I write this, in mid-August, 2019, with deep sadness. There has been no meaningful dialogue between China and the West. Neither have been able to solve capitalism’s waste-product, indebted people with limited work prospects and declining self-worth.
For all of Hong Kong’s expensive real-estate, few recognize a new generation’s cry for help in a gated community with shrinking opportunity.
For all of China’s success, in bringing hundreds of millions out of poverty, few recognize the joint, classic signs, of a faltering economy and corrupted power in mainland China.
The same over-doing it of capitalism has afflicted the U.S. too. Where millions march in Hong Kong, millions of Americans take to Facebook in anxious discontent. Neither the U.S., nor China, are sympathetic to each other. Both argue amongst themselves, play the blame-game, and talk past each other.
Unlike the West, China is not used to the comings and goings of recessions. Naturally, it will over-react, like any new-comer to capital markets. It does not have the institutional flexibility to adjust course. If it did, it would have prevented the trade war in the first place. To the West, the trade war is a simple question of business fairness. To China, the trade war is a racist attack.
Racism is one of the reasons China forced the replacement of a Westerner CEO at Cathay Pacific Airlines with an Asian. Ironic that for all the talk of racism in the U.S., that Chinese racism flies right over everyone’s head!
Here are the reasons why China will send in its police to bring order to Hong Kong.
The protests have reached the point where some participants have become militarized in their approach. The law of large numbers says that from millions of Hong Kongers, hundreds, if not thousands, will form an armed resistance to the CCP. Unlike the West, China does not romanticize revolution.
The sooner China takes control of Hong Kong, the better its chances of rounding up the would-be militants. Yes, many will end up in jail having done nothing, but with a population of 1 billion China will accept that cost in public trust.
China is expert as squashing dissenters. Hong Kong is nothing new for the CCP. It’s just larger and more out in the open.
The longer China waits to enter Hong Kong, the smarter and more prepared the Hong Kongers will become. Make no mistake, Hong Kong understands better than anyone how important it is to keep the spotlight on China. Even a million people may not be enough. It hasn’t been so far.
Anyway, if not now, when? Will Hong Kongers feel warm towards China in 30 years?
The U.S. is attacking China through a trade war which, from the Chinese perspective, is an effort to embarrass China in front of the world. There is no end in sight. Although Trump has brought it out in the open, it has been festering for years.
Therefore, China must get everyone in its sphere focused on the same enemy. In a year or two, most Hong Kongers will rally around their fellow Chinese. The rest will have little influence from prison or threat of family harm.
China is not a saber rattler. If it tells its people there is unrest in Hong Kong it will go fix it. It will not withdraw the equipment already stationed outside Hong Kong. It is scheduled to move in and move in it will. With a small lull in the protests this is a good time to do it.
Once inside it will be impossible for Hong Kongers to avoid getting placed in China’s social-control databases.
Instead of the West protecting Hong Kongers, or Taiwan, it will initially forgive China. China will offer a carrot after the stick. It will open its cities to more foreign investment and scientific research. It will give whatever the West wants in IP protection and economic benefits.
It will worry less about Western influence because everyone will be monitored as in Xinjiang. China might even let in a controlled version of Facebook.
China will also want to move in before its October National Day Golden Week celebrations. The CCP just had its leadership retreat in Beidaihe. These are the kind of leadership retreats, like any the world over, where the elite return, feeling invigorated and ready to lay down the law.
For all the reasons above, I’m making this bold prediction.
This piece is an extension of Hong Kong Proxy War In the Making.