We need student opinion on this!

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    The Keele Student Union should issue a clear and definitive statement of support for the citizens of Hong Kong. They should issue this statement on all existing forms of social media as well as pressuring the University of Keele to make such a public statement as well. The student union should provide tools to students to campaign and advocate for the restoration of democracy in Hong Kong and for the UK to stand up for the liberty and freedoms of all people in all parts of the world. The students of Keele can champion the way forward for the UK and show that we as a campus stand for equality, freedom of speech, and democracy as well as upholding the basic human rights of all people.
Arjun Sinha
10:39pm on 1 Feb 20 Keele Students should stand with the pro democracy protesters and call out Chinese police brutality against them. I understand Keele has a partnership with Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) and millions of pounds of funding may be on the line with this stance but I believe we shouldn't allow the Chinese government to bully us with their money and make a principled stand against the despotic authoritarianism of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Also I'm pretty curious about who are the people down-voting this topic because this topic has a suspiciously high number of down votes. It's almost as if some are going out of their way to down vote this. Interesting.
Shihao Gong
3:33pm on 2 Feb 20 Please do not judge this issue before you really know it exactly is. Someone holds a flag called "democracy", and then they destroyed campus, destroyed shop stores, killed an old person just because he was cleaning the street they just ruined, burned one person just because he disagrees with their violence. This is not democracy, this is violence, this is criminal. Reading some news from the internet does not mean understanding. Please do not only read news from one media, please read new from China, from HongKong, and you will know the people in Hongkong are suffering violence from few "protesters", use Google translator to read the news reported by HongKong journalism, most citizens in Hongkong disagree with the "brutal protesters". Go to HongKong, collect direct information by your eyes, by your ears, and you will know what "protesters" did. Interesting, democracy is not violence, Justice should without prejudice.
Arjun Sinha
5:18pm on 2 Feb 20 It's interesting that you mention the violence from protesters and not violence against young protesters by the hong kong police nor do you mention the anti democratic deportation bill introduced by the hong kong chief executive Carrie Lam which led to the protests. Though I must say that violence canoot be condoned and is absolutely unacceptable. This is not about the protests, it's about the CCP and their authoritarian practices. Moreover if there was no international condemnation of the CCPs actions those protesters might have faced another Tianmen Square like reaction from the Chinese government. I am not uninformed, I have followed the news and coverage very carefully for many months and I know what's really going on. I cannot really rely on CCTV, CGTN, Xinhua, SCMP and other such Chinese state controlled media because those guys write what the CCP tells them to write. I appreciate and respect your views and your civility. I agree with you that justice should be without prejudice. Just like the violent protesters should be subject to the law, so should the Hong Kong Police who should be investigated for their role in the violence against some of the peaceful protesters by an independent third party agency, something which HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam has absolutely refused to do.
Yingjie Li
5:40pm on 2 Feb 20 Liberty does not mean license. Freedom doesn't mean you can destroy other people's lives. Freedom does not mean you are free to harm the lives of others. As a student from China, I just want to state the facts here. First of all, while people continue to stand up for the so-called freedom, how many of them have visited and experienced Hong Kong? How many people actually saw how much impact the so-called demonstration for freedom had brought to ordinary Hong Kong citizens and ordinary friends around me? Tourism and service industries are declining, and fewer and fewer tourists are willing to visit Hong Kong at special times. In related services and tourism, there are fewer sources of family support and support. Is this true freedom, is this true for the people? ! Finally, at this time when the people of the world are united in their efforts to fight the virus and live a healthy life, what are the motives of those with ulterior motives who once again agitate for the so-called freedom initiative? No more health, no more happy life, do they still have the energy to march?
Arjun Sinha
6pm on 2 Feb 20 I respect your view and I feel deeply for the victims of the deadly Coronavirus in China, you have my sympathies. However, the HK issue is not as one sided as you say it is. The violence by protesters was wrong but also you must also say that the violence by the HK Police was also wrong. And the veiled threats made by chinese govt officials in chinese state controlled media was also wrong. There is plenty of blame to go around. My point is we stand with those protesters who were out there protesting against the undemocratic deportation bill. There was a buildup to these protests - authors disappearing, booksellers disappearing, increasing control of HK media by CCP and finally the Deportation Bill. The increasing censorship of HK media is a sign of whats happening there along with the protests. And these were not a few protesters, more than 2 million protester came out to protest, which is about a third of the population of HK. It can't be dismissed as the initiative of just a few. The world has to stand with democracy and that's what we're doing - standing with democracy.
