Fu­tile for Washington to play HK card

Global Times US Edition - - EDITORIAL -

Washington in re­cent days has ratch­eted up rhetoric on the Hong Kong is­sue and grossly in­ter­fered in China’s do­mes­tic af­fairs. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi de­manded that the Hong Kong chief ex­ec­u­tive and Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil ac­cept the con­di­tions raised by the ex­treme op­po­si­tion. John Bolton, US na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser, warned the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment against any po­ten­tial crack­down on the Hong Kong pro­test­ers, say­ing “it would be a big mis­take” to cre­ate a new mem­ory like the June 4th po­lit­i­cal in­ci­dent in Hong Kong. US politi­cians are bla­tantly point­ing their fin­gers at China. It’s ob­vi­ous that they fail to un­der­stand the era they are liv­ing in.

Washington has the abil­ity to fool Hong Kong’s rad­i­cal pro­test­ers and in­cite them to stage a color revo­lu­tion. But it is un­able to in­flu­ence Bei­jing’s at­ti­tude on the Hong Kong is­sue. US politi­cians them­selves know best that

their rhetoric against Bei­jing is merely a bluff. US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump tweeted on Wed­nes­day that “Of course China wants to make a deal. Let them work hu­manely with Hong Kong first!” Western me­dia out­lets widely in­ter­preted it as the White House’s in­tent to link the China-us trade talks to the Hong Kong is­sue. How­ever, such an in­ter­pre­ta­tion re­flects the wishes of those who are hos­tile against China in the Western me­dia.

Those tweets didn’t show the White House in­tends to link the two is­sues, as it would be a fu­tile ef­fort. Af­ter the US launched its trade war and ex­erted enor­mous eco­nomic pres­sure on China, Washington has had no ad­di­tional cards to play on China. All US sanc­tion threats on China are empty shouts now.

Bei­jing hasn’t de­cided to force­fully in­ter­vene to quell the Hong Kong ri­ots, but this op­tion is clearly at Bei­jing’s dis­posal. The Peo­ple’s Armed Po­lice as­sem­bling in Shen­zhen has sent a clear warn­ing to the Hong Kong ri­ot­ers. If Hong Kong can­not re­store the rule of law on its own and the ri­ots in­ten­sify, it’s im­per­a­tive then for the cen­tral gov­ern­ment to take di­rect ac­tions based on the Ba­sic Law.

The Hong Kong is­sue is China’s internal af­fairs that can­not be in­ter­fered by ex­ter­nal forces, not only be­cause it’s a mat­ter of sovereignt­y but also be­cause China is the only one which is truly re­spon­si­ble for Hong Kong’s fu­ture. The US and the West eu­lo­gize the rad­i­cal pro­test­ers as they won’t get hurt from Hong Kong’s tur­moil.

Worse still, the US would rather mess Hong Kong up, us­ing Hong Kong as a new barg­ing chip in its strate­gic com­pe­ti­tion with China. What those politi­cians are do­ing and will do with Hong Kong is to turn things more un­fa­vor­able to China. This is China’s per­cep­tion of the US at­ti­tude.

Un­der such a sit­u­a­tion, the US can nei­ther win the trust of China nor in­tim­i­date China. Its fre­quent state­ments on Hong Kong af­fairs are po­lit­i­cal bub­bles that can only be­witch rad­i­cal pro­test­ers. They can­not in­crease US in­flu­ence on the Hong Kong is­sue.

Washington is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly self­ish. It re­fuses to give in any of its prof­its and hopes to grab more from the world through rogue tac­tics – mostly po­lit­i­cal pres­sure and in­tim­i­da­tion. Fewer coun­tries are view­ing Washington as a con­struc­tive player.

The in­ci­dent in Hong Kong won’t be a re­peat of the June 4th po­lit­i­cal in­ci­dent in 1989. Washington will not be able to in­tim­i­date China by us­ing the tur­moil 30 years ago. China is much stronger and more ma­ture, and its abil­ity to man­age com­plex sit­u­a­tions has been greatly en­hanced.

It is hoped Hong Kong so­ci­ety can rec­og­nize Washington’s at­tempt to ruin the city, and ac­tively re­store the rule of law un­der the lead­er­ship of the HKSAR gov­ern­ment.

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