US talk of Hong Kong a nothingburger
Hong Kong residents sign their names on Friday in support of the Hong Kong national security law. A draft decision of the law was submitted to China’s top legislature on Friday. Photo: cnsphoto
The US is rallying Western officials and instigating Western media outlets to attack China’s National People’s Congress for its formulation of a national security law for Hong Kong. They have gained a seemingly ferocious momentum. But this momentum is far less powerful than it seems.
The US is again leading the Western camp in besieging China. Western countries are good at shaping public opinions. Most of the world’s major media outlets are based in the West. When they focus on one topic at the same time, that topic naturally becomes the focal point of global public opinion.
With the rise of emerging markets and developing countries becoming increasingly independent, the universality of Western values has been compressed. Those values are losing their charm. When the world sees that the US, for the sake of geopolitical interests, is inciting Western forces to stir up troubles for China, people will be well aware what is happening.
Fighting the national security law for Hong Kong is not a universal value and cannot withstand serious scrutiny. Isn’t national security the top priority for each and every country? Washington has always used national security as an excuse to suppress normal commercial activities. Saying that the national security law in Hong Kong hinders the city’s high degree of autonomy and ends its freedom will hardly fool all Westerners, let alone manipulate the whole international community.
Nearly 100,000 Americans have died from the COVID-19 epidemic, which exposes a great loophole concerning US human rights. The death toll has proved that ordinary Americans have neither the place nor discourse power under US democracy.
At this moment, the US is taking the lead in accusing China of allegedly depriving Hong Kong of freedom and human rights with the national security law. Such behavior particularly lacks moral grounds.
As the US is entangled in the COVID-19 epidemic, its actual ability to intervene externally is weakening. The White House claimed it would impose sanctions on China, but the tools and resources at its disposal are fewer than those it could mobilize before the outbreak. It is only bluffing.
The biggest pillar for Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center is its role as a window to the Chinese mainland as well as its special relationship with the mainland economy.
The special trade status given by the US is important, but is not a decisive factor to determine whether Hong Kong is a financial center or not. As long as the economy in the Chinese mainland keeps booming, Hong Kong will not decline. If the US changes its policy toward Hong Kong, that will result in a lose-lose situation. But Hong Kong will be able to adjust its way to maintain prosperity with the support of the Chinese central government.
The entire Western world will not follow the US. China is a huge market and the US is unable to provide enough compensation to offset the losses if Western countries become alienated from China. Values still have a strong appeal, but they cannot replace the fundamental interests of a country in pursuit of development. Besides, China has not intervened in the way of life of Western countries. Taking sides based on values at a disproportionate economic cost is not supposed to be the logic of international relations in the 21st century.
Such being the case, as long as China acts based on facts, resolutely formulates the national security law for Hong Kong, strictly limits the law’s scope to ensure both national security and the city’s stability under the “one country, two systems” principle, while safeguarding the basic rights and interests of the Hong Kong people, China will take the initiative in Hong Kong affairs. The US stirring of Western public opinion will lead to nothing.