Missouri Attorney General and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley speaks to supporters during a campaign stop Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, in St. Charles, Mo. Hawley is seeking to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
On Sunday, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley was in Hong Kong. Hawley is one of the major voices in the US Senate keeping the cause and plight of pro-Democracy demonstrators in front of the American people.
While in Hong Kong, Hawley took the opportunity to warn about what he saw happening:
My message for the Hong Kong Human Rights & Democracy Act protest today pic.twitter.com/R90KeObggJ
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 14, 2019
“…Hong Kong is in danger of sliding towards a police state and that representative government in Hong Kong is at risk, and that the one country two systems model is at risk.”
And he’s right.
We’ve watched as the local authorities have ratcheted up the pressure as more and more everyday Hong Kong residents are responding to the curtailment of their historical liberties by taking to the streets. Thousands have been injured. A couple thousand have been arrested.
And the 800-pound gorilla, the People’s Liberation Army, has been beefing up its Hong Kong garrison under the guise of “normal rotations.”
And who can forget what China’s president said just yesterday?
Daily Chinese lesson from the Global Times.
你好 【ni hao】- hello.
中国梦 【zhong guo meng】- the China dream.
粉身碎骨 【fen shen sui gu】- crush bodies into powder and break bones. https://t.co/J6kDCzwHv5
— Sergey Radchenko (@DrRadchenko) October 14, 2019
Hawley’s observations were not welcomed in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam held a news conference to dispute Hawley’s characterization of where Hong Kong is headed.
I thought their visit to Hong Kong would enable them to see the actual situation in a comprehensive and objective manner. But unfortunately the feedback that I’ve got is most of them, or several of them coming here, they have very preconceived views about Hong Kong’s situation. That’s why for this particular senator to describe Hong Kong as becoming a police state is totally irresponsible and unfounded.
Senator Hawley fired back:
I chose the words “police state” purposely – because that is exactly what Hong Kong is becoming. I saw it myself. If Carrie Lam wants to demonstrate otherwise, here’s an idea: resign https://t.co/sulX0v4KCv
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 15, 2019
Hong Kong is at a critical juncture. The relative freedom experienced by it residents has become enough of a threat to Beijing that a decision was made to try to curb it and bring it closer to Mainland governance. Beijing has sort of painted itself into a corner here. If it backs down it looks weak. If it tries to suppress the demonstrations by force it knows that the entire world will have a front-row seat. Hawley calling out the Hong Kong government for the dangerous path it has set for itself