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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "China" (Page 65)

Hong Kong protests: Walt Disney Company caught in the middle

Westlake Legal Group 766e9d8d-4274-4dd8-9ab2-deb668f0e6c1 Hong Kong protests: Walt Disney Company caught in the middle Walt Disney Company The Blog police Mulan Liu Yifei Hong Kong protests China

Who knew the Walt Disney Company would be pulled into the protests in Hong Kong? The controversy involves a member of the Disney Princesses franchise, or at least an actress set to play a live-action version of Disney’s beloved character Mulan. Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei is in hot water over a show of support for the Hong Kong police.

Since March, millions have taken to the streets in Hong Kong in pro-democracy demonstrations. Sunday it was reported that 1.7 million marched in heavy rain as the threats from China’s military continue. What began as protests against legislation which would have allowed suspected criminals to be extradited to territories, like Taiwan, Macau and mainland China, where it doesn’t have formal extradition deals has morphed into marches for freedom. Reporting on the protests have included shows of force by Hong Kong police, some calling it excessive force, against protesters.

Last week the protesters shut down Hong Kong’s airport for two days. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has suspended the bill that led to the original protest.

Liu Yifei posted comments on the Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo that set off supporters of the protesters.

Yifei, who is Chinese-American, wrote: “”I support Hong Kong’s police, you can beat me up now.” She continued, “What a shame for Hong Kong” and “#Ialsosupporthongkongpolice#.”

Cue the social media outrage machine. The hashtag #BoycottMulan appeared and was trending on Twitter over the course of last weekend. Some critics encouraged Mulan fans to not watch the live-action version, with Yifei in the role of Mulan, when it is released March 27, 2020. In July, before her post drew ire, the trailer for the new Mulan movie received a jaw-dropping number of views in the first 24 hours – over 175 million – with 52 million coming from China. Mulan’s trailer launch is the number seventh most successful.

One Twitter user wrote: “@Disney why does your company support a Chinese actress who openly supports a suppressive regime?” Another said: “#BoycottMulan because while these people in HK are fighting for their rights while being brutalized by their own police, Liu Yifei is sitting her happy ass down in the US enjoying the rights those people don’t have while supporting the police brutality from afar.”

“I was happy when @DisneyStudios announced that they are making a new Mulan movie,” tweeted another user. “She was my childhood hero. It is disappointed to see the actress who plays her does not empathise with the protesters in HK. They are fighting for their homeland like Mulan. #BoycottMulan”

We’re looking at big Disney princess money here. Liu Yifei is heralded as China’s first Disney princess. The new movie has a potential of grossing $1 billion in 2020.

Mulan is the live-action remake of the 1998 animated story about a young woman who risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known.

The original animated version, which made $304M globally, had a small 1999 China release, well after the domestic debut, and faced criticism at the time. However, reaction to the trailer for the current film has been largely positive. Star Liu Yifei has been warmly received on local social media as “China’s first Disney princess,” according to reports.

What’s the level of concern from Disney? At this point, it looks like the company figures by the time the movie is released in 2020 the controversy won’t play a role in corporate profits. Disney is just going to wait it out. The release date in China hasn’t been announced. China’s Propaganda Department usually notifies the company a month in advance of the release date.

Mulan has not been dated yet in China or Hong Kong. A title such as Mulan, with a release in Q1 would be submitted to the government’s China’s Propaganda Department in late January, which assesses all releases including imported pictures and homegrown product. Typically, mainland China lets a Hollywood studio know about a month prior what a pic’s release date will be.

“With the boycott originating through Hong Kong, people in China will deliberately go see the movie to protest the boycott. All of this could actually benefit the film,” says Stanley Rosen, University of Southern California Professor of Political Science, who has an expertise in Asian affairs.

International film insiders are hopeful that while the current political situation in Hong Kong is extremely delicate, it could subside well before Mulan‘s release.

Yifei’s acting and modeling career was launched in the PRC. It’s likely that if she had publicly supported the Hong Kong protesters, larger complications would arise for Mulan and Disney’s business in the PRC. Last week, for example, international star Jackie Chan threw his weight behind the state’s POV against the Hong Kong protests.

Said Chan in an interview with CCTV, which prompted outcry from pro-Hong Kong supporters, “What’s happening in Hong Kong recently has made a lot of people heartbroken and worried. When I saw CCTV had posted on Weibo the hashtag ‘Five-starred red flag has 1.4 billion flag guards, I re-posted it immediately. I wanted to express as a Hongkonger and Chinese person, the most basic principles of patriotism. Safety, stability and peace are like air. Only when you lose them will you realize how precious they are.”

Disney is concerned about the fall-out in Taiwan and Hong Kong, particularly on Hong Kong Disneyland. Attendance numbers are down and the location is not far from the Hong Kong airport, the scene of protests. The fan base of Mulan sees the story of Mulan as a fight against oppression. It looks to them that Liu is taking the wrong side by not supporting the protesters. Once the protests end I imagine the health of Disney’s bottom line will be restored. A Disney princess is a force to be reckoned with, you know. Mulan’s fans won’t want to miss her latest movie.

The post Hong Kong protests: Walt Disney Company caught in the middle appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group 766e9d8d-4274-4dd8-9ab2-deb668f0e6c1-300x153 Hong Kong protests: Walt Disney Company caught in the middle Walt Disney Company The Blog police Mulan Liu Yifei Hong Kong protests China  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

A big question about Hong Kong – and even bigger ones about migration and China

We have been here before – at least, in a manner of speaking.  In 1989, the then Conservative Government granted British citizenship to some 250,000 people from Hong Kong.  There was a paradox to the decision: Ministers’ intention was not that they should enter Britain under the scheme.  Rather, this was that it would encourage them to stay in Hong Kong, by giving them certainty about their future, thus halting a mass exodus.

The gambit was sparked by doubts about whether China would honour the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984, under which the two countries agreed terms for the transfer of Hong Kong, and which was due to come into effect in 1997.  It worked.  Tensions simmered down, and there was no mass take-up of UK passports.

But there has always been a giant questionmark against China’s honouring of the “one country, two systems” provisions within the declaration.  It is highly visible now.  Two years ago, the country’s Foreign Ministry described the declaration as an “historical document, [which] no longer has any practical significance, and does not have any binding effect on the Chinese central government’s management of the Hong Kong”.

It is unlikely that China will presently send troops into Hong Kong, and formally tear up the commitments enshrined in the join declaration.  But the possibility exists, now or in the future: it is currently showing videos of troops massing on Hong Kong’s borders.  This is part of its response to pro-democracy protests, which were concentrated originally on opposition to an extradition bill, under which suspects could be sent to China for trial.  But the aims of demonstrators spread wider: they demand the free election of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive and legislature.

In essence, the settlement left by the joint declaration is unstable. For example, Hong Kong has a legislature of which only half the seats are directly elected.  And although China has powerful incentives not to tear up the “one country, two systems provisions” – which would do its Belt and Road initiative abroad no good – the people of Hong Kong cannot be sure what the future will hold.

Hence the proposal by Tom Tugendhat and others to grant British citizenship to the 169,000 or so British Nationals Overseas in Hong Kong.  Some want a bigger offer: the Adam Smith Institute also proposes to “open up the application process to the 4.5 million Hong Kong nationals”.  Some, a smaller one: the Sun wants Britain to admit “the best and brightest in the small territory”.  It might be that such a scheme would have the same effect as that of 1989: in other words, to encourage people to stay in Hong Kong rather than leave for the United Kingdom.

Then again, it might not – either now or, far more likely, in future.  And the context in Britain has changed since 1989.  Some, very largely but not exclusively on the left, support all migration, pretty much.  Others would welcome a big influx of hard-working, family-orientated, Hong Kongers: this has an appeal for parts of the right.  But even though public concern about immigration seems to have eased off recently, there is reason for caution.

