Philippines

Silver lining in the aftermath of the Hong Kong storm — already!

Time was when even rabid defenders of Hong Kong in the Philippines were just about ready to give up the world’s financial hub for lost. The United States has been unceasing in its machinations to destroy China, efforts that in contemporary times threw back to the Tiananmen Square Incident, where Chinese youth in their millions gathered in 1989 at the famous Tiananmen Square and demanded democratic reforms.

Several accounts called the Tiananmen incident, commonly known as the June Fourth
Incident in mainland China, as US-instigated. True enough, those reforms necessarily meant dismantling the Chinese socialist system, a magnificent obsession of the US, like the glasnost and perestroika of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev which demolished the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) two years hence. (Quite interestingly, for doing so, Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize, popularly perceived as recognition of efforts that advance American concept of democracy. Accompanying the recognition for Gorbachev was a cash award of $700,000, which prompted a commentator to declare that’s how petty the Soviet Union was. Still quite interestingly, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Gorbachev on Oct. 15, 1990, a good year ahead of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This indicated that the quashing of the USSR was a done deal long before it actually came about on Dec. 26, 1991. Now, if it took place in China, it would have turned into a truly grandiose mayhem, for on that day 93 years ago, Mao Zedong was born. Imagine dissolving the People’s Republic of China on the very day of the celebration of its Great Founder’s birth anniversary.  All the more reason really that such an occurrence should never take place in China.

So the Communist Party of China (CPC) would not bend over even a bit at such sly US tactics of bringing down socialism at the pretext of democratic reforms. It met the Tiananmen protest with a decisive quelling move. And the Chinese socialist system had gone even stronger since then. With President Xi Jinping’s push of the Belt and Road Initiative the world over, China had determinedly advanced as the one single promoter of a world community of shared prosperous futures.

And still, the US never tires.

In its desperation to maintain contrary hegemonic designs over the world, it moves to slam China at the slightest excuse. Last year, spontaneous protests broke out over the extradition law passed by the Carrie Lam government that would allow it to hand over criminal fugitives back to the mainland Chinese authorities. The US consul in Hong Kong linked up with youth leaders to fire up the spontaneous rising and transform it into a violent call for separation from the Chinese central government.

Riots were all over the island city. Shops were either burned or smashed. Streets barricaded. Transportation halted. Travel and commerce came to nearly a complete halt. Investors went flying away.

“So what if Hong Kong withers away,” said my favorite Hong Kong sympathizer, quite obviously in self-consolation. “China won’t have much need for it anyway.”

Indeed, China had attained world supremacy without Hong Kong in its ambit; the city was handed back by Britain to China in 1997. The single reason the Chinese central government would hold on to Hong Kong is, it is Chinese territory over which China must fight with anybody toe to toe.

The commander of the garrison of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Hong Kong came to a point of having to threaten to intervene militarily if the situation demanded it. But the central government held on to its composure. Let the Hong Kong people decide the matter.

It made it clear, however, that it is well within its authority to adopt a national security legislation crafted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for Hong Kong.

In Tagalog you call it, “Ang sakit ng kalingkingan ay kirot ng buong katawan.”  (The pain of
the small toe is the ache of the whole body.)

And so it was with exquisite forbearance that China rode the Hong Kong storm.  The US furiously fanned that tempest with even more ferocious cries for democracy with the passage by the Chinese National People’s Congress of the Standing Committee-crafted national security law for Hong Kong.

That did the trick actually. With the national security law in place in the city, US troublemakers just had what they deserve: a most effective neutralizer.

No more unruly protests. No violence. No riots. Hong Kong back to the good old happy days.

I have got not much knack for business semantics, so let me just quote this recent expert appraisal of Hong Kong development in the South China Morning Post: “Hong Kong stocks turn in stellar June, gaining 6 per cent in the month, even as China enacts controversial security law” by Iris Ouyang and Deb Price:

“Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index posted its biggest — and only second — monthly gain of
2020 in June, a month after the Chinese legislature’s shock announcement of its national security law for Hong Kong. The benchmark has recovered all the losses, and more, since that announcement. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.5 per cent to 24,427.19 Tuesday, snapping a three-session losing streak and leaving it with a 6.4 per cent monthly gain for June, even as China enacted the controversial law. The Hong Kong dollar strengthened to 7.7500 per US dollar, triggering an intervention by the monetary authority as an influx of foreign funds continued to bid up the local currency’s exchange rate. Funds attributed to mainland investors are being positioned to tap several IPOs (initial public offerings).

“Galaxy Entertainment was the top gainer on the benchmark, soaring 3.8 per cent. Other virus-stricken casino stocks rose as well as rumors swirled that China will soon begin to slowly resume its visa program that allows mainlanders to visit the world’s top gambling hub.”

That’s as far as media accounts go.

It must be a lot nicer to experience the new Hong Kong silver lining at ground zero. I won’t really mind if my favorite Hong Kong defender would treat me to it one of these days.

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