"the US response can hurt Hong Kong "
Called collateral damage. It would be nice if the USA did not support HK quite so much . Oh....hang on
When people think about Hong Kong, money usually comes to mind. Over the past two decades, as China beefed up to become the world's second-largest economy, Hong Kong has carved out its role as middleman to the rest of the world. Today it is widely considered to be one of the most important financial hubs after New York and …
That’s why the law was put in place in 92. To give China an economic incentive to keep its word that the one country two systems would remain true for at least the promised 50 years.
Obviously the law expected there to be a US administration in place capable of acting proportionately, and basic diplomacy...
You are conflating two things
1st the issue is that China is reneging on the promise it made to the UK for 50 years of autonomy for Hong Kong.
Perhaps you missed the protests that had been going on pre-COVID-19?
The second, you're taking a swipe at the US for supporting Hong Kong.
Perhaps you should take a look at what happened in Berlin in the post war decade. That may help to explain a possible future for Hong Kong.
Mike the FlyingRat,
Sorry, my criticism of the Trump regime was general, not specific. So far on this he’s making the right public noises. Although I don’t know what’s going on diplomatically, behind the scenes. However Trump’s dangerously ignorant on foreign affairs, and has all the consistency and predictability of a hungry toddler. Plus he sacks all the advisors that know what they’re talking about, which also tells us that he’s unwilling to educate himself or improve his technique.
He’s been willing to do unorthodox things, against diplomatic practice, like talking to North Korea outside the previous multi-national framework. I don’t blame him for trying something new, it’s not like previous policies had been working all that well. But then I wish I believed he understood why the old policies existed, and what the risks of personal unstructured diplomacy are.
Winging it can go very wrong, very quickly. Such as half-leaking a plan to remove US troops from Germany. That the German government got to hear about in the press. Before he’s even worked out what to do with them. Are they going to a new Camp a Trump in Poland? He’s seeing the Polish president soon, and Poland have offered as they want NATO troops deployed further forward. But that decision has massive ramifications for the whole existence of NATO, and threatens to seriously damage relations with Russia, and Germany. Not to mention the EU. This is a major upheaval of the entire western security structure, and should be taken over several years, in consultation with the whole of NATO.
So excuse me for having massive doubts.
I can’t see China's government backing down at this point. But if the diplomats can dance fast enough, a face-saving compromise could be found where the law isn’t used and some sort of political process is begun in Hong Kong. Even if it’s secret at first. The economic loss of financial sanctions and a brain drain of Hong Kong citizens is a serious threat to China’s economy. But of course, they may not see it that way. But often threats are counterproductive. The better way may be to prepare a bunch of policies to take for each line that the Chinese government crosses, and hope that knowing the cost will make them think about moderating their actions. Or if not, cost them enough with coronavirus, that they’re willing to talk in a few months.
Any hope requires planning, alliance-building, consistency and measured language.
No you do not. It doesn't matter what the laws will involve, what matters is that Beijing is hijacking your legal system. The jackboots are coming in. Now is the time to leave.
Waiting to see what the laws will be simply validates this procedure. And even if the laws seem acceptable at this time, Beijing will change them when it suits itself.
It was never a question of if. It is now. If you value your freedom, you need to go elsewhere. Because, when China decides to "reeducate" the remaining Hong Kong population, well let's just say blood will be involved.
It matters a very great deal because the law will be a Hong Kong law with prosecutions managed by the Legal Department of Hong Kong Government and administered in turn by an independent judiciary steeped in and applying principles of the Common Law - which includes principles of parliamentary interpretation and "Innocent Until Proven Guilty".
It follows that there is no hijacking of the legal system - any more than - in fact less than - UK legislation once could be applied territorially to Hong Kong by Letters Patent and Hong Kong laws could ultimately fall to be interpreted by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
Then purporting to predict the future course of laws is losing the plot completely. This manoeuvre from Beijing is a direct consequence of violent protests last year, in the absence of which there is no reason why the PRC would want to interfere with the HK system - which is where the article is completely wrong - now or even in 2047.
