on essays by Lu Xun, a writer known for his acerbic criticism of the nationalist government in the 1920s and 1930s. They were once a mainstay of school texts, but some Chinese people have used his articles to criticize current events. One, about how Chinese people should welcome criticism from foreigners, was posted on the social media platform Weibo this past week after the N.B.A. debacle, then was pulled down.

Already, China has become more effective at delivering its message to its people. Slogans that I learned without much conviction more than 30 years ago — like “Without the Communist Party, there would be no China” — are making a comeback.

These lessons might seem removed from the situation in Hong Kong, where the protesters are mainly Chinese, not foreigners. But state media has portrayed the protests as foreign driven, sometimes identifying Western bystanders and journalists — including one working for The New York Times — as American instigators.

State media also portrays the protests as a push for Hong Kong independence from China, a direct effort to tap into those feelings of territorial integrity. That thought has echoed. Mr. Tsai, the N.B.A. owner, called the protests “a separatist movement.”

But only a fringe group of protesters support full independence from the mainland. The five core demands of the protesters don’t include it. It’s an important distinction, one that Mr. Tsai’s newspaper — The South China Morning Post, owned by Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant where Mr. Tsai is executive vice chairman — is careful to make.

For China, the big danger is that it will become even more intolerant of criticism and different opinions.

A Chinese blogger wrote this week that a renovation project at a top Beijing middle school was causing widespread health issues, giving students bloody noses several times a day. The reaction was strong, and strongly against him. Many students told him there was nothing wrong with their school and even if there was, it was none of his business. “He should have shut his mouth just like N.B.A.’s Morey,” wrote one commenter.

Mr. Yang, the singer-songwriter, said “all hell broke loose” after his family and members of his band learned that he supported the Hong Kong protests. His younger brother told him he was sick in his mind. Former classmates castigated him online.

“The Hong Kong protests have definitely made them a lot more patriotic,” he said.

Over the years, he had tried to show people around him the videos of the Tiananmen Square crackdown and other events. His family told him that he should look at the brighter side of the history. The party has since provided education, jobs and pensions, they said.

“I feel as alone as an island,” he said. “I’m surrounded by very familiar strangers.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

China’s Political Correctness: One Country, No Arguments

Westlake Legal Group 11newworld-1-facebookJumbo China’s Political Correctness: One Country, No Arguments Propaganda Politics and Government Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots China Censorship

Hong Kong’s protests have disrupted Yang Yang’s family life. Though the 29-year-old lives in mainland China, he was inspired by the demonstrations to write a song about freedom and upload it to the internet. When censors deleted it, he complained to his family.

They weren’t sympathetic. “How can you support Hong Kong separatists?” they asked. “How can you be anti-China?” His mother threatened to disown him. Before Mr. Yang left on a trip to Japan in August, his father said he hoped his son would die there.

Hong Kong’s protests have inflamed tensions in the semiautonomous Chinese city, but passions in the mainland have been just as heated — and, seemingly, almost exclusively against the demonstrators.

A pro-protest tweet by a Houston Rockets executive, Daryl Morey, ignited a firestorm of anger against the N.B.A., demonstrating the depth of feeling. Joe Tsai, the only N.B.A. owner of Chinese descent, said all of China — yes, more than one billion people — felt the same way.

“The one thing that is terribly misunderstood, and often ignored, by the western press and those critical of China is that 1.4 billion Chinese citizens stand united when it comes to the territorial integrity of China and the country’s sovereignty over her homeland,” he wrote. “This issue is non-negotiable.”

For Westerners, this is strange language. You don’t hear about the common feelings of 300 million Americans or 60 million Brits, especially in the era of Donald Trump and Brexit.

Yet, in China, there is some truth to it. Of course, it’s a vast country brimming with opinions. But the Communist Party has spent decades preparing the Chinese people for a moment like this. The stir over Hong Kong shows, in dramatic fashion, how successful it has been, and how the world could be shaped by it.

“As soon as the Communist Party pushes the patriotism button, Chinese will rise up like zombies to unite against the foreign forces, be it Japan or N.B.A.,” said Mr. Yang, the singer-songwriter. “They don’t always know why they’re against those things. In fact, many Chinese like Japan and the N.B.A.”

Until Thursday, when China’s internet minders dialed down the passions, the Chinese online world was filled with denunciations of the protests. Some Chinese people have even scaled the Great Firewall, China’s highly effective online censorship system, to post anti-protest messages on services like Facebook and Instagram that their own government doesn’t want them to see.

Their comments reflect a narrative that China’s top-down education system delivers from a young age. A united China, a country with a common purpose, can stand strong against outsiders, according to this narrative. A divided China could slip backward, losing decades of progress and plunging the country back into chaos.

Any Chinese person who has gone to elementary school or watched television news can explain the tale of China’s 100 years of humiliation. Starting with the Opium Wars in the 19th century, foreign powers bullied a weak and backward China into turning Hong Kong and Macau into European colonies. Students must memorize the unequal treaties the Qing dynasty signed during that period.

There’s even a name for it: “national humiliation education.”

