22 August 2019 — New Eastern Outlook
A significant part of US foreign policy rests on the notion that it should promote the ‘politics of chaos’ as this chaos, as I pointed out earlier, plays a key role in maintaining US hegemony on the international stage. This ‘politics of chaos’ is thus not just a strategy against rival states and strategic competitors; it is also a display of the US deep-state’s obsession with running the world unilaterally and denying other (emerging) powers their due status and the ability to challenge the US primacy.
What, therefore, we are witnessing in Hong Kong is not just an indigenous uprising against China; it is more of an engineered ‘politics of chaos’ that is aimed at destabilizing the region in order to hurt China both politically and economically. Could this just be a coincidence that the timing of the protests syncs perfectly with the dawn of made-in-China 5G technology, an invention that has the potential to take-over the world and thus dispel the US hegemony?
Protestors in Hong Kong have not disappointed their financers. Numerous protestors have been seen carrying US flags; playing US national anthem and invoking the US Congress to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.
Those protesting claim this Act will help in implement universal suffrage in Hong Kong by 2020; in reality it would end up becoming a tool in the hands of the US elites, allowing them to impose sanctions on Chinese political figures under the pretext of them committing alleged violations of human rights. This particular legislation would require the White House to carry out an annual review to determine whether Hong Kong’s special trade status, which allows it to be recognized as a separate customs territory to mainland China, can still be justified.
The Act aims to countercheck Hong Kong’s “autonomy and freedom” that are being eroded through “Chinese interference.” It would empower the US president to “identify persons responsible for the abductions of Hong Kong booksellers and journalists and those complicit in suppressing basic freedoms in Hong Kong, including those complicit in the rendition of individuals, in connection to their exercise of internationally recognized rights, to mainland China for detention or trial, and to freeze their U.S.-based assets and deny them entry into the United States”, thus giving the US president a free hand to impose sanctions against most any individual it deems dangerous or uncontrollable.
This legislation, which is nothing short a recipe of direct interference, is apart from the already present ‘black hand’ US officials in Hong Kong, financing the protestors and helping them organize on a large scale.
Chinese authorities have so far practised restraint. But then the degree to which the protests are rising and spreading, funded of course by proxy entities, means that the US is deliberately provoking China to take action. If the Chinese quell the protests by force and if some protestors die as a result, this will let the US lure its western/European allies into an economic boycott of China. This would hurt China in the sense that a number of European countries like Germany and Italy that have flourishing trade and investment ties with China and are far from enthusiastic to jump on the US’ anti-China bandwagon will be forced to take some action against China. The deep-state in the US is, therefore, eager to use Hong Kong crisis to its advantage and punish Beijing for the way it continues to defy US sanctions on, for instance, Iran.
Igniting protests in Hong Kong directly serves US interests vis-à-vis China. If large scale protests break out in Hong Kong and a civil-war situation becomes possible, it would result in a massive capital out-flight from the world’s third-biggest capital market. In the absence of this financial market in Hong Kong, China would have to work its future financial arrangements through countries over which it doesn’t have political control.
The ‘Hong Kong’ move is perhaps the next move after the trade-war the US had imposed upon China and lost due to Chinese resilience and ability to fend off external economic pressures. Even the US allies in the region—specifically, India and Japan, two crucial partners in the US “Indo-Pacific strategy” – have refused to join the US’ anti-China effort and are in fact seeking rapprochement. On the Huawei front, despite US efforts at potentially criminalising the company, the company announced a 30% rise in revenue and has signed 50 5G contracts, 28 of which are in Europe, so far this year.
The only viable option left with the US to “control” and “pressurise” China into submission is massive destabilization in Hong Kong and thus shut doors of external investment and capital on China’s “closed mainland economy.”
If the US, therefore, can manipulate Hong Kong’s autonomy, it can cripple China’s economy. Already, the US has big presence in Hong Kong. There are over 85,000 American citizens living there, and nearly 1,400 American businesses operate there. The US trade surplus in Hong Kong in 2017 was $32.6 billion.
Accordingly, the ultimate goal being massive instability to cripple China, what we should expect in future are more violent and massive protests than has so far been the case. A lot of it would, in fact, depend on how the Chinese manage the situation. The Russians are already discussing with the Chinese a joint strategy to counter protests in Hong Kong and Moscow. Moscow is, of course, far more experienced than Beijing in managing and defeating foreign funded protest campaigns and it is all set to leverage this experience vis-à-vis the US ‘black hand’ in Hong Kong as well.
Salman Rafi Sheikh, research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.