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HK human rights act is unnecessary, wrong and dangerous
By:China Daily
update:October 29,2019
Oct.29,2019-- It is deplorable that the United States House of Representatives has passed the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which I believe is unnecessary, wrong and dangerous because it risks further encouraging the vicious cycle of violent protests now plaguing Hong Kong. It is tantamount to irresponsibly throwing more fuel on the fire of crisis instead of helping resolve it. It may also be deemed as a direct affront to China's national sovereignty.
This bill is morally wrong and smacks of arrogant, neo-colonial foreign interference in the domestic affairs of another country, thus violating the basic norms and ethics of international law. This US congressional act would require the US secretary of state to conduct yearly reviews of Hong Kong's human rights and democracy conditions, with the threat of sanctions.
The US congressional act on Hong Kong violates international law, specifically flouting the well-established principle of non-intervention, which prohibits acts inimical to or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty or political independence of any state. This principle disallows foreign interference in the internal affairs of other states. The 18th-century lawyer Emer de Vattel is credited as the first to have formulated a principle of non-intervention in international law in his masterpiece work Le droit des gens: ou, Principes de la loi naturelle, appliques a la conduite et aux affaires des Nations et des Souverains (The Law of Nations: Or, Principles of the Law of Nature Applied to the Conduct and Affairs of Nations and Sovereigns) in 1758.
Hong Kong and its challenges are purely domestic concerns of the Chinese nation, and no foreigner or no foreign country can or should intervene. We need to remind some politicos and pundits in the West that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is a unique autonomous and inalienable part of China, no longer a colonial possession of any Western power like in the bygone days of the 19th-century Opium Wars era.
Under China's special autonomous arrangement, Hong Kong has generally prospered in the past 22 years before the unreasonable toxic politics of the protests; it was recently ranked by the World Economic Forum as the world's third-most globally competitive economy.
The four months of increasingly violent unrest in Hong Kong has become a matter of grave concern for many people all over Asia and even beyond, since this once-thriving and stable city is still an important financial, logistics, transportation, culture and tourism hub for the region. Even Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently expressed hopes that the Hong Kong situation can calm down so that international businesses can flourish again without fear or worries.
It is therefore very disturbing and disconcerting that some overzealous but misguided foreign politicos and some overtly partisan foreign media have been encouraging the violent protests, thus exacerbating the social angst in Hong Kong. We outsiders and foreigners should contribute to positive efforts to promote reconciliation, dialogue and social peace in Hong Kong - not become part of the problem by abetting lawlessness and goading the recalcitrant protesters.
The international business city of Hong Kong today urgently needs social stability and a multi-sectoral consensus to pursue meaningful socio-economic reforms in order to safeguard its distinct way of life and high degree of autonomy. It doesn't need more fractious rancor and escalating violence, which can most likely worsen with this new bill concocted by the US Congress.
This Hong Kong bill by the US Congress is not only counterproductive and extremely negative in its possibly adding fuel to the chaotic cauldrons of violence now harming Hong Kong. What is even worse and tragic: This imperious attempt at meddling may unduly poison the now already-tenuous but once-vibrant bilateral relationship between the world's two biggest economies, the US and China, thus also endangering global economic stability and world peace.
The US and all other civilized nations should promote social harmony, nonstop reforms and inclusive progress in our uncertain world instead of unnecessarily encouraging radicalization of social angst and myriad problems into paroxysms of violence, a breakdown of the social compact between governments and people, and mobocracy.
This peremptory, wrong and cavalier US congressional bill interfering in Hong Kong affairs may rightly be considered as a brazen hostile act not only by the Chinese government, but may be viewed by the Chinese people as an unacceptable and profane insult to their dignity. It is reasonable to believe that many among the American people - including well-meaning politicians and fair US media - want a win-win future with China, and that they wish peace and prosperity for Hong Kong.
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