TIM COOK: “Hong Kong’s Freedom Is More Important Than Apple’s Profits”
by Andrew Chalk
The above headline is fake. I made it up. Apple CEO Tim Cook never said it. I used it to draw attention to the wave of moral cleansing by corporate America over the last few weeks and how, as some critics have noted, it all lacks credibility. Even Apple, which announced the creation of a $100 million fund to support black causes, had not been motivated to announce the fund last year, or 10 years ago. Instead, Apple, and other corporations, pushed an already moving bus. Without credibility we don’t know whether Apple means its protestations or not.
Fortunately, there is an emerging cause that Apple can support, before it becomes a foregone conclusion. We are about to witness an event as formative in our age as was the downing of the Berlin Wall by ordinary people in 1989. China is about to break the 1997 “one country, two systems” agreement it came to with the United Kingdom at the time of the 1997 handover. That agreement guaranteed 50 years of continuity and political rights.
Apple, directly and through its subcontractors, has a major part of its supply chain in China. It makes a lot of profit out of China. If Tim Cook made the statement above and began a movement to make a comprehensive withdrawal from China if the Beijing regime goes through with its threats, then Apple’s credibility would be beyond doubt.
It would also help the people of Hong Kong and China. China’s dictator Xi Jinping knows that the Chinese Communist Party cannot survive without the western productive machine in China and global markets. When the exports stop, the jig is up.
At this crucial point in history, Apple could actually give the bus its first push with the above statement, and then we would see how many corporations were really sincere in their protestations of support for justice.