2 December 2019 — New Eastern Outlook
The impunity with which the US aggresses Hong Kong is insane. Equally or more insane is western media coverage of what is going on in Hong Kong. Not one word on how the incredible “pro-democracy” vote of the rather unimportant District Council Elections was achieved. Of the 18 District Councils, 452 of 479 seats (71%) went to “pro-democracy” candidates. Such an extreme anti-Beijing vote could only be obtained by massive western propaganda at the cost of millions of dollars, targeted with algorithms, developed on the principles of the now (apparently) defunct Cambridge Analytica. And this with 70% of eligible voters going to the polls.
None of this practically non-realistic result was analyzed by the west and reported on. In reality, the vast majority of Hong Kongers is sick and tired of the western inspired violence, but are very much proud of being Chinese citizens. They were told by the propagandists that voting for ‘democracy’ candidates was the way to bring peace. And Peace is what everyone wants. After all, integrated into China in 1997, they have enjoyed much more freedom than under British colonialism, where they were not even allowed to vote for their district councils.
The absurdity does not stop here. The US Congress has recently passed legislation that would allow the US monitoring ‘democracy’ and human rights in Hong Kong, the so called “Human Rights and Democracy Act”, with the caveat of imposing sanctions, if Beijing would transgress on the US imposed rules. Can you imagine? Can anyone imagine this all-overarching arrogance?
The US Congress passing legislation to control another foreign territory? And the west goes along with it. It may happen soon in Europe too that the US dictates what sovereign nations are allowed to do and not to do. It is already happening. The US prohibits Europe to do business with whom they want – i.e. Iran, if not, they are being punished. No comments. It’s just the new normal. In the case of Hong Kong, Beijing has protested, called the US Ambassador twice to discuss the matter – to no avail.
It gets even more ludicrous. Madame Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, has published in the Saturday issue of the South China Morning Post an article seeking full and “independent and impartial judge-led investigation” into police conduct at protests as part of confidence-building measures. The statement in itself already takes sides, as it does in no way address the foreign-inspired violence of protesters, who, for example, are using a university campus to build Molotov-type bombs and other incendiary devices. The Chinese Government immediately rebuked the article accusing Ms. Bachelet of further inflaming ‘radical violence’.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Chen Yaou, spokesman for China’s permanent mission to the UN, launched a scathing attack on what he called an “erroneous article” by Michelle Bachelet. Chen emphasized that China “strongly opposed” Bachelet’s article, saying she had interfered in the internal affairs of China and would only encourage protesters to use more radical violence. Mr. Chen added that “the protesters were seeking to create chaos in the Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region), paralyze the HK SAR government and seize the administrative power of the Hong Kong SAR with the aim of rendering the ‘one country, two systems’ principle defunct.” Cheng also said that his government stands fully behind Ms. Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive.
Despite the overwhelming pro-democracy vote on 24 November 2019, protests continue. Thousands took to the streets on Saturday afternoon assembling before the United States Consulate in Central, to “express gratitude” for passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. They were waving US flags, chanting the Star-Spangled Banner and are asking for more support. They pledge not to let go until all their demands are met.
Essentially, they want total independence from Beijing and become a US colony. They should look at Puerto Rico, what it means to be a US colony, what Washington has in store for its colonies. Or closer to their own history, they should look at their UK colonial past – and remember their state of oppression, the almost zero rights they had then.
What does this all mean for Hong Kong? At the time of the UK handover to China in 1997, Hong Kong contributed about 18% to China’s GDP. Already before the protests began some 6 months ago, it had shrunk to a mere 3%. Within the last few months HK’s economic output has further declined, as key financial institutions want stability and therefore are leaving Hong Kong for safer venues, i.e. Singapore, and, indeed, for Shanghai which is rapidly becoming the financial hub of the east.
The real purpose of the 50-year special status of Hong Kong that the UK (and US) negotiated with Beijing, was to keep this unregulated eastern financial paradise alive for western oligarchs’ often illicit and tax-evading financial transactions of which the western – UK and US – bankers and financiers were the key beneficiaries and profiteers. These US-inspired violent protests are meant to destabilize the Government of Beijing – which is, of course, a pipedream – when in fact, they are committing slowly suicide. Washington and London are disabling Hong Kong of her west-serving money-laundering capacity.
And if it comes really down to the level of intolerant crime and violence against the majority of HK citizens by this foreign-inspired and funded disruption of SAR, Beijing could in less than 24 hours put an end to it. So simple. The west could just gape, but say nothing, because it is in Beijing’s full right to restore law and order in their territories.
Now, let’s look again at the US arrogance to pass legislation to control a foreign territory. Could anyone imagine the logical opposite? China passes legislation to ban any foreign interference in their territories with the threat of sanctions. These could include outright import bans for certain US goods, for example agricultural produce, or stopping crucial exports to the US (iPhones, computers, other US-outsourced manufactured-in-China goods), barring certain US citizens from entering China – or, god forbid, building a military base in Venezuela and / or Mexico; Mexico being the latest Latin American country being harassed by the US for Mexico’s left-leaning government.
It is only by equals facing equals that maybe, just maybe can achieve harmonious and peaceful coexistence. This applies politically as much as it does economically – and in economics, China is the unspoken front-runner with a strong and stable currency backed by her economic output and by gold, versus an entire not only US, but western economy based on fiat money.
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. After working for over 30 years with the World Bank he penned Implosion, an economic thriller, based on his first-hand experience. Exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”