Some cause for concern

AT, Lifson:

President Xi realizes that the one thing that can unite the fractious Chinese people, who have many things to complain about, given the corruption that is a way of life there, the absolutist rule they face, and now the tanking economy, is anti-foreign agitation. China has deep, legitimate grievances over they way it suffered at the hands of foreign governments, starting with the deliberate supply of opium in the 18th century by first British, and then other Western powers (including American “China traders”). Not only was mass addiction fostered, a successful war was fought tobe able to continue and expand that narcotics trade…

I am not saying that bloody repression and blaming the West is inevitable, but it is an option for Xi, one that would address domestic issues for him. But it would also come at a heavy price, for China’s efforts to target and wait out President Trump, hoping for his defeat in 2020, depend on maintaining and expanding ties with the advanced nations of the West (and Japan and South Korea). Exploiting such a division would be difficult if Hong Kongers are slaughtered. And China – and various politically influential people in China – makes a lot of money and is able to enjoy access to personal financial flexibility through Hong Kong’s special status.


Violence between protesters and police spread across five districts late Saturday, with several police stations besieged and hundreds of residents pouring on to the streets to drive riot police from their neighborhood.

Clashes between citizens and police are growing, with no sign of a political resolution to the unrest that has driven eight weeks of protests that are underpinned by anger at China’s growing influence in the city.

In front of one police station, thousands of black-clad pro-democracy protesters in yellow hard hats gathered. A few used poles to dent parked police vehicles, while others shot with slingshots. Two small fires were set outside the station.

Police massed to clear the protesters, charging at them with riot shields and firing rounds of tear gas that left the street outside in a fog. The crowd fell back but didn’t disperse. Around 10 p.m. a standoff took hold. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered on the street, some building barricades with sandbags and other debris from a nearby work site.

“The situation is really precarious,” said Albert Ho, a Hong Kong human-rights lawyer who is defending several protesters arrested in recent demonstrations. “Right now there are a lot of young people out there who feel they have nothing to lose, who feel they are looking at the end of rule of law, of a legal system, of a culture.”

We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but we don’t have a good feeling about this.

One Response to “Some cause for concern”

  1. feeblemind Says:

    Another piece by Gordon Chang

    This article argues that Hong Kong is on the brink of revolting.

    Hmmmm . . .

    We’ll see.

    In Hong Kong, It’s Now a Revolution

    In Hong Kong, revolution is in the air. What started out as an unexpectedly large demonstration in late April against a piece of legislation—an extradition bill—has become a call for democracy in the territory as well as independence from China and the end of communism on Chinese soil.

    Almost nobody thinks any of these things can happen, but they forget that Chinese rebellions and revolutions often start at the periphery and then work their way to the center. The Qing dynasty of the Manchus, the last imperial reign, unraveled from the edges, as did others.

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