Hong Kong as Dry Run for Taiwan

In response to the ongoing and increasingly unruly protests in Hong Kong, China is openly preparing paramilitary riot control troops on its border, thereby warning everyone of the inevitable. Given the pitch of brazenness from the protesters, it seems unlikely that they will be cowed by mere images of Chinese troops. There will almost certainly be an ugly outcome here, as the protesters cannot win at this moment when the Chinese regime is feeling particularly unlimited and eager in its aims of regional and global hegemony, as well as showing a renewed devotion to the ruthless implementation of its methods without restraint or circumspection.

The moment Hong Kong was handed over to China by the Brits, the trajectory was set. Mainland China has worked her quasi-capitalist economic miracle so effectively that she no longer needs the benefits of any special status for Hong Kong. And to the extent that the people of Hong Kong express a desire to see themselves as essentially independent of Chinese control — which is the implication of the issue that started these protests, public outrage against a proposed law allowing extraditions to the mainland — China will believe it has no choice but to step in and end all questions of ultimate authority. 

This will likely be a warm-up exercise for China’s frequently-promised final confrontation with Taiwan. Not only will Hong Kong be a warning shot to the Taiwanese, but it will also serve as a test run on global response to the assertion of Chinese communist power. There can be little doubt how effectively the world will respond. China will get the message it wants. They are not concerned about expressions of “deep concern” at the UN, or calls for “restraint on all sides.” They see such responses as exactly what they are: the feeble begging of those who know they have already been defeated, and tacit license to carry on as planned.

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