Behind Hong Kong’s black terror

By Pepe Escobar – Hong Kong : Posted with permission

A radical protester throws a molotov cocktail at a government building in Hong Kong on Sept. 15, 2019. Photo: The Yomiuri Shimbun

Deciphering who’s behind the violence leads to a long list of possibilities

“If we burn, you burn with us.” “Self-destruct together.” (Lam chao.)

The new slogans of Hong Kong’s black bloc – a mob on a rampage connected to the black shirt protestors – made their first appearance on a rainy Sunday afternoon, scrawled on walls in Kowloon.

Decoding the slogans is essential to understand the mindless street violence that was unleashed even before the anti-mask law passed by the government of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) went into effect at midnight on Friday, October 4.

By the way, the anti-mask law is the sort of measure that was authorized by the 1922 British colonial Emergency Regulations Ordnance, which granted the city government the authority to “make any regulations whatsoever which he [or she] may consider desirable in the public interest” in case of “emergency or public danger”.

Perhaps the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, was unaware of this fine lineage when she commented that the law “only intensifies concern over freedom of expression.” And it is probably safe to assume that neither she nor other virulent opponents of the law know that a very similar anti-mask law was enacted in Canada on June 19, 2013.

More likely to be informed is Hong Kong garment and media tycoon Jimmy Lai, billionaire publisher of the pro-democracy Apple Daily, the city’s Chinese Communist Party critic-in-chief and highly visible interlocutor of official Washington, DC, notables such as US Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and ex-National Security Council head John Bolton.

On September 6, before the onset of the deranged vandalism and violence that have defined Hong Kong “pro-democracy protests” over the past several weeks, Lai spoke with Bloomberg TV’s Stephen Engle from his Kowloon home.

He pronounced himself convinced that – if protests turned violent China would have no choice but to send People’s Armed Police units from Shenzen into Hong Kong to put down unrest.

“That,” he said on Bloomberg TV, “will be a repeat of the Tiananmen Square massacre and that will bring in the whole world against China….. Hong Kong will be done, and … China will be done, too.”

Still, before the violence broke out, hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong people had gathered in peaceful protests in June, illustrating the depth of feeling that exists in Hong Kong. These are the working-class Hongkongers that Lai supports through the pages of Apple Daily.

But the situation has changed dramatically from the early summer of non-violent demonstrations. The black blocs see such intervention as the only way to accomplish their goal.

For the black blocs, the burning is all about them – not Hong Kong, the city and its hard-working people. Those are all subjected to the will of this fringe minority that, according to the understaffed and overstretched Hong Kong police force, numbers 12,000 people at the most.

Cognitive rigidity is a euphemism when applied to mob rule, which is essentially a religious cult. Even attempting the rudiments of a civilized discussion with these people is hopeless. The supremely incompetent, paralyzed Hong Kong government at least managed to define them precisely as “rioters” who have plunged one of the wealthiest and so far safest cities on the planet “into fear and chaos” and committed “atrocities” that are “far beyond the bottom line of any civilized society.”

“Revolution in Hong Kong”, the previous preferred slogan, at face value a utopian millennial cause, has been in effect drowned by the heroic vandalizing of metro stations, i.e., the public commons; throwing petrol bombs at police officers; and beating up citizens who don’t follow the script. To follow these gangs running amok, live, in Central and Kowloon, and also on RTHK, which broadcasts the rampage in real-time, is a mind-numbing experience.

I’ve sketched before the basic profile of thousands of young protestors in the streets fully supported by a silent mass of teachers, lawyers, bewigged judges, civil servants and other liberal professionals who gloss over any outrageous act – as long as they are anti-government.

But the key question has to focus on the black blocs, their mob rule on rampage tactics, and who’s financing them. Very few people in Hong Kong are willing to discuss it openly. And as I’ve noted in conversations with informed members of the Hong Kong Football Club, businessmen, art collectors, and social media groups, very few people in Hong Kong – or across Asia for that matter – even know what black blocs are all about.

The black bloc matrix

Black blocs are not exactly a global movement; they are a tactic deployed by a group of protesters – even though intellectuals springing up from different European strands of anarchism mostly in Spain, Italy, France and Germany since the mid-19th century may also raise it from the level of a tactic to a strategy that is part of a larger movement.

The tactic is simple enough. You dress in black, with lots of padding, ski masks or balaclavas, sunglasses, and motorcycle helmets. As much as you protect yourself from police pepper spray and/or tear gas, you conceal your identity and melt into the crowd. You act as a block, usually a few dozen, sometimes a few hundred. You move fast, you search and destroy, then you disperse, regroup and attack again.

From the inception, throughout the 1980s, especially in Germany, this was a sort of anarchist-infused urban guerrilla tactic employed against the excesses of globalization and also against the rise of crypto-fascism.

Yet the global media explosion of black blocs only happened over a decade later, at the notorious Battle of Seattle in 1999, during the WTO ministerial conference, when the city was shut down. The WTO summit collapsed and a  state of emergency was in effect for nearly a week. Crucially, there were no casualties, even as black blocs made themselves known as part of a mass riot organized by radical anarchists.

The difference in Hong Kong is that black blocs have been instrumentalized for a blatantly search-and-destroy agenda. The debate is open on whether black bloc tactics, deployed randomly, only serve to legitimize the police state even more. What’s clear is that smashing a subway station used by average working people is absolutely irreconcilable with advancing a better, more responsible, local government.

