Restrictive measures — this is not a highway with the only possible direction of movement along which a huge, sparkling American truck rushes. This is a two-way street with many intersections.
Washington’s exorbitant agility regarding the events in Hong Kong and the whole territory caused a harsh reaction from Beijing. China decided to impose sanctions on a number of eminent US non-governmental organizations. Including Human Rights Watch and Freedom House. These structures formally specialize in advocacy, civil liberties and the development of democratic institutions around the world, but in reality they are one of the instruments of political influence of the United States. Now they will have to adjust their activities in Hong Kong. And maybe somewhere else: time will tell.
China took this step as a result of the signing by Donald Trump of several laws relating to Hong Kong and supposedly designed to protect human rights and democracy in the area. In fact, Beijing’s position is very clear: American laws regarding foreign territory are a gross violation of international law, the basic norms of interstate relations and interference in China’s internal affairs. Recall again: Hong Kong, with the broadest powers, is the administrative region of China. However, the United States for several decades consider this territory a zone of its interests and, ideally, would like to weaken the Middle Kingdom through its loss. Accordingly, Washington is investing considerable resources in showing how unfairly and generally badly Beijing behaves towards its own citizens living in Hong Kong. The Chinese Foreign Ministry directly declares that there are many facts that indicate that American NGOs actively support anti-Chinese riots and encourage participation in extremist and illegal actions.
Moreover, the American side annually adjusts trade relations with Hong Kong depending on the degree of its autonomy. That is, the more autonomy, the more preferences. What is this if not the support of separatism? But with respect to persons whom Washington considers responsible for human rights violations in this area, restrictive measures are being introduced. Now, after the laws signed by Trump, Hong Kong, of course, controlled by the Chinese security forces, in particular, will not be supplied with certain police equipment. However, Beijing will easily find another opportunity to equip its law enforcement agencies. But these are the details. The main thing is different: unlike some countries that depend on the West in general and the United States in particular, and do not dare to truly respond, the PRC has shown political will. Moreover, in spite of the possible economic consequences in the framework of either an accelerating or decaying trade war with Washington. At stake is the prestige of the state and its sovereignty and it costs more than money.