China trade

White House Caught Between Several Rocks And One Very Hard Place Amid Huawei, Trade, Hong Kong Drama

"Total respect".

"Total respect".
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6 comments on “White House Caught Between Several Rocks And One Very Hard Place Amid Huawei, Trade, Hong Kong Drama

  1. How would the GOP cabal react if demonstrators in the US were throwing petrol bombs at the police? Say, in Ferguson ….

    • False analogy. The situation in Hong Kong is about a formerly free city-state, one of the most successful in history, being forced into an authoritarian straitjacket against its collective will. Now, if your hypothetical demonstrators in, say, Ferguson, were throwing petrol bombs because local authorities were jacking them up and discriminating against them based solely on race and socioeconomic status, that would be another thing…Oh, wait…

      • Justified or not, the reaction from the American right would have been similar. Look how they reacted to Black Lives Matter and the NFL players kneeling. Some pretty harmless stuff set off a firestorm from our friends in the GOP.

  2. In any case, mfn is right.

    But damn, there is no happy ending just around the corner in HK.

    • If by happy ending you mean a deescalation by the demonstrators or the city administrator (i.e. the Chinese government) you are right: the outlook is not good.

      To start with, it does not appear that the demonstrators have any sort of effective leadership that can represent and negotiate on their behalf.

      More significant than that rather major impediment is the fact that the most important (and nebulous) demand of the demonstrators for ‘greater democratic freedoms’ is a complete non-starter for China. China likely would be willing to have Carrie Lam step down a few months after peace and order are restored. Similarly most of the demonstrators who were arrested could be released reasonably expeditiously along with some PR moves to ‘reform’ the police. However, while greater autonomy and democratic processes could consist primarily of cosmetic changes China almost certainly views even such concessions as dangerous and potentially destabilizing. The potential for a ‘goodwill’ payoff would have to be balanced against appearing weak as well as the likelihood of an upsurge in activism in China’s restive eastern regions.

      Clearly, China has hoped that over time the demonstrations would run out of steam. For the safety if not the political freedom of Hong Kong that may have been the ideal outcome. Alas that does not appear to be the direction that things are heading.

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