My interlocutor shows up impeccably dressed for dim sum on Saturday at a deserted Victoria City outlet in CITIC tower, with a spectacular view of the harbor. He’s Shanghai aristocracy, the family having migrated to Hong Kong in 1949, and he’s a uniquely informed insider on all aspects of the Hong Kong-China-US triangle. Via mutual Chinese diaspora connections that hark back to the handover era, he agreed to talk on background. Let’s call him Mr. E.

In the aftermath of dark Friday, Mr. E is still appalled: “Not only you’re harming the people making their living in businesses, companies, shopping malls. You’re destroying subway stations. You’re destroying our streets. You’re destroying our hard-earned reputation as a safe, international business center. You’re destroying our economy.”

He cannot explain why there was not a single police officer in sight, for hours, as the rampage continued.

Cutting to the chase, Mr. E attributes the whole drama to a pathological hatred of China by a “significant majority” of Hong Kong’s population. Significantly, the day after our conversation, a small black bloc contingent circled around the PLA’s Kowloon East Barracks in Kowloon Tong in the early evening. Chinese soldiers in camouflage filmed them from the rooftop.

There’s no way black blocs would take their gas masks, steel rods and petrol bombs to fight the PLA. That’s an entirely new ball game compared with thrashing metro stations. And color-coded “revolution” manuals don’t teach you how to do it.

Mr. E points out there is nothing “leaderless” about the Hong Kong black blocs. Mob rule is strictly regimented. One of the black shirt slogans  – “Occupy, disrupt, disperse, repeat” – has in effect mutated into “Swarm, destroy, disperse, repeat.”

Mr. E asks me about black blocs in France. Western mainstream media, for months, have ignored solid, peaceful protests by the Gilets Jaunes/Yellow Vests across France, against corruption, inequality and the Macron administration’s neoliberal push to turn France into a start-up benefitting the 1%.

Charges that French intel has manipulated black blocs and inserted undercover agents and casseurs (persons vandalizing property, specifically during protests) to discredit and demonize the Yellow Vests are widespread. As I’ve witnessed in Paris first hand, the feared CRS have been absolutely ruthless in their RAND-conceptualized militarized operations in urban terrain – repression tactics – without excluding the odd beating up of elderly citizens.

In contrast, mob rule in Hong Kong is excused as protest against “totalitarian” China.

Most of the conversation with Mr. E centers on possible sources of financing for the initial nonviolent protest and, particularly, for the mob rule that the black blocs have brought in its place.

Motivation and opportunity will get you on the list, which is not terribly long – but is long enough to include names of people and organizations diametrically opposed to one another and thus unlikely to be working together.

Among governments, we can start with the still (if not, probably, for much longer) number one superpower. Trump administration officials, locked in a trade war with Beijing, would have no trouble imagining some advantage coming from a weakening of the People’s Republic’s rule over Hong Kong, and could perhaps see good in positively destabilizing China, starting with fomenting a violent revolution in the former British colony.

The United Kingdom, contemplating a lonely post-Brexit old age, could have pondered how nice it would be to get closer to its favorite former colony, still an island of Britishness in a less and less British world.

Taiwan, of course, would have had interest in provoking a test run of how One Country, Two Systems – the formula that the PRC and the UK used with Hong Kong in 1997 and that Beijing has offered to Taiwan, as well – might work out under stress. And after the stress of peaceful protest had exposed weak underpinnings, the temptation may well have arisen to go farther and make such a hash of Chinese-ruled Hong Kong that no Taiwanese would ever again fall for the merger propaganda.

The People’s Republic seems an unlikely protagonist for the initial, nonviolent phase, but there are plenty of Hong Kongers who believe it is now encouraging provocations that would justify a major crackdown. And we can’t completely rule out the possibility that a mainland CCP faction – opposed to the breach of recent tradition with which Xi Jinping extended his time in the presidency, say – is trying to discredit him.

OK, enough about governments. Now we need some on-the-ground agents, Chinese with plausible deniability who can blend in as they receive and disburse the necessary funding and handle organizational and training matters.

Here the possibilities are far too numerous to list, but one popular name would be Guo Wengui, aka Miles Kwok. The billionaire fell out with the CCP and, in 2014, fled to the United States to pursue a career as a long-distance political operative.

Even more popular would be name of Jimmy Lai, mentioned above. Confirming another of my key meetings, when Mr. E points to the usual funding suspects, the name of Jimmy Lai inevitably comes up. In fact, a US-Taiwan-Jimmy Lai combination may be number one on the hit parade when it comes to the common wisdom.

But when I tried that combination on for size I encountered problems. For one big thing, Jimmy Lai has made no effort to hide his aid to pro-democracy groups but in his public remarks has invariably encouraged nonviolent agendas.

As South China Morning Post columnist Alex Lo wrote not long ago, “What’s wrong with making massive donations to political parties and anti-government groups? Nothing! So I am puzzled by the media brouhaha over Apple Daily boss Jimmy Lai Chee-ying’s alleged donations worth more than HK$40 million to his pals in the pan-democratic camp over a two-year period.”

Let’s not give up so easily, though. I believe that some things are best hidden right out in the open in bright daylight.

Yes, Lai’s public voice happens to be Mark Simon, who worked for four years as a US naval intelligence analyst.

Yes, Lai has been good friends with neo-con guru Paul Wolfowitz since the latter became chairman of the US Taiwan Business Council in 2008, according to a Lai aide.

