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Protesters Aren't Only Getting Oppressed in Hong Kong, It's Happening In Australia Too

Australia isn't free from China's pro-Beijing propaganda play but we shouldn't be surprised.

The Hong Kong protests have escalated dramatically since June and things won’t be calming down any time soon given the stalemate between lawmakers and the pro-democracy protesters, as well as China’s influence on events.

The conflict has since spilled out into countries around the world, particularly in Australia. Demonstrations by Chinese communities and uni students in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne have become regular sights.

Much like what’s happening in Hong Kong, some of these demonstrations in Australia have occasionally gone a bit unruly due to tensions between pro-Beijing and pro-democracy crowds, though no tear gas cannisters have been shot at people yet, thankfully.

The reasons for this conflict isn’t as simple one side versus another, but a major factor for why this is happening in Australia can at least be partially attributed to China.

China has attempted to silence the pro-democracy protesters by spreading pro-Beijing propaganda and essentially stirring up conflict between among the Chinese community. But this tactic isn’t just confined to Hong Kong and China as propaganda has also spread to Australia and is having a similar effect.

Speaking to an international uni student from China, Crystal, they reveal that not only is there constant discussion about what’s happening in Hong Kong among Chinese students on a daily basis, there is a considerable amount of pro-Beijing material and Chinese media reports being spread around on online platforms like Weibo and WeChat.

Within Crystal’s friend groups, which comprises of people from both Hong Kong and China, material from both sides is rife but pro-Beijing propaganda makes up a much larger proportion of the stuff that’s being spread around.

While many demonstrations across Australia have been reported as peaceful, Chinese media reports have exaggerated them as being “violent”, mischaracterised protesters as being unruly and toxic, and have spread misinformation about alleged conflicts that never actually happened.

When I asked about how her Hong Kong friends and other international Hong Kongers are reacting to the protests, Crystal says while they’re understandably on the pro-democracy side, they are also unwilling to speak out due to the increasing number of pro-Beijing people opposing them, which is progressively getting worse due to the discord being sowed by China’s dissemination of fake news and propaganda.

There’s certainly numbers to back up why they’re afraid to speak their thoughts. There are 1.2 million Chinese people living in Australia and Hong Kongers only make up about 100,000 of that total.

It’s difficult to peacefully protest when not only are you largely outnumbered but the opposing side has been fed on a diet of misinformation that paints you as the spawn of Satan.

Everything that’s going down in Hong Kong right now is also happening in Australia, albeit on a smaller scale. And just like how tensions over there aren’t going to ease up any time soon, there’s conflict simmering underneath the surface here Down Under that won’t be going away just yet.

Hong Kong Protestors Beg The New RL Mulan To Stick To Fairytales After She Chimed In

Word of advice, maybe don't piss off a massive group of furious protesters.

Chinese celebrities have started to weigh in on the Hong Kong protests and some of the comments – like Jackie Chan‘s – haven’t gone down too well with the pro-democracy crowd.

The latest to chime in on the protests is our new real-life Mulan, Liu Yifei, who empowered the protesters to keep fighting for their freedom because that’s what Mulan would’ve done and *checks notes* oh wait, that’s not what happened at all.

Taking to her Weibo account, where she has around 66 million followers, the actress posted an image from China’s newspaper The People’s Daily (which is like China’s equivalent of Fox News and Sky News) that reads “I support the Hong Kong police; you can beat me up now” in Chinese and “What a shame for Hong Kong” below in English.

As a cherry on top, she also wrote “I also support the Hong Kong Police” with a heart and strong-arm emoji.

Yifei’s post has since been liked and shared thousands of times but it hasn’t gone down too well with the pro-democracy crowd, who have bombarded social media platforms with calls to boycott Mulan.

While Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are all blocked by China’s cooked censorship regime, folks have figured out workarounds to get their boycott message out and it’s perhaps no surprise to anyone that there are a lot of folks who aren’t happy with Yifei’s stance on the Hong Kong protests.

But pro-democracy folk urging people to boycott Mulan isn’t the only action that’s happening on the interwebs.

According to Variety, Beijing has been countering the Hong Kong protests by launching its own misinformation campaign at home and the aforementioned language shared by Yifei has been used as a pro-Beijing rallying cry that portrays protesters as violent agitators who were paid off.

If you take a peek at Yifei’s Instagram comments, you’ll find that it’s descended into a showdown between the pro-Beijing and pro-democracy crowds. Never mind taking down the Huns, the real battle is happening on social media.

How ironic that an actress playing a heroic symbol of freedom is so against the idea of democracy.

It’s all a complete fustercluck right now in Hong Kong and a conclusion to the protests looks further away than Mulan‘s March 25, 2020 release date.

We’ll just see how this whole #BoycottMulan thing pans out when the film comes out. Apropos of nothing, I hear Scarlett Johansson is free these days now that she’s done playing Black Widow and is looking for some new roles.

Jackie Chan Dealt A Blow To Hong Kong's Protestors, Don't Act Surprised

If you had any doubts about Jackie Chan and his politics, this should erase them.

The Hong Kong protests have escalated dramatically since they kicked off back in March 2019 and things are getting dicey. Hundreds of thousands of disgruntled Hong Kongers are holding demonstrations everywhere, the economy is getting shell-shocked, flights are getting canceled and the police are retaliating with excessive force.

Jackie Chan, a Hong Kong native, has now spoken out about the protests and, well, let’s say his comments didn’t go down too well.

Too late for that.

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Chan said he went to Hong Kong to “express the most basic principles of patriotism as a Hong Kong citizen and a Chinese” and wanted to “represent everyone’s voice.”

“I feel pride in being Chinese wherever I go, and the ‘Five-starred Red Flag’ is respected everywhere around the world.

“I also deeply feel that safety, stability, and peace are just like fresh air, you never know how precious it is until you lose it.”

He then called the protests “sad and depressing” and hoped that peace will come to Hong Kong soon.

While these comments are seemingly positive, they’re the last thing Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters want to hear, especially from a guy like Jackie Chan, and they responded with a barrage of comments labeling him as a traitor and a Chinese lackey.

So why all the hate for the world’s biggest action star?

Well, Chan is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultive Conference and a staunch supporter of the Chinese Communist Party. When he’s not acting as the face of modern Chinese communism, he’s going around preaching how Chinese people need to have their freedom and democratic processes suppressed so he’s not exactly on the side of democracy here.

They’re certainly trying though.

So when he’s talking about “safety” and “stability” when referring to Hong Kong, it’s less about democracy and more along the lines of “stop dem protests soon because you’re ruining all the safety and stability we got going in communist China RN.”

As a cherry on top of this oppressive, tear gas soaked cake, Chan reportedly feigned ignorance of the protests when he was asked in June, saying how he had only found out the day before and knew nothing.

Hard to believe you didn’t know about the protests that are taking place in your home country, champ.

He really is.

We shouldn’t be surprised by any of Chan’s comments about the Hong Kong protests, though

It’s been long established that he’s an awful human being and his dodgy politics have been out in the open for ages, so we shouldn’t act too shocked that he’s going around and trumpeting empty rhetorics under the guise of wanting peace.

But in terms of swaying public favour away from the pro-democracy protests and back towards the pro-China side, well Jackie Chan has done his job as China’s mouthpiece perfectly.

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