In a statement earlier today, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has announced the U.S. is revoking the special trade status of Hong Kong in response to escalating encroachment by China in violation of the prior agreement for autonomy.
It is a challenging status to modify because the administration does not want to reduce the ability of Hong Kong to operate as an autonomous economic region. However, at the same time Beijing is taking control of all systems within Hong Kong and as such policies must be adjusted. It would be an exercise in futility to expect China to retreat.
WILBUR ROSS – “With the Chinese Communist Party’s imposition of new security measures on Hong Kong, the risk that sensitive U.S. technology will be diverted to the People’s Liberation Army or Ministry of State Security has increased, all while undermining the territory’s autonomy. Those are risks the U.S. refuses to accept and have resulted in the revocation of Hong Kong’s special status.”
“Commerce Department regulations affording preferential treatment to Hong Kong over China, including the availability of export license exceptions, are suspended. Further actions to eliminate differential treatment are also being evaluated. We urge Beijing to immediately reverse course and fulfill the promises it has made to the people of Hong Kong and the world.”
The biggest issue surrounds Hong Kong’s exemptions to tariffs the administration has placed against China. The statement by Wilbur Ross does not address that key aspect, yet.
As accurately noted: “The end of Hong Kong’s special status became a real possibility once the security law came into play, since its implementation will likely render “one country, two systems” nothing more than a slogan, and the U.S. had already announced it no longer considers the city autonomous from Beijing. The move will likely place Hong Kong’s role as a leading global financial hub in jeopardy. ”
Moving forward, as we previously have discussed, there primary entity who should/could assemble a coalition to defend Hong Kong’s interests would be the United Kingdom. However, as with most geopolitical issues involving European politics, the British government prefers to abdicate their role and hope the U.S. will fill the gap.
Trump administration detractors will likely use the Hong Kong issue to criticize President Trump for not doing enough to curb Beijing’s aggression, while simultaneously ignoring their own 3 decades of inaction -and support for China- which created the crisis.
President Trump is the first U.S. President to stand up to the aggressive Chinese Communist Party (CCP), while most U.S. politicians and their Wall Street multinational allies have done everything possible to support the same communist economic system they now claim has become dangerous for the world. There is a lot of insufferable hypocrisy in/around all things China.
Bottom line – It is better to accept the situation as it exists, rather than pretend it could be something else. With that in mind, the move by Secretary Ross is a step in the right direction. It’s time to accept Hong Kong as part of China, modify all policies toward that end, accept Beijing is going to take full control, and offer support for the people of Hong Kong as they deal with the reality of their new communist rulers.
Freedom is a tenuous proposition; and we seem to have our hands full in the U.S. trying to retain our own.