The United Kingdom warned the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that if it continues with its decision to impose the “authoritarian” national security law on Hong Kong then Britain will be forced to form an alliance with Western powers against the regime in Beijing.
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab told Parliament on Tuesday: “There is time for China to reconsider, there is a moment for China to step back from the brink and respect Hong Kong’s autonomy and respect China’s own international obligations.”
Mr Raab said that the if the national security law is imposed on Hong Kong, “it would violate China’s own Basic Law” as well as ending the “One Country, Two Systems paradigm” that was agreed to in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which guaranteed the city local autonomy for 50 years after the United Kingdom handed over control of the former British colony to China in 1997.
The law, which was passed last week by the National People’s Congress (NPC), the rubber-stamp legislative body of the Chinese Communist Party, will criminalise any act that the CCP considers to be a form of “secession” or “acts against national security” in Hong Kong. The law is seen by critics of the communist state as a means of clamping down on the pro-freedom protest movement in the city.
The foreign secretary said that “the United Kingdom, have historic responsibilities, a duty I would say, to the people of Hong Kong”, and therefore would look form an alliance against the country with other Western nations.
The government would also begin extended visa rights and possibly offer citizenship to British National Overseas (BNO) passport-holders in Hong Kong. There are an estimated 300,000 BNO holders in the city, but upwards of 2.9 million Hong Kongers are eligible to apply for the status.
Following the passage of the national security law last week, the founder and chairman of Hong Kong Watch, Benedict Rogers, told Breitbart London: “Today freedom and autonomy in Hong Kong are dead. The Chinese Communist Party has broken its promises and killed Hong Kong.”
“Boris Johnson must now speak out personally, robustly and clearly, mobilise the international community to act as one, and impose targeted Magnitsky sanctions,” Rogers added.
On Tuesday, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, defended the draconian national security legislation by comparing the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong to the Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioters that have looted and vandalised cities across the U.S. following the death of George Floyd.
“There are riots in the United States and we see how local governments reacted. And then in Hong Kong, when we had similar riots, we saw what position they adopted,” Lam said, according to the South China Morning Post.
“For some countries that have had a high-profile response and claimed they will take action, I can only describe them as upholding double standards. They value very much their own national security, but are biased in viewing ours.”
On Monday, the Hong Kong police announced that the city would be banning the annual vigil held for the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre for the first time in 30 years. The authorities claimed that the ban was a result of the Wuhan coronavirus; however, many believe the move was made to appease the communist government in Beijing.