Are the Hong Kong protests more serious than the US-China trade war?

Mar 2012
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Thoughts? It certainly could have huge global implications..

Global investors should be more concerned about the fallout from anti-government protests in Hong Kong than the U.S.-China trade war, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Monday, hours after the city’s main airport canceled all flights do to demonstrations.

“I just don’t think the Chinese communists can avoid it anymore,” Cramer said. “The Chinese government is more worried about Hong Kong than they’re worried about trade. Because Hong Kong is something that’s very visible in Europe.”

“This is more serious than the trade talks,” he added. “If you want to know what could tip you into a worldwide recession, it is just a shutdown of Hong Kong,” a major financial hub in Asia.

Demonstrations, which have morphed into a democracy movement, ramped up on Monday, with about 5,000 protesters flooding Hong Kong International Airport, one of the world’s busiest, and leading officials there to cancel flightsfor the rest of the day.

Its predicted the Chinese government to bring in the People’s Liberation Army to quell the crowds, which would have global implications.

Cramer: Hong Kong protests 'more serious' than US-China trade war for global markets
 
Jan 2016
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The Economist is greatly concerned about BOTH of these things: the possible reaction of the Chinese government to the massive protests in Hong Kong, and the trade war that is now morphing into an even more dangerous currency war. In their latest issue [August 10-16, 2019], their cover article is on the Hong Kong situation, with the caption: "How Will This End?", and the sub-title, "What's at Stake in Hong Kong". They say: "If China were to send in the army, once unthinkable, the risks would be not only to the demonstrators", and go on to describe how a brutal crackdown in Hong Kong could damage the Chinese and the world economy.

But in their second article of the week, they deplore Donald Trump's miscalculations in his trade war, quite simply (and correctly) asserting that "America cannot have a strong economy, a trade war, and a weak dollar all at the same time", regardless of what Trump wants or thinks. It is a simple fact of international economics that strong economies tend to engender a strong currency. A strong economy with a weak currency is virtually a contradiction in terms. Strong currencies reflect underlying strong economies. It has always been thus.
 
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Mar 2012
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The Economist is greatly concerned about BOTH of these things: the possible reaction of the Chinese government to the massive protests in Hong Kong, and the trade war that is now morphing into an even more dangerous currency war. In their latest issue [August 10-16, 2019], their cover article is on the Hong Kong situation, with the caption: "How Will This End?", and the sub-title, "What's at Stake in Hong Kong". They say: "If China were to send in the army, once unthinkable, the risks would be not only to the demonstrators", and go on to describe how a brutal crackdown in Hong Kong could damage the Chinese and the world economy.

But in their second article of the week, they deplore Donald Trump's miscalculations in his trade war, quite simply (and correctly) asserting that "America cannot have a strong economy, a trade war, and a weak dollar all at the same time", regardless of what Trump wants or thinks. It is a simple fact of international economics that strong economies tend to engender a strong currency. A strong economy with a weak currency is virtually a contradiction in terms. Strong currencies reflect underlying strong economies. It has always been thus.
I wouldnt think the Chinese govt would want the optic of the army going all in after these protesters, but I could be very wrong. I know they have done it before, but these are very highly educated young people here, not just the "masses." It would certainly cause enormous issues globally if they were to react. I just dont know if they would risk it? Especially now knowing it would have implications in both the US trade war and possibly Brexit. Also, originally the protesters in Hong Kong were against the extradition treaty but now I dont know what the deal is? They said the extradition deal wouldnt occur, but now they are still protesting. It does have the potential to get very ugly with a lot at stake.
 
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It is. It looked pretty bad actually from various news reports. Tear gas and all. Some are growing worried that China will respond.
Maybe the UK shoulda kept Hong Kong in the fold.

Dunno how feasible that scenario was...
 

The Man

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Maybe the UK shoulda kept Hong Kong in the fold.

Dunno how feasible that scenario was...
The UK barely beat Argentina in a war over the Falklands.

If it came down to a fight against China over HK... I don't know.

Peaceful transfer was the smarter option, at that point.
 
