The hybrid war, being conducted against China by the United States and its gaggle of puppet states from the UK to Canada to Australia, has entered a new phase. The first stage involved the massive shift of US air and naval forces to the Pacific and constant provocations against China in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait. The second stage was the creation of disinformation about China’s treatment of minority groups, especially in Tibet and west China. That this propaganda campaign has been carried out by nations such as the US, Canada and Australia who have the worst human rights records in the world with respect to their indigenous peoples, subjected to centuries of cultural and physical genocide by those governments, and who refuse to protect their minority peoples from physical attacks and discrimination despite their human rights laws, shocks the conscience of any objective observer.
But not content with that, the propaganda was extended to China’s economic development, its international trade, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, its Silk and Belt Road Initiative, its development bank, and other facilities and trade initiatives, through which China is accused of trying to control the world; an accusation made by the very nation that threatens economic embargo or worse, nuclear annihilation, to anyone, friend or foe, who resists its attempt to control the world.
The fourth phase is the US attempt to degrade the Chinese economy with punitive “tariffs,” essentially an embargo on Chinese goods. That the objective is not better trade deals but to bring China to its knees is the fact that the negative effect of these tariffs on American consumers, farmers and manufacturers is considered secondary to the principal objective.
Last year it moved to a fifth phase, the kidnapping and illegal detention of Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer of China’s leading technology company Huawei, in synchronicity with a massive campaign by the USA to force its puppets to drop any dealings with that company. Meng Wanzhou is still held against her will in Canada on US orders. Chinese have been harassed in the US, Australia and Canada.
The latest phase in this hybrid warfare is the insurrection being provoked by the US, UK, Canada and the rest in Hong Kong, using tactics designed to provoke China into suppressing the rioters with force to amplify the anti-Chinese propaganda, or pushing the “protestors” into declaring Hong Kong independent of China and then using force to support them.
Mitch McConnell, an important US senator implicitly threatened just such a scenario in a statement on August 12th stating that the US is warning China not to block the protests and that if they are suppressed trouble will follow. In other words the US is claiming that it will protect the thugs in black shirts, the shirts of fascists. This new phase is very dangerous, as the Chinese government has time and again stated, and has to be handled with intelligence and the strength of the Chinese people.
There is now abundant evidence that the UK and US are the black hand behind the events in Hong Kong. When the Hong Kong Bar association joined in the protests the west claimed that even the lawyers were supporting the protests in an attempt to bring justice to the people. But the leaders of that association are all either UK lawyers or members of law firms based in London, such as Jimmy Chan, head of the so-called Human Civil Rights Front, formed in 2002 with the objective of breaking Honk Kong away from China, such as Kevin Lam, a partner in another London based law firm, and Steve Kwok and Alvin Yeung, members of the anti-China Civic Party who are going to meet with US officials next week. Kwok has called for the independence of Hong Kong in other visits, some sponsored by the US National Security Council and has called for the US to invoke its Hong Kong Policy Act, which, among other things mandates the US president to issue an order suspending its treatment of Hong Kong as a separate territory in trade matters. The effect of this would be to damage China’s overall trade since a lot of its revenue comes through Hong Kong. The president can invoke the Act if it decides that Hong Kong “is not sufficiently autonomous to justify it being treated separately from China.”
In tandem with Kwok’s call for the use of that Act, US Senator Ted Cruz has filed a Bill titled the Hong Kong Revaluation Act requiring the president to report on “how China exploits Hong Kong to circumvent the laws of the United States.”
But it seems the anti-Chinese propaganda campaign is not having the effect they hoped. The New York Times ran a piece on August 13 stating, “China is waging a disinformation war against the protestors.” Embarrassed by US consular officials being caught red-handed meeting with protest leaders in a hotel in Hong Kong last week and blatant statements of support for the protestors from the US, Canada and UK as well attempts to treat Hong Kong as an independent state, the US intelligence services have now been forced to try to counter China’s accounts of the facts by declaring anything China says as disinformation.
The US and UK objectives are revealed in this statement from the article,
“Hong Kong, which Britain returned to Chinese rule in 1997, remains outside China’s firewall, and thus is sitting along one of the world’s most profound online divides. Preserving the city’s freedom to live without the mainland’s controls has become one of the causes now motivating the protests.”
This statement flies in the face of the Basic Law, expressing the agreement between the UK and China when the UK finally agreed to leave Hong Kong. We need to be aware of what the Basic Law says. Promulgated in April 4 1990 but put into effect on July 1, 1997, the date of the hand over of the territory to China, the Preamble states:
“Hong Kong has been part of the territory of China since ancient times; it was occupied by Britain after the Opium War in 1840. On 19 December 1984, the Chinese and British Governments signed the Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong, affirming that the Government of the People’s Republic of China will resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong with effect from 1 July 1997, thus fulfilling the long-cherished common aspiration of the Chinese people for the recovery of Hong Kong.
Upholding national unity and territorial integrity, maintaining the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and taking account of its history and realities, the People’s Republic of China has decided that upon China’s resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will be established in accordance with the provisions of Article 31 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, and that under the principle of “one country, two systems”, the socialist system and policies will not be practised in Hong Kong. The basic policies of the People’s Republic of China regarding Hong Kong have been elaborated by the Chinese Government in the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
In accordance with the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the National People’s Congress hereby enacts the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, prescribing the systems to be practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, in order to ensure the implementation of the basic policies of the People’s Republic of China regarding Hong Kong.”
Hong Kong is a part of China. That is the essential fact set out in the Basic Law agreed to by the UK as well as China. It is an administrative region of China. It is not an independent state and never was when Britain seized it through force and occupied it.
So the claim that the protestors are trying to preserve something that never existed, freedom from China’s control, since Hong Kong is subject to China’s control, is bogus. The fact that China permitted Hong Kong to retain its capitalist system confirms this. The fact that China can impose socialism 50 years after or sooner if certain conditions are met, also confirms this.
The pretexts for the riots, the first being a proposed extradition law between the mainland and Hong Kong which is similar to those that exist between provinces in Canada and states in the USA, the second being the claim that China’s insistence on its sovereignty over the territory somehow overrides the limited autonomy granted Hong Kong and threatens that autonomy, are without any foundation.
One could easily split Canada into pieces based on such bogus arguments or again split up the USA, or even the UK as London sees its rule of Ireland, Wales and Scotland being challenged by nationalist groups. And we know very well what violent protests will bring in swift suppression of such forces if the central governments feel threatened, especially by the violence we see used by the black shirts in Hong Kong. We saw what happened in Spain when the Catalans attempted to split from Spain. The leaders of the movement are now in exile. We saw what the US is capable of against demonstrators when it shot them down at Kent State when students were demonstrating peacefully. These things are not forgotten. We know how the British will react to renewed attempts for a united Ireland.
China is facing attacks on several fronts at once and it will require wisdom, endurance and the strength of the Chinese people to defend their revolution and rid themselves of colonial and imperialist domination, once and for all. Those who carry British and American flags in the protests in Hong Kong, reveal who they are. They are not the future of China. They are the living embodiment of a dead history and dead ideas, zombies of the past.
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”