This narrative glosses over a lot of history, including the cruelty of Mao’s revolution, the starving of millions during Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the madness of his decade-long Cultural Revolution. When it does include the 1989 crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square, the protest and its aftermath is mentioned in one sentence and portrayed vaguely as a political incident.

These lessons and propaganda sound crude, but they work. For years, I regarded Chris Patten, the last Hong Kong governor under the British rule, as “a sinner condemned by history.” That’s what state media called him, especially after he approved spending heavily to build Hong Kong’s new airport, leading to accusations of waste. Today, I regularly use that airport, a marvel of modern transportation, as do millions of others.

Of course, my friends and I watched with great pride Hong Kong’s handover ceremony from Britain to China in 1997. Territorial integrity achieved!

At the graduate school of journalism at Columbia University in 2002, one American student told me about his trip to Tibet. I was so incensed by his remarks that I blurted out, “Tibet is part of China!”

For Westerners, perhaps one way to understand would be to read “Educated,” a memoir by Tara Westover about escaping her survivalist Mormon family in the mountains of Idaho. It has nothing to do with China. But her struggle to unlearn what her parents taught her felt familiar to me after I left China and began to learn its history on my own.

The rise of the internet and China’s opening were supposed to widen views there. Instead, the party is narrowing them more. Education officials over the past two years have been increasingly enforcing a widely ignored 2004 effort to make education even more Chinese focused.

In some middle school history books, the Cultural Revolution is described as “a detour in the Communist Party’s expedition,” rather than as a mistake. Some universities have replaced textbooks by Western academics such as Milton Friedman and N. Gregory Mankiw with books written under a program called “Marxist theory research and building project.”

Textbook publishers have cut back on essays by Lu Xun, a writer known for his acerbic criticism of the nationalist government in the 1920s and 1930s. They were once a mainstay of school texts, but some Chinese people have used his articles to criticize current events. One, about how Chinese people should welcome criticism from foreigners, was posted on the social media platform Weibo this past week after the N.B.A. debacle, then was pulled down.

Already, China has become more effective at delivering its message to its people. Slogans that I learned without much conviction more than 30 years ago — like “Without the Communist Party, there would be no China” — are making a comeback.

These lessons might seem removed from the situation in Hong Kong, where the protesters are mainly Chinese, not foreigners. But state media has portrayed the protests as foreign driven, sometimes identifying Western bystanders and journalists — including one working for The New York Times — as American instigators.

State media also portrays the protests as a push for Hong Kong independence from China, a direct effort to tap into those feelings of territorial integrity. That thought has echoed. Mr. Tsai, the N.B.A. owner, called the protests “a separatist movement.”

But only a fringe group of protesters support full independence from the mainland. The five core demands of the protesters don’t include it. It’s an important distinction, one that Mr. Tsai’s newspaper — The South China Morning Post, owned by Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant where Mr. Tsai is executive vice chairman — is careful to make.

For China, the big danger is that it will become even more intolerant of criticism and different opinions.

A Chinese blogger wrote this week that a renovation project at a top Beijing middle school was causing widespread health issues, giving students bloody noses several times a day. The reaction was strong, and strongly against him. Many students told him there was nothing wrong with their school and even if there was, it was none of his business. “He should have shut his mouth just like N.B.A.’s Morey,” wrote one commenter.

Mr. Yang, the singer-songwriter, said “all hell broke loose” after his family and members of his band learned that he supported the Hong Kong protests. His younger brother told him he was sick in his mind. Former classmates castigated him online.

“The Hong Kong protests have definitely made them a lot more patriotic,” he said.

Over the years, he had tried to show people around him the videos of the Tiananmen Square crackdown and other events. His family told him that he should look at the brighter side of the history. The party has since provided education, jobs and pensions, they said.

“I feel as alone as an island,” he said. “I’m surrounded by very familiar strangers.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The New Batwoman Show Is Bombing and Once Again, SJW Journalists Blame the Wrong Thing

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-4-620x373 The New Batwoman Show Is Bombing and Once Again, SJW Journalists Blame the Wrong Thing Women Television Social Justice Sexism Propaganda Politics LGBT homophobia Front Page Stories Entertainment DC Comics CW batwoman Arrowverse

If you’ve watched any of the CW superhero shows, then you kind of know what you’re in store for. It’s a lot of people dressed up in costumes from the DC comic universe essentially playing out a soap opera.

Unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which only includes drama as a subplot to the main story of fighting bad guys and saving the world, the DC television universe — dubbed the “Arrowverse” after its flagship show “Arrow” — centers around drama, essentially making it the exact reverse of the MCU. It can feel like a slog for people looking for a superhero show to enjoy.

What’s worse is that the shows on the CW seem to have fallen to the problem of becoming programming that scratches a very hard-left itch. The shows are filthy with social justice messaging and left-leaning talking points. The Super Girl television show, for instance, has done everything from promoting anti-gun messaging to hinting not-so-subtly that Donald Trump is a racist.

It would appear that the Batwoman television show looks to follow that very same path. While the pilot episode didn’t push social justice messaging as hard as the trailer for the show implied, it still pushes it. In fact, many people have surmised that Batwoman is DC’s response to the MCU Captain Marvel with Brie Larson due to all the “girl-power” and anti-man messaging the show contains.

