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US act adding fuel to the Hong Kong fire

By Liu Jianna | China Daily | Updated: 2019-09-11 07:20

Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam speaks during a media session in Hong Kong, south China, Sept 5, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Editor's Note: The US Congress has made the passing of the "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019" introduced by Congress members in June a top priority, while over the weekend some demonstrators in Hong Kong urged the US Congress to approve the law. Three experts share their views on the issue with China Daily's Liu Jianna. Excerpts follow:

US interference in China's internal affair unacceptable

One country paying attention to another country's human rights conditions and helping it promote human rights may not be a bad thing, because human rights are universal values and the common goal of the people of all countries. But what measures should a country take to protect and promote human rights are absolutely its own business, because only that country has the right and duty to safeguard human rights within its boundaries.

Besides, only the country in question can take into consideration the domestic realities, which the outside world more often than not ignores, to ensure the protection and smooth and orderly promotion of human rights.

By introducing the "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act", which is a direct interference in China's internal affairs, the United States has not only violated China's sovereignty, but also called into question the very concept of human rights and freedom.

Worse, the US has openly supported the violators who have contravened the very human rights they claim to pursue by attacking police officers and police stations and other government facilities and unleashing indiscriminate violence in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Obviously, human rights and freedom, in the true sense of the terms, are not what the US preaches. Which means Washington is seeking to encourage the demonstrators to continue the mayhem in Hong Kong and widen the divisions in the city.

Lu Zhian, a researcher at the Research Center for Human Rights, Fudan University

HK unrest reflects rise of populism

This is not the first time, and it certainly won't be the last, that the US Congress is trying to push through such an act, thanks to the businesspeople represented by the US president, "missionaries" such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and "soldiers" like Vice-President Mike Pence. The missionaries, for example, believe that what is good for the US is good for the world, and therefore blindly export US values to the rest of the world.

Before the midterm elections, the US leader could call the shots and silence the Democrats. But now that the Democrats have got a majority in the House of Representatives, partisan politics has kicked in.

In fact, the unrest in Hong Kong is a continuation of the populism that has besieged the other two international financial centers, New York and London, in the past as reflected in the Occupy Wall Street movement and Brexit.

Yet some forces in the US hope that by helping escalate the violence in Hong Kong, they will force the Chinese central government to deal with the demonstrators with an iron hand to restore order in the city, which would give them an opportunity to label China as an enemy of human rights and ask the international community to join Washington in boycotting it.

The more restrained has been the central government's response, the more anxious these forces have become. As a result, they are trying increasingly aggressive ways to provoke China. But instead of linking the Hong Kong demonstrations with the Sino-US trade war, Washington should strive to ink a trade deal with China at the next round of trade talks in October in order to avoid further complicating the issue.

Wang Yiwei, Jean Monnet chair professor at Renmin University of China

'Color revolution' not possible in China

As a self-proclaimed human rights champion, the US is adept at airing its views on almost every issue, especially on issues in which China is involved. For instance, the US Congress has passed many acts related to China's human rights record.

Yet by brazenly endorsing the acts of some Hong Kong demonstrators who have unleashed violence in Hong Kong, and ignoring the restraint the Hong Kong and central governments have shown, the US has betrayed its ulterior motives.

The Hong Kong insurrectionists' aim is to stage another "color revolution", but even they know that they cannot succeed in their evil design. And by introducing the so-called Hong Kong human rights act, the US Congress will add fuel to the fire in Hong Kong. This should prompt China to take immediate measures to stop the US and other Western countries from interfering in its internal affairs.

Zhu Feng, dean of the Institute of International Relations of Nanjing University
The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.

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