Wolfowitz served as deputy secretary of defense from 2001 to 2005 under Donald Rumsfeld, sort of by accident: He was supposed to become George W Bush’s head of CIA. But, alas, that didn’t work out because his wife got wind of an affair Paul, a member of the board of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED, had with a staffer, who was married at the time … and so it goes.

And, yes, according to Wikileaks documentation, in 2013 Lai paid US$75,000 to Wolfowitz for an introduction to Myanmar government bigwigs.

A document suggesting a transaction between Lai and Wolfowitz.
Photo: Wikileaks via SCMP

But none of that really proves anything, does it now? Innocent until proven guilty. Colluding with arguably the most important US policy and intelligence operative of the past two decades, apparently yes – but can we establish active involvement by either the Pauls or the Jimmys of this world in black bloc provocations to achieve the bloody Chinese intervention that Lai forecast? Innocent until proven guilty.

This is going to take some further work. Back to the old drawing board with Asia Times.

There will be blowback

“We in Hong Kong are few in number. But we know that the world will never know genuine peace until the people of China are free.” – Wall Street Journal op-ed by Jimmy Lai,  Sept 30

As much as there have been frantic efforts by the usual suspects to obliterate them, the images of black bloc mob rule and rampage across Hong Kong are now imprinted all over the Global South, not to mention in the unconscious of hundreds of millions of Chinese netizens.

Even the black blocs’ invisible financial backers may have been stunned by the counter-productive effects of the rampage, to the point of essentially declaring victory and ordering a retreat. In any case, Jimmy Lai continues to blame the Hong Kong police for “excessive and brutal violence” and to demonize the “dictatorial, cold-blooded and violent beast.”

Yet there’s no guarantee the black terror mob will back down – especially with Hong Kong fire officials now alarmed by the proliferation of online instructions for making petrol bombs using lethal white phosphorous. Once again – remember al-Qaeda’s “freedom fighters” – history will teach us: Beware of the Frankenstein terrors you create.

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  1. bring HK to a standstill. The PRC should sit on the sidelines and let it burn until the populace gets worn out. doesnt matter – week / month / year – burn the metro / tear up the streets / water mains / electric grid / etc

    they will beg for order

    • They are being psyched up by watching heroic films about the fascist putsch in the Maidan in Kiev. And Norway, of course, is the country that gave the thoroughly discredited Nobel Peace Prize to the villainous compradore, Liu Xiao-bo, the freak who declared that China needed 300 years of tutelage by the West before it could become ‘civilized’, and that the Chinese would never be fully human until they Westernised.

  2. Looking at the opposing strategies–the US/UK Intel Agencies-led revolution (black bloc terror) versus the Beijing-supervised lenient and restrained police action, we see that Hong Kong will “burn”.

    The Western black hands hope that a ruined Hong Kong will be a mortal wound to China’s economy. The goal is to contain and then cripple China as a superpower economy and global force for multi-polarity.

    Beijing, in turn, has decided that Hong Kong, crippled by Hong Kongers, will be unlivable for the China-haters. It’s economy and civility trashed, its safety compromised, its vitality moved out to the Mainland, Singapore, maybe even the next US target, Taiwan.

    Thus, the fires will burn until Hong Kong smolders. The damage done by the revolutionaries, not Beijing, especially not by Peoples Armed Police or PLA troops.

    Beijing can rebuild Hong Kong later, after the revolution moves away.
    China knows how to build cities. It will rise like a phoenix when the time is right.

    An overcrowded Hong Kong will be hollowed out, perhaps 2-3 million Hong Kongers will move away, many to the mother’s breast of the US, where they will be another bead on the rosary of failed Intel-led revolutions.

    Meanwhile, for many months more, we will see Hong Kong burned, scarred and raped. The propaganda accompanying the riots and terror will continue to paint this as a fight for Freedom. It is a separatist revolution. Free speech and assembly has little to do with the aims of this revolution.

    There soon will be martyrs. All revolutions worth their salt have blood baths (typically bombings) and lifeless bodies in the streets. This one clearly is heading that way.

    It is a great sadness that Hong Kong is the sacrificial lamb of this crazed attempt at regime change in Beijing. It is remote, disconnected, an island too far to ever impact Zhongnanhai with instability in the streets of the Mainland.

    The financial tethers reaching into Hong Kong that binds it to the Mainland will be moved to Shanghai and Shenzhen. Losing Hong Kong as a banking and financial center is very temporary. Certainly, many Western firms will not go to the new locations on the Mainland. But, most will.

    It is inevitable that policemen will die. Several already have been knifed by rioters. Others beaten with steel rods and stomped, many fire-bombed with molotov cocktails.

    The worse is yet to come. And then the sweep and counter-attack to restore order will use all the Intel being gathered by Beijing as the riots play out. The rioters may be wearing masks, but Hong Kong is like Algiers. It is compact, dense and impossible to hide 12,000 hardcore revolutionaries. The Chinese tools of surveillance and security are too sophisticated for these actors to remain unknowable, unreachable. The only ones not rounded up by the authorities are those escaped by their handlers. But, the revolution will fail.

    Take the time to watch Pontecorvo’s masterpiece, ‘Battle of Algiers’, and you will see what is to come. The Casbah became a box canyon, and much of Hong Kong has many ‘casbahs’ where hiding will end badly for the terrorists.