You can watch the trailer below and see for yourself.

You can probably guess how the reviews went by this point.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the critics couldn’t stop raving about it. Meanwhile, the audience score is beyond dismal. As of this writing, Batwoman has a 72 percent critic score and only a 10 percent audience score.

Westlake Legal Group Capture-5-620x332 The New Batwoman Show Is Bombing and Once Again, SJW Journalists Blame the Wrong Thing Women Television Social Justice Sexism Propaganda Politics LGBT homophobia Front Page Stories Entertainment DC Comics CW batwoman Arrowverse

As a response, the left is already making the excuse that the reason everyone hates Batwoman is that she’s a woman, and a lesbian to boot! Horror of horrors!

Forbe’s Paul Tassi, for instance, didn’t even try to hint his way around the issue. He straight up accused many people of being sexist for their dislike of the show:

On IMDB you can only see usernames, but on Rotten Tomatoes they at least have first names listed for fan reviews, and sometimes photos. Of the first 100 reviews I counted, 95 appear to be written by men. Two of the five women gave it a positive score, the only two positive scores I saw out of all 100. I could probably keep going, but I’m guessing the ratio would remain roughly the same.

I am definitely not saying that Batwoman is some masterpiece, but it does not take the World’s Greatest Detective to figure out what’s happening here, even if many of the negative reviews don’t reference sexuality or politics. Batwoman is certainly no worse in the script and action department than the early episodes of these other Arrowverse series, and yet I never saw any of them lambasted to this degree.

This is a constant callback for leftist culture reviewers who find themselves in the position of having to defend a show or movie that has received negative audience scores. Those who hate a show or movie with a woman lead or that glorifies things social justice advocates hold as holy are only doing so because they’re racist, or homophobic, or sexist, or (insert “ists” and “phobes” here).

Each time this happens, moviegoers everywhere — including yours truly — point out that it’s not the race or sex that causes people to dislike a show. If that were the case, then there are so many franchises, movies, and games that are cherished by the general public that would be despised. Alien, Metroid, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hunger Games, Wonder Woman, and Terminator all had female leads that fans the world over adore.

So it must be a completely different reason, and that reason is very obvious.

People hate being preached to about things they don’t believe in.

Batwoman sold itself entirely on the premise that she is a social justice hero, and because of that, the show has been geared toward highlighting this political stance. The plot, the action, and more are all geared to promote that idea. This makes for a very boring show that frankly, no one wants to watch.

Add to that the fact that the vast majority of people don’t fall in line with social justice advocacy due to its high level of bigotry, racism, and sexism, and you have a show that just straight up disgusts people.

People don’t care that the lead is a woman. They care that you’ve created a boring show that promotes philosophies and stances that people disagree with. What’s more, this was done in a superhero format. People watch superhero media because they want to see amazing concepts, not watch as they sit around and discuss their feelings on the LGBT community while wearing tights.

Exploring the psychology of a villain or hero can work wonders in both comics and movies — I think Todd Phillips proved that with Joker — but even that is something that many readers would find a fascinating character development, which lends to the story.

Nobody is fascinated by another pro-LGBT writer talking about how everyone is mean to gays, lesbians, and trans people. Nobody is glued to their seat while some out-of-touch writer on the coast tells them they’re racist through a character in a mask. Few people can relate to this, mostly in part because the vast majority of people aren’t racist or homophobic.

It ain’t the woman that’s the topic, it’s the show’s driving principle of putting politics before story.

It’s propaganda. Not entertainment.

 

The post The New Batwoman Show Is Bombing and Once Again, SJW Journalists Blame the Wrong Thing appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-4-300x180 The New Batwoman Show Is Bombing and Once Again, SJW Journalists Blame the Wrong Thing Women Television Social Justice Sexism Propaganda Politics LGBT homophobia Front Page Stories Entertainment DC Comics CW batwoman Arrowverse   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

China Masters Political Propaganda for the Instagram Age

Westlake Legal Group 00newworld6-facebookJumbo China Masters Political Propaganda for the Instagram Age Social Media Propaganda Politics and Government Communist Party of China China

Lu Yingxin has been singing “My People, My Country” for the past week. An earnest propaganda anthem from 1985, the song typically wouldn’t stand a chance against Taylor Swift, K-pop and other modern tunes the 18-year-old college student and her friends like to listen to.

Then, on Sunday, Ms. Lu and her roommates saw a hit Chinese movie of the same name. It depicts major events in recent Chinese history — its first nuclear bomb test, the Hong Kong handover from Britain and the Beijing Olympics, among others — through the eyes of ordinary people.

Its theme song is a polished cover of the 1985 version, sung by Faye Wong, the breathy Chinese superstar. It left them in tears, Ms. Lu said.

[embedded content]

It’s easy to dismiss this outpouring of patriotism as evidence of the Communist Party’s successful brainwashing of the Chinese people, or as a result of heavy surveillance and heavy-handed tactics against dissenters.

