China may have finally absorbed Hong Kong into the CCP’s absolute command as the new National Security Law comes into action. China’s actions are in violation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984, wherein China could not change the capitalist system and way of life of the Hong Kongers until 2047. Therefore, as China cracks down on pro-democracy protesters in former British colony Hong Kong, Britain is looking for payback from China by starting the process to recognise Taiwan as an independent country.
Britain may extend support to Taiwan, a nation that has extended its wholehearted support to Hong Kong with the Visa offer to Hong Kong nationals to live and work in the island country. “Today I asked the Executive Yuan to draw up a humanitarian assistance action plan for #HongKong citizens that lays out clear, complete plans for their residence, placement, employment, & life in #Taiwan as soon as possible,” tweeted Taiwanese President.
Today I asked the Executive Yuan to draw up a humanitarian assistance action plan for #HongKong citizens that lays out clear, complete plans for their residence, placement, employment, & life in #Taiwan as soon as possible. pic.twitter.com/XYBTe89WyD
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) May 27, 2020
As per a report by British newspaper, The Sunday Express, Britain is considering defying Beijing and extending its support to Taiwan by recognising its independent existence in the next few years. “Don’t be surprised if we end up recognising Taiwan and joining others in defending it with military assets,” a source told the newspaper.
So far, Britain, like all other Western countries, has recognized the Communist government as a true representative of China but has maintained cordial trade relations with Taiwan. This has been the modus operandi for most of the countries, including India, to deal with China-Taiwan problem. Only 18 nations recognise Taiwan as an independent nation.
But, in order to pressure China to scrap the newly designed National Security law, tailor-made for grabbing the reins Hong Kong, Britain is advocating for Taiwan. The British government said that China is not adhering to agreement of ‘One Country, two System’ signed between two countries back in 1997 when Britain transferred Hong Kong to Beijing on the condition that the territory would enjoy full autonomy for the next 50 years.
Britain has also backed up Taiwan’s participation in the International Criminal Police Organization, more commonly known as INTERPOL, an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control. Taiwan has expressed the desire to join the organization and said that it “willing and able to share its knowledge and experience with other countries to help with global efforts in law enforcement and maintaining order“, but not allowed so far due to Chinese pressure.
Boris Johnson’s government is under immense pressure to form an alliance against China to defend the autonomy of Hong Kong. Seven former UK foreign secretaries- Jeremy Hunt, David Miliband, Jack Straw, William Hague, Malcolm Rifkind, David Owen, and Margaret Beckett- have written to Prime Minister to build pressure on China to withdraw the National Security law in Hong Kong.
Incumbent foreign secretary Dominic Raab has already said that, “We are not going to turn a blind eye, we are not going to look away from our responsibilities to the people of Hong Kong.”
“If China follows through with this national security legislation, we will give those people who hold BNO passports (British National Overseas’ passports) the right to come to the UK,” he told BBC in an interview.
In the last few weeks, Britain has taken many decisions, such as calling for a plan to completely phase out Huawei’s involvement in UK’s 5G network in the next three years, to push China and its companies on the backfoot.
Britain also issued a statement against the national security law brought by the CCP in Hong Kong and promised to extend visa rights to more than three lakh Hong Kong nationals who hold overseas passport; raising the issue of Hong Kong in UN Security Council, and planning the D10, an alliance of 10 democratic countries against Huawei.
Donald Trump played a central role in turning the UK into China’s most formidable adversary. Just like the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told American President George W Bush that “I will be with you, whatever” before Iraq invasion, Johnson has hinted the same to Trump in the matter of cold war against China.
It will be no big surprise if Britain takes lead among the Western nations to recognise Taiwan as an independent nation.