American Elephants


The Stakes in the Battle for Hong Kong are High by The Elephant's Child

We normally have a number of readers from Hong Kong. We do have readers from all over the world, which always surprises me, though I welcome it enthusiastically. But our Hong Kong readers have apparently been out in the streets for the last three days, and they’re not through yet. Americans aren’t really much aware of what is going on in that part of the world. Here, Dr. Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee does a good job of explaining the issues.

You probably noticed when President Trump threatened Mexico with some significant tariffs if the didn’t make an effort to help out with the immigration crisis, the ever-so-responsible Media erupted with cries of “Trade Wars” and all the disaster to our people and our country if the despicable Trump was stupidly starting a trade war. Of course, he was not. He was giving the Mexicans a nudge, pointing out that they were creating a serious problem for us with their lax treatment of migrants, and that if they wanted to e stubborn about it, we had some consequences available that they would not like at all. Mexico promptly decided that being helpful was probably a good idea. Now the press is claiming that we are trying to start a Trade War with China, which is not true either.

And that really has not much of anything to do with the eruptions in Hong Kong. Claudia Rosett, splendid international reporter, does an excellent job of explaining the stakes.

In Hong Kong’s huge protest over a proposed law that would allow extradition from the territory to mainland China, there is far more at stake than “confidence” in the integrity of Hong Kong’s legal system, or the health of Hong Kong’s economy — important though those both are. The real showdown going on in Hong Kong has long been between despotism and democracy, between tyranny and the Free World. And whether we, the free people of America, and our allies, choose to think of it this way or not, the reality is that the showdown now taking place in Hong Kong will shape our future as well.

For two reasons, the people of Hong Kong — in their efforts to stop this ruinous extradition law — deserve the strongest support we can muster. One reason is quite simply that it is the right thing to do, though in international politics that is often a backseat priority. The other reason– perhaps more compelling to those inclined to think of Hong Kong as a faraway foreign place and none of our business — is that it is a high-risk precedent for the Free World to abandon its own. It invites aggression by the likes of China (and Russia, Iran, North Korea, etc.) against us and our allies. Which is what it will boil down to, if the U.S., the U.K. and other democratic powers do not find some way to buttress the demands of Hong Kong’s demonstrators. It is vital that Washington persuade Beijing and its satrap in Hong Kong, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, that it would be wise to scrap this proposed law, and moronic –or at least astoundingly expensive — to push it through.


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