Late Thursday night (IST), China began its national political circus, called the National People’s Congress, a rubber stamp Parliament of China meant to ‘approve’ whatever the Chinese Communist Party intends to do within the country. At a time when the world is facing a pandemic which originated in China, what is the tearing hurry, you would ask, to hold a parliamentary session? First, to make the world community fall into the trap of China’s “victory against the disease” narrative, and secondly, to scissor the wings of Hong Kong’s autonomy.
As the communist spokesperson was addressing the NPC session, India received a demarche from China almost simultaneously, which said that whatever steps will be taken by the dragon with respect to Hong Kong are purely subject to China’s internal affairs and national security, and that India, and other communities should not have any problem with the same.
The controversial legislation which is being superimposed upon the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Hong Kong by the Communist state of China seeks to put an end to freedoms in the Island city, as they exist today. Called the National Security Law, it will be imposed upon Hong Kong by brazenly bypassing the autonomous region’s own legislature and lawmakers, which goes on to show how China is shoving down a draconian law down the throats of all Hong Kong citizens.
Beijing sent out urgent demarches to foreign embassies, including India, late on Thursday night, explaining the law and why it was needed. Of course, the demarche was a glowing extolation of the draconian law. Fundamentally, it is a desperate attempt by China to minimize all backlash which it will expectedly receive from the international community for its nefarious actions in Hong Kong.
“Your country maintains close economic and trade cooperation as well as people-to-people exchanges with Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s prosperity and long-term stability is in line with the common interests of the whole international community, including your country, as well as protection of your country’s legitimate interests in Hong Kong. We hope that your government will understand and support China’s relevant practices,” the demarche sent by China, said.
Hong Kong was reeling under pro-democracy and anti-China protests last year, which were triggered by an Extradition Bill which China slyly strong-armed the autonomous Hong Kong administration to introduce in its legislature, which would allow for criminals, as defined by the bill, to be extradited to mainland China and other countries.
This bill triggered massive backlash and widespread violent protests in China, which led to the ultimate withdrawal of the same. The Hong Kong protests as they were called, attracted massive international criticism for the Chinese Communist Party. It was then struck with the CoVID-19 pandemic, which many believe can trace its origins back to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, ground zero city of the outbreak. This further led to a shrinking of legroom for China.
In this context, the demarche sent to India and certain other countries said, “These activities have not only caused enormous damage to the security of the SAR authorities and public order, mounted a serious challenge to the principle of one country, two systems , but also posed a grave threat to China’s national security, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.”
Hong Kong has become a “notable source of risk” to China’s national security, it said, the demarche further added, and went on to state that in order to “establish and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanism for upholding national security in the Hong Kong SAR is something that must be done – and done without delay.”
Coming to China’s desperate attempt at quelling international backlash, the Communist state now is feeling the pinch of it all. Globally, China is being looked down upon for being a draconian and authoritarian regime which is hell bent on curbing whatever little remaining freedoms its people enjoy. Further, the Coronavirus outbreak from China has only made things worse for them. As such, China is desperately looking for an island of soothe, and believes that India, and other countries will support its treacherous laws being imposed upon Hong Kong in complete violation of the will of the city’s people.
It must be remembered that the USA has been regularly hammering China, and with the new National Security Law draft for Hong Kong being tabled in China’s NPC, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo minced no words and said, “The United States strongly urges Beijing to reconsider its disastrous proposal, abide by its international obligations, and respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, democratic institutions and civil liberties, which are key to preserving its special status under US law.”
The United States condemns the PRC proposal to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong and strongly urges Beijing to reconsider. We stand with the people of Hong Kong.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 22, 2020
Why is China suddenly seeking international validation for what it claims is an internal matter? If trampling upon the rights and civil liberties of Hong Kong was really an internal matter, China wouldn’t have to send demarches to other nations, begging them not to speak out against its superimposition of fundamentally flawed laws on the semi-autonomous region of Hong Kong. Historically, China has never really cared about what kind of reactions any of their truly internal decisions will garner from the international community. The very fact that it had to send out demarches to countries like India on Thursday shows how desperate the dragon is for doing an image makeover for itself, and also further proves how Hong Kong is not their “internal matter”.
The draft of the National Security Law aims at suppressing dissent, free speech and most importantly, the right to protest. The draft law, which claims to ban sedition, subversion of the Chinese state and secession, will in fact go a long way for China to use its brutal forces to clamp down on free speech, and most important, on Hong Kong’s free media, which in contrast to mainland Chinese media, is not state controlled.
China is on a weak wicket. It is facing unprecedented international backlash for its atrocious deeds since last year, and their tolerance really seems to have reached its saturation level, and hence, what we are now seeing is a helpless China trying to portray itself as strong as ever, yet, completely broken in spirit.