Hong Kong

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Commodore, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. plarq

    plarq Crazy forever

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    Definition of coo
    (Entry 1 of 2)

    intransitive verb

    1: to make the low soft cry of a dove or pigeon or a similar sound: The baby cooed quietly in her crib.
    2: to talk fondly, amorously, or appreciatively: The family cooed over the baby pictures.

    2nd meaning
     
  2. Takhisis

    Takhisis Rum and coke.

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    :scan: I get it now.
     
  3. Samson

    Samson Deity

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    Chinese program to pressure Uighurs to relocate thousands of miles is "thinning out of their population" according to a high-level Chinese study

    The government denies that it is attempting to alter the demographics of its far-western region and says the job transfers are designed to raise incomes and alleviate chronic rural unemployment and poverty.
    But our evidence suggests that - alongside the re-education camps built across Xinjiang in recent years - the policy involves a high risk of coercion and is similarly designed to assimilate minorities by changing their lifestyles and thinking.
    The study, which was meant for the eyes of senior officials but accidentally placed online, forms part of a BBC investigation based on propaganda reports, interviews, and visits to factories across China.

    This overarching goal of assimilating Uighurs into China's majority Han culture is made clear by an in-depth Chinese study of Xinjiang's job-transfer scheme, circulated to senior Chinese officials and seen by the BBC.
    Based on field work conducted in Xinjiang's Hotan Prefecture in May 2018, the report was inadvertently made publicly available online in December 2019 and then subsequently taken down a few months later.
    Written by a group of academics from Nankai University in the Chinese city of Tianjin, it concludes that the mass labour transfers are "an important method to influence, meld and assimilate Uighur minorities" and bring about a "transformation of their thinking."
    Uprooting them and relocating them elsewhere in the region or in other Chinese provinces, it says, "reduces Uighur population density."
    I cannot find it on youtube, you need to go to the bbc and see the video broadcast by China's Communist Party-run news channel. It shows officials going from house to house applying pressure on young women who clearly do not want to be separated from their communities, and then them being shipped off to work 4000 miles away.

    The original report is here, in Chinese. There is an unofficial translation here, I would not expect it to be unbiased.
     
  4. Takhisis

    Takhisis Rum and coke.

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    China upgrades censorship from thoughtcrime to feelcrime…

    Smile for the camera: the dark side of China's emotion-recognition tech
    Xi Jinping wants ‘positive energy’ but critics say the surveillance tools’ racial bias and monitoring for anger or sadness should be banned

    “Ordinary people here in China aren’t happy about this technology but they have no choice. If the police say there have to be cameras in a community, people will just have to live with it. There’s always that demand and we’re here to fulfil it.”

    So says Chen Wei at Taigusys, a company specialising in emotion recognition technology, the latest evolution in the broader world of surveillance systems that play a part in nearly every aspect of Chinese society.

    Spoiler :
    Emotion-recognition technologies – in which facial expressions of anger, sadness, happiness and boredom, as well as other biometric data are tracked – are supposedly able to infer a person’s feelings based on traits such as facial muscle movements, vocal tone, body movements and other biometric signals. It goes beyond facial-recognition technologies, which simply compare faces to determine a match.

    But similar to facial recognition, it involves the mass collection of sensitive personal data to track, monitor and profile people and uses machine learning to analyse expressions and other clues.

    The industry is booming in China, where since at least 2012, figures including President Xi Jinping have emphasised the creation of “positive energy” as part of an ideological campaign to encourage certain kinds of expression and limit others.

    Critics say the technology is based on a pseudo-science of stereotypes, and an increasing number of researchers, lawyers and rights activists believe it has serious implications for human rights, privacy and freedom of expression. With the global industry forecast to be worth nearly $36bn by 2023, growing at nearly 30% a year, rights groups say action needs to be taken now.

    ‘Intimidation and censorship’
    The main office of Taigusys is tucked behind a few low-rise office buildings in Shenzhen. Visitors are greeted at the doorway by a series of cameras capturing their images on a big screen that displays body temperature, along with age estimates, and other statistics. Chen, a general manager at the company, says the system in the doorway is the company’s bestseller at the moment because of high demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Chen hails emotion recognition as a way to predict dangerous behaviour by prisoners, detect potential criminals at police checkpoints, problem pupils in schools and elderly people experiencing dementia in care homes.

    Taigusys systems are installed in about 300 prisons, detention centres and remand facilities around China, connecting 60,000 cameras.

