by WorldTribune Staff, August 1, 2019
Protesters in Hong Kong have increasingly brandished the American flag as a symbol of resistance amid the threat of force from military and paramilitary forces from communist China.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration is closely monitoring a situation described by an administration official as a “congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border,” according to media reports on Aug. 1.
The regime of Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping has attempted to dismiss the daily, weeks-long Hong Kong protests as an attempt by the United States to destabilize China’s economy.
Millions of Hong Kong residents have participated in protests since early June.
“We hope the U.S. and other nations will be able to help Hong Kong fight against communist China’s policies,” a protester identified as Kelvin Wong told Bloomberg News in remarks published on July 15. “We need human rights, democracy, and freedom. These are the same values we share with the U.S. These are universal values. Now we are resisting communist China, which doesn’t like these values but also interferes with Hong Kong.”
Wong emphasized that, despite claims from Beijing, they “are not influenced by foreign powers.”
Another protester, Wildy Chan, told the Hong Kong Free Press that he was waving a U.S. flag to urge America to act in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. Chan stated that he, in particular, supported the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, a bill New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith introduced, which, if passed, would facilitate visas to Hong Kong residents to escape communist China if necessary and require the State Department to submit an annual report evaluating if “Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous to justify special treatment by the United States for bilateral agreements and programs.”
Bloomberg reported that a White House senior administration official said that units of the Chinese military or armed police had congregated at the border with Hong Kong.
The Financial Times pointed out that “the idea of Chinese tanks rolling into Hong Kong would have been unthinkable only a few months ago. But, as the Asian financial center enters its third month of protests triggered by an unpopular extradition law, Beijing and its supporters have made pointed references to the possibility of military intervention.”
Commentator and author Simon Constable warns on Forbes: “If protests continue in Hong Kong, and inspire mainlanders to act similarly, then the army will take control of the Hong Kong territory and crush the protesters. At that point, you’ll have a Tiananmen Square crackdown take two, only it will be in Hong Kong, not Beijing.”
The developments come as U.S. President Donald Trump attempts to iron out a trade deal with China and just as the two nations resumed negotiations in Shanghai.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the Chinese to “do the right thing” in managing the protests that have seen tear gas deployed by police.
“With respect to Hong Kong, this is the people of Hong Kong asking their government to listen to them,” Pompeo told reporters. “So it’s always appropriate for every government to listen to their people.”
According to a report by news.com.au, “growing ranks of Hong Kong’s typically conservative and publicity-shy bureaucrats have begun an unprecedented online dissent campaign against the city’s pro-Beijing leaders.”
Hundreds of civil servants have signed letters condemning the administration of city leader Carrie Lam and the police.
A group of civil servants have also announced plans to hold a rally on Aug. 2 — “something unheard of from a demographic that usually eschews politics,” the news.com.au report said.
“The letters — accompanied by photos of civil servant identity cards with personal details obscured — bemoan Lam’s lack of leadership and refusal to compromise as her administration grapples with huge protests rocking the international finance hub,” the report said.
China warned the U.S. against any involvement in the situation in Hong Kong.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said last week: “Judging from what was on the media, we see clear signs of foreign manipulation, orchestration and even organization in the relevant violent incidents. I hope the U.S. will answer this question honestly and clearly: what role did the U.S. play in the recent incidents in Hong Kong and what is your purpose behind it?”
Hua continued: “Though lacking self-knowledge, the U.S., I believe, should at least know one thing. Hong Kong belongs to China, and China does not allow any foreign interference in Hong Kong affairs. Nor will we allow any foreign forces to mess up Hong Kong. We advise the U.S. to withdraw its dirty hands from Hong Kong as soon as possible.”