Editor's note: On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act 2019 into law to back Hong Kong protesters. China has vehemently opposed the move, saying it is a "naked act of hegemony." What could be the motivation behind the U.S.' move, and what are the implications as the act becomes law? Hong Kong Barrister Lawrence Ma shares his views with CGTN.
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy act has given the U.S. president power to blacklist people who assist in extraditing or rendering fugitives in Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland. But the reality is that Hong Kong cannot legally render fugitives to the Chinese mainland because the fugitive bill has not been passed and it will never be passed. It has been withdrawn by the government.
So it's not going to happen legally – any extraditions from Hong Kong to China. Therefore, the possibility of any person getting listed on the president's blacklist is very remote and fanciful. The chance of Hong Kong officially handing over any fugitive to the Chinese mainland for trial is remote, and it would not be illegal, even in Hong Kong.
The thing you have to understand about American politics is that it is difficult to unite them, the Democrats and Republicans together. And one of the good reasons is to have an external cause, which means that the president would be able to find a common enemy for both parties and for the country so that he can motivate those two parties to join together to attack the external party.
So just like a war outside, if you have a war, then the whole country would be united, and all internal political issues would be put aside. So this is actually one step to implementing a legal measure – they don't initiate wars these days as there are too many casualties and it's bad for the economy. So it is a measure of the American government to attack Chinese mainland via the Hong Kong issue.
The Americans are not really concerned about the interests of Chinese or Hong Kong people being rendered to China for trial. Why would Americans be so concerned about people in Hong Kong being extradited to China? It is not the interest of Hong Kong people that the Americans are concerned about. It is about how to use the Hong Kong issue a means to attack the Chinese mainland's policies and the central government, and the Hong Kong government at the same time so as to undermine any fights that could be put up by the Chinese government in the Sino-American trade war.
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