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Endgame for Hong Kong?
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Stugray2 Offline
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Post: #41
RE: Endgame for Hong Kong?
Here is what Trump did with Sanctions on Turkey for buying a Russian Air Defenses system ... Nothing, no sanctions.

https://www.ft.com/content/326f545e-b9c5...884d3ea203

I have no confidence Trump would do anything with Chinese sanctions, or rather HK sanctions. If he does nothing the world does nothing.

Most of the Democrats running for President, especially those bashing Obama, are pro-China. So I do not see much hope for continuing the pressure on US Manufacturers like Apple, Dell, whomever, to move manufacturing out of China. Isolationism and financial greed outweigh National Security with most people.
08-14-2019 12:40 AM
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solohawks Offline
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Post: #42
RE: Endgame for Hong Kong?
Is there much the US can do about HK? It is Chinese territory.
08-14-2019 06:16 AM
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TigerBlue4Ever Offline
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Post: #43
RE: Endgame for Hong Kong?
(08-14-2019 12:40 AM)Stugray2 Wrote:  Here is what Trump did with Sanctions on Turkey for buying a Russian Air Defenses system ... Nothing, no sanctions.

https://www.ft.com/content/326f545e-b9c5...884d3ea203

I have no confidence Trump would do anything with Chinese sanctions, or rather HK sanctions. If he does nothing the world does nothing.

Most of the Democrats running for President, especially those bashing Obama, are pro-China. So I do not see much hope for continuing the pressure on US Manufacturers like Apple, Dell, whomever, to move manufacturing out of China. Isolationism and financial greed outweigh National Security with most people.

Wait, you think one of the loons will win?
08-14-2019 07:12 AM
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Captain Bearcat Offline
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Post: #44
RE: Endgame for Hong Kong?
(08-13-2019 10:13 PM)Stugray2 Wrote:  
(08-13-2019 05:48 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  But the West is not without power in Hong Kong.

Money is power. And the West holds the money spigot.

Power without the political will to use it is no power at all. Business has corrupted the decision making process. So many companies are dependent upon China for their products, especially Electronics and Computers, but also steel and many other things.

(08-13-2019 05:48 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  Hong Kong isn't Myanmar. The West doesn't care about Myanmar. We care deeply about Hong Kong - even on this board, many of us have relatives there. And it has the Rule of Law, a precious thing to lose.

You have heard Jerry Tarkanian's old saying about the NCAA cracking down hard on Cleveland State because they are mad at Kentucky. Well the same thing applies here. Reagan invaded Granada mostly to send the message to the Russians and Cubans that they were now facing a regime that would not shy from confronting them

Myanmar is instructive because it is a Chinese client state. There is a consistency in their treatment of Muslims and that of China's. What has been done? Nothing.

Thailand Red Shirt crackdown? Nothing.
https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/05/18/thai...-crackdown

Hong Kong will be the same. You are fooling yourself if "this time if you cross the line we really mean it."

Do we mean it? We have American Hotels in Lhasa Tibet, which follow Chinese policy and hire only Han ethnic workers. Do we do anything about their crackdown there? no. What about the 2 million Muslims in concentration camps in Xinjiang? Nothing, no sanctions, not a peep. These are genocide policies.

Concentration camps (Gulags as the Soviets call them, "Reeducation camps" as the Chinese call them) are as far from the rule of law as you can get. Even in the US people see the law increasingly as political, they way you get things you want and force others to comply. It is not seen as the lofty majesty of truth you see it as or that I grew up with. It is seem as malleable to the norm of the day.

The overwhelming sentiment is isolationism. Let the barbarians do whatever to each other, none of our business. We have no more moral authority, and nobody is calling upon it in our politics today. It's a misplaced hope.

Bottom line: Not one American life will be risked over HK.

