Why reassertion of Xi Jinping's authority spells violence in Hong Kong

Lin Fei-fan at a 2019 protest to support Hong Kong democracy

Lin Fei-fan at a 2019 protest to support Hong Kong democracy

He added: "Any effort to impose national security legislation that does not reflect the will of the people of Hong Kong would be highly destabilizing, and would be met with strong condemnation from the United States and the worldwide community". It also provides that rights and freedoms, including those of the person, of the press, of assembly, of association and others, will be ensured by law in Hong Kong, and that the provisions of the two United Nations covenants on human rights (the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) shall remain in force.

Bypassing Hong Kong's government, China's government is pushing measures through its parliament to allow Chinese state security forces to be stationed in Hong Kong, permit extradition of dissidents to Communist China and revamp Hong Kong's education system to instill pro-Beijing views in children.

Trump and Pompeo have accused Beijing of being responsible for the coronavirus pandemic by not acting more quickly - an argument that critics say is meant to deflect from Trump's own handling of the crisis. The Trump administration has foisted blame on China for failing to be sufficiently transparent at the outset of the deadly. virus. "We hope the Chinese don't go forward with this blatant attempt to take away the way of life of the people of Hong Kong".

The law was submitted at the annual National People's Congress (NPC), which largely rubber-stamps decisions already taken by the Communist leadership, but is still the most important political event of the year.

China's foreign ministry said: "The Chinese government is determined in safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, following through the policy of 'one country, two systems, ' and opposing any external interference in Hong Kong affairs".

As freedoms and human rights in the special administrative region of China retreated, Taiwan needed to play an even stronger role as the defender of democratic values in the region, Lin said.

In his statement, Mr Pompeo said any decision to impinge on Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms would "inevitably impact our assessment" of the territory's status.

President Donald Trump gave a vague initial response that nevertheless warned of a stronger reaction.

Young, violent protesters who threw petrol bombs during skirmishes with police and who were derided by officials and Chinese state media as "terrorists" could also be covered in the laws.

A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry's office of the commissioner to Hong Kong said in a statement Pompeo's actions can not scare the Chinese people and that Beijing will safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests.

United States lawmakers are pressing for tough action over Hong Kong, which has become the latest front in soaring tensions between Washington and Beijing, but even some supporters of the territory's democracy movement ask if the "nuclear option" would be effective.

The notion of "terrorism" also features in this proposed law. Up to now, the worst charge most arrested protesters have faced has been for rioting.

But the clause has never been implemented due to fears it would destroy Hong Kong's cherished civil rights.

The introduction of the bill came after Hong Kong was embroiled in prolonged riots a year ago as the city's opposition attempted to create a "color revolution".

Beijing may also fear September's elections to Hong Kong's legislature. "Hong Kong people, resist!" before pro-establishment chairperson Starry Lee told them to leave the meeting room.

The United States reacted swiftly to China's announcement, with State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus warning that imposing such a law on Hong Kong would be "highly destabilising, and would be met with strong condemnation from the United States and the worldwide community".

This was enshrined in the Basic Law, which runs out in 2047. "It is a complete dishonor of promises made under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, as well as all the promises made by the Chinese government to us and the world", she said, referring to the deal that saw Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 from colonial power Britain.

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