Facts of U.S. meddling in Hong Kong laid bare

Monday, September 27th, 2021 00:00 |
Protesters wave American flags outside the U.S consulate in Hong Kong after delivering a petition. PHOTO: COURTESY

As the United States becomes increasingly desperate to hold on to a hegemonic past that is fast fading away, it is also becoming more blatant in its quest to maintain the status quo. U.S.’ version of intervention has done more harm than good to the world, having been based on achieving objectives that have nothing or little to do with its hosts or partners.

However, the rise of China is the phenomenon that gives the U.S. extreme anxiety. The superpower is hell bent on using all means possible to clip the wings of its formidable geopolitical rival. The strategy involves attacking the country’s legitimate interests in order to weaken the object of its envy from the roots.

Like it is currently happening in Taiwan, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is one of the sites that the U.S. has identified for a fight in its quest for dominance both in the Asia- and Indo-Pacific regions. In its usual posturing as a human rights defender and democracy advocate, the country has instigated unrest in HKSAR in the last several years. On Friday, the moribund foursome comprising the U.S., Japan, India and Australia held their first summit in an attempt to undermine China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

While this has come to naught, it had disrupted quite a bit of HKSAR’s governance. But HKSAR has grown more resilient under the leadership of mainland China. The success of the recent voting of the 2021 Election Committee's subsector ordinary elections is testament of the "One Country, Two Systems" maturity. Contrary to ugly scenes witnessed in U.S.-style electoral politics elsewhere, the HKSAR elections were devoid of bickering and other instances of contestation, which authorities said marks transition from chaos to governance.

This was a good time to finally lift the lid of U.S.’ deception in its malicious intention in HKSAR. On Friday, China's Foreign Ministry released a fact sheet that details the former’s covert and overt meddling in the Chinese territory over the years. The new document gives a chronological order of events that leave no doubt who is the bad boy in all these disputes.

Mainly, the document highlights more than 80 instances in five key areas of the U.S.' intervention. These include Congress passing of anti-Hong Kong legislation like the Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 and the Autonomy Act of 2020. Second is the slapping of sanctions, with 14 items cited in the fact sheet since May 29, 2020 after the U.S. revoked HKSAR’s special status and preferential economic treatment.

Third is the joint issuance of the Hong Kong Business Advisory by various U.S. departments in response to the enactment of the national security law and the ban on the tabloid-style newspaper Apple Daily by HKSAR’s administration. Fourth is proffering baseless charges against HKSAR affairs and indictment of actions taken by the territory’s police.

Fifth is the U.S.’ offering tacit support to subversive forces against HKSAR through protection and capacity building to enable them incite rebellion against mother China and spread political disinformation. The HKSAR factsheet is proof enough that can pass muster in any international court pitting the two countries.

But U.S.’ meddling in HKSAR does not have a regional dimension akin to what is happening in the Taiwan conflict where the former is mobilizing allies against China and even preparing for military action. A fact sheet on the Taiwan issue would surely reveal more vicious meddling with instances that can actually be compared to declaration of war.

The U.S. is in a hole right now in its relationship with foes and friends alike, but it keeps on digging as seen in the recent tension between it and France after it (U.S.) instigated cancellation of a nuclear sub-marine contract with Australia. Only time will tell the full extent of the fallout following opening of a new anti-China front under the aegis of the trilateral Australia, United Kingdom and U.S. (AUKUS) security pact.

For those who agree to engage in treason against their own countries at the behest of the U.S., they will surely reap their just desserts in the fullness of time. Many collaborators have lived to rue their actions after their benefactors left them high and dry, like what has just happened in Afghanistan.

The U.S. has perfected the “use and dump” ruse and has no qualms abandoning those it pays to do its dirty work. In the case of HKSAR, the superpower’s intentions have nothing to do with the welfare of Hongkongers. It is aimed at protecting its commercial interests while undermining China’s rightful authority over the territory.

But it is an exercise in futility and like it failed in Tibet, HKSAR and Taiwan will in the not so distant future revert to the rest of the brood. Conversely, all these misadventures will soon take a toll on the U.S. and weaken it to a point where it will crumble under its own weight.

The writer is the Executive Director of South-South Dialogues, a Nairobi based research and development communication think tank.

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