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 Post subject: Re: We're doomed
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:09 am 
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You know what frustrates me? That everyone in the entire freaking world, including me, has million freaking things to say about Trump and how he's undermining democracy, meanwhile, actual authoritarian nightmare here, and we get 90% crickets. It's like being in a group of friends where everyone rants on and on about this one person's crappy ex, and meanwhile the person with cancer gets "Oh, that sucks" followed by awkward silence.

In the US, there are a few Republicans like Marco Rubio who use Hong Kong as a talking point to bash China, but it's not like they actually give a crap. The Democrats are too busy navel-gazing, and chunks of the Bernie Bro far left have gone completely insane and insist that any sign of discontent in the Utopian Socialist Republics of the Global South are CIA psy-ops and fake news.

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 Post subject: Re: We're doomed
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 8:29 am 
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There are a couple of factors leading to that:

1) Information. For Trump i basically need to read the newspaper, read the fivethirtyeight politics session and watch a few political youtube channels and get a general idea. And basically for every depth your understanding is at the moment, there are ready available resources to make the next step. With Hong Kong my primary information source is here. Getting anything in depth would require serious research.

2) as result of 1) whenever any type of action is proposed, it's a lot harder to figure out, which vested interests might be behind that.

3) With Trump there are much clearer paths to make things better or worse. With Hong Kong i have little clue, what future developments are realistic.

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 Post subject: Re: We're doomed
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 7:38 pm 
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There's also the problem that this has pretty much been baked in since 1999. It was only a matter of time before Beijing dropped the boom on Hong Kong, that's who they are; and there wasn't much besides another revolution that would stop it from eventually happening (if that). Certainly not anything the rest of the world could do when the CCP finally got a bug up their butts. And as fair as it isn't, there isn't much that can meaningflully be said about the inevitable besides 'it sucks'.

Yes, it sucks. But I haven't a clue what might change it.

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 Post subject: Re: We're doomed
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:05 am 
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The CCP of today is worse than the CCP of the 1990s. Back then there was some hope that the liberal reformist wing might make a comeback; now, the CCP is more repressive than it's been at any time since Mao. This degree of oppression wasn't always inevitable. I think the Western world has been slow to notice the change. And now they're seeing Beijing threaten Czech politicians, insulting the French, slapping retaliatory tariffs on Australia, strongarming multinational corporations into self-censorship over tiny perceived slights, buying foreign politicians, and dispatching international students to harass regime critics abroad, they're like "Oh".

So there's not much that the rest of the world can do about Beijing screwing us over, but they aren't just screwing us. After all, this national security law is worldwide in scope, and right now, politics, history and Asian studies departments of Western universities have to think very hard about how to protect their faculty and students from being arrested if they ever travel to China, or China-friendly countries, for things they say in class. But even now, people aren't really talking about it because they're more interested in owning the libs/stewing in white guilt. We've been reduced to talking point in the US's internal divisions. The comments on almost any article by a Western media outlet about Hong Kong are still about Trump.

Either we're a parable about what Trump might do to the US, or an excuse to bash the Democrats for being weak on China, or it descends into bickering about whose human rights record is worse.


Oh, and Portland? You're welcome.

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 Post subject: Re: We're doomed
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 6:04 am 
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China is too powerfull to engadge head on, and so there is no easy answer to what to do, now that it develops in a bad direction. My guess is, that the best way to deal with them is to publically be all smiles and hugs, while pushing the envelope behind closed doors. That naturally makes it hard to judge the performance of our politicans, without internal knowledge.

And some people who have a political hobby horse insert that into everything even if it does not fit. That can be quite annoying, regardless if the hooby horse in question is party politics of a particular country, feminism, race or religion.

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 Post subject: Re: We're doomed
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:45 pm 
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Continue as you are then. I mean it is literally illegal on pain of a maximum life sentence for me to suggest you do anything different at all, so it's just as well you're OK with how things are.

