Re: @Sparty "the US response can hurt Hong Kong "
Mike the FlyingRat,
Sorry, my criticism of the Trump regime was general, not specific. So far on this he’s making the right public noises. Although I don’t know what’s going on diplomatically, behind the scenes. However Trump’s dangerously ignorant on foreign affairs, and has all the consistency and predictability of a hungry toddler. Plus he sacks all the advisors that know what they’re talking about, which also tells us that he’s unwilling to educate himself or improve his technique.
He’s been willing to do unorthodox things, against diplomatic practice, like talking to North Korea outside the previous multi-national framework. I don’t blame him for trying something new, it’s not like previous policies had been working all that well. But then I wish I believed he understood why the old policies existed, and what the risks of personal unstructured diplomacy are.
Winging it can go very wrong, very quickly. Such as half-leaking a plan to remove US troops from Germany. That the German government got to hear about in the press. Before he’s even worked out what to do with them. Are they going to a new Camp a Trump in Poland? He’s seeing the Polish president soon, and Poland have offered as they want NATO troops deployed further forward. But that decision has massive ramifications for the whole existence of NATO, and threatens to seriously damage relations with Russia, and Germany. Not to mention the EU. This is a major upheaval of the entire western security structure, and should be taken over several years, in consultation with the whole of NATO.
So excuse me for having massive doubts.
I can’t see China's government backing down at this point. But if the diplomats can dance fast enough, a face-saving compromise could be found where the law isn’t used and some sort of political process is begun in Hong Kong. Even if it’s secret at first. The economic loss of financial sanctions and a brain drain of Hong Kong citizens is a serious threat to China’s economy. But of course, they may not see it that way. But often threats are counterproductive. The better way may be to prepare a bunch of policies to take for each line that the Chinese government crosses, and hope that knowing the cost will make them think about moderating their actions. Or if not, cost them enough with coronavirus, that they’re willing to talk in a few months.
Any hope requires planning, alliance-building, consistency and measured language.