The goal was to block this until the elections in September this year. About a month ago, China spoke out against this, and since then, the legislature has been trying to push this through. Evicted lawmakers tried to physical prevent this from happening, which is why they were removed from the room.
I don't really agree with the actions of both parties, but this is the back story. They weren't just forcefully removed out of nowhere, there were actions that led up to it.
According to the rulebook, the vice chairman (pan-democratic) is supposed to hold the meeting till new chair is elected. The democratic legislators saw this as a chance to filibuster because pro-china legislator had an agenda to push for establishing the National Anthem Act. In this case, the filibuster forces the pro-china party into a losing situation.
The resolution was that the pro-china legislators seek "legal advice" from some government legal counselor and directly broke the filibuster by having the general legislature chairman (pro-china) appoint a new "chairman"(who happens to be pro-china) to hold the new election. Of course, this is highly illegal, but it went through anyways. Ultimately, it led to democratic legislator surrounding chairman podium and protesting the illegal filibuster breaking, which resulted in being forcefully removed from the legislature hall.
Feel free to look at the videos yourself and make up your own mind of course.
The problem is exactly what cause the whole uproar as except for this f procedure nothing can now stop to enact whatever the law they want.
It is either f or ... then mainland start impatient and ignore the whole legislature and just enact their own law.
That is really the end of HONG Kong as far as HONgkonger or foreigner concern.
The security law is not your run of the mill law. It is going to be arbitrary arrest etc.
The HKER will fight but given there is no nominal protection even, there would not be financial centre any more.
The last part is difficult, both sides sought legal advice, both were contradicting each other. Eventually the pro-China side pushed through with their advice, which resulted in clashes and eventually the eviction of pan-democracts.
All in all; it’s an absolute mess, and not expected to get any better. China is already circumventing the HK government by pushing for a national security law. (Which was supposed to be implemented over the past 23 years)
Actually the legal advice from Government ( Which in the past 10-15 years has always been Pro-China ) on the issue was that the Pro-Democrats were right as it was listed very clearly by the rules. That there was no way "reinterpret" it. It was a surprise to the Pro-China party so they sort to external legal advice and suggest or basically completely changed the rule.
Is was at that moment, Hong Kong is officially Rule by Law and not Rule of Law.
And yes that is why the later part was an absolute mess. People were planning to protest about it anyway, but before anything was planned the new security law happened.
It’s looking like a couple of rough months ahead, the new security law will take into effect, most likely the national anthem law will go through as well.
At best the elections in September give a majority to the pan-dems.
In fact, while listening to the press conference of the pro-china party right now on National security law, they just said it: "compared to safety of the 1.4 billion Chinese citizens, stock market drop is insignificant". To me it sounds like that China has dropped the axes, HKers better be quiet.
I think Hong Kongers' efforts to resist increasing Chinese encroachment, while admirable, are probably futile. They are simply too British. British culture is completely incompatible with any kind of successful resistance against a hostile government. They are too scared of weapons and (justified, defensive) violence to make Chinese occupation unviable. The absolute most extreme behavior we saw from protestors was thrown bricks and the occasional molotov cocktail. Almost none of the destruction was targeted at Chinese government facilities in HK - instead they went after easy HK-controlled targets like road equipment and the airport. This is not a winning strategy.
Hong Kong people realized that they could “vote” (express their opinions) by choosing what businesses they support: they could support businesses who support the protest. This economic circle  eventually could resist the control from China.
This could be substantial when Chinese economy is not
looking good, and when some businesses care about overseas market (think of the trade tariffs and the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019).
It just takes serious dedication, but the current world has a lot more tools in place to broadcast the narrative.
Those Hong Kong protests can never stop.
Democratic regime may survive bad economic times by transitioning of power if needed, but less so for a totalitarian government.
Especially CCP got a lot of its legitimacy from the perceived fast economic growth, it will be problematic if their growth engine halts.
Against the British empire in places that Britain didn't actually make much money anymore.
History is probably full of deaths of nonviolent (and violent) resisters.
Korean protests in 1987 (against a military strongman)
Carnation Revolution in Portugal 1974 (against dictatorship)
However China is different cup of tea. They don't care about image as they can suppress and buy PR - Tibet.
