The Hong Kong issue reflects the antagonism between China and the whole world.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s implementation of national security laws in Hong Kong has made the United States realize that Hong Kong’s one country, two systems exists in name only.” That’s how Yu Maochun, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s chief China policy planning adviser, interpreted Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong in an interview with Radio Free Asia’s Chinese division on 12 December.

Pompeo is seen as a hawkish representative of China policy in the Trump administration, and Yu Maochun is considered by outsiders to be one of the most influential advisers to Pompeo. Yu Maochun’s popularity in China policymaking circles has increased as a result of strong criticism of the CCP. Yu argues that the CCP’s complete undermining of Hong Kong’s one country, two systems has also influenced a reassessment of U.S. policy toward Taiwan, since a cornerstone of policy toward Taiwan will cease to exist once the illusory promise is gone.

In an interview that lasted more than 30 minutes, Yu said that the Trump administration’s greatest contribution is that it no longer treats China as a card in its foreign relations, and that it has changed its policy of “seeking common ground while reserving differences” from the Nixon administration. The following are excerpts from the interview.

Q: What do you think of all the actions of Beijing in Hong Kong, given the decision of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy legislators to resign en masse?

A: This is another concrete example of the Chinese Communist Party’s stranglehold on Hong Kong’s autonomy, and this time the problem is even more serious, as the decision of the pro-democracy legislators to resign en masse indicates that the democratic forces in Hong Kong have a renewed understanding that their hopes for democracy and freedom under the current Hong Kong system are disillusioned, which is why they have taken the collective step of resigning. Beijing’s decision a few days ago was a complete attack on the Basic Law, which empowers the Hong Kong executive government to fully vet elected legislators, not through the courts, the voters or the Legislative Council itself, the same as the Chinese Communist Party did in mainland China, making Hong Kong’s elections extinct in name only. It is a great irony to the legitimacy of Hong Kong’s elections that anyone elected by the democrats can be disqualified by the Hong Kong government in the name of national security or other trumped-up charges. The democrats feel that it is impossible to realize political ideas under the current system.

Q: What the U.S. has already done has not changed the trend in Hong Kong, is it possible for the U.S. or the international community to do more in Hong Kong?

A: It all depends on the CCP’s measures in Hong Kong. The Communist Party’s implementation of the National Security Law in Hong Kong has made the United States realize that Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” exists in name only, and is in fact “one country, one system”, so it is justifiable for the United States to make policy adjustments in response to Hong Kong’s political realities, such as abolishing Hong Kong’s special status.

Q: Some people think that this will make Hong Kong a casualty of the tug-of-war between the United States and China.

A: Not entirely agree, Hong Kong is not simply a point of tug-of-war between the United States and China, but the Hong Kong issue reflects the confrontation between China and the whole world, because the CCP has made assurances to the whole world on the Hong Kong issue, which is why the CCP took the Sino-British Joint Declaration to the United Nations for the record. It was the CCP that reneged on its promise to the whole world. The United States has a lot of important interests and principles to uphold in Hong Kong, but Canada, Britain and Australia all have large numbers of citizens living in Hong Kong, which is the CCP’s way of getting along with the world, and Hong Kong is a victim of Chinese government policy.

Q: Is it possible for the next U.S. administration to take more steps to help Hong Kong people? Some Hong Kongers are also worried about being abandoned by the United States.

A: I think on the issue of Hong Kong, the United States is not partisan disputes. The U.S. Congress has unanimously passed all kinds of bills related to Hong Kong, and the U.S. president has only signed them in response to public opinion, so the views of the U.S. administration and the legislative branch on the Hong Kong issue are 100% consistent. Regardless of who is in the White House or if President Trump stays in office, there won’t be any substantive change in the fundamentals of their policy on Hong Kong. As for helping more Hong Kong people to come to the U.S., the U.S. already has laws in place that are complicated to implement because of immigration laws, but the U.S. immigration policy is reflected in the refugee issue or in the judgment of the situation in Hong Kong.

Q: If “one country, two systems” is undermined in Hong Kong, will that affect U.S. policy judgment on Taiwan?

