This is not going to end well. As a result of our ongoing trade war, U.S. relations with China were already rapidly deteriorating, but now the chaos in Hong Kong threatens to completely wreck them.
Violence between political protesters and riot police is making headlines all over the globe, and as you will see below, the Chinese are squarely blaming the United States for what is happening. On Tuesday, flights at Hong Kong International Airport were canceled for a second day in a row, and riot police stormed the airport in an attempt to evict the thousands of protesters that were occupying it. This resulted in extremely violent clashes, and you can see raw video of one of these confrontations right here. Needless to say, the Chinese government is extremely alarmed by these developments. According to ABC News, one top official told the press that these protests in Hong Kong “have begun to show signs of terrorism”…
The clashes appeared to represent an escalation 10 weeks after the protest’s massive, peaceful beginnings in early June, when hundreds of thousands marched in the semi-autonomous city against a now-suspended extradition bill. A Chinese official said Tuesday that protesters “have begun to show signs of terrorism,” and China appeared to be weighing a crackdown on the democratic movement.
Bolstered by anger over the crackdown by Hong Kong police, the protests has grown more confrontational in recent weeks and reached new levels last Monday with a city-wide strike that disrupting traffic and hundreds of flights.
It appears to be just a matter of time before a major crackdown happens. It is being reported that China has been moving troops toward Hong Kong, and the Chinese are also now refusing to allow U.S. warships to make stops in Hong Kong. Apparently they are afraid that the presence of U.S. warships may escalate the situation, and so they don’t want to take any chances.
And it may be a very long time until the U.S. Navy is able to use Hong Kong ports in the future. At this point, the Chinese have concluded that “external foreign forces” are responsible for the protests in the city, and the finger of blame is being pointed directly at the United States. The following comes from NPR…
Along with its increasingly strident rhetoric, Beijing has encouraged conspiracy theories now popular within China that the protests were instigated and funded by the United States. In a second press conference last week, China’s office on Hong Kong blamed “external foreign forces” for the protest, citing several meetings U.S. leaders had with Hong Kong pro-democracy advocates in Washington this spring.
The ideas have gained significant support in mainland China: when a prominent international relations commentator dismissed theories of CIA support for the protests as an unfounded conspiracy, he was vilified as a traitor by online bloggers.
Most Americans are not deeply angry with China, and so they don’t understand why they would be deeply angry at us. But it is critical for us to understand that the Chinese now consider the United States to be enemy #1, and anti-American sentiment is constantly being fueled by official statements from the Chinese government. For example, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying recently told the press that the Hong Kong protests are “somehow the work of the US” and she warned that those who interfere in Hong Kong “will only get themselves burned”…
“As you all know, they are somehow the work of the US,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press conference in Beijing.
Hua added that China would “never allow any foreign forces” to interfere in the semi-autonomous city, and warned that “those who play (with) fire will only get themselves burned.”
And it certainly doesn’t help that officials from the United States have been spotted meeting with key organizers of the Hong Kong protests. In fact, Chinese state media has used this fact as evidence that the protests “have been sponsored by the US”…
Chinese state media has run multiple editorials blaming the US for the chaos. The state-run tabloid Global Times alleged Monday that there had been “unprecedented levels of contact” between Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders and Western governments.
“It is an open secret in Hong Kong that the forces protesting the extradition bill have been sponsored by the US,” the paper said.
When a photo of State Department official Julie Eadeh meeting with a group of Hong Kong protesters was posted on social media, it immediately went viral. All over China there were cries that the U.S. was trying to start a revolution in Hong Kong, and anti-American sentiment rose to an entirely new level.
There were reports suggesting Julie Eadeh is a trained subversion expert at the US consulate in Hong Kong. Her meeting with HK protesters would be evidence of US inciting and instigating the riots in Hong Kong. Is she under the direct order of former CIA chief Mike Pompeo? pic.twitter.com/jHazIpMM4K
— Chen Weihua (@chenweihua) August 8, 2019
Whether it is justified or not, it would be difficult to overstate how angry the Chinese are right now. At this point there is so much anger that even one of the most respected news anchors in the entire country used an expletive when talking about the United States during his news broadcast…
One of the most remarkable anti-American eruptions came last week when Kang Hui, one of China’s most recognized television news anchors, attacked the United States on-air as a hegemon that bullied and threatened others.
“They stir up more troubles and crave the whole world to be in chaos, acting like a ****-stirring stick,” Mr. Kang said on the usually stolid 7 p.m. national news program on CCTV, China’s state broadcaster. The expletive quickly became one of the most-searched-for phrases on Chinese social media.
Of course the protesters in Hong Kong aren’t exactly being shy about their fondness for the United States. They have been filmed waving American flags and singing the U.S. national anthem. They had been hoping for more support from President Trump, but so far Trump has taken a decidedly neutral stance, and he seems frustrated that the Chinese have been blaming him for what is taking place…
“Many are blaming me, and the United States, for the problems going on in Hong Kong. I can’t imagine why?” Trump tweeted Tuesday. He added: “Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!”
In separate remarks to reporters, Trump said: “The Hong Kong thing is a very tough situation. I hope it works out peacefully. I hope nobody gets hurt. I hope nobody gets killed.”
As with so many other things in life, perception is often more important than reality, and what really matters in this situation is that the Chinese are 100 percent convinced that the United States is behind the Hong Kong protests.
There is probably nothing that President Trump or other U.S. officials could do to dissuade them from believing this, and that means that anti-American sentiment inside China is likely to continue to intensify as long as the Hong Kong protests continue.
Needless to say, this is going to make a trade deal even less likely, and that is really bad news for the entire global economy.
The two largest economies on the entire planet are now engaged in a high stakes confrontation, and the outcome is going to have very serious implications for every man, woman and child on the entire planet.
Sadly, most Americans are still entirely clueless about what is really going on. Most of us still seem to believe that everything is going to work out just fine somehow, and I wish that was actually true.
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