Washington's double standard over Hong Kong hurts its credibility
Rioters set fires on a flyover outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, November 17, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

Rioters set fires on a flyover outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, November 17, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

Editor's note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language "Commentaries on International Affairs." The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday is an attempt to meddle in China's domestic affairs and destabilize Hong Kong by lending support to the rioters under the disguise of democracy and human rights. In doing so, it provides further evidence that Washington adopts a double standard in its approach to foreign affairs.

As the world's only superpower, the United States has been imposing its will on others in the name of safeguarding democracy, freedom and human rights. It has provoked unjust wars in the Middle East and in the Balkans over the past two decades, causing long-lasting humanitarian disasters. For this, it has been criticized by the international community, which can see the misery that follows Washington's interventions in countries such as Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. As the former president of the United Nations Security Council, Kishore Mahbubani, noted ironically, American thinkers have provided the most brilliant ideas in international law, but the United States has been responsible for some of the most unruly violations of it.

When riots broke out in Hong Kong more than five months ago, Washington turned a blind eye to the violent crimes committed by the rioters. Instead of calling for calm, it lent support to Hong Kong separatists and claimed that Hong Kong police officers were abusing their power. But Washington, displaying a blatant double standard, was silent when the police in the United States used force to tackle the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011, the riot in Baltimore in 2015, and the protests in Portland earlier this year. Would American politicians like Nancy Pelosi call the kind of violence taking place in Hong Kong "a beautiful sight to behold" if it were happening in the streets outside the Capitol?

Washington has been quick to involve itself in the situation in Hong Kong, and yet it chose to stay silent after pro-independence protesters staged riots in Spain's Catalonia region. This shows that the thoughts and prayers American lawmakers are offering the radicals in Hong Kong have nothing to do with democracy, freedom or the rule of law. Rather, they are an expression of their ongoing efforts to criticize China, which they see as a global competitor.

What the United States has been up to over the past five months provides more evidence of what French President Emmanuel Macron has said is "the end of Western hegemony," and that the self-proclaimed "lighthouse of democracy," the United States, is trapped in a political predicament. It is unable to break free of its habit of applying double standards in its judgments of other countries. But by continuing along its current path, Washington won't achieve its political goals, and will only further damage its image of a credible global power.

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