Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is issuing an important announcement about Hong Kong. Now that China is in the process of implementing new security measures, Hong Kong is no longer believed to be autonomous. They do not have the ability to make their own decisions without Chinese consent. Pompeo cites the facts that are being provided on the ground as the impetus for his statement.
The decision does not give any pleasure to Pompeo or any other United States observers. Hong Kong has been able to exist as a free nation for decades now. Anyone who truly loves democracy should view this decision as a major blow to freedom fighters everywhere. In order to craft sound policy, the United States must consider reality.
“No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground,” Pompeo said in a statement.
“Hong Kong and its dynamic, enterprising, and free people have flourished for decades as a bastion of liberty, and this decision gives me no pleasure. But sound policy making requires a recognition of reality,” Pompeo said. “While the United States once hoped that free and prosperous Hong Kong would provide a model for authoritarian China, it is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself.”
The officials who are responsible for monitoring these developments had hoped that Hong Kong would serve as a more democratic example for China. Unfortunately, this plan did not come to fruition. China wants to model Hong Kong after their own policies and there is not much that can be done to assist them at the moment.
The British handed over Hong Kong over 20 years ago. The island has been able to maintain their independence, thanks to the innovative “one country, two systems” plan that was implemented. China had originally promised that Hong Kong would be able to remain independent for at least 50 years. So what is the immediate significance of this choice, from the United States perspective?
Hong Kong could be forced to reconsider their trading status with America. Pompeo has been hinting towards these changes for some time now. If nothing changes, the special trading status that Hong Kong has been able to enjoy will be taken away from them. When the United States started to offer more punishing tariffs to the Chinese, they excluded Hong Kong from these matters.
The tariffs were initially levied as part of Trump’s ongoing trade war with the Chinese. The administration is doing everything in their power to let the Chinese know that they are not going to allow this type of behavior to continue. The Chinese police have heard these warnings and they are not going to be heeding them. Hundreds of Hong Kong protesters have already been arrested and there is no end in sight.
Riot police have been working overtime to handle the fires and road blockages that are taking place. Even young, school aged children are being dragged away by police for being willing to speak out about the contentious new laws. The police presence in Hong Kong is making it very hard for people to express themselves. This is a situation that is being monitored closely by the United States government.
The Hong Kong freedom fighters are starting to lose their vim and vigor. This is music to the ears of the Chinese government. They are well experienced when it comes time to deprive people of their basic human rights. Chinese spokespeople are even trying their best to point the finger for the coronavirus outbreak back at the United States.
The same spokesman who made this outlandish claim is making more threats about what will happen next. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian is not pleased about Trump’s assertion that the United States will intercede if the laws are not rescinded. Lijian says that these laws are an internal matter for the Chinese and they are not going to be accepting any form of international interference at this time.
Any necessary measures to fight back against the United States will be taken by the Chinese and the “cold war” that was once brewing between the two nations has now become an knockdown, drag out fistfight. It is only a matter of time before the tensions boil over even further. We just hope that the innocent people of Hong Kong are not caught in the crossfire. If the law is passed, China’s National Assembly is expected to rubber stamp it today.