For weeks, the protests in Hong Kong have been making headlines for the Western media. It is not yet clear which sections of the population are taking part in the protest and what interests are at stake other than those of the Hong Kong business world. Western forces seem to attach particular importance to the behavior of Hong Kong’s middle class. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes that the protesters enjoy “the sympathy of large sections of Hong Kong’s middle class.” On the other hand, the goodwill of the population does not seem to be as clear as the FAZ tries to give the impression.
At the beginning of July, for example, after the occupation of the Hong Kong Parliament by representatives of the protest movement, she had spoken of “cracks in the ranks of the demonstrators”. Even then, it had been feared that the images of smeared walls, smashed windows and smashed security cameras “could cost the protest movement some sympathy among the population and play into the hands of the government.”
Then, in mid-August, when “demonstrators were thrown near police stations fire bombs” and air traffic had been shut down for hours by the occupation of Hong Kong airport, Beijing had urged the Hong Kong people to “get away from it. to distance all elements of violence”. Apparently, Beijing’s call suited the mood in the city.
The day after, the activists were forced to publicly apologize for their violence against Chinese police officers during the airport occupation. After a barrage of criticism poured into the forums about those protesters, it was feared that “ugly scenes like Tuesday night’s can cost them the support of the population, without which the movement would be quickly ended.” Moreover, fears appear to be growing that “a further deterioration in the economic situation could deprive the movement of middle-class support.”
According to the FAZ, therefore, there seems to be a great deal to be said about this middle class, to which the newspaper seems to feel particularly attached. For, as in the Western media itself, the Frankfurter sees the Hong Kong middle class, accustomed to “free speech,” as an ally in the fight against the Chinese Communist Party.
In it, our media see that Western capital, the main enemy despite all economic interdependencies and advantages for German and Western companies. While the Chinese market is open to our industrial producers, it is largely closed to media companies and thus also the advertising market of the giant empire. This explains the hostility of the Western media towards China, but also towards Russia, Iran and others, which not only suppress their notion of freedom of expression, but also, in particular, their desire for freedom of advertising.
On the other hand, the FAZ does not report on the mood of other social groups outside the business world, the middle class and the intellectual-academic milieu. Only once does she mention the North Point district, which she describes as a stronghold of pro-Beijing forces holding a flag parade in loyalty to Beijing. So there also seems to be forces in Hong Kong that do not fit into the picture that the FAZ paints of the situation on the ground. Presumably she has no contact with people in these circles or she is not interested in their interests and views.
In the meantime, it became known that “the American National Endowment for Democracy (NED) provides financial support to pro-democracy forces in Hong Kong”. The FAZ’s attitude to this fact, which had been tried several lines before to bring close to conspiracy theories and propaganda, is very revealing. For then the newspaper unequivocally admits that this support, which had been tried to deny little before, is “not unusual for a political foundation dedicated to the promotion of political values.”
It is therefore seen as the self-evident right of Western “pro-democratic” forces to interfere in the internal affairs of other states and to support forces ready for violence.
It is worth recalling the outrage in the West when suspicions arose that Russia may have influenced the US presidential election. What has not been proven to date is undeniable in the case of Western interference in Hong Kong.
Now that it was no longer possible to deny what had long been concealed, interference is now presented as a Western prerogacy. It is not those who apply double standards who are accused of hypocrisy, but of those who disclose it. It was also reported that The American diplomat, Julie Eadeh, had “met with democracy activist Joshua Wong last week.”
The Germans are also involved. During his trip to China, Christian Lindner of the FDP initially stayed in Hong Kong, “where he opened an office of the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung and held talks with opposition politicians.” But it was not only at the opening, but he also gave a public address in which he made it clear that, in his view, “economic freedom and social freedom belong together”. This is very reminiscent of the events on Kiev’s Maidan, when Western politicians took the jack up there in order to exert political influence on events with their statements.
Now it would be unrealistic to attribute Hong Kong events solely to the influence of external forces. There seem to be serious conflicts in parts of the population in relation to Beijing. However, these deeper causes and backgrounds are not apparent from the reports of the Western media. You shouldn’t know that either, probably a few more people in the West think about it and don’t leave it to the youth (Rezo, Fridays for Future).
There, one confines onely to the much-loved pattern of explanation of the struggle of a population that demands democracy, against the overpowering pressure of China.
It is unlikely that the West will use these unrest for its own interests and try to gain or expand influence in Hong Kong. In the run-up to the event, the Western media had recalled the thirtieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square events in Beijing. The extent to which the events in Hong Kong are linked to the memory of what happened thirty years ago cannot be established here. But what can be recognized is the duplication of Western media attitudes towards violence.
Even if the participants of the movement in Hong Kong block roads and access to buildings, even occupy the Hong Kong parliament building and the airport and paralyze air traffic for hours, thus causing property damage and using violence, they will still be affected by the FAZ is very sympathetic to the “pro-democratic forces”. The occupiers of the Hambach Forest never got into this call with the FAZ and the rest of the German media. The French yellow vests were also portrayed primarily as perpetrators of violence, and their political and economic demands were lost in the media.
But it is not about democracy or other “Western values.” “The uprising in Hong Kong is also the most visible evidence of the lack of radiance of the Chinese dream.” If the American dream no longer has any radiance in the world, then it should not be overshadowed by the Chinese.
If China’s economic rise cannot be prevented, then at least the Chinese social model should not be superior to the Western one. That’s what it’s all about.