Hong Kong is in its last days as an “autonomous” region and part of the “One China, Two Systems” promise. Dust off your funeral suit and dress.
China has cracked the whip and made obvious its intentions to slap the snot out of Hong Kong, to terminate its faux autonomous region nonsense, and to quell any nascent thoughts of freedom.
Let’s examine the time line.
1. In 1997, the British lease for Hong Kong terminated. The Brits returned Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty based on the promise that Hong Kong would be an autonomous region, though part of China.
2. As part of that transfer, the Chinese solemnly promised to govern Hong Kong by allowing its own legislature and leadership to continue part of a plan they called “One China, Two Systems.”
3. This system was to prevail until 2047 — fifty years.
4. Based on this arrangement, this promise, countries agreed to treat Hong Kong in a manner similar to how they had when the Brits ran the place.
5. In current terms that means that when the US imposed tariffs on China, these same tariffs did not fall on Hong Kong.
6. The relationship with Hong Kong was so tight, that almost 100,000 American citizens reside full time in Hong Kong.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, Big Red Car — what is “One China, Two Systems”?
Under the 1997 transfer agreement, Hong Kong was to have its own autonomous governance.
They were to have:
1. Self-governing by the election of a CEO to run the place (China now has its hand picked candidate atop the hierarchy — never saw that coming, eh?);
2. Limited rights to elect their own legislature and CEO;
3. A separate legal system and system of law enforcement (this is where the problem started because China wanted Hong Kong citizens to fall under mainland justice and law enforcement); and,
4. A separate economy and economic regulation. This meant that Hong Kong was autonomous from the mainland, Communist China economy. Remember that Hong Kong is a huge financial center like New York or London.
All of this framework is going to disappear. China is going to smother it. All of it.
So, what happened, Big Red Car?
What happened at the core of this is that President for Life Xi Jin Ping decided he’d had enough baloney from Hong Kong and Hong Kong wanting to be “free” of mainland Communist China. So he decided to consolidate it. [Pro tip: Taiwan, are you watching and listening? Cause you’re next. Remember the Uighurs? This guy is a killer.]
Remember, this guy has more power than Mao. He is the head of the government, the head of the Chinese Communist Party, a member of the Politboro, the commander-in-chief of the military, the head of the People’s National Congress, the leader of the intelligence apparatus, and has all the McDonald’s franchises in the country. [OK, he doesn’t have the McDonald’s thing.]
This guy right here, this President for Life Xi is the guy calling the shots on everything. He is not fooling around.
On his watch, he has consolidated power, promulgated the world wide Belt and Road Initiative, and the Chinese Social Credit System.
He also oversaw the seizure, development, arming of a dozen disputed atolls in the South China Sea. He has propped North Korea up after pretending he was Donald Trump’s pal in sorting out North Korea. Huge head fake.
Read about China’s digital despotism, its Chinese Social Credit System here. It is mind boggling.
This guy, Xi, is a man on the march. He is a hard core Communist and if you get in his way, he will kill you.
What did President for Life Xi do, Big Red Car?
President for Life Xi’s first action was to propose a law that all Hong Kong citizens would fall under the mainland China judicial and law enforcement system. This law was to be jammed through the Hong Kong legislature.
Of course, this was a wholesale violation of the “One China, Two Systems” promise.
Hong Kong exploded into riots — as much as 25% of Hong Kong’s population took to the streets. The Red Chinese — the mainland Communists — do not like the riots and began to progressively more brutally put them down.
Right at the beginning of COVID19, the Chinese had positioned troops just north of Hong Kong to put their jackboot on the neck of Hong Kong.
COVID19 took the Chinese eye off the ball.
So, what happened then, Big Red Car?
Now, that the Chinese feel more comfortable post-COVID19, they are back to business, the business of taming Hong Kong.
The Chinese are working on a “national security” law that they will impose upon Hong Kong. This national security law will give the mainland Chinese — the brutal Commies — the authority to crack down on Hong Kong as it pertains to any actions the Reds think smell like “treason, secession, sedition, or subversion.”
This law, more ominously, gives mainland China the right to operate its own security forces within Hong Kong — you get it?
That utterance is basically a death writ for Hong Kong.
In China — where Xi is also the head of the faux Congress — they pass their laws before they actually write them.
In this instance, the faux China National People’s Congress took a vote to authorize a national security law.
In a surprise outcome, the China NPC approved the national security law by a vote of 2,878 to 1. Six congress persons abstained from the vote.
Now, the Standing Committee of the China National People’s Congress will draft the actual law.
See, things are a little backwards in China. They approve the law BEFORE they write it.
Key point: this rubber stamped law will bypass the Hong Kong legislature.
What will the world do, Big Red Car?
The world will, essentially, do nothing.
Sure, the United States has declared that Hong Kong is no longer an “autonomous region” of China which means that the “special deal” that Hong Kong got from the US is now over.
Secretary of State Pompeo made this pronouncement to the US Congress earlier this week. This is some long overdue realpolitik. We need to start dealing with China as they are and not like they are our pals at PF Chang.
That pronouncement requires the United States to impose sanctions on anybody who undermines “fundamental freedoms and autonomy in Hong Kong.” Stay tuned.
The Chinese don’t really care. They have been unmasked and are prepared to tough it out.
The Chinese also think the 1,300 US firms who operate an office in Hong Kong will prevail upon the US not to take drastic action. The Chinese are playing chicken with the US.
Obviously, if President Trump comes down hard on China, the Chinese will use that as fodder to pull out of the recent US-China Phase One trade deal.
Bottom line it, Big Red Car
Between Hong Kong and the COVID19, it is “game on” with China. Know this, the Chinese are taking a very aggressive position on Hong Kong and COVID19.
In my view they have adopted the posture that if the west wants to pick a fight over COVID19, then they might as well lump in a few other things — Hong Kong, Taiwan, North Korea — and fight it out.
I see no quit in China. This started when the Obama admin allowed China to seize, fill, develop, arm, and militarize a dozen disputed South China Sea atolls that they then transformed into 12,000′ by 200′ concrete runways in the middle of more than 45% of the world’s sea lanes.
When the Chinese got away with that blatant hegemony, they decided the US was a bunch of pansies and they could do whatever they wanted in their part of the world.
The Chinese are going to war with Australia, cancelling the import of Australian beef into China. This is more than 25% of the Australia – China economic relationship. This is a similar experiment. The Chinese are seeing what the US and local allies will do. If they can get away with crushing Australia, they will be further emboldened.
Why are the Chinese so pissed off at Australia? The Ozzies made a public outcry for a public investigation of what China did in the COVID19 sage.
Japan and the US have developed programs to withdraw Japanese and American supply chain companies from China. It remains to be seen whether either Japan or the US actually follow through on their plans.
We are war with China. This is one more battleground.
Nobody in the US, except for Donald J Trump, seems to get that fact.
Game on, y’all. I will personally never buy another product made in China.