They massacred their own youth, organized mass organ thief etc. They have different approach to (de)valuing human life.
I am afraid that HK is under a CPR steamroller slowly crushing the resistance.
Yes and no. China is almost crazily touchy about their image. They claim that it's an insult to their nation if anyone admits that Taiwan exists as a separate entity. You can't even mention Winnie the Pooh in China, because some people use it as a derisive label for Chairman Xi. (Imagine having the NSA notice every on-line mention of "Orange Man", and ordering the hosting site to remove it.)
Now, they may not care about their image as much as they care about suppressing Hong Kong. But the rest of the world can make them pay a price in terms of image - a price that China seems to find rather painful.
Our modern tendency to compete on who can most hyperbolically denounce Western Imperialism strips us of any ability to calibrate between cultures. Do you know what Imperial Rome would have done to the nonviolent Indian revolt? They'd have executed it at its infancy and it would be a historical footnote. They wouldn't have even waited for it to become a big movement; the death penalty would have been used early and often. To some degree, even as entertainment.
My read on China is closer to first-century Rome than 20th century Britain. YMMV.
To be clear, neither I or you are certain what the majority of HKers want to trade for democracy. Realistically if they want democracy so bad, what else they can do other than the protesting they are doing? Long term striking seems to be something they can do TODAY, RIGHT NOW. Equiped with weapons or not, one of the bet they have to make is that the international community would not sit idlely while many HKers get killed.
I don't know how that's relevant to anything I said. My point is about culture. Nonviolent protest requires you to be protesting an amenable authority. There have been plenty of examples in history of authorities that will just spill as much blood as it takes. To my eye, the only constraint on China doing that is their fear that people might stop paying into their economy.
Bear in mind that if China decided to roll into Hong Kong and simply kill everybody there, it would only increase the current Chinese government's death toll against their own people by somewhere between 16% to 40%. It wouldn't even double it! This is the government that brought you the "Great Leap Forward" in which they killed 18-45 million of their own people. This is a government being credibly accused of engaging in ethnic cleansing.
Are you sure advising "nonviolent protest" against that is a good idea?
"one of the bet they have to make is that the international community would not sit idlely while many HKers get killed."
That is not something I'd advise anyone to bet their lives on.
>They are too scared of weapons and (justified, defensive) violence to make Chinese occupation unviable.
To that end I felt striking is probably a better option to try before more violent forms of fighting get involved. Maybe nonviolent protest is not a good idea, but it's probably not a worse idea than violent ones.
>That is not something I'd advise anyone to bet their lives on.
Say without international community support, is there any winning strategy you can think of?
I personally think once the confrontation becomes more heated, at least a dozen western countries would allow HKers to immigrate to their countries, which doesn't require too much resources to do? One example is last year Sweden has already started granting China's Uighurs refugee status.
We are trying our best to find a way. The recent approach is not to do any business with anyone who is Communist blue. (Well, the Communist control many things and this strategy should not work. But it hurts a bit. ) Strike is hard but we will see.
For so call violence, there is a lot of police violence and they have used this to suppress the protest, down to even sing a song in mall.
Tomorrow we will try. But how many will suffer from police we do not know.
Democracy and human rights is core to our belief. We will fight even as said here not very hopeful. Fighting a communist state with resources like that ...
It is not because we have hope we persist but by persistence we might have hope. One of our belief as well.
Unfortunately, the violence and instability that often accompanies secession doesn't always end up resulting in prosperity after independence. That is because violent or not, uprisings do not necessarily upset the power balance between the colonizer and the colonized. Some say the alphabet agencies that form the worldwide practice of SIGINT operate on this inertia -- well, I don't want to speculate about what I don't know about, but I think that at least my own country's declassified documents are telling. The USA has had a hand in kingmaking much of LatAm and the Middle East. Historically, I think this kind of proxying only ends when the empire itself shrivels.
We obviously can’t make a long list here, but here is one that might be relevant to think about:
Or perhaps a French example might be more relevant, with a single city at stake: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Commune
I mean, do you count the Revolution? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolution
Kinda a stretch comparison. But I would like it in doing so the US got mad broke and then we had a real revolution.
