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University and High School students skip first day of school to join protests.

 

 

 

HONG KONG (AP) — Clad in gas masks along with their formal white school uniforms, tens of thousands of students in Hong Kong boycotted the first day of classes Monday as part of a citywide strike following a violent weekend of demonstrations.

High school students added gas masks, goggles and hard hats to their traditional uniforms, while university pupils crowded into a square at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Workers also participated in their own rally at a public park, braving strong winds and storm clouds as a typhoon threatened.

Nearly three months of youth-dominated protests — calling for democracy and an independent inquiry into police conduct — will be tested as classes resume with the end of the summer break in the semiautonomous Chinese territory.

The young protesters strove to demonstrate their continued determination with Monday’s school boycott, the first of a planned two-day strike.

Jacky So, president of the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s student union, said 30,000 students attended a rally on campus. They dressed in black and wore face masks, waving banners for their student associations and black signs with the Chinese character for “Strike.”

Separately, high school students who were skipping class rallied in Edinburgh Place, a public square in Hong Kong’s central business district. Teenagers spoke to the crowd from a stage with a backdrop that read: “With no future, there’s no need to go to class.”

At St. Francis’ Canossian College, uniformed students kneeled in a line and held up hand-painted signs that read, “The five major demands: Not one is dispensable.” The elite girls’ school is where Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam was educated.

Hong Kong Education Secretary Kevin Yeung said he hoped students would stay in class.

“Schools should not be used as places for political demands or exercising pressure,” he said at a government briefing.

The protesters’ demands include dropping charges against more than 1,000 people who have been arrested and formally withdrawing an extradition bill that would allow Hong Kong residents to be sent to mainland China to stand trial. The appeals are undergirded by a sense among some Hong Kong residents that the Communist Party-ruled mainland government has been eroding the autonomy and civil liberties promised when the former British colony was returned to China in 1997.

Some demonstrators disrupted the morning commute on Monday by blocking train doors, attempting to evade riot police who were hot on their heels by moving quickly between multiple public transit stations.

Officers at Lok Fu station hit protesters with batons and arrested one. Three others were arrested at Lai King station.

On Sunday, the MTR Corp. suspended train service to the airport after several hundred protesters gathered there following calls online to disrupt transportation. They blocked buses arriving at the airport but police in riot helmets kept them out of the terminal. Some protesters hurled bricks and metal poles onto the tracks of the Airport Express rail line, police said, prompting train services to be suspended and forcing some travelers to walk some distance to the airport.

Late at night Saturday, video from Hong Kong broadcaster TVB showed police on the platform of Prince Edward subway station swinging batons at passengers who backed into one end of a train car behind umbrellas. The video also shows pepper spray being shot through an open door at a group seated on the floor while one man holds up his hands.

Police officers said at a briefing Monday that they rejected accusations that they “beat up” ordinary citizens without first confirming their identities. They said they specifically targeted those who they believed to be rioters, including those who had changed out of their black protester outfits, and arrested 63 people on suspicion of illegal assembly and possessing explosives and offensive weapons.

Radical protesters have “hijacked the name of justice,” Assistant Commissioner of Police Mak Chin-ho said Monday. “The biggest victims are the citizens of Hong Kong.”

Clashes between police and protesters have become increasingly violent, as the self-described “front-line” demonstrators use gasoline bombs and throw rods at officers. Authorities in turn have employed water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets and batons.

The protesters say that a degree of violence is necessary to get the government’s attention after peaceful rallies were futile. Lam’s administration, however, maintains that the violence must first end before any fruitful dialogue can begin.

“We always say that we must stop the violence right away, and then kick off the dialogue,” said Administration Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-Chung.

https://www.apnews.com/30be5a9da41245b2b8738d6ce5243395

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CCP counter video.

 

 

Violence has turned peaceful Hong Kong into a troubled place. From June to August, radical protesters vandalized Hong Kong with increasingly violent and disruptive actions. However, more and more Hong Kong residents are coming forward to safeguard the city.

 

A Pro-Beijing westerner.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ross_(academic)

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Another Pro-Beijing westerner talking about the HK protests.

 

A couple of October 2018 articles about him.

 

 

 

President Xi Jinping reaffirmed China's stance on supporting free trade and economic globalization while meeting with a British delegation on Tuesday.

Xi met with Stephen Perry, chairman of The 48 Group Club, a British organization composed of company leaders promoting Britain-China trade, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The group provides consultancy services to British companies entering China's markets.

Xi spoke highly of the effortsmade by Jack Perry — the late founder of the pioneering London Export Corp and father of Stephen— in the 1950s when the British entrepreneur led a group of 48 businessmen from the United Kingdom to visit China despite the trade barriers with the West during the Cold War.

The trip became known as the "Icebreaking Mission", and the club members called themselves "icebreakers". The 48 Group Club now has more than 500 members.

"It was a remarkable move," Xi said, while commenting on the icebreaking trip made by the British business delegation "in those difficult times".

Their historic trade mission, which helped initiate the exchange of items ranging from grain and copper to machinery and medicines, established one of the first modernday trade links with the outside world after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

"I believe that very ice-breaking mission is not only of historic significance, but also of real relevance," Xi said.

