John Stonestreet on Hong Kong Choosing Democracy and China’s Response

Protesters gesture as they stage a sit-in rally at the Airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of BCNN1.

This past weekend, pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong won what the New York Times characterized as a “stunning victory” in local elections.

Not only did a record number of voters turnout, something widely seen as a referendum on the ongoing anti-Beijing protests, but pro-democracy forces won 389 of 452 parliamentary seats. That’s more than triple their previous total. Meanwhile, pro-Beijing forces saw their total seats collapse, from more than 300 to just 58.

Now the obvious question is: How will Xi Jinping and his Communist cadres respond to this unmistakable show of support for the protestors that have given them so much trouble for so long?

The most likely answer is, “not well.” Beijing’s proxies in Hong Kong have already stepped up their use of force against protestors. A week ago, police stormed the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, using water cannons, tear gas, and beanbag rounds against what it dubbed “coldblooded rioters.”

After, the police superintendent made it clear that using “real bullets” was not off the table. These election results make those “real bullets” even more likely.

Here’s why. Despite everything we hear about China’s ascendancy, China is a lot weaker than it appears, especially economically. China’s economic growth has already slowed to “its slowest pace in nearly three decades of modern record-keeping.” And all indicators suggest that the slowdown will only continue. As one commentator put it, “Its labor force is shrinking, and the country is already full of roads, rails and factories, limiting potential new investment.”

The shrinking labor force, which has even forced the Chinese government to reduce the size of its military, is largely due to three decades of China’s disastrous “one-child policy.” And, given the dramatic gender imbalance caused by the policy, the consequences of this very bad idea will continue for generations to come.

Additionally, many scholars are suggesting China’s economic boom wasn’t as miraculous as everyone once assumed. In fact, China now faces what Dinny McMahon (formerly of the Kissinger Center on China) has dubbed a “Great Wall of Debt.”

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Source: Christian Headlines