Tossing out a mantra of "freedom" relates back to the first point. None of us is free to the degree implied by such a mantra. Freedom is knowing one's limits with a clear law. If alternatively a person wishes to be free to burn the flag and insult the sovereign power - not even relevant when most people are concerned about their livelihood and their families. As are the expats. Which is why there is no brain drain. Schools have reopened, Shopping malls are bustling - and nobody wants to go somewhere the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic was so ineffectual.
Blood? How silly. Tienanmen Square was more than a generation ago, China has changed. The World has changed Xi Jing Ping will NOT want to taint his legacy - as emphatically proven during the "protests" by the admonition that "Hong Kong's problem. Hong Kong fix it".
Firstly, thank you for responding with your reasoning. Interesting stuff, but I'm not sure I agree with it all.
It matters a very great deal because the law will be a Hong Kong law with prosecutions managed by the Legal Department of Hong Kong Government and administered in turn by an independent judiciary
Sounds great. I'm not sure why that requires Carrie Lam (who I have enormous sympathy for because she's in an impossible position) to select which judges preside over these matters. Just keep in mind that she is appointed by Beijing herself.
This manoeuvre from Beijing is a direct consequence of violent protests last year
I agree, and it will end them just as surely as sending in the tanks did in Tienanmen square all those years ago.
in the absence of which there is no reason why the PRC would want to interfere with the HK system
If I recall correctly the protests were brought about precisely because Beijing interfered with the HK system making it easier to extradite people to the mainland.
Tienanmen Square was more than a generation ago, China has changed.
Not so long ago in my memory, having watched it on TV myself. I too thought China had changed, and up until a few years ago I would have agreed with your statement that it had. China has a wonderful heritage and has given the world many great gifts, but the way dissent is dealt with has always seemed to me to be stronger than was required. In free and fair democratic elections I honestly think the ruling party would spank any opposition because their system of governance (50 year plans etc) does have a lot going for it, and they are popular with the people.
The World has changed Xi Jing Ping will NOT want to taint his legacy
Then respectfully he should see that the whole world recognizes China's strength and requires no demonstration of same. The young of HK do not want to live as part of mainland China, and China has no need to force them. Time, patience, and openness will bring the two systems closer together - there is no requirement for one to crush the other.
Without a doubt China is one of my favorite parts of the world and I have always held a deep respect and love for its people and its culture, if not always its politics - the same I could say about America, I guess.
To me this feels like a mistake, but I am not Chinese, nor have I even visited HK, so I'll bow out here with best wishes for all involved to find a peaceful resolution.
@LucreLout - "This manoeuvre from Beijing is a direct consequence of violent protests last year
I agree, and it will end them just as surely as sending in the tanks did in Tienanmen square all those years ago."
I disagree, this manoeuvre is a response to the large peaceful protests last year, and the overwhelming success of pro-democratic/pro-protest candidates in the District Council elections. There has been violence at some of the protests, but the HK Police can handle a few thousand violent people. It's the millions of non-violent people saying what they want that frightens Beijing.
"If I recall correctly the protests were brought about precisely because Beijing interfered with the HK system making it easier to extradite people to the mainland."
"Tienanmen Square was more than a generation ago, China has changed.
Not so long ago in my memory,"
Ditto. Yes, China was opening up. Then Xi Jinping got the top job and rooted out corruption... coincidentally, his opponents in the Party were all found to be corrupt. Now he's leader for life, a position last held by Chairman Mao.
"The World has changed Xi Jing Ping will NOT want to taint his legacy
Then respectfully he should see that the whole world recognizes China's strength and requires no demonstration of same."
I'm guessing Xi wants his legacy to be China as the only Superpower, restored to its "ancient borders" and all other countries subservient.
