Almost exactly six years ago, Hong Kong was surrendered by Great Britain to Communist China. There to bear witness the turn-over of the Crown Colony to the PRC, I wrote:
“The strategic import of this moment is being deliberately overshadowed by the forced gaiety of round-the-clock ‘celebrations.’ One cannot, however, help but feel -- surrounded by the red-and-yellow banners, dragons, lamps, flags and other regalia of the new masters of Hong Kong -- the alarm experienced by those who saw Hitler's troops welcomed into Austria and the Sudetenland with swastikas and brown shirts.
“The innumerable television cameras in town to record the surrender seem largely distracted by the pomp of various ceremonies attended by high-ranking U.S. officials and their counterparts from other free nations. These foreign representatives are content to mouth platitudes about ‘orderly transitions’ and their intentions to ‘hold the People's Republic of China accountable’ for preserving Hong Kong's freedoms.
“For their part, the leaders of the PRC and the quislings they have anointed to govern Hong Kong are only too willing to play back what the West would like to hear. ‘Two systems, one country’ is the mantra of the day. This evidently is meant to convey the idea that Hong Kong will be ‘free’ -- free to be a capitalist police-state along the lines of Singapore. China will pursue its own brand of ‘state capitalism’ with a less-than-human face....
“The Chinese Communists are counting on the Clinton Administration and the majority of the ‘business first’ U.S. Congress to follow past practice. If so, it would seem a safe bet that the United States -- empty rhetorical warnings aside -- will look-the-other-way as Beijing crushes Hong Kong's freedoms, so long as the PRC does so in a stealthful, incremental fashion. Will they be proven right? Is this what we have become as a people? If so, then more than Hong Kong will enter what Winston Churchill once termed ‘a new dark age.’”
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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