China passes new national security law aimed at Hong Kong: Assessment & Forecast
Updated: 2020-06-30 15:50:47 KST
China's parliament has passed national security legislation for Hong Kong, setting the stage for the most radical changes to the former British colony's way of life since it returned to Chinese rule almost 23 years ago.
It comes less than 40 days after Chinese lawmakers first proposed imposing an anti-sedition law on Hong Kong and on critics' fear that it will crush political freedoms and pave the way for China to cement its control over the semi-autonomous territory.
The U.S. will end the exports of U.S.-origin defense equipment to Hong Kong citing the need to protect American national security as the tensions between the U.S. and China continue to escalate.
China's approval of national security law for Hong Kong: Its impact in Hong Kong and beyond.
It's the topic of our News In-Depth tonight with Mason Richey, Associate Professor of International Politics at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies live in the studio with us.
First off, why don't you tell us why this national security law for Hong Kong is such a big deal.
Hong Kong has never been able to pass its own security law due to it being so unpopular.
There's argument that the protests in Hong Kong last year prompted Beijing to push through the law, after years of waiting for the city to enact it itself.
Why wasn't Hong Kong able to enact such legislation?
Hong Kong has long served as a hub, for trading and manufacturing.
The territory was also popular among migrants and dissidents fleeing instability, poverty or persecution in mainland China. What are some near-term effects we can expect from this law?
These laws can be introduced by decree, bypassing Hong Kong's parliament. And that is what China is doing. But it is a clear breach of the "one country, two systems" principle. Why is this so important to Hong Kong and can they still defend it?
The United State began measures today to end its special status with Hong Kong, one month after Secretary of State Michael Pompeo told Congress that Hong Kong should no longer be considered autonomous from China. Do you expect international community to be able to do anything about this whatsoever?
This would inevitably impact the already worsening U.S., China ties. How do we expect that bilateral relations to develop from here on out?
If U.S. and other countries strip away Hong Kong's special status and treat Hong Kong just like China, that hurts the people and businesses of Hong Kong.
How do we hold China accountable without damaging the fate of people of Hong Kong?
Do you worry that if the protesters return to Hong Kong streets, there is a possibility that the Chinese would send in armed forces that there will be a forceable occupation of Hong Kong?
We hear about an awkward reality in mainland China. You talk about the change in China under Xi. There is also the rise of Chinese nationalism. A lot of people in mainland China think Xi should be tough on Hong Kong which they regard as this privileged, very rich province that didn't have to go through the turmoil that they did. Is there a danger that Xi would play to domestic nationalism to stay tough on Hong Kong?
Momentous times ahead for the fate of Hong Kong and for this part of the world.
Mason Richey, Associate Professor of International Politics at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies thanks for your insights. We appreciate it.