"To me this feels like a mistake, but I am not Chinese, nor have I even visited HK, so I'll bow out here with best wishes for all involved to find a peaceful resolution."
I tend to agree its a mistake. I'm not Chinese either, but I live in HK, thanks.
 The District Councils don't have a lot of power, they have some budget for local improvements and discuss bus routes and the like. They do elect a block of members to the Election Committee, a topic that would need another footnote. Previously, they've not been hotly contested, and were controlled by pro-establishment councillors. The democrats got their act together and contested every seat at the end of last year, campaigning on the protestor's 5 demands. They won a majority in 17 of the 18 Councils.
""If I recall correctly the protests were brought about precisely because Beijing interfered with the HK system making it easier to extradite people to the mainland."
The extradition law was promulgated for the purpose of extraditing from HK to Taiwan a HK citizen suspected of murder in Taiwan, which at the outset had popular support.
Its scope was expanded, fatally, by HK Government trying to be clever but which failed dismally.
The whole thing was misconceived because Taiwan had no corresponding rules to take extradited suspects. A complete joke and doomed to failure from the start.
Good explanation here of the original bill:
"Hong Kong’s leader would start and finally approve an extradition following a request from a foreign jurisdiction but only after court hearings, including any possible appeals. However, the bill removes Legislative Council oversight of extradition arrangements." and there was the problem: all HKG Chief Executives are appointed by Beijing.
What they have now is far, far worse and I do think Hong Kong is in for a seriously rough time.
@PhilipN - To be absolutely accurate, neither of us were in the room when Carrie Lam decided to introduce the extradition bill. The murder in Taiwan was the excuse, but the bill appeared very quickly. It always included the Mainland and Carrie Lam resisted all proposals to change it. My impression was that the bill had been prepared in advance, and they were simply waiting for a case that would get public sympathy. Carrie Lam always denied Mainland involvement in the drafting of the bill, but I can't imagine she would take the initiative to prepare it and keep it secret from them.
@ PhilipN: I mostly agree with you but I believe there will be blood, or at least a bloody good battering for those in Hong Kong who try to resist what is an inevitability. Hong Kong's fate was sealed two decades ago.
@ Pascal Monett: I also agree with you. I don't think any last gasp efforts to save Hong Kong from her decided fate will have much of an effect. Those who don't like what they can see coming would be well advised to get out now, before it's too late.
You realise, do you not, that treason in the UK could be punished with life imprisonment.
In the USA - death sentence. Welcome to the Free World!
Son, perhaps you should learn more about US law and the history of sentencing which also sets precedence.
While the death penalty is still on the books, its not frequently used, let alone not for the infrequent 'treason' cases where it has never been applied post cold war, or in the past 50 years.
If you want a good example. Manning. Manning [he] committed his criminal act while as a soldier in theater. In Manning's own words [he] expected that when caught [he] would be shot. [* He because Manning identified as a male at this time.]
Manning was given a long prison sentence which was commuted by Obama. No death penalty.
Assange who fears being extradited to the US in part due to allegations raised during Manning's Article 32 hearing, cites the possible Death Penalty in his effort to fight extradition. If the allegations are true and he did face a trial in the US, because the Death Penalty was not given to Manning, its off the table for Assange. (Assange would be viewed as a co-conspirator. )
So while its on the books, it doesn't mean if charged with treason, you're automatically facing a capital sentence. (Which is what you're implying.)
There some irony in your post, but I think most here would not understand it.
> It matters a very great deal because the law will be a Hong Kong law
You mean the Hong Kong law that Beijing just changed unilaterally?
> with prosecutions managed by the Legal Department of Hong Kong Government and administered in turn by an independent judiciary
And, as per the article, overseen by Beijing's state security agencies? Or are Beijing's state security agencies in the region going to be subservient to the HK Government?
Though isn't the the HK government mostly appointed by Beijing anyway?
The peopñe of hong kong lived under our rule with our governor, and only shortly before leaving did we give them democracy.
