The enactment of the CCP’s controversial new security law caused a huge stir in the international community as many analysts believe it was specially designed to move Beijing forward on Hong Kong’s autonomy.
But who really lost Hong Kong? That is the question posed by Japanese scholar Kunihiko Miyake as he reflects on the impact of the law passed by the CCP on June 30.
In fact, in a recent column published in the Japan Times, the president of the Foreign Policy Institute, Miyake, pointed out that the so-called “One Country, Two Systems” ended on that day.
However, unlike what other analysts and journalists may think, Miyake said that neither President Donald Trump nor the West lost the ex-British colony. On the contrary, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and the CCP are the real losers.
Indeed, Miyake pointed out that President Trump never got involved in Hong Kong so he can hardly have lost it.
Miyake recalls that while the United States has supported Hong Kong’s autonomy by promoting trade, investment, and high-level visits, in reality “Washington, however, has not been assertive enough in urging Beijing to promote democracy in Hong Kong.”
In fact, he recalls that during the Umbrella Movement in 2014, for example, it was the UK that was most active in criticizing the CCP.
In contrast, in October 2014, when the Chinese Foreign Minister had met the president, Democrat Barack Obama, the American side had only expressed “hope that differences between Hong Kong authorities and protesters will be addressed peacefully.”
As for the Hong Kong people, there is no doubt that “the younger political activists lost a free and democratic Hong Kong,” said Miyake.
“Many of them reportedly have started leaving the city, probably for good,” he notes.
However, for mature citizens in business circles, however, “it is not necessarily the end of Hong Kong yet,” the author qualifies by stating that the territory could still be a financial center in the region.
As for foreign investment in Hong Kong, Miyake noted that, contrary to popular belief, it is not as significant today: Hong Kong’s economy now accounts for only 2 percent of the CCP’s total, whereas at the time of Britain’s handover in 1997, it represented 20 percent.
“Hong Kong seems to have lost much of its value a long time ago,” he reflected.
For all these reasons, Miyake concluded that those who really lost Hong Kong were Xi and the CCP.
“Future historians may wonder why the Chinese Communist Party crossed a possibly unnecessary red line in Hong Kong in 2020,” predicted the author.
“Were democratic movements so threatening to mainland China [the CCP] that the new law was needed to stop and contain the spread of protests to Shanghai or Beijing? I can’t believe this,” he said.
According to Miyake, the CCP’s move will make Hong Kong another rich but ordinary city in China where foreign investors “may never find it worthwhile to return.”
“This simply means that Beijing “won” Hong Kong while losing its only reliable financial gateway to the world,” he explained.
“While Xi may feel that he is winning the battle over Hong Kong, he is actually losing the war against the international community. The values that Beijing is losing are much more than financial. China [the CCP] is now losing its credibility as a responsible member of the regional and international communities,” he concluded.