Patriotic Hong Kong residents pose for photos with the Chinese national flag at Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor on August 4. The banner reads “Opposing foreign forces’ interference in Hong Kong affair! Traitors get out of China!”Photo: Chen Qingqing/GT
The US is openly playing Hong Kong as a card to exert strategic pressure on China amid the trade negotiations and escalating contention between the two countries, said Chinese experts, as senior US officials, institutions and foundations have increasingly lent support to prolonged riots in the special administrative region.
US President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that “Of course China wants to make a deal. Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!”
He (President Xi Jinping) is also a good man in a “tough business,” he tweeted.
“I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?”
On June 10, the US State Department threatened to cancel Hong Kong’s separate customs territory status in response to the Hong Kong government starting legislation of the extradition law.
A rioter waves a US national flag in Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong on Sunday. Photo: AFP
“The US is actually acknowledging its interference in the Hong Kong turmoil and trying to use it as a bargaining chip to get some benefit from trade talks with China,” Diao Daming, a US studies expert and associate professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday.
“This is not a surprise at all and this is a customary tactic of the Trump administration when bullying other countries to accept an unreasonable deal.”
The US is also using its influence in Hong Kong to provoke China and it hopes China will solve the problem with force so that it can prove Beijing’s policy over Hong Kong is failing and Washington and its Western allies can launch sanctions against China, which would strategically benefit the US, and this is what US policymakers believe, Diao said.
It won’t be effective as Hong Kong is a “core interest” of China for which it has no room to compromise, but the trade disputes between the two countries are negotiable, so the US is using a wrong tactic which won’t bring what it wants but might cause great losses to the US, Diao said.
Lü Xiang, an expert on the US at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, said that using Hong Kong as a base to permeate the mainland is a long-existing approach that the US has applied since the Cold War and now since internationalization of the renminbi (RMB) is also threatening US financial hegemony, damaging Hong Kong’s position as a financial center and offshore RMB market is also a strategic US goal.
Other senior US officials and politicians have expressed support for the protests which are getting more and more violent and turning into riots in some cases since the protest against the extradition bill issue started in June.
They even beautify riots with slogans like “human rights” and “democracy” and some of them, such as US Vice President Mike Pence, met masterminds behind the city’s turmoil.
Chinese experts on Hong Kong affair and international studies blasted the role played by the US in the current turmoil in Hong Kong and urged the city to restore order through the rule of law in a press briefing on Thursday.
Held by the Information Office of the State Council, the briefing included seven mainland experts answering questions from Chinese and foreign media.
Zhao Kejin, deputy director of the School of Social Sciences of Tsinghua University in Beijing, said at the Thursday event that the problems Hong Kong is facing today “appear to be local issues, but in fact, it has very deep international roots.”
Zhao said, “each time there is a large-scale protest in Hong Kong, you can see Washington fanning the flames and related US organizations in Hong Kong offering support.”
China and the US have been entangled in a trade war since 2018, which has expanded to other fronts, including high technology and the Taiwan question as the US now wants to contain China’s development in an all-round way, the analysts said.
Tian Feilong, a Hong Kong affairs expert and associate professor at Beihang University, said that “in the 1997 financial crisis, the central government spared no effort to support the financial market of Hong Kong, which made mainland and Hong Kong a financial community of common interests.”
If Hong Kong’s international financial center status, guaranteed by the “one country, two systems,” is undermined, not only the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong will be hit, but the financial security of the US will also see an impact in the current age of globalization, Tian Feilong said.
Newspaper headline: Playing HK card dangerous