John Bats, Gordon Chang, David discussed on Ethan Bearman

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I'm John bats with Gordon Chang the daily beast a place to welcome David ran it he is the Beijing correspondent the check on columnist for the economist riding most recently about a challenging but at this point successful strategy by the people's Republic of China the propaganda to convince more than one billion Chinese on the mainland that the protests and the marches and the demonstration about liberty in Hong Kong is the product of black hands David very good morning to you who are we what are the black hands what does that metaphor mean to the Chinese people good good morning good morning Sir what the what the mainland propaganda machine is pumping out relentlessly is that these protests of violent and they are trying to create Hong Kong independence from China which isn't true and that they are organized by mysterious foreign forces who often called holding China done studies code for the United States the argument is that the United States is talking about the idea of being overtaken is top dog buy and hold working successful China and so is deciding to put China by going for the most western bits of China which is Hong Kong's up the special status but territory and that they're all black hands perhaps the CIA who organizing this and then various bits of thought to our allies not very convincing evidence of being wheeled art but to prove their case David periodically throughout Chinese history you've had the xenophobic campaigns against foreigners blaming them for all sorts of things is China going in that direction or is this just a one off the use of anti foreign ism it's an interesting blend of the old in the news so we have seen this phrase about flat hands being used back in nineteen eighty nine when the chairman protests with the press back then black hands referred to the Chinese leaders of the kind of professional people accused of being behind the process you're also seeing a global as one of the kids in the CIA and the Americans think black hand for this protest you're seeing accusations that this is an American attempts to foment a color revolution no because your listeners will remember that it's the Russians who normally talk about color revolutions because he stole the the anti Russian and he dictatorship anticorruption process in places like Georgia in places like the Ukraine here over the last years of the Cold color revolutions and letting the person is being very very obsessed about color revolutions in the U. thing Chinese officials using exactly the same language accusing the Americans are trying to stop the kind of revolution your report that the propaganda includes video constantly repeated video a violent elements in Hong Kong also the presentation of a foreign commander who is that what is a foreign commander Sir we suddenly have this photograph which was taken in the lobby of a five star hotel in downtown Hong Kong showing a political counselor not from the US consulate general but a diplomat Judy ET meeting with the probably the most famous three oh full Hong Kong pro democracy leaders and this photograph has being used on state media I mean constantly as proof positive that the American black hands are behind this but we seem state media tell us with this diplomat had previously served in Iraq she's been described as a mysterious experts in subversion now I did about you but from you know watching the old spy movie I I did think that the I a was a bit more subtle and asked if they had a kind of super fly they probably didn't hold their meetings in broad daylight in a five star hotel lobby with the most famous pro democracy leaders in Hong Kong but and I feel like a trade crosses slipped a bit you have to see that this is propaganda in this this woman of the year because of her job is to meet local politicians out that's literally her job this is another aspect to the story and that is die gone below which is a pro Beijing newspaper in Hong Kong published the names of Chile either as young children and the name of her husband in the context of what's occurring in Hong Kong that's an incitement to maim or kill those children and her husband this is something which I think the United States needs to deal with in an open manner largely because this is cross the line and I think the United States needs to start withdrawing its diplomatic personnel from Hong Kong this follows of course the sonic attacks on US diplomats in Guang Jo causing brain injuries Beijing is of renegade outlaw state I don't know why we have relations with it David I want to press you on a an ironic observation you make in your column that these propaganda videos and this claim allegation that black cans are running this you observe is a demonstration that China's confidence is slipping if not nonexistent and that it sees the world as bleak and cynical house so David so it is trying to compensate for them but it is absolutely they have this bleak cynical world I mean this comes from talking to Chinese officials about what you know why they're so convinced that the people of Hong Kong could not by themselves have minds these projects because when I have been to report these process that they they all full of Hong Kong is who can explain very cogent leave why there are protesting well I think what's really going on is that the Chinese will be yours one entirely off might makes right the big gets the tell small what to do the battle in here but I think Americans understand instinctively that the seven million residents of Hong Kong could feel that they had individual rights that allowed them to the following the fosters motherland of China with one point four million people to the Chinese communist leadership that makes no sense so if I put them in a small place only the big place it can only be added another big place is adding a small one on in store for them there in the fight with America this must be a proxy fight with the American bully using Hong Kong I cannot believe that Hong Kong was could ever imagine they had any individual rights of their own I want to press you on this David because Gordon I often talk about the American desk it's a metaphor for the advice that the leadership is that's in Beijing your observation is is helpful but I it drives me to ask this question do they believe that or is that the communist ideology and their supporting it because that's what everybody in the room wants to believe can can you make that distinction because it certainly inconsistent with American and European history look it's a very complicated right now I I think they do to certain of the believe it because the alternative is to accept that what they're offering the people of Hong Kong is really on popular with the people of Hong Kong and that's not something that the communist leadership is keen to come to contemplate I think there's a complication here though which is that when you talk to Chinese officials about the United States policy they do quite often say that what really worries them as a whole in the government who they think have control but they actually the the role the wistful about that occasion the president trump said things that they like rather low so when president trump casinos about Hong Kong for more than one occasion he said things that actually were music to but I think this is like when all the we shouldn't be giving them advice Hong Kong's part of China what's happening there is riots I'm sure that the Chinese deal with it themselves and we have seen Chinese propaganda which attack this is the black hands and attack the purchases of violence and then and kind of with loving footage of president trump in the rose garden saying that this is nothing to do with America and the China should deal with it so you can see that actually they're not sure why America's being tough on them when president trump himself seems that he couldn't care less about human rights in Hong Kong so David the Communist Party came to power the small group of people late got themselves much bigger fought the nationalist came to power why can't they believe a small group of Hong Kong people could do that can't do the same thing I think they they do other things because they began as a kind of underground revolutionary call that willing to believe AS one contribution because he thought work in Hong Kong I think what they you find harder to imagine is you know what reporter like me fear we see when we got home call which is that I actually if Hong Kong were mostly because the good workers which of course it's not what you're really seeing is the point in the political cycle where a government has completely lost the confidence of the people but I think you know if there were elections in Hong Kong you would say that the current government has placed you completely lost the confidence of the people the people are completely sick of them and that would be a landslide election very soon they be swept out of power to cool because Hong Kong doesn't have that correction mechanism it doesn't have free elections in any kind of meaningful context one of those kind of normal mechanisms of looking at the people of Hong Kong they live a kind of hybrid life because they have access to free press and they have the ability to travel it's kind of a western financial center but they don't have Weston politics they don't have the Westin safety valve but let them express that complete loss of confidence in in the government my sense of your column David in summary is that the black hands allegation and the videos of the violence and the very careful presentation of foreign commanders and this cynical world view that the U. S. is jealous office and therefore it's disrupting our comedy that those statements are all successful on the mainland and that that's what the Chinese people believe is accurate is that correct it it's impossible to know what you know of a billion Chinese people believe but it's certainly the case that on Chinese social media and even talking to regular Chinese they are not supportive of the Hong Kong protestors on the whole you know what you mostly here is the the Hong Kong as all spoiled brats who have been given a lot of freedom and support by China that they think that better than that then the rest of China that they're somehow race traces who who missed British rule that they think that white people and that they need to quit smoking and that is unfortunately a lot of stuff on Chinese social media which the common sense and allowed to say that thank you I want the government taking so long to send in the troops and and and give them a good a good something David running the economist corresponded in Beijing he writes that shall go on column for the economist Gordon Chang the daily beast I'm John bachelor balance of nature changing the world one life at a time well I'm searching for the perfect balance there's hundreds.

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