It worked for the Americans somehow.
edit: and for that matter, it almost worked for cromwell.
However, when I read that Dennis Kwok, a pro-democracy lawmaker, said "This is a complete and total surprise and I think it means the end of one country, two systems" [my emphasis], I hope he is saying this rhetorically, rather than as an expression of being blindsided by the turn of events.
Armed insurrection of the type you're describing would just bring the PLA jackboots down on Hong Kong, and the rebels will join the Uyghurs in the camps. Sure there'd be some international backlash, but between backlash and losing Hong Kong, the CCP will choose the backlash. It's an existential issue for them.
The only way armed insurrection works is by creating a situation painful enough that, over time (years or decades), the leadership of the occupying force starts asking if the cost is worth it. The current CCP will always answer yes to that question.
And if we're talking about a civil war or insurgency within US borders: An army fighting on its own soil and against its own citizens is surrounded on all sides and can't maintain secure supply lines.
Guns work. "Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun", said Mao.
(independent of whether you think the Bundys were in the right, the fact is, armed ranchers did deter armed BLM intervention, basically indefinitely)
As far as I know, Gandhi's strategy worked because the British public eventually couldn't take it anymore that their military was gunning down peaceful protesters.
That's where the analogy fails: Given the circumstances, I don't see the mainland Chinese public standing up for HK's rights any time soon.
By the same token, the HK protesters' strongest asset is the international perception that they are passionate but peaceful protests, and it's why China is so eager to label them as riots. If they were to employ significant violence - say, start shooting cops - it gives China infinite license to crack down with disproportionate power. And they have that power available (see the convoys of military trucks that they moved to the border, enough to stretch beyond the horizon).
That's why China's strongest strategy is to infiltrate the protesters and provoke violence, or just dress up soldiers as protesters and blow up some replaceable infrastructure and blame them for it. Then roll in the army in uniform in response, lock the city down, and remove anyone who causes trouble, in the name of public safety.
Having widespread armaments throughout HK does not play in the favour of the public here. It makes that violence much easier to provoke, and legitimizes any response. China isn't afraid to lose soldiers and cops to bullets, they're afraid of looking like the bad guys (the optics of another Tienanmen square).
And they don't hesitate to beat up a girl either.
The headlines are different as well:
China signals plan to take full control of Hong Kong
China to impose sweeping national security law in Hong Kong, bypassing city’s legislature
I don’t like click-baity headlines, but it has it’s uses judiciously. This is an issue the general public can easily ignore or not understand, so in this case you need a more provocative headline to emphasize the magnitude of the implications.
‘US arms funding Saudi led destruction of Yemen, thousands dead’
‘New Saudi-US arms deal, possibly being used in conflict in Yemen’
The byline of the linked article is: "Anna Fifield and Shibani Mahtani, The Washington Post"
Two Sessions 2020: Beijing will announce resolution for national security legislation for Hong Kong to proscribe secession, foreign interference and terrorism
HK's only play at this point seems to be the Northern Ireland strategy--be as ungovernable as possible, and rely on China having a bit of shame. I don't see that working, though--the UK in Northern Ireland had a reputation to maintain. I fear that turning HK into a prison camp would do to China's reputation exactly what they want it to do.
Evidently not much of a reputation. In this conflict alone, the British state (army and police) shot and killed unarmed protesters, supported paramilitary groups in extrajudicial assassinations (including an attempt on a sitting British politician), indefinitely interned people with no evidence, looked the other way from attacks they could stop (and at least on one occasion even explicitly chose a random civilian to kill instead) if it would protect a source, pursued a strategy for a while of force-feeding certain dissidents, and even made it a crime to display certain flags.
Any way the one country two systems was set to expire in 2047.
So yeah, from personal experience, Hongkongers fit right in coming to Taiwan.
We (rsync.net) established Hong Kong as our Asian POP in 2009 for a variety of high-minded, conscientious reasons. I wanted to cast the firms dollar-votes for open, democratic societies and further the establishment of Hong Kong as a business and network hub ... obviously a very small impact but that was the idea.
