A US congressional panel has warned of an “alarming” rise in Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong, noting fears over the former British colony’s continued role as a global financial hub.
In its annual report to the Congress on Wednesday, the bipartisan US-China Economic and Security Review Commission highlights the “chilling” abduction and detention of five booksellers based in Hong Kong as well as pressure on media and academic freedoms.
The commission, in a detailed 33-page section on Hong Kong, urges a fresh probe from the State Department on the city’s autonomy and freedoms, as well as continued congressional oversight.
“Hong Kong’s traditional standing as a global financial hub has significant economic implications for the United States, as US trade and investment ties with Hong Kong are substantial,” the report notes.
Britain handed Hong Kong back to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” agreement that its freedoms and legal and governmental autonomy would remain intact.
The US report notes that the booksellers’ detentions — including two foreign nationals and one who was abducted inside Hong Kong — broadened domestic fears of mainland encroachment and sparked a record turnout in September’s legislative election.
“This incident has threatened the maintenance of the ‘one country, two systems’ framework and led some observers to question Hong Kong’s status as a leading global financial hub,” the report warns.
“The election took place against the backdrop of an alarming rise in mainland interference in Hong Kong.”
The report comes amid deepening concerns in Beijing over a fledgling independence movement in the city. The High Court this week backed a central government demand to bar two recently elected lawmakers, who insulted China when taking their oath of office, from the legislature.
A Hong Kong government statement after the report’s release said the “one country, two systems” principle was being implemented successfully, as was the city’s role as a global commercial hub.
It urged foreign parties not to interfere in the internal affairs of Hong Kong.
The booksellers were involved in the production and sale of gossipy political titles banned in mainland China but freely available in Hong Kong. Their plight deepened Western governments’ concerns about the situation in Hong Kong and sparked formal diplomatic protests.
One of the five men, Swedish passport holder Gui Minhai, who disappeared from the Thai resort of Pattaya last October, is the only one still in detention in China.
Another, Lam Wing-kee, returned to Hong Kong in June, saying he had been held captive by Chinese agents for eight months.
The report places the worsening climate in the city in the context of China’s broader disregard for international legal agreements and norms in issues such as the South China Sea and Taiwan.
“China’s efforts to exert influence over Hong Kong in ways that undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy under the Basic Law reflect a broader pattern of reliance on tools of pressure and coercion … to advance its interests vis-à-vis its neighbors,” it says.
There is a red line and its HK independence. If the Congressional panel thinks China will compromise that stand with the impact on the HK financial hub, they have another think coming.
Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho! American congressmen do not need to swear oaths of allegiance to Amarika!
Trump said the truth that the world are lied to by corrupt media, politicians, and their pay masters like Sorro who are always waiting at the side line for a quick kill.Business people want stability not 18 years old promoting fascist ideas and calling thelir disruption to business environment and universal ruling for proper conduct in he society as their special way of promoting democracy. As for the five rumour mongering book makers, what they contribute towards knowledge or business? Except to create storm for financial sharks waiting in the corner. I bet these corrupt congressmen don’t even know who and how they benefited their evil paymaster, as they are just Junior in the chain of a series of propaganda machine aimed to destabilize the world.
the problem here is why the US think they can interfere in the affairs of other countries whereas others are not suppose to do so towards the US!you have multiples of domestic problems to solve, just mind your own business please
Does the corrupt liars include the PRC rulers ?
Clearly America support independence movement in Hong Kong, what the hell America sticks its ulgy nose into China’s internal affair, everyone knows America is a spoiler in the world, places turn into hell when Americans intervenes.
J Cov Coker They can be labelled as liar if they fail to provide what the majority aspired in term of their various level of need. So far they are ahead compare to vast majority of other nations leader.
Western media are the natural cheerleaders for any group or individual who are opposing China. Chinese do not expect anything less than this.
Eveb clearer when Marco Rubio declared support for HK independence 2 days ago
Is the problem really Bejing.? HK agreed to the one country two systems principal when it got handed back. Now some overtly say HK is not China. That was asking for trouble.
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