Giuseppe Sandro Mela.
«Hong Kong divenne una colonia dell’Impero britannico dopo la prima guerra dell’Oppio (1839-1842). Originariamente limitati alla sola Isola di Hong Kong, i confini della colonia furono estesi, nel 1860, a includere la penisola di Kowloon e poi con nuovi territori nel 1898. La regione fu poi brevemente occupata dal Giappone durante la guerra del Pacifico, per poi tornare sotto il controllo britannico, terminato nel 1997 quando la Cina ne ha ripreso la supervisione. La storia di Hong Kong ha profondamente influenzato la sua cultura, che spesso viene descritta come “l’Oriente che incontra l’Occidente”, e il sistema educativo che ha perseguito il sistema inglese fino alle riforme attuate nel 2009. ….
In base al principio “una Cina due sistemi”, Hong Kong possiede un sistema politico diverso dalla Cina continentale. funzionamento dell’indipendente magistratura del paese funziona secondo il modello di ordinamento giuridico del Common law. La Hong Kong Basic Law, il suo documento costitutivo, stabilisce che la regione goda di un alto grado di autonomia in tutti gli aspetti, tranne che nelle relazioni estere e nella difesa militare» [Fonte]
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Hong Kong è cinese per popolazione e territorialità: ha ovviamente una sua storia.
La Cina non aveva e non ha mai potuto sopportare il fatto della presenza inglese ad Hong Kong, sorta di enclave che si reggeva con leggi e costumanze aliene alla mentalità cinese. Ma i cinesi sono persone pragmatiche e pazienti.
Allo scadere del mandato inglese, nel 1997, la Cina aveva un pil di 985.338 miliardi Usd, essendo il pil procapite di 781 Usd l’anno. A quell’epoca non poteva agire in modo diverso dall’annettersi Hong Kong avocando a sé esteri e difesa, concedendo larghe autonomie, non da ultime quelle giudiziarie.
Ma ad oggi, con un pil di 13,407 miliardi Usd e delle forze armate in grado di gestire eventuali problemi locoregionali, la situazione è mutata. Se sicuramente Hong Kong costituisca una situazione economicamente vantaggiosa, la sua importanza nel contesto dell’intero tessuto nazionale si è grandemente ridotta.
Contemporaneamente, l’anomalia politica della sua speciale gestione semi autonoma sta diventando sempre meno tollerabile. È nella logica delle cose che alla fine Hong Kong rientri pienamente nel sistema politico della Cina.
Talune componenti politiche dell’occidente usano la situazione di Hong Kong per cercare di ostacolare questo ritorno. Fomentano malcontento locale e dimostrazione di piazza tramite una fitta rete di ngo, completamente finanziate dall’estero, talora anche da governi occidentali.
È una situazione più folkloristica che di reale impatto, ma è quanto basta perché i media occidentali, per lo più a matrice culturale liberal, ne siano cassa di risonanza. Ma questa risonanza si ode soltanto in occidente, mentre in Cina è vissuta in termine diametralmente opposti. I cinesi la percepiscono, ed anche volentieri, come una minaccia alla propria sovranità.
La loro risposta è come al solito lenta ma ferma.
Si pensi solo all’impatto se, cosa legalmente possibile, la Cina richiamasse alla leva le classi tra i diciotto ed i ventiquattro anni. Potrebbe richiamare tutti coloro che hanno partecipato ai cortei e metterli in caserme in Manciuria o nel Deserto dei Gobi.
Il Governo cinese ha già preso una ferma posizione.
«Vice-Foreign Minister Le Yucheng urgently summoned a senior official from the embassy of the United States in China on Friday, urging Washington to stop interfering with the affairs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in any form»
«In his meeting with the embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Robert W. Forden, Le protested against US officials’ recent irresponsible remarks and acts about the amendment of extradition laws by the Hong Kong SAR government, according to a statement on the ministry’s website»
«Noting that Hong Kong belongs to China, Le said, Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and no external forces are allowed to interfere with them»
«Beijing will take further measures in line with the US moves»
«Creating chaos in Hong Kong will do the US no good at all»
«China’s foreign ministry said on Saturday Hong Kong matters were a Chinese internal affair and no country, organization or individual has a right to interfere.