I am now seriously considering moving our operations out of Hong Kong and Singapore is an obvious candidate for the move. The trouble is, Singapore is not exactly a paragon of free and open society. Australia makes some sense in terms of Internet topology but I'm not sure it's a fit, either.
I'm upset about this because I love Hong Kong. I think it's the most interesting city in the world and I love being there.
Back in the 1980s, while Thatcher and Reagan were preaching about freedom, british-ruled HK had less freedom than they do now under the bad guy commies.
EDIT: This is not to cheerlead a regression of rights in HK. I'm just saying that being an imperial subject, being brutally put down every few decades when revolting, that's not some liberal utopia.
See the following articles for the historical context :
"Even in the '60s and '70s, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London attempted to introduce democracy and free elections only to be told by Beijing, including by Prime Minister Zhou Enlai, that under no circumstances would [China] tolerate a democratically elected Hong Kong because they saw that as the first step toward independence," she said. 
"These documents … show that not only were the Brits mulling granting Hong Kong self-governance in the 1950s; it was the Chinese government under Mao Zedong who quashed these plans, threatening invasion." 
Meaning Hong Kong would technically no longer be part of China, and would revert to British sovereignty.
Meaning, if they pass this law and take over defense/security in HK, they are essentially violating the Hong Kong Basic Law (Constitution) and invading what would then be (through their actions) a foreign country.
Defer to international lawyers on the technicalities, but that's how I've seen this read.
Note that Hong Kong was given to the Britain by three treaties in the 19th century (1842 Treaty of Nanking, 1860 Convention of Peking, 1898 The Second Convention of Peking), and the true copies of all treaties are in the hand of Taiwan, which were brought to Taiwan by the KMT government during its retreat to Taiwan before 1950.
So if the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, the declaration behind the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China, is revoked (partly because CCP declares it invalid), Britain might declare that Hong Kong should return to the holder of the three treaties–Taiwan.
Extremely unlikely, but arguably has legal justification.
So the issue is: who represents China? The government in Beijing or the government in Taipei?
Later, Britain signed the Sino–British Joint Declaration of 1984 with Beijing to decide the (then) future of Hong Kong. If the Sino–British Joint Declaration is revoked, things could be different.
Just recently US is asking the Beijing government to repay the debt of Qing dynasty , which Beijing said would be the responsibility of Taiwan. Following this logic, receiving Hong Kong from Britain could also be the responsibility of Taiwan.
Since 2001! There's a century of this debt getting rolled over to greater fools.
Having said that one must note Taiwan has a law in the pipeline (1st reading) to give up The claim of mainland. You may be surprise Of communist china Actual objection To it But not HKER or Taiwanese. In any case Even if they keep the claim This path is Only valid In theory but frankly not in Practice.
Personally i will continue our fight. Taiwan has enough of their own problems. If they can free from mainland, That is great already.
Sure. In that case, it would revert to British sovereignty, Britain wouldn't lift a finger to defend it, and it would go to China anyhow by right of conquest.
Treaties are nifty and all, but ultimately, no matter what pieces of paper are signed, you can't hold territory you have no intention to defend.
Gives legal pretext for any tariffs or sanctions you want, meaning we are at the beginning of these issues not the end...
If Beijing were able to control the fate of Hong Kong in the 1950s, they would have, and it wouldn't have been "leave it in british hands, sure, as long as there's no democracy".
I pushed back against imperialism dressed up as liberation. Everybody's soooo concerned about Hong Kong civil rights, just like they were about Iraqi civil rights.
Other places, where it's not to our geopolitical advantage? Crickets.
Bringing up "British rule was no panacea" when we're talking about the CCP's efforts to deliberalize a de facto free society reads like you're apologizing for what the CCP wants to do.
Funny how Britain was happy to rule over Hong Kong for centuries without introducing democratic reform and then suddenly 'liberalised' things only when they were on the point of handing HK back to China. Almost as if it was done with precisely the intent of leaving the Chinese with as much of a hot potato as possible.
They don't call it "Perfidious Albion" for nothing!
Britain first raised its flag over Hong Kong island in 1842. The New Territories, without which Hong Kong is not a viable independent entity, were leased to Britain under a 99-year lease in 1898.
