Hong Kongs stalemate
In recent weeks the streets of Hong Kong have been filled by not just the biggest demonstrations in recent memory but some of the largest gatherings of people in human history they began as protests against a proposed law which would enable extradition of suspected criminals from Hong Kong to mainland China this dispute over a technicality has escalated into a standoff between Beijing and the people of Hong Kong with the government of Hong Kong occupying being a distinctly uncomfortable position in between two clearly determined entities. There were always going to be tensions in the one China Two Systems setup agreed when Hong Kong once a British colony was returned to to China in one thousand nine hundred ninety seven but despite what Beijing may have wanted or imagined Hong Kong does not appear at all reconciled to its eventual absorption into China proper sheduled to occur by two thousand and forty seven indeed among the younger Hongkongers in particular a separate identity appears to be emerging one rooted at least in part in the idea of Hong Kong as a democracy so far at least China has taken a relatively restrained approach to the demonstrations as it did to what became known as the umbrella movement of two thousand fourteen but is China's patients infinite can Hong Kong be lewd or pushed towards compromise and does Hong Kong's songs government have any say in any of this anymore. This is the foreign desk treat just like a terrorist. We don't know what we can do. I I'm not sure what is going on next because there is no political party came and lead everyone everyone is just like bare handed over here and <music> only holding umbrellas for the defense so pepper spraying them or teargassing them as a bit unfair. People are staying and people are trying to to stay peaceful however the policies and how many how violent they can be people re-state peaceful now reorganized. I'm really surprised how can I can deal with the bags everything to protect each other people are desperate especially the young people who are impatient about the lack of response from the administration so this is really an escalation esscalation action on their part but we don't think this is a good way of escalating but they really have no choice Hong Kong's protests have been largely orderly and peaceful especially relative to their colossal size among the expressions of dissent that have flourished our so called Lennon walls named after the late Beatle these ad hoc installations of posted notes were a feature of the umbrella movement and have returned in two thousand Nineteen Buddy Chow is a Chinese artist activist and designer who makes political art and posters for the protests in Hong Kong. He explains the importance of the linen walls. I think it's pretty like when you have facebook or twitter in real life in that way you have a physical form. Actually people will using speaking out to ride down a message about understanding of situation right down their message about supporting the people and paste on straightly on the war in the city. They are using the sticky you know the colorful ones are green yellow pink Dunkley those three colors and people will just write down a message saying you know stick together go Hong Kong Free Hong Kong who simple messages and pace it online layers by layer until the whole building is covered. I mean it's really beautiful just color wise as if you had a piece of Rambo that just literally stick on the stretching Hong Kong but also I guess because this way the people can just leave a note on the war without worrying to be monitored by the government and recorded so it's also kind of helping them to keep them anonymously and trying to express and protests in a safe away. Away the protests have not been without unruly moments earlier this month. A mob forced its way into the building which houses Hong Kong's government the Legislative Council known as LegCo among the vandalism perpetrated was an unfurling the flag which flew over Hong Kong during its years as a British colony here is Fernando Cheung Labor Party member of Hong Kong's Legislative Council and a pro-democracy campaigner. We don't WanNa see any vandalism more violence due to occur in Hong Kong. We don't condone it but on the other hand we don't condone all we shouldn't even condemn the administration for its lack of any responses listen to the outcry from the public so far and it seems to lack any will to govern. It's not doing anything essentially other than every single time coming out to condemn and so parties condemned the demonstrators condemn their vandalism condemned the violence but they don't provide any answers so they are the ones who hope all the power and resources and do they don't do anything voting their heads. This bill is not initiated by the Central People's government. I I have not received any instruction on mended from Beijing to do this. Bill we were doing how clear conscience and our commitment to Hong Kong it was the proposed new extradition law that drew Hong Kong's people into the streets but disatisfaction with Legco and its Chief Executive Carrie. Lam runs deeper than that Johnson young is the head of Civil Human Rights Front an organization