    “Violence and suicide are very common in detention centres,” says Chen. “Even if police nowadays don’t beat prisoners, they often try to wear them down by not allowing them to fall asleep. As a result, some prisoners will have a mental breakdown and seek to kill themselves. And our system will help prevent that from happening.”

    Chen says that since prisoners know they are monitored by this system – 24 hours a day, in real time – they are made more docile, which for authorities is a positive on many fronts. “Because they know what the system does, they won’t consciously try to violate certain rules,” he says.

    Besides prisons and police checkpoints, Taigusys has deployed its systems in schools to monitor teachers, pupils and staff, in care homes for older people to detect falls and changes in the emotional state of residents, and in shopping centres and car parks.

    While the use of emotion-recognition technology in schools in China has sparked some criticism, there has been very little discussion of its use by authorities on citizens.

    Chen, while aware of the concerns, played up the system’s potential to stop violent incidents. He cites an incident where a security guard stabbed about 41 people in the province of Guangxi in southern China last June, claiming it was technologically preventable.

    Vidushi Marda is a digital program manager at the British human rights organisation Article 19 and a lawyer focused on the socio-legal implications of emerging technologies. She disputes Chen’s view on the Guangxi stabbing.

    “This is a familiar and slightly frustrating narrative that we see used frequently when newer, ‘shiny’ technologies are introduced under the umbrella of safety or security, but in reality video surveillance has little nexus to safety, and I’m not sure how they thought that feedback in real time would fix violence,” Marda told the Guardian.

    “A lot of biometric surveillance, I think, is closely tied to intimidation and censorship, and I suppose [emotion recognition] is one example of just that.”

    Biometrics 3.0
    A recent report by Article 19 on the development of these surveillance technologies – which one Chinese firm describes as “biometrics 3.0” – by 27 companies in China found its growth without safeguards and public deliberation, was especially problematic, particularly in the public security and education sectors.

    Ultimately, groups such as Article 19 say that the technology should be banned before widespread adoption globally makes the ramifications too difficult to contain.

    The Guardian contacted a range of companies covered in the report. Only Taigusys responded to an interview request.

    Another problem is that recognition systems are usually based on actors posing in what they think are happy, sad, angry and other emotional states and not on real expressions of those emotions. Facial expressions can also vary widely across cultures, leading to further inaccuracies and ethnic bias.

    One Taigusys system that is used by police in China, as well as security services in Thailand and some African countries, includes identifiers such as “yellow, white, black”, and even “Uighur”.

    “The populations in these countries are more racially diverse than in China, and in China, it’s also used to tell Uighurs from Han Chinese,” Chen says, referring to the country’s dominant ethnicity. “If an Uighur appears, they will be tagged, but it won’t tag Han Chinese.”

    Potential for misuse
    Asked if he was concerned about these features being misused by authorities, Chen says that he is not worried because the software is being used by police, implying that such institutions should be automatically trusted.

    “I’m not concerned because it’s not our technology that’s the problem,” Chen says. “There are demands for this technology in certain scenarios and places, and we will try our best to meet those demands.”

    For Shazeda Ahmed, a visiting researcher at New York University’s AI Now Institute who contributed to the Article 19 report, these are all “terrible reasons”.

    “That Chinese conceptions of race are going to be built into technology and exported to other parts of the world is really troubling, particularly since there isn’t the kind of critical discourse [about racism and ethnicity in China] that we’re having in the United States,” she tells the Guardian.

    “If anything, research and investigative reporting over the last few years have shown that sensitive personal information is particularly dangerous when in the hands of state entities, especially given the wide ambit of their possible use by state actors.”

    One driver of the emotion-recognition technology sector in China is the country’s lack of strict privacy laws. There are essentially no laws restricting the authorities’ access to biometric data on grounds of national security or public safety, which gives companies such as Taigusys complete freedom to develop and roll out these products when similar businesses in the US, Japan or Europe cannot, says Chen.

    “So we have the chance to gather as much information as possible and find the best scenarios to make use of that data,” he says.

    Seriously, phrenology was completely debunked in the 19th century already.
     
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  5. Samson

    Samson Deity

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    Batches of 50 to 100 Uighur workers are being advertised on the Chinese internet

    On Chinese websites, there are dozens of postings advertising Uighur labour, in batches of 50 to 100 workers.
    Those adverts suggest tight political and social controls. One states that the "security of workers will be guaranteed by the government".
    We contacted numbers left on the labour adverts.
    One agent told us that workers from Xinjiang needed to be "examined politically" before they could be transferred.
    The local government of the receiving province would also do a "political examination".
    All workers would be accompanied by "supervisors", the agent said, and "under half-military management".
    Another said that without local government approval, workers could not be arranged because "the ethnic minority issue is a severe problem".
    A third said the salary of the "supervisors" was paid by the Personnel Bureau of the Xinjiang government.

