Skip to main content

The People's Liberation Army Is Closely Monitoring Hong Kong's Protests

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is closely monitoring Hong Kong's Occupy Central (讓愛與和平佔領中環) - literally. The PLA headquarters are located on Lung Wui Road, close to Admiralty and the government offices in Tamar.   

Today the South China Morning Post published a picture showing staff inside the Chinese People's Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building watching the protesters with binoculars. 

Occupy Central poses the biggest challenge to Communist rule since the 1989 student protests. The democracy movement on the mainland was suppressed by the very PLA whose garrisons entered Hong Kong after British forces left the city in 1997.

I had never noticed that building until last Sunday. While I was walking from Central towards Tamar, trying to return to Admiralty, I stumbled upon a group of protesters gathered in front of the PLA headquarters. The road was blocked by the police, so I couldn't walk any further. I turned around and saw the military premises. There was a surreal signboard with a Communist-style slogan praising the concept of 'one country, two systems' - while thousands of people outside protested against this very model of political integration, which many believe to have failed. 


The PLA headquarters in Hong Kong (left), known as the 'Prince of Wales Building' during the British colonial era (source).

The central location of the PLA headquarters in Hong Kong is a reminder that Central is not - as some people seem to hope - so different from Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Regina Ip, a pro-Beijing member of the Legislative Council (LegCo), recently made remarks that sound like a warning: "I think the worry on the part of the Hong Kong government is, what if it becomes a mini-Tiananmen? Who is behind it?" As to the students and activists, she said that they "remind you of Tiananmen, the protesters asking for dialogue with the chief executive and surrounding the chief executive's office. If the police are driven to disperse them by force, it could turn sour and sinister.

China's state media have intensified their campaigns against Occupy Central. The Global Times, for instance, describes the activists as "radical" and the protests as "illicit". In an interesting twist of logic, the paper announces that the activists "are jeopardizing the global image of Hong Kong, and presenting the world with the turbulent face of the city." In reality, Hong Kong's global image has been damaged by Beijing's decision not to grant full democracy to the city.

"The Hong Kong government," continues the  paper, "can take actions to resume order in response to the damage the radical forces caused to society. Occupy Central is unable to erode the authority of the rule of law." Obviously, the newspaper has little understanding for the difference between 'rule of law' and 'rule by law'.

As the world is watching what is happening in Hong Kong, everyone hopes that the central government in Beijing will not overreact. Indoctrination and restriction of freedom have seldom produced anything good. Countries whose governments impose a state ideology struggle for decades to get rid of the collective hysteria that such ideologies produce. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Taipei Walking Tours - A Guide To Taipei In 6 Days

Taiwan is one of the most underrated tourist destinations in Asia. With about 10.74 million tourists in 2017, it lags behind Asian neighbours like Thailand (35 million), Hong Kong (58 million), Japan (28.7 million), or Indonesia (14 million).
Nevertheless, Taiwan is a great place to visit due to its amazing food, fascinating history, traditional Chinese culture, friendly atmosphere, safety, and natural attractions. Moreover, Taiwan has a very convenient visa policy. Citizens of many countries, including the United States and most European Union members, can travel to Taiwan without a visa and stay there for up to 90 days. You can literally buy a plane ticket and go to Taiwan without doing any paperwork.    
If you travel to Taiwan, your first destination will probably be the capital and largest city: Taipei.




Taipei is the political and economic centre of the island, with lots of attractions ranging from modern skyscrapers and shopping centres to night markets, colonial Japanese architect…

Will The Huawei Case Finally Awaken Democrats To The China Threat And The Danger Of Faux Free Trade Rhetoric?

On January 28 the Department of Justice of the United States unsealed two cases against Huawei, China's largest telecommunications company, and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou. 
Huawei has been accused of trying to steal trade secrets, committing bank fraud, breaking confidentiality agreements and violating sanctions against Iran. One indictment claims that Huawei attempted to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile by promising bonuses to employees who collected confidential information.
Huawei is not a company like any other. Over the years it has benefited enormously from the support of the Chinese Communist regime. The founder of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, joined China's army during the Cultural Revolution. In 1978 he also joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 
In the early years Huawei's sources of capital were high-interest loans (20%-30%) from Chinese state-owned enterprises. Ren also secured soft loans from the local government of Shenzhen thanks to his personal co…

Chinese Dissident Zhang Jilin Detained By Police In Chongqing After Calling On Xi Jinping To Resign

Chinese dissident Zhang Jilin (张吉林) has been detained by police in the city of Chongqing after publicly saying that President Xi Jinping should be removed from office.
According to Taiwan-based Apple Daily, on January 17 Zhang talked about China's current affairs on a WeChat group. His ideas received praise from the group members, and he later told friends that he wanted to give a public speech based on the thoughts he had expressed online.
Other dissidents urged him to be careful, but he insisted that he had "the right to free speech." On January 19 Zhang went to Guanyinqiao Square, in the city of Chongqing, and delivered a speech about China's political situation, calling on Xi Jinping to be removed from office.
"I think it's time for Xi Jinping to be removed from office," Zhang told a crowd according to an audio recording. "The Chinese Communist Party will not do anything to the people. If you don't believe me, look, I have been giving a speech…