US hand apparent in Hong Kong unrest

By Thomas Hon Wing Polin Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/16 18:03:39

Photo: IC

As this article is being written, the "battle for Hong Kong" is raging in the city's streets. Cheered on by their allies in Washington and London, local anti-Beijing forces (who call themselves "democrats") have forced a postponement of extradition legislation aimed at plugging a loophole in the fight against crime in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao.

Marches, with some organized mobs taking the opportunity to create disturbance, have paralyzed important downtown streets. Commandeered vehicles have been used to block important roads. Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng, responsible for the extradition bill, have received repeated death threats.

It all began months ago, with a bid by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) authorities to try and extradite a man wanted by Taiwan for murder. But local anti-Beijing forces smelled a chance to conjure a political battle royale. Cynically and fraudulently, they labeled the bill a tool to extradite Hongkongers to the mainland, where they would presumably face unspeakable horrors, despite the fact that local authorities had repeatedly revised the legislation to cover only grave crimes and add various rights protections. 

The orchestration of the anti-bill campaign was no less than instigating fear. As Hong Kong's pan anti-Communists worked up the fear-and-loathing of Beijing locally, Western governments expressed their "concerns" about the HKSAR's freedoms with growing frequency and intensity. Implicit was a warning that if Beijing were to intervene and crack down in Hong Kong, the West would no longer recognize the validity of "one country, two systems." That could trigger a Western backlash that would severely damage China's premier international financial center.

Yet the Western powers have never hesitated to meddle in Hong Kong's affairs, both openly and subtly. The anti-extradition drive has all the hallmarks of a US-patented Color Revolution, which has wreaked so much havoc worldwide - from Egypt and Ukraine to Venezuela. Classic characteristics: long-term cultivation of local opposition leaders, always under the "pro-democracy" banner; funding, direct and indirect; support via media propaganda and advisers on destabilization and even uprisings; and recognition of the "democrats," if regime change is necessary or desirable. 

The last point may not be feasible in Hong Kong, but all the others were clearly observable, especially during the last few weeks. It all adds up to a malicious stratagem by local and external forces to destroy a society for their own political ends. Similar factors were also in play during Hong Kong's Yellow Umbrella uprising in 2014 and violent Mong Kok riots of 2016.

For a Color Revolution to work, a large part of the local population must be persuaded to buy into its cause - and fight for it. And the default cause of made-in-US Color Revolutions is freedom, democracy and human rights. The concepts are an easy sell, of course. Who can oppose it - especially if they don't look too closely at how the US abuses its professed ideals, notably worldwide, to subvert and control others?

That's a big reason the young and naive are especially susceptible to the blandishments of freedom, democracy and human rights. Throw in Hong Kong's always latent, history-induced communist phobia and it's a perfect cocktail. It accounts for the legions of young Hongkongers who profess a love of democracy and a hatred of the mainland's political system. 

The aim of the local anti-communists and their foreign backers is not to ensure that Hong Kong writes a better extradition law. HKSAR authorities have already made revisions to accommodate major concerns and are willing to make more, if necessary. Instead, the opponents' ultimate aim is to pressure the Chinese mainland by destabilizing Hong Kong. It is no accident that the eruption has occurred in tandem with Washington's intensified drive worldwide to beat down a rising China.

The author is a veteran journalist based in Hong Kong. He contributes to 21SilkRd in Facebook.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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