This was a consequence of one of the worst aspects of colonial Britain, the Opium wars, but, as hker points out , since the 1960s Britain has attempted to democratize Hong Kong, but was constrained by China's realistic threat of invasion.
There's not much credit to any side here, but let's at least get the history right.
I'm not saying you're wrong but China in the 1960s was an unindustrialised, agrarian 3rd-world country which was barely able to feed its own people. I suspect Britain [a rich, industrialised, nuclear-armed member of NATO] would have laughed in their face, if China had issued any threats.
We shouldn't fall into the trap of looking at the might & modernity of China today and thinking t'was ever thus. I'm old enough to remember when news footage from China would show countless thousands of people, clad in denim boiler suits, riding bicycles through Peking, with nary a car to be seen.
[ASIDE: Ironic that moving towards vehicle-free cities with a cycling populace is now seen as aspirational and a sign of progress whereas, back then, it was an indicator of how backward China was]
Furthermore, remember that it was China's intervention in Korea in the early 1950s that almost overran the US forces in Korea, and forced a negotiated settlement with the creation of two Koreas.
NATO is irrelevant, as that was an alliance for the defence of Western Europe, not small remnants of Britain's colonies. NATO was not about to go to war with China then, any more than it involved itself in Korea.
And what would Britain do with its nukes? Nothing more than the US did in Korea and Viet Nam. If Britain were to even threaten their use, it would seriously damage its relationship with the USA, by creating a precedent that the USSR (and, by 1964, a nuclear China) could invoke at any time. Remember what happened over Suez, which did not even go as far as a nuclear threat.
Even if Britain halted an initial invasion, China would still be there, on the border of Hong Kong, for as long as the British could afford to stay (or until 1997, if it came to that, which it would not.)
None of this analysis is dependent on "looking at the might & modernity of China today and thinking t'was ever thus."
In the 60s/70s China was in bad terms with Soviet, US/UK saw the benefit of having China as "Allies". Thus, HK kind of became the scapegoat.
If we're so much better, maybe we can let up on the propaganda and whitewashing of history?
(Edited to specify that the end result was liberal, not the whole thing)
From my limited knowledge, the government of Hong Kong was quite liberal, which created its large economic inequality, low literacy rate, and high spot in the freedom index today. Many would argue it was too liberal in some senses.
Exactly how were the people not free, in the 1980s?
Do you think its impossible to have freedom without local democracy?
But it doesn't undo other things about their government, it's just a fuller picture. Same applies to UK colonialism.
And given that the UK itself has most of these things, I highly doubt they'd arbitrarily deny them to a dependent territory without good reason (especially when their other territories all have some measure of representative government). Other comments describing Chinese threats provide one possible good reason.
Setting aside HK, we apparently have very different reads on how the British Empire acted everywhere else, as well.
People said the exact same thing about the Holocaust. How could such a modern, enlightened country like Germany kill six million Jewish people?
We like to believe that the trappings of modern society are an innoculation against tyranny, but they are not and have never been.
If they're going to start projecting that nationalist sentiment outward, Hong Kong is low-hanging fruit.
Anyway, It's amazing how much wealth and prosperity they're willing to erase for the control. Hong Kong's actual functioning legal system was a huge part of why it was the conduit to China for civilized nations; now what is there?
I know plenty of businesses in Taiwan that set up factories right across the way in Xiamen. It's been well underway for the past 20 years.
I am more curious what would happen, if say 50% of Taiwanese agree to some sort of reunification with Mainland through a referendum? How would the US react especially given the amount of US military resources and other strategic interests in Taiwan?
The current political regime in mainland China is actually the best thing for the US and a transition to democracy would be bad because that would make reunification more likely, at least possible, and it would take away much of the arguments the US use against China.
If the nationalists had defeated the communists and the mainland and Taiwan had remained united, I doubt that the tensions between China and the US would be less than they currently are, for example, because these tensions are not caused by the political regime in Beijing, they are much more profound.
In any case, the US cannot realistically intervene militarily directly against China whatever happens.
I disagree, and this is a fun thought experiment.