As the Migration Observatory puts it in one of its headline findings: “British views are not favourable towards immigration and a substantial majority would like immigration to be reduced”.  Furthermore, Government policy is in flux.

Boris Johnson wants to scrap Theresa May’s unmet pledge to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands, and promises Dominic Cummings’s fabled Australian-style points system instead.  But it is far from clear what numbers this plan would produce – and numbers, though not everything in immigration debate, are much.  And the system faces a daunting challenge in any event.

The Government now says that in the event of a No Deal Brexit – arguably now the most likely outcome – free movement will end immediately, which would certainly be popular with many voters.  However, it isn’t apparent what system will be used to distinguish between EU nationals who have applied for the new settlement scheme and those who haven’t, to name only the most obvious of the problems bound up with immediate change.

In 1989, Norman Tebbit led a backbench revolt against the passport plan for Hong Kongers. It was less successful than advance publicity suggested.  But there is no guarantee that the outcome would be similar this time round, were the more ambitious of the Hong Kong schemes to be tried.

Ultimately, the problem of how to respond to China over Hong Kong is a sub-set of the problem of how to respond to it more broadly – which points to the wider debate over Huawei, China, our infrastructure and national security.  We could and should, as in 1989, offer some passports to Hong Kongers.  But, as then, the should and must be strictly limited.

Meanwhile, it’s worth remembering that the Joint Declaration is a legally binding treaty, registered at the United Nations.  Which means that third parties have an interest in upholding it, however distant.  In the case of Donald Trump, this might not be remote at all, given his stance on China.

Boris Johnson is due to see Trump soon – and frequently, given the mutual interest in a trade deal.  The former ought to put Hong Kong on the agenda.  Admittedly, the President is no fan of more migration to America.  But it just might be that there is an Anglosphere offer to be made to Hong Kongers on a bigger scale than Britain could make alone.

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

A big question about Hong Kong – and even bigger ones about migration and China

We have been here before – at least, in a manner of speaking.  In 1989, the then Conservative Government granted British citizenship to some 250,000 people from Hong Kong.  There was a paradox to the decision: Ministers’ intention was not that they should enter Britain under the scheme.  Rather, this was that it would encourage them to stay in Hong Kong, by giving them certainty about their future, thus halting a mass exodus.

The gambit was sparked by doubts about whether China would honour the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984, under which the two countries agreed terms for the transfer of Hong Kong, and which was due to come into effect in 1997.  It worked.  Tensions simmered down, and there was no mass take-up of UK passports.

But there has always been a giant questionmark against China’s honouring of the “one country, two systems” provisions within the declaration.  It is highly visible now.  Two years ago, the country’s Foreign Ministry described the declaration as an “historical document, [which] no longer has any practical significance, and does not have any binding effect on the Chinese central government’s management of the Hong Kong”.

It is unlikely that China will presently send troops into Hong Kong, and formally tear up the commitments enshrined in the join declaration.  But the possibility exists, now or in the future: it is currently showing videos of troops massing on Hong Kong’s borders.  This is part of its response to pro-democracy protests, which were concentrated originally on opposition to an extradition bill, under which suspects could be sent to China for trial.  But the aims of demonstrators spread wider: they demand the free election of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive and legislature.

In essence, the settlement left by the joint declaration is unstable. For example, Hong Kong has a legislature of which only half the seats are directly elected.  And although China has powerful incentives not to tear up the “one country, two systems provisions” – which would do its Belt and Road initiative abroad no good – the people of Hong Kong cannot be sure what the future will hold.

Hence the proposal by Tom Tugendhat and others to grant British citizenship to the 169,000 or so British Nationals Overseas in Hong Kong.  Some want a bigger offer: the Adam Smith Institute also proposes to “open up the application process to the 4.5 million Hong Kong nationals”.  Some, a smaller one: the Sun wants Britain to admit “the best and brightest in the small territory”.  It might be that such a scheme would have the same effect as that of 1989: in other words, to encourage people to stay in Hong Kong rather than leave for the United Kingdom.

Then again, it might not – either now or, far more likely, in future.  And the context in Britain has changed since 1989.  Some, very largely but not exclusively on the left, support all migration, pretty much.  Others would welcome a big influx of hard-working, family-orientated, Hong Kongers: this has an appeal for parts of the right.  But even though public concern about immigration seems to have eased off recently, there is reason for caution.

As the Migration Observatory puts it in one of its headline findings: “British views are not favourable towards immigration and a substantial majority would like immigration to be reduced”.  Furthermore, Government policy is in flux.

Boris Johnson wants to scrap Theresa May’s unmet pledge to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands, and promises Dominic Cummings’s fabled Australian-style points system instead.  But it is far from clear what numbers this plan would produce – and numbers, though not everything in immigration debate, are much.  And the system faces a daunting challenge in any event.

The Government now says that in the event of a No Deal Brexit – arguably now the most likely outcome – free movement will end immediately, which would certainly be popular with many voters.  However, it isn’t apparent what system will be used to distinguish between EU nationals who have applied for the new settlement scheme and those who haven’t, to name only the most obvious of the problems bound up with immediate change.

In 1989, Norman Tebbit led a backbench revolt against the passport plan for Hong Kongers. It was less successful than advance publicity suggested.  But there is no guarantee that the outcome would be similar this time round, were the more ambitious of the Hong Kong schemes to be tried.

Ultimately, the problem of how to respond to China over Hong Kong is a sub-set of the problem of how to respond to it more broadly – which points to the wider debate over Huawei, China, our infrastructure and national security.  We could and should, as in 1989, offer some passports to Hong Kongers.  But, as then, the should and must be strictly limited.

Meanwhile, it’s worth remembering that the Joint Declaration is a legally binding treaty, registered at the United Nations.  Which means that third parties have an interest in upholding it, however distant.  In the case of Donald Trump, this might not be remote at all, given his stance on China.

Boris Johnson is due to see Trump soon – and frequently, given the mutual interest in a trade deal.  The former ought to put Hong Kong on the agenda.  Admittedly, the President is no fan of more migration to America.  But it just might be that there is an Anglosphere offer to be made to Hong Kongers on a bigger scale than Britain could make alone.

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

Facebook and Twitter Say China Is Spreading Disinformation in Hong Kong

SAN FRANCISCO — China has adopted Russia’s playbook for spreading disinformation on Facebook and Twitter, deploying those tactics in its increasingly heated information war over the protests that have convulsed Hong Kong.

In recent weeks, Facebook and Twitter accounts that originated in China acted in a coordinated fashion to amplify messages and images that portrayed Hong Kong’s protesters as violent and extreme, the two social media companies said on Monday. On Facebook, one recent post from a China-linked account likened the protesters to ISIS fighters. And a Twitter message said, “We don’t want you radical people in Hong Kong. Just get out of here!”

Facebook and Twitter said they had now removed the accounts, the first time that the social media companies have had to take down accounts linked to disinformation in China.

Video

Westlake Legal Group HK-Propaganda_still2-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Facebook and Twitter Say China Is Spreading Disinformation in Hong Kong twitter Rumors and Misinformation Hong Kong Protests (2019) Facebook Inc China

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.

Facebook said it eliminated seven pages, three Facebook Groups and five accounts involved in the disinformation campaign about Hong Kong protesters. Twitter deleted 936 accounts and said it would ban state-backed media from promoting tweets after China Daily and other state-backed publications placed ads on its service that suggested the protesters were sponsored by Western interests and were becoming violent.

“These accounts were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground,” Twitter said in a statement. “Based on our intensive investigations, we have reliable evidence to support that this is a coordinated state-backed operation.”