I'm glad to see that the new generation of icebreakers, represented by The 48 Group Club, is continuing to engage in the China-UK friendship with enthusiasm, Xi said.

Noting that this year marks the 40th anniversary of reform and openup, Xi said that China's economic development achieved great progress over the past four decades, which has made the country more determined to open up.

China proposes that countries should enhance communication and boost understanding in global affairs to avoid misunderstandings, Xi said, adding that China will not seek hegemony.

Perry said that the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, completed a year ago, has drawn a blueprint for the country's development in the future.

Perry spoke highly of the Belt and Road Initiative and the idea of building a community with a shared future for mankind, saying that he would like to promote China-UK cooperation under the BRI framework.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201810/17/WS5bc63774a310eff303282b9b_1.html

 

 

 

 

LONDON, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- When growing up, like many boys, Stephen Perry, Chairman of Britain's 48 Group Club, had a father with a momentous impact on him.

"My father was a very powerful man," said grey-haired Stephen, 70, flipping through the precious collections of faded photos and media clips of his late father Jack Perry, known as one of the icebreakers of UK-China trade ties.

"Even when I was very young, I knew my father was different," said Stephen who took over the helm in 1993 as head of the 48 Group Club, a business association founded by his father in 1950s to help bridge relations between China and Britain.

Stephen had always wondered whether he could be as strong as his father. The challenge he faces now is no less daunting than in his father's time. That is to help remove the prejudice against China and unfreeze what he calls the "culture deficit" between China and the Western world.

FOLLOW FATHER'S STEPS

In 1954, Jack Perry, the founder of London Export Corporation, led a group of 48 British businessmen on a historic trade mission to Beijing and helped deliver one of the first modern-day trade links with China, effectively breaking the U.S.-led Western embargo on the newly founded Asian country. Stephen was then only six years old.

The 48 men were the precursors of the 48 Group Club. The trip became known as the "Icebreaking Mission," and the club members were called "icebreakers."

"I grew up with a Chinese background," said Stephen, "My father believed China would return. I believe it too."

In 1972, Stephen landed in Shanghai for his first trip to China, during which his father and he helped seal the first trade deal between America and China, for selling U.S. products including polyester, agricultural chemicals and cotton.

During the visit, Stephen noticed large stretches of rice paddy fields, hard-working Chinese peasants and lack of cars on streets and roads between cities.

"When I look back to that first visit in 1972, I could see that the people wanted something more. It wasn't that they were saying it. It was the sense that China had the power to do something," Stephen said.

In 1972, then U.S. President Richard Nixon made the historic visit to China, a move that thawed the China-U.S. relations. It was the year when China and Britain established diplomatic ties. It was also the year when Stephen made his lifetime decision to dedicate himself, like his father, to improving UK-China trade relations.

The big moment came six years later when China announced its reform and opening-up. Stephen had since been trying hard to figure out what it meant for China and the world. He watched the development in China carefully and went to libraries to dig up historical documents.

"It took me up to seven, eight years to understand how transformational reform and opening-up was," he said.

"People talk about miracles. If you think that the industrial revolution in Britain took 150 to 200 years, China did it in 40 years from a standing start. It's an absolutely breathtaking economic miracle," he added.

ICEBREAKING IN NEW ERA

Today, more than six decades after the "Icebreaking Mission," the 48 Group Club continues its efforts to promote positive UK-China relations.

The Club now has over 600 British and Chinese members, including senior executives from corporate organizations, high-level politicians, diplomats, academics and people focusing on cultural relations. Stephen said the club has a vital role in helping reduce the "cultural deficit" between China and the Western world.

The club organizes meetings on a regular basis on UK-China relations and its efforts span across Britain, Europe and the United States. Stephen goes often on TV and newspapers to express his understanding of China and his vision of the world with the benefit of China's growth.

Even right in a golden-era of UK-China relations, Stephen believes that huge potentials of cooperation between the two countries are yet to tap, and prejudice and misunderstanding still exist, especially on the British side.

"For the British to understand China, for the British to understand the opportunities, and how to manage the challenges of China, that is all the ice breaking, It's not changed since 1950s. Those problem existed, and then they exist today," Stephen said.

The core challenge that China faces is "the changing world order" particularly with a wave of rising protectionism unleashed by the United States, said Stephen.

The U.S. government, which sees China only as a threat and competitor, fails to realize that China's growth brings huge opportunities, he said.

"We have to do a lot of communication to leaders of companies, leaders of politics, leaders of academics, media to understand what China is, and remove the prejudices. It will take time," said Stephen.

 

"I don't think China will seek to be the world's dominant power, as if it is, it will have to operate in a way, which to my observation, is not consistent with how Chinese think or live. The basic core values of China are very well pronounced, very well known over 3,000 years," he added.

In 2008, a new network named The Young Icebreakers was established to act as a bridge between Chinese and British young professionals. Jack Perry, Stephen's eldest son who bears his grandfather's name, was one of the founding chairmen.

