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HK's security law Washington's bête noire: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-08-09 19:31

Washington's sanctimonious censuring of the National Security Law in effect in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has never ceased. The offer of temporary residency in the United States to Hong Kong residents is just the latest attempt to portray the law as being somehow untoward.

The move, which will allow Hong Kong residents who are now in the US to stay in the country for 18 months, was announced by US President Joe Biden on Friday, more than a year after Hong Kong's security law came into effect. It is a political gimmick that has nothing to do with the law in Hong Kong, which is much more lenient than most of the many security laws in effect in the US.

The so-called safe haven move, like Biden's earlier "warning" to companies about the supposed risks of falling foul of the security law, has more to do with US domestic politics and Washington's ongoing pressure strategy against China.

Washington is under increasing pressure, especially from the business sector, to curb imported inflation. In several ways, it desperately needs the cooperation of China, as revealed by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman's recent China trip to "advance US interests". With more talks between the two countries expected in the near future, Washington is trying to use Hong Kong as leverage, given its perceived importance to China.

The notion that offering safe haven for Hong Kong residents "furthers United States interests in the region" lays bare the motives underlying Washington's defense of "democratic values", "human rights" and "freedom". The politicians in Washington did nothing to "defend" those values when Hong Kong people lived in fear for months in 2019, when violent rioters championing a separatist cause terrorized the city with wanton violence, including terrorist attacks.

In contrast, since the introduction of the national security law, Hong Kong residents no longer live in fear of rampaging mobs and the livelihood damaging antics of the insurrectionists. The majority of Hong Kong residents, including expatriates living in the city, have welcomed the restoring of peace and order in the special administrative region. In a survey conducted in late June, 72 percent of respondents said they were more optimistic about the city's future after the introduction of the security law.

Many multinational companies operating in the city have echoed this optimism, having expanded or announced plans to expand their operations, among them Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Zurich Insurance (Hong Kong). The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong recently purchased a new site in the city while the chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong said that he is very optimistic about the prospects of Hong Kong and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The National Security Law has become the bête noire of many Washington politicians simply because it has dealt a blow to the insurrectionists in Hong Kong whose subversive stratagems suited their own geopolitical strategy against China.

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