    One local news video describes 200 Uighur workers at a factory in Shandong, a coastal province in east China, saying: "Supported by all relevant government departments, the company develops well.
    "They will continue creating a harmonious work environment for our Uighur compatriots."
    The owner of the factory, a seafood processing plant, said that all the Uighur workers had returned home to Xinjiang because of the pandemic and that reports of forced labour was "nonsense".
    He said that workers went there because they chose to, earned at least £300 per month, and had air conditioners in their on-site dormitories.
    Those dormitories were monitored by CCTV in a front office which also contained riot control gear.
    If workers wished to leave the factory, the owner told us, the company would take them in two buses.
    Twelve police officers and Communist Party officials then arrived.
    They questioned us for two hours, before ordering us to leave town.
     
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  6. Takhisis

    Takhisis Rum and coke.

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    up yours.
    I am quoting evil capitalists and Eastern Sea antipatriotic devils.

    The Hong Kong government’s proposal to let directors obscure their identities on company registers is a retrograde step that will facilitate fraud and corruption

    Don’t take a journalist’s word for it. Don’t listen to the legal profession, which said in 2009 that ID numbers should be fully disclosed. Don’t pay heed to the accountants and corporate governance experts who warn that access to such information is vital. And don’t worry about the investors who say Hong Kong’s public registries have helped bring transparency and accountability to official and corporate dealings.

    Spoiler :
    Just take the word of the government’s own advisory committee for it. Restricting access to ID numbers “may deprive the public of a means of uniquely identifying individuals, and might make it easier for the dishonest to escape creditors, or otherwise engage in fraudulent activity,” the standing committee on company law reform said in a 2009 consultation paper. “The option of masking 3 or 4 digits of an identification number would not serve the purpose of identifying a person as there are cases of persons with the same name having similar identity card numbers.”

    That was then. Just recently, a spokesman for the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau said partial ID numbers “together with the name of a director, should be sufficient to enable searchers to ascertain the identity.” Independent shareholder activist David Webb, who highlighted the committee’s 2009 comment in a Twitter post, called the statement “not credible.”

    Such information is essential to an international financial center. IPO sponsors, banks and advisers need to know with precision and reliability the identity of counterparties to a deal. In an era of stringent money laundering laws, falling short on due diligence can expose them to the risk of criminal sanctions. Investors use this information to track transactions and ascertain whose interests are being served, a function of critical importance in a market such as Hong Kong, where related-party deals are prevalent. And journalists use this information to expose wrongdoing and hold officials to account.

    In general, transparency is the friend of honesty, accountability and good governance. As in the political realm, Hong Kong is marching in the opposite direction.

    The government withdrew its proposal in 2013 in the face of opposition, but included draft sections in a reworked Companies Ordinance enacted in 2014 that would allow for these details to be withheld from the public. It is these sections that the government is now trying to bring into force. Authorities cite the risk of misuse of personal information, and point to increased reported cases of doxing.

    Its justification looks flimsy. Privacy was cited as the grounds for the first push around a decade ago. Yet former Companies Registrar Gordon Jones said at the time that he had received no complaints about invasion of privacy during 14 years in the post, as Jane Moir, research director for Hong Kong at the Asian Corporate Governance Association, noted. The government says its regime will be in line with practice in the U.K. and Australia; Moir points out that the U.K. doesn’t have ID cards, but provides other identifiers such as date of birth that Hong Kong doesn’t collect, while in other respects its system is far more open, accessible and easy to use.

    In any case, there are other ways of dealing with doxing that don’t compromise the public interest. Meanwhile, the list of those who can be expected to favor this change is limited, comprising chiefly mainland officials who would prefer to keep their activities away from prying eyes and potential fraudsters.

    China’s late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, defining who should be allowed to play a part in governing the city, said in the 1980s that a patriot is someone who “wishes not to impair Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.” Beijing has leaned heavily on Deng’s words recently to exclude political opponents for being insufficiently patriotic. Having advanced a proposal that runs so clearly against the broad interests of Hong Kong’s economy and society, it’s worth debating whether the administration itself can be considered patriotic. If Hong Kong still had an opposition, that’s a question it might be asking.


