The Point was that the Chinese state in place when HK was “forced from China at the point of a gun back in the 19th century”[^1] had nothing to do with the current Chinese state, which did not exist at the time. The PRC didn’t lose anything because there was no PRC.
Well, OK, actually, that’s a lie. The real Point was to troll knee-jerk PRC zealots into losing their cool and saying stupid things. You can always count on them to go nuts if you mention Taiwan. So I said something silly about Taiwan to illustrate how silly you were being.
The fun bit being that my silliness was based on the same silly ideas as your own.
I don’t actually think the ROC on Taiwan is the legitimate government of all of China… but that’s where I’d end up if I accepted your “no points of guns allowed at any time” criterion.
The trolling seems to have worked nicely, and you responded with irrelevant screeching. I don’t troll often, so it’s nice to see I’ve still got the touch.
Even if you did miss the point… even if you took my trolling as more than snark about your dragging in 177 year old history in a barely coherent rant, with self-contradictory implications, about a vaguely related issue, on a completely unrelated Internet board, you still could have done better than you did by flying off the handle. You could at least have made an argument.
You could have pointed out that this was about Hong Kong, and the ROC government that decamped to Taiwan also didn’t exist when the British took Hong Kong from (it says here) the Qing Dynasty. The ROC still didn’t even exist 40 years later, when the UK promised to give HK back after another 99 years. There have been two violent changes changes of government in the main part of China since 1842, both within those 99 years. The ROC obviously has no more claim to Hong Kong than the PRC does.
But if you wanted to claim that the important part, the part that makes the PRC the “legitimate government” of Hong Kong, is the “19th century point of a gun” business, then you would indeed have to explain why a transfer of power at the point of the PLA’s guns 70 years ago (which never reached Hong Kong) was somehow more legitimate than a transfer of power at the point of the UK’s guns 177 years ago (which definitely did).
Don’t give me any “popular support” BS. If nobody else gets to be deluded about “democracy”, you don’t get to be deluded either. The revolution didn’t start with popular consensus in China. People had already started shooting before there was any consensus. And the only alternative to the Communists was the ROC of the 1940s, which was a crappy government even before a coup threat made it worse. It’s not like people in China were ever offered any good choices to support. And the revolution didn’t get overwhelming “consensus” until they started killing everybody who complained, which is kind of considered cheating. And none of that was even an issue in Hong Kong, which was by then culturally distinct, and effectively a different country with its own totally unrelated institutions. [^2]
For extra credit you could explain how, under a “no guns ever” criterion, we’d be supposed to treat all the other claims to govern various parts of the planet that have been established, in whole or in part, by violence or colonial fiat since 1842. I suspect that’s most of the countries in the world right now. And if you allow the time before 1842, then every single country’s borders were definitely established by violent conquest. Spearpoint if not gunpoint.
Are they all illegitimate? That’s definitely going to make a fine mess. Or is China special somehow?
On the other hand, if you wanted an actually good argument about who’s the legitimate government of Hong Kong, you could have mentioned the the 1997 British retrocession. That has the great virtue that, unlike any part of Hong Kong’s history before the point, the PRC was actually involved.
Better yet, there are no conflicting claims at all. Nearly every person recognizes the retrocession. Definitely every government of any size recognizes it. You know… the people with all the guns. Having the most guns behind a claim like that does indeed seem to help people to see it as “legitimate”. Heck, I think Taiwan recognizes it.
Now, of course, the governments that recognize the retrocession do include the PRC. Which, if I remember correctly, made a related promise, with no guns pointed, not to go berserk in HK for few more years yet. So you might have to accept that part. But nonetheless you would have scored a definitive point about who was the “legitimate government” of Hong Kong.
If you were still falling for my trolling, and hadn’t escaped my derail about Taiwan and the rest of China, you could have gone further. You could have pointed out that, with the retrocession, the UK apparently recognized the PRC as the “legitimate” successor of its old treaty partner, the Qing Dynasty. I guess that would give the PRC a stronger claim over the Qing territory in the rest of China than Taiwan/ROC has. I mean, that’s only definitive if you assume the UK’s authority to decide who’s the legitimate government of China. That’s a little colonial for my taste. But at least the UK probably carries the weight of some small, nonzero part of the human race.
Sooner Taiwan will be reunited with China and it will be a red flag flying over Taipei.
It could happen. The bosses in China are obsessed with that childish dispute for some reason, and it seems like the people are, too.
They sound like the US, actually. And like every other damnfool country on this stupid rock. Never mind how other people want to live, never mind the established order, and half the time don’t even worry about your own interests. The important thing is to Win.
So do you think they’ll take Taiwan without using the points of any guns? Heck, I bet they have to use not only the points, but the actual bullets.
Back to Hong Kong… The writing’s been on the wall there since about 1900, and more clearly since about 1950, even in the parts that weren’t officially on lease.
I feel bad for people in Hong Kong, because the PRC sucks in so many ways. Still, anybody who wasn’t dirt poor, and didn’t get going on leaving Hong Kong in 1997, shouldn’t be surprised by what they get. I don’t know what they think they’ll achieve with the protests, except maybe a free trip to a concentration camp. Violent or nonviolent, majority or not, they don’t have enough guns on their side.
And they’re dealing with thin-skinned, insecure, racist, provincial, dictatorial control freak murderers, who think you get “harmony” by genocide (like what they’re doing to the Uighurs right now), and by running people down with tanks (as they did to students in Tiannanmen Square in Beijing in 1989). At least as long as you can hide the fact that you’re doing it, or at least make people shut up about it, even if they know. Because the most important thing in the world is that nobody ever rocks the boat in public. Somebody’s little ego might get hurt.
Their [the US’] empire is failing, their influence is waning and the world knows it.
OK, sure. I know about that. It’s one reason I moved out of there. And they’ve elected leaders who are accelerating it by at least 20 or 30 years. Including at least one iconic thin-skinned, insecure provincial racist of their own, actually. Too weak, unfocused, and incompetent to be a good dictatorial control freak murderer, though. More like a toddler.
So? What does that have to do with Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, or whatthefuckever?
And yeah, yeah, IMF World Bank yadda yadda. Why are you bringing them up? I’m not defending them. They’re blinded by their own ideology, tribalism, and cronyism. I guess the best I can say for them is that they are a bit more subtle about the whole causing mass deaths thing, and much more understated about outright blatant public mass murder. But anyway they are irrelevant to anything having to do with freaking Hong Kong.
[^1]: At which time it was a backwater fishing village with a population of 8000 or so, interesting only because the British had been using it as a landing depot in the war, and destined to become a major international center entirely because of things that happened later on under the British system, with no help from anything ever run by the ROC or the PRC.
[^2]: The choices (OK, “choice”) available in Hong Kong at the time of the Chinese Communist revolution were much better than either of the sides in the main part of China. British colonial rule may have been on the undemocratic and extractive side, but it wasn’t completely undemocratic, it had stopped being extremely extractive, it was getting better on both fronts, it wasn’t unusually corrupt, and it wasn’t insanely violent on a massive scale. Far, far better than either the ROC or the PRC. In some ways probably better than the UK has become in 2019.