Their Motivations Are Different

I think that the editors of the Washington Post make assumptions about the Chinese leadership all too common among Western pundits:

The right answer for President Xi Jinping and for Ms. Lam, if she remains in office, is to open serious negotiations with the protesters on their demands, which are quite reasonable. Cinching the noose ever tighter, as the Chinese government has done in recent weeks, is the pathway to a dead end that could harm both Hong Kong and mainland China economically as well as politically. A cliff looms, and China’s leaders should turn back before it is too late.

which is that the forces that impel the Chinese leadership are similar to those of Western politicians and their attitudes are much like their own. That’s an error. The Chinese leadership has political motivations but it has nothing to do with popular politics are the esteem of Western elites. We don’t know what the political forces are within the Politburo but they certainly exist. That’s the only politics that matters to the Chinese leadership. It is only important to them to keep the Han Chinese people docile and their regard for non-Han Chinese people is even lower. I’m surprised they’ve treated the Uighurs as gently as they have.

So far there are few signs of unrest within mainland China or at least few visible to us so the plans of the leadership seem to be working just fine.

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