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I wouldnt think the Chinese govt would want the optic of the army going all in after these protesters, but I could be very wrong. I know they have done it before, but these are very highly educated young people here, not just the "masses." It would certainly cause enormous issues globally if they were to react. I just dont know if they would risk it? Especially now knowing it would have implications in both the US trade war and possibly Brexit. Also, originally the protesters in Hong Kong were against the extradition treaty but now I dont know what the deal is? They said the extradition deal wouldnt occur, but now they are still protesting. It does have the potential to get very ugly with a lot at stake.
The Economist points out (again, correctly) that Hong Kong is certainly not Beijing: "The regime had more control over Beijing then [in 1989, the year of the Tiananmen Square Massacre] than it does over Hong Kong now. In Beijing the party had cells in every workplace, with the power to terrorize those who had not been scared enough by the tanks. Its control over Hong Kong, where people have access to uncensored news, is much shakier......With or without bloodshed, an intervention would undermine business confidence in Hong Kong and with it the fortunes of many Chinese companies that rely on its stock market to raise capital....The territory may account for a much smaller share of China's GDP than when Britain handed it back to China in 1997, but it is still hugely important to the mainland. Cross-border bank lending booked in Hong Kong, much of it to Chinese companies, has more than doubled over the past two decades, and the number of multi-national firms whose regional headquarters are in Hong Kong has risen by two-thirds. The sight of the army on the city's streets would threaten to put an end to all that, as companies up sticks to calmer Asian bases....The intervention of the People's Liberation Army would also change how the world sees Hong Kong. It would drive out many of the foreigners who have made Hong Kong their home, as well as Hong Kongers who, anticipating such an eventuality, have acquired emergency passports and bolt-holes elsewhere."

The protestors were not satisfied that the Hong Kong government simply 'withdrew' the extradition law without firmly rejecting it, as it left open the possibility that the measure could be reintroduced some weeks or months later, when things would have supposedly calmed down. They wanted the Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to declare the law fully dead, and when she would not do that, they wanted her removed, as well. So the stakes have risen sharply over the past few weeks. Some Hong Kongers are now even calling for full independence from Beijing......which Xi Jinping would surely NOT tolerate......
 
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The UK barely beat Argentina in a war over the Falklands.

If it came down to a fight against China over HK... I don't know.

Peaceful transfer was the smarter option, at that point.
I agree with that.

But, the "new, improved" Hong Kong is certainly having some serious growing pains being part of China...
 
Mar 2012
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The Economist points out (again, correctly) that Hong Kong is certainly not Beijing: "The regime had more control over Beijing then [in 1989, the year of the Tiananmen Square Massacre] than it does over Hong Kong now. In Beijing the party had cells in every workplace, with the power to terrorize those who had not been scared enough by the tanks. Its control over Hong Kong, where people have access to uncensored news, is much shakier......With or without bloodshed, an intervention would undermine business confidence in Hong Kong and with it the fortunes of many Chinese companies that rely on its stock market to raise capital....The territory may account for a much smaller share of China's GDP than when Britain handed it back to China in 1997, but it is still hugely important to the mainland. Cross-border bank lending booked in Hong Kong, much of it to Chinese companies, has more than doubled over the past two decades, and the number of multi-national firms whose regional headquarters are in Hong Kong has risen by two-thirds. The sight of the army on the city's streets would threaten to put an end to all that, as companies up sticks to calmer Asian bases....The intervention of the People's Liberation Army would also change how the world sees Hong Kong. It would drive out many of the foreigners who have made Hong Kong their home, as well as Hong Kongers who, anticipating such an eventuality, have acquired emergency passports and bolt-holes elsewhere."

The protestors were not satisfied that the Hong Kong government simply 'withdrew' the extradition law without firmly rejecting it, as it left open the possibility that the measure could be reintroduced some weeks or months later, when things would have supposedly calmed down. They wanted the Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to declare the law fully dead, and when she would not do that, they wanted her removed, as well. So the stakes have risen sharply over the past few weeks. Some Hong Kongers are now even calling for full independence from Beijing......which Xi Jinping would surely NOT tolerate......
CNN talked about this on their International News yesterday. They were saying how these (mostly students) in Hong Kong, were indeed pushing for independence from Beijing and how unintentionally they could end up giving Trump a win since Xi would have to face the mounting protests and likely back off on trade to ease the economic stress it would cause. Trump would then claim victory even if temporarily. They also cited how it would create the ugly image of a "bad China" and that voters here and in other western countries would see nothing has changed and could be lured away from doing business there. Xi has to be aware of these dangers.