In the United States, Republicans and Democrats, pass legislation targeting individuals and businesses that threaten Hong Kong's autonomy. In India, pictures of Xi Jinping are burnt and Made-in-China products boycotted. In Australia, some politicians are suspected of being bankrolled by the Chinese Communist Party. Xi Jinping's "dream" stresses Chinese nationalism, but generates anti-Chinese nationalism.
Rome (AsiaNews) – President Xi Jinping’s moves to extent China’s economic and political reach are backfiring. His attempt to make China THE superpower through its New Silk Road initiative and "healthcare diplomacy" related to the COVID-19 pandemic, is causing waves in many countries. What follows focuses on the United States, India and Australia, but could be the same in Africa, Japan, Southeast Asia, Canada, Sweden, Czechia and the United Kingdom.
As mentioned, for China’s intelligence community, anti-Chinese sentiment in the world, fuelled by the United States, is at its highest levels since the 1989 Tiananmen massacre. This is threatening China’s strategic and economic interests. Anti-China criticism ranges from unfair trading practices to human rights violations.
What is worrying is that whilst Xi promotes his "Chinese dream" by stirring nationalist feelings at home, the opposite effect is being generated in other countries, as anti-Chinese nationalism grows abroad. This bodes ill for the world. (B.C.)
US Senate: Bill against the enemies of Hong Kong's autonomy
The United States Senate yesterday approved legislation that would allow the US government to impose sanctions on all those who undermine Hong Kong's autonomy, in violation of Hong Kong’s Basic Law and China’s commitments under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The former British colony’s autonomy is guaranteed by the ‘One country, two systems’ principle, which gives Hong Kong a chance to enjoy a freer lifestyle, different from the mainland.
The bill is a response to Beijing's decision to impose a national security law on Hong Kong that many critics say would destroy the rule of law in the territory and mark the end of its distinctiveness vis-à-vis China.
The bill, called the ‘Hong Kong Autonomy Act,’ provides for sanctions against individuals and financial institutions that carry out "significant transactions" with individuals subject to the sanctions. Individuals and financial institutions must be identified with the collaboration of the Treasury Secretary.
The bill was passed unanimously by Republicans and Democrats, and now goes to the House of Representatives. Once the two versions of the bill are reconciled, it goes to US President Donald Trump to be signed into law.
Anti-China feelings growing in India
Following clashes on the Sino-Indian border, which left 20 Indian soldiers dead, anti-China feelings are growing in India. Protests have broken out with slogans, music and burning of flags and pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The Delhi Hotel and Restaurant Owners Association is asking its members not to accept reservations from China and to boycott Chinese goods. The ban is largely symbolic since restrictions on foreign travellers in India have been in place as a result of the pandemic.
However, the call to ban Chinese products could have some weight. Earlier this week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered that online sellers, especially of electronic products, display the country of origin of the goods on sale on their platforms.
Amazon, which sells many Chinese products, has agreed through its Indian GeM portal. For its part, Xiaomi, a giant Chinese company that produces mobile phones and has many factories in India, has covered its logo on shopfronts with the "Made in India" banner.
Australia: police raid against a pro-Beijing politician
Australian intelligence and police raided the home of Labor Party MP Shaoquett Moselmane, on suspicions of ties with the Chinese Communist Party. Moselmane's pro-Beijing enthusiasm has been an embarrassment for his Party.
Moselmane publicly praised Xi Jinping for his " unswerving” leadership during the pandemic. “President Xi [. . .] mustered the resources of the nation and together with the great people of China – fought it and contained it,” Moselmane wrote on his personal website.
In 2018, he gave a speech suggesting a “new world order” would be needed if China was to fulfil its potential.
In Australia, however, there is growing suspicion that Beijing is paying off politicians, journalists and business people not only to develop good will towards China, but also to "take over" Australia’s political system.
The case was made that much stronger when, in 2018, a Labor MP, Sam Dastyari, had to resign after it was discovered that he took tens of thousands of dollars from a donor linked to the Chinese Communist Party.
Because of this, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison pushed for foreign interference legislation after revelations indicated that wealthy Chinese businessmen with links to Beijing had been bankrolling local political parties and candidates. One of the people involved in influence peddling was Xi Jinping’s cousin.