focusing on human rights and democratic development in Hong Kong solid state media has already described what the democracy movement the political reform in Hong Kong as a collusion swans by foreign agents and this is how will end this is not healthy at all and it gives a lot of justifications for the states is to crack down on the movement of all and because in China they will need some sort of legitimacy to justify their ru and a pass China's got menus economic success as one of the foundations for the legitimacies now that doesn't really work because of the trade will and also snow down of economic growth so we seed carries a lot off groups and also stay sponsored Hogan's who are trying to use nationalism hatreds to four intervention as a way to maintain offer Terry Room in the country and he's Labor Party lawmaker Fernando again. The government is a puppet of the Beijing received now it is crystal clear to even Hong Kong people now. They cannot hide that anymore. Carry Lemon regime this not serving the interest of the people in Hong Kong. She is the representative of the central government. Nobody has any attention or energy to spare. We all are phasing crisis after crisis each day A and we don't know whether we're going to stay safe even so I mean how can society be run by that. I mean you talking about in Asia's international cities financial help. It's a major trading post and how could you let Tom Com to slide into this situation. Look at longest today. It was like curfew so shops all closed no activity all because of the anticipation of confrontation and violence this is unimaginable so without the leading the whole administration. I don't think we can rebuild because this administration has completely lost confidence and trust among the people. It's very easy not to be sympathetic to Carrie. Lam Hong Kong's embattled if not downright beleaguered chief executive. But while most politicians have jobs in which they can't please everybody any leader of Hong Kong serves in a role in which they can't please anybody what we ask for is such urge Carolina. The evil chief executive should withdraw extradition is molecules Hong Kong Bureau Chief James Chambers Carrie Lam stepped out the simple demont pays on many placards being carried aloft oft during Hong Kong's anti-government protest marches and in the city. There's little doubt that the protests will get what they want Carrie Lam we'll have to step down at some point it could be today it could be next week. It could be several months from now or she may even limbaugh for a few more years he is but we all know what and awaits her one day Carrie Lam we'll have to resign. Her fate was already sealed when she took over the top job in July. Two thousand seventeen governing Hong Kong has become an impossible job as becoming harder by the day. The only outstanding question is how long had she lost Hong Kong has had four chief executives since the former British colony returned to China in nineteen ninety-seven and so far not one of them has been able to serve the maximum tenure to Hong Kong's first Chief Executive Tung chee-hwa lasted the longest. You almost made it to eight years success. Donald Tsang step down up to seven by wally reason why I've invited everyone here today is to announce the people of Hong Kong for even media but I will not be taking part in the next Chief Executive Election Guy Joel Boone. Gosh you've got the raw really sets in with Carolina's predecessors see why loan we decided not to run for reelection in two thousand seventeen his decision to call it a day after five years cleared the way for lamb who spends her entire career up until that point as a civil servant Hong Kong. I'll home is suffering from quite a serious divisiveness and has accumulated a lot of frustrations. My priority will be to heal the divide the major stumbling block for most of these Hong Kong leaders being trying to serve two masters at the same time the Beijing government on the one hand and the people of Hong Kong on the other very rarely do these two constituencies see eye to eye on the gulf between them is growing wider by the day while Donald Tsang showed that it was possible to navigate a middle ground between the rival Pro Beijing and Pro Democracy camps the sands in Hong Kong permanently shifted since he had to step down in two thousand twelve for alleged misconduct in office has been a supreme honor do have been able to serve Hong Kong as his chief executive. I've counted each of the two thousand five hundred sixty seven days as a great blessing. The umbrella movement in two thousand fourteen changed everything that student led St Occupation which ultimately cost C. Y.. Long his job came about after the Chinese central government perceived to have reneged on a promise to let Hong Kong vote for that Chief Executive. I'm bringing to an end the existing system by a selection committee of some twelve hundred people pick a candidate approved by Beijing under this current political system which continues to apply each chief executive owes his or her position solely to the Communist Party and is in trying to make Beijing happy that they inevitably upset a vast swathe of the local population so every single leader