Reflections on recent events, plus the occasional fact
free rant unfiltered by rational argument.
Several intriguing strands of Hong Kong’s political scene have interwoven this week. Our young wannabe politicians continue to display immaturity and a naive worldview. While cynical political forces in the US, are harnessing them to an anti-China agenda. Meanwhile, lame-duck British Prime Minister, Teresa May, is on an official visit to Beijing. The tour was due in 2017, but May got unceremoniously pushed aside so that President Xi could host Trump. Realpolitik is a rough game of bruised egos and power plays.
As May genuflects to Beijing’s economic clout, she is facing a rebellion in her party. With the possible collapse of the British economy, as Brexit looms, she needs trade deals. Without deals, things look even bleaker for her.
Some in the British media are unkind enough to portray May’s visit as carrying a begging bowl. China is gracious not to rub her nose in it, with comparisons to previous British ventures in the Orient. The burning of the Summer Palace and the seizure of Hong Kong to traffic drugs remain touchy issues.
Local activist Joshua Wong, on bail pending jail time, took the opportunity in the Guardian to press May to raise Hong Kong issues with Beijing. Wong’s pleading indicates he has no understanding of the dynamics of the game he’s playing. It is unrealistic for May to venture to Beijing to rattle-on about so-called human rights. She has no leverage. Thus, it's pragmatic to avoid the issue, except for a few token words. Realpolitik.
Those calling for May to speak out are playing a political game they can’t win. Wong and his mates, the remnants of Occupy, are always seeking the endorsement of overseas groups. This process came into sharp focus this week, as anti-China forces in the US took the audacious move of nominating him for a Nobel Peace Prize.
This is a political gesture, aimed at embarrassing the Hong Kong Government and Beijing. A group of ardent anti-China Congressmen, including Mario Rubio, made the nomination. Setting aside the intentions of Wong’s group during Occupy, their actions were far from peaceful.
While the Western media has sought to portray the “umbrella movement” in a good light, those of us here in Hong Kong remember the violence. We also recall ambulances blocked, businesses disrupted, and the assaults on police. Yes, incidents of police violence occurred, but these paled compared with the mayhem Wong’s gang brought to the city.
This nomination has a context. It's part of the long-standing support that ultra-conservative groups in the US have provided Wong. It’s not that they hold him or his people in any particular regard. Yet, he is a useful tool with which to challenge China. Fearful of an assertive Beijing, with its economic clout, Republicans in the US are scared. The response is a containment strategy. In that sense, Wong and his group are valuable to them. Nobel Prize or not, they aim to generate media interest by portraying China in a negative light.
Of course, one shouldn't over-react. After all, in recent years the Nobel prize has evolved its brand. In many ways, it’s nothing more than globalist virtue signalling. When Aung San Suu Kyi won, the globalist establishment was pushing the "woman against all the odds" narrative. But what happened after? She oversaw an ethnic cleansing process that Hitler would be proud to endorse. Her supporters in the West turned on her too late to stop the killings and rapes. That Nobel Peace Prize now sits dented on the bones of dead Rohingya Muslims and refugees.
Who can forget that Obama took the prize for getting elected? He’d done nothing of note when the award was handed over. Then he went on to mount the most vicious drone strike programme in history. Conservative estimates are that he killed 3,797, of whom 324 were innocent civilians. As he reportedly told senior aides in 2011: “Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.” I'm not sure how that helps peace.
All this devalues the Nobel Peace Prize. It became an instrument of political value and had little or anything to do with peace these days.
In the case Wong and Occupy, there is ample evidence of their violence. Although, that message didn't reach the West. The myth of the peaceful Occupy Central arose from the early reporting. Western agenda-driven journalists sought to create a straightforward narrative without distractions. Nuance and complexities are hard to digest. Once selling that story, you can elect to ignore the one-hundred and thirty injured police officers or the beaten security guards. Those facts didn’t sit well with the fake news carried abroad.
Then, most of the foreign journalist left the scene, as the protests dragged on. The following injuries to cops, security staff and protesters also got scant coverage. Plus, by then, the false narrative was established. Anyway, in the end, this nomination is a political gesture by right-wing US politicians seeking advantage. It’s nothing to do with peace.
If any group deserves a nomination for maintaining the peace during Occupy, it's the Hong Kong Police. But that wouldn’t fit well with the political agenda that now permeates the selection process.
Walter De Havilland is one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Hong Kong Police.