Shihao Gong
6:35pm on 2 Feb 20 Some people attacked the police first, and then you call the police's self-defence behaviour violence? Since you can't tolerate violence, why don't you first call for an end to violence, but go beyond this stage to choose a position that supports one side? If you call for an end to violence, I will stand by your side. And could you please tell me what media you rely on, and why you believe them? The same, are you sure the information you know of Tiananmen(you missed "an") is trustworthy? I read the reports about that from both Western, Taiwan and China Mainland, I do not believe I can judge it before I have enough critical-mind in my brain. According to the knowledge I learned from Keele, from Plato's cave to Kant's division, from Nietzsche's slave-master morality to Marx's screen effect, from Popper's falsificationism to Kuhn's paradigm to Adorno's cultural deception, the only thing I know is that the OBJECTIVE TRUTHS are hard to find. Since I could be wrong and you could be wrong either, I am not sure it is the time for us to choose a position. Rather, if we really care about this issue, at least we should go to HongKong to do a "research". Again, I do not ask you to stand with the Mainland, I do not ask anybody to stand with the Mainland, I just ask, please, do not get involved before you confirmed you are absolutely right. Please leave Chinese business to Chinese people. Do you think any Chinese Universities should get involved in the issues of your country? If not, why you want to get involved in Chinese issue? Do you subconsciously think you are smarter than Chinese people? I do not offend you, by contrast, I admire your justice and your integrity, maybe, after we keeping learning knowledge twenty years later, we can talk about something more objectively. I remember I came to Keele for study, not for taking part in politics.
Arjun Sinha
7:18pm on 2 Feb 20 I confess that I'm not as well read as you regarding Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, Popper, Kuhn, Adorno etc nor do I consider myself smarter than the Chinese people but you talk about objective truth and foreign interference. Let me tell you, it's an objective truth that the Chinese govt interferes in the elections of many countries like India, Australia, Japan and it tries to interfere in the domestic affairs of US, UK, EU countries, New Zealand, African Union, Latin America the list goes on and on. You reap what you sow I guess. If you're so worried about foreign interference then you should maybe question the CCP about its interference in other countries, not to mention the border disputes. If China is at liberty to interfere wherever it wants maybe the world community should excercise the same liberties that the CCP takes with other countries. Also we must discuss HK now as it is unfolding rather than 20 years later when any discussion will be meaningless and the people of HK will be helplessly subjugated in the meantime. I admire your nationalism and pride and my goal is not to disrespect the people of China. The government of China is not elected hence the people bear no blame. There I make the distinction between the people and the government. However, tyranny must be condemned where it may arise.
Shihao Gong
7:55pm on 2 Feb 20 Since you know that it is wrong to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, why are you trying to do what you think is wrong? It's like you know that stealing is wrong, but you're trying to steal just because you think someone else is stealing (no offend, just a metaphor)? If you really care about HK, please go to HK physically, do the investigation by yourself. No investigation, better no comments. And, our government is elected by people. That is reality, are you telling me the policy of my country? Do you think I could tell you the policy of your country? I understand you want to help the people in China who are suffering "tyranny" in your view, thank you, but we do not need that because we are not under "tyranny". Besides, it is not meaningless to talk about some events happened decades ago. Contemporary people inevitable have the prejudice on contemporary events (this is a real objective truth), just because of that, we have to learn History, we could talk about history. Why don't you talk about the issues of your country? Does your country don't have any issues? Are you afraid of something or someone, so you don't do that? I will not talk about the issues of your country, because I know it is wrong, I will not do something I know it is wrong.
