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Thursday, January 16, 2020, 10:46
Is the HK unrest really just an innocent protest movement?
By Chris Lonsdale
Thursday, January 16, 2020, 10:46 By Chris Lonsdale

 For many months now, we have all observed Hong Kong’s rapid descent into what can only be called anarchy. One could easily just blame the perpetrators of the violence and mayhem that have swept our streets, but that would be too easy. And, sadly, it would miss the point.

There is an entire cadre of people in Hong Kong, and globally, who are not protesting on the streets but who are directly responsible for Hong Kong’s current woes. They are responsible because they act as apologists for the appalling violence and refuse to honestly analyze many key factors that have continued to fuel this “year of discontent”.

The core issue is whether the Hong Kong situation is simply a matter of local people yearning for a better life, or if there is something darker at work. While the apologists claim it’s all innocent at base, I argue that there is much more than meets the eye.

For instance, the apologists like to say that everyone who commits a crime should have to face the law, while simultaneously making statements such as “there is ample evidence that the police have in individual circumstances been seriously out of order”, meaning that the police are mostly to blame.

One cannot argue with the point that all those who commit serious crimes must be held to account, irrespective of which “side” they are on. However, two very important points are conveniently left out of the discussion. Firstly, when we say that Hong Kong rioters must accept accountability for the serious crimes they have committed, we must remember that one of their five demands is total amnesty for all crimes committed.

More importantly is the issue of whether, and how much, the Hong Kong police have been truly “out of order”. This is because we have a very clear situation in Hong Kong wherein the so-called “media” have, for the most part, been looking for and helping to create evidence that puts the Hong Kong Police Force in the worst possible light.

I would argue that Western-supported “regime change” efforts (a color revolution) is the elephant in the room. To try and resolve the Hong Kong crisis without addressing that dimension is naive and tantamount to burying one’s head in the sand

Andre Vltchek, a journalist who has worked around the world in war zones and conflict zones, stated very clearly in a Dec 30 China Daily column that Hong Kong police are facing invisible, dangerous enemies. In his column, he is very clear on how media in Hong Kong today are playing a partisan role, very clearly intended to damage the Hong Kong Police Force.

Vltchek in his column is of course clearly making the case for “black hands” operating in Hong Kong. The apologists, on the other hand, are adamant that the Hong Kong situation has no external influence at all.

If we were living in a world where powerful nations have a history of ethical behavior, perhaps saying that “black hands are not operating” in Hong Kong would be valid.

However, that is far from the case. We know all about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (a lie); Bashar Assad’s using chemical weapons on his own people at Douma (now, clearly shown to be a lie); the Skripals being poisoned by Russia — another tall tale that is not supported by the facts. Julian Assange was locked up and tortured (yes, tortured) in Britain’s Belmarsh prison simply for doing journalism (i.e., showing US war crimes to the world).

And, of course, just two weeks ago, the country with the most powerful military the world has ever known simply assassinated a foreign leader as he was visiting another country on a diplomatic mission.

Based on such a history, where intervention, regime change, and war crimes are the norm, how can one come to an evidence-free conclusion that there are absolutely no black hands operating in Hong Kong?

However, this statement does not mean that intervention and regime change ops are not part of the dynamic. Given the known activities of the US and UK to commit war crimes, to manufacture consent, and to manipulate for the purpose of regime change, to simply suggest out of hand that there are no black hands is either disingenuous, or just lazy.

The US is competing with China for global dominance right now. They are clearly telegraphing (public) intentions to “slow” China’s rise. Hong Kong is a great target if you want to poke China’s eye. What’s a few million dollars of “influence” in Hong Kong, and a bit of “Oslo Freedom Forum” training within such a context?

And, that said, there is plenty of evidence to show that there could well be black hands “doing their thing”. For instance, there are many videos showing non-Chinese individuals both training rioters in violent behavior and directing front-line activity.

There is clearly money being used to support the riots (yes, they are riots — not simply protests). We know that HSBC closed down an account with HK$70 million (US$9,000,000) designed to financially support violent rioters (closed, ironically, by US-imposed anti-money-laundering and Know Your Customer laws, not China); there are videos circulating that seem to show protesters receiving cash payments. There is clear bias in media reporting about what is happening in Hong Kong (e.g., The Guardian showing photos of fully armed troops for the story about People’s Liberation Army forces cleaning up the streets); protesters have been deliberately used “marginal violence theory” in the way that they organize; and of course there is evidence that protest leaders in Hong Kong have coordinated very tightly with neoconservative groups in the US (i.e., very public meetings with former US national security adviser John Bolton, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, US Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and others).

Given all of this very clear, detailed and proven information about various phenomena unfolding within the Hong Kong context, to claim out of hand that “there is no black hand” is, I believe, dishonest. To simply blame the Hong Kong government for inadequacy, and Beijing for wanting to impose “authoritarian rule”, without considering the possibility of outside intervention, at best leads us to ignore information that we must get our heads around. At worst, it is a deliberate attempt to redirect attention away from a very real process designed to undermine the foundations of Hong Kong and wrest control of Hong Kong away from China in favor of the US-led Western empire.

I would argue that Western-supported “regime change” efforts (a color revolution) is the elephant in the room. To try and resolve the Hong Kong crisis without addressing that dimension is naive and tantamount to burying one’s head in the sand.

The author is a psychologist, linguist, educator, entrepreneur, dialogue facilitator and corporate adviser with over 30 years’ experience doing business in Asia. 

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily. 

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