The removal of the China-backed accounts signal an escalation in the global disinformation wars. In 2015 and 2016, Russia pioneered disinformation techniques when it used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media to disseminate inflammatory messages intended to divide Americans in the 2016 presidential election. Since then, governments in many other countries — including Bangladesh, Iran and Venezuela — have also used Facebook and Twitter to sow discord at home and abroad.

China has been less visible about using Facebook and Twitter to spread disinformation, researchers said. Both services are blocked in the country and people instead spend time on homegrown social media services and messaging apps like WeChat and Weibo. The Communist Party has largely not needed Western social media because it already exerts tight control over state-backed media and content inside the country’s so-called Great Firewall.

But the recent Facebook and Twitter activity over the Hong Kong protests suggests that Beijing will use those services to spread its messaging outside the Great Firewall when it deems it necessary. Facebook and Twitter are not blocked in Hong Kong and are widely used. Some 4.7 million people in the territory log into Facebook at least once a month, while 448,000 use Twitter, according to eMarketer.

China may have previously dipped its toe into using Western social media to destabilize elections in Taiwan starting in 2018, said Graham Brookie, the director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. He added that China’s disinformation campaigns tended to be less wide-ranging than Russia’s and hew tightly to a set of foreign policy goals, including tying Taiwan and Hong Kong closely to the mainland.

“The Chinese have been watching what works and what doesn’t in the context of Russian information operations,” Mr. Brookie said. “China is testing the waters on what is effective and what they can get away with.”

The disinformation campaign against the Hong Kong protests also stands out because many of the tweets were written in English and targeted a global audience.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 19hongkongsocial3-articleLarge Facebook and Twitter Say China Is Spreading Disinformation in Hong Kong twitter Rumors and Misinformation Hong Kong Protests (2019) Facebook Inc China

Screenshots from fake accounts on Facebook involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior. The translation in final panel is: Hong Kong cockroach chaos.Creditvia Facebook

A screenshot via Facebook of a fake account involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior. It says “Protesters. ISIS fighters. What’s the difference?”Creditvia Facebook
A screenshot via Twitter of a fake account that Twitter said originated within China as a state-backed operation to sow political discord.Creditvia Twitter

“I think they are trying to reach English speakers in Hong Kong and the larger audience of people watching,” said Adam Segal, director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Most of the Twitter accounts involved in the Hong Kong campaign were recently created and did not have large followings, said Renee DiResta, the Mozilla Fellow in media, misinformation and trust. “It reveals almost a lack of sophistication in terms of how China is thinking about developing this outward capability,” she said.

Officials at the Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

Since the Hong Kong protests began in June to demonstrate against an extradition bill, the movement has evolved. On Sunday, the city was the scene of another huge march, which organizers said brought out 1.7 million people — or nearly one in four of the total population of around seven million — who walked in defiance of a police ban.

China has aggressively stoked anti-Western and nationalist sentiments around the protests and begun branding the demonstrations as a prelude to terrorism. Hong Kong workers and billionaires have also jumped into the fray. In ads in several local newspapers, the tycoon Li Ka Shing recently pushed readers to “love China, love Hong Kong, love yourself” and “overcome anger with love.” And employees at accounting firms in Hong Kong have taken out ads supporting the demonstrations.

Twitter said it discovered the China-linked accounts during an investigation that spanned several weeks. The accounts worked together to blast out messages that could undermine the Hong Kong protests, with some of the accounts using Twitter from specific unblocked internet protocol addresses, the company said. Since Twitter is not permitted in China, an unblocked IP address is typically a telltale sign that the accounts were approved by the government, researchers said.

Although most of the disinformation was spread by the 936 accounts that Twitter eventually took down, the company said it also uncovered a broader group of 200,000 accounts. Those sprang up once Twitter began banning some of the earlier accounts; the majority of them were stopped before they were able to spread more messages, the company said.

Among the messages that the China-linked accounts posted was a tweet suggesting protesters were “taking benefits from the bad guys.” Another claimed the protesters had “ulterior motives.”

Twitter said it would give state-sponsored media a month to leave its advertising platform before its ban on promoted tweets from state-backed media goes into effect. The ban expands on the company’s efforts to combat Russian disinformation. In 2017, Twitter banned RT and Sputnik, international news outlets supported by the Kremlin, from advertising on its service.

Unlike Twitter, Facebook said it would not ban ads from state-owned media. The company said it would “continue to look at our policies as they relate to state-owned media” and also closely examine ads that were flagged to it so it could determine if they violated its policies. China’s government, through its state media agencies, has been a big buyer of ads on Facebook, The New York Times has reported.

Twitter alerted Facebook to the coordinated China-linked social media activity in July, a Facebook spokeswoman said. The Facebook pages that the company identified in its own investigation typically posed as news organizations and were followed by about 15,500 accounts. Most of the pages were created in 2018 or later, with the earliest page flagged in the investigation set up in 2016. While the people behind the activity tried to hide their identities, Facebook said it “found links to individuals associated with the Chinese government.”

“Protesters, ISIS fighters,” one of the Facebook posts said, “What’s the difference?” Another called the protesters “Hong Kong cockroaches.”

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

Facebook and Twitter Say China Is Spreading Disinformation in Hong Kong

SAN FRANCISCO — China has adopted Russia’s playbook for spreading disinformation on Facebook and Twitter, deploying those tactics in its increasingly heated information war over the protests that have convulsed Hong Kong.

In recent weeks, Facebook and Twitter accounts that originated in China acted in a coordinated fashion to amplify messages and images that portrayed Hong Kong’s protesters as violent and extreme, the two social media companies said on Monday. On Facebook, one recent post from a China-linked account likened the protesters to ISIS fighters. And a Twitter message said, “We don’t want you radical people in Hong Kong. Just get out of here!”

Facebook and Twitter said they had now removed the accounts, the first time that the social media companies have had to take down accounts linked to disinformation in China.

Video

Westlake Legal Group HK-Propaganda_still2-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Facebook and Twitter Say China Is Spreading Disinformation in Hong Kong twitter Rumors and Misinformation Hong Kong Protests (2019) Facebook Inc China

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.

Facebook said it eliminated seven pages, three Facebook Groups and five accounts involved in the disinformation campaign about Hong Kong protesters. Twitter deleted 936 accounts and said it would ban state-backed media from promoting tweets after China Daily and other state-backed publications placed ads on its service that suggested the protesters were sponsored by Western interests and were becoming violent.

“These accounts were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground,” Twitter said in a statement. “Based on our intensive investigations, we have reliable evidence to support that this is a coordinated state-backed operation.”

The removal of the China-backed accounts signal an escalation in the global disinformation wars. In 2015 and 2016, Russia pioneered disinformation techniques when it used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media to disseminate inflammatory messages intended to divide Americans in the 2016 presidential election. Since then, governments in many other countries — including Bangladesh, Iran and Venezuela — have also used Facebook and Twitter to sow discord at home and abroad.

China has been less visible about using Facebook and Twitter to spread disinformation, researchers said. Both services are blocked in the country and people instead spend time on homegrown social media services and messaging apps like WeChat and Weibo. The Communist Party has largely not needed Western social media because it already exerts tight control over state-backed media and content inside the country’s so-called Great Firewall.

But the recent Facebook and Twitter activity over the Hong Kong protests suggests that Beijing will use those services to spread its messaging outside the Great Firewall when it deems it necessary. Facebook and Twitter are not blocked in Hong Kong and are widely used. Some 4.7 million people in the territory log into Facebook at least once a month, while 448,000 use Twitter, according to eMarketer.

China may have previously dipped its toe into using Western social media to destabilize elections in Taiwan starting in 2018, said Graham Brookie, the director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. He added that China’s disinformation campaigns tended to be less wide-ranging than Russia’s and hew tightly to a set of foreign policy goals, including tying Taiwan and Hong Kong closely to the mainland.

