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Which came first- the riots or the US Senate's HK legislation?

Source: China Daily | 2019-11-22


Radical protesters and rioters go on arson sprees in Tsim Sha Tsui area in Kowloon in the night of Nov. 18, 2019. [Photo by China Daily]

By Chris Lonsdale

On Wednesday morning in Hong Kong, we received news that the so-called "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act" has obtained bipartisan support in the United States Senate. The next step will be for US President Donald Trump to sign the bill into law. Hopefully, he will show some wisdom and veto the bill. We will need to wait and see.

As a response to this decision of the US Senate, I'm sure many others will simply take the position of demanding that the US stop meddling in China's internal affairs. Of course, this is a complete waste of air, since the US, from top to bottom, honestly believes that it is the model of perfection for the whole world to follow. And it also believes that it should be the policeman of the world, sticking its fingers into whatever pie it thinks fit, or, more charitably, trying to ensure that no government should deviate from the American democracy model.

The evidence for this is vast and incontrovertible. As Richard Cullen, a visiting professor in the Faculty of Law, the University of Hong Kong, wrote in the IPP Review: "The US has been involved in more than 50 attempted regime changes and military interventions outside of the US since World War II."

John H. Coatsworth, writing in ReVista (Harvard Review of Latin America), states: "In the slightly less than a hundred years from 1898 to 1994, the US government has intervened successfully to change governments in Latin America a total of at least 41 times. That amounts to once every 28 months for an entire century."

As Ajamu Baraka, the US Green Party's presumptive nominee for US vice-president, wrote on Twitter this week: "The people in Bolivia are fighting for their lives against a US supported coup while the US Senate passes a resolution supporting the right-wing protestors in Hong Kong. The US continues to out itself as a dangerous right-wing state that is a threat to the world."

I think that the current unrest in the HKSAR was engineered from the outset so as to provide cover for the US to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act... It has been in the works for up to six years already. It's not just an afterthought.

So, we know that "America" is a nosy-poke, messing with all and sundry on a global basis in order to further American interests. But, you might ask, what does this have to do with Hong Kong? Quite simply, given the history of US interference and war-mongering around the world, is there perhaps more to the situation in Hong Kong than meets the eye?

As we wait to see if Trump will turn around and tell the Senate to "stick it", we actually need to ask ourselves a very important question: Which came first? Riots in Hong Kong or the plan for the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act?

The common belief, both in Hong Kong and around the world, is that the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act was written and tabled as a consequence of what is being called a "brutal crackdown" by "mainland forces" in Hong Kong. The current narrative is that "freedom-loving" "Hong Kong protesters and democrats" have been faced with unreasonable "police brutality" bent on "crushing dissent" within Hong Kong (notice how these are all terms used by Western propagandists).

The actions of the Hong Kong Police Force and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government are blamed on the "communist regime" in Beijing, which, according to what we are told, has not "learned its lesson" (whatever that is supposed to mean), and continues to "interfere" in the affairs of Hong Kong. Notwithstanding, of course, that Hong Kong is part of Chinese sovereign territory, and is governed under the "one country, two systems" concept.

But is that what happened? I think no. I think that the current unrest in the HKSAR was engineered from the outset so as to provide cover for the US to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

The act was originally introduced during the 113th US Congress, which was from Jan 3, 2013, to Jan 3, 2015. So it has been in the works for up to six years already. It’s not just an afterthought.

We know that the rise of China is scaring the panties off American politicians and power brokers, so there is an intense focus in the US on containing China.

The very clear commitment by China to the "one country, two systems" formula is actually a good sign that China believes a prosperous Hong Kong is important for the country's continued rapid development. The Chinese government probably also sees Hong Kong as being useful to global trading that it wishes to do.

So it is in US interests to block trade that goes via Hong Kong in service of the sanctions that the Americans are increasingly using to bludgeon countries around the world. Hong Kong was an unfortunate loophole that can now be conveniently closed by means of the new act.

More importantly, turning Hong Kong into a burned-out shell of its former self, irrespective of who actually lights the fires, serves US interests by giving China a very serious black eye. The US doesn't care about democracy in Hong Kong, just as it doesn't care about democracy anywhere else. The current US-supported coup in Bolivia is but one example. If Hong Kong is destroyed, the US will be very happy to point the finger at China, and use extensive propaganda to convince the world that this was all China's doing.

Of course, the mechanism will be by means of US proxies, in the same way that Juan Guaido is a proxy for the US to take back control of Venezuela and thereby Venezuelan oil, and ISIS is a proxy by means of which, through a round-about route, the US has now taken control of Syrian oil.

From the act itself, we know that one very key provision is to provide complete amnesty, and an escape route, to anybody in Hong Kong who uses violence, however extreme, in the SAR to pursue political ends deemed as "good" by the Americans.

We know that Joshua Wong Chi-fung threatened, from prison, that when he was released, there would be "hell to pay" in Hong Kong. We also know that Wong and other "pan-dems" met with neocon representatives Marco Rubio, Mike Pompeo and others in Washington.

I am convinced that, during those meetings, promises were made. Rubio promised to get the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act through the Senate, so as to provide protection to Wong and his band of terrorists. Wong promised to do everything he could to stir the pot in Hong Kong, creating as much disruption as possible — knowing, of course, that his escape route was already guaranteed.

The riots themselves, and the accompanying media circus clearly designed to show just one side of the story, were also part of the plan. The riots were used to get the act passed, and the act was used to protect the rioters.

Americans are clearly suckers for a sob story, and the relentless propaganda that "Hong Kong will be another Tian'anmen" was enough to generate the required emotional response in the US Congress and Senate so as to finally push through the new act.

It's not really about democracy at all. But, to be fair, it is a propaganda master stroke.

The author is a psychologist, linguist, educator, entrepreneur, dialogue facilitator and corporate adviser with over 30 years' experience doing business in Asia.