A: The position that Hong Kong occupies at the U.S. policymaking level is very important because of the special history of Hong Kong for over 150 years, and this special historical legacy has given Hong Kong a different status and has made the U.S. treat Hong Kong differently than it treats China, based on the commitments that the Chinese government has made to the world, and we used to believe that these commitments had not changed since the Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992. That commitment has been broken, Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy is gone, and the reassessment has resulted in a fundamental change in the U.S. policy directive that Hong Kong should not continue to enjoy U.S. policy preferences.

This also relates to the Taiwan issue that you mentioned, because Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” is actually a prelude to the CCP’s policy towards Taiwan, and whether or not his “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong can succeed effectively has a fundamental demonstration effect on Taiwan. Now that the one country, two systems system has completely failed, the first consideration for U.S. policy toward Taiwan is a revaluation of the one country, two systems. If Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” is an illusory promise, a cornerstone of its policy toward Taiwan does not exist, and there is certainly a need for reconsideration.

It is also important to recognize that Taiwan is not the same Taiwan it was before the 1970s. Taiwan is a model of democracy and a shining example of what is possible in the Chinese community. So protecting the freedom and democracy that Taiwan has already achieved is in fact completely consistent with the founding philosophy and the established diplomatic policy of the United States.

Q: So no matter who is in power in the United States in the future, the protection of democracy in Taiwan will be the focus of your administration?

A: You could say that. International politics in the 1970s had what was called backroom deals, where several leaders from different countries could put an entire country or region in a position to negotiate in secret, and then the pattern of the world was significantly affected. But where democratization continues to deepen, such closed-door diplomacy is no longer applicable at all. It’s hard to imagine that U.S. and Chinese leaders can continue to sit down for secret negotiations and then decide the future of Taiwan, because the future of Taiwan should be decided entirely by the people of Taiwan themselves. They have mechanisms for the full expression of public opinion, and even the Ma Ying-jeou era has said that Taiwan’s future is up to the voters, and it is unlikely that the United States would use Taiwan as a bargaining chip in great power politics, a fear that is unfounded.

Taiwan’s position in the world is very positive, and its contributions to the world are valuable. Taiwan’s experience should not be underestimated, such as its outstanding contribution to the Wuhan epidemic, and Taiwan can teach the world many useful practices and policies. Taiwan’s democracy is not only the pride of Taiwan, but also the pride of the entire Chinese community, proving that in a Chinese community with a long history of culture and tradition, democracy and tradition are not opposed to each other and that Taiwan is a shining example that serves as a model. Factor-wise, the U.S.-Taiwan relationship will develop in a deep and healthy direction.

In addition, many of the problems that Taiwan faces are exactly the same problems that the United States faces, not only in terms of conceptual commonalities, but also in terms of practical operations, and there is a lot of overlap in the national interests of the two countries, for example, Taiwan faced a lot of interference from foreign powers in last year’s general election, especially in spreading rumors and disinformation on electronic communication, and the United States also has a general election, and all these years the United States is most concerned about foreign powers’ Bad Manipulation and Influence, we have seen in the Taiwan elections how foreign powers can influence and manipulate, and we have learned a lot of good things from Taiwan. On the technology side, the U.S. is now focusing a lot on supply chain protection, and Taiwan will play an important role in diversifying the U.S. global supply chain because Taiwan has many cutting-edge technology industries, such as information processing software for computers, so there is a very wide world of cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan.

Q: You’ve said that the most important contribution of the Trump administration to the U.S.-China relationship is to help people understand that the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people are not the same thing, do you think that’s a bipartisan consensus in Washington?

A: This is not only a bipartisan consensus, but it has gone beyond the United States and there is this gradual consensus all over the world. It will vary from country to country because of the distribution of political power, but I don’t think the argument that the Communist Party of China can represent the 1.4 billion Chinese people has any place. For example, the control of the Chinese Internet, it actually wants to hoodwink the whole country to limit the information environment to China’s own caliber, but the Chinese people are unhappy, and that’s why there are thousands of fence-surfers who want to hear different voices every day. During Jiang Zemin’s time, he also said he wanted to represent the interests of the general public, but their interests were not represented by the Communist Party, and many things were actually simple and clear, but once they were picked apart they became major news. Many people still don’t know that the Communist Party of China is a totalitarian type of rule over China, especially with the new technology that has led to tighter control by the CCP. We used to say that the book “1984” was written about the possibilities of the future, but now China has gone beyond reality.

