“This Is The End Of Hong Kong;” China Congress Announces Crackdown On Hong Kong With New “National Security” Law, Abandons GDP Target; Move By China Could Plunge Hong Kong Into Trumoil/Civil War; Could Hong Kong Become Belfast?
Numerous media outlets are reporting this morning that China has demonstrably pulled of the gloves with respect to Hong Kong. Beijing apparently feels that there is no time like the present — with the Wuhan virus infecting the globe — to make a strategic move against Hong Kong. The annual meeting of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), which began meeting today/Friday is, according to Wikipedia, “is the highest organ of state power and the national legislature of the People’s Repubic of China.” In essence, the NPC lays out China’s vision for the coming year, highlighting its most important polirical, financial, and national security objectives.
For the first time, China did not forecast its GDP economic growth, inflation, and fiscal deficit targets, reflecting the profound, negative economic impact of the Wuhan virus. Bloomberg News reported “the shift away from a hard target for growth output not only breaks with decades of Communist Party planning habits; but, is an admission of the deep rupture that the disease has caused in the world’s second largest economy.”
China’s Premier Li Keqiang, in his opening address, stated that China intends to “expand its crackdown on Hong Kong sovereignty,” and plans to pass a bill establishing an “enforcement mechanism for ensuring national security for Hong Kong,” with Reuters News adding that China’s draft Hong Kong legislation says “Hong Kong should finish enacting as soon as possible the regulations in basic law regarding national security,” and that the Hong Kong government and legal bodies should effectively prevent, stop, and punish acrivities that endanger national security.”
The South China Morning Post reported on Thursday that “China’s lawmakers were preparing to soon pass measures that would curb secession, sedition, foreign interference and terrorism in the foreign British colony.” “We will establish sound legal systems and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security in two special administrative regions, and see that the governments in the two regions fulfill their constitutional responsibilities.” Premier Li said in his opening address.
“This is the end of Hong Kong,” said Dennis Kwok, an opposition lawmaker representing [Hong Kong’s] legal sector. “It’s the end of one county, two systems. I foresee that the status of Hong Kong as an international city will be gone soon.”
“It’s the saddest day in Hong Kong’s history,” said Tanya Kang, a pro-democracy legislator in Hong Kong.
These new laws are expected to go into effect before May 28, 2020, which is the end of the NPC session.
Needless to say, this new law will not be received well at all in Hong Kong. Indeed, this law sets up a confrontation between the citizens of Hong Kong and the PRC. Civil war is the most likely result. As YaleGlobal postulated in an October 2019 article, “Could Hong Kong Become Belfast?” Clearly no matter what the U.S. and our allies do, the peope of Hong Kong are going to bear the heavist burden. Of course Britain cared about human life and the tactics of the IRA eventually inflicted a cost over time that Britain finally said was enough. China does not place the same value on human life as Britain and the West.
And of course, should China proceed with all deliberate speed and determination to enfore these new draconian laws, Beijing may look next to incorporate Taiwan.
There is little doubt that China’s hard-liners are seeking to take advantage of the the geopolitical impact of the Wuhan virus; and, the fact that a U.S. presidential election is scheduled for this November. Troubling times in Asia are ahead. RCP, fortunascorner.com