We are facing a major change in the balance of power on the international arena. Even if, hopefully, this new cold war does not turn into a hot one, the attention of the United States will likely shift from Europe to East Asia.
Even though Hong Kong operates under separate laws within the ‘one country, two systems’ model, the invisible hand of mainland China is becoming increasingly visible in the territory. In response, mass protests have been ongoing for four months in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is much more than meets the eye. Beyond the soaring skyscrapers and glimmering shopping malls, it is the only place on Chinese soil where citizens dare stand up to those in power and, once in a while, manage to force concessions out of them.
Recently, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam announced that her government will withdraw the contested bill that would undermine the rule of law by allowing extraditions to mainland China, which sparked three months of protests in the city. However, demonstrations are unlikely to end anytime soon.
Minimum wage debate is in full swing again after President Obama desperately trying to save his approval rating – with the exception of Nixon, worse than any other postwar second-term president – urged Congress to raise its federal level to $9 / hour.