Friday, May 29, 2020


China's intrusive policies in Hong Kong go against the "one country, two systems" agreed policy. It was to be expected that Beijing would rather respect the (vague) spirit of the agreement than the (binding) letter. For everyone who has lived in Hong Kong it is self-evident that the people want, above all, to protect the rule of law which is the cornerstone for guaranteeing free  business and finance and an entrepreneurial knowhow, unique in Asia.

The Trump administration is supposedly considering ending Hong Kong's special status, arguing that, under the new mainland rules, a separate, privileged "identity", separated from China is obsolete. As usual this White House favors noisy action over deliberation. 

The EU had better separate the moves under consideration from the usual American uneducated bluster.

China wants to reduce the allure and impact of Hong Kong. It copies nevertheless its sophistication in finance and business, while remaining on guard regarding Hong Kong's soft-power. It would be foolish for the EU to follow the American lead, and in doing so bring about an unwelcome end of a success story. If the United States wants to punish China by depriving Hong Kong of its favored status they risk corroborating perversely the Chinese assertion that Hong Kong and the Motherland are one. The EU should never be an accomplice in deconstructing the Basic Law or in undermining the existing fragile autonomy versus China. 

Hong Kong needs a boost, not a black eye. Here, like elsewhere, the Rambos in power in Washington lack finesse. They are stuck in a Darwinian mindset which privileges the stronger part over the better outcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment