Photo courtesy of AP for the NY Post
The Hong Kong protests have definitely captured the world’s attention, and there is probably nobody on the face of the earth – the government of China excluded- who does not support their desire for the complete death of the extradition bill. Yet almost a month ago this rather peaceful and massive protest took a turn when other groups decided to hijack it and ask for the impossible: Hong Kong to be free of China. To top this off, incredibly, a few started to wave the Red, White, and Blue.
When this happened a chorus of Americans were deeply touched and felt a sense of patriotism for these Hong Kongers as brothers and sisters in democracy. There were Tweets of how “the [American] flag protects them,” how the “U.S. should stand with them,” or that we have the political or foreign power to “hold China from performing another Tienanmen Square Massacre.”
As endearing and sweet as those thoughts are, it shows the massive ignorance of the Tweeters, or perhaps worse, a covert plan to prime the idea to the U.S. public to go in and “free them.”
What do both American and select Chinese Hong Kongers protesters think they are asking for? President Trump is already in a tariff war with China, and I’m sure he has tried to put pressure on China. So what more do you expect him to do? Send in troops against the Chinese army??? Start an all out right war with China to “free Hong Kong” and then make it a proxy of the United States??
It is bad enough that China believes that the U.S. has sent the CIA to fund the “free Hong Kong” movement; and it is not far fetch to believe it is indeed true. Waving the American flag and feeding President Trump’s ego by asking him “for help” delegitimizes the authenticity, origins, and demands of the actual Hong Kong protesters.
Mike Rowse in the South China Morning Post said it well:
“Such an objective is practically impossible [advocating for foreign intervention], and not in Hong Kong’s best interests. Those who advocate it are deceiving Hong Kong people, but they have successfully hijacked the legitimate movement to some extent….
Next up is another small group which seems to see salvation in securing support from foreign governments. Quite what they expect these governments to do is unclear. There is no prospect whatsoever of these governments taking proactive steps at the expense of their own people’s interests.
So what is the use of running off to Washington and Westminster for high-profile meetings with senior officials? And how do they think such actions are perceived in Beijing when the country is embroiled in a trade war that has now spilled over into a wider struggle? Is it really worthwhile to be seen consorting with the country’s competitors in order to secure a handful of supportive noises and some photo opportunities?”
Most Americans do not understand the pride and deep jealousy of the People’s Republic of China. I recall what my ex-military political ambitious boyfriend twenty years ago said: “Mark my words – one day we will have a war with China – it’s inevitable.” At that time I was beyond naive and thought he was paranoid crazy. Not long after we had broken up I went to mainland China and was there for about a year. My experiences there radically changed my mind forever. I still hope his foreboding warning is false, but what he did not get wrong is their ambition, power, and willingness to delay self gratification in order to accomplish any purpose they have.
It will come to no good for both Hong Kongers or Americans if we meddle in these protests. China has a very long memory and does not let go of such things easily. Americans should be circumspect about the final outcome of their sentimental Tweets and what they expect we can do. Are you willing to have a conflict with China that could result in an outright war? Are you willing to send your loved ones or someone else’s loved ones against a Superpower over a territory and an internal conflict that belongs to them and them alone? Or perhaps they will be clever and not necessarily go into an outright conflict but instead sponsor well thought out terrorist attacks throughout the country in retaliation until they obtain their desired result of devastation of our people on our soil. The U.S. has done it to others, and do not mistake it, China would love to have an excuse to reciprocate that play on us.
Think very carefully before you Tweet or rejoice at the image of a protester holding up Old Glory or how we should rush in “and save them”. Do not be fool hardy and think that the Sleeping Giant has no power to retaliate with calamitous consequences on both its own Hong Kong and us.