    Matthew Brooker is an editor with Bloomberg Opinion.
     
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  7. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Deity

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    I think Zenz's old stuff is funnier than his new stuff. :)
    Zenz, A., Worthy to Escape: Why All Believers Will Not Be Raptured Before the Tribulation, with Marlon L. Sias. Bloomington, IN: Westbow Press.

    “Wipe out China!” US-funded Uyghur activists train as gun-toting foot soldiers for empire
    Leading figures of the UAA operate a right-wing gun club known as Altay Defense. Proudly dressed in US military fatigues, Altay Defense drill in
    advanced combat techniques with former members of US special forces who also train private mercenaries and active duty US service members.
    Members of the militia-style gun club espouse pro-Trump politics and anti-immigrant resentment.

    https://thegrayzone.com/2021/03/31/china-uyghur-gun-soldiers-empire/

    Does that mean they oppose allowing in freedom-loving Uyghurs and Hong Kongers? :confused:
     
  8. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Deity

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    In 2005, Jack Straw told MPs reports of rendition were 'conspiracy theories'.

    On shelves around the walls of one office, inside one folder after another, were hundreds of pages
    of secret communications between the ESO, the CIA and MI6, and between Gaddafi and Tony Blair.

    These papers showed beyond doubt that all three agencies had been involved in the kidnap and
    torture of two of Gaddafi’s opponents, Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi. Moreover, they had
    also been involved in the kidnap and severe mistreatment of the men’s wives, Fatima Boudchar
    and Karima al-Saadi, and Saadi’s four children, the youngest aged six. Boudchar was four and a half
    months pregnant when she was kidnapped.

    The two families had been abducted in Bangkok and Hong Kong and flown to Tripoli in separate
    "rendition" operations 17 days apart, in March 2004. In between, Blair had paid his first visit to
    Tripoli, embracing Gaddafi and declaring that they were making “common cause” against al-Qaida and
    terrorism.

    These documents nailed as a lie the mantra that British government officials repeated whenever
    allegations of involvement in post-9/11 human rights abuses were raised: that the government did not
    "participate in, solicit, encourage or condone" the use of torture.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...uks-role-in-kidnap-of-two-families-unravelled

    Tsk, tsk, Hong Kong!
     
  9. Samson

    Samson Deity

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    Hong Kong's Tiananmen Square museum forced to close two days ahead of memorial

    Hong Kong's most controversial destination has been forced to close just two days before a hugely significant date in the global pro-democracy calendar.
    Located inside a nondescript high-rise building wedged between a gas station and a highway overpass in Kowloon, the June 4 Museum is the only museum in Greater China -- which includes the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan -- that commemorates the Beijing government's crackdown against student protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
    On June 1, Hong Kong officials from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) visited the museum in the working-class area of Mong Kok and accused the organizers of operating a "place of public entertainment" illegally.
     
  10. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy syntax error

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    Gee, it's almost like it never happened. Like everything else that never happened.
     
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  11. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Deity

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    Gee it's like it did happen, most Chinese people know it happened, but many don't care enough for Westerners. :)

    The truth about the Tiananmen Square crackdown: What’s missing from Hong Kong textbooks?
    A Chinese history teacher with 30 years of experience comments on the accuracy and comprehensiveness of
    how the event is portrayed.
    ...
    In Hong Kong, the June 4 incident is touched on in primary school during General Studies classes, then
    taught in DSE Chinese history classes in Form Five. The most popular resource used to teach it is the
    2014 edition of a textbook, whose title translates to High School Chinese History, published by Modern
    Educational Research Society.
    ...
    “In general, the textbook provides an accurate description of the June 4 incident and mentions the
    important events and how they unfolded. It is clear and easy to understand,” said Chan, who now lives
    in Germany. “On the surface, it’s all good.”

    But time and again, the book presents these events from Beijing’s perspective, Chan says, stressing
    that “the students’ demands exceeded what the Chinese Communist Party could tolerate”.
    ...

    Chan believes that the curriculum designers want to distil the June 4 incident down into simply one of
    many events following the economic reform, rather than a democracy movement in its own right.

    “I also think they want Hong Kong students, who are living under the framework of One Country, Two
    Systems, to be content with their existing degree of freedom ... rather than striving for more freedom
    and freedom in China, or demanding any political systematic reform,” he says.

    https://www.scmp.com/yp/discover/ne...bout-tiananmen-square-crackdown-whats-missing

    This might be a shock: Chinese people know how to use VPN, and when they are not in China many even
    know how to use Google.
    It might come as an even greater surprise, but most of the young people don't seem to care as much as many
    in the West would like them to.