The truth is more complex. The Communist Party indeed doesn’t hesitate to use state power to tell the Chinese people how they should think. But the displays of patriotism, especially from young people, also show that the party’s propaganda machine has mastered the power of symbol and symbolism in the mass media and social media era.

That’s why Ms. Lu can’t stop singing a song she first learned in a patriotism class in her elementary school.

“It was beautiful. But it was also part of the patriotism education, so it felt forced,” she said. “After I watched the movie and the military parade, I sang it from the bottom of my heart.”

Beijing may be still struggling to influence the outside world more effectively, but at home it has learned how to compete with short videos, Hollywood movies and mobile games for the public’s attention span. While imposing tight censorship, the Communist Party has also learned to lean on the most popular artists and the most experienced internet companies to help it instill Chinese with patriotic zeal.

It’s propaganda for the Instagram age, if Instagram were allowed in China.

So many people rushed to add a national flag logo to their profile photos on the WeChat social media platform that the webpage crashed. On Douyin, the Chinese version of the short-video platform TikTok, China’s biggest entertainment stars and ordinary people alike posted videos of themselves cupping their hands into a heart shape over their chests. The “My People, My Country” music video has been played 73 million times on Tencent Video, one of three big video sites.

“Even discounting some people who hide their negative opinions of the regime, the level of support for the party state is still very high, compared with other countries,” said Dali Yang, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago.

There are a number of other factors, including the unrest in Hong Kong. Angry demonstrators showing their dislike of the Chinese government have left many people in China feeling both defensive and proud of their country’s accomplishments.

And broadly speaking, Chinese people have reason to be proud of their accomplishments. In 40 years, they have lifted their country out of poverty while avoiding the wars and unrest that have plagued much of the developing world. Modern China has its problems, but most Chinese believe it is still vibrant and full of opportunity.

The Communist Party has tapped into that sentiment, and has been successfully blurring the line between love for the country and love for the party. For the first time, the flags of the Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army appeared in the military parade along with the national flag. In fact, the party’s flag marched ahead of the national flag.

To blur those lines, the party has turned to potent symbols for the internet age.

Its propaganda symbols of old included Lei Feng, a selfless soldier who died in 1962 at the age of 21 after being struck by a falling utility pole.

Today’s version of Lei Feng is Azhong, a clean-cut cartoon character. The People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s official newspaper, created Azhong, a boy from a poor family who is ridiculed by classmates. But he works hard and becomes a top student. Then it compares Azhong to China, saying it also rose from backwardness to power despite victimization, in the country’s case by foreign forces.

“He is China,” the cartoon declares. (His name also translates as “China,” in case anybody might miss the symbolism.)

Chinese online users began using the nickname while they waged digital war against young Hong Kong protesters on Facebook and Instagram in August. Then the Weibo account of the Communist Youth League, the party outreach arm to young people, picked up the nickname and made it bigger.

The Chinese internet has proved to be a fruitful place for the party to spread its message. A mobile game developed by the People’s Daily and Tencent, the Chinese internet giant, was the most popular free app on Apple’s China store last week, for example. Players compete to see who can build better cities while executing the party’s key policies, such as poverty alleviation and low-carbon transportation.

The “My People, My Country” film shows how far propaganda has come.

A decade ago, “The Founding of a Republic,” the first in a trilogy of patriotic films about China’s birth, played to mostly unimpressed audiences. They were so disliked that Douban, a Chinese film review site, disabled its ratings for those titles.

“My People, My Country” so far has a score of 8.1 out of 10 on Douban. It has sold nearly $200 million in tickets in five days.

Yan Feng, professor of Chinese literature at Fudan University in Shanghai, wrote on his Weibo social media account that “My People, My Country” is the best revolutionary-themed film in China’s history.

“After 70 years,” he wrote, “our culture and propaganda departments finally figured out how to combine propaganda with art.”

Clarence Lu, a 24-year-old blogger in Guangzhou, watched the movie twice in two days. The characters were flawed human beings instead of the epic heroes one usually sees in patriotic films, he wrote in a social media post.

“I have to admit that our country is getting much better at communicating with us, in ways we like,” Mr. Lu said in an interview. “I didn’t realize that I accepted the patriotic education until after I liked and shared the song.”

China certainly didn’t invent tug-at-the-heart patriotism, as anybody who has seen “Saving Private Ryan” can attest. The difference is that the Chinese government is playing an active role in creating media like “My People, My Country.”

The movie was co-produced by the state-owned Huaxia Film Distribution. Huang Jianxin, the film’s main producer, told Chinese media that he received a notice from “relevant government department” a year ago about making a film about the 70th anniversary.

In fact, the party’s central publicity department took over film regulation in China last year from a government agency, giving the party direct control of what appears in Chinese theaters. That will ensure that no historical films in China will depict some of the most disastrous events in the country’s collective memory, like the Cultural Revolution or the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Much of China’s success on the propaganda front still comes from silencing critics. A 24-year-old man in the southwestern Sichuan Province is serving a seven-day police detention for bad-mouthing the military parade on social media last weekend, according to the local police.

