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Beware the global anger, China

Beware the global anger, China

"Liberticidal laws, hundreds of arrests, violence, death: after the virus that infected the world, China's repression of Hong Kong confirms the frightening face of the communist regime. The Italian government MUST take a clear and unequivocal position," Italy's far-right leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini wrote a few hours ago using the #StandwithHongKong hashtag on Twitter.

Thousands of miles away in Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the situation in Hong Kong was "very concerning" and that his government is "very actively" considering proposals to offer a safe haven to the residents of the former British territory.

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, had said that China's new national security law "violates" Hong Kong's autonomy and "threatens freedoms and rights protected by the joint declaration" so a "new route" will be offered for British Nationals in Hong Kong to enter the UK.

The United States wasn't too far behind as the House of Representatives passed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act by unanimous consent to penalize banks who do business with Chinese officials responsible for cracking down on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet">
<p dir="ltr" lang="en">The CCP’s draconian national security law ends free Hong Kong and exposes the Party’s greatest fear: the free will and free thinking of its own people.</p>
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) <a href="https://twitter.com/SecPompeo/status/1278113285343260673?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 30, 2020</a></blockquote>
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If the massive backlash over Covid-19 wasn't enough, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has just put Beijing in the news for all the wrong reasons once again by imposing the draconian national security law in Hong Kong, a move being severely condemned the world over.

<img class="wp-image-4374 size-large" src="https://indianarrative.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/4d0092fca4d888ad6d26961348577525-1024×683.jpg" alt="" width="525" height="350" /> Hong Kong police conduct a dispersal operation (Xinhua/IANS)

China's security law, which came into effect on Tuesday night, lists four categories of offences—secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security.

The maximum penalty for each crime is life imprisonment, although the suggested sentence for some minor offences is less than three years' imprisonment.

Suspects can be extradited to mainland China in cases that involve "complicated situations" of interference by foreign forces; cases in which the local government cannot effectively enforce the law and ones where national security is under "serious and realistic threats".

Long before thousands of protestors were manhandled by the police on the streets of Hong Kong in the last 48 hours, the United Nations experts had called for decisive measures to protect fundamental freedoms in China.

"UN independent experts have repeatedly communicated with the Government of the People’s Republic of China their alarm regarding the repression of fundamental freedoms in China. They have denounced the repression of protest and democracy advocacy in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), impunity for excessive use of force by police, the alleged use of chemical agents against protesters, the alleged sexual harassment and assault of women protesters in police stations and the alleged harassment of health care workers," the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) had said in a statement last week.

It had also raised "concerns" about China regarding a range of issues "from the collective repression of the population, especially religious and ethnic minorities, in Xinjiang and Tibet, to the detention of lawyers and prosecution and disappearances of human rights defenders across the country, allegations of forced labour in various sectors of the formal and the informal economy, as well as arbitrary interferences with the right to privacy, to cybersecurity laws that authorise censorship and the broadly worrying anti-terrorism and sedition laws applicable in Hong Kong."
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<p dir="ltr" lang="en">Today I updated the House on the grave and disturbing situation in Hong Kong. We will continue to bring together our international partners to stand up for the people of Hong Kong, to call out the violation of their freedoms, and to hold China to their international obligations. <a href="https://t.co/Yj27b8aAfO">pic.twitter.com/Yj27b8aAfO</a></p>
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) <a href="https://twitter.com/DominicRaab/status/1278387971880878080?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 1, 2020</a></blockquote>
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The European Union (EU) reiterated yesterday its "serious concern" about the new national security law.

Stressing that the EU is strongly committed to the continued stability and prosperity of Hong Kong under the principle of "one country, two systems", EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell issued a statement saying it attaches "great importance to the preservation of the high degree of autonomy" of that territory, online with its Basic law and international commitments, as well as "respect for that principle".

However, as has been witnessed during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Beijing is no mood to relent.

It has instead threatened UK with "corresponding measures" and denounced the US bill seeking sanctions over Hong Kong security law.

As Joseph Bosco, who served as China country director for the secretary of Defense from 2005 to 2006, <a href="https://thehill.com/opinion/international/496185-chinas-regime-wont-change-so-the-chinese-people-must-change-it">wrote on American news website The Hill</a> a couple of months ago: "The communist system is unfit to govern the Chinese people—the first and most aggrieved victims—but only they have the ability and the right to change it. As with the people of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the West can play a strong supportive role by providing the Chinese with the ultimate instrument of change their rulers deny them: the truth.".