Thursday, May 21, 2020

China: is the Quickening Here?

A good friend of long standing dropped me a small note back in March before COVID-19 went in to full bloom. As regulars know by reading the “Long Game” series here for the better part of a decade and a half know, I have never been optimistic about a peaceful future with Communist China. 

My friend has always been a bit darker.

I have never thought direct conflict was inevitable – nothing is written – but history shows less likely things have happened, and will happened.

My friend's note; “I’ve moved by date for war to 2021.”

I made a polite shrug, stated I thought the odds were “POSSWAR-LOW” and then he placed a rather curious marker; “Could break bad in three months.”

That is mid-June.

In my head, I made a short list of I&W items to keep an eye on if Miss Mary Darkcloud might be on to something.

One item on my list is what only makes sense; before the Communist Chinese can externalize an aggression, even across the Taiwan Strait, they need to neutralize problem areas inside their lifelines first. The only pebble in their shoe right now is Hong Kong.

Watch what is happening in Hong Kong. That will give you hints if there are larger games afoot.

Well, this AM, for those praying for peace, no good news;
China's Communist Party will impose a sweeping national security law in Hong Kong by fiat during the annual meeting of its top political body, officials said Thursday, criminalizing "foreign interference" along with secessionist activities and subversion of state power.

After steadily eroding Hong Kong’s political freedoms, Beijing signaled that the national security law will be a new tool that allows it to directly tackle the political dissent that erupted on Hong Kong’s streets last year. The months-long and sometimes violent protests began last June and fizzled out only over public health concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Beijing has opted for the most risky route,” said Ho-Fung Hung, a professor of international relations Johns Hopkins University. “It will show the world that ‘one country, two systems’ is, if not already over, almost over.”
He added: “It will be very difficult for anyone, especially the United States, to say Hong Kong is still autonomous and viable.”
… The law, a direct response to last year’s protests, will ban secession, subversion of state power, foreign interference and terrorism, said Stanley Ng, a Hong Kong deputy to the NPC, who attended the meeting.
The legislation could pass as early as next week and will bypass all of Hong Kong’s usual processes.
Similar laws were proposed in 2003 and would have allowed authorities to conduct searches without warrants. But they were abandoned after mass protests and never picked up locally again.
“The social unrest last year showed that the Hong Kong government was unable to handle passing [national security legislation] on its own,” said Ng, a Beijing loyalist who has for years pushed for a similar law. “Hong Kong’s status will be sacrificed with or without this law if society is unstable due to the protesters’ violence.”

“The arms of tyranny have reached Hong Kong,” said Ted Hui, a pro-democracy lawmaker who was a regular participant in protests last year. “Darker days are coming.”

I had a strange dream last night. I was told I had to put on my uniform and report to the nearest PSD (for some reason in this dream I had my mustache back). 

The line was long and the GS7 I finally got to talk to was trying to tell me what was wrong my paperwork that was the reason I was there. 

He had a bad accent that I couldn’t understand through a speaker that was scratchy and a lot of ambient noise around me. My subconscious decided to reach for its inner-Karen and asked to speak to a supervisor. 

Out from behind the Plexiglas came a very thin, angry, haggard man who I spent a few minutes trying to calm down and explain I simply needed someone I could understand to tell me what was wrong. He finally calmed down and said something like, “Everything is crazy and everyone is mad.”

That’s all I remember. I have no idea what the paperwork issue was.

Maybe I need to lose about 5 pounds or so.

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