1. The relationship would be a hybrid of the relationships that the US has with both Japan / South Korea and India.
- China would be a friendly enough, export focused economy that's too large to be bullied by the US
- It would historically have been a Cold War ally, giving it a larger edge over India
2. The West would have access to China's economy.
3. There would be less uncertainty about laws, helping the business climate.
4. Silicon Valley's crown would have been usurped 10 years ago or even far earlier. Why? Because China would have more personal freedoms and protections like with speech. Freedom of speech is instrumental to places like Silicon Valley where creativity is vital. Things like the adoption of the Internet would have been far earlier.
5. HK would have long been a shadow of itself. Shanghai would have taken its place far sooner.
6. While corruption would still be bad, it would be much better than present circumstances due to a free press and more transparency.
7. Tensions with Japan would be worse, due to freedom of speech and much earlier economic and technological rivalry
8. Chinese global economic influence and dominance would be much greater and would have happened much faster and earlier.
9. Chinese media such as TV shows and movies would be way more interesting instead of the boring period pieces or variety shows they keep cranking out today.
10. The male to female ratio would be almost equal due to more civil rights for women which leads to more economic opportunities for females
We could go on what China could have been... the Asian equivalent of the US. This would be a cool TV series. Reminds of The Man in High Tower TV show.
If a Japanese expat got killed in some protest, it would be a major diplomatic problem and China might have to apologize, which would look bad.
I am not trying to dream up what China could have been. I am saying that the tensions between China and the West stem from a trend that is more profound that the current Chinese regime. For example I think that virtually everything China is criticised about in its geopolitical policies and actions would be unchanged with a different regime because these are not things dreamed up by the communists but are deeper both in historical terms and in geopolitical interests terms.
The communist party itself is a product of these trends and this struggle, not the cause.
The tensions between China and the West result from China's rise, not from the CCP being in power.
China is not more or less 'friendly' because of the CCP. They are simply asserting themselves, advancing their interests, and trying to right perceived historical wrongs.
How 'friendly' countries are between each others (and China isn't really unfriendly) depends on their interests, not really on political regimes. Case in point: The US are extremely friendly with Saudi Arabia.
'friendly' in this context is pretty meaningless, but if you insist:
Korea is 'friendly' (well half of it) with the West because it sees it in its interests in order to balance China (and Japan) and because as a small country there is no reason not to be friendly, plus there are American troops there to remind them. They were as 'friendly' under the military dictatorship.
Japan is 'friendly' because it sees it in its interests (against Russia and China, especially during the cold war) and because it was not left a choice anyway.
When Vietnam opens up to the US it is to balance China's rise. The US are quite happy with that although Vietnam's regime is very similar to China's. Why? shared interests again.
China does not need to balance between the big guys and to stay on their good side in that way. It is one of the biggest guys, so it acts like the US do, and that is the root of the problem for the US.
Hopefully this clarifies the "geopolitical realities".
To think that if 2 countries are both democracies they will be 'friendly', or that if they aren't they won't be, is very naive, frankly.
This is a weak argument because a non-CCP China would be even more economically entwined with the West since its market would be a lot more open ie shared interests. It would share more political culture as well e.g. Tienanmen and Xinjiang would never have happened. Also if your argument was correct, developed Western nations would have a lot more beef with both India and Brazil today, and with Japan decades previous. They don't. A modern KMT China would a much stronger version of Japan or South Korea. History still sides more with my argument.
So, no, the US will not attack China directly, in the same way that China will not attack the US directly.
Edit: Using 'intervene' in response to a comment on direct military intervention should be clarified if you don't mean exactly that...
OTOH see how protests in Delhi have turned out over another draconian law. On the day Trump himself was in Delhi in Feb 2020, more than 10 people got killed in violence.
The fact they haven't outright invaded and smashed Hong Kong is hardly high praise.
There is zero chance that the CCP will hold up their end of any bargain Taiwan makes to join it, and the situation in Hong Kong proves it.
It makes me sad thought that North Koreans still have to suffer their relic of past regime, which is just net-negative for the population at whole. Yet their lives and well-being is just a part of the geopolitical chess board, and the regime will continue to exist as long as Chinese leaders seem fit.
They can wave at each others (almost).
Xiamen from Taiwan:
It's so tragic.
If Taiwan is ever going to unite with China peacefully, it is going to come after China changes its stance.
