90 Miles From Tyranny : Fawning US Media Is 1 Reason Beijing Thinks It Can Bully Hong Kong

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Fawning US Media Is 1 Reason Beijing Thinks It Can Bully Hong Kong

Pro-China authorities last week brazenly arrested Beijing’s chief critics in Hong Kong, a city that is supposed to have a high degree of autonomy. Unsurprisingly, that sparked further condemnation from the Trump administration at a time when the People’s Republic of China was already under pressure in Washington because of its role as the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why would China be courting further foreign denunciation? Perhaps it feels it has plenty of wiggle room.

China has silenced critics of its handling of the coronavirus crisis in the mainland itself, curbing potential downside at home, at least temporarily. In fact, its communist leaders seem to be benefiting from a rise of xenophobia and jingoism.

Here in the U.S., China is also profiting from the U.S. media’s rush to take China’s side in a battle with a Trump administration that many journalists clearly despise.
China long ago took steps to censor any criticism of its truculent behavior in American entertainment and the academy, so Chinese President Xi Jinping can rest easily on that score, too.

Just as mainstream media outlets such as CNN are now embarrassingly regurgitating press releases from China’s People’s Liberation Army and presenting the information as “news,” no movie will be made anytime soon that casts the Chinese government as the villain it often is.

That’s because no studio wants to risk losing China’s box office take, as I explained in this report five years ago. But despite Hollywood’s presentation of China as a country not very different from free democracies, the reality is far different.

As with each move that Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing leaders have taken in the past year, the arrest of Jimmy Lai, the last independent publisher in Hong Kong; Martin Lee, a venerable 81-year-old former parliamentarian and veteran of the pro-freedom movement; and Margaret Ng, also a former parliamentarian, and others, can only be described as unprecedented and worrisome. The charges were “unlawful assemblies.”

Lee and Ng were hosted by The Heritage Foundation almost a year ago, where Lee ominously said at a public event, “without the rule of law, nobody in Hong Kong...

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