China warned on Monday that it will retaliate if the United States insists on harming its interests in relation to Hong Kong, following Washington’s latest comments on possible sanctions under the city’s proposed new national security law.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a press conference that the Donald Trump administration is trying to harm China’s national security, adding that Beijing has filed severe claims with Washington over comments by the White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien that the security law for Hong Kong could lead to sanctions by the United States.
Beijing wants at all costs to prevent Washington from influencing what it considers its “internal affairs,” based on the conflict over the new national security law for Hong Kong that the Chinese government plans to pass this week.
China has administered Hong Kong since 1997, after being ceded by the United Kingdom. (.)
What is the Hong Kong Security Law about?
The new national security law for the autonomous territory will not only mean cuts in Hong Kong’s freedoms, but could lead to a political earthquake of unpredictable consequences, as has already sparked protests over the weekend.
Its likely processing has appeared against all odds and is the issue that is raising the most dust at this year’s National People’s Assembly of China (ANP), focused a priori on the management of the coronavirus by the authorities.
The Hong Kong legislation, which according to the state press is still being debated, aims to “safeguard national security” in the wake of the protests that erupted last year, although it remains to be seen how it is implemented and whether its ultimate goal is to tie short to the semi-autonomous city.
Thus, it will prohibit “any act of treason, secession, sedition and subversion” against the central government, in addition to the “theft of state secrets and the organization of activities in Hong Kong by foreign political organizations”, terms that the Chinese Executive has previously used to curb dissent.
However, Article 23 of the Basic Law (Hong Kong’s Magna Carta) stipulates that the city must adopt legislation in this area, something that has always been extremely controversial among the population for fear that it would result in a cut. of freedoms.
“The Chinese government wants their word to be worth more and that the local government and Hong Kong society end up with much less autonomy and freedoms. The impact will be negative, ”says academic Jean-Pierre Cabestan, director of the Department of Political Science at Baptist University in Hong Kong.
Protests against the Chinese government in Hong Kong have been recorded since 2014. (AP)
Although the ANP has not offered more details about the legislation, the official press is already campaigning to defend it. Thousands of Hong Kong people took to the streets this Sunday to protest the legislation and 180 of them were detained, according to local police.
“The absence of a national security law is one of the reasons why Hong Kong became chaotic,” estimates a recent editorial in the Global Times newspaper. «Your value system has deviated from the normal path, and this must stop. If the Hong Kong government is in a difficult position to complete this task, the ANP must take the responsibility given to it by the Constitution and the Basic Law, “he adds.
The 2019 Hong Kong protests fueled the region’s wishes for independence. (.)
Hong Kong police support China’s proposal
The Hong Kong chief of security on Monday supported China’s plan to impose a security law on this semi-autonomous territory and said it will serve to fight “terrorism” and claims for independence.
“Terrorism is growing in the city and activities that harm national security such as ‘Hong Kong independence’ are becoming more rampant,” Security Minister John Lee said in a statement.
Many Hong Kong people fear that the law will end the freedoms of this semi-autonomous territory, broader than those of mainland China, and on Sunday thousands of people came out to demonstrate despite the ban on doing so by anti-coronavirus measures.
Beijing ensures that freedoms will not be affected by the law and has the support of the controversial head of government, Carrie Lam, and her entire government, which sees in the text an opportunity to make Hong Kong “a safer city ».
Hong Kong and Taiwan are against the continental government because it limits their individual guarantees. (.)
“China aspires to put out the fire but this measure could rekindle it (…) The first reactions abound in going out onto the streets again en masse, a circumstance that would reappear the attitude of a large-scale repression, until now, fortunately, avoided,” opinesXulio Ríos, director of the China Policy Observatory.
Hong Kong, an autonomous territory
Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 after a century and a half of British rule, after London and Beijing signed a joint declaration in 1984 that the United Kingdom renounced its last Asian colony. The pact established maintenance for 50 years. of a series of freedoms in that territory that are not guaranteed in mainland China. However, the protests have fueled the desire to be an independent country.
The protests in Hong Kong have been going on for several years but became massive in June 2019 as a result of a controversial extradition bill, already withdrawn, and over time they began to leave serious clashes with the local police.
The marches were interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, and the local government took the opportunity to arrest in April dozens of activists from the pro-democracy movement for allegedly organizing unauthorized protests.
This note was originally published in Millennium