In the crush of a lot of other news this week, it would be wrong to not highlight an extremely concerning move taken by China against the autonomy of Hong Kong.
As my colleague Dennis Santiago reported, China proposed very troubling “national security legislation” to clamp down on Hong Kong. The nature of the legislation would be to wipe away Hong Kong’s special status and remove the legal protections it has and had been promised.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took China on this week, first giving a bang-up speech on how the world has thought for decades that China was going to evolve away from its dictatorial Communism by exposure to us, how wrong that presumption is and what a threat they still are, destroying the live virus samples of the Wuhan coronavirus and threatening Australia for the mere act of supporting an inquiry into the origins of the virus. “The nature of the regime is not new,” he said. Scarcely will you ever see a more honest and forthright speech coming from anyone in the State Department, where things are often carefully couched.
— Department of State (@StateDept) May 20, 2020
Can you imagine any Democrat giving that honest an assessment? The answer is you can’t because they wouldn’t and that’s a huge problem, particularly given what China has done and how more such actions are likely in the future.
Pompeo continued to blast China on Friday over the proposed security legislation for Hong Kong, calling it a “death knell” for their independence.
From the Washington Examiner:
“The decision to bypass Hong Kong’s well-established legislative processes and ignore the will of the people of Hong Kong would be a death knell for the high degree of autonomy Beijing promised for Hong Kong under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a U.N.-filed agreement,” Pompeo said Friday.
Hong Kong has functioned as a capitalist society for decades, in keeping with the 1984 pact between the United Kingdom and China that paved the way for Hong Kong’s handover in 1997. China has been undermining the global trading center’s autonomy in recent years, according to U.S. officials and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, culminating in the unveiling this week of legislation that could allow Beijing to restrict dissent on the grounds that it threatens national security.
The legislation would vest power in the mainland and away from Hong Kong’s legislature, effectively disenfranchising all opposition.
Pompeo said that the U.S. would have to reconsider the special status that Hong Kong has been given under the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump, which requires an annual assessment on whether the territory is autonomous enough to continue getting special status benefits, including favorable trade status. This was a strong way of saying if you do this, we’re going to hit you where it hurts you, right in your wallet, so hands off what you already agreed to.
Hong Kong protesters are already back out in the street and calling for help, they don’t intend to go without a fight.
May 24, 2020
Life and death struggling with the Chinese Communist#June41989@SolomonYue @benedictrogers @lukedepulford @SenTedCruz @iingwen @JustinTrudeau @marcorubio @realDonaldTrump @HawleyMO @SenRickScott @SenTomCotton @Mike_Pence @SecPompeo pic.twitter.com/ATfMv5QO6L
— Gloria Kong (@GloriaKongHKG) May 24, 2020
Is this what we deserve? pic.twitter.com/CQ65NjvOan
— Frankie Cheung (@FC_Bless_HK) May 24, 2020