Mr. Lu, the blogger, said that he wrote his article because he couldn’t figure out why many people became so patriotic all of a sudden.

He was surprised to find that young people lined up to take photos with a national flag in a Guangzhou shopping mall last weekend. Some of them wore baggy hip-hop outfits, black lipstick and studded boots. They looked like they could be on their way to night clubs, he said. Yet they chose to take photos with the national flag.

“When I was growing up, it was considered uncool to be overtly patriotic and take photos with the national flag,” he said. “Not anymore.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

At Least 70 Countries Have Had Disinformation Campaigns, Study Finds

In Vietnam, citizens were enlisted to post pro-government messages on their personal Facebook pages. The Guatemalan government used hacked and stolen social media accounts to silence dissenting opinions. Ethiopia’s ruling party hired people to influence social media conversations in its favor.

Despite increased efforts by internet platforms like Facebook to combat internet disinformation, the use of the techniques by governments around the world is growing, according to a report released Thursday by researchers at Oxford University. Governments are spreading disinformation to discredit political opponents, bury opposing views and interfere in foreign affairs.

The researchers compiled information from news organizations, civil society groups and governments to create one of the most comprehensive inventories of disinformation practices by governments around the world. They found that the number of countries with political disinformation campaigns more than doubled to 70 in the last two years, with evidence of at least one political party or government entity in each of those countries engaging in social media manipulation.

In addition, Facebook remains the No. 1 social network for disinformation, the report said. Organized propaganda campaigns were found on the platform in 56 countries.

“Social media technology tends to empower propaganda and disinformation in really new ways,” said Samantha Bradshaw, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, a department at Oxford University, and co-author of the study. The institute previously worked with the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate Russian interference around the 2016 campaign.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_141942189_2621a085-336d-4cb8-a178-096352a234a3-articleLarge At Least 70 Countries Have Had Disinformation Campaigns, Study Finds YouTube.com twitter Social Media Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Rumors and Misinformation Propaganda Politics and Government News and News Media Facebook Inc Computers and the Internet

Philip N. Howard, an author of the Oxford report, right, and John Kelly, chief executive of Graphika, worked with the Senate to investigate foreign interference around the 2016 election.CreditManuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

The report highlights the continuing challenge for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as they try to combat disinformation, particularly when the perpetrators are governments. The companies have announced internal changes to reduce social media manipulation and foreign interference.

But the research shows that use of the tactics, which include bots, fake social media accounts and hired “trolls,” is growing. In the past two months, the platforms have suspended accounts linked to governments in China and Saudi Arabia.

Ben Nimmo, director of investigations at Graphika, a company that specializes in analyzing social media, said the growing use of internet disinformation is concerning for the 2020 United States election. A mix of domestic and foreign groups, operating autonomously or with loose ties to a government, are building from the methods used by Russia in the last presidential election, making it difficult for the platforms to police, he said.

“The danger is the proliferation” of the techniques, he said. “Anybody who wants to influence the 2020 election may be tempted to copy what the Russian operation did in 2016.”

China’s emergence as a powerful force in global disinformation is one of the most significant developments of the past year, researchers said. The country has long used propaganda domestically, but the protests this year in Hong Kong brought evidence that it was expanding its efforts. In August, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube suspended accounts linked to Beijing that were spreading disinformation about the protests.

Philip N. Howard, director of the Oxford Internet Institute and one of the authors of the report, said that such online disinformation campaigns can no longer be understood to be the work of “lone hackers, or individual activists, or teenagers in the basement doing things for clickbait.”

There is a new professionalism to the activity, with formal organizations that use hiring plans, performance bonuses and receptionists, he said.

Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Mark Warner of Virginia were among the sponsors of 2017 legislation to regulate online campaign ads.CreditAl Drago for The New York Times

In recent years, governments have used “cyber troops” to shape public opinion, including networks of bots to amplify a message, groups of “trolls” to harass political dissidents or journalists, and scores of fake social media accounts to misrepresent how many people engaged with an issue.

The tactics are no longer limited to large countries. Smaller states can now easily set up internet influence operations as well. The Oxford researchers said social media was increasingly being co-opted by governments to suppress human rights, discredit political opponents and stifle dissent, including in countries like Azerbaijan, Zimbabwe and Bahrain. In Tajikistan, university students were recruited to set up fake accounts and share pro-government views. During investigations into disinformation campaigns in Myanmar, evidence emerged that military officials were trained by Russian operatives on how to use social media.

Most government-linked disinformation efforts were focused domestically, researchers concluded. But at least seven countries had tried to influence views outside their borders: China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

Ms. Bradshaw said that in the case studies the Oxford team identified, advertising was not central to the spread of disinformation. Instead, she said, the campaigns sought to create memes, videos or other pieces of content designed to take advantage of social networks’ algorithms and their amplifying effects — exploiting the potential for virality on the platforms for free.

Ms. Bradshaw said both government regulation and the steps taken by Facebook to combat this kind of disinformation didn’t go far enough. A lot of the regulation “tends to focus on the content” or “problems at the edges of disinformation problems,” she said, pointing to efforts like Facebook’s transparency in its ads archive.

