Washington's new round of measures targeting the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, including sanctioning officials and issuing a new risk-warning to multinational companies, surprised few because it has been intensifying efforts to galvanize an alliance to advance its geopolitical strategy against China, which it considers a threat to U.S. interests.
As usual, some high-sounding reasons were put forward in the latest offensive on Friday. But it is not difficult to see through the new political manipulation which has nothing to do with democracy, civil rights or rule of law. Like Huawei, Xinjiang, Taiwan, the South China Sea, the COVID-19 pandemic and even the Belt and Road Initiative, Hong Kong is just another card Washington is playing in its anti-China crusade.
But except for a few states that have acted in the way pawns should, most of the other countries the United States has been courting have paid only lip service to its "cause" — and that too because they cannot afford to upset the world's only superpower. Which explains the stepped-up campaign against China including the Hong Kong SAR, featuring scaremongering about the "risks of doing business in Hong Kong" because of the implementation of the National Security Law in the region.
But the assertion that the "situation in Hong Kong is deteriorating …" and the "rule of law risks that were formerly limited to mainland China are now increasingly a concern in Hong Kong …" must have amused many businesspeople and objective observers, as well as many Hong Kong residents.
Not only is confidence in Hong Kong's future running high since the security law ended violence and restored normalcy in the region, but also, and more importantly, the law will ensure security, stability and peace in Hong Kong in the long run, as Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said in a symposium marking the first anniversary of the enactment of the law on Friday.
Xia added that by ensuring anti-China disruptors never make their way into the SAR's administrative structure, the national security law will ensure that Hong Kong can defuse the tensions and the problems facing the region's development.
Washington's risk warning over Hong Kong's national security law won't be taken seriously by multinational companies operating in the SAR. A national security law of broader range implemented on the Chinese mainland on July 1, 2015, hasn't chipped away at the mainland's attractiveness as one of the most favored destinations for foreign direct investment. In fact, the mainland attracted more foreign direct investment than any other country last year, knocking the US from its perch atop the ranking list.
Washington's new offensive against Beijing will prove to be another futile political machination. Business decisions are made based on objective observations and rational calculation. And they won't serve Washington's geopolitical strategy, for that would mean risking loss, both in terms of market share and profits.