Tang Guocai, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Mumbai writes on colonial history and the question of Hong Kong
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Recently, some Western politicians have found new accusations against China’s National Security Law for Hong Kong SAR, after scapegoating China to conceal their failure in containing COVID-19. They tried to beautify colonial history and deliberately undermine China's sovereignty over Hong Kong. I believe that Indian people, long humiliated by colonialism, shall have their independent judgement on what is happening in Hong Kong.

Better national security, better Hong Kong

170 years ago, Western colonists occupied Hong Kong by gunboat. 150 years later, China resumed sovereignty over Hong Kong through diplomatic negotiations. The Hong Kong National Security Law is thus the legitimate approach to uphold sovereignty, security, and development interests. It safeguards rights and interests of the vast majority of Hong Kong residents as well as Hong Kong’s economic and social development, while targeting very small number of criminals who seriously endanger national security. Hong Kong's return to China and its all-round development afterwards have fully proved that "one country, two systems" is indeed the best policy. National security legislation will further guarantee Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy as well as the "one country, two systems" principle. Hong Kong will enjoy even better development prospects.

Recently, COVID-19 resurged in Hong Kong. At the request of the SAR government, the Chinese central government is assisting in building a large "mobile cabin hospital" which can accommodate 2000 patients. It is also making every effort to improve testing capabilities of Hong Kong. With the strong support of the motherland, Hong Kong will surely win the battle against the epidemic soon.

Against colonial hangover

The cessation of Hong Kong after the Opium War was the beginning of China’s suffering from colonialism. China was reduced to a semi-colonial society for more than 100 years. Likewise, India has suffered from colonialism for over 200 years. Colonialism left nothing but indelible scars in both ancient civilisations and the peoples of both our great countries. According to relevant statistics, China and India accounted for 33% and 25% of the global economy respectively 200 years ago. By 1950, they fell sharply to 2% and 1%. This fully demonstrates that colonialists can never shun historical responsibility for exploiting and impoverishing China, India and the developing world.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between China and India. We are indeed brothers coming out of the ruins of colonial sufferings and disasters. Regardless of whether the colonists have done so-called good things, these have been overshadowed by the looting and the destruction of self-respect. That is why there is no doubt that colonial history must never be glorified. In any country, sovereignty and national interest shall prevail.

Some Western forces regard Hong Kong as the “wide-open window of China”. In fact, Hong Kong is a kaleidoscope and touchstone. Through Hong Kong, we can clearly find the true face of some Western forces towards China. They seek to revive colonial history and stir up unrest in Hong Kong, and find various excuses to form ideological anti-China camps in surrounding regions and even across the world.

Multilateralism against hegemony

After the outbreak of COVID-19, my Consulate worked closely with the Hong Kong SAR government to evacuate several hundred Hong Kong residents of Indian origin from the consular area. They are definitely full of confidence in the future of Hong Kong. In fact, the several hundred thousand Indian diaspora who do business, study and live in Hong Kong and China’s southeast coastal areas are important bridges and bonds between our two countries, both promoting sustainable development and self-reliance. Although the Chinese community in India is not large, several thousand in total, they too have also made important contributions to China-India economic, trade and cultural exchanges and friendship. We do hope and believe that India shall similarly create a fair, just, mutually beneficial business and living environment for them.

At present, China's fight against COVID-19 has made decisive achievements and its economy has taken the lead in recovering, while some Western politicians are still spreading endless and groundless gossips against China. Perhaps some self-claimed "smart guys" are obsessed with operating their election politics small cycle, but they are ignorant of the big historical cycle of Asian revival represented by China and India. In the long run, the greater trend of the rejuvenation of Eurasia, the cradle of human civilisation, is even more unstoppable. As a Tang Dynasty Chinese poem goes, “Yet monkeys are still crying on both river banks behind me, my boat has passed ten thousand mountains”.

Recently, at the 5th annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), President Xi Jinping stressed in his keynote speech to build AIIB into a new paradigm of multilateral cooperation. India is the biggest beneficiary of AIIB project so far. China and India have always supported and adhered to multilateralism. We firmly believe that from China and India to the whole world, the entire human society is a community of a shared future. Any open or hidden conspiracies against China are just self-serving fantasies. Peace and development are the ultimate best way forward.

The author is Consul General of the People’s Republic of China Consulate in Mumbai. The views expressed are personal.

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