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1. André Vltchek is a USSR-born American political analyst, journalist, and a filmmaker. Vltchek was born in Leningrad but later became a naturalized U.S. citizen. He has lived in the US, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Vietnam, Samoa and Indonesia.|
He has covered armed conflicts in Peru, Kashmir, Mexico, Bosnia, Sri Lanka, Congo, India, South Africa, East Timor, Indonesia, Turkey and the Middle East. He has travelled to more than 140 countries, and has written articles for Der Spiegel, Asahi Shimbun, The Guardian, ABC News and Lidové noviny. Since 2004, Vltchek has served as a Senior Fellow at the Oakland Institute.
2. The following is full text of Andre Vltchek's 19 September 2019 article headlined "Hong Kong is Scared – of the Rioters".
It was once a British police station, as well as the Victoria Prison Compound. Hong Kong inhabitants used to tremble just from hearing its name mentioned. This is where people were detained, interrogated, humiliated, tortured and disappeared.
Now, after Hong Kong ‘returned to China’, it was converted into the Tai Kwun Center – one of the biggest and the most vibrant art institutions in Asia.
This transformation was symbolic, the same as the conversion of the former British-era slums into public parks has been symbolic.
But now, as the pro-Western and anti-Chinese treasonous hooligans are dividing and ruining this former U.K. colony, the old-colonialist flags of “British Hong Kong” are being waved alongside the flags of the United States, while Chinese flags are being humiliated, and thrown into the bay.
Rioters seem to remember nothing about those ‘good old times’ (according to them), when signs shamelessly declared: “No Dogs and Chinese”. As they seem to close both eyes and ignore the neo-colonialism and massacres, that both North America and Europe are constantly committing in all corners of the world.
Now, the citizens of Hong Kong are scared. Not of the “government”, not of the police, or Beijing: they are frightened of the so-called protesters, of ninja-like looking young people with covered faces and metal bars in their hands.
Mr. Edmond, who works for the Tai Kwun Center, speaks bitterly about the events in his city:
“What is truly scary now, is that families here in HK are deeply divided. Father does not talk to his son. Silence reigns inside the families. Colleagues do not touch the subject of riots. The situation is thoroughly ruining our city, our society, our families.”
“If someone publicly disagrees with the protesters, they get beaten. They managed to silence people.”
“People come here, to this wonderful art center, and if they are from Beijing, they are now hiding their identity. It is because they are scared.”
Mr. Edmond keeps repeating that “disagreements should be like disputes inside the family”. He means, disagreements between the Hong Kong inhabitants, and Beijing. According to him, the outsiders should not be involved.
This is what the majority of the people feels in Hong Kong now. This is what they felt in 2014, when I wrote about another prolonged and destructive event which was sponsored by the West – the so-called “Umbrella” uprising.
They feel this, but most of them would not dare to express it. The rioters are young, in good physical shape, and armed with sticks and bars. They have no identity, as their faces are covered by scarves. They are drunk on fanatical self-righteousness; stoned on a primitive sense of purpose. Their behavior is not rational – it is religious.
I have been talking to them. In 2014, and now. Most of them know nothing about the foreign policy of the West. They have no clue about the brutality of the British Empire. They do not want to hear about the humiliation and pain of the Chinese people, when their country was invaded, broken into pieces and occupied.
They are selfish; grandstanders, and extremely arrogant.
They wave flags; foreign flags. They spit on their own banners. They do what they are told to do: by the hostile, foreign powers. And they do, what they are paid to do. It is as depressing, as it is embarrassing, to watch.
“President Trump, please liberate us!” “Please Save us, President Trump!” That is what they shout. That is what their posters say.
It is very hard to talk to them. I tried. Most of them do not want to uncover their faces, and to speak. They seem to feel secure only when in packs, in multitudes. When challenged, they reveal that they know very little, even about China; or even about Hong Kong itself.
But they are ready to preach; to lecture.
When faced with logical arguments, which they cannot refute, they become brutal.
Just a few days ago, they attacked a local teacher who was singing the national anthem of China. They beat him up. A child witnessing the event was horrified. He cried. The teacher kept singing.
They are beating those who try to make them stop destroying the city. They are beating those who are shaming them.
Whenever I manage to have longer exchanges with them, it somehow feels the same as when I am confronting religious fanatics in the Middle East. Perhaps, it should not even be surprising, as both are products of the Western propagandists and their allies.
People refusing to accept their leaflets at the airport –get beaten. If visitors to shopping centers challenge the rioters – a public beating takes place.
This covering of faces with black scarves would be illegal in many parts of the West, were the black scarves to be worn by, let’s say, Muslim women, or local rioters. But the Western media, outrageously selective in its coverage, is glorifying it here, simply because it is against the interests of the People’s Republic of China.
Chinese people, with thousands of years of culture, mostly tolerant, are not used to all this. These events of the last three months are something extremely foreign to them. Therefore, many are scared. Very scared. Desperate.
Ninjas of this nature are usually jumping and hitting in all directions, but from the screens of television sets, not right in the middle of the streets.
(To be continued in my next post)