  3. If you ask me, China should double down, and completely abolish HKs special status. This shall enrage the cucks even more, increasing the protests – then, China should retreat completely – every single police officer, soldier etc, and just quarantine the place, turning it into Gaza 2. And I doubt anyone would dare to pull a Berlin Airlift. Of course, aurports and ports would be still occupied. Anyone who wishes to leave may do so (but only via the mainland).

    HK is turned to Somalia 2 and basically all the corporations instantly leave. Even when things calm down Beijing will just delete the city because it will simply have no reason to exist

    • @Svevlad

      Absolutely correct that China should double down — like in Beijing 30 years ago — and abolish this ”special status” nonsense right on the spot. It is precisely the latter which makes Hong Kong a hotbed of economic crime and bribed hooligans. Evidently, Hong Kong isn’t Somalia; the Western oligarchy is trying out the Maidan template once again. Not going to work this time around.

      • The prime motivation is black propaganda, to paint China as ‘the New Nazis’ as is gibbered increasingly here in Austfailia, where the tsunami of racist and ideological Sinophobia just grows and grows and grows, in the usual hysterical fashion. This is required to prepare the dullard-cretins of the Great Austrayan Mediocrity for the war that was always inevitable, and which will destroy us, one way or another.

  4. Let me see… so basically the U.S. gov is waiting for the hoodlums to get swatted by ‘invading’ mainland Chinese police. Bizarre as it seems, it like a Crimea in reverse, with the thugs already on scene, gradually ramping up wonton acts of mindless violence, to draw a retaliation Then the U.S. can smugly whack a load of sanctions, outright and compel the ‘West’ to follow suit.

  5. Anyone who would think they can bait China to roll the tanks in are gravely misinformed, not least the black block who are constantly upping the ante in the hope of just such a result.

    I have not seen mainland China, especially the youth, more united over anything in the past. Their angst is with the HK government who are rightly described as incompetent and paralyzed. They are also wondering over why aren’t the troops or the paramilitary police in HK already…. but….

    I think the establishment sees the current event in HK, whilst an embarrassment, as a vaccine against any future regime change on the mainland. a paltry few million people in HK is being used as an example for the 1.4 billion of mainland Chinese, verifying everything they were taught about the “corrupting influence” of the west, rightly or wrongly, it’s a pretty good deal. sux for me though.

    HK needs China a lot more than China needs HK. it’s a nice to have because of its financial industry but not necessary in the grand scheme of things. it’s a sideshow instigated and carried on by pathological Chinese haters in HK carrying or being taught the memory of the cultural revolution. nobody told them that ship had sailed long ago.

    I was having a snack at suburban noodle joint last week and the owner was mouthing off all sorts of anti China slogans and how bad things are in China, education camps etc etc…. Turned out he was a dissident and came to HK in 1979 and have not been back since. His memory and hatred, frozen in time, is quite common amongst a significant number of HKers. Together with a (waning) superiority complex over mainlanders drilled in from a young age, you have the root cause of this pathological hatred.

    Interestingly, they will not think twice about drinking water that’s piped in from China, wearing clothing made in China, electricity cabled in from China and making money from China.

  6. “He cannot explain why there was not a single police officer in sight, for hours, as the rampage continued.”
    Sorry for the conspiracy theory, but maybe it’s because the Chinese police officers ARE the Black Bloc…

    China has admitted previously to using “undercover” officers dressed up as rioters.

    Look at this rioter’s nice martial arts kick..a random Bruce Lee wannabe or a member of Chinese Special forces?

    • allow me to point out a few things.

      response times – these are not run off the mill events like traffic accidents or theft where most frontline police can response to. large scale responses need time for mustering the appropriately trained personnel, transport, equip, logistics and briefing. anyone who had any experience in any response organizations forces including humanitarian or civil defence could tell you that. to think anything else is just TV and movie fiction.

      add to this the rioters are organised and would place traffic blockades at various choke points with smaller distraction forces. this is not your regular protest and riots. these people are organised and directed with tactical experience.

      There are also many sympathisers within the government and its departments including the police leaking operational tactics and information.

      Your conspiracy theory – it’s just that. you misunderstood or the article was mis-translated. CHINA did not acknowledge using undercover. The HK police did. and some of their actions were caught on live TV. they would mingle with the black bloc and where they start to get violent they arrest them with uniformed police back up. I really don’t see anything wrong with that.

      The black bloc and supporters would of course immediately claim it was the UC who instigated the violence. and here in lies the rub. if the protestors and rioters are so peace loving they should immediately exit the area and denounce the black bloc when they show up, but they don’t, instead they are giving it cover.

      Further, if they are so adamant it was the police then stop wearing those bloody masks then UC will have a much harder time.

      of course the next go to excuse is the right to mask up, I mean what kind of right is that? if you are to accuse anyone of anything the midst basic right is to face your accuser. fact is they mask up because they do not want to be identified because they are worried about being picked up when they go to China.

      so there you have it. they hate China but they also want to be able to go to China freely to make money. to have their cake and eat it too, fear greed and hate all rolled into one. sounds familiar?

      btw your comment on the kick is wide of the mark and irresponsible. if that’s a special forces person then pretty much anyone who played football is now SAS?

      if you’re truly Serbian then you should know exactly what is going on here.

      • A.L., that’s exactly why I called it a conspiracy theory. (I.e in not fact). It ‘s pure speculation.

