The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union had terrible consequences for those caught up in it. History does not repeat, but it does rhyme. The next cold war is upon us: The People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States are now competing for hegemony over the Pacific. Despite the climate crisis and the global pandemic, the two most powerful countries on earth would rather test hypersonic missiles and conduct naval exercises than work together to prevent our collective annihilation.
This new cold war has already had profound implications for those caught in the crossfire. Nowhere is this truer than in Hong Kong. After a proposed extradition bill threatened Hong Kong’s autonomy within the PRC in late 2019, millions took to the city’s streets to protest. The resulting movement has since faltered, with the Chinese state accelerating Hong Kong’s integration with mainland China by introducing a repressive national security law and lambasting protesters as secessionists and Western puppets. The U.S. Left has largely accepted that narrative and dismissed the movement as reactionary.