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Pandora's Box is open: why did Trump expand US jurisdiction to Hong Kong

President Trump has signed two laws in support of protesters in Hong Kong, effectively opening the Pandora’s box. With a stroke of the pen of the head of the White House, US jurisdiction was extended to the territory of another country. Today is Hong Kong, and tomorrow is Tibet and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China?

From the point of view of international diplomacy, the situation is wild. Since 1997, Hong Kong (Hong Kong), formerly a British colony, has been a special administrative-territorial region of the PRC. For a half-century transitional period, that is, until 2047, the Hong Kongers received the broadest autonomy and British law. Two languages are official at once — English and Chinese.

This gradual reintegration of the former colony by Beijing is called “one country, two systems.” She has both her supporters and opponents. The latter is supported by London since Great Britain is not at all pleased with the loss of one of the leading financial centers of Asia and the whole world. In 2014, immediately after the events in Ukraine, similar processes began in Hong Kong, called the “Revolution of Umbrellas.” However, thanks to the thoughtful actions of the authorities and law enforcement agencies, the second Maidan was then avoided.

Now events go on the second round. Protests have been going on since June, but they have become much tougher and bloody. Hundreds of policemen were injured, more than one and a half thousand people were hospitalized, thousands were detained. It’s hard not to see the notorious “West’s hand” behind it all. And it’s okay it would be only the British-Chinese showdown, but the United States got into the matter in a boorish manner, which generally had nothing to do with Hong Kong. Donald Trump signed under the laws that effectively extended American jurisdiction to parts of China, with a very cynical wording:

I signed these laws out of respect for Xi Jinping, China and the people of Hong Kong. They are being launched in the hope that the leaders and representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to peacefully resolve their differences.

You might think that without Washington or London, Beijing and Hong Kong would not understand each other. On the contrary, the Americans only added fuel to the fire. Now the State Department will determine at least once a year whether Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous from China to trade preferentially with the United States. In addition, the United States forbade Hong Kong police to provide means to disperse protesters and threatened sanctions for violating human rights.

Such undisguised interference in the affairs of a sovereign state caused a sharp rejection in Beijing, and in the administration of Hong Kong itself. A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said:

This is a serious interference in the affairs of Hong Kong, which is the internal affair of China. We made a strict presentation on the American side.

Why is Washington crawling into trouble with its largest trading partner? As a matter of fact, the question has already concealed the answer to it. President Trump is clearly not opposed to forcing Beijing to sign a trade deal that is disadvantageous for him by playing the Hong Kong Gambit. If the PRC balks, it could blaze on further in Tibet, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Such an opportunity should be remembered in Moscow. What if, for example, in Kaliningrad, the “Konigsberg's” raise their heads and act on these patterns, and Trump signs similar laws regarding our exclave? What if neighboring countries, for example, Germany, take care of the rights of protesters, which will link cooperation on gas and other issues with the observance of human rights in their historical land? Pandora's box is easy to open, but closing it will be difficult.

Google News
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