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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 28-May-2020
28-May-20 World View -- US sanctions Hong Kong as activists protest 'March of the Volunteers'

Web Log - May, 2020

28-May-20 World View -- US sanctions Hong Kong as activists protest 'March of the Volunteers'

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou loses a battle in her extradition fight

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

US sanctions Hong Kong as activists protest 'March of the Volunteers'

Protesters boo Chinese national anthem and sing 'Glory to Hong Kong' in September 2019 (BBC)
Protesters boo Chinese national anthem and sing 'Glory to Hong Kong' in September 2019 (BBC)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened sanctions targeting China and Hong Kong on Wednesday, as the streets of Hong Kong were filled with over 1,000 protesters, confronting police firing rounds of pepper balls and arresting hundreds.

Pompeo was reacting to a plan by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to effectively revoke the "one country, two systems" formula that the CCP committed to honor in its 1984 agreement with the United Kingdom.

According to a statement issued by Pompeo:

"The State Department is required by the Hong Kong Policy Act to assess the autonomy of the territory from China. After careful study of developments over the reporting period, I certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997. No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground."

This certification means that tariffs that the Trump administration have imposed on China, but exempting Hong Kong, may now be applied to Hong Kong as well. However, it is not clear when this step will be taken, if at all.

Hundreds protest law forbidding abuse of 'March of the Volunteers'

More than 1,000 people protested in Hong Kong on Wednesday against a proposed law that would outlaw "abuse of China's national anthem."

The proposed law is a reaction to what happened at a recent sports event in Hong Kong. When the national anthem, "March of the Volunteers," was playing dozens of young people started booing.

Such things are intolerable to the idiots in the CCP. Recall that it's illegal to post a cartoon of Winnie the Pooh because Xi Jinping looks exactly like Winnie the Pooh. Can you imagine the hilarity if Trump objected to a cartoon mocking him? But mocking Xi Jinping is a crime in China, and apparently so is saying "boo" while the national anthem is playing. That's how it is in the Socialist Paradise of China.

The song was written in 1935 by Shanghai playwrights Nie Er (music) and Tian Han (lyrics), both members of Mao Zedong's communist party as a marching song about the fight against the invading Japanese. These are the original lyrics (translation):

"Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves!
With our flesh and blood, let us build a new Great Wall!
As China faces its greatest peril
From each one the urgent call to action comes forth.
Arise! Arise! Arise!
Millions of but one heart
Braving the enemies’ fire! March on!
Braving the enemies’ fire! March on!
March on! March, march on!"

As the Sino-Japanese war progressed, most Americans were on the side of the Chinese. The song "March of the Volunteers" became popular in the United States, thanks to the efforts of Paul Robeson, the deep-throated baritone who was known for his performance of "Ol' Man River" in the 1927 Broadway show Showboat. Robeson was a spokesman for the Chinese resistance against Japan, and he provided star power to the marching song.

The song remained popular in China, and became the national anthem of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

In 1966, Mao Zedong's disastrous "Cultural Revolution" was underway. One of the casualties of Mao's craziness was Tian Han, who had written the lyrics. (Nie Er had died at the end of 1935.) So Tian was persecuted and thrown into prison, where he was tortured and killed, and "March of the Volunteers" became forbidden.

After Mao's death, Deng Xiaoping rehabilitated the song in 1982, making it the national anthem again with updated lyrics:

"Stand up! Those who are unwilling to become slaves!
Take our flesh, and build it to become a new Great Wall!
The Chinese people have reached a most dangerous time,
Every person is being compelled to send issue a final roar.
Arise! Arise! Arise!
We are millions with one heart,
Braving our enemy’s gunfire, march on!
Braving our enemy’s gunfire, march on!
March on! March on! Charge!"

This is the song that the young people in Hong Kong were booing last year.

Hong Kong protesters have used a variety of their own protest songs, such as "Do You Hear the People Sing?" from the Broadway musical Les Misérables.

But last year, Hong Kongers used crowdsourcing to write their own anthem, titled "Glory to Hong Kong":

"For the tears that we shed on this soil
For the anguish we had in this turmoil
We keep our heads up, our voices strong
May freedom root in Hong Kong

For the fear that looms overhead
For the hope that moves us ahead
We march in blood, our martyrs along
May freedom glow in Hong Kong

Deepest night we shall not be in fright
In the mist, a new day breaks with chants and light
Stand with us, with virtuous minds and unbending spines
The pearl we hold will always shine

Come children of our motherland
The time has come to wage a revolution
Freedom and liberty belong to this land
May glory be to Hong Kong."

In the battle of the anthems, as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) becomes more nationalistic and belligerent every day, it doesn't seem likely that "Glory to Hong Kong" will be the winner.

What's interesting about this battle of the anthems is how China has dissipated its goodwill of the last 80 years. When Paul Robeson was singing "March of the Volunteers," China was very popular in America. This popularity continued for decades. During Mao's Great Leap Forward, when tens of millions of innocent Chinese were starved, tortured, raped and executed, China remained popular. During Mao's Cultural Revolution, when millions of Mao's political opponents were tortured, raped and executed, China remained popular.

Starting with the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, when college students were peacefully protesting in favor of democracy, and there was international televison coverage of thousands of college students being tortured and killed, China's popularity began to wane seriously.

As time went on, and the CCP arrested, raped, tortured and executed people for their Christian, Buddhist, Falun Gong (Buddhist) or Muslim religious beliefs, Americans disliked the CCP more and more. This dislike increased even more, as the CCP arrested, raped, tortured, enslaved and executed millions of Uighurs, and also illegally occupied the South China Sea.

Through one incredibly stupid act after another, the CCP has dissipated and reversed the affection that Americans used to feel for China 80 years ago.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou loses a battle in her extradition fight

There was a surprise announcement on Wednesday that a Canadian court has ruled against Ms. Meng Wanzhou (Sabrina Meng), the chief financial officer (CFO) of China's Huawei Technologies, which was founded by her father Ren Zhengfei. Meng was arrested in Canada in December 2018, at the request of the United States, on charges of bank fraud and violating sanctions against Iran.

Meng has been under house arrest since then, living in luxury in her expensive home in Canada, awaiting the court decision about an extradition request by the United States. Wednesday's ruling was on a single aspect of that case -- namely the court ruled that Meng was being charged with a crime that is also a crime in Canada.

There will be additional appeals, so the case may extend for many more months.

When Meng was arrested, she was given a fair court hearing, and was represented by her own lawyers. While the extradition process is going on, she is allowed to live in her luxurious mansion.

In retaliation, China arrested two Canadian nationals, Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a businessman. They were thrown into prison, with no court hearing and no charges.

I always like to say that I don't know what the CCP is going to do about a given situation, but I can guarantee that they're so stupid that they'll make the situation worse. In this situation, by taking two Canadian citizens hostage, they've made it practically impossible for Canada's government to return Meng to China through a political process, since that would appear to be giving in to Chinese extortion.


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(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the Generational Dynamics World View News thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (28-May-2020) Permanent Link
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