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This may be a first in Leftist Lexicon history. I have stumbled across a topic where they don’t have an opinion, but rest assured I will still mock them anyway.

Recently, Hong Kong experienced a somewhat peaceful uprising against government corruption. Unlike Antifa here, though, the protestors didn’t burn/break stuff, attack bystanders, or demand government give them anything. Well, that last part isn’t strictly true because the protestors are asking the US government to intervene on their behalf. So far, we’ve stayed out of the fray with the Trump Administration agreeing that these protests are an internal matter and, thus, not our problem. Meanwhile, the Left has been quiet, instead focusing on important matters like trans-friendly cartoon characters or handicap accessible eco-friendly stripper poles.

My fear, though, is we aren’t taking a close enough look at the implications of ignoring or turning away from Hong Kong right now and how this could cause problems down the line.

Hong Kong

What the Left thinks it means – let me get back to you on that

What it really means – an economic powerhouse that can make or break our economy depending on what we do

If there was a foreign city that rivals America in sheer economic potential, it would be Hong Kong. With a population of close to 7.5 million people and a history of being a trading capitol even today, Hong Kong is a major global commerce hub. After it was returned to China in 1997, there was bound to be a battle looming on the horizon between the socioeconomic ideals of the city and the nation. It’s like what we’re seeing in America right now between capitalism and Leftist ideology, where one side wants government to keep its hands off as much as possible and the other wants government to be involved in every aspect of life and the economy.

On paper, this seems like the kind of battle America would be talking about or even helping fight, but we’ve stayed above the fray as much as we can. A large portion of this, I feel, is due to the relationship the US has with China and the mess we’ve made in addressing the issues between the two countries. Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for 1989, when Chinese students were standing in front of tanks and attempting to enact similar social and economic reforms in Tiananmen Square. I was a college freshman at the time and seeing people right around my age taking such a bold and dangerous stance against a government not exactly known for playing nice struck a chord with me. (I think it was a G, but I could be wrong.)

At that time, then-President George H. W. Bush threatened the possibility of offering China Most Favored Nation status unless they dealt with their numerous human rights violations. Of course, we walked back the threat. Then, under President Bill Clinton, China was granted Most Favored Nation Status with no human rights strings attached. Heck of a job, Billy.

Since then, China has become a trading contradiction: a testament to capitalism surrounded by a testament to big government, and for the most part, that contradiction has been allowed to remain intact until lately. Also, since then, China has purchased a lot of our debt in the form of redeemable bonds. That means if China thinks we can’t pay back what they paid for the bonds, they can demand payment and we will have to either come up with the money or default. And remember, kids, these are the same folks who think they can do a better job at managing your health care and health insurance better than you can.

This fiscal Sword of Damocles may be staying our hand more than we care to admit, which is sad. There was a time when America could be counted on to fight for freedom around the world, but somewhere along the line we decided to trade in the grit in our bellies for cheap disposable crap made in China by people whose freedoms are being suppressed. But, hey, at least we’re getting cheap disposable crap, right? At least, they’re not deadly to children, pets and oursellll…okay, so they are.

And another fun fact to chew on is China is a hotbed for piracy, and not the Captain Jack Sparrow kind (although it is vastly more entertaining than the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films). Entertainment and computer piracy have been a steady side-hustle, and there are no signs that will slow down anytime soon. Given how left-leaning Hollywood, the gaming, and the computer industries have been or become, you would think the Left would be all over this, but they aren’t. They’d rather protest the President or fight for trans albino Eskimos’ rights to abortions on demand, especially if they’re male-to-female trans people.

The problem is there isn’t a clear and safe option. If we ignore the Hong Kong protestors, the best we can expect is to cut off a major economic port and market. If we engage China, they can call in the bonds, which can put us in dire economic straits. Right now, we need China more than they need us. When realism collides with idealism, the latter usually loses.

In this situation, though, we have more of a responsibility to speak up instead of forever holding our peace because the protestors look to us for inspiration and direction. The longer we stay silent or put off taking a stand, the worse it will be in the long run for everyone involved. I mean, if we can whip out the tariff threat against China more frequently than Joe Biden has a speaking gaffe, we might be able to spare a moment or two to tell China and Hong Kong to knock it off.

Author: Thomas

I'm a small town boy living in the heart of Iowa watching the world go by with my wife and dog.