        I get you were triggered by my links, and my quote from the article, and my intepretation of them. But at least I posted links which is more than you’ve done. Btw, what proof do you have the article was mistranslated?

        Also, what exactly is your point about me being Serbian ? In my country we’ve had both colour revolutions and false flags. So which is it in HK? Or is it a mix? And you think you can tell one from the other, right now in HK??

        Given your arrogant, obtuse rant, I have serious doubts about any of your insights. There are other commentators here, who have a different opinion to mine, but who have presented valid arguments. Maybe you should try to emulate them.

        • I am a China fan. I think HKers are totallly deluded with their protests. I have seen the pro- Chinese social media campaign on Twitter. It’s quite sophisticated. This is why I have wondered if there isn’t another dimension to the black bloc.

        • ok it was 4am my time and yes I was triggered but may be we got our wires crossed…

          the mis-translation or misquoting i was referring to is that your quote:

          “China has admitted previously to using “undercover” officers dressed up as rioters.”

          infers China, as in the central administration did the admissions where no such thing had taken place. it was the HK Police who openly admitted using undercover just as they would in any organised criminal activities. there’s a big difference.

          in regards to your assertion of not linking to articles: I’m here in the ground, i don’t need to rely on any second hand information by journalists. I see it, I live it. this is not a university thesis and a pissing contest with references is moot.

          in so far as false flags: hk police is one of the best and most respected forces in the world, it doesn’t change it spots overnight and become an oppressive force. it’s members went to the same school and grew up in the same buildings, they’re still loyal because what is wrong is still wrong no matter how anyone frames it.

          Also, hundreds of high ranking officers were UK remainers from the handover or hired from abroad. if the police were planting false flags I’m sure there’ll be stories galore and a massive exodus and the press will be all over it, it hasn’t happened. yes it’s circumstantial but I do believe the benefit of the doubt is with the police.

          (as an aside, the side effect of the US stunt with the rushed supposedly human rights law would be to get these foreign police officers to leave, lest they get sanctioned and can’t go home again, once they’re out of the way the west will attack the legitimacy of hk police)

          let me give you an example, everyday the protestors here are still accusing the police for covering up killings in multiple riots in recent weeks, demanding cctv footages, cctvs which the rioters themselves had smashed up. and when the footage do show up, they say it’s fake. they are pressing the cops to proof a negative and discounting everything else like where’s the next of kin if someone had disappeared? it’s absolutely ridiculous and delusional.

          events and stories are twisted everyday here that wouldn’t take someone with room temperature as IQ to see through. so yeah I’m easily triggered because I’m astounded and appalled by how stupid people became when they’re sold a cause.

          as you would appreciate, there is so much misinformation in times like this we ought to be more precise so not to further such nonsense.

          if I have inadvertently offended you, I do apologise.

          • No worries. I understand A.L. It’s a very complicated situation and not easy being in the middle of it.

            I do trust the Chinese understand the underhanded, devious game that is being played here and know exactly how to handle it. Xi, for all his cheerful smiling, is a very shrewd, clever man. The West underestimates him at their own risk.

            Stay safe!

  7. Since Pepe brings up “dissident billionaires” as possible financiers of the unrest in HK, such as Miles Kwok, here too, things are strange…

    Miles Kwok, outspoken critic of the CCP, who spent his time between Manhattan and Mar-a-Lago, hanging out with conservative politicians and acting as a political operative, may in fact be a double agent/ spy working for China as documents filed in a federal court case in New York show…

    • You do not need to be a double agent or spy for China to hang out with conservative politicians and act as a political operative in the US… It is more likely that Miles Kwok is indeed a filthy rich who dreams with a capitalist-imperialist China to get richer, and is one of those like-minded rich behind the mess in HK.

  8. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who (cough, America) is behind the “non-violent” violence that these self-styled democracy protesters are engaged in.

    Some of the leadership of these HK protesters have received their training from the Orwellian Oslo Freedom Forum, which is another Euro-American-backed regime change NGO that has been affiliated with similar “pro-democracy” operatives around the world like America’s beloved White Helmets jihadis.

    Hong Kong protesters trained at Oslo Freedom Forum before anti-extradition protest, past speakers include Denise Ho, HK singer and political activist and Al Qaida affiliated White Helmet, Raed al-Saleh

    Moreover, as the GrayZone has reported, the protesters themselves employ a doctrine called Marginal Violence Theory that is a thinly disguised form of provocation to bait the police and government into an overreaction that can be utilized to discredit it–evocative of similar tactics of provocation that America’s regime change ops have deployed such as in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and of course the infamous Maiden regime change in Ukraine:

    “One protester explained to the New York Times how the movement attempted to embrace a strategy called, “Marginal Violence Theory”: By using “mild force” to provoke security services into attacking the protesters, the protesters aimed to shift international sympathy away from the state.”

    Behind a made-for-TV Hong Kong protest narrative, Washington is backing nativism and mob violence

    Then of course there are HK protest leaders like Jimmy Lai, Anson Chan, Martin Lee, or Joshua Wong cuddling up to American regime leaders like Mike Pence, John Bolton, Marco Rubio, and Nancy Pelosi–not to mention Julie Eadeh, a US “diplomat” in Hong Kong, who was caught meeting these protest leaders like Joshua Wong.

