At the Nuremberg Trials the Nazi propagandist, Julius Streicher, was hanged for putting out propaganda about Jews and inciting hatred leading to genocide. At the Rwanda Tribunal the members of a radio station were convicted of genocide for allegedly making false reports on events that the prosecutors claimed instigated hatred that led to genocide. Hate speech is proscribed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other treaties. Is this not what Nice and his players are doing, trying to instigate hatred and hostility to justify war, to justify harming and killing Chinese? Is this not where it all leads? Is this not a crime against humanity? Are not they the real criminals?
“If the US continues these gestures and keeps trying to strengthen official ties with Taiwan, as well as the military relationship and other official communications, then this will be seen as provocative. Public opinion could move further in the direction of military action,” Zhu said.
The US officially maintains a policy of “strategic ambiguity” concerning Taiwan and a possible Chinese invasion. But there are growing calls among China hawks in Washington for the US to adopt a policy of “strategic clarity” that would mean the US would commit to going to war for Taiwan if Beijing moves to take the island. The policy change in itself would be a major provocation towards China and make conflict more likely.
It’s unclear how many, if any, of the students participating in these incendiary activities were initially roused to political action by being “randomly” selected for the academics’ numerous protest studies over the years, but HKUST’s attempted backpedaling suggests it’s a distinct possibility that at least some were.
Another role, geopolitical in measure, entails McCarrick’s diplomatic entreaties to China, having at one point worked with President Jiang Zemin (1993-2003) to normalize relations with Rome. (The Cardinal later played a role alongside Pope Francis in the diplomatic backchannel that led to President Obama’s opening to Cuba, much to the chagrin of the conservatives.) The conservative wing of the hierarchy seeks to revive Cold Warrior strains of rhetoric about persecuted religious minorities, a gesture synoptic with the neocon saber rattling towards Beijing. For example, Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong has links with the CIA-backed National Endowment for Democracy and previously expressed public skepticism of Pope Francis’ diplomatic overtures to the mainland. In contrast, the liberals have a much more nuanced and pragmatic approach, perhaps in part due to realization that, unlike the days of the adamant Polish patriot upon Peter’s Throne, it is very unlikely that an indigenous Chinese Catholic popular movement will dislodge the Communist Party in the fashion of Lech Wałęsa and Solidarność three decades ago. (Where the secular cynicism of the neocon militarist impulse diverges from the theological wishful thinking of over-zealous believers and clerics waiting on the divine intervention of St. John Paul II is hard to determine.)