When it comes to various liberal-western backed insurgencies across Asia, Africa and Latin America, there is always a domineering partner in the relationship. The major western powers have traditionally used “colour revolution” style insurgencies not only as a means to remove UN recognised governments whose economic, trading and/or foreign policy is “out of step” with Washington and Brussels, but moreover such extra-legal methods are used as a means to create medium and even long term control over their new political partners in foreign lands. But whilst the prototypical colour revolution is often a dangerous long-term liaison for western power brokers, the riots in Hong Kong are something different.
No matter how loudly the US shouts about China’s so-called “currency manipulation” (all countries using fiat money are currency manipulators), no matter how many more tariffs are levied against China, no matter how hard the west tries to brainwash the otherwise fraternal Islamic world against China, the entire world needs Chinese goods and as such, trying to inflict punishment on China is ultimately an act of supreme self-harm. The same would be true of nations seeking to inflict punishment on the United States. China and the US are both uniquely central to the global economy and there are few if any nations that could fully cut China or the US out of their economic equation without risking serious domestic economic depression.
Thus, disputes between China and the US can be labelled geopolitical/geoeconomic tragedies and beyond that when countries like Canada, Australia, and EU members try to get in on the action, it is reduced to something of a farce.
China has raised concerns about the all too evident western ties to the rioters in Hong Kong. But whilst Hong Kong is being used to try and exert pressure on Beijing by multiple western actors, the fact of the matter is that for decades, Hong Kong has been more important to the west than to China itself. Whilst Hong Kong is a major global centre of finance, China is a vast country of over a billion people with more major economically productive cities than all of those in Europe. As such, Hong Kong is one of many within the Chinese context but it is one of the few in respect of the west. This is because whilst major productive cities and regions are the norm in China, a colonial holdover with a self-perpetuated identity crisis is a global phenomenon that tended to vanish during the course of the second half of the 20th century. In other words, for China, a place as wealthy as Hong Kong is the rule whilst for the west, Hong Kong’s unique characteristics are an exception in the 21st century.
By exploiting the one country – two systems model however, certain western interests can still attempt to play colonial viceroy in the way in which a child in the mild, mild west might play ‘cowboys and Indians’ inside a proverbial 21st century cushioned and air conditioned “safe space”. But beyond gamesmanship, the western meddlers realise that they can’t create a full scale colour revolution in Hong Kong because that would mean picking a major fight with China.
Countries like the US and especially those like the UK, Australia and Canada can no more afford a fight with China in Hong Kong than China could afford to provoke riots in Puerto Rico or Hawaii without Washington taking notice. The fact of the matter is that even among the liberal true believers in Washington, London and Brussels, heavily China dependent global supply chains are more important than overthrowing the rule of law in Hong Kong.
Thus, the efforts that western powers are putting into creating havoc in Hong Kong are at best a half-baked effort. When all is said and done, no one in the entire world is going to risk normal relations with Beijing in order to please the dark desires of the thugs on the streets of Hong Kong.
As such, those in Hong Kong expecting western navies to sail into the harbour with all the confidence of 1840s Opium Warriors are going to face a great deal of disappointment. To the western liberals, Hong Kong is just a flirt, a fling – a bit of geopolitical adultery. Whilst the marriage between China and the US (and its western allies) isn’t always a comfortable one, they both have to look after the kids. The kids in this case are multiple global economies that are all interlinked due to modern supply chains.
As a result, many in Hong Kong may get their hearts broken but the fault is only their own. The rioters refused to work things out peacefully with the lawful authorities and soon they will be caught with their pants down much like an adulterous man running away from the house of a married women when her husband comes home.