Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Hong Kong Sings the American Song of Freedom, While China Prepares an Attack

 

China seems poised to engage in a crackdown on Hong Kong, with troops massing on the Hong Kong border and police (controlled and supported by Beijing) violently removing protesters from the Hong Kong airport that they have occupied over the last two days. I have spent a lot of time on radio over the years talking about China; how its government runs and military acts, and the issues of its citizens. And I have repeatedly discussed how we, as Americans, should never think of China on any sort of equivalent footing: Never think of a Communist nation as in any way equal to a free nation.

Radical environmentalists – which include major swaths of the progressive party in the US – often laud China for their Green innovations and clean mass transit. But China is responsible for some of the worst pollution on Earth.

In America, the concept of “Green” has become social media fodder, based too much on emotion, and not enough on data. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has pushed the Green New Deal. It’s a radical proposal: short on specifics and long on limitations of the rights of Americans. It’s a bad idea (airlines are good and flight is a brilliant innovation that should not be limited, and there is no eliminating cow farts without eliminating, well, cows.)

But assume, somehow, America adopted these life-altering proposals. Does anyone think the Green New Deal is going to get implemented by the Chinese Government? Does anyone think China can be hashtag-campaigned into making a move like this? In the 1990s, people thought adding more western culture to China would get them to open up to the world. What they didn’t realize is that China had no interest in opening up. They learned the lesson of the failure of the Soviet Union and Mikhail Gorbachev, and they went the other way. They took the Communist party, further solidified their power and cracked down even harder on the people.

Blue jeans and cheeseburgers did not stop the party, and neither will an AOC guilt trip on Twitter. Chinese Communists can not be hashtagged into change.

Hong Kong citizens are protesting actively, and aggressively. They want nothing to do with an extradition treaty that would permit the people of Hong Kong to be extradited to mainland China. Hong Kong has been part of China since 1997, when the British colony reverted back to Chinese control. It is supposed to be two systems, one country. But Beijing wants control. Of Hong Kong, of Taiwan and of much, much more.

The people of Hong Kong are crying out, and that is simply not allowed in China. It is not a riot, no matter what anyone says. This is a cry for freedom. And that cry is being heard by Beijing, which has placed troops on the border. The moment conjures images of Tiananmen Square in 1989. The world remembers a lone man standing up to a tank. The world forgets that 10,000 people died that day. What could happen in Hong Kong would make Tiananmen Square look like nothing.

President Trump’s standard style is to love everybody until he says they’ve done him wrong, then attack them, then love them again until they do it his way. He has referred to the situation in Hong Kong as “tricky” and “tough,” and hope it works out for everyone, “including China.” President Trump clearly doesn’t want to be hard on President Xi, but he is not going to get that option when China decides to go “full Tiananmen” on Hongkongers. The decision on how to deal with China is going to come, writes Noah Rothman in Commentary Magazine. He might as well be very clear that he won’t deal with any nation that engages in this kind of violence against its own citizens.

China has been clear, accusing the “black hand” of the State Department and the CIA for the protests. Rothman: “If Donald Trump’s aim is to keep mum about Hong Kong to avoid complicated negotiations with China over trade, Beijing isn’t giving him any credit for the effort.”

President Trump will eventually have to say that America isn’t going to build products (or buy products) in China. “They prevent their citizens from protesting? Threaten attack on protesters? That’s very bad. Not good. Not good at all. We aren’t going to deal with them at all. So, if you are somebody who works in China or builds in China, or is helping China, you are going to have a problem selling into the United States.”

President Trump should say that. He should say that to Google and Apple right now. Rothman:

Is the American position that China will suffer no diplomatic repercussions and can enjoy unfettered access to the American market even if it executes a Tiananmen-style crackdown in Hong Kong? Of course not. So why be coy about it?

(He’s right. How can he remain silent, or pretend the issue doesn’t exist, while working out a trade deal? Meanwhile, Trump has delayed tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese products until December 15 to assist the Christmas shopping season. That argument, also, is going to be a rough sell if China rolls tanks down the Tsing Sha Highway.)

Yet, despite the threat from Beijing, the protesters protest anyway. They protest in the Hong Kong airport because they want the world to see what is happening. And while they protest? They’re singing:

Hongkongers are waving the American flag and singing our National Anthem. They aren’t social justice warrior-Americans at the Pan Am Games, raising their fists and taking a knee in protest of the ‘horrible injustices’ of America. The people of Hong Kong – who are literally staring death in the face – know that America is better. That what it is too many Americans take for granted – freedom- is the goal. They know what they are aspiring to be, and it is us.

In this moment, we should aspire to be us as well.

Crossposted at WIBC.com.

Published in Foreign Policy
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There are 10 comments.

  1. Unsk Member

    This is heartbreaking.

    I think President Trump has been trying to protect American interests as best he can – particularly American farmers. But the Chinese have just said they won’t buy American farm goods- so effectively the trade negotiations are dead. 

