Written by Dr. Leon Tressell exclusively for SouthFront
The Trump impeachment hearings give the illusion that voters in the United States have a choice between two different political parties: the Democrats and Republicans. The daily impeachment hearings dominate news headlines. Meanwhile, politicians of both parties have unanimously passed the Hong Kong Human Rights And Democracy Act revealing how both wings of the American elite share the same visceral fear of China’s challenge to the American empire.
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, sums up nicely the flagrant hypocrisy of the American political elite with her declaration:
“The Congress is sending an unmistakable message to the world that the United States stands in solidarity with freedom-loving people of Hong Kong and that we fully support their fight for freedom. This has been a very unifying issue for us.”
The Hong Kong Democracy Act threatens China with sanctions if human rights are in Hong Kong are curtailed in any way. How ironic considering the United States stands full square behind the ongoing coup in Bolivia that recently removed the democratically elected President Evo Morales.
There are over 150 pieces of legislation awaiting Congressional approval that all aim to counter the growing power of Chinese capitalism. On the economic front these range from the China Technology Transfer Control Act to the Defending America’s 5G Future Act and Fair Trade With China Enforcement Act. Meanwhile, on the geo-political front we have the Tibetan Policy And Support Act and Uyghurs Human Rights Policy Act. If implemented these would massively ramp up the economic and geo-political tensions between the two superpowers.
If Trump approves the misnamed Hong Kong Democracy Act he will put in jeopardy any ‘phase 1’ trade deal deal with China. Wall Street investors fear that this political attack upon China could endanger the trade deal which they have been on tenterhooks for since last year.
Despite all of his aggressive bluster, Trump is desperate for a trade deal with China as the 2020 election inches nearer. As I have outlined previously, the trade war, that Trump started back in spring 2018 when he bragged that winning trade wars was easy, poses a significant threat to the rapidly slowing global economy. Without the unprecedented and gigantic money printing of global central banks this year the world economy would already be in recession.
If Trump approves the Hong Kong Democracy Act it will clearly signal a major escalation of policy towards China. The Chinese one party state, having stoked up nationalist feeling amongst its population during the trade war, will find it very difficult to sign any ‘phase 1’ trade deal with the U.S. after such a blatant attack upon its sovereignty.
Not surprisingly, the Chinese government reacted with anger to news that the U.S. Congress had passed the Hong Kong Democracy Act. A Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that the act undermined both countries interests in Hong Kong. Geng warned the U.S.:
“We urge the U.S. to grasp the situation, stop its wrongdoing before it’s too late, prevent this act from becoming law (and) immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs. If the U.S. continues to make the wrong moves, China will be taking strong countermeasures for sure.”
Meanwhile, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned U.S. Defence Secretary William Cohen, during a meeting last Wednesday, that the act represented “a naked interference in China’s internal affairs,” which China would not tolerate.
The hubris of the United States knows no bounds as it launches such an overt attack upon its major rival. I don’t recall China lecturing the United States as its police forces violently crushed the Occupy Wall Street movement during the autumn of 2011.
The clock is ticking for the United States as more and more countries put increasing effort into trade deals that don’t use the U.S. dollar. This de-dollarisation is viewed very negatively by Washington as it threatens its ability to print huge quantities of money that finance its huge war machine used to police American interests around the world. More and more countries resent the use of the dollar as a weapon against any state not pursuing policies favourable to American corporations.
The American empire is aware that it has to act over the next period to contain China before initiatives such as the Made In China 2025 and the Belt and Road projects decisively swing the balance of economic power in Beijing’s favour.
The U.S. still has time to seek a rapprochement with China as urged by foreign policy guru Henry Kissinger on his visit to Beijing last year. He warned that there is a risk of “destroying hopes for the new world order,” if the two superpowers cannot come to some mutually beneficial agreement on trade.
The Hong Kong Democracy Act and the 150 pending pieces of anti-China legislation in Congress suggests that the American empire is moving towards confrontation towards China which poses great dangers in the volatile period ahead.