Fate of Hong Kong


I want to stay anonymous because of the political situation in Hong Kong. I am an Indian living in Hong Kong. In the past few months, we have seen The US basically collapsing — racial tension, political divide, and rise of the extreme left and right-wing politics. On the other hand, China is becoming extremely aggressive and killing people in India and Hong Kong, and openly threatening the West. Guruji Yogananda talked about the great karma of the US. In 2020, can we still bet on the US?

—Anon, Hong Kong


Dear Friend,

Predicting the future is a precarious occupation, even if unpaid! Swami Kriyananda often shared the words of Paramhansa Yogananda in regard to possible future events in history. He did, as you intimate, indicate that America had (some) good karma left, notwithstanding current and past actions less than noble.

Yogananda evidently indicated that in the next global war America might be absent owing to economic issues. In any case, I have never heard that Yogananda stated America and China would be at war with each other.

From this point I can only offer a personal opinion (subject to change, of course as circumstances change): I think China is too “smart” to take action that would trigger a direct military confrontation with America and the West. This is true even if America’s strength and self-identity is, as you put it, “collapsing.” Nonetheless, in the 21st century China (and India) are, as you say in India, “coming up.”

Furthermore, China’s innate cultural and political pride of accomplishment and status will never back down from its determination to re-take Hong Kong on its own terms (and probably, too, even Taiwan, but that’s still a ways off). It just needs to move cautiously but without appearing to be hesitant. A tricky act to be sure but China, unlike the U.S., is far more adept at subtlety.

China’s global expansion (including its Belt and Road Initiative) has weakened Hong Kong’s financial and political position in the greater scheme of China’s economy and culture though for sure Hong Kong remains vital and is an integral seaport for the Belt and Road Initiative.

Westerners continue to hope that a growing and burgeoning economy and middle class will eventually loosen the totalitarian grip of China’s form of government. That may be naive for now, but based on human nature I also think that, given enough time, it is inevitable.

The one thing that would trigger a military conflict and its the one thing present between the two countries at this moment is the degradation of our relationship (US-China). But we do need each other in many respects, still. Nonetheless, I believe both sides know that such a conflict is not in anyone’s best interests, regardless of the outcome of such a conflict.

So I would say, in conclusion, that this power-dance between US and China in regards to Hong Kong will continue, but if I lived in Hong Kong and had the option to leave, I would leave. Nothing is going to stop China from moving forward in its grip and control of Hong Kong. So long as extremes of violence and suppression are avoided, no one, not even the US, is going to lift a finger to stop China from integrating Hong Kong into the rest of its society. Not even the admirable young people of Hong Kong have the power to stop this (in my view, at least). The rest of the world accepts China society and government as it is today, so why would the extension of that to Hong Kong which is rightfully theirs be any different? “If you don’t like it, then you should leave” is what I hear Xi Jinping saying (or thinking).

That’s my story, and as we joke here in America, “And I’m sticking with it!”

Bless you and “best of luck!”
Nayaswami Hriman