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Hong Kong

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Commodore, Aug 14, 2019 at 1:39 AM.

  1. Commodore

    Commodore Technology of Peace

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    Since Chinese troops are now massing in Shenzhen in response to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, I feel we should be discussing what this means and how the world should respond.

    So if China moves troops into Hong Kong to suppress the protests, what should the world's response be? We the West like to profess our commitment to democracy, but just how far are we really willing to go to protect it? Right now the people of Hong Kong are not only fighting for democracy, but they are practically begging the other democracies of the world to come to their aid.

    As an American, I do feel we should be compelled to do something to help them in their struggle against a large, powerful tyrannical government. Not only because it's the right thing to do, but because of our own history. France answered our call for aid when we were fighting our freedom, so it only seems right that we do the same for Hong Kong.

    And it shouldn't just be the US either. Europe needs to get its head out of the sand and back us up in standing up to China. Right now China still needs access to Western markets to fuel their economy. So I say if China makes a move against Hong Kong, Western nations should cut China off completely. Full trade embargo. Hell, maybe even go old school and blockade all their ports. Despite recent modernizations, the Chinese navy still isn't a match for the combined naval might of the US and Europe.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: I truly think we need to start treating China the same way we treated Japan after they invaded Manchuria. Cut them off economically and force them to either change or start a war they can't win.
     
  2. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    The world of 2019 is not the world of 1931. War in 2019 is not at all like war in 1931. What war could China reasonably engage in and not win (other than trying to invade the US or Europe)?
     
  3. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    I feel bad for citizens of Hong Kong, but I don't think there's much standing to do much about it - it's unambiguously Chinese territory.

    A blanket offer of asylum to any person over the age of 18 whose home country does not grant them suffrage would be appropriate.

    As far as I'm aware, they've been pretty explicit in *not* calling for international intervention.
     
  4. FriendlyFire

    FriendlyFire Codex WMDicanious

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    Commodore, you need to first study up on Chinese history, Chinese culture, politics and economy before plunging the US into a unilateral war again. Because no one is going to join in Trumps coalition or have any faith in Trumps plan to carry through a successful strategy of containment, trade war and military enforced embargo. Trump just threw Canada and the UK under the bus for joining in with Trumps sanctions. Who else wants to join in and be used again by another [censored] moron US president with another idiot plan ? America First right ?

    There are both hardliners and pro western factions within China, right now thanks to Trump the pro western moderates have been purged from the Chinese government. There was at a time internal dispute about China coming out and opening challenging the US and asserting Chinas rise in power and that seizing islands was a mistake. There also also the idea of China emulating the west and joining in an alliance with America. These ideas are now dead. To understand this is to know about Chinese culture of being the proud central kingdom and reasserting its place in the world. It current population has been taught that China was abused by the western colonial powers and the wrongs of the west. Its only now thanks to the opening of trade and access to western education that this was starting to change.

    China has made careful calculations into HK protest, with the growing middle class and economy I dont see that HK sparke spilling over into China or backlash against chinese crackdown. SK and Japan are distracted with each other, US and EU are not aligned. US forces are tired down in Afghanistan. While I support the autonomy of HK in light of Chinese corruption and erosion of western freedoms. There are no realistic good options right now

    Trump knows jack all about China, and didnt prepare the US economy for a long hard trade war. as the Chinese say, know self, know enemy, 100 battles, 100 victories.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 2:22 AM
  5. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    How much of the stuff you use in your daily life comes from China? How many things have China as one of the stops in their manufacturing or distribution process? The major democracies are not going to jump into a war without considering the economics of how much it's going to affect their people, or the incumbent government's chances of re-election (Canada's next Federal election is coming up on October 21, and we expect Justin Trudeau to drop the writ at some point soon, probably in early September).
     
  6. Arwon

    Arwon

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    It's looking increasingly like that the Chinese state is going to end things in a pretty bloody way in Hong Kong. The situation there is becoming pretty humiliating for the central clique in Beijing.

    That said, something that's really hard for superpowers and especially the citizens of those superpowers to learn is the limit of their own power. There's no world in which foreign military intervention to liberate Hong Kong makes things better.
     
    hobbsyoyo, Lexicus and Socrates99 like this.
  7. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    I don't think anyone is advocating military action against a nuclear-armed part-superpower. But it looks as though no one is going to even change their buying habits.
     
  8. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    I would agree on the principle, but the problem is that Trump is so erratic and egotistical, and manage so often to just spit on the face of his allies, that it probably pushes Europe the other way.
     
    AmazonQueen likes this.
  9. Commodore

    Commodore Technology of Peace

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    A naval war in the Pacific. While China has improved their navy, it still cannot compete with Western powers yet and could still be easily defeated. Plus, keeping the war on the sea allows us to maximize our technological advantages while keeping China from leveraging their manpower advantage since their land forces still make up the vast majority of their armed forces.

    And that's precisely the problem. We claim to be committed to making the world a better place, but often fail to take real action if that real action causes some inconvenience. Compare that to the populations of WWII that tolerated the constant rationing of resources because they understood why it had to be done. Especially the people of London, who withstood a relentless bombing campaign and still refused to give up. I feel a modern day population would have urged their government to surrender under such circumstances.

    I also want to mention that I did not advocate for war. What I advocated for was strangling China economically, like we were doing to Japan until they made the choice to attack us. I'm hoping 2019 China will be smarter than 1941 Japan and choose to democratize on its own rather than choose war.

