Another week has gone by and another snowflake has fallen on the mountain of geopolitical risk that has been building for quite some time now. The citizens of Hong Kong took to the streets over the weekend to protest a bill set to pass through their local government later this week that would allow China to request extradition of suspected criminals. This is a big no-no for the people of Hong Kong, a territory which exists in this weird legal grey area within China after being returned to the Chinese by the British in 1997 after a 99-year lease of the territory (wtf?).
Up to this point, Hong Kong has enjoyed the luxury of being an "Administrative Region" within China that has maintained a local government and financial system separate from mainland China. Over the years China has (inevitably) attempted to erode this autonomy. If you freaks recall, the people of Hong Kong took to the streets for the Umbrella Revolution in late 2014 - early 2015 when the Chinese government tried to implement some sort of screening of the candidates that the people of Hong Kong would be able to vote on in their elections. Less than 5-years later, the streets are full again as the Chinese government moves to weaken Hong Kong's sovereignty further. I imagine the extradition law, if passed, would not bode well for many; particularly those participating in the notoriously free press that exists in Hong Kong and the businesses which depend on the territory's perceived autonomy from China in the eyes of the global economy.
This bill couldn't come at a worse time for the territory or the mainland government trying to wrest more control over it. As the trade war between the US and China continues to escalate it is easy to see the US and others subjecting a "compromised" Hong Kong to the same tariffs and sanctions that are being thrown at China right now. This would also probably have a negative effect on the Hong Kong Dollar, which is currently pegged to the US Dollar. A truly precarious situation for one of the economic power hubs of the world.
If this situation continues to escalate, it will be interesting to see how the price of Bitcoin reacts as it only feels natural that this move would incite a flight to safety into assets that cannot be sanctioned or subjected to the geopolitical dick flexes on display during trade wars.
Maybe the Chinese government sees the writing on the wall is attempting to get ahead of the curve?
Beer can chicken has now been added to the arsenal.