While most of us certainly remember those recent riots and shutdowns and some of the brutal retaliations by the police, many don't remember that the cause of the riots was not the action of the good citizens but was caused by China trying to renege on the agreement made between China and the British in return for the removal of British governance. The agreement was made in 1984 and it gave Hong Kong autonomy in governance for the territory until 2047. After one hundred and forty-six years under the Crown, it was a minimum necessary for a people not expecting to have to surrender their individualism and capitalism to an autocratic Communist state. But now, it appears that the Chinese, with ruler for life Chairman Xi leading the way, are ready to lower the boom strictly and change Hong Kong as her citizens know it. The original thoughts when the arrangement was made was that over time, as China experienced more wealth and good fortune with semi-free enterprise system, the nation would itself be changed to a more relaxed governance, but it appears today that is not the case. If anything, we should expect the opposite and the protests we have seen are likely to get bigger, more agitated and very bloody. If the People's Congress approves the imposition of harsh rules for the operation of Hong Kong, and they will if the Chairman tells them to, we can expect a powder keg that when it explodes will be a modern day shot around the world. Will Xi set it off, well, many say he will, some say he will defer, but only time will tell.
And this brings me to a related matter and that is Taiwan, the island state of twenty-three million only about one hundred miles across the Taiwan Straits from Mainland China. China claims it is theirs, the Taiwanese say no, and the United States has sold a number of defensive weapons to the small island government as part of the effort to maintain international status for the entire South China Sea region. Remember that China has arrogantly claimed that the South China Sea is their protected territory and they have, accordingly, built a number of man-made islands for control oversight including a significant military base. If Hong Kong becomes completely autocratic with their free market economy succumbing toward China's style of central control, look for Taiwan to be next and with it chaos throughout the Western Pacific area will quickly follow as well. Japan, a good ally of America and one that has never wanted to very strong military since the days of Tojo, finds the need to arm itself with our help. We need to pray that cool heads will prevail but, at the same time, America can't sit idly by while China relentless take steps to spread its power throughout the world. Passivity and appeasement has never worked before and it won't work with China, ruled with wreckless abandon by the Chinese Community Party. We must stay strong, resolute and prepared and that appears to be the policy that President Trump is following. While we must be very careful and reserved in any response we must take, pursuing he President's course is the proper way to go.