Archives For Hong Kong

Published on the 24th February, and either missed, or overlooked by Legacy Media, China’s leader of the opposition-in-exile, Wei Jingsheng’s 魏京生 short treatise, ‘Why Praise the Tyrant?’, argued that silence, and appeasement, strengthen tyrannical despotism.

He isn’t new to the subject. Branded the father of Chinese democracy, Wei was imprisoned, then released in 1997, as part of a Clinton administration negotiation with then Chinese President Jiang ZeMin.

Wei served a total of ‘18 years in prison’ for non-violent, pro-Democracy opposition to the Chinese Communist Party.

In his February piece, Wei asks, ‘Why are there so many people liking the tyrant?’

He then provides two reasons: ‘First, people become accustomed, numb, they don’t know to be afraid. Second, no one dares to talk about tyrants at home.’

Wei said, ‘people are brainwashed by propaganda, people believe [what they’re told] that tyranny is inevitable [e.g.: for their own good], or at least cannot be overthrown.’

In other words, people are conditioned to embrace the tyrant as an altruistic patron of the people, and tyranny as their benevolent benefactor.

Under a false sense of security, as alluded to by Wei, the populace falls asleep, ‘they accept tyranny as reality – since resistance is useless, just as well lie down and enjoy.’

For his example, Wei uses the Chinese middle class. They ‘belong to this lying down, and enjoy being part of the group, [which is rewarded] with material living conditions which they can lie down and enjoy.’

Wei argues that ‘some people have developed a Stockholm syndrome, who would defend tyrants with tears in their eyes. There is no shortage of this kind of people in the elite class in China, including the elites overseas.’

Condemning manipulative propaganda, and revisionism, he links back to a recent TV series’ portrayal of ‘Qin Shihuang, the founder of the Qin dynasty, first emperor to unite China.’

Wei explains, ‘it is said the part of Qin Shihuang killing his two brothers was censored and deleted, which, for 2,000 years has been viewed by scholars as evidence of Qin Shihuang’s tyrannical character.’

This deletion, Wei said, ‘highlights’ the fact that the ‘core purpose of the censor, is to praise the tyrant.’

If I’ve read Wei correctly, the CCP approved period drama, deceptively revised the history of Qin Shihuang in order to falsely align the Communist Chinese Party with the Qin Dynasty in the hearts, and minds of the Chinese people.

(The article’s translation from Chinese into English isn’t particularly well done, but it’s good enough to get the gist.)

Wei concludes, ‘tyrants have one thing in common, that is, they ignore basic rights, and dignity of the people. For their great goals, they enslave the people, and sacrifice their power.’

This is done by ‘stripping the power away from the people, and imposing severe penalties. In order to implement severe penalties to deter the people, one must ignore human dignity. This includes grooming villains, and cruel officials, corrupting social morality, and creating social unrest.’

China has come a long way financially because reforms embraced a market economy. For Wei, however, when ‘compared with Democratic systems that manage market economies, a Communist managed market economy is a backward system. It can’t adapt to economic development, and technological progress, nor can it adapt to modern people’s pursuit of freedom and dignity.’

Wei then writes, ‘people in the West have now come to realise that continuing to infuse blood into authoritarian countries not only endangers their own interests, but also endangers their own living conditions and values.’

Referring perhaps to the West’s widespread adoption of Communist Chinese C0V1D-19 authoritarianism, Wei said, ‘the Chinese model can no longer be maintained.’

To paraphrase Wei, this means that ‘the tyrant model of cruel repression, that strengthens despotism to save shaky vested interests’ is a fool’s errand.

The ‘blood transfusion diplomacy’ with the CCP is a toxin to Civil Liberties, and Classical Liberal, constitutional democracies.

Can we say this about Cancel Culture, and its alphabet mafia, where the real oppressors march, not with the oppressed, nor for the oppressed, but as the oppressed?

I think so.

As I firmly stated last year, the culture war isn’t between left vs. right, black vs. white, it’s between truth vs. falsehood.

In the context of the Church, if we fail to bring a confession of Jesus Christ up against the clear, and present false doctrines woven into the current platforms of allowable debate, we’ve failed, not only in our civic duty, but as Christians.

At CP we aim to fight for truth over against falsehood by ministering through the vocation of speaking truth in love; informing, by being well informed.

A Christian who isn’t Missional, isn’t a Christian.

Wei is right. The ‘core purpose of the censor [propagandist and revisionist], is [indeed] to praise the tyrant.’

Silence, and appeasement, strengthen tyrannical despotism.

Engagement with the culture is an imperative; joyless defeatism dressed up as “losing graciously”, isn’t a Gospel centred stratagem for Christians in a post-Christian paradigm.

For those who already support us, thank you.

For those interested in supporting us, you can add your voice to that engagement by financially support Caldron Pool here:

https://caldronpool.com/support/


First published on Caldron Pool, 12th March 2021. 

©Rod Lampard, 2021.