“The Chinese have been watching what works and what doesn’t in the context of Russian information operations,” Mr. Brookie said. “China is testing the waters on what is effective and what they can get away with.”

The disinformation campaign against the Hong Kong protests also stands out because many of the tweets were written in English and targeted a global audience.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 19hongkongsocial3-articleLarge Facebook and Twitter Say China Is Spreading Disinformation in Hong Kong twitter Rumors and Misinformation Hong Kong Protests (2019) Facebook Inc China

Screenshots from fake accounts on Facebook involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior. The translation in final panel is: Hong Kong cockroach chaos.Creditvia Facebook

A screenshot via Facebook of a fake account involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior. It says “Protesters. ISIS fighters. What’s the difference?”Creditvia Facebook
A screenshot via Twitter of a fake account that Twitter said originated within China as a state-backed operation to sow political discord.Creditvia Twitter

“I think they are trying to reach English speakers in Hong Kong and the larger audience of people watching,” said Adam Segal, director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Most of the Twitter accounts involved in the Hong Kong campaign were recently created and did not have large followings, said Renee DiResta, the Mozilla Fellow in media, misinformation and trust. “It reveals almost a lack of sophistication in terms of how China is thinking about developing this outward capability,” she said.

Officials at the Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

Since the Hong Kong protests began in June to demonstrate against an extradition bill, the movement has evolved. On Sunday, the city was the scene of another huge march, which organizers said brought out 1.7 million people — or nearly one in four of the total population of around seven million — who walked in defiance of a police ban.

China has aggressively stoked anti-Western and nationalist sentiments around the protests and begun branding the demonstrations as a prelude to terrorism. Hong Kong workers and billionaires have also jumped into the fray. In ads in several local newspapers, the tycoon Li Ka Shing recently pushed readers to “love China, love Hong Kong, love yourself” and “overcome anger with love.” And employees at accounting firms in Hong Kong have taken out ads supporting the demonstrations.

Twitter said it discovered the China-linked accounts during an investigation that spanned several weeks. The accounts worked together to blast out messages that could undermine the Hong Kong protests, with some of the accounts using Twitter from specific unblocked internet protocol addresses, the company said. Since Twitter is not permitted in China, an unblocked IP address is typically a telltale sign that the accounts were approved by the government, researchers said.

Although most of the disinformation was spread by the 936 accounts that Twitter eventually took down, the company said it also uncovered a broader group of 200,000 accounts. Those sprang up once Twitter began banning some of the earlier accounts; the majority of them were stopped before they were able to spread more messages, the company said.

Among the messages that the China-linked accounts posted was a tweet suggesting protesters were “taking benefits from the bad guys.” Another claimed the protesters had “ulterior motives.”

Twitter said it would give state-sponsored media a month to leave its advertising platform before its ban on promoted tweets from state-backed media goes into effect. The ban expands on the company’s efforts to combat Russian disinformation. In 2017, Twitter banned RT and Sputnik, international news outlets supported by the Kremlin, from advertising on its service.

Unlike Twitter, Facebook said it would not ban ads from state-owned media. The company said it would “continue to look at our policies as they relate to state-owned media” and also closely examine ads that were flagged to it so it could determine if they violated its policies. China’s government, through its state media agencies, has been a big buyer of ads on Facebook, The New York Times has reported.

Twitter alerted Facebook to the coordinated China-linked social media activity in July, a Facebook spokeswoman said. The Facebook pages that the company identified in its own investigation typically posed as news organizations and were followed by about 15,500 accounts. Most of the pages were created in 2018 or later, with the earliest page flagged in the investigation set up in 2016. While the people behind the activity tried to hide their identities, Facebook said it “found links to individuals associated with the Chinese government.”

“Protesters, ISIS fighters,” one of the Facebook posts said, “What’s the difference?” Another called the protesters “Hong Kong cockroaches.”

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

Trump hints: More to Greenland than just “a large real-estate deal”

Westlake Legal Group manchin-greenland Trump hints: More to Greenland than just “a large real-estate deal” The Blog Joe Manchin Greenland donald trump Denmark China

Is there more to the Greenland rumor than meets the eye? Donald Trump confirmed rumors yesterday that his administration had looked into the potential for purchasing Greenland, noting the strategic potential for such a transaction. However, Trump also told reporters that “it’s not number one on the front burner” on his vacation agenda:

President Trump confirmed Sunday that he has asked his administration to explore the possibility of buying Greenland, opining that “essentially, it’s a large real estate deal.”

“A lot of things can be done,” Trump told reporters in Morristown, N.J., after wrapping up a 10-day vacation at his private golf club. He noted that owning Greenland “would be nice” for the United States from a strategic perspective, but he cautioned: “It’s not number one on the burner, I can tell you that.”

Trump’s desire to buy Greenland, which is part of the kingdom of Denmark, was first reported last week by the Wall Street Journal. Two people with direct knowledge of the directive told The Washington Post that the president has mentioned the idea for weeks, and that aides are waiting for more direction before they decide how seriously they should look into it.

Thus it seems that this might have gone past the spitballing stage, but just how far past it? The public reaction from Denmark’s official channels — surprise and some skepticism — suggests that they got caught unaware by Trump’s interest. But is that also strategic on their part?

After all, not everyone is laughing about the idea. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told Margaret Brennan on CBS’ Face the Nation yesterday that the strategic interests might make a purchase worth the cost, although he’s not sure Trump’s serious about it:

MARGARET BRENNAN: Last time we spoke with you you just got back from a trip to the Arctic. You went to Greenland. I’m wondering what you think about this idea of acquiring it?

SEN. MANCHIN: Well Greenland’s a cold place, but it’s melting. You know we saw- we saw the effects of- of- of global climate changes. Changes are happening and the people up there understand that and they’re trying to adjust to it. And we have a very strategic base up there- a military base which we- we visited. And I understand that the strategic logic for that. In that part of the world in the Arctic opening up the way it is now. So that was a very interesting proposal that was thrown out, but we haven’t heard much about it. I’m on Armed Services. And we should be getting a secured briefing pretty soon on that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: On purchasing Greenland?

SEN. MANCHIN: Well if that’s what- if that’s the intent. If it has any merit to it we’ll–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

SEN. MANCHIN: –we’ll hear about it. I haven’t heard that. I just heard basically what’s been reported on the news.

So what are the strategic interests? The Arctic has become a very active zone over the last decade, with Russia becoming particularly aggressive at staking out its turf. The US has its own entrée with Alaska, and now China has declared itself a “near-Arctic state” with its own designs on the polar region. Greenland’s already playing a role in Beijing’s plans, which makes a purchase an attractive option for pre-empting China.

The Diplomat reported on China’s Greenland ambitions in early 2018, noting that they have both strategic and economic interests in the territory. That worries Denmark as well as the US now that Greenland has become semi-autonomous:

Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, and the centerpiece for Danish interests in the Arctic. In 2009 the island achieved “self-rule,” meaning that most governmental portfolios are under Greenlandic jurisdiction save for defense and foreign affairs. China’s Greenlandic engagement has sparked concerns in Copenhagen, and may factor into the looming question of whether Greenland opts for full independence in the coming years.

Chinese firms have sought to invest in Greenland’s emerging mineral wealth, which is becoming more readily accessible due to climate change. The most visible example is the rare earth elements, uranium, and zinc mining under development at Kvanefjeld by Australian firm Greenland Minerals and Energy, in cooperation with China’s Shenghe Resources. In Greenland’s far north, a zinc mine is planned at Citronen Fjord which would be overseen by Perth-based Ironbark, which signed a memorandum of understanding with China Nonferrous Metal to assist with that project’s development. As well, General Nice, a Hong Kong-based company, currently holds the rights to a potential iron mine at Isua in western Greenland. The same company ran afoul of the Danish government when it attempted to purchase an abandoned U.S.-built naval facility at Grønnedal, only to be blocked by Copenhagen. According to reports revealed in April 2017, there were concerns the sale might offend the United States, which still operates a military base at Thule in northern Greenland.