Q: So after distinguishing the CCP from the Chinese people, has U.S. and international policy toward China followed suit with major adjustments?

A: This is inevitable, for example, the Chinese government says that there is no longer an epidemic, but this is not up to the government to decide, we would rather communicate with the Chinese scientific community to clarify this issue. In addition, China’s strict control of information, we would argue that people want to hear different voices, so we will increase the expansion of freedom of information in China, so we will adjust our policy accordingly.

Q: Do you think this is the most important contribution to the Trump administration’s China policy in four years?

A: I think the Trump administration’s contributions have been revolutionary. He has brought about fundamental changes in many of the most basic concepts. The first point is that the Trump administration has reoriented and allocated global security issues. We feel that the Communist Party of China is the number one threat to the world, and most importantly, we have abandoned the way we used to play the China card, which is to say that we only play China as a card, and not as a fundamental policy objective. In the past, we played the China card to pursue other strategic objectives, such as to defeat the Soviet Union, to withdraw from Vietnam, or to resolve the Korean Peninsula. We now treat China as the number one priority in U.S. foreign relations, so we need to develop policies aimed at China, which is the Trump administration’s greatest foreign policy contribution. That is, treating the Chinese Communist Party as the number one strategic competitor.

In addition, we have abandoned the main concept of China policy since the Nixon administration, which is the so-called “seeking common ground while preserving differences”. “Seeking common ground while preserving differences” sounds good, but is actually very dangerous. The “common ground” is about strategic interests, a win-win situation for the Chinese Communist Party, which is not actually a win-win situation; the “differences” are about more difficult political systems or ideologies, so that human rights, information control, or foreign propaganda are not the fundamental policy frameworks of China and the United States. smoothly discussed, so now that we have changed that, we realize that the most fundamental cause of all the controversies and conflicts between China and the United States is that the Chinese Communist Party and the United States represent two completely different political and ideological systems, and we can no longer ignore these conflicts of ideas that cannot coexist. Overestimating the benign influence of a democratic system and market economy on a Marxist-Leninist party has cost the United States decades of valuable time in failing to see the threat to freedom and democracy around the world posed by the Chinese Communist Party’s political philosophy and model of governance. The Chinese government exercises control at home, and now that China has increased national power and strong technological capabilities, its model of control at home will not only be strengthened, it will be exported to the world, so we see this threat. We have to use the universal values of liberal democracy and the competitive advantage of the internal system of the United States to stop China’s mode of domination and dominance.

Q: The White House issued a China policy statement before the presidential election, when U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien positioned it as similar to the long telegrams of George Kenan, the father of the Cold War in 1946. Was this a major adjustment in the US policy towards China?

A: You could say that, because one of the main thrusts of Kenan’s telegram in 1946 was that the Soviet Union was invading many countries and overthrowing many democratically elected governments at that time, and many people were puzzled by that and wondered what the philosophical reasons were behind the Soviet actions. Kenan said that the reason was not only because of geopolitical and national security interests, but also because of the ideological dictates of Marx and Leninism, which was mainly global expansion and control, because Marx and Leninism believed that if the Soviet government did not do so, the anti-communist forces around the world would annex the Soviet Union, so it was a struggle between you and me. Without expansion, communism could not succeed, which was a focal point of Kenan, so he proposed a policy of containment, and if the Soviet Union’s expansion was contained, the Soviet Union would die. Now our policy towards China and the challenges facing the U.S. and China are not the same, the Soviet expansion at that time was naked military aggression and forceful intervention; but now China, while vigorously strengthening its showdown military power, is more intrinsic to the framework of the existing international system to gradually penetrate and control key sectors at the economic and technological level to achieve the world’s dependence on it. It’s much more difficult to deal with. So there’s not a complete equivalence between the instructions issued by the White House and the cable from Kenan.

Q: Have you observed that Xi Jinping’s leadership team is aware of the shift in U.S. policy toward China?

A: China’s policy toward the United States is rather rigid, and it has been accusing governments that disagree with it of having a Cold War mentality, when in fact it is the Chinese government itself that has the most Cold War mentality. Its basic policies, concepts and frameworks are almost all basic Marxist and Leninist ideas. That’s why when Xi Jinping can’t solve the U.S.-China trade problem, he will say in a meeting that the international situation is very serious now, and that we need to move forward with firm conviction and keep “struggling”. For example, millions of people in Hong Kong took to the streets to demand democracy and freedom, and it thinks that the US is behind the conspiracy and has nothing to do with the rise of socialism in China. The idea of not being able to get by and looking for evidence of unwarranted U.S. blackmail by any means possible reflects the fact that the Chinese Communist Party leadership has no understanding of U.S. strategic intentions, or understands but does not believe in them at all.