    If that's what they are saying then they are sending mixed signals when we see pictures and video of large groups of Hong Kong protestors waving US flags, singing our anthem and holding up signs that say "President Trump, please liberate Hong Kong".

    I'm starting to think none of you actually read my post. I never called for military intervention in Hong Kong. I said we should attack China economically and force the CCP to choose between democracy or economic collapse. Basically I think we need to back them into a corner and force their hand. It will be entirely up to them whether or not there will be war.

    If it does result in war though, I'm pretty optimistic about the result. The US and Europe have a pretty good track record when it comes to defeating tyrants. Remember, the Western powers defeated Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and economically defeated the Soviet Union. It certainly won't be easy, but I'm confident we can defeat communist China as well, whether it be militarily or economically. But the West has to unite. We can't let the future belong to China.
     
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  10. Arwon

    Arwon

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    I would have thought a bunch of missiles would almost immediately turn a surface fleet into new coral reefs these days
     
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  11. FriendlyFire

    FriendlyFire Codex WMDicanious

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    You didnt read my post either
    China not only saw itself as a key player in saving the "West" capitalist economy during the GFC of 2008. It also witness the corruption of the US political system. You dont understand the chinese mentality that is aggrieved by a century of colonialism which they blame the west. Iam telling you that the plan of waging another cold war is stupid. because the Chinese are not the Soviets
     
  12. Arwon

    Arwon

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    Also I can't really imagine a concerted trade embargo with the explicit goal of destroying a state is likely to reduce the chances of conflict. It's quite an aggressive action.

    It's also probably more likely to just lead to a mix of trade realignment and autarky in China, closing the regime off from liberalising influences, while also very heavily damaging ones' own economies.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 4:08 AM
  13. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    An "aggressive" embargo would be a bad idea, as it would simply, as you said, cause conflict.
    An "equivalent constraints" rule on chinese good and market rules (basically applying to chinese societies in the West the same constraints and rules than western societies face in China) would be a much better and more justifiable alternative.
    Ideally, adding tariffs to chinese good that would compensate for cheaper and less protected labour would be a good way to limit basically subsidizing China into becoming our rival (or even overlord) in the future.
     
  14. Commodore

    Commodore Technology of Peace

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    Our surface ships are equipped with anti-missile defenses. Not to mention we have the ability to strike their missile sites from well beyond their range to stop us. Remember, we have strategic stealth bombers that take off from Missouri to drop bombs on targets in Afghanistan. China doesn't have the ability to strike our air bases in Missouri.

    Our military has global reach, the Chinese do not. That is a huge advantage that I don't think the Chinese can compensate for. We have the ability to completely cripple their ability to make war without having to put a single soldier on Chinese territory. Outside of their nuclear arsenal, China has no real way of retaliating against us without drawing other nations into the conflict against them. The only targets they can realistically hit are our bases in Japan and South Korea.

    In any case, I don't think China wants war. War would be bad for their economy, which they entirely rely on as the source of their political power. That's why I think we can afford to be very aggressive with them economically. China may talk tough, but their economy is very fragile and war would burst their economic bubble.

    China has been exposed to those liberalizing influences for decades now and it hasn't had any positive effect on their government. In fact, exposing China to our societies has kinda had the opposite effect. Their totalitarianism is influencing our democracies.

    So I say let them "realign" with other totalitarian regimes. None of them will be able to prop up the Chinese economy like the West does. So either way, cutting off the Chinese either forces them to change or weakens them enough that they are no longer a threat to us or their neighbors.

    I also say any resulting damage to our economies is a fair price to pay to stop China from getting any stronger. Like I said, we cannot let the future belong to China. At least not until they democratize like Japan and South Korea have.
     
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  15. red_elk

    red_elk Warlord

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    They will just choose to strangle you instead. And your recent democratization efforts will give them allies.
    Americans only support war when they watch it on TV, somebody pushing buttons and blowing up enemy's stuff. When war will dramatically affect each one of them personally, the attitude will be different.
     
  16. Arwon

    Arwon

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    Wait I thought it was Russia who elected Trump, now you're telling me it was China
     
  17. Arwon

    Arwon

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    Yeah, like, even the geostrategic interests of Australia are not clearly on the side of following the United States down a crusading rabbit hole on this one. Calculated ambiguity between the US and China relationships is increasingly the model down here. If you force a choice between neutrality and continuing to trade, and self-sabotaging to follow the US in upsetting things, you might not like the results.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 6:59 AM
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  18. Commodore

    Commodore Technology of Peace

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    You are thinking too narrowly. It's no coincidence that the rise of totalitarian thinking across the political spectrum in the West has seemed to go hand on hand with the rise of China's status on the international stage.
     
  19. Arwon

    Arwon

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    Hang on you're blaming the rise of white supremacy and fascism on China?
     
  20. Samson

    Samson Warlord

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    Hong Kong is in a precarious position now, and I feel the UK has a lot of responsibility for that. Abandoning it to China without giving the population any say about the issue is one more dark stain on the dark history of the UK de-colonisation efforts, to put on top of its darker history of colonisation. I wish the people of Hong Kong the best in the coming troubles.

    However anything military, such as a embargo similar to the 1938 one of Japan cannot really happen in today's world. I think we could go a long way in diversifying our supply chains, but I do not really think anything we could realistically do would have much effect on China at this point.
     

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