Slavery had some good aspects for those chaps who had it rather good. A colonial setup is the next best thing to slavery, and it also holds its attraction for people who knew how to place themselves just below the sahibs and above the run-of-the-mill natives. The Hong Kong revolt is the mutiny of wannabe house niggers who feel that the gap between them and the natives is rapidly vanishing. Once, a HK resident was head and shoulders above the miserable mainland coolies; he spoke English, he had smart devices, he had his place in the tentacle sucking wealth out of the mainland, and some of that wealth stuck to his sweaty hands. But now he has no advantage compared to the people of Shanghai or Beijing. There is huge swelling of wealth in the big cities of Red China. The Chinese dress well, travel abroad, and they do not need HK mediation for dealing with the West. Beijing had offered HK a fair deal of [relative] equality; nothing would be taken from them, but the shrinking gap is not only unavoidable, but desirable, too.
However, HK had been the imperial bridgehead in China for too long. Its people were complicit, nay, willing partners in every Western crime against China, beginning with dumping opium and sucking out Chinese wealth. Millions of opium addicts, of ruined families and households nearly destroyed the Middle Kingdom, and each of them added to HK prosperity. The blood, sweat and labour of all China abundantly supplied the island. HK was the first of the Treaty Ports, and the last to return home. Its populace was not thoroughly detoxed; they weren’t ideologically prepared for a new life as equals.
Chairman Mao harboured hard suspicions against comprador cities, the cities and the people who prospered due to their collaboration with the imperialist enemy. He cleansed them with communist and patriotic re-education; recalcitrant compradors were sent to help peasants in far-away villages in order to reconnect with the people. Mao’s successors had a strong if misplaced belief in Chinese nationalism as a universal remedy; they thought the Chinese of HK, Macau and Taiwan would join them the moment the colonial yoke failed. This was an over-optimistic assessment. The imperialist forces didn’t give up on their former house slaves, and the moment they needed to activate them against independent China they knew where to look.
Their time came as the trade conflict between the US and China warmed up. The secret government of the West aka Deep State came to the conclusion that China is getting way too big for its boots. It is not satisfied with making cheap gadgets for Walmart customers. It is producing state-of-art devices that compete with American goods and, what’s worse, their devices are not accessible for NSA surveillance. The Chinese company Huawei came under attack; sanctions and custom duties followed in train. When the Yuan eased under the strain, the Chinese were accused of manipulating their currency. It is a strong charge: when Japan was attacked by the West in the 1990s and the Yen had eased as expected, this claim forced Tokyo to keep the Yen high and take Japan into a twenty-year-long slump. But China did not retreat.
Then the supreme power unleashed its well-practiced weapon: they turned to foment unrest in China and gave it a lot of space in the media. At first, they played up the fate of the Uygur Islamists, but it had little success. The Uygur are not numerous, they are not even a majority in their traditional area; their influence in China is limited. Despite headlines in the liberal Western media proclaiming that millions of Uygur are locked up in concentration camps, the impact was nil. No important Muslim state took up this cause.
The anniversary of Tiananmen came (in beginning of June) and went without a hitch. For good reason: the alleged ‘massacre’ is a myth, as the Chinese always knew and we know now for certain thanks to publication of a relevant US Embassy cable by Wikileaks. There were no thousands of students flattened by tanks. A very few died fighting the army, but China had evaded the bitter fate of the USSR. In China proper the event had been almost forgotten. A few participants retell of their experiences to Western audiences, but the desired turmoil did not materialise.
And then came the time for HK. It is an autonomous part of China; it had not been re-educated; there are enough people who remember the good days of colonial slavery. The actual spark for the mutiny, the planned extradition treaty, was exceedingly weak. For the last decade, HK became the chosen place of refuge for mainland criminals, for HK had extradition treaties with the US and Britain, but not with the mainland. This had to be remedied.
[The extradition treaty had played an important role in the Snowden case. An ex-CIA spy Edward Snowden decided to reveal to the world the extent of the NSA surveillance we all are subjects of. He chose the Guardian newspaper for his revelations, probably because of the Wikileaks precedent. When he gave an extended interview to the Guardian in HK, his identity had been revealed. The arrival of the US extradition request was imminent. The Chinese authorities told Snowden that they would have to send him to a US jail, to torture and death; that the extradition treaty left them no option in his case. Only the fast footwork of Julian Assange’s brave assistant Sarah Harrison prevented this grim finale and delivered Snowden to safe Moscow.]