The comments come after Hong Kong’s leader, under pressure from public protests, announced the suspension of a proposed bill that would have allowed extradition of criminal suspects to mainland China.
Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the ministry had taken note of Lam’s announcement. He said China’s determination to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and security, and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, was unshakable.»
I cinesi sono gente paziente, ma si sia sicuri che l’odierna vittoria delle ingerenze occidentali in Cina saranno pagate a prezzo ben caro.
«Chinese authorities in the far-northwestern region of Xinjiang on Wednesday revised legislation to permit the use of “education and training centers” to combat religious extremism.»
«In practice, the centers are internment camps in which as many as 1 million minority Muslims have been placed in the past 12 months»
Stiamo pur certi che c’è posto anche per un bel po’ di gente di Hong Kong.
«The government is seeking to allow extraditions to mainland China, saying it makes sure Hong Kong remains a “safe city for residents and business”.»
«The changes will allow for extradition requests from authorities in mainland China, Taiwan and Macau for suspects accused of criminal wrongdoings, such as murder and rape»
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Gli occidentali hanno una gran bella presunzione nel voler dettare alla Cina come debba comportarsi all’interno dei propri confini. Cosa mai sarebbe successo se la Cina avesse preso posizione sulla Brexit oppure sulla Catalogna?
L’esperienza insegna come i cinesi abbiano ottima memoria.
Vice-Foreign Minister Le Yucheng urgently summoned a senior official from the embassy of the United States in China on Friday, urging Washington to stop interfering with the affairs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in any form.
In his meeting with the embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Robert W. Forden, Le protested against US officials’ recent irresponsible remarks and acts about the amendment of extradition laws by the Hong Kong SAR government, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.
Noting that Hong Kong belongs to China, Le said, Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and no external forces are allowed to interfere with them.
He urged the US side to view the amendment in an objective and fair manner, respect the SAR government’s legislation process and avoid doing anything that harms the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.
Beijing will take further measures in line with the US moves, Le said.
Also on Friday, ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular news conference that China is strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed to the US lawmakers’ reintroduction of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, urging them to give up “vain attempts” to create chaos in Hong Kong.
The act would “require the Secretary of State to issue an annual certification of Hong Kong’s autonomy to justify special treatment afforded to Hong Kong by the US Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992”, the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations said in a news release.
Since Hong Kong’s return, the policies of “one country, two systems”, “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and a high degree of autonomy have been effectively implemented, and Hong Kong residents have enjoyed rights and freedoms that are fully guaranteed according to law, Geng said.
“This is an objective fact that anyone without prejudice will acknowledge,” he said.
Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability is in line with the interests of the US, one of Hong Kong’s major trade partners, Geng pointed out.
“Creating chaos in Hong Kong will do the US no good at all,” the spokesman said.
Geng urged relevant people on the US side to respect basic facts, give up their “arrogance and bias” as well as their attempts to intervene in Hong Kong, and do more to help China-US mutual trust and cooperation.
Calling Western criticism of Hong Kong’s extradition law amendments irresponsible, Geng said China is determined to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests, and it doesn’t fear any threats or intimidation.
Any attempt to bring disorder to the special administrative region will face objection from all Chinese people, including Hong Kong residents, and fail, he said.
Changes to Hong Kong’s extradition law could hurt the autonomy that has made it one of Asia’s main financial hubs.
The government is seeking to allow extraditions to mainland China, saying it makes sure Hong Kong remains a “safe city for residents and business”.
The proposed changes led to widespread protests in Hong Kong this week and sparked some of the worst violence seen there in decades.
Many worry that Hong Kong’s status as a global financial centre is at risk.
“The passage of the proposed legislation would undermine Hong Kong’s status both as a hub for multinational firm operations and as a global financial centre,” said Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank Peterson Institute for International Economics.