Arjun Sinha
8:18pm on 2 Feb 20 HK Govt is elected by the people but not the CCP. You are basically saying whatever evidence there is of Chinese Govts wrongdoing has no value but what you say is right. That's called a double standard. The multiple instances of proven interference and aggression by China in the affairs of othe nations is wrong but we have no right to respond is it? Well then let's be clear if you feel that the illegal interference of the Chinese government in the affairs of other nations is a matter of national policy and beyond scrutiny that just means then whatever we may do in the UGM and whatever position we take as the part of Keele students union policy cannot be questioned either. Chinese policy is Chinese policy and Keele SU policy is our own. Maybe you don't support all the wrong things that have happened in HK but think about it, those who support interventionist policies of the CCP have no moral authority to oppose or question what resolutions independent democratic law abiding institutions in other parts of the world may pass whether they like it or not. You may not want this to be discussed but whether it is discussed or not is the choice that the majority of the members of Keele SU need to make and we will not be coerced into suppressing any resolution just because a certain lobby may not like it. And who said about doing anything wrong. Taking a policy position is not wrong. It's democracy, we have to leave it to the wisdom of crowds.
Shihao Gong
8:36pm on 2 Feb 20 How could you say our government is not elected by people? To me? Ridiculous. Okay, according to your words. HK government is elected by the people, so Carrie Lam is elected by people. Now I know what your democracy is, because some people do not agree with the majority, and they have the right to hold the banner of democracy against the majority. Isn't democracy a minority that obeys the majority? You have lost your mind and I will not argue with you anymore, it is meaningless.
Arjun Sinha
8:53pm on 2 Feb 20 Carefully read what I wrote earlier.again - HK Govt IS elected. CCP in the Mainland is NOT elected. I understand the nuances of 1 country 2 systems. In a democracy we should be mindful of the rights of the minority but we should be very careful of Lobbyists who lobby for questionable causes because lobbyists seek to subvert democratic practices. In a democracy we should discern between minority voices and Lobbyists. If we don't do that it's long downward spiral to hell. Nobody is compelling anyone to obey, that speaks of an authoritarian mindset. It is always better that those in the minority be gracious and respect the majority opinion in a democratic setup and even in loss the minority must be protected by the law and have their rights guaranteed. Unlike in HK where the people are facing an increasing threat of creeping authoritarianism of the CCP.
Elaine Wang
1:10pm on 3 Feb 20 Apparently, standing for democracy is without any doubt. But standing for campaigns from other countries or regions are complicated issues and obviously relating to politics requiring background knowledge and political affiliation. It will be wiser for KeeleSU, as a place for all Keele students, to create a harmonious atmosphere instead of causing disputes among students.
Arjun Sinha
5:40pm on 3 Feb 20 We can create harmony by standing with democracy. If we don't that will create internal disharmony and unhappiness like what the HK are facing. Most politically aware people are aware of the background of the HK crisis. Moreover the peace and harmony of a vast institution like Keele University won't be harmed by passing a little ol' teeny tiny resolution of solidarity with the affected people of HK. Keele students are Avery mature diverse and harmonious group of educated and enlightened students.
Wai Cheung
10:42am on 4 Feb 20 ???? ???? Liberate Hong Kong, The Revolution of our times.
Hon Lam
2:16pm on 4 Feb 20 Protesters throw a petrol bomb: CCP supporters: OMG so violence Police beats up civilians indiscriminately, shooting kids in the chest, shooting people in the eyes on purpose, attacking paramedics, attacking several universites, allegedly gangrape, torturing. CCP supporters: they are just doing their job. To those who hate violence so much, open your eyes and see who is actually causing the violence in Hong Kong.
Hon Lam
2:19pm on 4 Feb 20 Maybe the Student Union should also issue a statement to show support for the millions of Muslim who are being locked up in concentration camps by the CCP.
Arjun Sinha
3:23pm on 4 Feb 20 Yes the Keele SU and student body should pass a resolution not only supporting HK pro democracy protesters but also the Uighurs who are being forced into re education camps, along with persecuted Christians and most of all the Falun Gong/Falun Dafa practitioners who are being arrested by the 6-10 Office (Chinese Secret Police) in droves and are being sent to labour camps to do forced labour in certain parts of mainland China and in other parts just arrested and held without trial. We should keep introducing Sush motions till they are passed and codified.