    Historical "suppression" is nothing new, in China or elsewhere.
    Was the Tulsa race massacre a regular part of American History when you were a primary or secondary student?
    Or was it not important enough to devote a chapter?
     
  12. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy syntax error

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    I didn't say they don't know. I said it never happened. I am aware of the differences.
     
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  13. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy syntax error

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    We learned about Kent State an awful lot. We learned about the dogs and firehoses and the lynchings. We learned about the Trail of Tears. We learned of our betrayals of Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, and Geronimo. Grade school and high school, so as children. On second thought, I'm not rolling with your turnabout is fair play logic. But I'm keeping the thrown shade. That was and still is intentional.
     
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  14. Takhisis

    Takhisis Rum and coke.

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    up yours.
    Two articles

    Hong Kong finds new ways to remember Tiananmen Square amid vigil ban
    Residents light candles, lay flowers and paint messages as police enforce ban on annual vigil for massacre

    A man walked down a Hong Kong street on Friday wearing a shirt hand-painted with “There is nothing to say”. The previous night an artist held a placard aloft reading: “Don’t go to Victoria Park and light candles”.

    Spoiler :
    On any other day these sights would have been confusing, but on Friday they were a small symbol of resistance to authorities’ efforts to stop anyone from commemorating the 4 June 1989 massacre of student protesters in Beijing.

    streets of HK rn: “there is nothing 2 say” pic.twitter.com/dbxjQSWwIG

    — csz (@cszabla) June 4, 2021

    Hong Kong has long been the traditional home of public remembrance of the Tiananmen Square massacre, with an annual vigil in Victoria Park, attended by tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of people.

    But amid a deepening crackdown on resistance, opposition and freedom of assembly, the city’s police banned the 2021 event. After initially citing pandemic-related restrictions, they soon made it clear they were also treating the vigil as an unauthorised political act, invoking the national security law in warning people to stay away.

    Determined to mark the event regardless, Hongkongers have had to become creative. One campaign has called for people to write the numbers 4 and 6 (representing the day and month of the massacre) on their light switches at home. On Wednesday evening, artists laid flowers on the street, or painted banners, while young people sat in Victoria Park and studied.

    Artists gathered in Hong Kong the night before the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre and commemorated the victims with different street performances. Photos: @StandNewsHK pic.twitter.com/CeTAJTyKyn

    — Hong Kong Free Press HKFP (@hkfp) June 4, 2021

    Others laid flowers and candles at the Goddess of Democracy statue in the Chinese University of Hong Kong campus. In 2010 the statue was at the centre of controversy after the university refused an application to have it permanently stationed on site, sparking protests.

    The night the goddess was taken onto campus and the controversy that ensued seems like it happened in a different world.
    CUHK today, June 4th. pic.twitter.com/v2hhKbSw8v

    — Yuen Chan (@xinwenxiaojie) June 4, 2021

    In a Facebook message posted from prison, the activist and longtime vigil organiser Lee Cheuk-yan said that at 8pm he would be using cigarettes to replace candles to mourn for the soul of the 4 June movement.

    The UK consulate in Hong Kong tweeted a captionless photo of a burning candle.

    A police senior superintendent, Liauw Ka-kei, was asked by media if wearing black clothes or lighting candles near the park was illegal. He said it wasn’t easy to answer, but that people knew “full well” if they were joining an unauthorised assembly.

    Thousands of officers patrolled the city, shutting down Victoria Park and local sporting fields, and arrested a vigil organiser in the early hours. Apple Daily reported armoured cars and a water cannon heading towards the area. Near Victoria Park a local reporter filmed police delivering a caution to a man who held a sign reading “conscience”.

    Police surround an old man with a placard reading "conscience" outside Victoria Park, which was the venue of Hong Kong's June 4 vigil in previous years. The man was given a verbal warning, and officers followed him as he left. #Tiananmen32 pic.twitter.com/gltvkRZDjf

    — Holmes Chan (@holmeschan_) June 4, 2021

    In the afternoon police set up roadblocks at multiple cross-harbour tunnels, banking up traffic, as they stopped and searched vehicles heading to the main island. At least one woman was stopped and searched because police reportedly found her flowers suspicious. Some people walked through shopping districts carrying candles or leaving tea lights on posts and fences.