“But from our research, we know that this problem of microtargeting ads is actually only a very small part of the problems,” Ms. Bradshaw said. Facebook has not addressed deeper structural problems that make it easy to spread false and misleading information, she said.

“To address that you need to look at the algorithm and the underlying business model,” Ms. Bradshaw said.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Internet Dive-Bombs AOC’s Thrilling New Soviet-Style Green New Deal Posters

Westlake Legal Group alexandria-ocasio-cortez-live-AP-620x413 The Internet Dive-Bombs AOC’s Thrilling New Soviet-Style Green New Deal Posters washington D.C. Uncategorized tom rogan Soviet Union Russia Propaganda miriam elder laura ingraham Green New Deal Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats Culture Congress Charlie Kirk AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a winner of a Democratic Congressional primary in New York, addresses supporters at a fundraiser Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

 

 

On Friday, burger-friendly frequent flier AOC released nifty new posters trumpeting her cowfart-fighting, no-planes-flying Green New Deal, and the internet’s responded.

The posters, some say, look like Soviet propaganda.

Alexandria introduced the new one-sheets with a couple of “thrilled” tweets:

But not all were thrilled, and that group included Fox News host Laura Ingraham:

Hey, why would a twenty-something in contemporary society believe they had the answer to all of America’s problems?
Aw, that’s just a distraction. Back to the posters:

Buzzfeed’s Miriam Elder got in on the action?

As did Tom Rogan of The Washington Examiner:

And don’t forget The Daily Wire’s Harry Khachatrian:

Too bad the artwork couldn’t make the ideas therein any more coherent. Hence, this already happened:


I doubt the White House is too concerned about the GND’s renaissance. As noted by The Daily Caller, Trump’s pretty much made his position clear:

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

Cow Farts: 1, AOC: 0. Mitch McConnell & The GOP Senate Mercilessly Crush Alexandria’s Green New Deal

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Backpedaling Doesn’t Reverse Its Stupidity

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Literally Outlines Her Fight Against Cow Farts — No Bullsh**

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.

If you have an iPhone and want to comment, select the box with the upward arrow at the bottom of your screen; swipe left and choose “Request Desktop Site.” If it fails to automatically refresh, manually reload the page. Scroll down to the red horizontal bar that says “Show Comments.”

The post The Internet Dive-Bombs AOC’s Thrilling New Soviet-Style Green New Deal Posters appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group alexandria-ocasio-cortez-live-AP-300x200 The Internet Dive-Bombs AOC’s Thrilling New Soviet-Style Green New Deal Posters washington D.C. Uncategorized tom rogan Soviet Union Russia Propaganda miriam elder laura ingraham Green New Deal Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats Culture Congress Charlie Kirk AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Beijing’s Hong Kong Strategy: More Arrests, No Concessions

HONG KONG — The arrests on Friday of prominent democracy activists in Hong Kong reflect a tactical escalation by China’s leaders, one that they hope will curb the escalating street violence of recent weeks, but which could run the risk of prolonging protests in the city for many more months.

Officials in Beijing, along with the Hong Kong government that answers to them, have decided on a policy of stepped-up arrests of demonstrators, who would be publicly labeled the most radical of the activists, according to Hong Kong cabinet members and leaders of the local pro-Beijing establishment.

In interviews over the past two weeks, these local political figures stressed that China wants the Hong Kong police to carry out the arrests — not Chinese soldiers, whose intervention in the city’s affairs would be unprecedented.

Video

Westlake Legal Group HK-Propaganda_still2-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Beijing’s Hong Kong Strategy: More Arrests, No Concessions Wong, Joshua (1996- ) vandalism Trump, Donald J Propaganda Occupy Central Lee, Martin C M Lam, Carrie (1957- ) Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Communist Party of China China Apple Daily

For more than two months, antigovernment protests have gripped Hong Kong, with anger rising over China’s growing influence. Here are tactics the Chinese government is using to frame the narrative.

Beijing has also ruled out making concessions to the demonstrators, they said. With protest leaders also vowing not to back down, the officials acknowledged that the price of the strategy could be months of acrimony, possibly stretching into 2020.

“I hope we can start the process of reconciliation before the end of the year,” Ronny Tong, a member of Hong Kong’s Executive Council, or cabinet, said in an interview last week.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159694275_ae2199ad-8492-4486-8229-580324449174-articleLarge Beijing’s Hong Kong Strategy: More Arrests, No Concessions Wong, Joshua (1996- ) vandalism Trump, Donald J Propaganda Occupy Central Lee, Martin C M Lam, Carrie (1957- ) Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Communist Party of China China Apple Daily

Police officers drew guns Sunday on protesters who charged at them with sticks. One officer fired a warning shot.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Beijing and Hong Kong officials are betting that the protests will gradually die down as the police detain the most hard-line demonstrators, and that public opinion will turn more decisively against the use of violence, said Lau Siu-kai, a longtime adviser to the Chinese government on Hong Kong policy.

The Hong Kong police said on Friday that they had arrested more than 900 people this summer in connection with the protests. Some of the local political figures estimated that as many as 4,000 protesters were seen by the authorities as radicals, but that it was unclear how many would eventually face legal action.