While HK authorities were obliged to extradite Snowden, they weren’t and couldn’t extradite numerous criminals from the mainland. This was an obvious wrong that had to be urgently corrected, in the face of rising tension. And then the sleeping agents of the West woke up and activated their networks. They had practically unlimited funds, not only from the West, but also from the criminals who weren’t particularly impecunious and were afraid of extradition. After the demonstrations started, the Western media gave them maximum coverage, magnifying and encouraging the mutineers.
Hundreds of articles, leading stories and editorials in important newspapers cheered and encouraged the HK rebels. The People’s War Is Coming in Hong Kong, editorialised the New York Times today. An amazing fact (that is if you are a fresh arrival from Mars): the same newspaper and its numerous sisters paid no attention to the real People’s War raging in France, where the Gilets Jaunes have continued to fight for forty weeks against the austerity-imposing Macron regime. 11 people were killed and 2,500 injured in France, but the Western media just mumbled about the GJ antisemitism. Nothing new, indeed. The same media did not notice the one-million-strong demonstration against the US war on Iraq, paid little attention to Occupy Wall Street, disregarded protests against US wars and interventions. One hundred thousand people marching in New York would get no coverage if their purpose did not agree with the desires of the Real Government; and alternatively, three thousand protesters in Moscow with its 12 million population would be presented as the voice of the people challenging Vlad the Tyrant.
In its peculiar way, the media fulfills its purpose of keeping us informed. If mainstream media reports on something, it usually lies; but if media keeps mum, you can bet it is important and you are not encouraged to learn of it. It is especially true in case of popular protests. How do you know they are lying? – Their lips are moving.
The biggest lie is calling the HK rebels marching under the Union Jack, “pro-democracy”. These guys wish to restore colonial rule, to be governed by their strict but fair round-eyed overlords. It could be a bad or a good idea, but democracy it ain’t. The second biggest lie is the slogan Make Hong Kong Great Britain Again.
Hong Kong was never a part of Great Britain. This was never on offer, so it can’t become that again. Even the most adventure- and diversity-prone British politician won’t make seven million Chinese in a far-away territory British citizens with full rights, members of an imperfect but real British democracy. HK was a colony; this is what the marchers aspire to, to make HK colony again.
With all these differences taken into account, this is as true for Moscow demos as well. Moscow protesters dream of a Russia occupied by NATO forces, not of democracy. They believe that they, pro-Western, educated, entrepreneurial, would form the comprador class and prosper at the expense of hoi polloi. Mercifully, they aren’t plentiful: the Russians already tried to live under benign Western occupation between 1991 and 2000, when the IMF directed their finances and American advisers from Harvard ran the state machinery. Smart and ruthless Jews like Bill Browder, Boris Berezovsky, Roman Abramovich made their fortunes, but Russia was ruined and its people were reduced to poverty.
Not many Russians would like to return to the Roaring Nineties, but some would. It is a matter for the majority to prevent this aspiring minority to achieve its aspirations. Those who can’t take it will flee to Israel, as young Mr Yablonsky who discovered his Jewish roots after two nights of police detention. He landed in jail for violently fighting erection of a church in his town.
The Chinese will likewise sort out their HK affliction. It can be done if the government does not promise to restrict its counteractions to painless and bloodless measures. Only the real and imminent threat of painful and bloody suppression can make such measures unnecessary. Likewise, only the imminent threat of no-deal Brexit could bring some sense into the stubborn heads of the EU leaders. A state that is not ready to use force will necessarily fail, as did the Ukrainian state under Mr Yanukowych in 2014. Blood will be shed and the state will be ruined, if its rulers are too squeamish to stop the rebellion.
We can distinguish a real people’s rising and foreign-inspired interventions on behalf of the compradors. The first one will be silenced while the second will be glorified by the New York Times. It is that simple.
I would not worry overmuch for China. The Chinese leaders knew how to deal with Tiananmen, they knew how to deal with minority unrest, without unnecessary cruelty and without hesitation and prevarication. They weren’t dilly-dallying when the US tried to send to HK its warships, but flatly denied them the pleasure. They will overcome.
You may read Israel Shamir on China here https://www.unz.com/ishamir/yeti-riots/
Israel Shamir can be reached at email@example.com
This article was first published at The Unz Review