tirsdag 10. september 2019

China’s soft power failures may cost Hong Kong its trade status

Not that long ago, many parents in the West were eager for their children to learn Mandarin. China was the fastest-growing major economy, a nation of infinite opportunities. Its leaders had pledged a peaceful rise and seemed eager to connect with the rest of the world for common and global good.

Then came Donald Trump’s trade war, which has turned Beijing into the enemy for many. But whatever illusions remained have been shattered by Beijing’s intervention in the crisis in Hong Kong. Beijing need never have expressed more than concern. The mass protests began over Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s mishandling of the introduction of an extradition bill. Clashes between police and radical protesters turned into demonstrations against alleged excessive force by officers.