whether it's Carrie Lam or her successor will struggle for political legitimacy at home until they are voted for by the people of Hong Kong. She has the power. She's in the position to stop all this otherwise. There's no end to it member Fernando Cheung again the whole legitimacy of her regime is almost gone. If it Moose even further down the road the whole governance of the Beijing regime would be questioned and Hong Kong people would be even more actively calling for international help and then we would confront the question about whether the Beijing Beijing regime is suitable to continue to govern Hong Kong. I certainly don't want to see that happen. I don't want to see Hong Kong moving to that very question but this what Beijing. Beijing is actually doing itself. Estimations of the numbers in Hong Kong streets have run as high as two million. This is astonishing proportion of the city of seven a million or so people but it's a barely noticeable fraction of a country of one point four billion. Even if people in mainland China knew what was happening in Hong Kong they might not think that big a deal but how much information mation about Hong Kong does get through around all over the great firewall of China Johnson Young of Civil Human Rights Front explains is Farah Kissing mystics five mainland Chinese will get accurate and objective news report about Hong Kong. I have a lot of mainland friends and what they describe some T._V.. News show the situations in Hong Kong but they are highly I did the whole issue was frame in the way that Podesta's were minus animal who are trying to create chaos so there were footage showing live people trying to stall into the legislature <hes> h <hes> and heard some friends who of a mainland China saying the T._v.. News actually described those mall as protesters off the MT traditional campaign so there are a lot awful lot just fake news but this inflammation distortions of inflammation and we are up against a state sponsored propaganda. We have to understand the reality of China how censorship works how brainwash unwashed people but also Chinese government is always intimidating the people who knows the choose who want to speak about the truth so through lot of you know media exposure interviews of the Melendez we use your have impression Russian that Chinese people don't care about Chinese people are even on the perspective of Pro Beijing is the author of butter trail again however from my understanding from my observation Chinese community on twitter a a lot of melanomas have a very clear understanding of what Hong Kong are facing and they're synthesizing and they hope Hong Kong actually will be a lighthouse perhaps for for the future change in China but but again this is very hard because censorships were so sophisticatedly now in China and the seven and system are making sure nobody's talking out of the line. What's interesting here or is for mainland Chinese Hong Kong is part of China has always been part of China but for the citizens on call they don't identify with being Chinese police and they identify much more as a separate entity as home connors so for the Chinese in mainland China has never been a shoe that Hong call somehow is the different part the China Liaoning China commentator and bestselling author of Lake with no name among other titles on call in a way? It's much more significant because Hong Kong is a financial show hog and that's a lot of business with China mainland China. It has a lot of close connections there lots of tours and mainland Chinese who traveled to Hong Kong so it's much more significant -nificant to the Government Hall Hong Kong people are perceiving what Hong Kong should be or ought to be in terms of their identity and in terms of the relationship between Hong Kong in China and whenever there's a conflict whenever there are protests. It's very significant as serious matter for China for the PAS twenty years Hong Kong had become more successful overdose years and become very prosperous and very successful financial center on the back of Chinese economic development. And and they've seeing that as a demonstration of being close to China has great benefits to Hong Kong in Hong Kong's future therefore to the if we look at the rhetoric from the government and they have very much blame the western black hand behind the event and to the there is a confusion of how that benefits seem not have trico Don to the younger generation for them to see that Hong Kong it is where it is now is because of China <music>. This may be what is causing China to permit Hong Kong significantly more latitude than it has jin Jiang or Tabet. It's not just that the non Chinese world is watching. It's the China in more ways than one cannot afford to restrict Hong Kong too tightly Fernando Cheung people cannot sleep well. Many people deeply disturbed. People people are thinking of moving to other places of course in your long. I heard many families not wanting to go back and certainly would have their children their wives their elderly we sent someplace else and if that is to spread to other areas I probably in the New Territories and then perhaps to the urban areas then I think we enter definitely manny state of