LSP – Just caught up on the HK thing. Does seem to be escalating.
I’ve been on the phone with friends in China and there is talk of forming a think tank to advise the Chinese Government (both PRC and HK), in China. The Chinese government is firmly of the opinion that the US is behind the trouble, except that it’s not. There are some NGO’s and a few neocons in DC who would like to be behind it, but they aren’t. The PRC has caused this mess all on their own and if they aren’t careful, they’ll lose Hong Kong.
Jim – I’ve been wondering how long it would take. The Chinese don’t seem to be the type to take this forever.
From what I’ve been told today, the Beijing Government has ruled out sending the People’s Liberation Army in to blow the place up. That’s a good sign and a move in the right direction. The PRC government doesn’t really know whether to shit or go blind. Crushing HK like a bug would make them an international pariah. Letting HK go, sets a bad example to the Chinese people and especially the Nationalist Government on Taiwan. I have been chatting as stated above and gave examples of how it could go wrong. I also offered advise as a sort of teaser. The think tank project would far transcend HK. China devalued its currency (spit in America’s eye) but we can keep raising tariffs and they can only devalue so far. It’s not a good long term strategy for China.
The protests are getting more violent and more focused, and the PRC oligarchs don’t have many good options.
The point-counterpoint between China and the US is playing havoc with the volatile US stock market, but I don’t think that President Trump is worried. The US still holds the cards. Hong Kong is a thriving economic powerhouse, but Big China can do without it economically. The loss of respect and dignity that would result from either destroying Hong Kong or having it separate would be a deep wound.
I understand what you wrote, and my sense would be to agree with you, but at present, the mandarins on the mainland are reluctant to do that.
The development of the Belt Road Initiative hangs in the balance as do many of their overtures overseas. I don’t think that they will overreact. But I could be wrong.
April 19, 1775 – the shot heard round the world. A spark at this point will send Hong Kong into a death spiral for the Chinese, and it would never come back. There are moves that the PRC could make. They wouldn’t like to do it, but their options are limited.