It’s become quite clear to me that the situation in Hong Kong is now about regime change through economic terrorism. What started as peaceful protests against an extradition law and worry over reunification with China has morphed into an ugly and vicious assault on the city’s economic future.
These are being perpetrated by the so-called “Block Bloc,” roving bands of mask-wearing, police-tactic defying vandals attacking randomly around the city to disrupt people going to work.
Pepe Escobar has been doing exemplary work in recent months covering the ins and outs of Asian politics. His latest article covers the “Black Bloc,” their tactics and who’s likely behind them in Hong Kong.
More likely to be informed is Hong Kong garment and media tycoon Jimmy Lai, billionaire publisher of the pro-democracy Apple Daily, the city’s Chinese Communist Party critic-in-chief and highly visible interlocutor of official Washington, DC, notables such as US Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and ex-National Security Council head John Bolton.
On September 6, before the onset of the deranged vandalism and violence that have defined Hong Kong “pro-democracy protests” over the past several weeks, Lai spoke with Bloomberg TV’s Stephen Engle from his Kowloon home.
He pronounced himself convinced that – if protests turned violent China would have no choice but to send People’s Armed Police units from Shenzen into Hong Kong to put down unrest.
“That,” he said on Bloomberg TV, “will be a repeat of the Tiananmen Square massacre and that will bring in the whole world against China….. Hong Kong will be done, and … China will be done, too.”
Jimmy Lai is telling you what the strategy is here. The goal is to thoroughly undermine China’s standing on the world stage and raise that of the U.S. This is economic warfare, it’s a hybrid war tactic. And the soldiers are radicalized kids in uniforms bonking old men on the heads with sticks and taunting cops.
Sound familiar? Because that’s what’s going on in places like Portland, Oregon with Antifa. Except in Portland the government is the one turning a blind eye to the growing violence in pursuit of the cause.
And that cause is chaos.
Now whether or not this strategy of roving bands of vandals will work to stop China’s takeover of Hong Kong at the appointed time is still up in the air.
But, in my mind, it’s clear that there is a much larger game afoot here than just Hong Kong. This is an Empire Waning trying to maintain its position against an Empire Rising.
Looking at the total geopolitical picture, I’m surprised that Pepe didn’t see the connection between China/Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia/Iran. Because it is clear as day to me.
He even gets the money quote in his article and misses it. In his recounting a conversation with a prominent member of the Chinese diaspora we get the following:
Via mutual Chinese diaspora connections that hark back to the handover era, he agreed to talk on background. Let’s call him Mr. E.
In the aftermath of dark Friday, Mr. E is still appalled: “Not only you’re harming the people making their living in businesses, companies, shopping malls. You’re destroying subway stations. You’re destroying our streets. You’re destroying our hard-earned reputation as a safe, international business center. You’re destroying our economy.”
He cannot explain why there was not a single police officer in sight, for hours, as the rampage continued.
In a piece called, “A Peg for a Peg: That’s the West’s Offer for China” I outline the real stakes at play here. The Black Bloc are attacking commerce.
The goal? Break Hong Kong by breaking the peg of the Hong Kong dollar to the U.S. dollar.
A collapse of the Hong Kong dollar peg, like all price floors/ceilings, is inevitable. Pegging one currency to another will always create an unsustainable imbalance of payments that the central bank can only cover for so long.
In Hong Kong’s case the peg has fueled, alongside China’s spectacular growth, a property market that is insanely over-valued. So, attacking the value of said property is how you attack the peg.
The longer these protests go on, fueled and organized by outside elements (read US and British intelligence actors), the higher the probability that capital will flee Hong Kong and undermine the peg, creating a massive market dislocation overnight.
Think back to 2015 when the Swiss National Bank finally broke its peg to the euro after having turned itself into a hedge fund trying to stop the appreciation of the franc versus the euro. The bottom fell out of the euro/franc pair overnight, adjusting 30% in a matter of minutes.
When a major peg like that breaks, systems break. Societies break as well.
I’ve said from the beginning of these protests that the extradition law wasn’t about ‘freedom,’ it was about China wanting to extradite U.S. and British intelligence agents working at British banks. The very real angst over China’s takeover of Hong Kong was cynically stoked at the outset.
How does this relate to the Saudi Arabia/Iran conflict? If Saudi Arabia doesn’t sue for peace with the Houthis, and, by extension, Iran then it is going to lose everything. Pepe was the first person that I saw who reported on the possibility of a Houthi attack on Medina or Mecca as a death blow to the Saudi regime.
The Saudi Riyal is pegged to the dollar as the lynchpin for the petrodollar system that under girds the global offshore dollar system, which is undergoing sincere liquidity problems now and into the future.
The petrodollar is dying and I agree with Martin Armstrong that it won’t be important in the long run, but it still is in the minds of the men setting U.S. policy. So that makes it important when analyzing the motives of the men setting the policy.
So, the gambit is simple. If China, doesn’t stop undermining U.S. relationships with our allies by investing in Iran or offering to buy Saudi oil in Yuan then we are going to burn Hong Kong to the ground.
Attacking Hong Kong’s peg while the threat to the Saudi Arabian peg is real makes perfect sense.
The evolution of these protests, never truly organic in the first place, against an avalanche of virulent anti-China propaganda is a very dangerous thing. From basketball to a stupid card game like Hearthstone China’s influence on U.S. corporate institutions is now front page news to justify what’s happening in the minds of virtue signaling Americans.
The secondary goal? To turn the U.S. electorate even more anti-China than they were before by appealing to their self-righteousness.
The reality is that for companies like the NBA and Blizzard revenue from China matters and it matters more every day, certainly for Blizzard. And part of what the wake up call for Americans is that loss of exceptionalism as consumers. Someone else can have a say in how our people act and that galls us.
Welcome to the rest of the world. Put down the crappy Starbucks coffee for a second and realize that we’ve been doing this exact thing to foreign companies for decades.
Because we wouldn’t think twice if Blizzard stripped a kid of his title for shouting Antifa crap. So why should China tolerate it?
This is especially true because both acts would be purely staged political theater bought and paid for by the very people the kid thinks he’s fighting against.
I’m not absolving China here. Their social credit system is abominable. Their state capitalism is a teetering edifice of dominoes. The angst over Hong Kong becoming part of China is real and justified.
I’m just not buying the gaslighting of it as some existential threat to our freedoms when the same tactics of marginalization and censorship are eroding our freedoms here.
China’s the bogeyman here.
Because Hong Kong is a blueprint folks. So is Portland. And the goal of all those images of huge protests from three months ago was to keep us thinking that’s the reality is in Hong Kong now and forever.
It’s not. It’s just a bunch of radicalized (and paid for) roaming pawns attempting a regime change operation against the wishes of the majority of the people organized by external forces scared of their coming and rightful retribution.
And like the mobs at the end of Joker, once unleashed they won’t be content until the city burns because, ‘everything must go’ and the system liquidated.
Because that’s who the elites have outsourced their operations to without a care in the world what happens to the people they’ve ‘liberated.’
The question is are you going to look on this and smile?
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