It will take decades and generations to fill the "culture deficit" between the West and China, now the world's second largest economy, Stephen said.

"The greatest challenge of the ice breakers in the next phase is to help the world understand China, and also, I think they help China understand the world," he said.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-10/23/c_137552323.htm

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Overall it was a good listen and he hit on many good points.

 

But some mild disagreements. I think he overestimates the likelihood of the CCP falling apart if they do a heavy crackdown though, even if China's economy stagnates as a result of heavy western sanctions to any heavy crackdown action. I think he he weighs China's dependency on HK too much. Its been a known idea for the last 3 or so years that the next step for the PRC economy to take is to transition from being an export dependent economy to becoming an economy that relies more on domestic consumption. While I do think Xi is one of the heavy handed side that would want to crack down on HK but I don't think he is as clueless about what to do as he states. The extradition bill was being pushed by CCP onto HK and given that there were massive demonstrations in 2014, surely they would have expected a bumpy ride in trying to pass the extradition bill just 5 years afterwards. But perhaps the level of demonstrations exceeded their calculations. Lastly, I think he did a tad too much back patting for Trump, some is fine, but which makes one wonder just a little which is the primary objective of the video and which is the secondary objective of the video.

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Xinhuanet commentary article against the protests.

 

 

BEIJING, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Rioters in Hong Kong on Saturday once again resorted to escalating violence. They stormed government and legislative offices, threw petrol bombs at police and set fire to multiple locations including police headquarters.

Facing flagrant violent acts, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government and the Hong Kong police took decisive measures to enforce the law and stop the violence, sending a clear warning to the rioters.

The resolution of the HKSAR government and the police to restore social order and safeguard the rule of law in Hong Kong has won acknowledgment and support among Hong Kong residents, as well as all Chinese people.

The rioters and their behind-the-scene supporters cried for "freedom" and "democracy" but turned a blind eye to people's freedom by violently obstructing them from going to school and work.

Shame on those who threatened children of police officers in school, who spread the language of hatred against police, who ambushed police officers at night outside police stations.

Behind the violence and chaos in Hong Kong is an elaborate scheme of the rioters and their patrons whose real intent is clearly exposed now. They tried to stir up unrest in Hong Kong and compromise the "one country, two systems" principle, before spreading the "color revolution" into the Chinese mainland.

However, their attempt to "kidnap Hong Kong" and press the central authorities is just a delusion. No concession should be expected concerning such principle issues.

There are three bottom lines which must not be crossed: no one should harm the national sovereignty and security; no one should challenge the power of the central authorities and the authority of the Basic Law of the HKSAR; no one should use Hong Kong to infiltrate and undermine the mainland.

Anyone who dares to infringe upon these bottom lines and interfere in or damage the "one country, two systems" principle will face nothing but failure and will be held accountable by the country's Constitution and the HKSAR's Basic Law.

The Hong Kong police recently detained nearly 900 people suspected of taking part in violent crimes, including Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Andy Chan Ho-tin, leaders of political groups advocating "Hong Kong's independence."

Faced with the central government's resolute support for the HKSAR government and the Hong Kong police, faced with the HKSAR government's firm and just law enforcement, faced with strong condemn from Chinese people, the end is coming for those attempting to disrupt Hong Kong and antagonize China.

They should never misjudge the determination and ability of the central government, the HKSAR government and Chinese people to safeguard the nation's sovereignty, security and core interests.
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-09/01/c_138355787.htm
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And wouldn't be complete without the latest opinion piece from PRC's Globaltimes.

 

 

 

Two young leaders of violent protests in Hong Kong, Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Alex Chow Yong-kang, published an article in The New York Times on Saturday, urging US legislators to vote on the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, which would "give the president of the United States the power to penalize Chinese officials who interfere in Hong Kong affairs." They are proactively seeking refuge with their US master, calling the "resistance movement" in Hong Kong "a critical frontline battle against the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party in Beijing."

Rioters like Wong are frenziedly staking Hong Kong's future on a final bet. But be it street violence, blocking the airport, vandalizing the Hong Kong Legislative Council building or insulting the Chinese national flag and emblem, the central government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government's determination to maintain the "one country, two systems" principle has not be shaken at all. Like all traitors in history, they are begging external forces to save their destiny.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act was introduced by US senators in June 2019, requiring the US secretary of state to "annually certify to Congress… whether Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous to justify special treatment by the United States for bilateral agreements and programs" and entitling the US government to impose sanctions on Chinese officials.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in June urged President Donald Trump to "speak out for human rights in China." It is a hegemonic bill that can be used to maliciously interfere in China's internal affairs. It can be imagined how China-US relations will be severely damaged once the act is adopted and implemented.

US preferential treatment for Hong Kong in economic, trade and finance are by no means a gift. It is mainly embodied in the existing US-Hong Kong Policy Act, a 1992 act enacted by the US Congress. Such treatment is beneficial to Hong Kong as well as the Chinese mainland, but also favors the US and many parties' interests.

Without special US treatment, the development of Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland will be affected to some extent, but it will never be stagnant. China's destiny is not in the hands of the US. There is no room for the US to manipulate China's fate.