David Marchant
10:40pm on 2 Mar 20 I have so much to refute in these posts, so much misinformation and emotional arguments its a bit tough to know where to start. I'll start one post at a time. In response to Shihao Gong: The protests began and have largely remained peaceful, with violent escalation occurring only in response to police presence with police almost always initiating violence. The first protests of the year started march 31 2019, with thousands peacefully protesting a new extradition bill that would allow hong kong citizens to be tried for crimes in mainland china despite two fundamentally independent systems. Such a law would have been another flagrant disregard for the one country two systems policy as written in the sino-British joint declaration. Despite these peaceful protests (which are legal according to hong kongs constitution known as the basic law) which by June 9th included half a million protestors (hong kong's population is 7.392 million which means about 1/7th of the population protested) police fired rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowds despite no acts of violence and the assembly being legal. The protests since then have consistently been met with violence by police on protesters. On the night of September 1st, 2019, the police stormed the trains of mtr public metro system and indiscriminately beat and pepper spray train passengers claiming them to be protesters despite a lack of evidence. This included women and children (source is from south morning post a state run newspaper in singapore) https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3025241/chaos-hong-kongs-mtr-network-police-chase-protesters?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=social&utm_content=video. The violence since then has only continued to escalate, with reporters and medical personnel being targeted and arrested (which is against both international law and hong kong law). So these points show the violence is being perpetrated by police. It's true some members of the movement have turned violent (although theres some evidence these may be undercover police trying to spread fake news about violent protesters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkEcOwncmBo) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NU1jAOhYIo4&feature=youtu.be). second, even though some protesters truly are violent (which i do condemn by the way) these are private citizens. They are breaking the law but wouldn't you say its worse if the trusted government officials break the law. If some ordinary person breaks the law, you'd e against that but a policeman is supposed to be a trusted public servant. Public servants are selected because we expect them to carry out the law at a higher standard than the average person. So when we see police routinely violating the law (illegally deploying pepper spar, tear gas, shooting reporters in the eyes so they go permanently blind, throwing tear gas grenades directly at reporters, etc) this weakens public trust and ultimately the strength of the institution. At what point do you choose to fight for your future or roll over and become subservient at the cost of your freedom, your ability to criticize and challenge things, to discover the truth? Will you really trade your freedom for security and the status quo or fight so that you and your children and your friends can be free? to your other points, I've just provided you with several news sources from several outlets including ones from hong kong https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/11/24/thuggery-terror-police-violence-fuelled-hong-kong-crisis/. but I will not use sources from the mainland because they're dominated and controlled solely by the chinese communist party in methods employed by and invented by the Nazi's. Newspapers and online postings from Chinese Weibo ????, Baidu ??, and the people's daily newspaper ????, are all strictly controlled and regulated by an army of Chinese censors. In an environment where all news is strictly monitored and controlled, you cannot trust in any way the information that comes from that source. While newspapers from other countries with democratic systems certainly have issues with bias, they must compete in a free market. This openness to information means that citizens of free countries like the UK have access to media and newspapers from every perspective. In China, this is not the case. Even being able to say "look up your own information" is a luxury you have here and one of the freedoms that the people of hong kong are fighting for. How can you possibly say look at other media sources about china when citizens of china are not even afforded the same opportunity? (at least not without a VPN which although is accessible in China, is still illegal). Basically you spew out tag lines like "justice should be without prejudice" while stating things which are factually inaccurate (the support for the pro-democracy movement is proven to be held by the overwhelming majority of people. even if you ignore the crowd sizes of the peaceful demonstrations you need only to look at the local elections where only 2 ccp loyalists were elected to district council). Yingjie Li you said you wanted to "just state facts here" but all the things you say were speculation and emotionally driven. Few of the things you said were facts. most of what you said amounted to you don't live in hong kong so you cant know (which is untrue thanks to the beautiful availability of the free internet) or understand (also untrue since we believe certain rights are inalienable to all people. Empathy doesn't require lived experience to feel or understand trauma and fear). Tourists have been declining (which is the only fact you listed) because of the violence they see of the hong kong police who yell obscenities, deploy tear gas in extreme excess, shoot at and arrest anyone nearby and wantonly beat people in normal clothes on the mtr. People don't want to visit a place where they can't trust the police. Shihao Gong again: do these instances look like the appropriate reaction of police in self-defense? