Identifying small pains in Achilles’ heel is America’s political gain

Ugyen Gyalpo

Ugyen Gyalpo

By Ugyen Gyalpo

WOODSIDE, NY, US, 29 July 2019

Hong Kong has been rattled by chaos and weeks of protest. Cries for freedom and democracy have rocked the city. The CCP has done everything indirectly or directly to quell the revolt, even to the point in mobilizing the underground world to try to crush the protesters.

The Clinton administration ushered China into the WTO in the early nineties, thinking that capitalism and economic growth would bring democracy and liberalism to China. But the miscalculation backfired, and the US was left to watch China rise and become a global threat. Even the Cold War era with former Soviet Russia is dwarfed in its consequential meaning.

The political revolution in Hong Kong was catapulted by that now-defunct extradition bill and a people’s movement in its own making. For the people to rise up against the powers of mainland China without US interference was a political boon that the US seems to have not identified, and certainly downplayed. This was a serious outbreak that could have been taken advantage of, placing agents like the United States usually would do, to fan and stoke anger, and create uncertainty in the status quo of the Chinese regime.

Even a great revolution like the Arab Spring spread across countries like fire to topple dictators and totalitarian regimes. When it found momentum, it was equally fanned by freedom-loving nations led by the US in restoring peace and more importantly democracy.

Millions of people in Hong Kong are fighting more than the extradition bill. They are fighting for greater democracy and autonomy, and some are even calling for outright independence from Beijing. What better chance to “checkmate” China. It’s identifying these small pains in China’s Achilles’ heel that a greater cause of downfall can be found.

So why on earth is it that the role model for democracy, rule of law, human rights, and humanitarian values that the world looks up to, has very little coverage and story on the ongoing tumultuous protest in Hong Kong? Why so little even from the President of the United States, who defied norms by accepting a congratulatory call from the president of Taiwan on his Presidential victory, a President who has vowed to straighten China out on their bad trade practices? Why is it that not even the Congress, the House or the Senate, and not even the US media is giving this protest the coverage it deserves and demands. I have to move from BBC to Aljazeera to keep pace with the fast-changing events in Hong Kong.

When the Arab Spring sprang, Tahrir square in Egypt was covered nonstop by the US media. I still remember how the square looked, its geo-location, the vantage points, are still embedded in our minds. CNN covered it for many days nonstop. Now the only thing they cover is the Russia-Trump collusion.

The political revolution in Hong Kong is no different, and probably more consequential especially to the United States given the rise of China to take over its global dominance and its leadership role.

Watching from the sidelines is not America’s favorite pastime, and I hope and pray that they show more political engagement and thereby also pave the way for other countries that are being oppressed by China, a hope that they muster the courage to stand up against China’s notion of invincibility. Restoring and cementing a speedy coup for democracy in Hong Kong is akin to restoring hope and light against the caving darkness of the ruthless Beijing regime.

About the author

Ugyen Gyalpo lives in Woodside, New York, and works as an insurance agent for United Health Group, New York.

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