Actions by congressional committee will hamper long-term relations, experts say
The move by the United States congressional committee to advance a Hong Kong-related bill is an act of meddling in China's domestic affairs and will hamper the development of long-term Sino-US relations, experts have said.
Their comments came as the US lawmakers are reported to start voting this week on the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act with measures under consideration, including annual reviews of the Chinese territory's special economic status and the imposition of sanctions on those who undermine its autonomy.
It has been an usual practice for some US politicians to interfere in the other countries' internal affairs with an excuse of human rights violations or upholding democracy, said Li Haidong, a professor of American studies at the China Foreign Affairs University.
Given the current tense China-US relations, Li said the "confrontational" move that the United States is pursuing is part of its strategy to contain China's growth, and also reflects its hegemonic mindset in international affairs.
US politicians, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Jim McGovern, met last week with activists clamoring for so-called "Hong Kong independence" such as Joshua Wong and Denise Ho, and invited them to testify at a Hong Kong-related hearing. They have threatened to introduce the Hong Kong-related bill.
The Office of the Commissioner of Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, in a statement, blasted the US politicians on Monday for openly colluding with Hong Kong independence activists and for being the "black hand" behind the Hong Kong protest.
Shen Yamei, an associate researcher at the China Institute of International Studies, said that the bill will not be valid in Hong Kong as, even if adopted, it is the domestic law of the US. However, Shen said the bill will undermine long-term China-US relations.
K. J. Noh, a Korean-American who is an expert on China and other Asian countries, together with Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, co-directors of PopularResistance.org, which organizes campaigns on a broad range of issues, published an open letter to the US Congress last week, saying the Hong-Kong related bill must be opposed.
It's clear the leaders of the Hong Kong protests are traveling freely out of Hong Kong and speaking their minds freely while urging a foreign power to assess and impose sanctions on their own city, said the open letter published on the website PopularResistance.org. "These contradictions indicate that all their claims should be critically analyzed."
Calling the bill "an act of moral hazard", the letter said it will also degrade currently antagonistic China-US relations even further, pushing relations toward overt hostility and direct conflict.