Tags: hong kong | trump | protests

America Is MIA in Supporting Hong Kong

America Is MIA in Supporting Hong Kong
Protesters wave their phones in the air during a #MeToo rally against police sexual harassment on August 30, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

By Wednesday, 28 August 2019 05:31 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Part One: Why America Needs to Intervene

You are arrested, charged, and have your day in court, judged by an impartial jury.

Nothing out of the ordinary.

But what would the reaction be if that court was in another country, with a jury of foreign citizens, with rules that strongly favor the government, and little recourse for appeal?

Outrage. And justifiably so, since such a kangaroo court would be anathema to America and all westernized democracies.

Yet that’s exactly the oppressive system which China is attempting to force onto Hong Kong, in violation of an agreement prohibiting such measures. As a result, courageous Hong Kongese have been steadfastly protesting, despite the looming specter of Chinese military intervention.

Yet these freedom fighters have received little support from America. And that is inexcusable.

This is not a Republican/Democrat issue. It is about seizing the moral high ground and backing those fighting for what too many Americans take for granted: their freedom. The freedom to worship, assemble, dissent, and the freedom to be judged fairly. Freedom transcends national borders, so we are they, and they are we. It’s time for America get in the game.

The situation in Hong Kong is escalating at a dangerous pace, with police using increasing force. But China isn’t satisfied, and has amassed a military force right outside the city. Should it lose faith in police, it is poised to swoop in with what could be bloody results.

The United Stated should be doing more to back the Hong Kongese. But first, a brief primer. Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, but that is a relatively new development. Britain took control of Hong Kong in the 1840s, transformed it into a thriving democracy and international financial capital, and ruled it for 150 years. In 1997, after a 99-year lease, it relinquished control to China. However, the agreement explicitly stated that Hong Kong would maintain a “high degree of autonomy” until 2047. The “one-country, two-systems,” deal was intended to preserve the freedoms imbued throughout Hong Kong society.

But China is reneging.

Protests erupted after the PRC tried imposing a law allowing extradition of Hong Kongers to mainland China to stand trial. In reality, such extraditions would amount to virtually-guaranteed convictions. China’s record of human rights violations with prisoners is among the world’s worst, so extradition could well be a one-way ticket. And since the law would be retroactive, anyone who has criticized the Chinese government would be in jeopardy.

After China labeled peaceful protestors “rioters” (a designation carrying heavier penalties than protesting), the Hong Kongese realized that if they failed to win the day, their way of life would be extinguished, and their beloved land would fall to the communists.

This could well be the most defining moment of Donald Trump’s presidency. He can make or break his chances for reelection, and cement or destroy his legacy, by what he does next.

The smart thing would be tying his trade and tariff negotiations to China removing itself from Hong Kong. By holding fast, he would not only re-write trade policies that have America on the short end, but will have reasserted the U.S. as defender of the free world.

Mr. Trump could show immense resolve by going to Hong Kong and, echoing William Wallace’s epic rallying cry in “Braveheart,” make an impassioned speech articulating the cause of freedom.

Some of history’s greatest moments occurred when American presidents stood tall in the face of oppression: Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation; JFK’s “I am a Berliner” speech; George H. W. Bush’s condemnation of China for its Tiananmen Square massacre; and of course, Ronald Reagan standing with Lech Walesa and Solidarity, calling the Soviet Union an “evil empire,” and imploring Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

But if not now, then when? And if not for this, then what? Who are we if we don’t stand with those staring down the barrel of guns? How unempathetic and insensitive are Westerners if we allow Hong Kongers to face this repressive dictatorship by themselves? 

And let’s not forget those who helped America in our fight for independence. Spain, Poland, Prussia, and especially France played crucial roles, and that took guts since opposing the world’s strongest nation was seen as suicidal.

If we don’t step up, then we should close military bases around the world. After all, what’s the point of “exerting influence” and “projecting power” if we disappear when most needed? That’s the very definition of “paper tiger.”

The eyes of the world, and the hearts of every Hong Konger, are on Donald Trump.

Mr. President, it’s now or never.

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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The eyes of the world, and the hearts of every Hong Konger, are on Donald Trump.
hong kong, trump, protests
Wednesday, 28 August 2019 05:31 PM
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