    Some activities appeared to go ahead without interference, including the laying of flowers and ceremonial washing of the Pillar of Shame monument inside Hong Kong university.

    In Causeway Bay activists set up street booths, protesting against the detention of “political prisoners” and asking: “Is speaking our mind a crime?”
    In answer to that last line, yes, thoughtcrime exists

    Hong Kong vigil leader arrested as 7,000 police enforce ban on Tiananmen anniversary protests
    Officers mobilised to break up the once-traditional events to mark the brutal crackdown against dissent in China 32 years ago

    Hong Kong police have arrested a prominent barrister for allegedly promoting an unauthorised assembly on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, as thousands of officers were deployed to enforce a ban on protests and gatherings across the city.

    Spoiler :
    Police confirmed that barrister and activist Chow Hang Tung, vice-chairwoman of the group which organises annual vigils for the victims of China’s 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, was arrested. A 20-year-old male was also detained on suspicion of publicising an unlawful assembly through social media posts.

    “Their online remarks involved advertising and calling on others to participate or attend banned public activities,” senior superintendent Law Kwok-hoi told reporters.

    Discussion of Beijing’s brutal military crackdown on the evening of 3 June and morning of 4 June, 1989 is all but forbidden on the mainland. And Hong Kong’s traditional status as the only place in China where large-scale commemorations were tolerated appeared to be coming to an end.

    Thousands of police were deployed on Friday to enforce a ban on the city’s traditional candlelight vigil, which has drawn huge crowds to Victoria Park on 4 June for more than three decades. The day has traditionally served as a display of pro-democracy people power that China has made clear it will no longer tolerate.

    Authorities banned this year’s gathering citing the coronavirus pandemic – although Hong Kong has not recorded an untraceable local transmission in more than a month, and held large public events. Police have also cited the national security law in warning people not to gather for unnamed events, and reminded the public of the recent convictions of some activists.

    Police say that thousands of officers will be on standby to halt any “unlawful assemblies” while officials have also warned that a sweeping new national security law could be wielded against Tiananmen mourners.

    Public broadcaster RTHK, citing unnamed sources, reported police would have 7,000 officers on the streets on Friday, conducting stop-and-search operations throughout the day.

    While last year’s vigil was also denied permission because of the pandemic, thousands simply defied the ban.

    But much has changed in Hong Kong over the last year as authorities seek to snuff out the city’s pro-democracy movement using the security law to criminalise much dissent. Police arrested 24 activists as organisers of the vigil, and several were convicted and jailed.

    So now apparently roadblocks are going up at all HK island-bound lanes of the cross harbour tunnels, right before the Friday evening peak hour. Because we should absolutely definitely believe that this is just another ordinary day with nothing special going on.

    — Antony Dapiran (@antd) June 4, 2021

    Most of the city’s most prominent democracy figures – many of whom would organise and attend the annual Tiananmen vigils – are in jail, have been arrested or have fled overseas, after Beijing imposed a controversial national security law in Hong Kong last year.

    Veteran political journalist Ching Cheong, who was jailed in China for three years, said the perseverance of Hong Kong in holding the vigil had made it “the conscience of China”.

    “It’s very sad to see that, starting last year, authorities have tried to stamp out memorial activity purely for the selfish sake of the CCP to cling to power,” Ching said.

    “I don’t think marking the anniversary of the crackdown itself will lead to the collapse of the communist regime, but it’s evident proof the regime is extremely afraid of people knowing the atrocities that it has committed.”

    The threat of mass arrests on Hong Kong has forced those who would normally attend the vigil to think creatively. Activists have called on residents to light candles in their own homes or neighbourhoods on Friday evening, or post commemoration messages on social media.

    One campaign has called for Hong Kongers to write the numbers 4 and 6 – representing 4 June – on light switches at home.

    “A regime can ban an assembly but it can never ban the indelible grievances in people’s hearts,” Lee Cheuk-yan, a now jailed democracy activist, wrote in a message published on his Facebook page on Thursday. “I hope everyone can find your own way to light a candle by the window, on the road, wherever that can be seen by others, to continue our mourning,” he added.

    Vigils are planned in cities like Tokyo, Sydney, London, Berlin and Washington.

    In mainland China, the Tiananmen anniversary is usually marked with a dramatic increase in online censorship and the square in Beijing being cordoned off.

