The Red August

As tyranny seems to be descending on Hong Kong, remembering the bloody Cultural Revolution of 53 years ago.

And Bryan Preston has four questions.

[Update a while later]

The China challenge.

[Friday afternoon update]

“American flags in Hong Kong show that people still fight for our values. We should join them.”

I think he’s right, but there’s too much Trump bashing in here. Trump is not the problem.


30 thoughts on “The Red August”

  1. It seems possible that China might cause the world to boycott it’s products. And it’s quite possible that US isn’t the one which is even leading such a boycott.
    Or China government might able to restrain the US corporate media and our media basically too crazy, stupid, and incompetent to be effective anyhow. So, it could be the biggest media event our our time, AND seems likely US media will simply continue to be failure as new media.

  2. The current crop of Democratic presidential candidates could cool the situation by convincing the protesters that liberty is overrated and they should just embrace their serfdom.

    1. I find it interesting that none of Democrat candidates were asked about China during the debate; except in relation to “Trump’s trade war”. The crack down in Hong Kong has been going on all summer with protest that dwarf anything the US has had in the past 20 (just using a span to cover several Presidents) years.

      The only people who even made mention were Tulsi Gabbard, who claimed like a 1980’s Democrat candidate that Trump was pushing us to a new cold war with a threat of nuclear war. And then Tim Ryan, who sounded like a voice of sanity to me, but probably sounded like Ross Perot to Democrats.

      1. Tulsi Gabbard is the only viable candidate the Democrat party could field in 2020, and it’s solely because she’s pretty hot. In fact, if she had blue eyes, I’d vote for her.

  3. I think the solution is to change the government of Hong Kong from a quasi-democracy to a monarchy.

    The only other question is the title they would give the King. Hmmmmm, let’s see…..

      1. I’ve been to Hong Kong a couple of times. The in-flight movies on Cathay Pacific were of different versions of King Kong.
        Both ways.

  4. Hong Kong plays a weak hand. If they were smart they’d cut a deal with Xi via his resident puppet and fast. From a tactical standpoint it is a sitting duck to sea and air power. Ringed by mountainous terrain to the east with narrow roads and passages that are easily blockaded by the PLA which can rain down rockets and artillery with impunity. The rest is surrounded by water. There is no escape. And no Western power (read the USA) will be rushing in to help. But this won’t play out like Tienanmen Sq. some 30 years earlier. The backlash will be in stages and not concluded in simply 2 days of tanks and reprisals. I’ve read there are already something like 5000 Chinese troops already stationed in HK to supplement the “domestic” police force which is already admittedly just an extension of the PLA. The reprisals will start off with far more reinforcement of the “police”. They just happened to be as heavily armed as any decent military infantry division would be, along with APCs. Brought in either by sea or air. The beginning will be to section off parts of the city. The financial district and airport will be first. Air travel may be cut off entirely. There will be little for the military “guarding” the airport to do other than keep protesters out and making sure the departure lounges are full of westerners on their way out. The point of sealing off the financial district is to keep it operating. Thus lowering the international impact. Any trader or other financial executive failing to report to work must consider his family will be considered traitors to the state and all that implies. The Chicoms would present this as their best intentions to keep international trade going for the good of the world and a promise to restore HK’s financial independence and wealth after the end of the “trouble” which I have no doubt they will. This will greatly strengthen their hand in the future. At the same time power is cut to large parts of the city (cellular telecom assuredly) and curfews put in place. HK will be steamed, starved and sewaged into submission, it will take maybe 60 days and roughly 20,000 killed, most occurring after the total media blackout. Acceptable losses to the Chicoms given the large population of HK. There will be one similarity to Tienanmen; the western “media” will be shutdown and kicked out pronto. One of the reasons for taking control of the airport first. After that, the ringleaders will be identified and hauled off to the mainland for execution. Their families will be billed for the bullet used.

    1. I think one difference from Tiananmen may be private links to satellite communication systems that could get video out no matter how much the government clamps down. Communications tech has come a long way since 1989.