There has been a growing demand in China for adventure and ecotourism, with the Arctic (and Antarctica) becoming more popular as alternative destinations, and opportunities have appeared for Chinese firms seeking to develop Greenland’s nascent tourism industry. In next-door Iceland, Chinese visitors arriving at the country’s main airport at Keflavik jumped from about 9500 to 86,000 between 2007 and 2017, and there is a debate in Nuuk about potentially tapping into the overall growing demand for Arctic tourism, including from Asia.

Chinese firms are being considered for the expansion of three airports in Greenland, which could accommodate expanded tourist traffic, a development which is reportedly worrying Danish authorities. Beijing is also seeking to construct a scientific research base in Greenland, with these plans being outlined by Chinese researchers at the October 2017 Arctic Circle conference in Reykjavík. The exact location of the facilities has yet to be determined, (likely in western or northern Greenland), but if the project does go forward, it would be China’s second such station in the Arctic. Beijing opened its Yellow River station on Svalbard in 2004, and there is also a joint Sino-Icelandic facility for the study of auroras under construction in northern Iceland.

China’s military would be very tightly connected to all of these economic interests, especially the three airports they planned to build. Denmark intervened to stop those projects later in 2018, but the risk remains that Greenland’s autonomy might provide China with a toehold over Europe that could quickly turn military as well as economic. The semi-autonomous government in Nuuk expressed surprise that the Danes saw multiple Chinese runways pointed at Denmark and the rest of Europe as a potential threat, in what should have been 2018’s Captain Louis Renault of the Year Award winner.

That turned out to be a close-run issue, and it’s still not entirely clear whether Nuuk will keep China out. They have refused to join the EU despite Denmark’s membership, which means that they set their own terms on issues like sanctions on Russia over Crimea and other issues. Having granted autonomy to Greenland, Copenhagen has lots of reasons for remorse and perhaps some for a sale to the US that would eliminate security concerns and the headaches now associated with Greenland.

In the meantime, Trump’s expressed interest in an outright sale also operates conveniently for Denmark. They can use that threat to keep Nuuk in line, and to also remind them that the US views Greenland strategically. Playing footsie with China and Russia, especially with their Arctic ambitions ramping up, is a very dangerous game for Nuuk. If nothing else, they’ve been warned.

The post Trump hints: More to Greenland than just “a large real-estate deal” appeared first on Hot Air.

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Trump hints: More to Greenland than just “a large real-estate deal”

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Is there more to the Greenland rumor than meets the eye? Donald Trump confirmed rumors yesterday that his administration had looked into the potential for purchasing Greenland, noting the strategic potential for such a transaction. However, Trump also told reporters that “it’s not number one on the front burner” on his vacation agenda:

President Trump confirmed Sunday that he has asked his administration to explore the possibility of buying Greenland, opining that “essentially, it’s a large real estate deal.”

“A lot of things can be done,” Trump told reporters in Morristown, N.J., after wrapping up a 10-day vacation at his private golf club. He noted that owning Greenland “would be nice” for the United States from a strategic perspective, but he cautioned: “It’s not number one on the burner, I can tell you that.”

Trump’s desire to buy Greenland, which is part of the kingdom of Denmark, was first reported last week by the Wall Street Journal. Two people with direct knowledge of the directive told The Washington Post that the president has mentioned the idea for weeks, and that aides are waiting for more direction before they decide how seriously they should look into it.

Thus it seems that this might have gone past the spitballing stage, but just how far past it? The public reaction from Denmark’s official channels — surprise and some skepticism — suggests that they got caught unaware by Trump’s interest. But is that also strategic on their part?

After all, not everyone is laughing about the idea. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told Margaret Brennan on CBS’ Face the Nation yesterday that the strategic interests might make a purchase worth the cost, although he’s not sure Trump’s serious about it:

MARGARET BRENNAN: Last time we spoke with you you just got back from a trip to the Arctic. You went to Greenland. I’m wondering what you think about this idea of acquiring it?

SEN. MANCHIN: Well Greenland’s a cold place, but it’s melting. You know we saw- we saw the effects of- of- of global climate changes. Changes are happening and the people up there understand that and they’re trying to adjust to it. And we have a very strategic base up there- a military base which we- we visited. And I understand that the strategic logic for that. In that part of the world in the Arctic opening up the way it is now. So that was a very interesting proposal that was thrown out, but we haven’t heard much about it. I’m on Armed Services. And we should be getting a secured briefing pretty soon on that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: On purchasing Greenland?

SEN. MANCHIN: Well if that’s what- if that’s the intent. If it has any merit to it we’ll–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

SEN. MANCHIN: –we’ll hear about it. I haven’t heard that. I just heard basically what’s been reported on the news.

So what are the strategic interests? The Arctic has become a very active zone over the last decade, with Russia becoming particularly aggressive at staking out its turf. The US has its own entrée with Alaska, and now China has declared itself a “near-Arctic state” with its own designs on the polar region. Greenland’s already playing a role in Beijing’s plans, which makes a purchase an attractive option for pre-empting China.

The Diplomat reported on China’s Greenland ambitions in early 2018, noting that they have both strategic and economic interests in the territory. That worries Denmark as well as the US now that Greenland has become semi-autonomous:

Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, and the centerpiece for Danish interests in the Arctic. In 2009 the island achieved “self-rule,” meaning that most governmental portfolios are under Greenlandic jurisdiction save for defense and foreign affairs. China’s Greenlandic engagement has sparked concerns in Copenhagen, and may factor into the looming question of whether Greenland opts for full independence in the coming years.

Chinese firms have sought to invest in Greenland’s emerging mineral wealth, which is becoming more readily accessible due to climate change. The most visible example is the rare earth elements, uranium, and zinc mining under development at Kvanefjeld by Australian firm Greenland Minerals and Energy, in cooperation with China’s Shenghe Resources. In Greenland’s far north, a zinc mine is planned at Citronen Fjord which would be overseen by Perth-based Ironbark, which signed a memorandum of understanding with China Nonferrous Metal to assist with that project’s development. As well, General Nice, a Hong Kong-based company, currently holds the rights to a potential iron mine at Isua in western Greenland. The same company ran afoul of the Danish government when it attempted to purchase an abandoned U.S.-built naval facility at Grønnedal, only to be blocked by Copenhagen. According to reports revealed in April 2017, there were concerns the sale might offend the United States, which still operates a military base at Thule in northern Greenland.

There has been a growing demand in China for adventure and ecotourism, with the Arctic (and Antarctica) becoming more popular as alternative destinations, and opportunities have appeared for Chinese firms seeking to develop Greenland’s nascent tourism industry. In next-door Iceland, Chinese visitors arriving at the country’s main airport at Keflavik jumped from about 9500 to 86,000 between 2007 and 2017, and there is a debate in Nuuk about potentially tapping into the overall growing demand for Arctic tourism, including from Asia.

Chinese firms are being considered for the expansion of three airports in Greenland, which could accommodate expanded tourist traffic, a development which is reportedly worrying Danish authorities. Beijing is also seeking to construct a scientific research base in Greenland, with these plans being outlined by Chinese researchers at the October 2017 Arctic Circle conference in Reykjavík. The exact location of the facilities has yet to be determined, (likely in western or northern Greenland), but if the project does go forward, it would be China’s second such station in the Arctic. Beijing opened its Yellow River station on Svalbard in 2004, and there is also a joint Sino-Icelandic facility for the study of auroras under construction in northern Iceland.

