Foreign meddling in Hong Kong

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MAJORITY of diplomatic observers and geo-strategic analysts holds firm opinion that the wave of protests in Hong Kong is foreign inspired and the objective is nothing but to malign China and create obstacles in the way of its fast march on the road to economic progress and prosperity. In fact, there are reasons to believe that ever since Hong Kong’s return to China, the former has witnessed accelerated growth and development and some countries are trying to fan trouble to the disadvantage of the people of the autonomous region.
There is hardly any justification for protests, which are being highlighted out of proportion by the biased Western media, when the Chinese government has been strictly following the Constitution as well as the Basic Law and the principles of “one country, two systems,” and “Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong” with a high degree of autonomy have been implemented earnestly. Hong Kong, an international financial, trade, shipping hub and international innovation and technology centre, has been a Chinese territory since ancient times but remained under colonial rule for 150 years. Despite the fact that China had legitimate claims over the territory, Beijing waited for decades to ensure peaceful return of the territory and it was on 1st July 1997 that it resumed its sovereignty over Hong Kong and Hong Kong returned to the embrace of the motherland. In view of differences in lifestyle and ideology, Chinese central government decided to implement “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong and set up the Hong Kong SAR. There are interesting figures that confirm how deftly Chinese managed the affairs of Hong Kong after end of the colonial rule there. In 2018, the total economic volume of Hong Kong was $360 billion, more than twice that of 1996; the number of visitors to Hong Kong exceeded 65 million, six times that of 1997; the international ranking of legal environment jumped from lower than 60th in 1996 to 16th in 2018. All this means there was no reason for any dissatisfaction of people of Hong Kong with the mainland especially when Beijing allowed democracy and freedom to them. In fact, this harmonious relationship dismayed all those who were expecting disharmony between Hong Kong and the mainland and that is why they exploited the plan for legal reforms to their own advantage. Beijing acted wisely and suspended implementation of the legal reforms but the fact that the protests did not subside even then clearly hinted that the riots were being fanned by outside powers for vested interests. It is unfortunate that the external forces succeeded to some extent in their objectives as disturbances in Hong Kong had a telling effect on its overall economy. According to the statistics of the government of Hong Kong SAR, the economic indicators of Hong Kong in the first six months of this year have rarely fallen across the board except for a few industries. The gross domestic product of Hong Kong in the second quarter increased by only 0.6% in real terms year-on-year. The situation has shattered confidence of foreign investors and eighteen countries have issued travel advisory against visits to Hong Kong. Credit goes to the Chinese government that despite provocations of the highest order, it has exercised utmost restraint and handled the situation in a clam and firm manner. It has, however, rightly demanded that certain countries should abide by the basic norms of international law, international relations and their own commitments not to intervene in Hong Kong affairs and stop supporting violence and interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any form. It is stressing the importance of “one country, two systems”, the constitutional principle that allows Hong Kong to retain its own autonomous government, legal, economic and financial systems, which is reflective of Beijing’s sincerity towards wellbeing of people of Hong Kong and a respect for their aspirations. It was in view of the malicious propaganda about situation in Hong Kong that Prime Minister Imran Khan recently referred to the double standards of the West that almost ignored what Indian forces were doing in occupied-Kashmir and highlighted the situation in Hong Kong despite the fact that it was purely an internal issue of China. We hope that people of Hong Kong would understand conspiracies being hatched by some foreign powers to disrupt their steady march on the path of growth and development and demonstrate maturity in foiling such attempts.