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

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

Huawei Shenzhen office building (by Raysonho  via Wikimedia Commons) 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 enterp

How the Chinese Communist Party uses "Chinese culture" as an excuse to justify its crimes

Shanghai, Nanjing Road (photo by Agnieszka Bojczuk via Wikimedia Commons ) Since its founding in 1921 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has mastered the art of propaganda and recruitment of individuals both inside and outside the country who are willing to cooperate with it and further its interests - a practice known as "united front work". "United front work" refers to the CCP's strategy of cooptation of groups or individuals that are not members of the CCP but are willing to cooperate with it. Cooptation describes the process of bringing outsiders (usually the resource-poorer) inside (usually the resource-richer) ( Saward , 1992). An example of this strategy is the case of former Hong Kong's Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa. Prior to the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from Britain to the People's Republic of China (PRC), Tung Chee-hwa had close ties with the government of Taiwan. However, after his shipping company ran into financial trouble and

Washington Post correspondent in China Gerry Shih assaulted for walking with Caucasian European

Gerry Shih, a China-based correspondent for the Washington Post, was assaulted on a Beijing street for "walking with a Caucasian European," according to a Tweet he posted on November 29. The assailants allegedly shouted at them: "F*** your American embassy!" Sign of the times: roughed up in Beijing street tonight for walking with Caucasian European. Neither of us said we were American but their parting shot was “操你美国使馆” pic.twitter.com/ekPLNsLBnj — Gerry Shih (@gerryshih) November 29, 2019 In recent years the Chinese Communist regime has intensified its anti-foreign rhetoric as Xi Jinping has sought to consolidate the power of the Party and rid China of perceived "foreign influence". Foreigners in China have been targeted by the government and anti-foreign sentiment has been enouraged. This year arrests and deportations of foreign teachers in China have increased amid a government campaign to promote "patriotic education." An inc