China’s military would be very tightly connected to all of these economic interests, especially the three airports they planned to build. Denmark intervened to stop those projects later in 2018, but the risk remains that Greenland’s autonomy might provide China with a toehold over Europe that could quickly turn military as well as economic. The semi-autonomous government in Nuuk expressed surprise that the Danes saw multiple Chinese runways pointed at Denmark and the rest of Europe as a potential threat, in what should have been 2018’s Captain Louis Renault of the Year Award winner.

That turned out to be a close-run issue, and it’s still not entirely clear whether Nuuk will keep China out. They have refused to join the EU despite Denmark’s membership, which means that they set their own terms on issues like sanctions on Russia over Crimea and other issues. Having granted autonomy to Greenland, Copenhagen has lots of reasons for remorse and perhaps some for a sale to the US that would eliminate security concerns and the headaches now associated with Greenland.

In the meantime, Trump’s expressed interest in an outright sale also operates conveniently for Denmark. They can use that threat to keep Nuuk in line, and to also remind them that the US views Greenland strategically. Playing footsie with China and Russia, especially with their Arctic ambitions ramping up, is a very dangerous game for Nuuk. If nothing else, they’ve been warned.

The post Trump hints: More to Greenland than just “a large real-estate deal” appeared first on Hot Air.

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‘America Is Awful’: The Left Wants More Government – Because It’s What’s Worst for US

Westlake Legal Group chicom-us-flags-620x397 ‘America Is Awful’: The Left Wants More Government – Because It’s What’s Worst for US washington D.C. Technology Section 230 progressives Privacy Politics Policy News network neutrality Net Neutrality law Internet Government Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy Economy China California Business & Economy 1996 Communications Decency Act

The average American understandably thinks political and policy debates are conducted – in the interest of America’s best interest.

“Surely everyone involved in government wants what’s best for the country.  They just disagree on what policies will get us there.”

Most unfortunately, this isn’t the case – for the Left.

Leftists – do not like America very much.  At all.  So they seek to tear it down and destroy it – in the name of “fixing” it.  We must burn down the village – in order to save it.

The Left’s last president, Barack Obama, spent two decades attending the services of Reverand Jeremiah Wright.  Obama referred to Wright as his “spiritual advisor” and “mentor.” Obama had Wright marry him and Michelle.  Obama had Wright baptize his two daughters.  Obama’s second autobiography’s title – The Audacity of Hope – is taken from a Wright sermon.

Wright?  Not a fan of America.

Jeremiah Wright: ‘God D**n America’

In reference to the terrorist attacks on US on September 11th, 2001, Wright “preached”:

America’s Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost

Again, Obama was intrinsically involved with Wright – for more than twenty years.  It’s not a titanic leap to think Obama thinks similarly about America.

Why else would Obama want to “break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution?”  You know, that document he swore to “preserve, protect and defend” when he took his oaths of office.

Why else would Obama want to “fundamentally transform” America?

Is Obama an outlier.  Not even a little bit.

Beto O’Rourke is currently unemployed – and (barely) a Democrat presidential candidate.  Beto – not a fan of America.

O’Rourke: America Is A Country ‘Founded On Racism,’ ‘Is Still Racist Today’

Vermont Senator and Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders – is at least slightly honest.  He cops to his Socialism.  He and his wife honeymooned in the Soviet Union.  Bernie – not a fan of America.

Bernie Sanders: U.S. Founded on ‘Racist Principles’

Leftists aplenty loathe America.

Elizabeth Warren: Our Justice System Is ‘Racist, All the Way, Front to Back.’

Julian Castro: ‘No Question’ America’s Criminal Justice System Is Racist

Seth Moulton: America Is Racist

You don’t have to run for President to hate America.

Erica Thomas Is Every Democrat Who’s Addicted to Playing the Race Card

Democratic Fundraiser Says America Is Racist and Sexist

In fact….

To Democrats, America is a Sinkhole of Racism

Democrats Declare Anyone That Loves America Is Racist

Leftists everywhere – enthusiastically burn the US flag.  While waving some highly problematic flags from other nations and movements.

Here’s Antifa taking a break from thumping the skulls of old people and children and waving Communist flagsburning a US flag.

In fact:

Antifa Brags About Being Anti-America, Burning US Flag

Here’s Antifa precursor Occupy Wall Street – burning a US flag.

Here are anti-President Donald Trump protestors waving Communist flags time and again – and burning a US flag.

Here are more anti-Trump protestors waving a Communist flag – and burning a US flag.

Here are anti-Republican protestors – burning a US flag.

Here are anti-borders protestors waving a Mexican flag – and burning a US flag.

Leftists burn the US flag in protest – and sometimes in celebration.

Protesters Burn US Flags as Obama Delivers Speech at DNC

This Leftist anti-America insanity – goes back decades and decades.

So when the Left insists on policy prescriptions for the US – one is more than reasonable to be dubious of their intentions.

Because: Why would any assemblage of people so opposed to the US – promote policies that would better the US?

One would very reasonably think the Left’s policy prescriptions – would in fact do damage to a country they do not very much like.

To wit: Obamacare.  Massive new government impositions – so as to make matters worse.  Which will then “justify” even more government impositions – which will make matters even worse.  Lather, rinse, repeat….

Obamacare killed health insurance for millions of Americans.  Obamacare, on average, doubled insurance premiums.  Obamacare, on average, tripled insurance deductibles.

Obamacare was an unmitigated disaster for America.

So of course Leftists defend it to the death.  And, in fact, look to EXPAND it.

Democrats Begin Their Defense of Obamacare

Joe Biden: We Must Protect And Build On Obamacare

Does Bernie Sanders Support Obamacare? Yes, But He Wants to Go One Step Further

Elizabeth Warren: Obamacare ‘Wasn’t Bold Enough

Pete Buttigieg: Obamacare Is Too Conservative

The Left’s rabid promotion of awful policy – is everywhere.

To wit: Network Neutrality.  Which is Obamacare for the Internet.  Massive new government impositions – so as to make matters worse.  Which will then “justify” even more government impositions – which will make matters even worse.  Lather, rinse, repeat….

Thankfully, we weren’t subjected to the awfulness of Net Neutrality for nearly as long as we were subjected to the awfulness of Obamacare.

(After almost a decade in place, Obamacare was mostly gutted when in 2019 the mandate to purchase a policy went away.)

Net Neutrality – and its crippling imposition of antiquated regulations – was only in place for about a year.

There was of course some damage done.  Investment in the Internet’s infrastructure was down precipitously during Net Neutrality.  As is nigh always the case in any private sector – when government massively imposes additional regulations.

But the Trump Administration un-imposed Net Neutrality – and things reverted to the quarter-century status quo of Net Neutrality-free Internet uber-success.

The parade of horribles Leftists promised without Net Neutrality – never, ever happened in twenty-plus years of the Net Neutrality-free Internet.

And the parade of horribles Leftists promised with Net Neutrality’s un-imposition – never, ever happened once it rightly, righteously went away.

Net Neutrality is a solution – running around desperately in search of a problem.

Net Neutrality is breasts on a bull.  It is sneakers for snakes.  It is totally and completely unnecessary.

Every alleged problem about which the Left shrieks that Net Neutrality would allegedly solve – is self-solved by the free market.

To wit: Leftists claim that without Net Neutrality, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will block you from places on the Web.

Except no ISP is going to block you – because they want you to keep hiring them to connect you to the Internet.  Because duh.

Since Net Neutrality’s repeal – the Left has been obsessed.  Just this past week:

FCC Forgets About, Then Dismisses, Complaint Detailing Verizon’s Long History Of Net Neutrality Violations:

“Verizon’s long history on this front is fairly indisputable, and the company has never been held seriously accountable for any of it.”

Actually, Verizon is held accountable each and every day – by 250+ million US customers and prospective customers.  How’s Verizon doing with them?:

“Verizon is the largest cell phone carrier in the U.S.”

