The anti-Chinese protests in Hong Kong continue to drag on.
In response to the demonstrations, China is amassing troops at the Hong Kong border. This large military force is in a position to cross into the city if directed by the Chinese government.
The demonstrations that began in June, as a protest against a proposed extradition law has morphed into a much larger movement demanding democracy and an end to Chinese interference in Hong Kong.
The current Hong Kong government is beholden to the Chinese government; Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam would undoubtedly lose her job is she dared to defy the wishes of the ruling party in Beijing.
Any intervention by the Chinese would likely shake financial markets around the world. The world markets are already on edge following recession warning signals and the US-Chinese trade war.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial dropped 800 points. Bloodshed in Hong Kong wouldn’t make things any better.
Is A Chinese Invasion Imminent?
Given China’s repressive history—including the Tiananmen Square Massacre and oppression of Christians and other religious minorities— the protestors in Hong Kong should be nervous about a Chinese invasion.
The BBC reported on Wednesday that “the basic law—Hong Kong’s mini-constitution since the UK handed the territory back to China in 1997—is very clear.
Unless China declares an all-out state of emergency or war in Hong Kong, Chinese military intervention can only come at the request of the Hong Kong government, and for the maintenance of public order and in disaster relief.
But most analysts say at this stage is almost unthinkable that PLA troops will be seen in Hong Kong.”
The United States is beginning to publicly respond. Members of the House and Senate have publicly expressed support for the freedom-seeking demonstrators.
Trump Gets Involved
President Trump weighed in on the crisis in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
He tweeted a message to the Chinese President Xi Jinping:
“I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man in a tough business. I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wanted to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?”
Trump is appealing to President Xi to have a personal meeting to solve the Hong Kong mess, and presumably, to discuss an end to the trade war.
It would behoove the president to stay strong in the face of President Xi; the freedom of millions of people in Hong Kong is at stake. He may try to use tariffs as leverage against the Chinese, which would harm the American economy, but it would send a message to the world that America stands for those who seek freedom everywhere.
President Trump shouldn’t make the same mistake as President Obama did with regards to the “Green Movement” marchers in Iran.
In 2009, massive crowds of anti-government protestors marched in the streets after a fraudulent election. The leaders of the movement were arrested and were sent to jail after show trials were conducted for the cameras. Thousands fled the country and are still in exile today.
Barack Obama did not stand with the Green Movement demonstrators, who risked their freedom to take a stand against the Islamic Republic. It was a golden opportunity to achieve regime change in Iran and the world would have been safer for it.
Instead, six years later, the Obama administration made a disastrous nuclear deal with the Mullahs in Iran, a deal that President Trump rightfully terminated.
That is not to say that the US should take military action, but rather use its economic and diplomatic strength to stand with the freedom seekers in Hong Kong.
We must let the world know that America stands with those who yearn to be free.