Hong Kong / China: “…While Their Elders Cheer Them On”


Prominent pro-Beijing pundit prepares public for bloody counter-revolution while admitting that people in Hong Kong support militant youth fighting in the streets


by Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 16 November 2019, www.thecommunists.net




Nobody should be under any illusions: The Hong Kong Administration and its master – the Stalinist-capitalist regime in Beijing – prepare for a bloody counter-revolution.


A few days ago, 22-year old activist Chow Tsz-lok died from injuries he suffered during a protest on November 4. Police officers have started shooting demonstrators with live ammunition from close range – in fact they are trying to outright kill them as video clips confirm which have been circulated in the last days.


In addition, a 16-year-old girl was raped by four policemen at the Tsuen Wan police station on September 27. Prior to this, the naked body of Chan Yin-lam, a 15-year-old girl and activist, was found in the sea in Yau Tong on September 22.


In response tens of thousands of militant youth – the vanguard of the popular uprising which rocks Hong Kong since more than six months – have imposed a de-facto general strike in the 7.5 million city since 11 November. Schools and universities have been closed and highways are blocked. Young activists build barricades and stockpile makeshift weapons. They clash with the police all over the city. The slogan on the streets has changed from “Hong Kong people, rebel!” to “Hong Kong people, revenge!


A centre of activity is the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) – a university which has a famous record of leading Hong Kong’s student activism starting from the late 1960s. It was even renamed “rioters’ university” on a Google map in June! It is characteristic for the class character of the popular uprising that, according to the political scientist Dr Ma Ngok, in the CHUK “students are mostly from the lower class and new development towns. They have a strong tradition of sympathising with the grass roots.” This puts it in stark contrast to the University of Hong Kong in Pok Fu Lam which “has a colonial background and classes are taught in English. Most of its students are from top schools and are more elitist and pro-establishment. [1]


Global Times the international English-language edition of People's Daily (the central organ of the ruling “Communist” Party of China) – briefly said on Twitter on 14 November that the Hong Kong government was expected to announce a curfew (it deleted the post after a short time). [2]


While it is difficult to make predictions for the next days, the whole course of events points to a joint military crackdown of the Hong Kong police and the Chinese army in the very near future. This becomes also clear from the language of China’s state media and prominent pro-Beijing pundits in Hong Kong. A few hours ago, Alex Lo, a well-known conservative mouth piece of the Stalinist-capitalist regime, published an article with the title “Hong Kong breakdown can only mean a Beijing takeover”. His commentary begins: “Sooner or later, people in the city will have to acknowledge mainland China is the only power that can rewrite our social contract, relaunch government and restore institutions”. [3]


Lo prepares the public for a military takeover by Beijing since Hong Kong’s “key institutions start losing legitimacy in the eyes of the people … we see vital institutions and their representatives lose public trust.” This is the coded language of a pro-regime journalist expressing his frustration about the lack of popular support for Beijing’s puppet administration of Carrie Lam.


In another gloomy article, published two days ago, Lo went even further. Titled “It’s the end of Hong Kong as we know it”, Lo wrote “despair has replaced reason as young people trash their own city while their elders cheer them on”. [4]


Needless to say that Lo sharply denounces these “hooligans”. But it is remarkable that even such a fanatic supporter of the reactionary regime in Beijing is forced to admit that the young militants fighting against the police are “cheered by the elders”.


Indeed, the struggle for democratic rights and against the Stalinist-capitalist dictatorship is a thoroughly legitimate and progressive struggle. This is why the RCIT says that it deserves the full and unconditional support of all socialists and consistent democrats all over the world. [5]


Surely, the Chinese regime and its Stalinist friends around the globe denounce the popular uprising in Hong Kong as a “foreign conspiracy” which is supposedly “worse than the virus SARS”. Demonstrating its reactionary and imperialist character, Beijing appeals to the West to jointly oppose the global wave of class struggles and to impose the “rule of law”. [6]


Such reactionary nonsense is the characteristic slander which was used by the ruling class for thousands of years. Already the emperor Nero in 64 AD accused the Christians of starting the Great Fire of Rome.


