laying blame

The current situation in Hong Kong may be one of the turning points for global security. The Chinese government is blaming the US for the protests. People I know with ties to Hong Kong say the only role the US plays in their protests are around the concepts of democracy and suffrage being goals to be pursued in Hong Kong. So perhaps philosophically the US is to “blame”, but not for direct interactions as described by the PRC.

Another theory going around is that the PRC is playing an active role in the protests, probably making deals with the Triads to exploit opportunities for violence. Clearly the PRC has a history of trying to erase narratives they don’t like (e.g. Tianenman), and there are many signs that Beijing is trying to “mainland” Hong Kong by sending students, injecting Mandarin and simplified characters, and generally trying to slowly erode Hong Kong’s history and identification as “Hong Kong” rather than “China.”

While the US administration focuses on trade wars, this battle in Hong Kong, along with Taiwan relations, will probably have a bigger and more strategic impact. Totalitarian regimes that consolidate power become increasingly influential on the global stage. But they also risk their ability to remain totalitarian. The battle for Hong Kong may be a turning point in either direction.

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