Rioters like Wong don't understand the big picture. They are no more than pawns. All they want is to damage Hong Kong's situation.

In their opinion, Washington's standards and values suit the entire world, and US laws can still govern the world effectively. They bet that Americans can do the same thing, and that China cannot afford the chaos. Thus, they simply do not hesitate to sacrifice Hong Kong.

Wong and some US politicians echo each other. This shows that some people want to turn Hong Kong into a battlefield of the struggle between China and the US. We need to be vigilant of some people in Washington who apply the extreme political maneuvers to China-US games to sabotage the basis of Hong Kong's stability and development - the "one country, two systems" principle.

Wong and Chow's future is bound to be a tragedy because they are using personal frenzy to challenge a powerful country's destiny. They will experience a crushing defeat when facing the impregnable national law. No external force can and will save them.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1163457.shtml

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Al Jazeera is reporting that some Hongkongese have drawn inspiration from the tactics used by the Palestinians in the face of tear gassing by Israeli police at protest zones such as Ramallah. This may explain what looks to be a growing sense of frustration and radicalization among Hongkongese teen protestese at their lack of success in toppling this mother figure (among other things) Carrie Lam who stands in the way of their rage in various ways.

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A leaked recording of HK government leader Lam speaking in English. In the recording here are three interesting bits...

 

"If I have a choice, the first thing is to quit, having made a deep apology."

 

"But I can assure you that Beijing does not have a deadline"

 

"[The central government] has absolutely no plan to send in the PLA."

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG (Reuters) -- Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said she has caused "unforgivable havoc" by igniting the political crisis engulfing the city and would quit if she had a choice, according to an audio recording of remarks she made last week to a group of businesspeople.

At the closed-door meeting, Lam told the group that she now has "very limited" room to resolve the crisis because the unrest has become a national security and sovereignty issue for China amid rising tensions with the United States.

"If I have a choice," she said, speaking in English, "the first thing is to quit, having made a deep apology."

Lam's dramatic and at times anguished remarks offer the clearest view yet into the thinking of the Chinese leadership as it navigates the unrest in Hong Kong, the biggest political crisis to grip the country since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

Hong Kong has been convulsed by sometimes violent protests and mass demonstrations since June, in response to a proposed law by Lam's administration that would allow people suspected of crimes on the mainland to be extradited to face trial in Chinese courts. The law has been shelved, but Lam has been unable to end the upheaval. Protesters have expanded their demands to include complete withdrawal of the proposal, a concession her administration has so far refused. Large demonstrations wracked the city again over the weekend.

Lam suggested that Beijing had not yet reached a turning point. She said Beijing had not imposed any deadline for ending the crisis ahead of National Day celebrations scheduled for October 1. And she said China had "absolutely no plan" to deploy People's Liberation Army troops on Hong Kong streets. World leaders have been closely watching whether China will send in the military to quell the protests, as it did a generation ago in the bloody Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing.

Lam noted, however, that she had few options once an issue had been elevated "to a national level," a reference to the leadership in Beijing, "to a sort of sovereignty and security level, let alone in the midst of this sort of unprecedented tension between the two big economies in the world."

In such a situation, she added, "the room, the political room for the chief executive who, unfortunately, has to serve two masters by constitution, that is the central people's government and the people of Hong Kong, that political room for maneuvering is very, very, very limited."

Three people who attended the meeting confirmed that Lam had made the comments in a talk that lasted about half an hour. A 24-minute recording of her remarks was obtained by Reuters. The meeting was one of a number of "closed-door sessions" that Lam said she has been doing "with people from all walks of life" in Hong Kong.

Responding to Reuters, a spokesman for Lam said she attended two events last week that included businesspeople, and that both were effectively private. "We are therefore not in a position to comment on what the Chief Executive has said at those events," the spokesman said.

China's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, a high-level agency under China's cabinet, the State Council, did not respond to questions submitted by Reuters.

China's State Council Information Office did not immediately respond to questions from Reuters.

 

'The price would be too huge'

The Hong Kong protests mark the biggest popular challenge to the rule of Chinese President Xi Jinping since he took power in 2012. Xi is also grappling with an escalating strategic rivalry with the United States and a slowing economy. Tensions have risen as the world's two biggest economies are embroiled in a tit-for-tat trade war. Disagreements over Taiwan and over China's moves to tighten its control in the South China Sea have further frayed relations between Beijing and Washington.

Lam's remarks are consistent with a Reuters report published on Friday that revealed how leaders in Beijing are effectively calling the shots on handling the crisis in Hong Kong. The Chinese government rejected a recent proposal by Lam to defuse the conflict that included withdrawing the extradition bill altogether, three people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Asked about the report, China's Foreign Ministry said that the central government "supports, respects and understands" Lam's decision to suspend the bill. The Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid published by the Communist Party's official People's Daily, denounced it as "fake."

As protests escalated, Lam suspended the bill on June 15. Several weeks later, on July 9, she announced that it was "dead." That failed to mollify the protesters, who expanded their demands to include an inquiry into police violence and democratic reform. Many have also called for an end to what they see as meddling by Beijing in the affairs of Hong Kong.