Or has it shown that a losing party will grasp at any straw to explain why they failed?
Advertisement has been a major part of democracies for 100s of years.
What does this mean?
For China this is the great unknown. Obviously they could retake the island on their own, albeit suffering casualties, but the question is what U.S. involvement might look like.
It could be anything ranging from saber rattling D.C. and not a single shot fired to full-scale war dragging in regional allies (South Korea, Australia, Japan, and others) in the ultimate raison d'etre to try to stop the rise of China. It could break out into a regional war with China and North Korea versus the U.S. and allies who decide it is a fight worth fighting - Japan and South Korea most likely.
I think most likely the Chinese will focus on a publicity campaign unless the U.S. is in a severely (historical not seen in the last 100+ years) weakened position, because while annoying, it's not worth the risk of such a huge war. You can basically change a country through influence, so why not just wait and go through things that way?
Korea and Japan won't either because they clearly have not the strength and, for Japan, are prevented from doing so by their constitution. Frankly it would be suicidal for them to do that so they won't.
If Taiwan were to be taken by force it would have serious consequences, politically and economically, but no-one would launch a military attack on China in response.
The US, and perhaps others, would likely help Taiwanese forces, though.
All pre-revolution government debt has been in default since the revolution. China claims it is the responsibility of Taiwan and Taiwan claims it is the responsibility of China. They owe many trillions to bondholders all over the world.
If the two merge, they can't dodge the claims anymore and still be part of the world financial system. It will have to be negotiated, and US law allows the government to collect on behalf of American bondholders. Any settlement will be very painful for China if they insist on taking Taiwan by force.
They haven't been doing all that well with that lately.
...and while we can say that HK protests and covid-19 have reduced the popularity of unification, it is still, on average, more popular an idea than at any time since the split in 1949.
EDIT: Because I couldn't find any data supporting my above statement, I'll just throw a link with the latest (20yr) trend that mostly just says that the vast vast majority of Taiwanese want to maintain the status quo...
...and since China has said publicly that they won't act against Taiwan as long as they don't move away, then the only outcome we're going to see on Taiwan is a whole lot of nothing for the foreseeable future - even if HK students on here want to see Taiwan supporting them - that doesn't seem like that's going to happen.
For better or worse no one's wading into that clusterfuck in the name of civil rights, and no one outside the US has the force projection capacity to even consider it. Maybe we'll see some economic sanctions, but from an ideological perspective the CCP cannot and will not allow Hong Kong to leave China, it would invalidate a cornerstone of their existence (their ability to keep China united, a very rare historical anomaly).
Historical revisionism much? China was prepared to come and take Hong Kong, the only thing that preserved the current state was a deal that allowed China to save face. The U.K. had no ability to defend Hong Kong - they actually got a much better deal than could have been expected, with China worrying about its international reputation at the time. The Chinese could have walked right in to Hong Kong and taken it much, much more quickly.
As it happens, there has been a Chinese government-in-exile in Taiwan since 1949. Its practical influence on the governance of China itself since then has been zero to two decimal places, and is unlikely to increase in the future.
I am not at all sanguine about China's oligarchy, either for Hong Kong or the world, but geopolitical fantasies are just a way of avoiding facing the facts.
The 1:20 clip I posted is the final summary, but the entire 20 minutes is worth watching.
There will have been more public empathy in mainland for Hong Kong have people in Hong Kong in general been nicer to people visiting from mainland in the last 20 years instead of being so discriminative and unfriendly. And if there are more empathy, we will see protests as well as stronger public opinions among people in mainland favouring non interference in Hong Kong. And it will become an actual movement. And there will be actual changes. Let's not forget the protests in 1989 were started by mainland Chinese themselves and though it ended in the worst way possible it was not in vain. In many ways they had had positive impacts to the system and the overall human rights in China (though it still doesn't enjoy the same degrees of freedom as in the West).
People in Hong Kong as well as people in China should take this as a sociocultural lesson. If we want to change and improve the system, we need to unite. As much as the system is authoritarian the way the system works ultimately reflects how divided the people see themselves.
