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香港特別關稅區,小題大做,冇有怕!

香港特別關稅區,小題大做,冇有怕!
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美中經濟與安全審查委員會發佈年度報告提及香港特別關稅區,吹皺一池春水,搞到滿城風雨,其實只是一個政治姿勢,并無實質。

這個美國的跨黨派委員會是在2000年因應國防授權法的要求而設立的,它是美國民主的一部份(註一)。

今年的報告主要對象是中國大陸,它的指責在其他場合也曾提及,不外一帶一路、中國在南海問題,偷美國科技等。今年報告特別關注中國發展5G。報告直指習近平,認為他自設終身制,所有的撩事鬥非都是因習近平而起。

委員會交出了26個建議,其中的10個為主要。

The Commission’s Key Recommendations

The Commission considers 10 of its 26 recommendations to Congress to be of particular significance.

香港不在這十個之中。特朗普正與習近平格劍,他不按章出牌,那會理會這十個建議,遑論次要的16個建議。

第三章

第三章第四節與香港相關。它除了一般的責難外,較具體的是擔心中共借香港偷科技。

Considerations regarding the export of sensitive U.S. technology to Hong Kong are also predicated on the territory’s separation from the Mainland.

中美在高科技上的角逐的確在深層影響了香港的大學,我的文章大學現形記最應景。

《---在美國針對中國偷科技之後,在美的科技小偷需要一個避風塘,他們來了香港。---》

該文涉及 inside story, 但在香港任何事若引不起公眾關注都可以當無事,這班大學碩鼠是不怕的。筆者已向一些泛民議員說項請他們跟進。

報告書提及的(註2)如香港政府拒絕引渡、不准美艦進港、禁止民族黨運作、驅趕FCC副主席、高鐵總站設大陸管制區、高調抨擊學者、香港融入大灣區等等全屬已發生的事情,因而港府指其與事實不符違反語言邏輯。港府只可以不同意其引申。

the Hong Kong government rejected a U.S. fugitive surrender request at Beijing’s insistence for the first time since the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom. Beijing also denied a U.S. Navy ship a routine port call in Hong Kong for the first time in two years.

Hong Kong government banned a political party (the Hong Kong National Party, which advocates forHong Kong’s independence from China

denied a visa renewal to the vice president of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club without explanation;

facilitated a controversial rail terminal project that for the first time institutes mainland law in a small portion of the territory. Beijing also passed a National Anthem Law

Beijing and the Hong Kong government’s harsh criticism and attempted silencing of a prominent Hong Kong academic for expressing his views on potential futures for the territory

The Hong Kong government has sought to position Hong Kong as a regional hub for China’s Belt and Road Initiative

特別關稅區

談及特別關稅區的只有一句(註3),出現在它對港的3個建議中的一個。它只是關注會否被用作偷運美國科技,要求政府為此提交報告,而不是取消特別關稅區,不是向香港大豆徵收額外關稅。

▶ Congress direct the U.S. Department of Commerce and other relevant government agencies to prepare an unclassified public report, with a classified annex, examining and assessing the adequacy of U.S. export control policy for dual-use technology as it relates to U.S. treatment of Hong Kong and China as separate customs areas.

其餘的兩個建議是:

一,美國、英國、歐盟和台灣議會對香港發展提交聯合報告;
二,美國國會議員應增加與香港代表會面以了解香港情況。

中美貿易

商界最擔心的影響貨品輸美是什麼呢?首先,假若美國真的將香港與大陸看齊,它也只能根據其入口清單加關稅。但香港有本土工業嗎?

就算是真的,這不等於香港要對美國進口貨報復,這決定與美國無關。相信屆時大陸會放過香港一馬,讓大陸同胞來港掃平貨的。況且,香港出口美國的貨價很少。

根據美國商貿部資料,香港在2017年對美出口只有47億美元,當中以寶石為主。而根據美國統計署的美國與香港的貨物貿易(U.S. trade in goods with Hong Kong) 在2017年進入美國的為73億美元。根據香港統計處資料,香港在2017年1至9月的對美總出口值(空運十海運)約為307億美元。

當中涉及金額很小,很多是轉口的,美國打稅以來源地計,由此可見,特別關稅區對港的實質影響有限。

政治口水

筆者估計,因為美國不會關心和真的取消香港特別地位,這茶杯風波只會流於本地的口水戰。它在選舉期間會被炒作。可以想像,若普通市民相信它有機會成為事實,將認為泛民是罪魁禍首。它足以逆轉泛民優勢。基於這理由,泛民反對美國取消特別關稅區(雖然整份報告沒有提及)的立場是合理的。

筆者觀察坊間對此的回應並不進取,其主因是沒有詳細閱讀美國報告。有的要求中共為香港出頭的說法似乎違反“除國防外交外由特區處理”的基本法原則。

泛民可考慮在立法進行辯論,要求林鄭到美解畫。

備註

註一
The Commission was created on October 30, 2000 by the Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 106–398 (codified at 22 U.S.C. § 7002), as amended

by: The Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2002, Pub. L. No. 107–67 (Nov. 12, 2001) (regarding employment status of staff and changing annual report due date from

March to June)

Recently, the PRC government has been unable to support these visits, which affects the Commission’s ability to fully assess issues in country.

In word and deed, the CCP has abandoned any inclination for economic and political liberalization.