    So it’s perhaps time to forget trying to work out a trade deal with the Red Chinese., and perhaps it time to tell the Red Chinese that if Xi unleashes their armed forces on Hong Kong and takes away the citizens of Hong Kongs’ rights President Trump will:

     

    A. Impose crippling sanctions on both Red China and Hong Kong and anyone who does business with them. Once Hong Kong loses it’s freedoms it’s role as a relatively safe conduit to mainland business is over as well as most of the reason for Hong Kong’s special financial status to exist in today’s financial world. 

    B. Recognize Taiwan and arm them to the hilt with our latest nuclear and nuclear missile defense weaponry. 

    The Taiwanese know they are next in line in the people’s that Red Chinese wants to bring under it’s iron fist. A heavily armed Taiwan that could effectively defend itself against invasion would be one hell of thorn in China’s side.

     

     

    • #1
    • August 14, 2019, at 3:38 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Unsk Member

    From Reuters:

    “A leading Republican also said the Trump administration must make clear to Beijing it would face “profound consequences,” including sanctions, if it intervened directly.

    “I can assure you that if China comes down hard on the protesters that there will be action in Congress to enforce the autonomy agreements that were entered into that are part of the special recognition of Hong Kong,” Senator Ben Cardin told Reuters. He said such action had bipartisan support.

    Cardin, a Democrat, has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation that would require the U.S. government to provide annual justification for the continuation of special treatment afforded to Hong Kong.”

    Well at least one Democrat has his head screwed on right for once. 

    • #2
    • August 14, 2019, at 3:45 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Front Seat Cat Member

    “Hongkongers are waving the American flag and singing our National Anthem. They aren’t social justice warrior-Americans at the Pan Am Games, raising their fists and taking a knee in protest of the ‘horrible injustices’ of America. The people of Hong Kong – who are literally staring death in the face – know that America is better. That what it is too many Americans take for granted – freedom- is the goal. They know what they are aspiring to be, and it is us.

    In this moment, we should aspire to be us as well.”

    This say it all – there is nothing left to be said. The people in Hong Kong waving the American flag and singing the National Anthem? To all the Colin Kaepernicks and AOC’s and Bernies, Pelosi and Schumer, and all the rest who trash America, and can’t find anything positive, who allow politics to stand in front of the rule of law, and making America better, look at Hong Kong. You are right – no one is taking a knee..

    • #3
    • August 14, 2019, at 4:35 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    “Hongkongers are waving the American flag and singing our National Anthem. They aren’t social justice warrior-Americans at the Pan Am Games, raising their fists and taking a knee in protest of the ‘horrible injustices’ of America. The people of Hong Kong – who are literally staring death in the face – know that America is better. That what it is too many Americans take for granted – freedom- is the goal. They know what they are aspiring to be, and it is us.

    In this moment, we should aspire to be us as well.”

    This say it all – there is nothing left to be said. The people in Hong Kong waving the American flag and singing the National Anthem? To all the Colin Kaepernicks and AOC’s and Bernies, Pelosi and Schumer, and all the rest who trash America, and can’t find anything positive, who allow politics to stand in front of the rule of law, and making America better, look at Hong Kong. You are right – no one is taking a knee..

    • #4
    • August 14, 2019, at 4:45 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  5. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    Many of us were rightly harsh on the Obama administration for not supporting the protests against the totalitarian government of Iran. Trump must not imitate Obama in his words and actions.

    • #5
    • August 14, 2019, at 5:15 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    What a heart-swelling moment. I wish them the best and hope that our President and his administration are able to do something to help them. The trade of our commies for their freedom-lovers has great merit (love the Babylon Bee!). Let’s start by trading Kaepernick for the a capella singer. Have him sing at game one of the world series. I suspect he has good skills that would make him employable anywhere in the US. He certainly has the right attitude. It is humbling to see such love both of freedom itself and what America and our flag represent.

    • #6
    • August 14, 2019, at 6:56 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This came to mind when I read the title. Yeah the words are hippy dippy (though some really are applicable), but Darin had such an amazing voice. Gone far too soon!

    • #7
    • August 14, 2019, at 6:57 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. I Walton Member

    Good article/ Not the least surprising. What will be surprising is if the US responds by cutting off trade to a significant extent and if the EU does anything beyond words other than take advantage of any US withdrawal. It’s actually good that this is occurring with Trump in the White House. There is nothing we can do to save Hong Kong, but with strong reprisals now and EU support they might back off until different folks run the US and most of the EU. I suppose time is the most any nation ever gains on anything. China is a fundamental threat to the US and the sooner we realize it the better. We lived well without trade with China. We and the rest of the world will do quite well again but the adjustment will be painful. They know it and have chosen now because we have elections in the near future and would rather work with Democrats.

    • #8
    • August 15, 2019, at 5:05 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Nohaaj Coolidge

    I posted about this on the worst of venues: FB. one of my fringe socialist lefty friends posted the following rebuttal, which I presume is fake or misinterpreted. Comments?

    • #9
    • August 15, 2019, at 6:01 AM PDT
    • Like
  10. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    I posted about this on the worst of venues: FB. one of my fringe socialist lefty friends posted the following rebuttal, which I presume is fake or misinterpreted. Comments?

    It’s unreadable. Can you blow it up to full (or nearly so) size?

    • #10
    • August 15, 2019, at 12:15 PM PDT
    • 1 like