    Ahead of this year’s anniversary, the Tiananmen Mothers support group made new appeal in a statement. It also said that many young Chinese have “grown up in a false sense of prosperous jubilance and enforced glorification of the government (and) have no idea of or refuse to believe what happened on June 4, 1989, in the nation’s capital.”

    The United States said on Thursday it stands “with the people of China” in their fight for human rights. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said his country will “honor the sacrifices of those killed 32 years ago, and the brave activists who carry on their efforts today in the face of ongoing government repression.”

    In Britain, six former British foreign secretaries – including Jack Straw and David Miliband - have urged Boris Johnson to rally international action over Beijing’s Hong Kong actions in an open letter. They called on the Prime Minister to “ensure that the crisis in Hong Kong is on the agenda” at the G7 leaders’ summit in Cornwall next week.

    “As the human rights situation in Hong Kong continues to deteriorate, we hope you will personally recognise the pronounced need for international leadership from the UK government on this matter,” the former foreign secretaries wrote.

    Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan’s people would not forget what happened in 1989.

    “I believe for all Taiwanese who are proud of their freedom and democracy, they will never forget about this day and will firmly stick with their faith, unshaken by challenges,” she said.

    In a statement sent to Reuters, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said the island’s government was “smearing and attacking” China when it should be focused on fighting a spike in domestic Covid-19 cases.

    “In the face of increasing coronavirus infections and death, this veil they are using to attack others is a bit too much.”

    Agence France-Presse and Reuters contributed to this report
     
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  15. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Deity

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    Then you were miles ahead of Australian schools and how they taught our tragic history! I heard no more than 15 minutes about Australian Aborigines during 12 years of school ( 1960-1972).

    Sorry, but i didn't understand that at all.
     
  16. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy syntax error

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    I consider the drawing the distinction between "knowing" and "it never happened" to be a pretty deep insult, I guess. I'm not sure there are a scads worse traits to exhibit.
     
  17. Takhisis

    Takhisis Rum and coke.

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    up yours.
    tl;dr the Chinese autocracy sent 500 police officers into the offices of a newspaper they don't control (the logic is that since foreigners don't want papers to just be government pamphlets then not being one is colluding with foreigners) and people are buying up the newspaper so today's edition was a run of 500,000 instead of the usual 80,000 which is interpreted as a sign of support.

    Hongkongers queue to buy Apple Daily copies after editor-in-chief arrested
    Public outpouring of support for tabloid after raid on offices by national security police

    Spoiler :
    Hongkongers queued at city news stands before dawn on Friday to buy the latest edition of the Apple Daily newspaper, a day after national security police arrested its editor-in-chief and four other directors.

    On Thursday morning hundreds of officers from the Hong Kong police national security department raided the homes of the employees, including editor-in-chef Ryan Law, and the Apple Daily newsroom for the second time in less than a year. It froze millions of dollars in company assets.

    Police said the raid and arrests were due to alleged breaches of the national security law’s clause against foreign collusion, via more than 30 articles calling for international sanctions against Hong Kong and China. Media and rights groups said authorities were using the law to crackdown on a vocal critic.

    On Friday police announced they had charged two of those arrested with foreign collusion offences, and announced prosecution proceedings against three companies for the same charge. Apple Daily named those charged as editor-in-chief, Law, and CEO Cheung Kim-hung, scheduled to appear in court on Saturday. The others remained in detention pending further investigation.

    The paper’s staff rejected the accusations against them, and vowed to get the paper out regardless, emblazoning the front page with photos of their five arrested bosses, and the headline: “National security police searched Apple, arrested five people, seized 44 news material hard disks.”

    At the bottom of the page, in the yellow colour associated so closely with the pro-democracy movement, the message: “we must press on”.

    The paper increased its print run for Friday more than fivefold to to 500,000.

    Employees had returned to the office only that afternoon, after an hours-long raid by police with an unprecedented warrant allowing the seizure of journalistic materials, Apple Daily said.

    They connected keyboards to their phones to type up their stories, live-streamed and surrounded by rival media documenting the process, including printing presses whirring into action. The paper has a usual circulation of about 80,000, but printed half a million in anticipation of people once again buying it in support after a police operation.

    Across the city people bought multiple copies, some handing them out to businesses to give to customers, others Instagramming their haul, including one woman who filled an Ikea bag. The owner of a Mongkok news stand told AFP he normally sells 60 copies of Apple Daily, but on Friday had sold 1,800 before morning.

