The Year of the Riots: It’s Only Getting Worse
Those who follow foreign affairs are certainly well acquainted with recent demonstrations in Hong Kong against infringement of local citizens’ rights by the Communist Party of China based in Beijing.
These demonstrations have persisted for months and have escalated both in violence and in the scope of the protesters’ demands.
The communists are using water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets (and some have been shot with real bullets), truncheons, arrests, and even murder (dismembered bodies of protesters have turned up in the waters around Hong Kong).
But how many have noticed this is not a local phenomenon?
Protests bordering on riots with violence on both sides are occurring in Barcelona, Paris, Santiago, Baghdad, and Caracas.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s army is losing pitched battles with cartel troops and South African farmers are being murdered by squatters even as the power goes out in the major cities there.
Argentina is also suffering acute financial distress bordering on social unrest.
The UK, Israel, Italy, and the US all have governments that are divided to the point of paralysis.
A recent article from Deutsche Welle took a closer look at the situation unravelling in Santiago.
The larger point is that we are witnessing a global surge in urban protests by students, homemakers, and lower-paid workers against elites and governments that deny human rights or block paths to economic progress — or both.
Such scenes in a single city are not uncommon.
But when 10 or so cities on five continents erupt in violence at the same time and major governments cannot achieve consensus on the legitimacy of government itself (think Brexit and impeachment), it is reasonable to ask if we are watching the beginning of the end of civilisation…
Not unlike what happened at the end of the Bronze Age (1100 BC) and again with the fall of the Roman Empire (476 AD).
We can’t answer that question (yet).
But we can be prepared in case the answer is the one many fear.
Investors with gold, silver, land, hard assets, fine art, and other tangibles are in the best position to survive the worst.
Why are we doing any business with China at all?
The trade war debate with China misses a much larger and more brutal reality.
We can discuss tariffs, intellectual property, and direct foreign investment all day long.
But what about the murder of Catholics, Falun Gong members, and Muslim Uighurs?
What about the burning and destruction of churches and temples?
What about millions locked into concentration camps undergoing brainwashing (at best) or torture (at worst)?
What’s going on in China today is as bad as or worse than the Soviet Gulag system that resulted in the deaths of millions of dissenters against the Soviet dictatorship.
China is seeking nothing less than totalitarian thought control, total censorship of the internet, and hegemonic control first of the Western Pacific and eventually the entire world.
Fox News details some of China’s most horrific abuses — the involuntary removal of organs from still-living religious minorities, without the use of anaesthetic, to supply a multibillion-dollar transplant industry.
With Fox News writing:
‘After 12 months of independent assessment of all available evidence, the seven-person China Tribunal panel – which was initiated by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), an international human rights charity – delivered its final findings in June.
‘The tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC who led the prosecution of Slobodan Milosevic in the International Criminal Trial for the former Yugoslavia, stated with “certainty” that “in China, forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time.”
‘“Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years, and Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply,” the report concluded, pointing to the growing transplant industry already worth more than $1 billion.’1
This horror is not just a matter of speculation.
It has been documented by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice.
So why are we doing business with China at all?
No economic sanctions
The US did almost no business with the Soviet Union during the Cold War (1946–91).
Not until after the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991) did a significant amount of direct foreign investment flow from the US to Russia.
US companies should pull out of China now.
New investment in China should be prohibited.
Chinese investment in the US should be banned.
Trade should be limited to basic commodities such as wheat and soybeans.
This economic wall should stay in place until China ends the abuse and recognises basic human rights, even if they are less than a full-fledged liberal democracy.
Investors would be wise to trim Chinese investments from their portfolios before a coming flood as disinvestment becomes mandatory.
All the best,