It would be naive for anyone to believe that Civic Party legislator Dennis Kwok Wing-hang’s scheduled trip to the United States early next month is intended to persuade Washington not to draw Hong Kong into the Sino-US trade row.
It would be equally simple-minded for anyone to believe that decision-makers in Washington need a Hong Kong opposition politician like Kwok to inform them as to how the city has fared in various aspects.
If they are not content with the reports published by reputable institutions such as the Heritage Foundation, World Justice Project, World Economic Forum and Transparency International, which have all suggested Hong Kong has been doing very well in maintaining economic freedom, rule of law and judicial independence as well as in the prevention of corruption, Washington’s decision-makers can always obtain first-hand information about Hong Kong through their thousands of contacts in the city, including members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and staff of the US consulate general in the special administrative region.
In fact, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has promised to discuss relevant issues with the American Chamber of Commerce after the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission issued a report earlier this month, claiming Hong Kong was regressing on freedom and rule of law due to Beijing’s “tightening grip” on the SAR.
Kwok said on Thursday that his US trip would hopefully help build a channel for constructive dialogues that would help prevent misunderstandings between the two sides. But if the politician is a consistent person, it would be easier for people to believe that he is going to throw mud at Hong Kong and Beijing there again. During his February trip to the US with Anson Chan Fang On-sang, they met with several anti-China US politicians including Nancy Pelosi and Marco Rubio. Chan also badmouthed Hong Kong and Beijing in her public speeches delivered in New York.
The Economic and Security Review Commission’s report has caused concerns about Hong Kong’s economic prospects after it suggested that Washington should review the treatment of Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland as separate customs areas for technology exports and tariff purposes. People would be excused for suspecting that Kwok is trying to preempt any potential attempt in Hong Kong to push through a national security legislation according to Article 23 of the Basic Law by building up pressure on the SAR government as well as the central government.
Members of the opposition camp have recently been active in seeking foreign interference in Hong Kong internal affairs. A couple of weeks ago, Civic Party Chairman Alan Leong Kah-kit and Democratic Party founding chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming peddled their Hong Kong stories around Europe in their latest attempt to rally support for their political causes.
Perhaps, they need to be reminded again that how China maintains the “one country, two systems” principle in the Hong Kong SAR is none of any other country’s business. They need to be reminded that seeking foreign interference won’t help their cause.
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