CCP's fluid narratives (are all BS)
One night in Hong Kong the state broadcaster screens on its public television channel TVB the graphic video footage of a guy getting set alight on a pedestrian footbridge.....The 7.00pm news service is in Cantonese (with handsignals for the deaf), so do any viewers not conversant in the local language know what the story is about? What do viewers understand and take from this story ?
Since it's January 2021 anyone watching would probably recall the graphic footage of the incident during the 2019 protests: an older man protesting the behaviour of pro-democracy people's acts of vandalism in the local MTR station got embroiled in an argument with some 'black clad' youths suspected to be 'protesters' - things spiralled out of control and the younger protagonists set him on fire. ( 2019 News Story ) Would people not fluent in Cantonese be viewing this news programme? Is there some subliminal message in the story about the tragedy of violence?
Then at 7.30pm there is the news in English....the customary count of new Covid cases, new arrests made today in Hong Kong under the National Security Law, court appearances of pro-democracy people etc, BUT, most notably, NO VIDEO of the guy being set on fire. Why is that??
We are not entirely sure about the neutrality or bias of any HK news service, whether its RTHK, SCMP, HKFP or TVB. The television news does mention that HK Police have arrested two people who assisted protesters being sought by Police as part of an investigation into the fire incident. Those arrested had apparently hid the Police suspects, and helped them financially to flee the city.
Hong Kong protests: two arrested over helping suspects flee city in horrific 2019 case where man was set on fire, (MSN News, 15 January 2021)
CCP has powerful control over their own mouthpieces; eg Global Times, etc. They spin out policies in the form of news stories and opinion pieces to push the boundaries and gauge public opinion. If there is push back from the public, then CCP will say not us! If there is no pushback, then CCP goes ahead with what their mouthpieces said! A positive public response may even shape the subtance of the government response.
Take this recent HK news story as an example:
This reads a bit like a good cop - bad cop story. Lawmaker Regina Ip suggests that people emigrating to the UK using their BNO status should not be allowed to retain their HK passport...the end of dual citizenship for those choosing to abandon the SAR at this time.
Pro-establishment figure calls for curbs on dual citizenship in Hong Kong, saying those who obtain foreign nationality should be stripped of right of abode (Yahoo News/SCMP, 10 January 2021)
After a bit of an outcry, Chief Executive (CE) Carrie Lam distances herself from her own Senior Exective Council (ExCo) advisor's comments. The CE issues a counter media statement, but the news is full of rumblings that some kind of action is likely forthcoming from the state-governing CCP as a form of retribution against pro-democracy people, against anti-CCP people, against dissenters, against double-dealers who would side with the UK over China.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam distances herself from adviser’s call to clamp down on residents acquiring foreign nationality (Yahoo News/SCMP, 12 January 2021)
This is probably not the end of that story!
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Apple Daily can be viewed as a source of dual language Pro-democracy narratives since it has both Cantonese and English..... But the efforts of Apple Daily are a mere drop in the bucket against the volume of propaganda pushed directly and indirectly by CCP. The party has multiple pathways to spread their narratives far and wide, and they have invested heavily in getting their message out over the years!
WE should remember that CCP has one message for mainland Chinese to keep them in their place....obedient, pliant, submissive, fearful etc....and ANOTHER message for overseas Chinese...e.g. you are always Chinese, love the Motherland, we have our eyes on you, we can tap into your phone, watch out we have your grandmother, etc...And another narrative for westerners....China is so great!, China has 5,000 years of history, China is unbeatable, WE are the best inventors of everything, western democracy = anarchy, western values are decadent and weak, etc.
CCP says one thing, but their actions speak something else.
We certainly know this from their failure to uphold the Joint Declaration in Hong Kong.
Foreign Ministers and CCP officials bleat oft-repeated propaganda, all the while the masses scoff at the doublespeak, the utter nonsense, the misrepresentations, the beguiling statistics, and the grandiose pipe dreams.
Many people realise that CCP is at the ideological dead end: CCP's capitalism marks the end of Maoism.
Labor staffer with Chinese Communist Party links pushes bizarre conspiracy theory coronavirus was created by the U.S. and spread around the globe by its army, (Mail Online, 1 June 2020)
'DON'T BLAME US' Chinese ambassador to Britain says coronavirus is not China’s fault and blasts ‘we’re the victim’, (The Sun, 15 May, 2020)
China Confucius Institutes face heat over propaganda, (VietnamBreakingNews.com, 2 August 2020)
China is infiltrating Australia on multiple fronts, from politics to business, via its powerful and covert United Front agency, (news.com.au, 11 June 2020)
Inside China's audacious global propaganda campaign, (TheGuardian.com, 7 December 2018)
China reportedly orders network to spread Communist Party propaganda, (New York Post, 12 May 2020)
It's such a shame that some westerners still buy into the CCP narratives, hook, line and sinker...or that certain leaders of democratic nations would give CCP the benefit of the doubt over issues like human rights abuses, spread of covid-19 , the manufacture of PEPs and safety and efficacy of vaccines, and other matters.
Here’s A List Of Countries That Received Faulty Coronavirus Medical Supplies From China, (Daily Caller, 31 March 2020)
‘Made in China is trash,’ China’s PPE diplomacy boomerangs as world starts to reject Chinese products, (TFIPost.com, 18 April 2020)
China May Be Undermining its Own 'Mask Diplomacy' in Europe With Poor Quality Products, (Newsweek, 15 May 2020)
Can you trust Chinese-made products?, (Consumer reports, 28 June 2007) [NOTE the date!]
We have to take note of CCP's delight in its recent pathetic, point-scoring comparison of the US Capitol 'insurrection' with the 2019 protester storming of the HK Legislative chamber (see our blogs: US & HK Violence : (Part 1) Finding the truth of the narratives). Similarities in a few photographs snapped 18 months apart are hardly a complete picture of protester motivations in each place, of Police operations in each locale on the day, or of the supposed failure of western-style democracy that lead to the disparate events.
We digress....the point is that CCP has many narratives to spin - they are as slippery as a US president facing impeachment. What is at stake is the TRUTH...and our TRUST in our politicians and government. From the former we can reconcile, and with the latter we have a basis for an ongoing working relationship (see our blog: Speak to truth and reconciliation).
The lack of transparency, inconsistency in the story, and affronts to our own values, or our intelligence etc...all these are good reason to decouple, to sever ties.
More fool you if you go along with CCP duplicity!
Pepe and Jeremiah B.
Useful references on "GASLIGHTING": (or find your own if you don't believe us!)
Please read these other relevant blogs:
Apple Daily 16 January 2021 'Steps to enlightenment｜Michelle Ng'
ABC News, 22 July 2020, UK to open citizenship path to Hong Kongers from January
Richmond News, 21 July 2020, Update: Lawyers see uptick in immigration inquiries from Hong Kong
Hong Kong Free Press, 21 January, 2021, How Twitter’s ‘state-affiliated’ labelling led to a drop in the impact of China’s state media
NPR, 14 October, 2020, Hong Kong Residents Are Getting Political Asylum In The U.S.