Q: Xi Jinping himself mentioned that the United States and China should avoid the Thucydides trap, but Cai Xia, a former professor at the Chinese Communist Party School, said in an interview with us that this is a false proposition, do you agree?

A: This proposition simply does not exist because it is based on two fundamentally false starting points. First, the Thucydides trap is that an old declining power will naturally clash against an emerging power, which is a complete hypothesis, because the United States is not a declining country, and the theoretical basis for guiding the Communist Party of China is Marxism-Leninism, and a fundamental tenet of Marxism-Leninism is the belief that imperialism is rotting every day and is in increasing decline, which is why the Xinhua News Agency or the The journalists from the People’s Daily who come to the United States focus wholeheartedly on the dark side of American society. Whenever the United States has any problems, they perk up in order to prove the validity of their faith in Leninism. However, the United States is a superpower and a strong nation in politics, economics, culture, technology, global influence, military, and many other ways, and the strife and partisanship that manifests itself is an apt reflection of the dynamism of American society. Americans have great faith in the fundamental principles and values on which they were founded, while China appears to be strong but is actually weak; a single Ren Zhiqiang could overturn the Chinese political deck, a single Cai Xia could cause a major incident, and China is using repression and control to maintain the appearance of strength.

The second misunderstanding of the Thucydides Trap proposition is to limit the problem to China and the United States, when in fact the problem of U.S.-China relations is now the problem of China and all the countries of the world, not that the U.S. empire is dissatisfied with China’s rise, but that the way China rises and the power it relies on poses a great threat to the existing democratic and liberal order of the world. So the Thucydides trap is a very outdated argument.

Whether China is strategically contracting or hyperactive is strategic, not long-term, because the Communist Party is a militant group that thinks every day about how the international community is going to destroy itself, and there is a very strong sense of internal panic, and therefore a permanent state of high tension in the domestic intelligence system and the national security system, and a strong sense of vigilance about the world.

Q: White House Deputy National Security Advisor Bomin has said in a speech that what’s happening in Xinjiang has nothing to do with counterterrorism, do you agree with that statement?

A: China’s basic policy is to suppress all dissenting views, because the Communist Party feels that it is great, glorious and right, so any opposing forces must be suppressed in any way possible. I also remember that a senior Chinese government leader used to describe the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, as a terrorist, but the Dalai Lama is a religious leader who believes in kindness and is absolutely against violence and terror. Even if a small number of people resort to extra-legal acts of terror, it does not mean that all Uighurs should be brutally suppressed by the Chinese Communist Party. The CCP’s crackdown on Uyghurs starts with cracking down on elite elements such as professors, doctors, journalists, editors and scholars and the like, and these become the focus of the crackdown. So what the Communist Party is most afraid of is not the very few acts of terrorism at all, but the fact that the Uyghurs have their own independent thoughts and beliefs. This reflects the CCP’s deep hostility to all organized religious groups, including Islam, Christianity and Falun Gong.

China’s immigration policy towards ethnic minorities, forced abortions, and tight control over Islam are important factors in the popular resistance. A very small number of people may have used illegal methods that hurt the innocent, but the problem is China’s all-round discriminatory policy against ethnic minorities. But the problem is that China has a comprehensive policy of discrimination against ethnic minorities. The United States asked China to join the fight against terrorism, and China used this as a means to intensify its crackdown on the Uighurs, and the U.S. government is now more aware of this.

Q: There is a lot of concern about whether the U.S. would consider what the CCP is doing in Xinjiang to be genocide.

A: First of all, genocide has an international standard and a strict legal definition. Anyone who comes to suppress an entire group of people on the basis of their race, religion or different social groups can be included under genocide, because his policy is all-embracing and all-embracing, targeting adults, children and people of different faiths. I think this is an important criterion for defining genocide. As to what evidence is required for a legal definition, the government is in the process of doing so, and the United Nations has many specific rules and regulations, and the State Department is considering them.