Whilst pathetic most laws and bills have a process local in Hong Kong. Like a right wing paradise you not just have free market but also has essentially no government (police dare not to walk the street say) and no bill pass for months now. Even pandemics the response of the Gov is continue to open the border so the mainland Chinese can fly in and out of china. The public just on their own finding ways to get mask, making them and wearing them. On their own.
Now the china would bypass the local legislature to enact the law the local has opposed since 2004 with the 1st time million comes out again the security law.
Guess they want to as that law give mainland rights to institute their own force and likely their own legal procedure which unlike common law the accuser has to prove themselves innocent.
Good luck and with that gone Hk is ended. In the past we at least may know. Now we may not. Just no idea if you are in mainland why Hk stock market drop 5% in friday, the largest drop in last 5 years.
When the law is enacted bypassing your constitution (see all us, uk+2, and even the Eu Announcement), you are done.
What to do if you are Jews under nazi. Unlike USA to Jews, there is nowhere to go as the law actually covered any HKER in the world. We know they will enforce it in spite of you are outside china. It is a bigger country than North Korea.
Fight. See you.
So, the fact is that another East Berlin has been set up. Let see how many tragedies like East Berlin will be replayed.
>In accordance with the "one country, two systems" principle agreed between the UK and China, the socialist system of China would not be practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and Hong Kong's previous capitalist system and its way of life would remain unchanged for a period of 50 years until 2047 
I wouldn't be surprised if there was another wave of immigration away from HK. Of course, the poor and uneducated are trapped.
Quite frankly, the Chinese people demonstrably have a weak value system when it comes to these issues, exemplified by inaction (what are these people willing protest? Is it a matter of willingness or is it entirely possible they see nothing wrong with the camps or the subjugation of Hong Kong?).
The criticism certainly won’t come from within China, so it must come from outside.
I would also love to get some smart polling data from the Chinese public, and by that I mean not what America did in the 2016 election where we couldn’t obfuscate the questions to extract real sentiment.
Ask them a question like ‘do you feel people in Hong Kong think they are better than mainlanders?’, and then I think we’ll start to expose some reality.
IMO any change in China will come if and when the Chinese people themselves fight for it.
Those all sound like good options if sanctions etc. can't force a change. It was time to nip China in the bud a long time ago. Better late than never. And yes, I'd be willing to put my money where my mouth is and enlist.
What's your alternative, perpetual appeasement and turning a blind eye to everything they do?
The economy used to be dependent on slave labor. The bandaid had to be ripped off at some point because it was wrong and the economy adjusted. The same has to be done for relations with the organ harvesting totalitarian gorilla in the room that we could all overpower if we came together.
Are you presenting a dichotomy where our only options are war (likely to be nuclear) or appeasement and turning a blind eye?
Everything else needs to be tried before we jump into "let's have a full scale war with China, one that we can't even be sure of winning, and would likely end in life becoming much worse for both the average US and Chinese citizens". We've barely even started trying, so let's not just jump to the worst possible solution.
This will probably make most luxury items unattainable for anyone but the upper class, will set back worldwide trading several decades, cause economic collapse across many industries and might spark the invasion of Taiwan.
Politicians know that taking action against China will only hurt them and their voters in the end. We've let China become too powerful because it made our lives easier and now it's too late to take proper action.
The only way I see to prevent the chinede government from overthrowing Hong Kong is through a coup d'etat or a new world war. The Uyghur concentration camps are a lot easier to ignore than the risk of global nuclear destruction, so it'll probably never happen.
An even weaker nation when it comes to economic influence, Russia, has been free to attack and invade Ukraine without much more than a slap on the wrist and some fines. No UN actions, no NATO standing ready to fight any future invasions.
Eventually empires like China are toppled when powerful people in the ruling class are divided. We won't see it happen within out lifetimes, but in a hundred years or so things will be different again.
China's and Xi Jinpeng are just the first of the large states to become fascist.
It's not how do you stop China...it's how do you stop this from happening worldwide.
What's scary is that with all of the new technology it could be impossible for people ever to revolt again.
Even ignoring the Chinese issue, many people here are interested in security, privacy, freedom of speech, environments, that is, broader impact of tech.
This one is definitely worth an exception.
Also noticed the CCP sympathizers are more numerous now than when the political posts started.