    Finally, the geopolitics of the Hong Kong destabilization campaign is best understood as merely one tactic in America’s hybrid war on China–particularly in providing the moral pretext for passing the “Hong Kong Human Rights & Democracy Act” in the USA, which the Americans hope to deploy as a weapon to foment (economic) unrest in not only Hong Kong but also the rest of mainland China.

    The ‘Hong Kong Human Rights & Democracy Act’ Will Intensify the Hybrid War on China

    • Too late for that. The USA will only succeed in isolating itself and its stooges from the Chinese economic power-house, just as the US Empire implodes under debt, inequality, poverty, elite greed, crumbling infrastructure, moribund education, parasitic ‘healthcare’, etc, etc, etc. It’s like the old joke about the UK weather report-‘Fog in Channel-Europe isolated’.

  9. While I usually agree with the content. I am an expat banker living in hong kong and this could not be further from the truth.. I am extremely disappoiinted with the conspiracy theory when the reality on the ground is that for year most of the HKers were getting angrier at CCP interference. And this is not just black block as you call them, the support of the whole population is massive, from most of the taxi I take, to my doctor, retail banker, supermarket employee, investments banks employees…

    • Three questions for you. 1. What do you consider “interference” by the legal government in the affairs of a part of their own country.

      2. As an expat.Would you explain to us what would happen in the country you come from if similar riots were taking place there. We have seen the US and French response when faced with much less violence.

      3.Will the end result need to be a changeover to the population in HK. Will the government need to forbid residency permits to all those involved in these riots,to get the situation under control (that is my opinion as to the needed solution).

    • But Aj, there’s barely been any interference by China…the police have NOT been heavy handed at all….
      Btw, on Twitter there’s an excellent video showing protesters being beaten up by the Spanish police with the title “HK protesters welcome to Barcelona”. Check it out #Hongkong and #Hongkongprotests.

    • What do your contacts think about the destruction of PUBLIC property, do they support that as well?

      Are they aware of the absolute hypocrisy of effectively imprisoning the people, both foreign & Hong Kong, when rioters shutdown the airport; yet whining about Mainland China being a “prison?”

      Finally, are you truly a Hong Kong resident, or a subtle white supremacist troll?

    • A simple question AJ: is Hong Kong a country?
      Hawaii has more legal reasons to be independent than HK.
      But you are right – there is a lot of frustration on the ground and they are basically split into 2 camps.

      You would know too, since you seemed informed, that there is zero chance the black bloc dare to even show their face, if there is no implicit ‘promise’ the western handler country will support and fund them. Thats the western MIC will roll in one day, if the CCP decide on the military option. They believe air-craft carrier will be deployed to ‘save HK’ and the west MIC will have a war with china to ‘save HK’.

      Do you also believe that?

      This is also the Taiwan fallacy. The USSA congress passed law to ensure freedom of HK and Taiwan? Like are they are dumb or what? Neither HK or Taiwan is part of USSA, so how do they pass a law they can never amount to anything? But wait, in order to pass the law in the USSA congress, Taiwan is asked to pay a hefty ‘membership fee’ to particular congress persons. Seriously?

      I also detect a slight conflict of interest here – if and when China fully reclaims HK – there would be zero chance a non-chinese banker working in a chinese-govern banks (not without a serious background checks). Good that you are expat now, presumably retired or already made your millions, but you must also know alot more that can be revealed here, in a public forum.

      Let’s leave it at that.
      Be well.

      • As per the script of ONE TRICK PONY… right on time !

        Futures, Yuan Slide As China Threatens Retaliation Over US House Bill On Hong Kong

        Same dance thousand and millions of times now…

        p/s TOTALLY Unfounded Imagination (hot form yesterday/today) —> some of here may want to know Josh WRONG has applied for election on some local member and they, some gov officials, ask him for a face to face interview to clarify some of his ‘ideals’. They ask him what does he mean by “HK democracy”. Its said, by some unknown source, (possibly has some yet to released visual) Mr. Wrong threw a fit and yelling its his right to be elected (aka selected) and he will save HK from the chinazis or something like that. But he refused to defined what he believe to be ‘HK democracy’. And finally the dance got so boring even to the one trick pony, it dropped dead… but immediately ‘resurrected’ saying he will leave and post his response online, PUBLICLY (aka go ask his handlers what is the correct and required answer as per the Grand Guide Book of ONE TRICK PONY). Same Same Mr WRONG, you aint the first one. Btw, Mr Wrong, as some would know, has some ‘criminal records’ and a pending court case coming soon… what better way than to run for election and get ‘immunity’. Just ask bibi or abe or well… pick your choice on your turf.

        Classic or Requiem!?

        ONE TRICK PONY, are you tired yet?

          • 0H is fake news you mean?
            But is US House Bill On Hong Kong real?
            is Yuan Slide real?
            is China Threatens Retaliation real?

            I am pointing to the issue – not really about the channel…
            but if the channel matters…
            I can link here of foreign source in foreign language – the Original Source
            but I doubt USSA can ‘appreciate’ that, dont you agree?

            Back to the issue of US House Bill On Hong Kong – the real important issue here,
            what do you think about that? Pls do share you views :)

    • ‘Conspiracy theory’, eh? The scads of EVIDENCE, from Nong Kong and from history, that of the USA as the greatest meddler and interferer in other countries’ affairs, EVER, and their seventy years plus of hostility to the PRC and sabotage and subversion-all a ‘conspiracy theory’. Slow day at ‘Radio Free Asia’, or the ‘Epoch Times’, is it.

