Opinion | Shameless Acts Continue on the U.S. Side

Opinion | Shameless Acts Continue on the U.S. Side

President Donald Trump of the United States. Photo: AP

By Mervyn Cheung Man-Ping

Not a single day could pass without "erroneous deeds" and distorted images of China and/or its Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) from the United States President Donald Trump's governing team, which the White House would announce in no time to the world--East and West! This time, it is the sanctions imposed on a total of 11 public officials in China and the HKSAR who are responsible for implementing the national security legislation to safeguard China's sovereignty and security, as well as to protect the rule of law and freedoms under the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, according to which the HKSAR is managed.

In bringing to global notice this sanctioning decision by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Secretary of State Pompeo tried to make a worldwide noise by denouncing the officials involved as deserving of the punitive treatment so imposed on account of their unpardonable commitments in injuring the city's autonomy and freedoms through participation in the so-called repression last year of Hong Kong people who took to the streets and lately in the implementation of the new National Security Law and the postponement of the Legislative Council (LegCo ) election for one year until 5 September 2021.

With these sanctions imposed under the American Office of Foreign Assets Control's Specially Designated Nationals List, the public officials in point will have their assets in U.S., if there is any, frozen and any transactions with the American people entailing financial interests of over 50 per cent of such properties would require special approval from the American government.

At the receiving end, the HKSAR government has given an immediate response to such sanctions against its officials, fending them off vigorously as "shameless and despicable". To the municipal entity here whose sustaining survival and prosperity continue to rely on its sovereign country right to its north, as well as the unique governing arrangement of the "One Country, Two Systems" under the mini-constitution Basic Law which enables the city to operate an efficient administration plus a viable economy which draws impressive investments and expertise from around the world, the American government's flamboyant assertion that dumping the officials concerned into sanctions was a justified reaction to the passage of the National Security Law in Hong Kong is no more than a "lame excuse that could hardly stand up to challenge."

However, all the unmistakable explanations to the U.S. and its allied powers regarding HK being an integral part of China and its irrevocable constitutional responsibility to legislate and implement laws to defend China's national security in the territory and, in that consequence, the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the local citizens here under the Basic Law have all "fallen on dead ears" in the North American Continent.

This is mysteriously absurd given the American government's claim for the much cherished status as the most highly educated, civilised and democratic nation in the world. Yet, in this ill-contrived sanctioning act to demonise China through wilfully wrecking HKSAR's international reputation, it is patently obvious that the U.S. political leadership is displaying to the whole world double standards and lack of the virtuous principles it has claimed all the time. While it is always proclaiming to be the global champion for democracy and basic freedoms, the latest American government's damaging move signifies "blatant and barbaric" intervention in China's own affairs .

This is nothing positive but just out of the "self-serving interests" of some politicians in the Trump camp who have only the eye on conjuring up all the means-to justify-ends tactics to win the presidential elections in the coming November. This is perhaps the overriding motive behind the daily "unsubstantiated and sweeping" accusations levelled against China and the HKSAR government by US officials in relevant capacity. Unlike their American counterparts who have never ceased to add inflammatory oil onto troubled water, the public officials targeted in this world-publicised punitive move have by themselves no "erroneous deeds" to blame for.

Memories are still fresh over Trump signing two days back an executive order in its efforts to purge what it calls "untrusted" Chinese apps from US digital networks and to stigmatise the Chinese-owned short-video app TikTok and messenger app WeChat as "significant threats". Both apps are wildly attacked, without substantial technical evidence, for automatically capturing vast swaths of information from its users, and this, in Trump's opinion, warrants the US to take aggressive action to protect their national security.

With these words still hanging loudly in the air, the White House has deliberately made known to the world the personal information of the government officials concerned in this sanctioning bid. This is a "deplorable" act which must not be considered any less than state-driven doxxing engendering a grave breach of privacy and personal safety. The American government must therefore be condemned for this immoral behaviour that has led to its full disreputation, as well as an irreparable loss of public morals and disrespect for international obligations.

Let this writing be closed with Chief Executive Mrs Carrie Lam's laudable remarks on this US sanctioning attempt targeting her and selected members of her cabinet: "We are discharging an honourable duty to safeguard national security, protecting the life and interests of not only the 7.5 million HK people but also the 1.4 billion Mainlanders. We will not be intimidated."

The author is a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies.

The views don't necessarily reflect those of Orange News.



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