Last weekend, ‘thugs for hire’ terrorized the town of Yuen Long, Hong Kong, beating up anti-extradition, pro-freedom, pro-Democracy protesters.

Two days ago, University of Toronto professor, Lynette H. Ong in an article for the Washington Post, noted that there were reports the “thugs for hire” were connected to organized crime, however Ong said that there was evidence to suggest ‘that the attacks were orchestrated by pro-Beijing forces, with one pro-Beijing lawmaker reportedly congratulating the attackers.’ [i]

Whether from a plausible deniability angle or open allegiance, authoritarian governments are historically known for outsourcing organized 3rd party mobs to do their bidding. The most famous being the Sturmabteilung (Nazi Storm Detachment/Troopers). According to Ong, it’s likely that “thugs for hire” offers the Communist regime an ‘expedient strategy to intimidate pro-Democracy protesters. This allows authorities to skirt responsibility for any violence that may take place.’ Ong continued, stating, ‘short of rolling in tanks, outsourced violence arguably may be the most effective means to ward of protesters.’ [ii]

Lily Kuo in the Guardian gave some geographical context, writing that Yeon long is ‘one of the more remote areas’ where pro-Democracy protesters ‘hadn’t planned to demonstrate’ against the extradition bill. This changed when ‘commuters returning from dinner, going to meet friends or some coming back from the pro-democracy rally in Central Hong Kong, were met by dozens of masked men in white T-shirts, armed with rattan rods (martial arts sticks) and other weapons’. [iii]

In the shadow of China’s incarceration of Church leaders, destruction of church buildings, and general persecution of Christians, including the Chinese Government’s reported reeducation camps where up to ‘one million Uighur Muslims’ have been detained, the concerns of pro-freedom, pro-Democracy protesters in Hong Kong appear justified.

According to Kuo, the change in law would ‘allow the extradition of suspects to mainland China [iv]; supporters say the amendments are key to ensuring the city doesn’t become a criminal refuge, but critics worry Beijing will use the law to extradite political opponents and others to China, where their legal protections cannot be guaranteed.’

The violence wasn’t just isolated to Hong Kong. On the 25th, pro-Beijing Chinese students clashed with pro-Hong Kong Chinese students during a protest on Brisbane’s, University of Queensland campus. The ABC described the clash as ‘four hour’ standoff between the two groups.

Alex Linder of Shanghaiist said that the standoff and subsequent ‘pushing and shoving’ began when pro-Beijing Chinese students ‘arrived blasting out China’s national anthem, chanting slogans, and later grabbing [anti-Communist] protesters signs and ripping them’. [v]

If Ong is right and the white shirts are “thugs hired” by the Communist regime it’s an escalation which reinforces the concerns of pro-democracy protesters. It’s doubtful that this well-worn authoritarian tactic of political intimidation will have the desired effect.

The events in Hong Kong on the weekend are also noteworthy for their similarity to Antifa. Semi-uniformed thugs wearing masks, rampaging against anyone wearing a MAGA hat, all reflect Antifa’s modus operandi – the stand out example being Antifa’s brutal assault on journalist, Andy Ngo, back in June. An event Quillette Magazine called ‘a wakeup call for authorities and journalists alike’, stating:

We are ‘hoping that our fellow journalists might awaken from the delusion that Antifa is a well-intentioned band of anti-fascists with a few bad apples sullying the cause. As Quillette reported last month, a simple statistical study serves to show that the journalists who cover Antifa most often and most energetically have turned their outlets into pro-Antifa propaganda organs. Indeed, this bias is so entrenched that some left-wing media responded to our report not with introspection, but with paranoid and maudlin claims that Quillette and its authors must be secretly in league with Antifa’s fascist enemies.’

If Antifa are true anti-fascists, where are they’re protests in solidarity with pro-Democracy Chinese demonstrators? Where is Antifa’s stand against real suffering under oppressive authoritarianism in countries such as Communist China, Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea?

As important as Ong’s tentative conclusions about pro-Beijing “white shirts” are, her conclusions also lead us to question Antifa’s origins, and backing. Are Antifa also “thugs for hire”? If so, who’s fitting the bill?


References:

[i] Ong, L.H, 2019. In Hong Kong, are ‘thugs for hire’ behind the attacks on protesters? Here’s what we know about these groups, Washington Post. Sourced 26th July, 2019

[ii] ibid, 2019

[iii] Kuo, L. 2019. All Hong Kongers are scared’: protests to widen as rural residents fight back, The Guardian, Sourced 26th July 2019

[iv] Kuo, L. & Yu, V. 2019 What are the Hong Kong protests about?’ The Guardian, Sourced 26th July, 2019

[v] Linder, A. 2019. ‘Chinese students interrupt pro-Hong Kong rally at Australian university, chaos ensues’. Shanghaiist, Sourced 26th July, 2019.

Photo credit: TYRONE SIU/REUTERS

Originally published on Caldron Pool, 27th July, 2019

©Rod Lampard, 2019