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Points east

November 18, 2019


By democratic standards, the Hong Kong protesters are not demanding much, and are sacrificing without much hope. Universities are being turned into redoubts by the protesters and into targets by the government. As an American, I want the Senate to pass a strong version of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Decency Act with a veto-proof majority, perhaps forcing Trump’s hand. The House passed the original bill last month.

There have been some leaks from the Chinese government on its use of internment camps to bring the Uighurs into line. Despite its capitalist companies competing abroad, no one should mistake the nature of the Chinese regime. Presumably, Saudi Arabia supports the Chinese government rather than the Uighurs because, for the House of Saud, authoritarianism is thicker than religion.

Standing up for human rights would be worth going to the economic mat. Of course, that presumes the US still works with European democracies on such matters. Trump’s goal, controlling the bilateral trade deficit, is one that Adam Smith first explained was wrongheaded.

Kung Fin Fan is painting the historic events in Hong Kong.

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