The pro-independence Hong Kong National Party has said it was “serving the interests of Hong Kong” when it asked US President Donald Trump to suspend the city’s special trade status.

In a letter, the party – which is facing a government ban – asked Trump to suspend the differential treatment it affords to China’s Special Administrative Region under the 1992 United States-Hong Kong Policy Act. They also asked Washington to revoke Hong Kong and China’s membership of the World Trade Organization.

The letter was strongly criticised by the Chinese foreign ministry, the Hong Kong government, as well as many pro-Beijing figures. But the party said in response that it was a “factual report of Hong Kong’s current situation.”

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping
Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. File photo: White House.

“In our letter one can find the fact that Hong Kong’s freedoms and human rights are being trampled upon, the fact that democratic elections are still a figment of our imagination, and the fact that China is abusing Hong Kong as a puppet proxy for its own benefits,” the party said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

“It is through Hong Kong that China has imported and stolen various restricted technologies; it is through Hong Kong that China has exported aid to authoritarian regimes facing international sanctions; and it is through Hong Kong that China has waged economic invasion on other countries.”

andy chan ho tin fcc
Andy Chan. Photo: Pool/SCMP.

Under the existing policy act, Washington supports the democratisation of Hong Kong and human rights for its citizens. The country’s special policy towards the city – which differs from its policy towards China – is only justified if Hong Kong is “sufficiently autonomous.”

The letter said if there were any sanctions were imposed by the US and other countries, the Chinese and Hong Kong governments could only blame themselves.

鑑於近日以來香港自由迅速惡化,我黨現再發公開信予美國總統杜林普,促請總統先生審視《美國—香港政策法》,並撤銷香港及中國的世貿成員身份。In light of the rapid deterioration of freedoms in…

Posted by 香港民族黨 Hong Kong National Party on Friday, 17 August 2018

It said the only way for Hong Kong to minimise its losses under a trade war was to distinguish itself from China. It said Hong Kong should prove that it was a stern protector of free trade and intellectual property, and not China’s accomplice.

“The Hong Kong National Party serves only one interest: the interest of Hong Kong,” it said.

“We stand now at the crossroads, and each and every Hongkonger must now make the decision: civilisation or barbarism, freedom or authoritarianism, independent or puppet, justice or evil. We have chosen the former, and we are not for turning.”

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.