    A coffee shop in Central giving away free copies of #AppleDaily. They said someone left the copies there. #HongKong #NextDigital #JinmyLai pic.twitter.com/elq6zttylC

    — Bertha Wang (@berthawangg) June 18, 2021
    Steven Chow, 45, bought three copies of the paper, a controversial and populist tabloid, but which has become a symbol of the pro-democracy movement.​
    “There is no perfect media, but it is a unique voice in Hong Kong,” he said. “You may not like it, but I think you need to let them have their voice and survive, it is important.”

    The targeting of Apple Daily marked an escalation in authorities’ attempts to stifle Hong Kong’s media. The city’s security chief, John Lee, warned other journalists on Thursday to “distance” themselves from the accused, who he referred to as “criminals” and “perpetrators” of a conspiracy.

    Lee would neither specify the offending articles or explain how the national security law applied to media – a long running concern since its introduction almost one year ago. Fears now are that any prosecution of the five executives will further strengthen a chilling effect across the industry.

    The police operation was condemned by foreign governments including the US, UK, Australia and the EU, rights organisations and journalism groups. Beijing accused them of vilifying the police and interfering in internal Hong Kong affairs.

    “The facts are clear and the evidence solid, and the cases have nothing to do with press freedom.”

    Rupert Colville, the chief UN human rights spokesperson, said the raid “sends a further chilling message for media freedom.”

    He told Reuters: “We call on Hong Kong authorities to respect their obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in line with the Basic Law, in particular freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association and the right to participate in public affairs.”
     
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  18. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Deity

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    What Is The Empire's Strategy?
    Col Lawrence Wilkerson Speech at the 2018 Ron Paul Institute (RPI) Media & War Conference.
    ...
    “But I believe the American people ought to be told about it, and there ought to be a debate as to
    whether they want to spend their money on these objectives.
    ...
    “The first objective is to be in the place that Donald Rumsfeld said was the most difficult country
    in the world to get military power into (in 2001, and take my word for it, it is, look at it on the
    map) and leave it there. Because it is the only hard power the United States has which sits
    proximate to the central base road initiative of China, that runs across central Asia.
    ...
    “If we had to impact that with military power, we are in position to do so, in Afghanistan.
    ...
    “The second reason we are there is because we are cheek and jowl with the potentially most unstable
    nuclear stockpile on the face of the earth in Pakistan. We want to be able to leap on that stockpile
    and stabilize it if necessary.
    ...
    “And the third reason we are there is because there are 20 million Uyghurs and they don’t like Han
    Chinese in Xinjiang Province in western China.
    ...
    “And if the CIA has to mount an operation using those Uyghurs (as Erdogan has done in Turkey against
    Assad—there’s 20,000 of them in Idlib in Syria right now for example, which is why the Chinese might
    be deploying military forces to Syria in the very near future to take care of those Uyghurs that
    Erdogan invited in)...
    ...
    “Well, the CIA would want to destabilize China, and that would be the best way to do it. They would
    foment unrest and to join with those Uyghurs in pushing the Han Chinese in Beijing from internal
    places rather than external.
     
  19. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Deity

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    Yawn. And approximately 1.3 billion other Chinese didn't try to buy it. :p

    Maybe he should investigate who approved the kidnapping of Sami al-Saadi and his family from Hong Kong.

    Hong Kong’s complicity in the 2004 kidnapping continues to be shrouded in secrecy as key players refuse to
    comment despite years of inquiries by this paper.

    Details of the city’s involvement only came to light after the Gaddafi regime was toppled in late2011.
    Documents unearthed in Libya at that time revealed that now Permanent Secretary for Transport
    and Housing (Housing) and Director of Housing, Stanley Ying Yiu-hong, who was the permanent
    secretary for security at the time, was a key contact in ensuring the rendition was carried out
    quickly. The papers also named Madonna Fung from the Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre – a private
    jet hub at the airport – as an intermediary.

    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1971968/hong-kong-spotlight-over-secret-rendition

    Hong Kongers complain about there being "No rule of law" and they moan endlessly about the CCP breaking
    agreements made before 1997.
    In 2004, did the UK, Hong Kong and the US think it was perfectly within their rights to hold people in
    secret locations before forcing them onto planes, and that China would just have to accept it?
    Tough luck, HK. The sun has set on that little corner of Western Imperialism.
     
  20. innonimatu

    innonimatu the resident Cassandra

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    Hypocrisy as usual.

    They had a good run but another empire took over. Good riddance.

    The sad thing is that another empire took over. At least its the locals (kind of, empires always centralize make no mistake) running things now.
     

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