After political defeat in the US, Obama looks to China. Taiwan’s Ma gets snubbed by China in the shadow of APEC. HK’s Umbrella Movement inches toward the discovery that they weren’t shaping Beijing policy as much as they have already helped shape the world’s policy toward Beijing—a lesson Beijing still hasn’t caught up to.
In a week with few developments, a few links say it all. That’s election season in the US and Asia as the summit approaches.
China’s neighbours embrace asymmetric warfare
Say It Loud: Language and Identity in Taiwan and Hong Kong
TAIWAN INSIDER Vol. 1 No. 7
…a good read to see what happened over the last week.
To China, Shift in Obama’s Political Fortunes Eclipses U.S. Economic Gains
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Disunity delayed HK’s Umbrella Movement. A policeman turned pro-occupy, then called a retreat, but not after expressing his distaste for a recent swelling arrogance in the HK police force. And reality sets in that 2017 won’t look how people want it. Taiwan addresses internal problems of espionage and the lingering food oil scandal while China looks to space where Virgin fails. Yes, Beijing and the HK police will likely avoid Tienanmen Part II, contrary to the hopes of Western News and readers. But, while HK’s Umbrella Movement seems to be losing their game in HK, Asian students are, once again, winning the hearts of the rest of the world as the international community grows in awareness of HK’s situation and Beijing’s deafness in governing, without having the virtue of “blind” justice. Beijing’s stiff neck will calmly win the HK battle, but, more importantly, it will lose the war of international trust. · · · →
Paula Bronstein, award-winning photojournalist, was arrested in Mong Kok, HK, for standing on a car to take a photo. Standing on a car, by HK law, is a greater crime than unsheathing a samurai sword in a theater. So, the new question is: How can HK’s Beijing-appointed government defend its sense of “justice”?
In the neighborhood, Taiwan’s government has the stronger sense of “justice”. Taipei is mulling a change in foreign labor—if a foreign employee is sexually assaulted, perhaps the employee should be allowed out of a work contract. Taipei is still considering the change. Which means that Taipei is considering more than either Beijing or Hong Kong.
With how the western media wants to paint Hong Kong’s government as oppressive—rather than deaf as a puppet—the Foreign Correspondents’ Club at Hong Kong should’t condemn Bronstein’s arrest. Quite opposite they should thank the police not only for helping her become more acclaimed than she already is, but by demonstrating the mismatched priorities of governments operating under the supervision of Beijing. · · · →
HK police violence was angering as it was unusual. Hong Kong woke up, then Hong Kongers woke up the world. Beijing will neither listen nor crackdown. Instead, they make fools of themselves. No Tiananmen part deux, condolences to Western media. This week, the world learned: Neither the current Beijing government, nor the former Beijing-based KMT in Taiwan, can be trusted. You read it here first.
Stupid item of the week…
Hong Kong… “It was a nationwide decision and the decision has to face the country’s 1.3 billion people,”
— Rita Fan (范徐麗泰), courtesy Taipei Times, HK protest numbers dwindle while talks make slow progress
…Beijing really said something stupid: If HK is a “nationwide decision” as Rita Fan reportedly says, then 1. Why don’t Chinese government decisions involve their own 1.3 billion people? 2. That would mean Beijing reneged on their 1984 promise that HK rule was a HK decision. · · · →
Last’s week’s misunderstanding quickly transformed to rage with images of police, out of harm’s way, calmly reaching to pepper spray non-threatening bystanders, one at a time. Hong Kongers’ support for Occupy Central soared from “geek” to “peak” within a day. China opposes interference. Beijing backs the CEO of “China’s Hong Kong”, with no comment on their 1984 promise not to interfere in Hong Kong’s self-governance until 2047.
Ironically, Hong Kongers experienced more freedom and openness to new ideas after China’s takeover. Was that freedom only Beijing’s temporary gimmick? Or is Beijing genuinely on a learning curve, trying to understand the effective power of soft-servant governance? We’ll have to wait and see.
Hong Kongers want more than they can have, as explained last week, but they deserve more than they’ve been given. Pepper spraying targeted individuals when the police are not being threatened is cowardly, unbecoming of Hong Kong’s peaceful police, and is only asking for escalation. · · · →