    • It is very common for expat foreigner to be misinformed because of a sample selection bias.

      have you talked to many hker who does not speak English? or is your image of hkers being English speaking 20 somethings flying foreign flags that adores everything western? that the west can do no wrong and sunshine would come out of their ***?

      your mere presence (I assume you are western in appearance) will make people assume you’re on the protestors side. and in the grandest Chinese non confrontational tradition, your cab drivers are not going to challenge you and will go along with pro protest conversations. most drivers are capable of conversing as either camp, lest there be and argument or worse, ID’d and bashed up (has happened).

      The moderates are afraid to speak up because of the ongoing violence and public beatings of people against the rioter’s views (many seen on live TV). there are no defence for this terrorism. it is terrorism.

      let me tell you a dirty little secret. the English level of hker isn’t that great (a big reason why you have a job). and even then, they like to read foreign MSM thinking it’s all fair, righteous and wholesome when some of it is pure propaganda. there are daily hit pieces on Bloomberg, NYT, FT etc etc. and because of their superiority complex they believe they are wiser than other hkers.

      and in your situation you are surrounded by them, that’s all you would see and hear. I worked with the likes of you and I used to be one of these brainwashed kids. and it goes both ways too, your interest and mere presence will be taken out of context by them as support, romanticing and legitimizing their beliefs.

      people of hk are Stockholmed into accepting expats are superior just as themselves are superior to mainland Chinese. it’s a truly sad behavior leftover from the colony days.

  10. When Hong Kong was returned to China, China was a poor country and Hong Kong represented about a quarter of China’s GDP. Since then China’s economy has become the largest or close to the largest in the world. Hong Kong now only makes up less than 2% of China’s GDP. So I can’t see how the destruction of Hong Kong’s economy would be catastrophic for China. Maybe the people who are behind these so called “protests,” whose goal is to have the Chinese military invade, have lost sight of this fact.

    If China sends its military, there will be condemnation by many western countries who will apply sanctions to hurt China’s economy, which I believe is the objective. If they hold out in sending their military the place will burn to the ground, international businesses will leave and the population will find life intolerable. There will be a mass exodus, including the citizens who are anti-Chinese. So what do you think China is going to do?

    • If China sends its military, there will be condemnation by many western countries who will apply sanctions to hurt China’s economy […]sending their military the place will burn to the ground, international businesses will leave and the population will find life intolerable.

      I do not think Xi Jinping cares about Western public opinion anymore; he & the rest of the Chinese government know that “Western opinion” can never be satisfied. It is ingrained in most Westerners that Chinese people can never do anything right, which is truly racist.

      Unlike 1997, Beijing today has the gold reserves and economic partners to withstand Western economic sanctions. Russia today is also not the weakling it was in 1997, so Beijing & Moscow can thrive together. The development of C929 is a good example of the West no longer having exclusive technologies they can deny to Beijing. Neither Moscow nor Beijing have any interest in the only other technology where the West leads: GMO foods.

      The adjustment of Beijing’s economy away from exclusive dependence on the West is merely a short-term inconvenience, not a death blow.

      • The PRC leadership know that the Western elites HATE and FEAR them, most particularly for being non-White. non-European, non-Western, non- Judeo Christian etc, let alone for being better at most things. They know from 200 years of experience that Western elite hatred is racist and civilizational and intractable. To avoid mutual destruction, China must, now, simply face down the West, and hope that, preferentially, a cadre of leaders arises in the West that accepts the humanity of non-Westerners, or, vastly more likely, the West disintegrates into a series of impotent cess-pools, riven by internal class, sectarian and economic hatred, and more intent on hating one another than the rest of humanity. The basic ‘Western’ worldview is aggressive, supremacist, racist and genocidal, so its eclipse as global hegemon is required if humanity is to survive. But it is hard to negotiate with a rabid dog in its death-throes. Best quarantine it, so it cannot harm others.

  11. Thanks for Pepe Escobar’s investigative article and the lucid comments from readers who make The Saker such an important blog to read when any part of our world turns into yet another trouble spot. Hong Kong, it seems, is a haven for speculators and some must have thought it’s the right place for them to splatter fake news on our innocuous tv screens but this is the digital age in our 21 century and the eye of truth prevails under heaven.

    I had wanted to stand off from getting involved with having any pov. about the HK protests but the finger put on the Black block is a clear cut diagnosis. Still, should we let the rioters and their handlers distract us from the real issues which are related to our life and love ( for righteousness, intelligent moral stance and working for peace)? For a start, any intelligent child will be appalled by the senseless destruction of public facilities and most of us can see the fake excuse of ‘freedom’ does not correlate to their empire worshipping, arrogance, hatred ( perhaps fear too ) for China and continued wanton rampages by cowards who hide under masks and hoods.

    It’s just too stupid to believe such things are happening in HK of all places, where the standard of literacy, culture and services are high and well-oiled and where there’s a concentration of the world cosmopolitanism. This can only be borne out of sheer desperation so it’ll be fit to compare the situation to our physical body at old age, say, before the onset of cancerous cells overrun the system and snuff the life out of us. The rioters and their handlers have no idea of the power of nature as they’re bashing, burning and being brutal to sensible people who don’t support their black movement; just like Climate Extinction diverts our attention from the serious environmental issues for which we can come up with solutions. The London Met Police simply nipped them in the bud as they plan to stop London for the weeks. The analogy is that the HK protests is a dead end as Larchmonter has so clearly illustrated in a different way.