emergency. If Hong Kong is not being much watched for one reason or another from mainland China it is being paid extremely close attention by Taiwan another place which disagrees with China about how much a part halt China it should be Diane. Wei Liang explains there is a major difference that legally Hong Kong is part of China. Even though it's under One Country Two Systems Hong Kong Oh had been handed back to China Hong Kong is under the sovereignty of China Taiwan is slightly different. Even though mainland China does regard Taiwan as a province and it's much less clear legally in international law how that works and Taiwan has its own government. It's not part of the political system even in legal terms so that is quite different between call call the situation in Hong Kong and the situation in Taiwan Hong Kong's protesters <music> seem determined to continue despite or perhaps even because of the attack on one recent demonstration by thugs in white t-shirts at least forty five people were injured absolutely do not condone violence breath and I fear violence is not a solution to any problem. Violence will only more violence Hong Kong's protesters have learned they can win Concessions Carrie. Lam backed down on me loathed extradition. Bill Adele is that China is presented with a difficult choice. If it crushes Hong Kong it risks economic and reputational damage. If it lengthens Hong Kong's leash it risks a in West Berlin agitating turnley within a communist monolith as for Hong Kong's own government. It's far from clear that any plausible compromise is available. He's Johnson talk about a systematic issues. After two thousand fourteen the umbrella statement people were also harmful in independent investigations into them read movement and also police tactics during late wide variety again why they use excessive force the government refused refuses to do so what they frame at that time us the police has an internal investigations. We will themselves now. I don't understand why accident internal view they are still using excessive force and unreasonable false against US five years after they've finished so it shows you that the internal view of the police didn't work and in the future we need to institutionalize. Institutionalize passions to humorous and also liberties of people and without a independent investigations committee nothing can happen in the futures the police will talk to you will only happen again again and the next time it might not be five years later. You might be free as even shelter so we won't you have some system to put ass. I think we're have to take a long time. A we have been fighting for this calls halls. We have been fighting for freedom for many years and the umbrella movement and this extra additional movement it will just one protest moment by ETA significant in the sense that it helps helps to cray most as belonging Sanzo Community says off agencies unless Beijing would really want to push Hong Kong over the cliff. I really eighty to understand why they continue. This is Labor politician Fernando Cheung again and also Hong Kong people would we cyst as well were not like goats waiting to slaughter justice the protests and the whole movement so far signifies that Hong Kong people are resilient. We are not only resilient about getting out economy back. We resilient especially S._C.. As you can see the young generation standing firm on many of these values like Liberty Ruutel Wall and democracy so of course if we have forced to go into that state then we will see much more violent confrontation happening by then of course the whole economy would be go on the market will be splendor will be quite disastrous. The government has stepped down. There's no question about it without that Snot enough room to rebuilt the whole Oh governing Structure Carrie Lam has to step down or cabinet the Executive Council everything has to be depleted and rebuilt otherwise. I don't see carried them being capable of governing Hong Kong anymore. The whole time was sort of hanging in the air. Nothing can move forward. I don't think we can do it alone. It has to be watched and supported by the international community. After we were talking about Beijing regime of course there are known for for not new thing to for an efforts they're known for play hot balls on internal conflicts but Hong Kong is unique unique in Hong Kong is connected internationally and there's such great interest in Hong Kong from the mainland from the Beijing regime so unless they're ready to secretaries or that which is not impossible. There's still a chance albeit very slim that we can come back to some sense and be built Hong Kong and I'm not sure if winning is the goal too many Hongkongers. We're talking about fighting protection. It is like somebody is roping or beating you up now and you are trying to guard against that. I don't think we'd want to win. We simply want to sustain our usual way of looking <music>. That's it for this episode of the Foreign Desk. We'll be back next week and look out for the foreign desk explainer available every Wednesday. This edition of the foreign desk was produced by James Chambers Carina Choi Yelling Goffin and Baluchi and edited by building newer whole.