Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Add Another Straw

This post says we should support Hong Kong democrats. I agree.

But this part made me think that the Peking government is giving us the benefit of that support without our providing much of it:

The administration of Chief Executive Donald Tsang, squeezed by the growing demand for democracy in Hong Kong and ongoing disdain for it in Beijing, proposed some Beijing-backed political 'reforms' that were defeated recently by pro-democracy members of the Legislature Council.

Beijing officials reacted to the defeat by accusing the U.S. of making 'rash comments on Hong Kong affairs for quite a period of time, violating the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs.' Referring to Hong Kong as 'China's Hong Kong' and 'China's internal affairs,' Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang asked the U.S. to refrain from any comments or acts that would interfere in China's internal affairs and place obstacles in the way the Hong Kong government operates. A Hong Kong government official also expressed 'disappointment' with the U.S.: 'We would not wish any foreign governments to give the impression that they were meddling in Hong Kong's affairs.'
We really haven't done much. But if mainland setbacks are blamed on the effectiveness of American intervention, won't Hong Kong democrats draw comfort and encouragement from that support no matter how low-level it really is? And how much more impact could we have with even incremental increases in support for democracy groups in Hong Kong?

Are the geriatric communists of the PRC helping us to help their people? You never can tell what particular straw will be too much for the camel's spinal cord to endure.