Hong Kong cannot thrive without autonomy

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With the adoption in Hong Kong of its stamp parliament the decision to develop laws to protect national security in Hong Kong, Beijing initiated “political mutual destruction” for itself and Hong Kong. Beijing’s plan to contain Hong Kong – despite global outcry – is revenge on the Hong Kong democratic movement, which has been protesting since March 2019. It’s also retaliation against the U.S. for adopting the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act 2019.

On May 27, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement confirming that Hong Kong no longer warrants differential treatment under US law. At the same time, he said: “No sensible person today can say that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy vis-à-vis China given the local facts.” He also submitted a report to Congress under the law, based on the fact that Beijing exercised its right to interpret all laws in Hong Kong in November 2019. the Liaison Office’s claims that it was exempted from Article 22 of the Basic Law in April 2020; and the National Security Act announced last week. He added that the use of tear gas and the mass arrests, as well as the deployment of the People’s Armed Police to Hong Kong were in violation of the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration. President Donald Trump would later have to rely on the 1992 Hong Kong Policy Act to respond with appropriate measures. Possible approaches range from economic relationships to immigration restrictions for cultural and educational exchange.

The US response to events last year shows that it has changed from a soothing “change in trade” to an unyielding foreign policy toward China. From the 1980s, the free world had hoped that China would liberalize and democratize as trade between it and the world grew rapidly. It was a false belief that opening up the Chinese market would open up Chinese thinking. However, such optimism has proven to be in vain.

The special arrangement under which the United States treats Hong Kong differently from China in politics, trade, trade and other areas is based on Hong Kong maintaining sufficient autonomy. As a holdover from his time as a British colony, Hong Kong has a different legal and economic system. Now that Beijing is getting a firm grip on the city and Hong Kong is taking away the last bit of freedom and autonomy, the basis of this special agreement is at risk. As a result, the United States has the right to change its policy towards Hong Kong, despite Beijing’s growl over “foreign intervention” and its attempts to use Hong Kong as a basis for negotiations.

Beijing has long used Hong Kong to gain access to foreign capital and other state-of-the-art technology products. Hong Kong, which enjoys special legal treatment, is the mainland’s preferred channel to send funds offshore despite Beijing’s control over cross-border capital flows, taxes, and corruption inspections. Many Chinese distrust their own currency and find the Hong Kong dollar associated with the US dollar more reliable. Chinese companies came to Hong Kong and pretended to be “Hong Kong companies” in the midst of the Sino-American trade war. Heads of state and government in Beijing continue to benefit from this arrangement, while Hong Kong freedoms deteriorate.

A couple opposite illuminated skyscrapers at Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong on May 28, 2020. | Roy Liu - Bloomberg / Getty Images.
A couple opposite illuminated skyscrapers at Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong on May 28, 2020. | Roy Liu – Bloomberg / Getty Images.

Hong Kong has long demonstrated its strategic role in the United States. Dynamics. The city can be used as a void against the free world if the special status remains unchanged while the city is completely subject to the relevant China. The introduction of this new national security law from top to bottom now has all the advantages Beijing could and could use, but it is entirely in Beijing’s own actions. Beijing is pulling Hong Kong into a “political mutual destruction” that will cost us a high price, but the hit is necessary.

If Hong Kong loses its special status, Beijing loses its trump card against the free world. Beijing’s short-term response will be stronger in response to American pressure. Action will continue to be taken against the political protest movement – against activists, election candidates and lawmakers who have participated in international advocacy. However, China’s economy will be hampered in the long term, even if China will certainly pretend to be “business as usual”. It remains to be seen how serious Washington’s action will be on Hong Kong, but the global impact China will have after the pandemic will also have a serious impact on its economy.

The end of the city’s special status by the US aims to stop Beijing’s rogue behavior and encourage it to reverse the course in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s prosperity is based on its autonomy and not on Beijing’s dictatorship. Beijing’s decision will put our city in dire straits in every way – the stock market could go down, unemployment could rise and foreign companies could flee. At the same time, however, we must recognize that there is no room for prospering Hong Kong without an adequate level of freedom and human rights protection.

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