US President Trump and Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen are trying to cause trouble for China in Hong Kong after their failed attempts at politically intervening in this domestic issue. The American leader provocatively suggested in a recent tweet that President Xi meet with some of the rioters who were responsible for shutting down the city’s airport last week, while the Taiwanese one earlier extended an offer of so-called “asylum” to Hong Kong residents who might want to move to the island as a result of this summer’s unrest. These two figures are violating China’s sovereignty by trying to encourage more disturbances.
Trump’s tweet was very disrespectful to the Chinese President because he arrogantly acted as though he’s the person in charge of the People’s Republic, reminding many of the era of imperialism when foreign leaders tried to exert their influence over China from half a world away. He knew very well that Chinese officials publicly described the airport events as “behavior that is close to terrorism” and that any meeting that President Xi would have with those criminals would legitimize their movement, thus discrediting the efforts of the city’s police who have worked very hard to enforce the law there.
As for Tsai Ing-wen, her “asylum” offer was intended to serve two purposes, the first of which was to attract the miscreants who were detained for their involvement in the city’s riots while the second was to make responsible citizens second guess their commitment to their homeland. Both motivations amount to an attempt to influence immigration patterns in a way that would undermine Beijing’s writ over the city. Moreover, there have been reports of Taiwanese sending helmets and selling gas masks to the Hong Kong rioters, which is meant to make it more difficult for law enforcement officers to proportionately respond to their provocations.
Another point that needs to be mentioned is that the US plans to sell $8 billion worth of F-16s to Taiwan’s renegade authorities, which Washington claims is to promote regional peace but which is actually doing the exact opposite by destabilizing it. This is an even more blatant violation of China’s sovereignty than Trump and Tsai Ing-wen’s political statements about the Hong Kong riots because it involves lethal military equipment that’s intended to kill Chinese, both those in the military and possibly even ordinary civilians alike, in the scenario that a war breaks out between Beijing and Taipei.
Hong Kong and Taiwan are both integral components of the People’s Republic, yet the US is actively trying to turn them against their compatriots in the mainland, albeit in different ways. America’s meddling in Hong Kong is motivated by the desire to carry out a so-called “color revolution” in the city that might even have the grand strategic goal of resulting in outright separatism, while its arming of the Taiwanese renegades aims to increase their capability to thwart any future reunification operation by the People’s Liberation Army. Both interventions intend to give troublemakers in Hong Kong and Taiwan a false sense of security to encourage more disruptions.
The US’ political intervention in Hong Kong will not convince the average person that America supports their true interests since it’s actually undermining them by backing the same forces that have made life more difficult for everyone in the city. Likewise, the US’ indirect military intervention in Taiwan through the planned sale of 66 F-16 warplanes won’t be a game-changer and will not succeed in giving the island an edge over the mainland. The Hong Kong rioters and Taiwanese renegades are therefore being used as pawns by the US in its larger hybrid war against the People’s Republic that’s being waged to bring Beijing to its knees.
China has risen like no civilization before it ever since the successful completion of its revolution in 1949 restored its dignity after what’s regarded as the “century of humiliation”. There is nothing that the US can do to reverse the trend of China’s inevitable reunification, and its efforts in Hong Kong and Taiwan will ultimately be for naught. Hong Kong will remain an integral part of the People’s Republic, while Taiwan will eventually return to Beijing’s control. America should therefore accept this and prioritize its strategic partnership with China instead of trying in vain to do the impossible and only risk worsening bilateral relations as a result.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.