It would appear Verizon’s customers – do not care about Net Neutrality.  In fact:

Voters Care Not About Net Neutrality

The only people that care at all about Net Neutrality – are Leftists.

The Left is STILL obsessed.  Leftist college professors JUST released a “study” on it.  And the Leftist media – are VERY worked up about it.

Study Shows Extent of Wireless Carriers Throttling Online Video

Study: Wireless Carriers Throttling Netflix, YouTube ‘All the Time’

Wireless Carrier Throttling of Online Video Is Pervasive

Carriers Throttle Online Video Regardless of Network Congestion

US Carriers Are Throttling Netflix ‘All the Time’

Net Neutrality: ISPs Are Throttling Netflix Traffic

What do these very many agitated Leftists not tell you?

Net Neutrality used to allow ISPs to engage in “reasonable network management.”

Meaning ISPs need to manage the traffic on their networks – so as to maintain maximum speed and quality for the maximum number of users.  Which is eminently reasonable.

Leftists have effectively ended the “reasonable network management” exemption – because they’re radical and crazy.

What else do these very many agitated Leftists not tell you?

Netflix, YouTube Gobble Up Half of Internet Traffic

NOTHING consumes Internet bandwidth like video.  Netflix and YouTube – consume half of America’s bandwidth.  So quite obviously – some reasonable network management is required.

These many articles point out that ISPs do nothing to Amazon Prime Video’s streaming service.  Why?  Because Amazon Prime Video’s streaming service isn’t nearly the massive imposition on the US network that Netflix and YouTube are.  Because duh.

The Internet has become a free speech-free market Xanadu – completely from any Net Neutrality regulations.

So…why the Leftist rabid, rigid insistence we be subjected to it?  Because the Internet has become a free speech-free market Xanadu without it.

Meet avowed Marxist, Media Marxist godfather and virulent Net Neutrality proponent Robert McChesney.

McChesney is the co-founder of the Left’s leading group on all things Internet and media – the uber-ironically mis-named Free Press.

Like any Leftist, McChesney is…not a huge fan of the US:

The United States is, I think, by any honest account, the leading terrorist institution in the world today.

How pleasant.

Like any Leftist, McChesney is…not a huge fan of the US’ capitalist economic system:

There is no real answer but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.

McChesney sees his Internet and media revolution – as a fundamental part of his Socialist revolution:

Any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself.

And McChesney sees Net Neutrality – as a fundamental part of his Internet and media revolution.

At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.

Leftist McChesney wants Net Neutrality – precisely because wants to destroy the US.

And Leftist McChesney knows Net Neutrality – is a fundamental component of destroying the US.

Net Neutrality is designed to destroy the US.

Just as every Leftist policy is designed to destroy the US.

You don’t have to take my word for it.

Take theirs.

The post ‘America Is Awful’: The Left Wants More Government – Because It’s What’s Worst for US appeared first on RedState.

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Parvez Akhtar: The Government must speak up against India’s mistreatment of Kashmir

Parvez Akhtar is an engine design specialist and a former Conservative mayoral candidate for Bedford.

Part of London was brought to a standstill by a demonstration outside the Indian High Commission last Thursday. This annual event usually passes without much fanfare as a few hundred people protest about the plight of Kashmiris on the day India celebrates its independence from Britain.

However, this year, it attracted a huge crowd of many thousands from across the country incensed by the recent decisions of the BJP government. These include: instituting a total communications blackout (from phone lines to internet to television) on the region; placing Kashmiri politicians, including those sympathetic to India, under house arrest; introducing a complete curfew now in its third week; and, crucially, revoking Article 370 and 35A from the constitution.

Since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, the disputed territory of Kashmir has been occupied by the two countries. Article 370 and 35A were added to the Indian constitution to buy support from the Kashmiris and ensure they ceded the territory to India, not Pakistan. These protections afforded Kashmiris special rights and privileges and for 72 years, Indian-administered Kashmir has remained autonomous as a result.

But the removal of this constitutional protection on the August 5 means that the state has effectively been annexed by India.

As troubling is the way this was done in the world’s largest democracy. Indian law requires the assent of Kashmir’s state legislature for any change but in order to get around this, the Hindu Nationalist BJP government of Modi dissolved the state legislature and an emergency federal rule was imposed on Kashmir, which allowed Delhi to unilaterally change the law.

At this point, ConservativeHome readers will argue we have enough on our plate delivering Brexit, mending public services and keeping Corbyn out of Number 10. So why is what’s happening in Kashmir important?

Firstly, there are over a million people in Britain of Kashmiri origin, some of whom are spread over 30 or so battleground constituencies where the size of the majority is smaller than the Kashmiri vote. Although this vote is historically more Labour-leaning, over the last decade a lot of progress has been made in seats like Bedford, Watford, Milton Keynes North, Wycombe, Peterborough, Burton, Walsall North, Crawley, Reading West, Worcester, and Pendle. All the MP’s in those seats get regular representations on the issue from their constituents.

Our Government’s response on the latest crisis has fallen well short, perhaps because the focus is elsewhere but on the eve of a crucial General Election, a million votes are at stake.

Secondly, the United Kingdom has called out unjust, illegal, and undemocratic actions of governments around the world – East Timor, South Sudan, Kosovo, and Hong Kong to name a few. Kashmir should be no exception, especially as we ruled the princely state for over 200 years and left without resolving its status during the partition of 1947. Having played a part in the enduring conflict between India and Pakistan, it important to bring both sides to the negotiating table so that UN resolutions, which give the people of the state the right of self-determination, can be implemented.

What about trade? Can we afford to upset India post Brexit? Our exports to India amount to some 5.7 billion… but our imports are closer to 10 billion. The Indian economy is contracting, and having spent two and a half years in India with Jaguar Landrover, I have seen first-hand rise of unemployment amongst young engineers and graduates. Just as in the case of the EU with Brexit, I would argue India needs us more then we need her.

Our exports to China are also five times those to India but the intervention of the Foreign Secretary on Hong Kong shows we won’t be held hostage to trade when it comes to calling out violation of international law or abuse of human rights.

How about the geopolitics of the region? Isn’t India important to counter the rise of China? Yes, it is, but I would argue Pakistan is even more important, because it serves as a gateway into central Asia and has played a vital role in the war in Afghanistan. The Belt & Road Initiative is already strengthening the co-operation between Pakistan and China, and allowing India to annex Kashmir, would drive Pakistan further into the arms of China.

Militancy and terrorist attacks may also increase in India and if relations deteriorate further we could end up with a fourth war between the two nuclear armed states, which is why the United Nations Security Council met for the first time in over 50 years to discuss the conflict at a special session behind closed doors last Friday.

This is an untimely headache for the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, who have full inbox at the moment, but for all the reasons I have mentioned Kashmir really does matter to us. As a permanent member of the UN security council, our government must continue to press for the implementation of the 11 United Nations resolutions which give the people of Kashmir the right of self-determination.

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With Troop Buildup, China Sends a Stark Warning to Hong Kong

SHENZHEN, China — The Shenzhen Bay Sports Center rises along the shore with the green hills of Hong Kong visible across the water. It normally bustles with a variety of youth sports programs and dance, art and language academies, including one that advertises a “Hong Kong Style Education.”

In recent days, however, it has become a staging ground for olive-green military transports and armored personnel carriers that arrived on Aug. 11 and disgorged hundreds of security officers from the People’s Armed Police, a Chinese paramilitary force, who are loudly running through daily exercises and drills.

By massing the troops within view of Hong Kong, the semiautonomous territory convulsed by protests, China’s Communist Party is delivering a strong warning that the use of force remains an option for Beijing. It is also a stark reminder that military power remains the bedrock of the party’s legitimacy.