The police, who have been accused by demonstrators and international rights groups of using excessive force, have “not used their capacity to suppress the protests” until very recently, said Mr. Lau, who ran the city’s policy planning agency for a decade until 2012.

With broad public backing from mainland China, “the mood of the police was lifted up and they became even more ferocious in putting down the protests,” said Mr. Lau, who is now vice chairman of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, a semiofficial advisory body set up by Beijing.

With China’s hard-line leader, Xi Jinping, dealing with a trade war with the United States, a strategy of attrition in Hong Kong could be seen as preferable to a rash approach that might risk spiraling into a major crisis.

But it is far from clear how much success the authorities will have with their strategy of arresting protesters, resisting concessions and delaying negotiations. The arrests have begun to draw criticism from around the world.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters marched on Aug. 18, defying a police ban.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

The handful of democracy activists who were arrested on Friday have relatively moderate reputations. They include Joshua Wong, who rose to global prominence with the so-called Umbrella Movement protests in 2014, and who has publicly called this summer for protesters not to use violence. Mr. Wong and another activist, Agnes Chow, were later released on bail.

Demonstrators have contended that at least some of the violence attributed to them may have been instigated by undercover police agents. The police have acknowledged infiltrating the protests with officers dressed to look like demonstrators.

Protesters also suspect the authorities of involvement in a spate of attacks on democracy activists by men armed with sticks, baseball bats and even meat cleavers. Similar incidents in Hong Kong over the years have been linked to organized crime groups, which have a history of ties to Beijing.

The mutual distrust has become so great that not only are the authorities and pro-democracy activists not holding talks, but the informal contacts that once existed between the government and the older generation of activists — who, themselves, are mistrusted by many of the younger protesters — have essentially come to a halt.

Each side has worried that any effort to quietly negotiate a deal would be torpedoed by leaks, embarrassing anyone who might try to strike a compromise. From the government’s point of view, those fears were realized when Carrie Lam, the chief executive, met with local young people this week, only for a recording to be leaked to Apple Daily, a pro-democracy media outlet.

Democracy advocates consider Mrs. Lam a puppet of China’s leaders, but they have also ruled out talks with the Liaison Office, which represents Beijing’s interests in Hong Kong.

Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, two prominent pro-democracy activists who were arrested on Friday, spoke to the news media after being released on bail.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

“This is the situation we are in: absolutely no back channel and total distrust between the two sides,” said Alan Leong, the leader of the Civic Party, one of Hong Kong’s largest pro-democracy parties.

“How would I in my right mind walk into the Liaison Office — that would upset the whole unity” of the democracy movement, he added.

The democracy advocates have agreed not to criticize the violent tactics of some of the younger protesters — a turnaround for many of the older activists, who have shunned violence since Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997. Some pro-democracy lawmakers with decades-long track records of opposition to Beijing say they have been characterized as sellouts by hard-line protesters when they suggested compromising or refraining from violence.

“They will not listen to us, they think we are all outdated,” said Anson Chan, a longtime campaigner for democracy who was Hong Kong’s second-highest official in the years immediately before and after the 1997 handover.

On Tuesday, Mrs. Lam announced plans for a “platform for dialogue” to find a way out of the political quagmire. But she has sought to meet with neutral community leaders, not the opposition, and she has already ruled out accepting any of the protesters’ five demands, which include universal suffrage, amnesty for protesters and an investigation of the police’s conduct.

Given how polarized the city is now, it has been hard to find neutral figures with whom Mrs. Lam could meet, said Mr. Tong, the cabinet member, who is working on the matter for the chief executive.

Chinese military vehicles this month in Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong. An adviser to Beijing said military exercises in the city were not a prelude to a deployment in Hong Kong.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Mr. Lau, the adviser to Beijing, said that democracy advocates were overestimating the extent to which Chinese leaders worried about being embarrassed internationally by the protests.

He said they paid more attention to how events in Hong Kong were seen within mainland China, adding that public perceptions there of disorder in Hong Kong had led to a nationalistic wave of support for Beijing.

The Chinese government has pushed those perceptions itself, through the state media’s misleading coverage of the protests.

The Chinese military’s police conducted large exercises just across the border from Hong Kong this month as a show of force. But those exercises were aimed at showing that China is prepared for any contingency, and were not a preamble to any plan for actual deployment in Hong Kong, Mr. Lau and others familiar with the exercises said.

The maneuvers followed plans, drafted years ago, for clearing hostile crowds who establish prolonged control of large urban areas — a tactic that Hong Kong protesters used for months in 2014, but have largely avoided this year.

Martin Lee, a veteran pro-democracy campaigner and founder of the Hong Kong Democratic Party, said that Beijing did not want anything to mar its Oct. 1 celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Beijing “won’t allow bloodshed to happen in Hong Kong before then — after Oct. 1, beginning on the 2nd, I don’t know,” Mr. Lee said.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Media and Global Elites Are Lying to You About the Amazon Fires

Westlake Legal Group 281460a8-8b0a-4a9d-bb75-4a60d090268f-620x317 The Media and Global Elites Are Lying to You About the Amazon Fires Propaganda Politics political Marcon lying Hysteria Global Warming g7 Front Page Stories Front Page France Featured Story democrats Climate Change burning Brazil Amazon Fires

For the past decade, we’ve seen normal events become sensationalized to the point of hysteria. Take hurricanes for example.

