In an interview with Charles Payne of Fox News, China expert Gordon Chang analyzed the extent of the new security law imposed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The law came into force on Tuesday, June 30, and just two days later, the first arrest under the law was made, where a 23-year-old man was charged with terrorism, for riding a motorcycle with a “Free Hong Kong—Revolution Now” flag.
According to Chang, “Section 38 of the Law states that any comment, any statement on foreign soil by a foreigner is a violation of the security law if it promotes secession, terrorism, collusion, and all the rest. In addition, the law gives “the ability for China to imprison anyone it wants. And indeed, you don’t even have to go to Hong Kong to be at risk because Hong Kong and China [CCP] have extradition treaties with other countries.”
Of the countries that have extradition treaties or agreements with China and Hong Kong, Canada suspended the agreement with Hong Kong after the law was passed. The list of countries with these agreements is extensive and includes the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Peru and several Asian countries. In practice, it is very difficult to say which of these countries would be willing to extradite an individual to China or Hong Kong.
Although the law was passed recently, the CCP has been trying to pass this kind of law for a long time, but due to the rejection of Hong Kong residents, it never materialized. Many experts see the implementation as the end of the “one country, two systems” and a threat to the freedom enjoyed by Hong Kongers.
Mass demonstrations in Hong Kong could be affected by the new law because of the ambiguity with which it is interpreted. In the photo above, a demonstration of Falun Gong practitioners, who often talk about the crimes of the CCP and how one has to stay away from it in order not to be part of its bloody legacy.
In 1997, when the UK handed over the island to the CCP, what became known as the Basic Law—a mini Hong Kong Constitution—was created. In this Basic Law, the residents of the island are guaranteed freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, as well as the structure to be able to have their own government. None of these rights exist in mainland China.
Controversy and rejection
The 66 articles of the new national security law were only seen in their entirety by a handful of people before it was implemented, which generated great repudiation in Hong Kong.
The main points of rejection and controversy of the new law are the following:
– Crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and plotting with foreign forces can receive up to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment
– The law also applies to non-permanent residents and persons outside Hong Kong who are not permanent residents of Hong Kong
– Damage to public transport facilities can be considered as terrorism
– Those found guilty will not be allowed to hold public office
– Companies can be fined if they violate this law
– Under the new law, Beijing will establish a security office in Hong Kong, with its own police staff – and both the office and the staff are outside the jurisdiction of the local authority
– This office can send some cases to be prosecuted in mainland China
– Hong Kong has to establish its own national security commission to enforce the law, with an advisor elected by the CCP
– Hong Kong’s chief executive will have the power to choose judges for national security cases
– The CCP will have the power over how the law should be interpreted, leaving out any judicial body in Hong Kong. If the law conflicts with any local law in Hong Kong, the law of the CCP takes precedence
– Some trials will be conducted behind closed doors
– People who are suspected of breaking the law can be put under investigation and have their phones tapped
– The management of foreign NGOs will be strengthened
Jimmy Lai, a businessman and pro-democracy activist, said in an interview with the BBC, “Without the rule of law, the people who do business here will have no protection from the law but only from the official who has power over them … so Hong Kong will become as corrupt as China [the CCP], it will be plagued by corruption. … It is also very worrying that without the rule of law, there will be no mutual trust. And without mutual trust, our international financial system will be completely destroyed.”
In fact, President Trump eliminated the special treatment they had for Hong Kong as a financial hub, due to fears that some American military exports would end up in the hands of the People’s Liberation Army.
A time bomb that explodes at any moment
As Chang pointed out on Fox News, “Last week, we heard several Chinese officials, informants, talking about a total confrontation with the U.S., saying they have to prepare for it. Obviously, we are not deterring China, as Chinese military killed 20 Indian soldiers on June 15th. And I don’t think they have not satisfied their bloodlust. So we have to be extremely concerned about what’s next, because the Chinese officials are involving in a provocative behavior all over the world and all over the region.”
Although several commentators have pointed out that the United States should stop the advance of the CCP, and during the mass demonstrations against the extradition treaty in Hong Kong, the slogans “Trump save Hong Kong,” were popular among the protesters, President Trump has shown a position rather opposed to any war and the use of military force, even though the United States has military supremacy over the CCP.
Nevertheless, President Trump has taken economic, administrative, and legal measures that have hit the Beijing dictatorship hard. Last year he started the so-called trade war, imposing heavy tariffs on Chinese imports, until he got the CCP to commit to buying more American goods to achieve a trade balance.
Under the Magnitsky Global Act, he also included Chinese officials who violate human rights in their country in the group of people who will not be able to obtain visas to enter the country, in addition to confiscating their assets in the United States, among other measures with severe impacts on CCP officials.
All these nonviolent measures have restricted the freedom with which the CCP dominated the international sphere and exasperated the Beijing regime. More importantly for the international community, the CCP has been exposed to the world as a violent dictatorship with a great disregard for freedom and human life.