Hong Kong will not be Tiananmen 2.0
Hong Kong will not be Tiananmen 2.0
If and when the Central Government intervenes in the Hong Kong riot, many worry that the US will put its vast propaganda machine into overdrive, to fabricate a sequel to Tiananmen, and lobby for international sanctions against China. While it’s certain that America will jump at every opportunity (including fictional ones, of course) to disrupt China’s rise, the outcome this time maybe very different, even surprising to the instigators.
Demonisation by the Imperial Corporate Press (ICP) is a background nuisance which we should have learned to ignore. Even if China enters meditation mode and do absolutely nothing, the ICP will continue to vilify and bash. Fanatics don’t shut up just because their targets refuse to argue. Paying them attention will only encourage fanaticism, and distract ourselves from more meaningful tasks.
Thirty years ago at Tiananmen, China had no voice whatsoever to defend itself. Whatever the ICP reported, we had to swallow, mutely witness yet another fictitious account added to the Empire’s creative history book.
But we now have the means to record the Hong Kong riot in great detail. The government has patiently given the colour revolutionaries plenty of time and ropes to hang themselves with. Ludicrous fabrications and malicious distortions can be debunked point by point beyond reasonable doubt. If pushed far enough, China can elevate groundless accusations to open debate, even at the United Nation, incorporating objective comparisons with similar cases elsewhere. The relatively gentle and rational Yellow Vests in France, just one of many examples, have so far lost more than ten lives, dozens of eyeballs, and a few limbs. A structured international debunkery may put well-established double-standards in the spot light, and nudge the ICP further towards the “credibility graveyard” it has dug for itself.
Today, China is number one trading partner with about 120 countries, keeping its promise of a peaceful rise in both word and deed. The chance of these countries joining a sanction against China, based on contrived charges, is negligibly small. In the best scenario, maybe only Australia (and Canada if Trudeau is still there?) would fall in line out of a racist reflex against China. The UK would most likely fire a few rounds of indignant “verbal cannons” to demonstrate solidarity, then return to its Brexit (or “Bremain”) conundrum.
The American public, as usual, will not see the real picture. The bottom strata of the Empire’s intellectual pyramid will continue to fear and despise China for a long time to come. It’s regrettable, but not much we can do about it. We can’t even manage our own National Education in Hong Kong, not to say combat designed ignorance in America. As long as its “Informed Class” understand — many in the commercial sector already do — then it would be business and antagonisation as usual.
China would not demonise America in retaliation either. China wants its huge population to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the war-loving Empire, as accurately as possible. The goal is to educate, and gradually turn 1.4 billion people into relatively informed citizens. If the US want their own folks to be delusional bigots seeing demons and heathens everywhere they turn, so be it. In the complex playing field of the twenty first century, competitions, including military ones, hinge on brain power and a good grasp of reality, not giant biceps and roisterous war-cries, I think.
There are still a number of options to quell the Hong Kong riot without firing a single shot. China will do whatever it deems prudent and necessary, with characteristic patience and latitude. But if worst comes to worst, the chance of it being contorted into a major international incident is very small. Nonetheless, China should start collating the sizeable file to prepare for a cogent defence, and possibly counter-offensive.
James Tam 2019.08.18