The tone of Lam's comments in the recording is at odds with her more steely public visage. At times, she can be heard choking up as she reveals the personal impact of the three-month crisis.

"For a chief executive to have caused this huge havoc to Hong Kong is unforgivable," she said.

Lam told the meeting that the leadership in Beijing was aware of the potential damage to China's reputation that would arise from sending troops into Hong Kong to quell the protests.

"They know that the price would be too huge to pay," she said.

"They care about the country's international profile," she said. "It has taken China a long time to build up to that sort of international profile and to have some say, not only being a big economy but a responsible big economy, so to forsake all those positive developments is clearly not on their agenda."

But she said China was "willing to play long" to ride out the unrest, even if it meant economic pain for the city, including a drop in tourism and losing out on capital inflows such as initial public offerings.

'Biggest sadness'

Lam also spoke about the importance of the rule of law in Hong Kong and restoring stability to the city of more than seven million, as well as the need to improve efforts to get the government's message out. At the end, applause can be heard on the recording.

While Lam said that now was not the time for "self-pity," she spoke about her profound frustration with not being able "to reduce the pressure on my frontline police officers," or to provide a political solution to "pacify the large number of peaceful protesters who are so angry with the government, with me in particular."

Her inability "to offer a political situation in order to relieve the tension," she said, was the source of her "biggest sadness."

Lam also spoke about the impact the crisis has had on her daily life.

"Nowadays it is extremely difficult for me to go out," she said. "I have not been on the streets, not in shopping malls, can't go to a hair salon. I can't do anything because my whereabouts will be spread around social media."

If she were to appear in public, she said, "you could expect a big crowd of black T-shirts and black-masked young people waiting for me." Many of the protesters wear black at demonstrations.

After enjoying relatively high popularity in the initial part of her tenure, Lam is now the least popular of any of the four leaders who have run Hong Kong since its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997, according to veteran pollster Robert Chung, who runs the Public Opinion Research Institute.

 

Hong Kong 'is not dead yet'

Lam was chosen as city leader in March 2017, vowing to "unite society" and heal divisions in Hong Kong, which remains by far the freest city under Chinese rule. Under the "one country, two systems" formula agreed with Britain, Hong Kong enjoys an array of personal freedoms that don't exist in mainland China. One of the most cherished of those freedoms is the city's British-style system of independent courts and rule of law. The protesters say the extradition law would erode that bulwark of liberty.

According to a biography on the Hong Kong government website, Lam, a devout Catholic, attended St Francis' Canossian College. Her mother, who took care of seven family members on a daily basis, was her role model and inspiration, the biography said. An election manifesto said Lam came from a "grassroots" family and did her homework on a bunk-bed. After studying sociology at the University of Hong Kong, she went on to a distinguished career as a civil servant in Hong Kong. She was elected city leader in March 2017 by a 1,200-member election committee stacked with Beijing loyalists.

In her early days as leader, Lam pushed through a series of controversial government policies, drawing public criticism in Hong Kong but winning praise from Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

On July 1, 2017, the day she was sworn in, Lam donned a white hard hat as she walked with Xi to inspect the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, which physically links Hong Kong to mainland China. Critics say the bridge could further weaken Hong Kong's autonomy by deepening its physical links with southern China.

The effective expulsion last year of Financial Times editor Victor Mallet, whose visa wasn't renewed after he hosted an event at the city's Foreign Correspondents' Club with the leader of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party, also drew condemnation at home and abroad. Lam and her government later came under fire for banning the party and the disqualification of pro-democracy lawmakers.

Xi praised Lam's leadership during a visit to Beijing in December 2018. "The central government fully endorses the work of Chief Executive Lam" and the Hong Kong government, Xi said, according to a report in the state news agency Xinhua.

Pollster Robert Chung said Lam's success in pushing through many controversial proposals bolstered her belief she would be able to ram through the extradition bill.

"All these things made her feel so confident, and when we had the first demonstration, she still thought, 'Don't worry, I'll get it through in two days and things will be over,'" Chung said. "But she was totally wrong."

At the meeting last week, Lam said the extradition bill was her doing and was meant to "plug legal loopholes in Hong Kong's system."

"This is not something instructed, coerced by the central government," she said.

She expressed deep regrets about her push to pass the bill. "This has proven to be very unwise given the circumstances," she said. "And this huge degree of fear and anxiety amongst people of Hong Kong vis-a-vis the mainland of China, which we were not sensitive enough to feel and grasp."

She gave her audience a gloomy outlook. The police, she said, would continue to arrest those responsible for "this escalating violence," a group that the government initially estimated numbered between one thousand and two thousand.

It would be "naive," she said, to "paint you a rosy picture, that things will be fine." She did, however, express hope in the city's ultimate "resurrection."

"Hong Kong is not dead yet. Maybe she is very, very sick, but she is not dead yet," she said.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Hong-Kong-protests/Hong-Kong-leader-says-she-would-quit-if-she-could-in-leaked-audio

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Yeah, although her press conference about the leak clearly attempts to play it down to zero. She said that private chatter is different than work statements, she found the leak to be inappropriate, and that she says that she has never expressed or even contemplated quitting.

