China recently claimed that it was the United States that instigated the waves of pro-democracy protests that have washed over Hong Kong in recent weeks. It’s a ridiculous claim, but unfortunately suggests the possibility that Beijing is foreshadowing a military intervention in Hong Kong to maintain control.
The commander of China’s military outfit in Hong Kong recently said, in fact, that it was “determined to protect national sovereignty, security, stability, and the prosperity of Hong Kong.”
It wouldn’t be the first time that China has used force in this way. Many of you remember the brutal repression in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Tibet was invaded in 1950. And, more recently, we’ve seen the crackdown on Uighur Muslims in western China.
Hong Kong has been an important center of both commerce and freedom, just a few miles from the Chinese mainland. Whether that will continue is a serious question that we all should be concerned with.