U.S. National Security Adviser O’Brien Promotes Geopolitical Conflict over Hong Kong
May 26, 2020 (EIRNS)—Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on May 24, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien warned that should China impose a new national security law on Hong Kong, and threaten the city’s “autonomy,” it will suffer dire consequences, including U.S. economic sanctions and revocation of Hong Kong’s special status which allows it to function as an international financial center. With typical arrogance, O’Brien asserted that were the U.S. to take such retaliatory action, Hong Kong would collapse altogether and China would collapse.
“I just don’t see how [the financial community] can stay. One reason that they came to Hong Kong is because there was the rule of law there, there was a free enterprise system, there was a capitalist system, there was democracy and local legislative elections. If all those things go away, I’m not sure how the financial community can stay there.” He predicted that people would leave the city in droves, in a major brain drain, which would constitute a huge blow to China and to President Xi Jinping personally.
Tellingly, O’Brien repeated British imperialist Niall Ferguson’s formulation that China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic was a repeat of the way the Soviet Union handled the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, but the best he can come up with should be called banalysis: “The cover-up that they did of the virus is going to go down in history along with Chernobyl. We’ll see an HBO special about 10 or 15 years from now.” He also suggested that the U.S.-China trade deal could suffer as a result of China’s actions.
Of course the U.S. wants good relations with China and its people, he said,
“but unfortunately, we’re seeing just action after action by the Chinese Communist Party that makes it difficult. With respect to the trade deal, we’ll see if they live up to it.... They unleashed a virus on the world that’s destroyed trillions of dollars in American economic wealth that we’re having to spend to keep our economy alive, to keep Americans afloat during this virus.”
Reading from the same script that says that China deliberately flew planes around the world to infect other populations, O’Brien also charged that China is most likely engaging in espionage to try and find the research and technology that the U.S. is working on to develop a vaccine. Don’t worry, he said, “we’ll find it first.”