In order to push climate change as a means for acquiring political power, the left have decided to present every hurricane as proof positive of the vast negative, deadly effects of the earth warming. It doesn’t matter that we are actually seeing less hurricanes in the current decade than the decade before or that 2019 has been incredibly quiet as far as hurricanes go. The moment a storm finally appears this year, it will be bandied about for political reasons.

We are seeing much the same tactics used in regards to the fires currently burning in the Amazon. Celebrities and politicians the world over are shouting on Twitter, sharing photos, and making wild claims about the severity of what is going on.

That’s not to say that the fires are good or that there aren’t more of them this year. It is to say the overall picture being painted is almost wholly false and sowing unnecessary fear to play politics.

Here’s Mike Shellenberger, someone who’s studied this for a long time and lived among the people of the area, writing in Forbes to try to bring some levity to the situation.

Singers and actors including Madonna and Jaden Smith shared photos on social media that were seen by tens of millions of people. “The lungs of the Earth are in flames,” saidactor Leonardo DiCaprio. “The Amazon Rainforest produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen,” tweeted soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. “The Amazon rain forest — the lungs which produce 20% of our planet’s oxygen — is on fire,” tweeted French President Emanuel Macron.

And yet the photos weren’t actually of the fires and many weren’t even of the Amazon. The photo Ronaldo shared was taken in southern Brazil, far from the Amazon, in 2013. The photo that DiCaprio and Macron shared is over 20 years old. The photo Madonna and Smith shared is over 30. Some celebrities shared photos from Montana, India, and Sweden.

It should surprise no one that same group of people who are always beating the drum that the earth is on the verge of calamity chose to purposely lie and share fake photos to push their narrative. Their lying, misleading, and misrepresentations are nothing new.

But let’s deal with the actual claims being made.

Is the Amazon really producing 20% of the world’s oxygen and is it the “lungs of the earth?” It sure sounds dire, but in reality it’s a mostly nonsensical claim.

I was curious to hear what one of the world’s leading Amazon forest experts, Dan Nepstad, had to say about the “lungs” claim.

“It’s bullshit,” he said. “There’s no science behind that. The Amazon produces a lot of oxygen but it uses the same amount of oxygen through respiration so it’s a wash.”

What about the assertion that the Amazon is burning at an 80% higher rate than 2018? As with many things, context matters and the media are purposely leaving it out.

But the “lungs” myth is just the tip of the iceberg. Consider that CNN ran a long segment with the banner, “Fires Burning at Record Rate in Amazon Forest” while a leading climate reporter claimed, “The current fires are without precedent in the past 20,000 years.”

While the number of fires in 2019 is indeed 80% higher than in 2018, it’s just 7% higher than the average over the last 10 years ago, Nepstad said.

One, the idea that anybody could possibly know with any actual authority that these fires haven’t happened for 20,000 years is ludicrous. Secondly, the reason the reason fires are 80% higher this year than last is because last year was an unusually low year for fires. There is no actual existential emergency here.

In fact, there were higher incidences of burning over the course of 2003-2008 than the current five years. The Amazon wasn’t “lost” or destroyed. Amazingly, trees grow back.

What is happening in the Amazon is not exceptional,” said Coutinho. “Take a look at Google web searches search for ‘Amazon’ and ‘Amazon Forest’ over time. Global public opinion was not as interested in the ‘Amazon tragedy’ when the situation was undeniably worse. The present moment does not justify global hysteria.”

And while fires in Brazil have increased, there is no evidence that Amazon forest fireshave.

Further, deforestation is down 70% from the early 2000s. Over half the Amazon is completely protected from deforestation by law and the increase in fires this year is not from climate change, but rather from farmers needing to burn land for crops and cattle.

In other words, what’s happening is completely preventable. It’s not an uncontrollable, environmental threat to the world due to global warming. You are not going to stop getting oxygen to your lungs because of a 7% increase in Amazon fires over the last decade.

Enough of the lying. It’s incredibly transparent that this is political given the same climate change hysterics who freak out about hurricanes and thunderstorms are latching onto this. Brazil doesn’t owe the rest of the world anything and they need to be allowed to manage the situation without the French president or Hollywood celebrities injecting false information into the debate. It only creates division and makes it harder to work with the farmers in question.

Marcon and others should stay in their lane. This isn’t it.

————————————————

Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.

I’ve got a new twitter! Please help by following @bonchieredstate.

The post The Media and Global Elites Are Lying to You About the Amazon Fires appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-08-27-at-11.39.59-AM-300x146 The Media and Global Elites Are Lying to You About the Amazon Fires Propaganda Politics political Marcon lying Hysteria Global Warming g7 Front Page Stories Front Page France Featured Story democrats Climate Change burning Brazil Amazon Fires   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com