“It’s a credible threat,” Minxin Pei, a professor at Claremont McKenna College in California, said. “The Chinese government does not want to leave any doubt that, if necessary, it will act.”

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has governed with an increasingly iron fist, including over the military. The deployment does not appear to be the prelude to a military intervention in Hong Kong, but few analysts expressed doubt that China would act if Mr. Xi believed the country’s sovereignty over the territory was jeopardized.

“How can he regard the Hong Kong movement as a pure democratic movement?” Tian Feilong, executive director of a research institute on Hong Kong policy in Beijing, said in an interview. Mr. Xi is likely to perceive the protests not just as a call for democracy in Hong Kong, but also as an effort to topple the Communist Party itself, he said. “He is very politically alert.”

Mr. Xi’s government, he said, has most likely completed preparations for an intervention but is holding off as long as the local authorities manage to keep the protests contained. That calculus could change, he and other analysts said, if the protests succeed in crippling the government or other institutions, like the courts, which will soon begin hearing the first cases of those arrested in the demonstrations. In what some observers see as a worrying sign, officials in Beijing have called the protesters’ actions “close to terrorism.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159327216_8e0cc197-c505-41a7-91dc-6d9e89d4ea0b-articleLarge With Troop Buildup, China Sends a Stark Warning to Hong Kong Xi Jinping Shenzhen (China) Politics and Government Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Communist Party of China China

Chinese exercises at the stadium in Shenzhen have included drills on controlling crowds.CreditThomas Peter/Reuters

The use of force, however, would be fraught with risks for Mr. Xi, who is already juggling economic headwinds and deteriorating relations with the United States under President Trump.

The country and the party are still haunted by the use of the People’s Liberation Army to crush the Tiananmen Square protest movement 30 years ago this summer, which resulted in international isolation and sanctions. A military crackdown could spell the end of Hong Kong’s role as an international financial center and the unique political formula under which Beijing grants the territory freedoms unseen on the mainland.

“The military solution would have many urgent and disruptive effects,” said Wu Qiang, a political analyst in Beijing. “It would be political suicide for the Communist Party of China and the ‘one country, two systems’ arrangement of Hong Kong.”

More nationalistic voices have brushed aside such fretting, noting that China is a much stronger and diplomatically confident nation than the one that endured international opprobrium after the Tiananmen crackdown.

“The Hong Kong matter will not be a repeat of the political disturbance of 1989,” Global Times, a Communist Party newspaper, wrote Friday in an editorial, referring to the year that military troops in Beijing crushed the Tiananmen protests. It said Beijing had not decided to use force to intervene in Hong Kong, but had the legal right to do so if needed.

“Washington will not be able to intimidate China by using the turmoil 30 years ago. China is much stronger and more mature, and its ability to manage complex situations has been greatly enhanced,” the editorial said.

The deployment in Shenzhen was clearly meant to focus attention in Hong Kong and beyond. A white bridge that connects Shenzhen to Hong Kong is only two miles down the road.

The message was amplified by no less than Mr. Trump, who disclosed on Twitter that American intelligence agencies had spotted the Chinese troops massing at the border. “Everyone should be calm and safe!”

It remains to be seen how effective Beijing’s posturing will be. The authorities have from the start misjudged the depth of the anger driving people into the streets. While the deployment and increasingly blunt warnings from officials have rattled nerves, they seem to have had little impact on those who view the struggle as one crucial for preserving Hong Kong’s freedoms.

Fu Guohao, a reporter for a Chinese state-run newspaper, being rushed from Hong Kong’s airport last week after protesters tied him up and beat him.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

The growing threats of military action came as violent clashes have escalated. Public anger on the mainland spiked last week when protesters at Hong Kong International Airport tied up and beat two men from China.

Three days after protesters defaced the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong with paint and graffiti on July 21, the chief spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense curtly noted that the People’s Liberation Army had the authority to intervene in the territory, if requested, to keep order.

The law that details relations between Hong Kong and the army limits its role to external defense, but allows it to intervene, when sought by Hong Kong’s leaders, to maintain public order or assist in cases of natural disasters.

The Hong Kong garrison of the People’s Liberation Army is based in what was formerly the British military headquarters. The garrison includes 19 sites around the territory, but many of its soldiers — estimates of the total vary from 6,000 to 10,000 — live and train in bases across the border in Shenzhen.

“Those who want to stir up unrest should know that Hong Kong has a P.L.A. garrison,” Han Dayuan, a law professor at Renmin University in Beijing, said during a government-organized news conference. “They should consider that for a moment when there is turmoil, there is also a need to resolve it quickly.”

The deployment of the People’s Armed Police, though, shows Beijing has options other than the army. The armed police force has a mission of maintaining internal security on the mainland, including responding to terrorist attacks, riots and rebellions.

Tens of thousands of protesters marched Sunday in Hong Kong despite a downpour, defying a police ban on extending the rally beyond Victoria Park.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

It was founded in 1982 and has 1.5 million members, making it bigger than most militaries in the world. It has in recent years been deployed extensively in Xinjiang, where the government has harshly cracked down on what it views as the threat of Islamist extremism among Uighur Muslims.

As part of Mr. Xi’s efforts to streamline the military command structure, a core part of his consolidation of power since 2012, the People’s Armed Police was put last year under the leadership of civilian party authorities and the Central Military Commission, which he controls as its chairman.

Video of its deployment in Shenzhen appeared in China’s state media within hours of the arrival of the vehicles at the stadium on Aug. 11. The reports said the troops there were taking part in a drill across all of Guangdong Province.

The troops at the stadium appear to have settled in on its grounds. Backpacks and other personnel items could be seen neatly arrayed in the stadium’s causeways, while officers milled about during breaks from drills, which could easily be heard, if not seen, from the streets around the stadium.

One officer, when asked, said the deployment was a summer training exercise.

There appeared to be little effort to disguise the activity. The People’s Daily posted a video late Saturday showing the force in Shenzhen standing in formation and conducting mock clashes with protesters wielding sticks. One officer with a megaphone warned in Cantonese, the dialect spoken in Hong Kong: “Stop the violence, repent and be saved.”

The exercises do not seem to have resonated in Hong Kong, suggesting that Beijing’s messaging could be falling short.

For now, analysts said, officials in Beijing appear willing to watch and wait, continuing to offer support for Hong Kong’s beleaguered leaders, to dangle carrots and sticks at business and cultural leaders, and to try to undermine public support for the protests. Giving in to the protesters’ demands would be an unacceptable sign of weakness for them.

The deployment in Shenzhen of the People’s Armed Police, a paramilitary force, showed that China has options other than its army in seeking to maintain order.CreditNg Han Guan/Associated Press

Mr. Wu, the analyst in Beijing, said the government’s overriding goal now was “to prevent Hong Kong’s movement from spreading to the Chinese mainland.”

That effort at least appears to be succeeding here in Shenzhen, a factory town that kicked off China’s remarkable economic transition 40 years ago and that now has aspirations of being a global high-tech hub.

Two rivers and Shenzhen Bay separate the city from Hong Kong. So does a heavily fortified border with passport and customs checks at six crossing points. There is also a cultural and political gulf that has barely narrowed since Hong Kong was returned to Chinese control in 1997.

Shenzhen does not feel like a city mobilized for military action. Several people, when asked, said they had heard little of the protests, or declined to discuss them.

Others expressed support for Hong Kong’s police. Cathy Huang, who is 23 and works for an insurance company, said mainlanders attached “more importance to the police” than people in Hong Kong did.

“It is not that it cannot be solved by force,” she said in a shopping center a short drive from one of the border crossings. Her view starkly contrasted with that of many of Hong Kong’s protesters about excessive use of force, which has now become one of the complaints driving still more protests.

“It depends on the attitude,” she said. “To a certain extent, we would even support the police adopting slightly harsher measures.”

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