476,000 people rally in Hong Kong to say “no” to violence

‘I love Hong Kong’

‘Hong Kong is part of China forever’

‘I support Hong Kong police’

‘The five-star red banner has 1.4 billion defenders’

‘Say “no” to violence’

These and more were slogans used on banners and in chants at a rally of 476,000 people in Hong Kong today (17 August). These regular rallies gain more and more participants on each occasion, indicating that the tide has turned against the relatively small number of masked, black-clad perpretators of the violence (who use home-made spears, petrol bombs, corrosive liquids, lethal slingshots and much more, having thus far injured 5,139 police officers).

A couple of pictures, but you can find the full stories here and here.

Also worthy of note is a rally of 3,000 in Sydney, Australia, also saddened by the violence and supporting Hong Kong as part of China forever.

Finally, if you are into these things, you can find what is trending on Chinese social media (which of course includes Hong Kong). Many have repeated the items with which I began, especially the one by Hong Kong resident and Global Times reporter, Fu Guohao, who had his hands and feet tied and was beaten up at Hong Kong airport. As he was surrounded, he said, ‘I support the Hong Kong police. You can beat me now’. The moment happened to be videoed and went viral.

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10 thoughts on “476,000 people rally in Hong Kong to say “no” to violence

  1. Hi Dr. Boer,

    I left this comment on a YouTube video recently and I would be interested in any critique you may have of it:
    —–
    With respect to the situation in Hong Kong, I came across this insightful post on r/Sino that bears repeating here:

    “I think we should keep in mind a fundamental point that is overlooked in the to-ing and fro-ing over the Hong Kong riots: the ultimate cause of this unrest is China’s enormous power. If you would picture a cocktail party in Hong Kong around 1997, you’d imagine all the impeccably dressed guests scoffing at the idea that China might one day rise above being a backward nation of peasants and garment workers. If that is what China remained none of what’s happening today would be happening.

    Well, that day has come and this violent paroxysm gripping Hong Kong is a belated acknowledgement of that fact. But another, greater horror is intruding itself into their subconscious: the dawning realization that China, for all its present strength, is only just beginning its rise. What came before was merely the prelude.

    China is Godzilla today. There’s no word for what it will be tomorrow.”

    This reflects what Engels says in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific:

    “The growing perception that existing social institutions are unreasonable and unjust, that reason has become unreason, and right wrong, is only proof that in the modes of production and exchange changes have silently taken place, with which the social order, adapted to earlier economic conditions, is no longer in keeping.”

    As controversial as this sounds, perhaps the status quo of “one country, two systems” needs to be seriously reexamined in order to determine whether or not it’s necessary to sustain until 2047, despite whatever promises have been made in the past. Legitimate grievances on the part of the protestors, such as corruption and the widening income gap that has immiserated many of Hong Kong’s youth and condemned them to menial drudgery and inhumane living conditions may not be solved by isolating themselves from Beijing under the guise of nebulous concepts of “freedom” and “democracy”. Ironically, further integration with the Mainland and the adoption of their socialist market economy will more likely alleviate their suffering and give them more opportunities and mobility. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, they don’t want to slaughter the wrong pig and find themselves even worse off than they are now.

    1. Great observation! Chinese assessments agree: the economic shifts under way have relegated Hong Kong – in the larger Chinese context a relatively small city of 7.4 million – to a second tier status. Many young people seek education and jobs on the mainland, where life is better. Obviously, this has an impact. Further, the gradual integration with the rest of China is bound to have a few hiccoughs on the way as contradictions are solved.
      One item that will gain more attention is education. There has been a gradual shift to using the common script in schools, but we will see a more thorough revision that moves away from a Western liberal (colonial) model to a Chinese (Marxist) one, which provides a thorough understanding of China’s history. Indeed, we will most likely see the introduction of compulsory courses on theoretical and political education in due time.
      I think that the Chinese feel that there is enough scope and time in the one country-two systems approach to manage what you are proposing.

      1. Thank you for taking the time to respond. It will be interesting to see what transpires in the next few years but, as you say, if the Chinese government can effect the gradual changes you’ve mentioned within the one country-two systems framework then they will continue to do so. That said, looking at it from an historical materialist perspective, the incongruity between the socialist market economy in the Mainland and the capitalist market economy in Hong Kong will ensure that any stability in the latter will be tenuous at best and only under specific circumstances. As you say, hiccoughs.

        On a related note, Jackie Chan has been pilloried by the opposition as a “shameless Communist bastard”. Looks like the truth is out.

        Regards,
        N.A.

        P.S. Xinhua and CGTN have been pumping out reports about this crisis with increasing rapidity. Have they gotten in touch with you to get an interview?

    2. As an addendum, I’m in Canada and the moneyed Hongkongese champions of freedom and democracy are currently protesting in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver (as far as I know), bringing these cities as well to as much of a standstill as they can to get their point across.

      The good news is that there are also pro-Beijing Xianggangese hitting the streets as well and challenging the prevailing narrative. Time will tell if the local media holds fast to journalistic impartiality and reports both sides of the story. I won’t hold my breath, though.

      1. Makes me wonder if the situation in Canada is similar to Australia. The older Chinese community tend to be HK and Taiwan expats and mostly anti-communist, but they are slowly losing influence as the newer mainland expats, who are pro-communist, become more important.

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