By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
The western media and western regimes are trying to blow out of proportion the protests in Hong Kong, which are definitely no secessionist movement against Beijing, and merely part of the people’s right to express their assent or dissent of local laws in a sovereign Chinese territory, as it happens in all world countries, including the US and European states.
The ground realities are entirely different from the western media reports. As confirmed by independent eyewitness accounts, with the exception of a small number of self-styled "separatists,” who couldn’t exceed three hundred thousand in the largest demonstration so far in last June, the vast majority of Hong Kong residents are loyal to mainland China, and oppose the so-called "pro-democracy” protestors for disrupting, if not wrecking the society.
It is clear that the quixotic US president, Donald Trump, as part of his futile trade war with China, has resorted to mischief in Hong Kong. This is yet another attempt by the West, especially by Washington, in causing trouble to Beijing, as is evident by the recent American sale of sophisticated weapons to the breakaway island of Taiwan. It is a bid to undermine the world’s second biggest economy.
It is interesting to note that some of the groups involved in the Hong Kong protests have ties to the US-based ‘National Endowment for Democracy’ (NED), which provides significant funding to them, and is a CIA soft-power cutout that has played a critical role in innumerable US regime-change operations.
The British media, which for the past 9 years has been cheerleading the persecution and torture of Australian journalist Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks, for non-political crimes, is also unabashedly inciting the Hong Kong protesters by instilling fear in them that China will use the extradition law for non-political crimes to prosecute critics.
The fact of the matter is that, amendment to the extradition law would allow Hong Kong to surrender fugitives on a case-by-case basis to jurisdictions in mainland China, since there is no legal way at present to prevent criminals in other parts of China from escaping charges by fleeing to Hong Kong.
The roots of the current protests can be traced to the case of Chan Tong Kai. In February, he flew to Taiwan with his girlfriend, strangled her, stuffed her body in a suitcase, dumped her in a field, and flew back to Hong Kong. Though he admitted his crime, he couldn’t be sent to Taiwan because Hong Kong had no extradition treaty with the breakaway island.
In other words, Hong Kong authorities couldn’t charge Chan with a murder that took place elsewhere; so a Hong Kong court convicted him on a lesser charge and sentenced him to a few months in jail.
Outrage over the Chan case led Hong Kong legislators to draft a law that would allow extradition to any country on a case-by-case basis. Taiwan later indicated it would not seek Chan’s extradition, making the murder case moot.
In view of these competing claims, it is necessary to cast a glance at Hong Kong’s history.
Starting in the late 1700s, the British East India Company illegally sold opium to China. By the 1830s, British and American entrepreneurs became wealthy selling opium to addict millions of Chinese. When the Chinese government ordered the sales to stop, the British sent gunboats and fought the first Opium War from 1839-to-1842. The Qing dynasty lost the war and was forced to cede Hong Kong Island to the British, along with parts of other port cities. The British launched the Second Opium War from 1853-to-858, in which they seized more Chinese territory and forced China to legalize opium.
The opium wars were fought in the name of "free trade”, that is, the right of British and American drug barons to open up the Chinese market.
Selling addictive drugs to China didn’t end in the nineteenth century. For instance, in the 1980s during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the US forced China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan to buy US made cigarettes – all in the name of opening their markets to free trade.
By the 1990s, however, when the People’s Republic of China was emerging as a major world power, Britain agreed give up Hong Kong, and in 1997 formally returned it to Chinese sovereignty with an agreement that it would maintain two different political and economic systems.
It became known as "one country, two systems”, which meant China would keep its socialist economy, while Hong Kong would remain capitalist. Beijing hoped Hong Kong could be a model for integrating Taiwan into mainland China
China has since been playing a very important role in sustaining Hong Kong’s economy by sending in large number of tourists, designating the territory as the ‘yuan hub’ and providing other economy-promoting facilities.
This has become an eyesore to the US and the West, which fears that a prosperous Hong Kong with its international connections and as a conduit to attract foreign investment and advanced technology, is in China’s interest and could help Beijing build a flourishing modern economy.
This is the reason that the US is secretly fueling protests in Hong Kong and is provocatively selling sophisticated weaponry to Taiwan in order to undermine China.
The plot will fail, since China is Hong Kong’s future and not its problem. So here is the bottom line: Hong Kong is Chinese; it’s not an independent country; and not even a breakaway island like Taiwan, which one day will definitely return to mainland China.