By Zhang Hui
The 102 detailed examples of US’ blatant interference to China’s Hong Kong affairs since 2019, issued for the first time by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday, served as a strong counterattack and warning to the US, and also signaled the urgency for legislation of Article 23 of the Hong Kong SAR Basic Law which is likely to be put on the legislative agenda after December, Chinese analysts said on Friday.
Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday issued a fact sheet on the US’ interference in Hong Kong affairs and how the US supported anti-China forces in the Hong Kong region. It details the US’ moves of intervention since early 2019 including enacting Hong Kong-related acts, imposing sanctions, smearing the Hong Kong government and police force, shielding and supporting anti-China forces that attempted to destabilize Hong Kong, and teaming up with allies to exert pressure on China.
The long sheet listed five main facts with a total of 102 examples. The first was that the US has enacted and is considering eight Hong Kong-related acts, bills or resolutions since 2019 in an attempt to vilify China’s policy on Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and meddle in its affairs.
In a latest example, the US Republican Representative Scott Perry on June 30 introduced the Hong Kong Freedom Act, calling on the US president to recognize the HKSAR as “a separate, independent country.”
Meanwhile, the US has imposed various sanctions in an attempt to obstruct China’s implementation of the national security law of the Hong Kong region and relevant decisions of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC). The sheet also listed 14 related moves including sanctions on Chinese officials and financial institutions and banning exports of US equipment to Hong Kong.
The long list also includes US politicians and government departments that have repeatedly made unfounded charges against Hong Kong affairs and Hong Kong police’s law-enforcement actions.
The US has also shielded and supported those who were opposed to China and attempted to destabilize Hong Kong region, providing platforms for them to advocate “Hong Kong independence” and spread political disinformation, and justifying the acts of those lawbreakers by twisting facts and misleading the public.
In 2019 alone, American politicians including Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi met with Hong Kong opposition figures 10 times on various occasions.
The fact sheet also contains 11 pieces of evidence of the US colluding with some countries to exert pressure and teaming up with allies to interfere in Hong Kong affairs.
Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at Friday’s media briefing that the US’ attempt to undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability and contain China’s development by playing the “Hong Kong card” will never succeed. The US must not support anti-China forces in Hong Kong in any way. Otherwise, it will shoot itself in the foot and seriously damage its own interests in Hong Kong. China will continue to respond firmly and forcefully to the US intervention in Hong Kong affairs, Zhao said.
Hong Kong analysts said it’s the first time that China, in the name of Foreign Ministry, issued a comprehensive fact sheet of the US’ intervention to Hong Kong affairs during the social turmoil in 2019, which served as a strong counterattack and warning to the US.
Lawrence Tang Fei, a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told the Global Times that the fact sheet, unlike the general remarks or positions, used detailed evidence to prove and refute US’ intervention, making China’s denouncement more plausible.
Ho Leong-leong, Deputy Director of Editorial Department with Phoenix TV in Hong Kong, told the Global Times on Friday that the fact sheet explained to the world and Hong Kong society how the foreign forces, especially the US, interfered in Hong Kong’s affairs since 2019 turmoil, and now with the implementation of the national security law for Hong Kong, Hong Kong society has changed fundamentally with no large-scale protests.
“Under such circumstance, the US cannot use Hong Kong to destabilize China,” Ho said.
The fact sheet was issued before the October 1 National Day, which will see Hong Kong’s joyous atmosphere of love for the motherland and Hong Kong, completely different with the riot two years ago, Ho said.
Analysts believed that the fact sheet will guide and help Hong Kong on legalizing the Article 23 in the near future, as Hong Kong society knows better about foreign forces’ intervention through the fact sheet.
Tang said that the fact sheet using large amount of evidence proved the urgency of the legislation of Article 23, and since the US used legal means to interfere in Hong Kong affairs, Hong Kong needs to resort to the same means to protect itself and national security.
Ho said that legalizing Article 23 will be an important agenda after December’s 2021 Hong Kong Legislative Council election, and the Article 23 and national security law for Hong Kong are complementary.
Hong Kong Secretary for Security Chris Tang Ping-keung said recently that he expected to legislate on Article 23 within the next term of the Legislative Council, the Oriental Daily reported last week.
Hong Kong Security Bureau is studying and drafting the new Article 23, which will focus on espionage, activities of foreign political organizations in Hong Kong, and activities between Hong Kong political organizations and foreign political organizations, the Sing Tao Daily reported on Thursday.
The fact sheet issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry is a strong response to the US’ repeated smearing of the Chinese government’s governance of Hong Kong and to the US’ flagrant imposition of sanctions on Chinese officials, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council said in a statement on Friday.
Through this evidence, people can clearly see the hypocrisy of the US in pursuing double standards on issues of democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law. It’s the hegemonic nature of the US that makes it to try and lecture others, and embark on its sinister intention to contain China’s development by disrupting Hong Kong, the office said.
No external intervention can shake the Chinese government’s firm determination of fully and faithfully implementing the principle of “one country, two systems,” or stop the ship of “one country, two systems” from forging ahead, the statement said.