A couple of globaltime articles about the leak and her press conference about the leak.

 

 

 

Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said on Tuesday that she has never submitted any resignation to the central government, and she is confident that she can lead the city out of its current crisis.

"A conversation from a private party has been made public. I think it's very inappropriate. I am very disappointed," Lam said, in response to an audio recording of her private speech made public by Reuters.

"I said on several occasions that throughout the period, I have never submitted resignation to the central government. The choice not to resign is my own. I told myself that my team and I should stay on. It is not an easy path but I'd rather stay with the people of Hong Kong," she said.

A report from Reuters on Monday stated that Lam said she has caused "unforgivable havoc," by causing the ongoing protests across Hong Kong, and would quit if she had a choice. This was reported on the basis of an audio recording of remarks she made last week during a closed-door meeting with a group of businesspeople.

Lam also allegedly said that if she had the choice, "The first thing [i would do] would be to quit, having made a deep apology," the Reuters report said.

"My speech in the audio [released by Reuters] was private. It was not a speech that was expected to be made public, so there was no deliberate implication in my choice of words," Lam said.

This news followed another Reuters "exclusive" report released on Friday, which claimed that Lam had submitted a proposal to Beijing earlier this summer, asking for five key demands from the Hong Kong protesters to be taken seriously, and the proposal was subsequently rejected.

The Global Times has since learned the Reuters "exclusive" story is fake.

As the chief executive of Hong Kong, Lam said that she has gone through some soul-searching. "There are big swings in my mood, but my final decision is to find a common direction and goal for Hong Kong residents. My team and I are working very hard to create this goal, but we need to work together."

Lam also reiterated that the shared, primary objective is to stop the violence and restore calm to Hong Kong society as early as possible. Hong Kong is a society ruled by law, so the rule of law must be used, including the police force and the department of justice.

"The important means of stopping violence is the rule of law, including the police's right to arrest, prosecution without outside interference, and the court's fair sentence," she said.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1163476.shtml

 

 

 

 

China's Hong Kong affairs office on Tuesday reiterated its firm support for Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's efforts to put an end to violent protests and said the central government hopes order will be restored in the SAR as soon as possible.

Lam on Tuesday morning refuted a Reuters report, claiming that she has never submitted any resignation to the central government, and she is confident that she can lead the city out of its current crisis.

Yang Guang, spokesperson of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said the central government supports Lam and her team to continue having constructive talks with different groups including young people in the city.

Hongkongers were urged to say no to violence, and to support Lam's administration to strictly enforce the law, he said, adding that they should separate peaceful protests from violent crimes and the acts that challenge the "one country, two systems" principle.

Yang said the behavior of a few radical protesters in Hong Kong has far exceeded the scope of normal assembly and shows obvious signs of terrorist activity. Their behavior would be considered violent crimes in any country, any area, under any legal system, Yang noted.

As of Tuesday, Hong Kong police have arrested 1,117 radical protesters, including three local legislators.

The five demands of the radical protesters in Hong Kong challenge the "one country, two systems" and they are not legitimate appeals but blatant political threats, Yang noted.

When asked whether a deadline will be set to end riots in Hong Kong, Yang said that the central government shares the same wish as all Hongkongers: to end the chaos and restore order as soon as possible.

Hong Kong is now facing its most serious and urgent crisis since 1997. Hongkongers will pay the price if the chaotic situation continues, said Yang.

Opposition groups want an election process to select a Hong Kong chief executive that will in no way be accountable to the central government. The election system must be based on the Basic Laws and approved by China's top legislature, said Yang.

All elections must be held in accordance with Hong Kong's political status, said the spokesperson.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1163507.shtml

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I was beginning to think this Carrie Lam was almost cybernetic in her willpower to stand up to the rage of Hongkongese teen protestese. Signs of confliction, but no signs of her backing down, unfortunately.

 

The Hongkongese teens must understand sooner or later who the primary leader of the resistance to them is, and, mother figure that she is or not, make an example of her in various ways.

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So it was a private speech, and she disagrees entirely with what she herself said. God, you would think she had been raised under Communists. She certainly picked up quickly on how to think like one.

It is not like tradiitonal chinese society was known for straight talk. Or victorian for that matter. And she is a politician.

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So it was a private speech, and she disagrees entirely with what she herself said. God, you would think she had been raised under Communists. She certainly picked up quickly on how to think like one.

It is not like tradiitonal chinese society was known for straight talk. Or victorian for that matter. And she is a politician.

Well perhaps,but they clearly got past that. You don't get much more straight talking than rioting. :D

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So it was a private speech, and she disagrees entirely with what she herself said. God, you would think she had been raised under Communists. She certainly picked up quickly on how to think like one.

It is not like tradiitonal chinese society was known for straight talk. Or victorian for that matter. And she is a politician.