Beijing’s encroachment on Hong Kong’s political system, rule of law, and freedom of expression is moving the territory closer to becoming more like any other Chinese city

the territory is losing the unique characteristics and legal protections that make it important to U.S. interests.

Over the long term these trends could diminish Hong Kong’s standing as a global business center.

Considerations regarding the export of sensitive U.S. technology to Hong Kong are also predicated on the territory’s separation from the Mainland.

Key Findings

註二
SECTION 4: CHINA AND HONG KONG

Beijing’s encroachment on Hong Kong’s political system, rule of law, and freedom of expression is moving the territory closer to becoming more like any other Chinese city, a trend that serves as a cautionary example for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region. During the 19th National Congress of the CCP in October 2017, Beijing emphasized the CCP’s control over the territory, leading to further curbs on Hong Kong’s promised “high degree of autonomy” and freedoms guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” policy and the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini constitution. President Xi’s maneuver to end presidential term limits alarmed the territory’s prodemocracy advocates due to the steady erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy under his watch. China’s failure to abide by its commitments in Hong Kong sends a strong message to Taiwan that Beijing would do the same in a similar arrangement with Taipei. In light of China’s increasing reach into Hong Kong, some observers argue the territory is losing the unique characteristics and legal protections that make it important to U.S. interests. As Beijing continues to increase its control over Hong Kong, the territory also faces growing economic competition from mainland cities, which receive increasing investment and incentives. Over the long term these trends could diminish Hong Kong’s standing as a global business center. The preservation of Hong Kong’s way of life and maintenance of its status as a global financial and business hub help facilitate U.S. interests. Considerations regarding the export of sensitive U.S. technology to Hong Kong are also predicated on the territory’s separation from the Mainland. In this light, the ongoing decline in rule of law and freedom of expression is a troubling trend.

Key Findings

▶▶Beijing’s statements and legislative actions continue to run counter to China’s promise to uphold Hong Kong’s “high degree of autonomy.” At the 13th National People’s Congress in March 2018, China’s legislative body passed an amendment to its constitution waiving presidential term limits, allowing President Xi to serve beyond two five-year terms. Given the steady erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy under President Xi’s leadership, the move has alarmed the territory’s prodemocracy legislators, civil society groups, and legal community.

▶▶In a troubling case of Beijing’s direct involvement in U.S.-Hong Kong affairs that went against Beijing’s commitments under the “one country, two systems” policy, the Hong Kong government rejected a U.S. fugitive surrender request at Beijing’s insistence for the first time since the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom. Beijing also denied a U.S. Navy ship a routine port call in Hong Kong for the first time in two years.

▶▶In 2018, challenges to freedom of speech and assembly in Hong Kong continue to increase as Beijing and the Hong Kong government closed down the political space for prodemocracy activists to express discontent. For the first time, the Hong Kong government banned a political party (the Hong Kong National Party, which advocates for Hong Kong’s independence from China), raising concerns that it may lead to the passage of national security legislation that would allow the government to further silence prodemocracy organizations and supporters. The Hong Kong government also denied a visa renewal to the vice president of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club without explanation; observers believe the denial was in retaliation for the club’s August 2018 event hosting the head of the Hong Kong National Party. Self-censorship has become increasingly prevalent in Hong Kong among journalists and media organizations due to mainland China’s rising presence in the territory.

▶▶China’s central government took additional steps toward undermining Hong Kong’s legal autonomy. For example, Beijing facilitated a controversial rail terminal project that for the first time institutes mainland law in a small portion of the territory. Beijing also passed a National Anthem Law that makes disrespecting China’s national anthem a criminal offense, and compelled Hong Kong to pass similar legislation.

▶▶Beijing and the Hong Kong government’s harsh criticism and attempted silencing of a prominent Hong Kong academic for expressing his views on potential futures for the territory marked an expanded effort to prevent the open discussion of ideas. The response also raised fears among prodemocracy advocates and academics that freedom of speech is increasingly at risk.

▶▶Hong Kong continues on the path of greater economic integration with the Mainland. The Hong Kong government has sought to position Hong Kong as a regional hub for China’s Belt and Road Initiative and a key node of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area integration project, Beijing’s plan to establish a globally competitive advanced manufacturing, finance, and technology center.

註3

SECTION 4: CHINA AND HONG KONG

The Commission recommends:

▶▶Congress direct the U.S. Department of Commerce and other relevant government agencies to prepare an unclassified public report, with a classified annex, examining and assessing the adequacy of U.S. export control policy for dual-use technology as it relates to U.S. treatment of Hong Kong and China as separate customs areas.

▶▶Congressional interparliamentary groups engage parliamentarians from the United Kingdom, EU, and Taiwan in a biennial review of China’s adherence to the Basic Law, with specific attention to rule of law, freedom of speech and assembly, and press freedom, and issue a report based on its findings after each review.

▶▶Members of Congress participate in congressional delegations to Hong Kong and meet with Hong Kong officials, prodemocracy legislators, civil society, and business representatives in the territory and when they visit the United States. In meetings with Hong Kong and Chinese officials, they should raise concerns about Beijing’s adherence to the “one country, two systems” policy and China’s promise to allow Hong Kong a “high degree of autonomy.” They should also continue to express support for freedom of expression and rule of law in Hong Kong.

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