(Right Country) – The Chinese National People’s Congress is now gearing up to set a new law aimed at forcing the island of Hong Kong into submission, once and for all.
This move will signal to the world that Beijing will not be undermined, according to DW editor Dang Yuan.
On Friday, 2,897 representatives from across the one-party nation gathered in the Great Hall of the People for the annual Chinese National People’s Congress. You’d think that, considering what’s been going on in the world, they were there to discuss the global pandemic which originated from their nation.
Not at all.
Rather, they were there to address “national security risks in Hong Kong,” which DW notes is an unprecedented move for the “pretend” parliament, and “one that clearly showed the world that Beijing has no intention of loosening its grip on Hong Kong.”
Hong Kong’s Basic Law, a type of constitution, grants the city the right to autonomy for at least 50 years under the “one country, two systems” model, put into place when the former British colony was returned to China in July 1997. The Basic Law envisions an autonomous Hong Kong with independent, Western-style democracy based on the rule of law. But the document itself has weaknesses: for example, it doesn’t set any specific deadlines for the introduction of direct elections for city administrators or parliamentarians.
Article 23 of the document contends with the issue of national security and would require administrators in Hong Kong to use local laws to arrest and prosecute individuals for “any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government.”
Any links to foreign political organizations and bodies are also prohibited.
The legislation was tabled in 2003, but has yet to be implemented as each new revision has been met with widespread public resistance.
Residents of Hong Kong are concerned that Beijing seeks to undermine their “one country, two systems” promise.
They are, for very good reason, quite suspicious of the Chinese Communist Party, and feel that leaders in Beijing are determined to block direct elections. This is why activists have zeroed in on Article 23.
But this latest message from Beijing could not be clearer: China’s central government is losing its patience. The Communist Party is flexing its muscle and is intent on forcing Hong Kong’s 7.5 million residents to accept Beijing’s national security law. Beijing has the legal right to introduce such measures on Hong Kong’s behalf through the use of Appendix III of the Basic Law, with the People’s Congress maintaining the ultimate decision-making authority over the laws.
The “one country, two systems” principle, a balancing act between two fundamentally different forms of government and two entirely different views of the world, is a farce. There is no true balance in the compromise, and Beijing clearly has far more leverage than those in favor of democracy. Friday’s announcement unmistakably illustrates what a powerful authoritarian system is capable of: Beijing can and will continue to interfere with Hong Kong’s basic democratic order, establishing a new communist order in its place while quietly snuffing out critics’ voices.