 

 

The plot thickens, as this Carrie Lam apparently was recruited straight out of college by Her Majesty's Civil Service and the British colonial governorship in 1980, and, for all intents and purposes, has become the equivalent of a tenured career British civil servant.

 

No wonder one million or so Hongkongese in their cool black tees have been reduced to repeating the same approach hoping for different results over the past 4 months. They have essentially been going up against the female version of Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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It's been reported that Lam plans on withdrawing the legislature for the extradition bill.

 

 

 

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) – Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Mrs Carrie Lam, plans to formally withdraw legislation that would have allowed extraditions to China, local media reported, a move that may help ease months of unrest in the Asian financial centre.

Mrs Lam plans to formally withdraw the Bill after a meeting with pro-establishment political figures planned for 4pm on Wednesday (Sept 4), the South China Morning Post newspaper and other media reported, citing people they did not identify. The gathering included local legislators and the city’s representatives to national legislative bodies, said lawmaker Michael Tien.

“We were all notified yesterday,” Mr Tien said. “The rumour is that she wants to withdraw the Bill.”

A spokesman for Mrs Lam’s office was not immediately available to comment by phone or e-mail on Wednesday afternoon.

The meeting follows a weekend of demonstrations that saw some of the fiercest clashes between protesters and riot police. Activists have lobbed petrol bombs and set bonfires in the streets, while police officers fired tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray, making more than 1,100 arrests since early June.

Hong Kong stocks jumped, led by property developers, after news reports said Mrs Lam will formally withdraw the extradition Bill that has sparked months of protests. The benchmark Hang Seng Index surged as much as 3.9 per cent before paring gains to 3.4 per cent at 3.06pm local time.

The turmoil that followed Mrs Lam’s attempt to introduce the ill-fated Bill – including mass marches that drew more than 1 million people and protests that shut the city’s busy airport – have turned into the biggest crisis for Beijing’s rule over the former British colony since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Aggressive police tactics, threats by Beijing to deploy troops and sweeping arrests of pro-democracy figures have raised fears about Hong Kong’s autonomy and drawn international condemnation.

Although Mrs Lam had previously suspended the Bill – saying it was “dead” – her move did little to appease demonstrators, who continued protesting and expanded their demands to include calls for greater democratic freedom. Without the Bill’s formal withdrawal, it could be reintroduced in a matter of days.

Still, it was not immediately clear whether the formal withdrawal would end the protests. The action was only one of five main demands, which also include calls for an independent inquiry into police violence, an amnesty for those who have been arrested and universal suffrage.

“Withdrawal of the Bill would be only meeting one of the five demands, and this is not the focus of people today,” Mr Tien said. “People forgot how this whole thing started. It’s about the way the police handled protesters – that is the much more important issue than the stupid Bill.”

CONTROVERSIAL LAW
Opponents had said the Bill threatened the city’s tenuous autonomy from China and undermined its reputation as a global financial centre.

Mrs Lam’s Beijing-backed government had faced growing public concern that China, emboldened by its rising economic power, was less committed to Hong Kong’s colonial-era guarantees of independent courts, free speech and capitalist markets.

On Tuesday (Sept 3), Mrs Lam addressed a Reuters report of a leaked audio recording in which she said she had “very, very, very limited” room to meet the demands of protesters and would quit “if I had the choice”. Speaking to reporters, she said she had “not even contemplated to discuss a resignation with the central people’s government”.

Meanwhile, Chinese officials overseeing Hong Kong softened their tone towards the city’s protesters, saying peaceful demonstrations were allowed under the law, even as it ruled out a fundamental demand for direct democracy that has fueled the unrest. They also reaffirmed support for Mrs Lam and her government.

The extradition Bill was originally proposed by Hong Kong’s government in February and covered mainland China and other jurisdictions that do not have an extradition agreement with Hong Kong.

Mrs Lam and the law’s backers originally defended it as necessary to ensure the city would not become a refuge for suspected fugitives.

Her push to pass it before the end of the legislative period in July was sparked by the case of a local man who was accused of murdering his girlfriend in Taiwan. He was arrested in Hong Kong and convicted of money laundering, but could not be sent back to the island to stand trial as there was no framework to do so.

Another pro-establishment lawmaker, Mr Felix Chung, said that withdrawing the Bill would “certainly” help.

“Whether the impact will be a huge one or not, I’m not sure – would have to wait and see,” Mr Chung said. “At least it’s a very positive move, even if it’s a bit late.”

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/hong-kong-leader-carrie-lam-to-announce-formal-withdrawal-of-extradition-bill-local

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Well common sense has broken out, but its taken how long, and how many broken crowns?

 

Well hold on, there might be some cunning details.

 

Lam gave an announcement. The call to withdraw the extradition literature is one of four "actions" in a new "dialogue platform".

 

First action - withdrawal of the extradition legislature.

Second action - Fully support the work of the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Council).

Third action - Lam and her principle officials will "reach out" to the community of all walks of life to hear their grievances and complaints to start a direct dialogue.

Fourth action - Invite community leaders, professionals, and academics, to independently review society's deep seated problem and advice the government in finding solutions.

