China Throws Fit over ‘Vicious’ U.S. Hong Kong Human Rights Act

This photo taken 03 October, 2007 shows military officers saluting for a group photo beneath a display of national flags at a park in Beijing. China's ruling Communist Party's five-yearly gathering, it's 17th Party Congress, begins 15 October with President Hu Jintao expected to make bold power plays to cement …
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The Chinese Communist Party – through its foreign ministry, its rubber-stamp legislature, its puppet government in Hong Kong, and its state propaganda outlets – published a barrage of hysterical statements Wednesday condemning the U.S. Senate for passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

The House of Representatives passed the act in October meaning that, after a reconciliation process between the two versions of the bill, it will reach President Donald Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

The bill protects Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters’ right to apply for a U.S. visa in the event that the Chinese communist regime uses their advocacy for human rights to fabricate a criminal record. It requires the Secretary of State to update Congress annually on the status of human rights in the autonomous territory. If the Chinese Communist Party is found to be violating the human rights of Hong Kong’s people and oppressing the city, Hong Kong may lose its special economic status, costing China billions.

The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously, a rare display of bipartisanship in American politics.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry initially responded to the bill’s passing, despite months of threats from Beijing, by summoning William Klein, Minister Counselor at the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in an online statement later Wednesday that the ministry had done so to condemn the “vicious” act.

“Noting the act ignores facts and truth, applies double standards and blatantly interferes in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs, Geng said it is in serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations,” according to the state publication China Daily. Chinese state media rarely publish quotes from officials, instead paraphrasing or appearing to quote without clarifying what a person said verbatim.

The act remains blind on facts and Hong Kong people’s wellbeing, and out of hidden political agenda, it paints criminal moves as pursuit of human rights and democracy when the truth is violent criminals rampantly smashed facilities, committed arson, bullied and attacked innocent civilians, forcibly occupied university campuses, mobbed young students, and assaulted police officers in a premeditated way, Geng said.

He noted that the aim is to bolster the anti-China extremist and violent radicals who attempt to damage the city’s prosperity and stability so as to contain China.

Such vicious move will not only undermine China’s interests but also the US interests in Hong Kong, he said, adding that attempts to interfere in or impede China’s development will be in vain.

 

Geng went on the call the failed police of “One Country, Two Systems” – which technically prevents Beijing from imposing communism on Hong Kong, though China has largely ignored this – a “universally recognized success” and claimed that Hong Kong residents enjoy “unprecedented” freedom. Hong Kong was for decades a British colony protected by Western human rights norms; under China, waves of police brutality, arbitrary arrests, and assaults by Chinese citizens have attempted to silence pro-democracy protesters.

Geng added a threat to America to “grasp the situation and stop its wrongdoing before it’s too late.”

The official government of Hong Kong, which is appointed and controlled by Beijing, issued a similar statement.

“The ‘Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act’ and the other act on Hong Kong are unnecessary and unwarranted. They will also harm the relations and common interests between Hong Kong and the U.S.,” a spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region “(HKSAR) said on Wednesday.

“The ‘one country, two systems’ principle has been fully and successfully implemented. ‘One country, two systems’ is the best arrangement for maintaining Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability and for making Hong Kong a favourable place to live and work in,” the spokesman continued. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act does not challenge “one country, two systems.”

“According to U.S. statistics, the U.S. has in the past ten years earned the largest worldwide bilateral trade surplus with Hong Kong amongst her trade partners in the world, at over USD 33 billion in 2018,” the statement concluded. “Any unilateral change of U.S. economic and trade policy towards Hong Kong will create negative impact on the relations between the two sides as well as U.S.’ own interests.”

Hong Kong’s Commerce Secretary Edward Yau also threatened economic consequences from America in the event that, through the new act, Hong Kong lost its special economic status.

“Passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (the Hong Kong Act) by the U.S. Congress unilaterally is unnecessary and will certainly damage the mutually beneficial relationship, including the U.S.’ interests,” Yau said. “The uncertainty so caused will inevitably affect the confidence of international investors and companies in Hong Kong.”

China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), the communist legislature, also weighed in, accusing the act of defending “a series of violent crimes” in Hong Kong that “have seriously trampled the rule of law and social order.”

“Violent criminals in Hong Kong have continuously escalated their activities of beating people, smashing facilities and setting fires recently, with some even hurting ordinary citizens, said the statement, noting that they acted with no bottom line and showed no sign of respect to morality or fear of the law,” the official Communist Party publication, the People’s Daily, reported. “‘This is closely related to the U.S. intervention in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs,’ it said.”

The Global Times, among the most belligerent of China’s propaganda arms, also published a screed citing “experts” claiming Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters were violent and needed to be repressed, not emboldened with American support. Hu Xijin, the newspaper’s top editor, published a social media video warning that Hong Kong soon “won’t be able to function” because of demands for freedom.

“This bill passed by the United States Senate and House of Representatives encourages Hong Kong’s radical demonstrators to continue to undermine the rule of law and resort to violence,” Hu claimed. “It should be renamed the ‘Supporting Violence in Hong Kong Act.'”

Hong Kong residents took the streets by the millions in June to protest a proposed law that would have allowed communist China to extradite any person present in Hong Kong. The protesters peacefully marched throughout the autonomous region demanding the bill be fully withdrawn, an end to the government describing them as rioters, freedom for protesters wrongfully imprisoned, direct election of lawmakers, and an independent investigation into police brutality. The government withdrew the bill but has refused the other four demands, increasing the use of violence to suppress protesters.

On Sunday, police stormed the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University and sealed all exits, barrelling in with tear gas and water cannons and blocking medical workers from tending to injured students. The campus has been under siege for four days; police believe only 100 of the 600 initially on campus remain there, refusing to exit as those who have have been met with severe beatings and criminal charges.

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