Those who have instigated, funded, organized and led the “pro-democracy” protests in Hong Kong are using human rights and democracy as a cover as they attempt to destabilize Hong Kong or even China. Meanwhile in the US, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Bill (HKHRD), if passed, will in effect condone violence.
The young protest leaders Denise Ho and Joshua Wong, testifying before a congressional hearing last week, asked the US government to support them on something they already have, freedom of expression. In this regard, one can only conclude that the hearing in Washington was not about democracy, but about wrecking Hong Kong’s economic, political and social stability.
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stated that the HKHRD bill would be put to a vote as soon as possible, indicating its passage is a foregone conclusion. The bill’s main feature would give the US government the power to sanction any Hong Kong or Chinese officials for stopping or crushing the protesters’ right to protest, however violent.
Rightly and unsurprisingly, the Chinese government complained, demanding that Congress back off, not only because passage of this bill would be an act of extraterritoriality, but also because it is hypocritical. What right does the US have to impose its laws on a sovereign nation? Indeed, it can even be argued that Congress is accusing China of something the Americans themselves routinely do. Worse, US lawmakers are giving the protesters a false sense of security, because they cannot really guarantee their safety if China decides to use military force, unless the US Congress is willing to risk a nuclear war.
If allowing the US government to sanction Hong Kong or Chinese officials for stopping violence is not meddling in other countries’ affairs and advocating regime change, then what is? The US, in fact, has often bombed or toppled regimes based on “fake news.” For example, the invasions of Vietnam and Iraq were based on manufactured information, in the former case that the communist North Vietnamese fired on a US warship in the Gulf of Tonkin, and in the latter that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
US lawmakers are continuing to this day to stick their noses into other countries’ affairs. US politicians and others accused Russia and possibly China of trying to change the outcome of the 2016 and probably 2020 presidential elections, relying on circumstantial evidence. For example, the Democrats complained that Russia was spying on Hillary Clinton on behalf of Donald Trump, but no proof was offered. Some lawmakers accused China of using students and even the Chinese-American community to spy on the US.
US hypocrisy does not end with regime change or political meddling in foreign countries’ internal affairs, but also extends to domestic human-rights issues. American lawmakers and government officials complain about the Chinese government suppressing human and religious rights, but ignore their own ill treatment of native, black and Hispanic Americans
US hypocrisy does not end with regime change or political meddling in foreign countries’ internal affairs, but also extends to domestic human-rights issues. American lawmakers and government officials complain about the Chinese government suppressing human and religious rights, but ignore their own ill treatment of native, black and Hispanic Americans.
For example, native Americans were forced on to reservations in the most barren and hostile regions of the country, where they lived under conditions of poverty and misery. Most of their young faced hopelessness because of a lack of educational opportunities and systemic racism. Blacks and non-white Hispanics, while able to live in cities, were economically disadvantaged, condemning them to live in gang-infested ghettos or slums.
As for the HKHRD bill, it appears to be a ploy to encourage and incite young protesters to provoke a response from China reminiscent of the 1989 Tiananmen Square (“6/4”) incident. In that incident, manipulated youths became sacrificial lambs, and some died, while those who survived encountered harassment and a bleak future. While the leaders escaped with the help of their backers, they too became victims, not able to see their families back home and becoming “drifters” as they lost their propaganda value. The leaders of the Hong Kong protests might also face contempt in their host countries, because no one likes traitors.
In their testimony before the US Congress, Joshua Wong and Denise Ho demonstrated clearly that the recent events in Hong Kong had nothing to do with the “pro-democracy” cause. Cantopop singer Ho’s main complaint was that China barred her from performing and selling records in the mainland because of her “pro-democracy” views. Her rant invited a response from South China Morning Post columnist Alex Lo, who wrote that Ho is “way past her prime,” mocking her singing talent.
Joshua Wong is living proof that democratic ideals clearly exist in Hong Kong and that the central government has lived up to its “one country, two systems” architecture in the city. Contrary to what he claimed, the territory in no way resembles a “police state.” Wong was allowed to travel while on bail and fan his “fake news” about Hong Kong police brutality, political suppression, etc. Had he lived in the US and pulled the same stunt, he probably would have been attacked for treason.
The Hong Kong and Chinese governments are not perfect and have made mistakes, but accusing them of abusing human rights and of police brutality is an exaggeration in the extreme and grossly unfair. Police only fought back when provoked, for example, when protesters threw firebombs and stones at them. Being human, the police officers fought back, but the Western media only showed this part in their reporting. Indeed, one could argue that the Chinese central government and Hong Kong showed restraint. In the US, the protesters would have risked being physically beaten or possibly even shot.
Another example of one-sided reporting is the fact that journalists covering the protests interviewed only the protesters and “democracy advocates” such as Martin Lee, Anson Chan and Jimmy Lai. Their responses and messages are taken as “truths.” If Western journalists really want to provide balanced reports, they should ask the majority of Hong Kong residents what they think of these “democracy promoters” and the violence they have espoused.
That said, justice will prevail; the “pro-democracy” activists and the US Congress appear to be losing credibility and support in Hong Kong and around the world, including the West. Congress should stop fanning “fake news” and giving the protesters a false sense of security. And young leaders like Wong and Ho should think hard and long about the consequences of their actions.