 

 

In some parts of the video, she is claiming that the protests are not a result of just the extradition bill but a combination of all sorts economic, political, and social problems such as housing and land supply. It might be enough of an action to let things calm down, or perhaps rather, if the protesters do not calm down after this, then it may make them look too irrational. But need to be careful about how the cause of the protests might get redefined as a result of just problems in general rather than it being due to the extradition bill.

Edited by JasonJ
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So it seems she is pointing to it being a problem of the PRC, and not her own screwed up handling of the situation.

 

Well to be completely fair, there is something in that. Its not as if the PRC has been up to honoring the agreement it signed with the UK, even before this kicked off.

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This Carrie Lam continues to frustrate with variation upon variation of the same legislative theme, all the while emphasizing that the mother (in every sense of the word) remains calmly in control.

 

The consummate British civil servant lifer in various ways.

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It all makes sense now :)

 

No wonder the Hongkongese never protested while Britannia ruled the waves of Kowloon Harbor. If bureaucrats such as this mother (in every sense of the word, including the street version) Carrie Lam are the product of the British civil service, one can imagine what going up against the bureaucrats who trained her would be like.

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Not good enough for the protesters.

 

 

A surprise concession to protesters by Hong Kong’s leader may have eased tensions and reduced the likelihood of China sending in troops, but it is unlikely to halt the huge rallies or end clashes.

After three months of taking a hardline tone, chief executive Carrie Lam finally scrapped a widely loathed bill on Wednesday allowing extraditions to the mainland.

But will it be enough to calm nerves and end weeks of clashes in a financial hub once renowned for stability?

Why make a concession now?

On Thursday, Lam said she had decided to fully scrap the extradition law after meeting with various groups and leaders in recent weeks.

Previously she had only agreed to suspend the legislation, fuelling further protests and sparking fears the law might one day be resurrected.

She portrayed the withdrawal as an attempt to heal divisions and start a dialogue with more moderate protesters.

But the timing was surprising.

Only a week earlier Lam had delivered a defiant press conference saying she had no intention of yielding to protester demands.

In between the two statements leaked audio recordings emerged of Lam privately telling people she wanted to quit and felt her hands were tied by Beijing.

“I think China is really trying to pacify the situation,” political analyst Dixon Sing told AFP, adding that the likelihood of Beijing deploying troops was now “close to zero”.

Will it end the crisis?

The initial prognosis from protesters — and even some people within Lam’s political camp — is that the concession was too little, too late, given more than 1,000 people have been arrested, with injuries on both sides in clashes with police and huge polarisation within the city.

“If she did it two months ago, then there wouldn’t be the current situation,” Felix Chung, a pro-Beijing lawmaker who was among more than 40 people to meet with Lam on Wednesday before the announcement, told AFP.

On the protest side, rejection has come in from both moderates and more radical groups.

“Applying a band-aid months later on to rotting flesh will simply not cut it,” said one masked protester at a so-called “citizens press conference” late Wednesday.

Protesters say their movement will only end when all five of their demands are met.

What are the remaining demands?

An inquiry into police conduct, an amnesty for anyone arrested, a retraction of the label “rioters” to describe protesters and universal suffrage.

Lam has said the current police complaints mechanism — which critics say is stacked with Beijing loyalists — is adequate and says an amnesty or withdrawal of rioting charges — which carry up to 10 years jail — would undermine Hong Kong’s independent legal system.

Universal suffrage has long been a thorny issue in a city where the leader is currently chosen by a pro-Beijing committee.

In 2014 Beijing said it would be willing to give one person, one vote but said people would only be allowed to choose from a small number of pre-vetted candidates.

That decision sparked huge pro-democracy protests that year which failed to make any headway.

Beijing has repeatedly portrayed demands for direct elections as an unacceptable red line.

What has been Beijing’s response to Lam’s concession?

So far party organs have been silent. But Chinese state media has welcomed it.

In an editorial headlined “HK protesters now have no excuse to continue violence” the China Daily described the move as an “olive branch” and called for dialogue with moderates.

On Twitter — which is banned in China — the editor of the nationalist Global Times tabloid Hu Xijian wrote: “I hope this will be a new starting point. I also call on Western media and politicians to support a turnaround in the situation of Hong Kong.”

Lam has insisted the decision to withdraw the bill was hers alone and that no orders were given by China, although she said the central government supported her move.

What next?

More protests. Message forums used by protesters have filled with criticism and calls for new protests, including an attempted blockade of the airport on Saturday.

There are also plans to get out huge crowds on October 1 when the People’s Republic of China celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding.

Analyst Sing said only further concessions — particularly an independent inquiry — were likely to halt protests.

“What remains is a tug of war over the next few months over whether an independent commission should be set up,” he said, describing that demand as the one which has “gained the greatest support among the public.”
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/05/will-withdrawal-extradition-bill-enough-calm-hong-kongs-protests/
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The timing Im sure has everything to do with a direct order from Beijing. It will be curious to see how the PRC handles this - they cant back down any more than this gesture, but a forceful response will catch them right as they are already having domestic economic slow down. I suspect they will continue to just wait this out.

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