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The US bill on Hong Kong is a political farce

CGTN | Updated: 2019-12-02 10:09

Police collect gas canisters and flammable materials as evidence in a cordoned off area in the Polytechnic University campus in Hong Kong, November 28, 2019. /AP Photo

Editor's Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language "Commentaries on International Affairs." The article does not necessarily reflect the views of CGTN.

The United States government signed the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 into law on Wednesday in a flagrant attempt to use long-arm jurisdiction to intervene in the situation in Hong Kong. This legislation is a violation of international law, lends support to violent rioters, and harms the interests of the people of Hong Kong and the United States.

As a special administrative region of China, the affairs of Hong Kong are a part of the country's internal affairs. Article 2 of the United Nations Charter stipulates that no state can intervene in the domestic jurisdiction of any other state. And according to the Declaration on Principles of International Law adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1970, no state or group of states has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal affairs or external affairs of any other state. The Hong Kong act clearly does not accord with these two pillars of international law.

The United States promulgated this legislation in the name of democracy and human rights, but in reality it is a blatant show of public support for the violent rioters that have cast the city into chaos over the more than five months since amendments were proposed to Hong Kong's extradition law. These rioters have trampled on the rule of law with the goal of paralyzing society in Hong Kong and destroying the "One Country, Two Systems" principle. The problem facing Hong Kong is not a lack of human rights or democracy, but the need to stop the violence and restore order in the streets.

But Washington cares little for the real problems facing Hong Kong. Since the outbreak of the turmoil, the city's economic development and the well-being of its residents have been severely impacted. In the third quarter of this year, the city's year-on-year GDP growth dropped to -2.9 percent, the first quarterly year-on-year decline in a decade. And public services have been thrown into disarray. This includes the MTR, which a vast number of the city's residents rely on each day to get to work or to school.

The Hong Kong legislation also hurts America's self-interest. In the past decade, the United States has earned its highest bilateral trade surplus in Hong Kong from among its global trading partners, surpassing 33 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 alone. This windfall has been put at risk by those American politicians who have chosen to ignore the interests of American businesses for the sake of political grandstanding against China. They have overestimated their own strength and underestimated the strong will and capability of China's government to manage risks and tackle challenges like this attempt to interfere in the country's internal affairs.

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