(08-13-2019 05:48 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  Around the world, the mood is very anti-China right now. China is reaping what it has sown from years of pushing people around. It's astonishing that Democrats, Republicans, Tories, Labor, Christian Democrats, Liberal Democrats, Greens, populists on both sides of the aisle, Germans, Japanese, Americans, Aussies - we all actually agree on something for once. Trump's go-it-alone leadership in this area has actually worked: he's gotten the whole world to reconsider their attitude towards China. And this is before the Hong Kong situation. What will the mood be after videos of Chinese soldiers shooting at protesters start circulating on social media?

Mood is nothing. Within a few months of Tienanmen foreign investment in China was at a record high. And it has gone up exponentially since.

As far as action goes. I do not see any unity. Sure congress may well pass a HK act. But besides a few HK government officials it wont mean much. It'll be like sanctions on individual Russians. Same Russians travel around and live high in Europe and especially London and Paris. It's the money the West loves, and China has far more of it than Russia. Big deal if Carrie Lam's assets get seized.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-cong.../3289/text

China will handle this with Police, not PLA. Sure PLA will guard the borders and harbor. But it will be guys in HKPD uniforms carrying out the arrests raids and hauling off of people to detention and to the mainland.

(08-13-2019 05:48 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  Consider this: Crimea is historically Russian, and not a single person died in the invasion of Crimea. But the US slapped them hard enough for the Russian economy to shrink 6% immediately and severely restricted future growth.

China is much more vulnerable to external economic pressure than Russia: Russia sells commodities that are hard to switch away from and are only available in a handful of countries, while China sells cheap $hit that no one really needs and are easy to obtain from India, Ethiopia, or Indonesia.

We lack the will. Trump is generally supportive of strong rulers like Xi, and only focuses on trade. Most of the Democratic field for President is pro-China. The left is actually criticizing the protesters for being Colonialist, and criticizing them for lack of ethnic solidarity.


(08-13-2019 05:48 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  The only question is political will. The US allies whose economies are most intertwined with China (Japan and South Korea) also have the most to fear from China getting away with aggression. They'll probably lead the charge for sanctions.

The US lacks the will. Europe has even less. In your Crimea example Germany and France basically ignore it, and do business directly with Russia.

As for the Russian economy being down, I'd probably assign more of that to oil volatility than sanctions. I have not seen a single Silicon Valley company break it's ties with Russian branches.


The situations in Xinjiang or Tibet are like Chechnya or the Mexican Zapatistas. It's an internal situation with dirt poor people that the US doesn't care about.

The situation in Myanmar is like Congo. Totally off the US radar.

The situation in Thailand is like Venezuela. Less than Venezuela, even. With Thailand's unstable history, why would we think the Redshirts are more trustworthy than the regime?

The comparison for Hong Kong is Crimea. Both are countries with treaties protecting their integrity (the 1994 Budapest Treaty for Ukraine, and the 1984 Sino-British Treaty for Hong Kong). And both are against a nuclear power that has been using military threats to push around its smaller neighbors for far too long.

Crimea is 90% Russian and has been the Russian Navy's most important port for 230 years. Russia's Black Seas Fleet remained in Crimea even after the USSR broke up. Russia had every bit as much right to Crimea as China does to Hong Kong.

We have no intrinsic reason to care about Crimea, other than the 1994 treaty guaranteeing Ukraine's territorial integrity. We have every reason to care about Hong Kong, in addition to helping Britain enforce the 1984 treaty.

The Russian economy was down 40% from 2013-2015. I've seen several studies about how much of that is oil and how much was sanctions. Estimates of the impact of sanctions range from 6%-11%, so I put 6% in my previous post. On top of that we deprived them of capital to invest in increasing oil production, which matters now that oil prices are back up.

It's not a full embargo, as you correctly point out. But we slapped a nuclear power hard.


You're right that we won't risk American troops to protect Hong Kong. But an economic war? With a country that we're ticked at anyways? Absolutely.
08-14-2019 11:06 AM
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CrimsonPhantom Offline
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Post: #45
RE: Endgame for Hong Kong?
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08-14-2019 05:36 PM
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