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Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 22:00
Ted Cruz flaunts his convenient ignorance of riots in Hong Kong
By Mark Pinkstone
Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 22:00 By Mark Pinkstone

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was right to refuse to meet United States Republican Senator Ted Cruz during his whirlwind visit to Hong Kong over the weekend. He only wanted to meet her for personal political gain; there was nothing in it for either Lam or Hong Kong. The last thing Lam needed during such a troubling time was a lecture from an American politician who had not heard of the riots in Hong Kong.

Cruz revealed US political naivety at a press briefing at the US consul general’s residence on the Peak that he himself had never heard or seen any evidence of rioting, vandalism and mob attacks in the city. As a senior representative of the Republicans, he must be wearing blinkers and obviously cannot read newspapers or watch television, which has been reporting the Hong Kong riots nonstop.

But he did meet the “nonviolent protest leaders” in the city without their masks and he was dressed in black to express solidarity with the protesters.

Cruz is the epitome of dumbing down of American politicians. How could a man of his standing not know about the riots in Hong Kong, the destruction of the last bastion of free enterprise? Unless, of course, he was “playing shy”. He did say he supported the protesters without violence and that “some of the protests have turned violent”. 

With such a lack of knowledge of the situation in Hong Kong, Cruz is a sponsor of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, soon to be debated in Congress. As such, it appears Cruz listens only to the voices of the many delegations groveling to the US to support the protesters in their fight for democracy (Hong Kong does have a fully elected legislature) and free speech. The delegations were led by former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang, Basic Law drafter Martin Lee Chu-ming, financier and media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, and activists Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Nathan Law Kwun-chung. It was earlier reported that Chris Yeung of the Hong Kong Journalists Association had attended these meetings, but this proved to be incorrect in a case of mistaken identity.

Cruz is the epitome of dumbing down of American politicians. How could a man of his standing not know about the riots in Hong Kong, the destruction of the last bastion of free enterprise? Unless, of course, he was “playing shy”

Cruz was quick to shift blame for the Hong Kong riots away from the US to China. He told a local newspaper: “There is considerable concern that the protests are being infiltrated by agents of the Chinese government precisely to cause that violence, to turn the protests violent. I don’t know that is happening or not; I can tell you the protest leaders with whom I spoke today believe that is happening.” And why should that be the case? Because, according to Cruz, the Communist Party of China wants to label the protests as acts of terrorism rather than democracy standing up for human rights.

This is another disturbing admission of naivety and ignorance by Cruz in not knowing that no human rights have been denied in Hong Kong. Free speech and the right to demonstrate reign supreme except in cases where unlawful assembly and violence are concerned. Those with blinkers do not want to know; it doesn’t fit their political agenda.

Cruz’s dislike of China and all things Chinese has been well documented, so much so that he has been likened to his look-alike Joseph McCarthy, a Cold War senator who demonized anyone and anything related to communism. Cruz, like McCarthy, would use his political strength to crush his opponents with innuendoes and half-truths to convince the world that communism needs to be destroyed.

The Hong Kong students and rioters fit the bill. They are young and gullible and eager to eat up the words of American politicians following the principles of McCarthyism. With funding provided by the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy and others and with training from the US-based Oslo Freedom Forum, Hong Kong’s youth are fighting for “freedom”, not for rights, and from China, which has done nothing to them. It is the indoctrination of McCarthyism advanced by Cruz, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others on Capitol Hill that is behind these mass riots, and the excuses for democracy, etc, are just smokescreens and mirrors to deflect from the main issue.

Cruz was quick to point out at this Peak press briefing that the chief executive is afraid of the protesters. But it is he, Ted Cruz, who is afraid of China and the power it yields.

The author is a former chief information officer of the HKSAR government, media and PR consultant, and veteran journalist.

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