The Communist government of China is in the process of taking another brazen step against Hong Kong's autonomy and self-rule, according to multiple reports. Following a blitz of high profile arrests against prominent members of Hong Kong's freedom movement last month, Beijing is moving to impose "national security" laws that would crush dissent and further attack the self-governance to which Hong Kong is entitled under international law. Via the New York Times, this is chilling:
China is moving to impose new national security laws that would give the Communist Party more authority in Hong Kong, a proposal announced on Thursday that could reignite fear and anger over the erosion of freedoms that distinguish the city from the rest of the country. Such rules would allow Beijing to take aim at the large, often violent antigovernment protests that roiled Hong Kong for much of last year — unrest that has posed a direct challenge to the party and its top leader, Xi Jinping. The legislative push in Beijing marks the most aggressive step by the party to exert its influence over the former British colony since it was reclaimed by China in 1997.
Any legislation put forth in China could allow Hong Kong officials to crack down on dissent under the guise of protecting national security. Similar legislation proposed by the Hong Kong government in 2003 would have empowered the authorities to close seditious newspapers and conduct searches without warrants. That proposal was abandoned after it triggered large protests. This time, a broad outline for the new rules would likely be approved by China’s rubber stamp legislature, the National People’s Congress, which holds its annual session starting Friday. The process would effectively circumvent the Hong Kong government, undercutting the relative autonomy granted to the territory through a political formula known as “one country, two systems.”
"The call to enact national security laws plays to the heart of the unrest in Hong Kong, a fear that China is chipping away at the city’s cherished liberties such as judicial independence and free speech," the Times story explains. "It also fuels concern that the Hong Kong government has increasingly put Beijing’s interests above those of the city’s residents." That feels like an understatement. China's propaganda arm (which is buying its way into western outlets) is calling for the "tumor" of pro-independence sentiment to be "excised." These are highly disturbing signs -- and Hong Kongers' ability to stage massive protests is severely limited due to the global pandemic. Beijing is aggressively exploiting the acute public health disaster -- which they helped unleash on the world through lies and cover-ups -- to consolidate power and crush opposition.
Under the "one country, two systems" agreement forged between the British and Chinese governments, Hong Kong would be permitted to maintain its economic system and a high degree of political autonomy for 50 years following the negotiated 1997 handover of power. In essence, according to the text, Hong Kong is to be more or less left alone until at least 2047. The five-decade period is not even halfway complete. Beijing's drumbeat of maneuvers to undermine this principle triggered mass demonstrations, which in turn are being seized upon to supposedly justify further power grabs. Meanwhile, with China seeking to stamp out liberties in Hong Kong, running concentration camps for religious minorities, threatening US allies who are rightly demanding an investigation into the origins of Coronavirus, and reportedly trying to steal Western medical research on treatments and vaccines, here is what Senate Democrats are up to:
Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) introduced a bill last week that would malign people as racists for using the term "Chinese Virus," connecting it to hate crimes. Senate Resolution 580 condemns "all forms of Anti-Asian sentiment as related to COVID-19," citing "Chinese Virus," "Wuhan Virus," and "Kung Flu" as inaccurate rhetoric perpetuating anti-Asian stigma. The bill calls on public officials to denounce such rhetoric in any form. It also calls on law enforcement officials to investigate, document, and prosecute the perpetrators of hate crimes against Asian Americans. Harris's resolution is currently cosponsored by a host of Democratic senators, including Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), but no Republicans.
"Wuhan virus" is completely accurate. "Chinese virus" is also accurate. China's totalitarian government deserves enormous blame for what has happened, in addition to the WHO henchmen. Harris' legislation, co-sponsored by more than half of the entire Democratic caucus, quite literally echoes CCP propaganda. Joe Biden is back to muttering about "xenophobia," the same term he used to denounce President Trump's China travel restrictions, which he now claims to have supported all along. And then there's this:
Wow @RepKinzinger mentioned this story on the @GuyBensonShow. Both parties had agreed to a task force on countering China, then Dems unilaterally walked away from it just before it was announced (shortly after Trump travel restrictions criticized by Biden as xenophobic). Why? https://t.co/drxD2DyqtE— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) May 19, 2020
That interview is here.
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