Courage Under Fire

Republic of China’s President Tsai Ing-wen, against the background of the People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping’s abuse of Hong Kong citizens through his Hong Kong police, his functional abrogation of the solemnly agreed treaty with Great Britain governing the handover of Hong Kong to the PRC, and his parallel functional reneging on his government’s “one country, two systems” pretense vis-à-vis that city, has spoken against the PRC’s pretense of that toward her nation.

That framework, she noted, has brought Hong Kong to the brink of disorder.

“Rioting”

Recall the teenage protestor in the Hong Kong protests earlier this week, the one who was shot in the chest at point blank range by a Hong Kong cop who thought he was being threatened by the boy.

A Hong Kong court charged 18-year-old student, Tsang (Tony) Chi-Kin, with rioting, a charge carrying a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Tsang was among seven people charged with rioting on Thursday.
The secondary school student also faces two additional counts of attacking two police officers, punishable by up to six months in prison.

Aid for Ukraine

One of the topics discussed by President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s President Volodomyr Zelenskiy in “that telecon,” was the degree of aid Germany has provided Ukraine in the latter’s on-going struggle against Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea and eastern Ukraine.  Neither considered Germany’s actions anywhere near adequate.

Deutsche Welle demurs from that position.

[A]ccording to the latest OECD figures, Germany is the third largest donor to Ukraine after the European Union as a whole and the US.

Those amounts?

Political Tactics

The Wall Street Journal says the “Ukraine call” will

leak eventually, so Trump might as well get it out.

No.  Telecons between American and foreign heads of state must, necessarily, remain strictly between heads of state, else it’ll be impossible for an American President to engage in “frank and open” dialog and polylog with foreign leaders or to conduct serious foreign policy in general.  No transcript should be released.

Alternatively, and in second place in the order of priorities for such things, let the leak(s) occur.  Then release the transcript and let the truth burn the leaker(s) and those who jumped onto the leak-related opprobrium bandwagon knowing they didn’t have the facts.

Intransigence

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that if he’s reelected later this month, he’ll begin annexing territories in the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea.  Naturally, the Palestine Liberation Organization and its European Union apologists are in a snoot over it. An anonymously presented EU spokesperson says

The policy of settlement construction and expansion…is illegal under international law and its continuation, and actions taken in this context, undermine the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace[.]

The PLO’s Hanan Ashrawi says that

A Different Sort of National Security Threat

This one demographic; it’s the potential for population collapse in the People’s Republic of China.  Most of the nations of the world outside Africa face population declines, but none seem as severe as the PRC’s is looking to be.

In 2016, after the one-child policy was abandoned, there were 17.86 million births. This dropped to 17.2 million in 2017 and 15.2 million in 2018—the third-lowest rate since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

That might be an accelerating drop, although three data points don’t make for a strongly measured trend.

Surrender, Or Else

That’s Teheran’s latest demand regarding the nuclear weapons deal that the European signatories have shown themselves so desperate to preserve.

Iran will “take a strong step” away from its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers if Europe cannot offer the country new terms by a deadline at the end of this week, a government spokesman said Monday as top Iranian diplomats traveled to France and Russia for last-minute talks.

Never mind that those European nations hold all the cards that we don’t hold, and that Iran is in no position to make demands on anyone.  Iran has Europe thoroughly cowed.

“Bow Respectfully”

That’s the latest demand from Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, which he made in response to rumors that President Donald Trump might be open to direct talks with the Iranian government.  Rouhani has said,

If you lifted all the sanctions, bowed respectfully to the Iranian nation, well then the conditions are different.

Conditions certainly would be different, but they would be even less productive.  The men of Iran’s government aren’t interested in discussions, serious or otherwise. Nor do they care about the people over whom they reign.  They just want nuclear weapons so they can destroy Israel.

Decisions

Hong Kong’s 34,000 policemen and the force as a whole are approaching a decision point—or perhaps, the People’s Republic of China’s President Xi Jinping is about to force a decision on them.

With Hong Kong’s summer of unrest escalating, its police are in a bind. The local population increasingly accuses them of inflaming protester rage by using excessive force, while mainland Chinese authorities are exhorting them to get tougher to resolve the crisis.

Violence? With the Hong Kong police, it’s becoming fairly routine to use tear gas and truncheons. Protestor-originated violence has remained isolated and rare.