I won’t pretend to know why China’s leader Xi Jinping is tightening control over Hong Kong at this moment, but it strikes me as wrongheaded and shortsighted for any number of reasons, not least making global cooperation more difficult at a moment when a pandemic and economic implosion, a warming planet, and the danger of new round of nuclear weapons buildup are begging for such cooperation.

I would add that China in its own interest should do nothing that might give Trump an issue to reverse his falling polling numbers in his match up against Joe Biden. Nothing good for China will come from a second Trump term.

One final thing: actions and policies that reinforce the perception that socialism is anti-democratic and authoritarian are harmful to socialism’s prospect here and elsewhere. Gorbachev was right years ago when he said “more democracy, more socialism.”

Much more could be said, but I’m sure others who follow China much more closely than I do will shed light on this matter.