Action on Hong Kong Entangles China in a Snare of its Rise Opponents
I had no intentions to opine on any actions by the People's Republic of China (PRC) toward its Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong nor on any allegations made in Xinjiang. I made my decision - an evolved, more mature and realistic analysis, based upon a belief that the matters referenced were Chinese domestic issues, best settled between the people and their government, and under a shameful knowledge of continued racial inequality, social injustice and division in the United States (US), as well as the thought that "one needs to wipe the cold from one's own eyes before attempting to wipe it from another's eyes".
However, since world powers are making a geo-political event out of China's domestic actions, particularly the enactment of a new security law in Hong Kong, I now feel compel to comment on the global implications of a developing rift in the geo-political affairs between China and Western powers.
[An acknowledgment: My wife was born in China; my two-younger sons are of Chinese heritage; we have a number of family members and friends across China.]
The US is seeking to nullify China's claims to swaths of the South China Sea, it has canceled the special trade privileges Hong Kong enjoyed before the enactment of the new security law, it has sanctioned Chinese officials and companies, and it seeks to sanction more individuals from the Chinese Communist Party as punishment for Beijing's actions in Hong Kong and in Xinjiang. Moreover, the United Kingdom (UK) has decided to remove Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from its 5G networks. The UK has also suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and extended its arms embargo on China to include Hong Kong, CNN reported earlier today. And the UK has offered citizenship to hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers because of the new security law.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK was changing its arrangements with Hong Kong to reflect his government's "serious concerns" about its new security law.
Canada and Australia have already suspended their extradition treaties with Hong Kong, citing a fear of political persecution, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP). The US is preparing a similar action and New Zealand was in the process of reassessing its extradition agreement with Hong Kong.
China's insistence and enactment of a new security law for Hong Kong has entangled the world's most populous nation into a snare of its rise opponents. While some observers probably thought the current COVID-19 pandemic was the event China's opponents would more likely use to blemish and derail the quickly developing nation, apparently recognition that such a pandemic could have started anywhere, has now left Chinese actions, at home, in Xinjiang, and in Hong Kong as the more viable causes to ally China opponents.
Let me be very frank: willful hindrances to China's rise is rooted in racist political ideology. All world powers should not be of European origin. For decades, those now seeking to block China's rise, have profited via cheap goods and services in China. The said Communist system in place in China today, has been there for decades and that fact stands indicative of the hypocrisy of Western powers.
Mass incarcerations of minority men in the US, the prevalence of racial inequality and social injustice and the promotion of division are more troubling than any event in Xinjiang and in Hong Kong. British failure to fully ameliorate the plight of Windrush migrants also trumps any events in Xinjiang and in Hong Kong. And the aspirations and dire conditions of migrants across Europe also have deeper claims that any incident in Xinjiang and in Hong Kong.
Yet, there's a growing geo-political orchestration to pause China's rise. As administrations like Donald Trump's in the US have opted for populist, isolationist and nationalistic agendas, China has been busy expanding its sphere of influence beyond Asia to include Africa, Europe and the Americas, while American influence has been waning under Trump. And facing a difficult election this Fall, Trump seems to view China as an easy distraction from the gruesome reality of more than 140,000 American deaths from COVID-19.
So China will face growing push back that could impact its continuing rise. Yet, China is not without some blame. Writing on this Blog, The World in 2020 - China, December 29, 2019, I observed and warned: "...China's rise seems non-stoppable...China's biggest threat in 2020 could come from itself - from its failure to make the necessary reforms and changes demanded by the time...China could realize that stability and growth defined by Chinese characteristics might not transcend to the wider world and that the Communists might have to incorporate a wider sphere of western thinking into the successful continuity of its global growth."
Acting on Hong Kong with a new security law at a highly sensitive time, especially following the Umbrella or Occupy Movement of 2014, was a misstep by Beijing. I opine that in acting prematurely on Hong Kong, Beijing has lost a broad opportunity to witnessing a voluntary incorporation of its bright, yet fearful, and aspiring young people into the "one country, two systems" model overtime, as bad examples of governance in the west become more revealed.
But China's actions now have the affect of playing into the snare of its rise opponents setting up for some alarming times ahead.