Going Down In The Name Of Liberty
It seems like every day there’s a new chilling headline or brutal image of the protests happening in Hong Kong.
If you haven’t kept up with the news from that part of the world, here’s a brief synopsis.
For 99 years, Britain ruled Hong Kong as part of a lease agreement with mainland China. That agreement ended in 1997 and control of the progressive, cosmopolitan city of Hong Kong was surrendered to the People’s Republic of China, which is a Communist regime. Hong Kong has enjoyed freedoms not shared by mainland China, but that has been changing slowly since the day they changed hands back to the PRC.
Because of these diminishing freedoms, tensions have been running high.
This year, protests began over a law change that would allow people found guilty in Hong Kong to be extradited for punishment in mainland China.
The concern here was mainly that this new law would give mainland China too much control and allow them to target journalists and activists as dissidents.
These protesters are calling out for change and democracy, and the response from the Chinese government has been swift and bloody.
Just this week, for example, a protestor has been burned alive and another unarmed objector was shot by police and left in critical condition.
These are just the latest incidents – other people have been stabbed and shot, too, as the Chinese government continues to crack down.
Here’s What Spells For The Future
In an exclusive episode of London Real, I interviewed Jim Rickards. (The only way to get insider access to this episode is if you’re on his list, or you’re a follower of London Real, so click here if you want to watch – it won’t be available anywhere else.)
You’ve probably heard of Jim – he’s a financial expert and acclaimed author. He was a staple on Wall Street for over 35 years, and he also advises both Johns Hopkins University and the United States Department of Defense.
His books The Death of Money, Currency Wars, and The New Case For Gold are all New York Times Best-Sellers. His latest book entitled Aftermath breaks down the new financial crisis we’re all about to face. It also gives his seven secrets on how we can preserve our wealth and thrive in spite of this upcoming chaos.
During our discussion, Jim explained his take on what will happen next with the Hong Kong situation and the far-reaching effects this may have for the rest of us.
He says, “Xi’s (The President of the People’s Republic of China) status is now at risk…
You may see social unrest. You may see Hong Kong writ large. Hong Kong is not going away… That situation is not getting better.”
“The violence will get worse. The social unrest will get worse…
“When I first started going to Hong Kong in the 80’s… if you had asked me to describe Hong Kong, I would have said it’s the second-most vibrant city in the world – after New York…
“In terms of nightlife, energy, finance, attitude… everything about Hong Kong was amazing.
“Every time I’ve been back there – and I was just there last year – every time I’ve been back, it’s gotten worse. It got more subdued. People got more depressed. Then, in the 2000s, I could really detect the funk.”
That’s when all the major banks began moving to Singapore.
“The last time I was there, I was giving a speech. Somebody took me aside and said, ‘Jim, be careful what you say…’ That was the first time I heard that in Hong Kong.”
Censorship Will Only Increasingly Get Worse
Jim goes on to explain that he’d expect that sentiment in Beijing or Moscow, but not from Hong Kong – and he anticipates that from here on out, that element of censorship and watching one’s back in Hong Kong will only get worse.
“That genie’s out of the bottle – and it’s not going back.”
He’s not wrong. Per CNN, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam says the escalating unrest is bringing Hong Kong “to the brink of no return”.
This could spell large scale imminent disaster for citizens of Hong Kong, and if not handled correctly, implications for those who enjoy our free flowing commerce in the Western world as well.
See, as it stands, the protests are causing major slowdowns in the Hong Kong economy.
Businesses are struggling, but their employees don’t care, stating that long-term freedom is more important than short-term gains.
Hong Kong – and, as a matter of course, China itself – is losing its status as a financial center.
Big businesses are exploring other countries as avenues – and again, the people of Hong Kong seem to be willing to go down with the ship in the name of liberty.
At its very core, this seems to be an epic battle between a government fighting to control and a populace yearning to break free.
The U.S. is slowly beginning to show support of these democracy seekers, passing human rights legislation through the Senate and, separately, the House of Representatives in an effort to keep Hong Kong out from the thumb of the PRC.
This could spell trouble between the U.S. and mainland China – and no one knows where that will end up.
All we know for sure right now is that there are people in Hong Kong asking to keep rights they already have – the right to peaceable assembly and freedom of expression, for example.
How can we in the Western world – that is, those who enjoy and even take those freedoms for granted – agree with the denial of these rights by a domineering government body?
Keep your eyes open while this story develops and remember to support those government officials who agree that something needs to be done about this situation…
Because whenever free speech is at risk, we all stand to lose.
Editor, Brian Rose Uncensored