So what are the proposed changes?
The changes will allow for extradition requests from authorities in mainland China, Taiwan and Macau for suspects accused of criminal wrongdoings, such as murder and rape.
Officials have said Hong Kong courts will have the final say whether to grant such extradition requests, and suspects accused of political and religious crimes will not be extradited.
Several commercial offences such as tax evasion have been removed from the list of extraditable offences.
But Hong-Kong based lawyer Antony Dapiran said this does not mean business people are “off the hook”.
“Even though there is some reassurance in the business community that those white collar crimes have been excluded… that doesn’t necessarily mean that people are therefore free of risk,” Mr Dapiran said.
“There are many other ways that someone can be extradited under the current bill for offences other than the offence that they are actually wanted (for).”
What has the business reaction been so far?
Companies have proved reluctant to openly speak about the extradition bill for fear that their businesses in mainland China could suffer consequences.
Pushing the bill through would risk “shooting Hong Kong in the foot,” Tara Joseph, president of The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, said in a recent newspaper interview.
Both the British Chamber of Commerce and the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, refused to comment when contacted by the BBC.
Andrew Coflan, analyst at New York-based political risk consultancy Eurasia Group, said that the foreign business community was worried.
“Hong Kong has served as a gateway to Asia for flows of goods and capital,” said Mr Coflan.
“But the passage of the extradition bill would turn it from a special legal entity into just another Chinese city, from a corporate risk perspective. The key risk is one of diverted or withdrawn investment.”
What happens to its special status?
The US, which is embroiled in a trade and technology dispute with China, has been vocal about its concerns surrounding the Hong Kong extradition bill.
The US expressed “grave concern” about the Hong Kong government’s proposed amendments which “could damage Hong Kong’s business environment” and subject American citizens there “to China’s capricious judicial system,” Morgan Ortagus, spokesman at the US State Department said during a recent news briefing.
“The continued erosion of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ framework puts at risk Hong Kong’s long-established special status in international affairs,” he said.
In 1984, Britain and China signed an agreement where Hong Kong would enjoy “a high degree of autonomy” when it returned to China in 1997 under the principle of “one country, two systems.”
As a result, Hong Kong has its own legal system and borders, and rights including freedom of assembly and free speech are protected.
In the US, Hong Kong’s special status is recognized under the US Hong Kong Policy Act but this now appears to be under scrutiny.
US lawmakers have introduced a bill to amend the Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992. The amendment requires the US Secretary of State to “issue an annual certification of Hong Kong’s autonomy to justify special treatment” by the US.
“The bigger issue is probably that the global perception of Hong Kong as a separate part of China is under threat. And that includes official recognition of Hong Kong as a separate customs, immigration, tax and legal jurisdiction,” said David Webb, editor of Webb-site.com and long-time resident of Hong Kong.
“If Hong Kong loses its separate status then, for example, all of the duties that America has applied to Chinese exports would apply to Hong Kong exports. And any prohibitions on transfers of high grade technology to China would apply to Hong Kong as well.”
Any impact on Hong Kong’s economy?
Hong Kong saw its worst violence in decades this week, with some government offices and banks closing due to the disruption.
Standard Chartered said on Friday the branches which were closed earlier in the week would resume operations.
But Capital Economics, pointing to the fallout of the 2014 Occupy Hong Kong protests, expects the economic impact to be limited.
“The 2014 Occupy Hong Kong protests provide a useful benchmark. They brought gridlock to large parts of Hong Kong Island for over 70 days, but there was no noticeable effect on either retail sales or tourism arrivals,” it said in a research note.
“So even if the current protests last for several weeks, the impact on the economy is likely to be minimal. We are not changing our GDP growth forecasts for this year.”
However, analysts say other places in Asia like Singapore stand to benefit if the proposed changes go through, undermining Hong Kong’s status as a global financial hub.
“The main beneficiary of this development is likely to be Singapore, which has a strong legal framework and no extradition agreement with China,” said Mr Lardy from the Peterson Institute.