What is certainly true is that the popular masses joining the global wave of class struggles and popular uprisings in the past few months lack a clear understanding of the challenges and tasks of the struggle. From Chile to Catalunya, from Iraq to Hong Kong, from Algeria to Idlib, people are fighting for democratic rights and social justice with various illusions in their mind. They fight for their rights without a socialist consciousness. Instead they carry illusions in various versions of liberalism, nationalism, Islamism or reformism. But this is hardly surprising. This is always the case when a period of mass struggle is beginning and new generations are making their own experiences. It is the task of a revolutionary party to help them drawing the right lessons and organizing them for the battles ahead. It is the goal of the RCIT to contribute to this task. [7]


The Chinese rulers will try to drown the popular uprising in Hong Kong in blood. The rulers in Iraq, Chile etc. have demonstrated in the past weeks that they share the same approach. The new phase of global class struggle will inevitably see many advances a well as setbacks. But what can be said for sure is that we experiencing historic moments.


In the past decades, people used to talk – often with admiration – about the “68 generation”. There can be no doubt that in the future, history books will refer to the “2019 generation”. These “Twenty-Nineteeners“ will be admired for their dedication to the cause of freedom and justice. The heroic Hong Kong youth are one of their finest examples!


[1] Jeffie Lam, Alvin Lum, Sum Lok-kei: Cooking up a storm: Hong Kong’s radical protesters use Chinese University as kitchen, weapons factory, and training camp, South China Morning Post, 15 Nov, 2019, https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3037813/campus-kitchen-production-line-making-petrol-bombs-and

[2] Kate Lamb, Jessie Pang: Hong Kong students arm themselves for showdown amid talk of curfew, Reuters, November 14, 2019 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-protests/hong-kong-students-arm-themselves-for-showdown-amid-talk-of-curfew-idUSKBN1XO06C

[3] Alex Lo: Hong Kong breakdown can only mean a Beijing takeover, South China Morning Post, 16 Nov, 2019, https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3038008/hong-kong-breakdown-can-only-mean-beijing-takeover

[4] Alex Lo: What future? It’s the end of Hong Kong as we know it, South China Morning Post, 14 Nov, 2019 https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3037787/what-future-its-end-hong-kong-we-know-it

[5] See e.g. the RCIT statements: China: Solidarity with the General Strike in Hong Kong! For an international solidarity movement as the Stalinist-Capitalist regime in Beijing prepares a brutal crackdown! 01 August 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/solidarity-with-the-general-strike-in-hong-kong/; China: Long Live the Popular Uprising in Hong Kong! After protestors storm the parliament: general strike against the extradition bill and the Lam Administration! 03 July 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/long-live-the-popular-uprising-in-hong-kong/; China: Mass Protests against Reactionary “Extradition Law” in Hong Kong. For an indefinite general strike to kill the bill and to bring down the Administration of Carrie Lam! 18 June 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/china-mass-protests-against-reactionary-extradition-law-in-hong-kong/

[6] See on this e.g. the following recently published articles by Michael Pröbsting: Are Global Popular Uprisings Caused by “Foreign Conspiracies”? How the ruling classes around the world try to smear the mass revolts, 2 November 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/are-global-popular-uprisings-caused-by-foreign-conspiracies/; Global Popular Uprisings: Beijing Calls West to Jointly Defend “the Rule of Law”. Central organ of the ruling Stalinist party reiterates the regime’s counter-revolutionary position, 30 October 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/global-popular-uprisings-beijing-calls-west-to-jointly-defend-the-rule-of-law/; Beijing: Global Popular Uprising “Worse Than SARS”. Leading Chinese diplomat hysterically denounces the mass protests in Hong Kong and around the world, 25 October 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/beijing-global-popular-uprising-worse-than-sars/

[7] It would exceed the limits of this little article to list all relevant works of the RCIT on the various struggles which have been taking place around the world in the past few months. For the general background see the following essay by Michael Pröbsting: Are We Nearing a New “68 Moment”? A massive upsurge of global class struggle in the midst of a dramatic shift in the world situation, 22 October 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/are-we-nearing-a-new-68-moment/. This essay also includes links to numerous statements and articles on the recent popular struggles around the globe.