US must think twice before playing Hong Kong card

By Ai Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/16 21:18:39

If Washington believes it can take the recent incident in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as a bargaining chip in the game between China and the US; if it thinks playing the Hong Kong card can force China to make compromises in trade negotiations with the US, it had better think twice. The riots in Hong Kong will only consolidate Beijing's tough stance against Washington. 

In a television interview on Wednesday, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, chief executive of HKSAR, articulated that the protest is a blatant, organized riot. 

The amendment of Hong Kong's extradition legislation is aimed at punishing criminals. What's wrong with a city when it proposes a regulation that can efficiently crack down on cross-regional criminals? 

The US should understand what a government must do to deal with riots in any country with the rule of law. How can it possibly obtain China's concession at the negotiating table by supporting riots? 

The riot in Hong Kong is taking place amid the escalating China-US trade war. This made certain Americans and people in Hong Kong excited, believing their opportunity had arrived. 

In March and May this year, the city's opposition politicians visited the US to seek support. Figures from the US Senate and House of Representatives lent their supportive voices by piling pressure on China. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to review Hong Kong's special trading privileges if the city's lawmakers pass the extradition bill. 

In an article titled "How Trump Could Suddenly Amplify the Hong Kong Protests," Bloomberg also noted that US President Donald Trump "has the unilateral power to rescind Hong Kong's status as a preferential trading partner." The author believes the move would be an almost unthinkable escalation of the US-China trade war.

The China-US trade war has been going on for some time, yet there are still naïve people in Washington who believe they can bring China to its knees by ramping up pressure against Beijing. The truth is, their tactic is only squeezing the room for resolving China-US disputes through negotiations.

What happened in Hong Kong reveals that the fundamental purpose of Washington is to achieve "America First" through eroding China's core interests. That's why the US has been and will continue to threaten China via maximum pressure and all-around containment. 

The US will continue its strategy in other areas which involve China's core interests, including the Taiwan question and the South China Sea issue. But they have overlooked a basic fact - today's China is no longer the country it was when it ceded Hong Kong to the UK. Challenging China's core interests will only compel the Chinese people to safeguard their national sovereignty, security and development interests.

Posted in: OBSERVER

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