    Clearly, why is the current Carrie Lan’s government and the police so inept at dealing with the situation? It shows they’re earnest people who believe in the ideals of democracy but are unaware of its loopholes and failures. So they’ve offered to discuss to no avail for clearly freedom and democracy are just the false flags and the whole movement has a murky intention. Is it too late to allow HK to blossom out with the legacy of how their joint co-operation in establishing reliability of services, institutions with solid integrity and equality with true diversity is real and achievable everywhere on earth?

    I’d been to HK three times and I was aware of the British influence which, like all things would have both positive and negative effects; the positive being, more softly spoken crowds, orderly queueing, more politeness, a sense of civil mindedness reflected on the infrastructure, institutions and individuals. However despicable the acquisition of HK and the arrogance of imperialism in the last century, I’m sure China and Britain are able to forgive and forget and work together to move the 21 century forward.

    I was aware how many Brits and Chinese had grown super rich before HK was returned to China and I hope they’ll come forward and heal the scars caused by the thugs. HK can continue to play an important role as a trading and financial centre for China, Britain and the world. In the meantime, it’s best to end the stand off between the government and the dissidents for we know many, many people in HK are totally dependent on having peace and order returned so they can carry on with their work and life.

  12. Most likely its the CCP seeking to deploy the Red army, the protestor response should be to kick the shit out of violent protestors while pulling their masks off and video taping them.

    Sunlight kills roaches.

  13. Even some conservative US Libertarians are questioning the Hong Kong destabilization … my bad …. “pro-democracy” campaign and the role of America’s fake free press in pimping for it:

    Twitter Targets Hong Kong in US-backed Regime Change Operation

    Tom Luongo states that:

    “It’s become quite clear to me that the situation in Hong Kong is now about regime change through economic terrorism. What started as peaceful protests against an extradition law and worry over reunification with China has morphed into an ugly and vicious assault on the city’s economic future. These are being perpetrated by the so-called “Block Bloc,” roving bands of mask-wearing, police-tactic defying vandals attacking randomly around the city to disrupt people going to work.


    Jimmy Lai is telling you what the strategy is here. The goal is to thoroughly undermine China’s standing on the world stage and raise that of the U.S. This is economic warfare, it’s a hybrid war tactic. And the soldiers are radicalized kids in uniforms bonking old men on the heads with sticks and taunting cops.”

    Victory or Fire: That’s the Plan for Hong Kong

    He also asserts that the Hong Kong destabilization campaign is one facet of America’s larger financial warfare campaign–specifically undermining the Hong Kong dollar peg and thus “creating a massive market dislocation overnight”:

    “When a major peg like that breaks, systems break. Societies break as well. Part of the pressure the West is applying to China is for open its capital account and submit to western control via hot money inflows. The Hong Kong dollar peg is the key weakness to the current arrangement.”

    A Peg for a Peg: That’s the West’s Offer for China

    Meanwhile, all the drones and sheeple in America and the supposed Free World dutifully parrot the mainstream media that the Hong Kong agitation is about “freedom and democracy.”


    • This time the glorious West is not shooting itself in the foot, but in the head. One sure sign of the End-stage intellectual and moral collapse of the West is their deluded belief that China can be ‘brought down’ by a tiny cadre of hereditary fascist, terrorist, thugs in one colonial backwater. One only has to watch Bannon, or Navarro, or any of a score of Fox loonies, predicting China’s imminent ‘fall’ because of X, Y, or Z, to end up laughing and vomiting at the same moment-and that is quite dangerous. But, here in Austfailia, where rabid Sinophobia is all the rage, aspiration is our highest ideal.

  14. The working class in Hong Kong are poorly represented among the rioters and generally despises the spoiled brats who are destroying their city and their livelihood. One indication of that is the clashes between the rioters and fed up citizens in working class areas like Mong Kok, Sha Tin, Yuen Luen and Tuen Mun. In fact, the rioters attack the Light Rail that connects Yuen Long and Tuen Mun on a daily basis because of their rejection by largely non-elite people in this area.

    • the working class is against the rioters but they are too busy making ends meet to act.

      The business elite are largely against the rioters too as it’s seriously impacting their businesses and future. they are too scared to act because so far anyone who said anything against the rioters have had their businesses smashed up.

      the rioters are generally middle class and professionals who watches too much Hollywood, worships the west and believes team America are forever righteous and could do no wrong.

      they also know a few words of English which is why the absolute majority of black bloc propaganda are available on YouTube, translated with signs and slogans in English. The black bloc atrocities and live tv footage are also widely available, but you need to search in Chinese and get through the Google’s ministry of truth ranking engine.

  15. Hongkong is the last festering sore of the Opium Wars. China has learnt its lesson from Tiananmen, it will not fall into another Western PR and geostrategic trap. It will just let the thrill seeking kids be nagged into submission by their grandmothers.
    After China’s opening up to the world, the raison d’etre for HK’s very existence has greatly diminished. In another century it will return to being another sleepy town on China’s coast, a mere anomalous blip in China’s millennia of history.

  16. Protesters are also portrayed as “lured by the evil winds” of foreign agents. Chinese officials have accused the US and other western countries of being the “black hand” behind the protests – a narrative that pro-government figures and media in Hong Kong have also seized on.