Hong Kong/Washington/London: Tensions are boiling between China and the international community over the implementation of the new Hong Kong security law. The US and the UK have indicated fresh action against China while Canada announced ceasing an agreement with Beijing. On the other hand, China has issued a new warning against the UK for taking action over the Hong Kong issue. The Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown on Hong Kong under the sweeping new security law is continuously deepening, and the regime has recently hinted at a ban on social media and books.
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the National Security Law for Hong Kong. The law came into effect from July 1. Any act against China would be deemed as unlawful or anti-national and could be punished for with a life term as per the law. Also, the Hong Kongers arrested as per the provisions of the law, will not be subject to the local laws of Hong Kong. The agencies investigating the cases registered under the new law have permission to carry out secret trials.
After its imposition, Chinese agencies informed arresting many people under the new Hong Kong law. The Hong Kong administration is announcing new rules and provisions under the law every day. During the anti-government demonstrations last year, ‘Liberate Hong Kong’ had become known as a popular protest slogan. However, the Chinese regime has announced that people chanting such slogans could be put on trials under the National Security Law. Furthermore, even the books written by pro-democracy leaders and activists have disappeared from schools and local libraries. The Chinese regime has also introduced internet censorship in Hong Kong while the police and associated authorities have been given the powers to remove any content the regime considers objectionable.
US Secretary of the State Mike Pompeo showered a barrage of criticism against the developments in Hong Kong. ‘The Chinese Communist Party’s [CCP] destruction of free Hong Kong continues rapidly. Hong Kong was flourishing until now due to the free law, freedom of expression and free-thinking in the city. Nevertheless, this picture will be wiped clean, Pompeo said as he reprimanded China over the oppression taking place in Hong Kong and asserted its resemblance to the Orwellian state.
The book ‘1984’ written by renowned novelist George Orwell, describes the surveillance and oppression carried out by an authoritarian regime. As he slammed the Chinese regime for the crackdown in Hong Kong, he stated that the US was preparing for fresh action against them, which may include a ban on their apps.
Along with the US, even the UK has hinted at taking aggressive measures over the Hong Kong issue. After China began implementation of the new law, the UK had immediately declared to have started the process of granting citizenship to Hong Kong citizens. Now, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that the UK had started the process for imposing sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials for human rights abuses and other violations. China has, however, reacted sharply to the activities of the UK.
Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming issued a severe warning that ‘The UK’s statements are extremely irresponsible. The UK’s actions are interference in China’s internal affairs and will not be tolerated. The UK will have to face its consequences.’ After the US and the UK, Canada has followed suit. Canada has imposed tariffs on its exports to Hong Kong and has suspended the extradition treaty with the country. Reactions have emerged from China over Canada’s action and have advised its citizens to exercise extreme caution while travelling to Canada.
The crackdown China has begun in Hong Kong, and its posture against the leading economies of the world is likely to spark a tremendous reaction from the international community. Under the present circumstances, China may soon have to bear grave consequences for it. Moreover, the struggle between the international community and China over Hong Kong is likely to worsen.