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 Post subject: Re: We're doomed
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:17 pm 
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'Ok' wouldn't be correct; but until and unless the US finishes crushing the GOP we can't even save ourselves, much less get a handle on dealing with China if it might conceivably cost the Republicans something to do it (which it would).

Come that day, sure, I can pester my elected representitives about China and the problems they're causing. Heck, it'd be a good idea. But until then I might as well be pestering the French.

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 Post subject: Re: We're doomed
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:47 pm 
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If your bar is "crushing" the GOP before you're able to deal with anything else, you'll be waiting a long time. Your allies will have to make their own plans.

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 Post subject: Re: We're doomed
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:55 pm 
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That's the only bar that exists here; the Republicans have been taking Chinese bribes for much too long to stop now. If they have any power on the national level then the US will not make any really serious effort to reign in China.

As for the rest of the world; they don't need us. If they want to deal with China without American help, they can. I expect to see them put on their big nation pants and all agree to do this the day after the Republicans become lawful and moral people; but they do have the power to do it absent a self marginalized US.

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 Post subject: Re: We're doomed
 Post Posted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:38 pm 
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With the huge exceptions of Donald Trump, who takes bribes from everybody, and Transportation Secretary and Mitch McConnell's wife Elaine Chao, it doesn't look to me like the Republicans take a significantly more bribes from China than the Democrats. The Dems may have been less crass about it, but both parties have been quite partial to the corporate interests who'd rather shut up and take the money (see Apple's latest lobbying to block a bill that would penalize corporations with slavery in their supply chains). During the Obama years, the conventional wisdom in the D.C. foreign policy set was that playing nice with China would coax them into political reforms through the magic of the free market, a feel-good cover story for corporations, and they've been rather slow to recognize how wrong that was because being wrong was quite inconvenient for said corporations.

A few Republicans are also quite fond of performative Commie-bashing; you'll probably be slightly appalled that Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have garnered some fans here. Most of the Democrats besides Nancy Pelosi have had very little to say about China, being too absorbed in the Trump show and domestic racial strife;(1) they'll express concern about human rights in the abstract but not to the point of actually doing much about them. So it looks to me like both parties are pretty wishy washy.(1)

Your allies have already been trying to figure out what to do without America on the block; and if Joe Biden's presidency continues the trend of American retreat from international affairs, then they'll have to keep doing that. And for a lot of them, the path of least resistance is to give China most of what it wants while occasionally making concerned tut tutting noises. (See: The EU.)

(1) This can be maddening; having watched Twitter liberals have earnest debates about whether more ethical to boycott Disney's remake of Mulan for having been filmed near concentration camps, or to watch it to support the casting of Asians in the movie industry, I wanted to reach through the screen and slap people. Genocide > Hollywood jobs. Please remove your heads from your arses. Also , the fringe left also appears to have been taken over by "tankies" who seem to think it's edgy to support dictatorships on the grounds that everything the West does is Evil. It seems to be especially bad among the Corbynites in the UK. At least nobody who makes decisions actually listens to the fringe left.

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 Post subject: Re: We're doomed
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:52 am 
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Practically the entire opposition (50+ people) were arrested today for taking part in an unofficial primary for a now-cancelled election, an act which the government has deemed subversive. Among those arrested was an American lawyer. White guy, so China can't claim he's technically theirs on grounds of ethnicity (which is a thing they do - if you're yellow they don't recognize your foreign citizenship).

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 Post subject: Re: We're doomed
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:52 am 
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I saw that. They're not very big on being subtle these days, are they? I wonder if it was partly a shot across someone's bow.

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 Post subject: Re: We're doomed
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:11 pm 
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Biden's?

But Xi appears to be on a rampage anyway. Even tech billionaire Jack Ma seems to have gone missing - he could just be on a rich guy bender but it usually isn't a good sign when Chinese elites go AWOL.

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