The Corner

World

China Moves against Hong Kong

While the world is distracted managing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese government in Beijing is making dramatic moves against the pro-democracy protest movement in Hong Kong.

Over the weekend, 15 prominent Hong Kong citizens were put under political arrest for their role in last year’s protest movement, “in connection with organising and participating in unauthorised assemblies.”

Hong Kong’s “Basic Law,” which guarantees some autonomy until 2047, is directly under threat, with the government of Beijing putting tremendous pressure on Hong Kong’s ruling bodies to enact a sweeping national-security law.

Hong Kong’s incredible success as a society and economy of its own depended on autonomy from Beijing and the inherited political culture left from its days within the British Empire. For the first years of its post-1997 relationship with China, little Hong Kong made up a substantial fraction of China’s total wealth. Hong Kong is still very prosperous and is a luxury shopping destination for many mainlanders. But that may be changed forever.

Before the virus, my hope was that the separate strands of Chinese malfeasance — its mercantile gamesmanship, intellectual-property theft, spying, persecution of Muslims in its Western province, and suppression of Hong Kongers — would be blended into one forceful diplomatic critique against the Chinese Communist Party. Doing so is in our interest, so long as China remains integrated so deeply in the global economy.

The question now is whether China is moving in such a way that we are headed for Cold War 2.0 and that “decoupling” is a prelude to the formation of firmer Eastern and Western economic blocs.

Most Popular

Biden as Paradox

It is now conventional punditry that should Joe Biden win in November, his vice president, in 1944-style, will sooner rather than later become president. Biden, to reboot and secure the identity-politics base, thought he had to discriminate by sex and race in advance by selecting his vice president. But given ... Read More

Biden as Paradox

It is now conventional punditry that should Joe Biden win in November, his vice president, in 1944-style, will sooner rather than later become president. Biden, to reboot and secure the identity-politics base, thought he had to discriminate by sex and race in advance by selecting his vice president. But given ... Read More
U.S.

This Is Why We Need Guns

‘Only the cops need guns” simply could not live forever alongside, “The cops are racist and will kill you.” And so, at long last, the two circles of the Venn Diagram have filed for an amicable divorce. In the end, the differences proved irreconcilable. At least, they proved irreconcilable without ... Read More
U.S.

This Is Why We Need Guns

‘Only the cops need guns” simply could not live forever alongside, “The cops are racist and will kill you.” And so, at long last, the two circles of the Venn Diagram have filed for an amicable divorce. In the end, the differences proved irreconcilable. At least, they proved irreconcilable without ... Read More

Riots Are Violence

It’s weird that this needs to be said, but here we are. Then again, the pundit who reprehensibly claims that destroying property "is not violence" risks nothing. She agitates for revolution from the safety of her apartment. Much the same, I suspect, most of those excusing the destruction of our cities — ... Read More

Riots Are Violence

It’s weird that this needs to be said, but here we are. Then again, the pundit who reprehensibly claims that destroying property "is not violence" risks nothing. She agitates for revolution from the safety of her apartment. Much the same, I suspect, most of those excusing the destruction of our cities — ... Read More
Law & the Courts

‘Dominating’ the Streets

Since the revolution in policing that began in the early 1990s, we have had a generation of peace and prosperity. Without the rule of law -- i.e., without order, without the presumption that the laws will be enforced -- that kind of societal flourishing is not possible. We are seeing now what happens when the ... Read More
Law & the Courts

‘Dominating’ the Streets

Since the revolution in policing that began in the early 1990s, we have had a generation of peace and prosperity. Without the rule of law -- i.e., without order, without the presumption that the laws will be enforced -- that kind of societal flourishing is not possible. We are seeing now what happens when the ... Read More