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Washington continues sticking nose where it doesn't belong

By Seymur Mammadov | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-07-22 13:24

A view of the Victoria Harbor of Hong Kong. [Photo/VCG]

Patience is one of the main characteristics of the Chinese people. Were it not for patience, and the ability to wait for the right moment to implement its goals, the People's Republic of China might not have achieved the prosperity it is experiencing today.

China is an ancient land. Throughout its history, external enemies and invaders have tried to seize its territory. At the end of the 19th century, Western countries managed to put Hong Kong and Macao under colonial rule. Having become a strong country in the 20th century, China had the opportunity to raise the issue of returning the territories, but did not rush things. So in the late 90s, both Hong Kong and Macao returned to China.

However, the West expects to maintain influence in Hong Kong and sees this as an opportunity to put pressure on Beijing. Some time ago, the United States passed the so-called "Hong Kong Autonomy Act". From the point of view of interference in the affairs of another country, this law is unprecedented. Hong Kong is part of China, and the adoption of a law relating to this territory is a violation of international law and a gross interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.

Washington cannot live without the image of an enemy before its eyes.In recent years, China has achieved tremendous success and made great leaps in its development, almost catching up with the United States in many respects. The former heads of the White House somehow tolerated this reality, but the current US government has been trying to reduce the influence of China around the world, especially in South America, Europe and Africa.

The US failed to achieve the desired results, and I'm not sure it will be possible to change the situation in its favor, since the trade war with China, the pandemic and the recent protests across the country over the murder of George Floyd pushed the United States back economically and militarily. In its report, the International Monetary Fund predicts a 6.6 percent decline in the US economy this year. We see the decline of the US military presence in the Middle East: recently, the US in Afghanistan reduced the number of its military contingent and left five military bases there.

Knowing it would be difficult to deal with China alone, Washington tried to draw its European allies into conflict with Beijing, leaving them with a very difficult choice. Simply put, it is very difficult for Europe to sever ties with its main trading partner. 

In addition, China has been much faster than countries in the world in coping with the coronavirus pandemic, and faster than many others in recovering its economy, once again disappointing the White House. And now the favorite weapon of the West - human rights - is being used.

"This law gives my administration powerful new tools to hold accountable those and organizations involved in the destruction of Hong Kong's freedom," Trump said.

The essence of the law is the United States will cancel the preferences that previously existed for Hong Kong, treating it the same way as it does the Chinese mainland as a whole. Washington intends to take these measures in response to the law on national security of Hong Kong adopted in China, which, according to the US, allegedly violates the freedom of a territory with high autonomy.

It is precisely the impossibility of changing Beijing that is the main cause the nervousness with which the White House perceives everything connected with China. The US is not used to discussing; it is used to dictating terms. If they are not accepted, the US usually goes on to ultimatums and sanctions, considering itself entitled to intervene in everything.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the methods used by the Americans against China unscrupulous. Russia, like China, is listed by Washington as one of its main opponents, and knows American methods firsthand.

The US needs to remember Hong Kong is the territory of China, not Washington. It is no coincidence that Zhang Xiaoming, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, in response to Mike Pompeo's remarks about the allegedly violated freedoms of Hong Kong, inquired: "What do you have to do with this?"

The author is director of the international experts' club EurAsiaAz, and editor-in-chief of Azerbaijan's news agency Vzglyad.az.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.


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