There they are, week after week, the residents of Hong Kong protesting the mainland’s suppression of their liberties, in violation of the agreement China signed in 1997 with England which would guarantee the territory keeping their rights for another 50 years. Week after week the protesters continue to fight, and week after week the police and armed thugs push them back.
Is the rest of the world taking a firm stand against the mainland’s repression of the protesters?
The US could be summoning international support to tell China not to mistreat the protesters but it is not. And it is not because Mr Trump has not valued our alliances.
Our president may think he has achieved a great victory in getting China – through his imposition of tariffs – to drop from being our number one trading partner to becoming our third largest, behind Canada and Mexico, but that is no victory at all. Instead, what the tariffs have done is increase animosities and hurt the global economy.
As Trump has carried on with applying tariffs on China and threatening them on our allies, our stature in the world has diminished.
As Trump has carried on against immigrants, our moral standing has suffered too.
Meanwhile, with each protest, the people in Hong Kong keep sending out a call to the nations of the world to take a stand with them in the fight for freedom. We used to be able to hear those calls but gone is our moral leadership.
Can we ask China not to repress the protesters in Hong Kong when we are bashing them with tariffs? They would laugh at us.
Can we ask the rest of the world to take a stand with us? The likely answer, ‘aren’t you all about making America great again? That doesn’t include us, does it?’
The courageous people of Hong Kong will fight on because that is their precious land. They are fighting for their freedom. They are also fighting for the freedom of all Chinese, even those in the mainland whose voices are harshly suppressed.
One day China will be free, and they will do so fueled by the memories of the sacrifices of their brothers and sisters in Hong Kong.
What Mr Trump doesn’t get, is that China’s drive for becoming a great nation cannot be stopped.
Yes, they have traded unfairly and stolen technology, but they have it in them to learn from it and create their own. Didn’t they already travel to the other side of the moon without our help?
A different approach to the trade problem was available, and still is, one that includes cooperation with our allies who are also affected. But our myopic president dismissed such option. The complexities of the world dwarf him.
Had he not started a tariff war, we, and the rest of the world, could well have been in a better position to stand together in defense of Hong Kong.
And yet, still we hope, that Hong Kong doesn’t turn into another Tiananmen.