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J5smZrXawo) (https://youtu.be/QhrZH2PLY6c) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c10HOBtTyeo) she lost her eye (https://youtu.be/y9yl_MrFOmM) (https://youtu.be/zkgMTiprHhE) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoMO5o9z2WQ) (https://youtu.be/q4XvUV90Nr0) a convenient but poor attempt to use western philosophy to reinforce your own bias. you said nothing about their philosophies or how they helped your point you just said their names and claimed "OBJECTIVE TRUTHS are hard to find" I've read most of the philosophical works you mentioned Plato, Nietzsche, and even Marx. In none of them did they ever claim that you can only know objective truth by living and experiencing things for yourself. The closest philosopher to mention something similar to this would be Descartes, however, Descartes challenged the idea that you could ever truly know anything at all since human input is inherently flawed. The only thing you can prove according to Descartes is yourself since you're capable of thinking about whether you exist (cogito ergo sum). Basically you just cite several well-known philosophers so people think you're smart or have a "strong argument" which is a logical fallacies reliant entirely on ethos (known as argument to authority) but fail to actually address any specific points from their philosophies. to clarify one of your question, our countries allow for critissm and free speech. occasionally our government leaders do things which are illegal. the difference is we can protests freely, we can criticize them, change the laws, whatever we as a country decide because our countries are representational democracies. That means we can freely elect ANY person we deem fit to hold office. Not just pre screened candidates chosen by the chinese communist party. I really think you dont understand what democracy is and why hong kong and the Peoples republic of china isnt a democracy. In hong kong, the law was changed so that only candidates who were prescreened by the Chinese Communist party would be eligible for election. This is not a democracy its a dog and pony show that masquerades as a democracy but in reality, it is just a handful of pre-approved leaders from Beijing. In fact, this change in law was the catalyst for the first wave of pro democracy protests (known as the umbrella movement) which also was marred by intense police brutality. Its also why the protesters didnt stop their protests when Carrie lamb said the bill was "dead" since the same thing was declared before, but in fact, the bill was revived and passed through a rushed vote by the standing committee of the national people's congress. This was the first major violation of the one country two systems agreement and the death of democracy in hong kong. In China, the only elections that occur are from the local people's congress which are "elected" (i use that word in the loosest sense of the word) through local seats. these are ALWAYS members of the ccp and you can only participate in politics and voting in china if you are a member of the communist party (which also requires an oath of atheism so that means Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists are excluded). Several other parties exist but their members must be selected by the ccp and are tightly controlled/regulated The governing bodies of china are then simply appointed through elections which only party members who hold office directly below them can vote in (not the people). This is not a democracy its a single state oligarchy.
Mark Reynolds
11:27pm on 2 Mar 20 Just worth responding to the point about KeeleSU being political. The union is here to represent all students and their interests. This vote is a question of whether supporting the protesters in Hong Kong should be one of those interests. That is not to suggest that somebody who disagrees with the motion is not also represented by KeeleSU and that by passing a motion there is created a disharmony among students. The very act of debating the motion in the first place is creating a disharmony on this webpage - surely a democratic vote to settle the matter would be the easiest way to bring that disharmony to a conclusion. As for the motion itself, I am very skeptical that the university senate would endorse this position.
Peter Chan
4:59pm on 3 Mar 20 Keele should join the Stand With Hong Kong movement that is running across numerous university cities in the UK including those of Sheffield, Nottingham, Oxford, York, Cardiff, Durham, Manchester, Birmingham, London etc., and take an active stance for what the people of Hong Kong really want for their future and their home. The CCP is eroding freedom in all forms from Hong Kong day in day out, and it is making my family and friends in Hong Kong suffer. My family and I never liked being called 'Chinese' and we never will. This is because of the simple fact that we do not tolerate the actions of the CCP, and the things they do are simply not right in humanity, as well as to human rights. For example, from the points made above, incidents such as the 'Uyghurs Muslim Education Camps', are not the things I feel is necessary to implement, as it is just plain and simple - WRONG. Hong Kong isn't the same as China, and that's just the way it is in terms of what the Hong Kongers want, much like the Catalonia story. Therefore, that is my reason for supporting this matter in a passionate way. The final thing to add, as I am a final year student studying Media, Communications, and Culture. I am currently doing an independent study project on the five demands of the Anti-ELAB protest in relation to this matter. Therefore, as there will be an exhibition opening on Thursday 14th of May, please feel free to come along to the Media Building and have a chat or get in touch with me if you are concerned about this topic in any way. Liberate Hong Kong, The Revolution Of Our Times. Five Demands, Not One Less. Fight for Freedom, Stand With Hong Kong.