Tags: hong kong | freedom | china | trump | trade

How America Can Win Hong Kong's Freedom

How America Can Win Hong Kong's Freedom
A police officer holds up pepper spray as he attempts to disperse protesters out of the platform at Po Lam Station on September 5, 2019, in Hong Kong, China. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

By Thursday, 05 September 2019 03:17 PM Current | Bio | Archive

One of the Cold War’s most indelible moments occurred when Ronald Reagan declared: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Ironically, those famous words were almost never uttered, since top advisors removed them from the speech. Yet President Reagan delivered that iconic phrase anyway.

Those hallowed words became a rallying cry for freedom fighters around the world, and the rest is history.

Donald Trump faces a similar threat to world freedom: an up-and-coming China hellbent on imposing its will.

That aggressiveness is front-and-center in Hong Kong. In blatant violation of the treaty it signed, the People’s Republic (a contradiction if ever there was one) is threatening the freedom of all Hong Kongese. America can either leave its allies to face China’s crushing hammer alone, or it can show mettle by meeting its foe head-on. There has never been a better opportunity for Mr. Trump to showcase his “Art of the Deal” credentials. If he plays his cards right, he can achieve the rarified status of embodying that famous Chinese proverb: “the greatest conqueror is he who overcomes the enemy without a blow.”

Indisputably, Donald Trump has China on its heels. The tariffs are targeting key manufacturing sectors, which account for two-thirds of China’s total exports, and almost one-fifth its GDP. That’s bad enough, but China’s economy was already reeling: slowest growth in almost 30 years; industrial production at its lowest level in 17 years; and consumer spending declining.

Now, there is an exodus of companies to more profitable pastures. When a business pulls up stakes, the domino effect generates higher unemployment, rising default rates, less consumer spending, smaller tax revenue, and a burgeoning “malaise” factor.

Donald Trump should use his leverage for both economic deals and supporting the cause of freedom. Some presidential advisors, however, are counseling Mr. Trump to keep tariffs and Hong Kong separate. They are wrong. Now is the time to irrevocably tie them together. Demanding economic concessions from China is the only way to ensure it honors its commitments.

And that’s a big deal, since China has a tough time keeping its word.

After all, it broke the “one-country, two-systems” treaty it signed with Great Britain in 1997 that guaranteed autonomy for Hong Kong. That 50-year treaty was supposed to be in force until 2047, but obviously, China has difficulty with math.

And let’s not forget that China flagrantly ignores international law. It has illegally built and militarized artificial islands; claims international waters as its own; violates the sovereign territories of other nations (and in doing so, depletes their fisheries and natural resources); commits wanton destruction of the environment; gouges African nations by exploiting their resources with corrupt deals; encourages North Korea’s provocations; and threatens the security of the South China Sea.

The Chinese will continue operating with impunity until someone stands up to them — and the only nation strong enough to do that is America. Here’s what Mr. Trump could do:

— Demand that China abide by the 1997 agreement, and halt its emigration of Chinese nationals. The ploy of inundating Hong Kong with Beijing loyalists to staff government and stack future elections is fooling no one.

— If China follows through on its threat to crush protestors with “an iron fist,” the President can revoke Hong Kong’s special trade status.

— Demand the release of protest leaders whom China maliciously labeled “terrorists” and had arrested.

— Enact trade policy where human rights come first. Sovereign nations can do as they please, but they defy the largest economy on Earth — America — at their own peril. Proof? Just ask Venezuela, where anarchy, starvation, and murder have become everyday occurrences.

— Engender the support of the world’s democracies to pressure China to back away from Hong Kong. And the U.S. should penalize all nations that break ranks and sell-out to China.

— Finally, should China invade Hong Kong, the President, with backing from the world, could cut off all trade. Doing so would cause temporary hardship for some Americans, but if China were isolated, it would likely be on the verge of collapse in six months.

We are not entitled to cheap Chinese goods, the profits of which are used to build weapons aimed at America. In that regard, an ancillary benefit of standing up to China is that we would bolster national security through trade diversification, as it is never prudent to overly rely on one nation, for anything.

Donald Trump stands at one of history’s most monumental crossroads, wielding the unique means to lift millions out of virtual slavery. Hopefully, the President will choose to conquer totalitarianism by supporting the intrepid fighters of Hong Kong, who, like our Founding Fathers, are sacrificing everything in the quest for that most innate of human rights: freedom.

This article is Part 2 of a series. To read Part 1, Click Here Now.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris FreindClick Here Now.

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Donald Trump stands at one of history’s most monumental crossroads, wielding the unique means to lift millions out of virtual slavery.
hong kong, freedom, china, trump, trade
Thursday, 05 September 2019 03:17 PM
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