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The arrant temerity of White House and the present Hong Kong movement

Political analysts advise the U.S. not to act incautiously, otherwise China will be required to counteract resolutely and all the consequences created by this will have to be borne by the U.S. side.

by Anwar A. Khan

We recall how was the bodacious temerity engulfed the American government in 1971 under its leadership of president Nixon and his secretary of state Kissinger when Pakistan’s military junta in connivance with it waged a bloody war against our just cause to establish Bangladesh. Millions of our people were murdered. A few hundred thousand of our sisters and mothers were made lost their chastity at their hands. Millions of our peopled were made shelter-less and forced to take refuge in different parts of India.

At the tail end of our glorious Liberation War with them, even Nixon-Kissinger axis vertebra in conjunction with the genus note-chis Pakistan’s brutal army tried to send its 7th fleet equipped with sophisticated weapons to eliminate us from bechancing of an independent and sovereign country – Bangladesh. But finally, our people in support of the Indian government and its people gave the joint savage forces a crushing defeat on 16 December 1971 and Bangladesh came into being. People in Bangladesh cannot and shall not forget America for this barbarous playact.

Withal Hong Kong, a former British colony that was granted special autonomy when China took control in 1997, has been rocked by about six months of sometimes violent pro-democracy demonstrations.

China reacted furiously to President Donald Trump’s recent signing of two bills on Hong Kong human rights, summoning the U.S. ambassador to strongly protest and warning the move would undermine cooperation with Washington.

U.S. President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill that supports pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. This so-called Human Rights and Democracy Act mandates an annual review for America, to check if Hong Kong has enough autonomy to justify its special status with the U.S.

Trump said he signed the law "out of respect for President Xi Jinping, China, and the people of Hong Kong". China's foreign ministry threatened "counter measures" if the U.S. continued "going down the wrong path.”

Trump is currently seeking a deal with China, in order to end a trade war between the two countries. "The US has been disregarding facts and distorting truth," a Chinese foreign ministry statement said. It openly backed violent criminals who rampantly smashed facilities, set fire, assaulted innocent civilians, trampled on the rule of law, and jeopardized social order."

The foreign ministry summoned the US ambassador to demand that Washington stops interfering in Chinese internal affairs. Hong Kong's government also reacted, saying the American bill would send the wrong signal and would not help to ease the situation.

But a key activist in the Hong Kong protest movement, Joshua Wong, said the U.S. law was a "remarkable achievement" for "all Hongkongers".

However, the bill has widespread congressional support, which meant that even if he vetoed it, lawmakers could potentially have voted to overturn his decision. The president also signed a second bill, which bans the export of crowd-control munitions to the police in Hong Kong including tear gas, rubber bullets and stun guns.

"The bills are being enacted in the hope that leaders and representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences, leading to long-term peace and prosperity for all," Trump said. But this is a very incongruous; inviting ridicule to anyone in everywhere across the globe!

The bill was introduced in June in the early stages of the protests in Hong Kong, and was overwhelmingly approved by the House of Representatives last month. It says, "Hong Kong is part of China but has a largely separate legal and economic system.

The American annual review shall assess whether China has eroded Hong Kong's civil liberties and rule of law as protected by Hong Kong's Basic Law." The bill also says the US should allow Hong Kong residents to obtain U.S. visas, even if they have been arrested for being part of non-violent protests.

Hong Kong's protests started in June against a proposed law to allow extradition to mainland China but it has since transformed into a larger pro-democracy movement. The protests have also seen increasingly violent clashes, with police being attacked, and officers firing live bullets.
Protesters have thrown petrol bombs and attacked businesses seen as being pro-Beijing.

The protesters, meanwhile, have accused police of brutality.

Hong Kong held local council elections that were seen as a barometer of public opinion towards the government and the protesters. The elections saw a landslide victory for the pro-democracy movement, with 17 of the 18 councils now controlled by pro-democracy councillors.

Chinese authorities moved into the Polytechnic University days after it had been the site of a fierce standoff between student activists and riot police.

The police searched the campus for dangerous items, to gather evidence and to see whether any students were still left on the site.

Because of America’s new action, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng told U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad that the move constituted “serious interference in China’s internal affairs and a serious violation of international law.”

Le called it a “nakedly hegemonic act.” He urged the U.S. not to implement the bills to prevent greater damage to U.S.- China relations. In a statement about the meeting, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said, “the Chinese Communist Party must honor its promises to the Hong Kong people.”
But audacious the U.S. “believes that Hong Kong’s autonomy, its adherence to the rule of law, and its commitment to protecting civil liberties are key to preserving its special status under U.S. law,” it said.

Since the Hong Kong protests began in June, Beijing has responded to expressions of support for the demonstrators from the U.S. and other countries by accusing them of orchestrating the unrest to contain China’s development. The central government has blamed foreign “black hands” bent on destroying the city.

C.Y. Leung, a former chief executive of Hong Kong, said at a talk at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong that he doubts the U.S. or supporters of the bills in Hong Kong “ever had the interest of Hong Kong in mind.” He suggested Hong Kong was a “proxy” for China for the U.S. in hitting back against Beijing.

While China has repeatedly threatened unspecified “countermeasures,” it’s unclear exactly how it will respond. Speaking on Fox News, Trump called the protests a “complicating factor” in trade negotiations with Beijing.

A foreign ministry statement Thursday repeated heated condemnations of the laws and said China will counteract. It said all the people of Hong Kong and China oppose the move.

Asked Thursday if the U.S. legislation would affect trade talks with Washington, a Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman said he had no new information to share.

Recently both sides expressed confidence they were making headway on a preliminary agreement to avert a further escalation in a tariff war that has hammered manufacturers in both nations. Trump signed the bills, which were approved by near unanimous consent in the House and Senate, even as he expressed some concerns about complicating the effort to work out a trade deal with China’s President Xi Jinping.

International observers believe representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all.

Before signing announcement, Trump would only commit to giving the measures a “hard look.” China’s foreign ministry called the laws a “non-fundamental norms of international relations.” “The U.S. side ignored facts, turned black to white, and blatantly gave encouragement to violent criminals who smashed and burned, harmed innocent city residents, trampled on the rule of law and endangered social order,” the statement said.

It is understood that the laws’ basic intent is to undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability along with the “historical progress of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The measures may be called “extremely evil in nature and dangerous in motive of American administration.”

Political analysts advise the U.S. not to act incautiously, otherwise China will be required to counteract resolutely and all the consequences created by this will have to be borne by the U.S. side.

The two countries are currently locked in a trade war and have deep differences over China’s claims to the South China Sea and Taiwan, human rights issues and accusations of both American and Chinese industrial espionage.

The U.S. bill prohibits export to Hong Kong police of certain nonlethal munitions, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, water cannons, stun guns and tasers.

The munitions bill was passed unanimously, while Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky was the sole House member to oppose the human rights bill. Democratic and Republican lawmakers applauded the signing of the bills. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said it “finally sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of Hong Kong: We are with you.”

Sen. Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the bills are “an important step forward in holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy and its repression of fundamental human rights.”

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who sponsored the House human rights bill, said Xi “should understand that the U.S. is not kidding about human rights. Beating, torturing and jailing of democracy activists is wrong and this historic legislation lets China know that respecting fundamental human rights is paramount.”

But it is an irony of fate that the international community does raise any voice to stop the U.S. from meddling into the internal affairs of other sovereign and independent nations throughout the world since 1929.

-The End –

The writer is a political observer based in Bangladesh who writes on politics, political and human-centred figures, current and international affairs.

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