      1. You think those satellite transponders are not controlled by the Chicoms? Or susceptible to C&C shutdown from the mainland? It only takes RF power or the digital hacking they already have in reserve. But that is hard power, more likely soft power first, a threat to a Singapore telecom that they can forget business in China if they continue trafficking in blatant and un-authorized anti-China propaganda. Then there is just cutting the power… and waiting…. The APCs are dead after only about 6 hours. If they are on diesels, that will be a matter for the “police”. A turn of a valve is all that takes. Or they just wait to take them out too. Takes about 20 days max. Uplink dishes are delicate devices. Easily taken out with an RPG. I’m sure there is a list of all the transmit dishes registered in the HK telecom office which has been linked to the mainland for years. They get to transmit for a day or two. The Chicoms know where they are.

        1. I’m pointing out that unlike Tianenmen in 1989, everybody in Hong Kong over the age 5 can now record high resolution video with their phone, not to mention high end video cameras. So everything will be recorded, and Hong Kong is too big to tear apart to find every last thumb drive and smart phone.

          Hong Kong is also a major exporter, so even if all communications were cut, all that video will eventually leak out, hidden in packages shipped all over the world.

          And I don’t think they can cut all the communications because people in Hong Kong are very wealthy and they make satellite a lot of the satellite equipment we buy. How many of them own an Iridium Go that can fit in their purse, and how many have such capabilities on their yachts? Nowdays there are many satellite communications services and people in Hong Kong already use them.

          Shutting down TV stations and broadcasters with big satellite vans isn’t going to be nearly enough to plug all the holes this time.

          I suspect this is one reason they’ve been showing so much restraint so far.

          1. Most of the atrocities won’t happen for weeks after the power is cut. How long can your smartphone go without a charge? Why would you have it with you at all times when it doesn’t work as a phone even if it were powered up? Sure some video will get out but the state is prepared already for causalities in five figures. Counter revolutionaries will be documented paying the price for their treason. That can be helpful.

          2. Most of the atrocities won’t happen for weeks after the power is cut.

            Why are they going to wait that long? They aren’t showing such indications of patience now. After all, they could have just waited till the clock ran out on their treaty obligations. Or they could have moved slower on the above legislation.

            At least, this shows the illusion of the Chinese “long game” that some people have been bragging about.

        2. You don’t need to control the satellites or phones. You need only jam the communication frequencies. A little broad spectrum white noise will take them down. It’s not that large of an area to jam.

          I do agree there are plenty of physical means for getting information out. Also any information vacuum would be an alarming sign.

    2. The ChiCom army is limited by a desire to take Hong Kong intact. Which rules out shelling and opens up “interesting” responses. Ultimately the citizens of Hung Kong would lose a serious military conflict, but they could make it vary painful for the invaders and deny them their prize. And those most “unreasonable” about surrendering the city will tend to set the terms.

    3. There will be one similarity to Tienanmen; the western “media” will be shutdown and kicked out pronto.

      Why bother? Most of western media loves the fusion of communism and fascism of China and would compete for the Duranty prize.

  5. I’m amazed that HK has been as free and independent as it has been for the last 20 years. I expected the communist thugocracy to have clamped down far sooner.
    OTOH a world shunning of China and a stopping of trade would be disruptive for a while followed by an economic boom in the west as the west gears up its manufacturing.

    1. It will be the HK financial elite who have the most to lose and will be the ones to signal Beijing when intervention is required. I suspect the population is not uniform on independence from the mainland. Beijing can maintain control with guarantees to the elites. Those not in positions of financial power will get tossed when the city is under temporary martial law. It’ll all be over too quickly to have long term ramifications for world manufacturing etc.

    2. They already have concentration camps, use slave labor, and harvest body parts. Most of the world will care about Hong Kong but not enough to do anything meaningful.

  6. The question is how much money the HK elite can get out of HK before an invasion. That’s what China wants. That and the intellectual capital to make more of it. Someone wrote a book about forcing minds like that and it doesn’t work well in the long run.

  7. A lot of media takes on stuff like this looks like its intended to goad Trump into making a mistake. And that last link includes several carefully crafted deceits about the Trump administration designed to make him look racist. The fake quotes do their job, not even journalists look behind the curtain for what was actuallly said.

    The author thinks Hong Kong would be solved except Trump is racist against Asians. GFY

    This guy will complain no matter what Trump does or doesn’t do and would lie about what took place.

    Is he only now aware of the nature of China or did he think China treated our businesses pretty well? Because I can gaurantee this guy didn’t support anything Trump did to protect us or our allies against China and he wouldn’t be there when the rubber meets the road on Hong Kong either.

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