G7 no longer has the domineering power of Eight-Nation Alliance: Global Times editorial
Published: Mar 13, 2021 09:18 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The G7 Foreign Ministers and the High Representative of the European Union have issued a joint statement on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region electoral system reform, asserting that such a decision is aimed “to eliminate dissenting voices and opinions in Hong Kong,” “stifle political pluralism” and “reduce freedom of speech.” They also called on China to “end the oppression” of Hong Kong’s opposition forces. 

The G7 had also made a joint statement after China introduced the national security law for Hong Kong in June 2020. However, Beijing has shown contempt for the unreasonable pressure imposed on it by the group. It is not to be anticipated that this new G7 statement will have any effect.

The Biden administration has made it a priority for the US to act together with its allies on China issues as a way to demonstrate the strength of the US alliance system to Beijing. But the US is only making up the numbers as a demonstration of formalism. Washington's latest antics recently did nothing to improve the quality of its pressure on China. To be honest, though Washington has been actively discussing with its allies on every issue and drawing allies everywhere so as to contain China, many Chinese people now see it as a bluff with little practical execution.

This statement is yet another cheap political act. The G7 countries proclaimed themselves as the inspector of democracy. But they have neither the international legal basis nor moral grounds for doing so. They can do nothing if China gives a snort of contempt to this statement. The Trump administration has largely exhausted its tricks of exerting pressure on Hong Kong affairs, leaving the new administration with nothing more than empty words. To the US, Hong Kong is the cheapest card to play, so it played it hard, bringing in its allies. However, their trash talks have further devalued their efforts, and their repetitious cliché is as stale as the menu in a chain store.

China survived the aggressive troops of the Eight-Nation Alliance in 1900. The G7 does not have that kind of power and dominance these days. Chinese people would be amused by such a contrast, and those countries that were part of the Eight-Nation Alliance may feel sorry for themselves nowadays. The G7 cannot change today's China with gunboat policies, then their self-respect should be established on mutual respect with China. 

Everyone knows that by adopting the national security law for Hong Kong and amending the electoral system, China aims to prevent the institutional loopholes that have caused chaos and unrest in Hong Kong. China has no other choice. Which member of the seven countries has allowed its country or a region to be disturbed by political extremist forces for a long period of time? Just a storming of the US Capitol in January has made US elites of both parties feel unbearable. Can those who openly support the extremist forces of such unrest still be members of the US Congress or officers holding important public positions?

All political system arrangements are ultimately results-oriented. There is no place for political arrangements that destroy the order of society. The G7 statement claimed that the aim of moving toward universal suffrage in Hong Kong is set out in the Basic Law. It’s true. In 2014, the Chinese central government introduced a plan for universal suffrage in Hong Kong, but it was rejected by the radical opposition forces, which had then launched the illegal Occupy Central movement. Instead of condemning the radical opposition forces for their destabilizing activities, the West has played a role in encouraging them to do so. They have been standing against the interests of China and the Hong Kong SAR and have completely lost the trust of the Chinese people.

An important purpose of Beijing's decision to approve the national security law for Hong Kong and amend Hong Kong's electoral system is to cut off the channels and tools for countries such as the US and the UK to intervene in Hong Kong’s affairs. Frankly speaking, some point of these legislations is to build barriers against them. In this case, don’t the G7 countries feel embarrassed and bored for shouting against China from the outside of the wall? Chinese people are actually feeling embarrassed for them.