The current mass demonstrations in Hong Kong may cause some damage to the economy of the region but are unlikely to have any political consequences, says Alexander Lomanov, a chief research fellow at the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences and expert at the Russian International Affairs Council.
On 14 August, Commander Nate Christensen, deputy spokesman for the United States Pacific Fleet, informed that China had rejected a US request that it allow two warships to enter Hong Kong's harbour. It was planned that the USS Green Bay, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship, would arrive at Hong Kong next Saturday, and the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie would visit Hong Kong's harbour next month.
News agencies, citing the fleet’s press service, reported that a US military official had redirected their questions about the reasons for the refusal to the Chinese authorities.
The last time a US Navy vessel visited Hong Kong was in April. Last September, China did not permit the USS The Wasp, a multipurpose amphibious assault ship, to visit Hong Kong.
In early August, Beijing drew attention to meetings between American diplomats in Hong Kong with activists from the protest demonstrations.
Furthermore, it was rumoured that Americans were seen among the ranks of the protesters. In response, Beijing has unequivocally demanded that the United States “stop interfering” in China's internal affairs. Was this the reason for the reluctance of the Chinese authorities to see American-flagged naval ships in Hong Kong?
“US intervention in the Hong Kong issue is one of the factors (behind the refusal) but not the only one. The current situation in Hong Kong is fraught with a lot of tricks; it is very turbulent, there is clear evidence of US interference, and certainly, there are puppet masters. Therefore, China’s refusal was quite predictable. Granting permission to American warships to moor in Hong Kong is China's sovereign right — it can either allow mooring US warships or not.
As for the reasons for the ban, in addition to the situation in Hong Kong, the refusal to moor can be dictated by some technical issues.
Moreover, due to the China-United States trade war, the overall atmosphere in bilateral relations is quite tense. Anti-Chinese statements by American lawmakers and representatives of the executive branch are becoming more and more distinct. So in this situation, it is not difficult to understand the motives of China denying US warships [the opportunity] to enter Hong Kong”, Chinese expert Zheng Anguang said.
Commissioner’s Office of China’s Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong
China, on Thursday, accused the United States of conspiring with criminal elements and being “insanely” involved in anti-Chinese activities in Hong Kong, according to a statement issued by the Commissioner’s Office of China’s Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong.
It was made in response to several comments made by US congressmen as well as a number of other American politicians regarding the events in Hong Kong.
This is the second statement issued by Chinese diplomats in the past 24 hours. The day before, an official representative of the Chinese foreign ministry said that US politicians, in the name of their private interests, shamelessly act as a protective umbrella and a herald for radical and violent elements, and shamelessly slander and accuse Hong Kong police squads, which, under excessive pressure beyond their limits, continue to enforce the law. T
his (the actions of the Americans) led the Chinese to issue a unanimous condemnation; these Chinese sentiments were shared by their 7 million compatriots residing in Hong Kong.
The day before, China’s Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui compared the situation in Hong Kong with a “colour revolution”. “Western forces control it behind the scenes, it is obvious”, the diplomat said at a meeting with Russian journalists. According to him, they want to create chaos to undermine the established system of “one country, two systems” in order to create difficulties for the development of China.
Alexander Lomanov also noted that more and more symptoms of the “colour revolution” are becoming evident in Hong Kong.
“This is a network organisation of protests, this is a sequence of protests, a flexible organisational structure of participants who are able to move from place to place”, the expert specified. However, he noted that the current riots in Hong Kong may cause some damage to the economy of the region but are unlikely to have any political consequences.
“Needless to say, this is not really a genuine 'colour revolution' aimed at changing the leaders in China. Moreover, it seems that the aggressive and increasingly anti-Chinese behaviour of the Hong Kong demonstrators, on the contrary, leads to patriotic consolidation. It always occurs in Chinese society that in those cases when there is a real threat of a split in the country, China is subjected to foreign intervention."
The expert also drew attention to US President Donald Trump linking the trade agreement with China with the resolution of protests in Hong Kong in a “humane” way. A post about this appeared on Twitter.
The president did not even rule out the possibility of meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping for the sake of this. He just wrote “I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi (Jinping) wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?”
Commenting on the idea of the US president about a possible meeting and holding talks with the Chinese leader about new problems, Russian expert Alexander Lomanov noted that in a year and a half, Trump managed to completely destroy all serious trust between China and the United States, including personal trust between him and Xi Jinping.
His manner of negotiating something with the Chinese leader, and then, for example, threatening with new tariffs, is unacceptable to China. In China, they always attach very serious importance to the words, accords and promises made by American presidents. Apparently, Trump has completely disappointed the Chinese.
He is able to create trouble but not able to constructively solve problems, said Alexander Lomanov.
Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the experts and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.