To complain now that the chinese government is making decisions in china is a bit rich, and frankly, insulting, we no longwr are an empire that can carce concessons in other countries by force of arms.
That being said, I am sorry for the people of hong kong and happy that we are giving them uk passports at last, even if it is just part of our cold war against china.
The Hong Kong Bar Association has expressed many concerns about the new law and its consequences for judicial independence and the continuation of common law standards, as well as the specter of extradition to the Mainland. It is CLEARLY a departure of great significance for HK. You can read their press releases at hkba.org.
Please do not rely on the Bar Association whose cartoonish and defective commentary on the extradition law last year missed a perfect opportunity to explain why the law would have been invalid and unenforceable for several reasons.
Yet chose this latest legislation to say it was potentially invalid when it is not.
It was never a question of if. It is now. If you value your freedom, you need to go elsewhere. Because, when China decides to "reeducate" the remaining Hong Kong population, well let's just say blood will be involved.
I've always had a love of pre-communist China, the culture, and the people. But sadly, I think you've hit the nail on the head here, which is why I for one am pleased that we are making ready to open our borders to those we left on condition of the one country two systems agreement that is now in tatters.
I still love China and its people and would dearly love to go back one day.... but their current leadership are projecting strength by force where there's no need - we can all see China is strong without any requirement of demonstration.
Yes, the concept came from Deng Xiaoping, but after the Joint Declaration was signed, the Basic Law was drafted by a committee of 23 people from Hong Kong and 36 from the Mainland. The Basic Law was promulgated in 1990, two years before Chris Pattern became Governor.
"No you do not."
Western arrogance is the gift that keeps giving (even though not many people want it). Who are you to decide what they should and shouldn't do?
Many people (or their parents) have already gone through this once - not sure what the exact figures are but probably runs to hundreds of thousands of people "fled" HK in the years before 1997 and took up citizenship in mainly Canada, and other English speaking countries. Once they had met the residency requirements and obtained their citizenship and they saw HK continue to thrive, some decided to return to HK. Unfortunately for them things had moved on, most were never able to get a job equivalent to the one they had left, many weren't even able to afford housing.
Most people who bet against HK gets their fingers burnt or worse.
BoJo's remarks about allowing up to 3 million HK residents to enter the UK is a cheque that will never be cashed. No government of the day will allow an influx of people of that magnitude, especially if they are non-white.
The abandoned extradition legislation is something that should have happened already but in a proper well thought out and acceptable the HK people manner. Right now there are no formal extradition arrangements between HK and mainland China. China has in most cases extradited fugitives who had been suspected of committing crimes in HK and had fled to China. There haven't been many or any cases (that I'm aware of) where HK has extradited suspects back to China.
This new security law is something that under Article 23 of HK's Basic Law (something that China and the UK agreed on - remember that?) the HK government had to legislate and enact. Past attempts at legislating Article 23 were met with stiff opposition from the HK people and were shelved. ALL countries have similar laws as outlined in Article 23, if other countries want to complain then they should get rid of their laws first.
Baggio Leung HK independent spokesperson and leader of HK National Front Political Group
arrested with the largest hauls of explosives in HK's history.
HK was always supposed to have security laws, those complaining have similar and worse security laws as does every major country. The protesters are saying the basic law should be respected, that's ironic. the US used it's own national security laws to ban HK and Chinese students from studying certain subjects, the irony gets even more insane from here. The US has used security laws to take rights away from it's own citizens, the PATRIOT act!. 3 million HK'ers signed the partition supporting these laws to stop the rioting. HK residents have bought champagne to celebrate when it comes in, people are fed up with the rioters destroying their life. The Cato institute ranked HK safety dropping to 3rd place based on mathematical democratic models. HK has become more free post handover from the UK colonial rule. The rioters even destroyed a quarantine centre in February and killed a street cleaner and setting a construction worker on fire permanently disfiguring him and so much more. You now have resident's begging and cheering the national security laws. The people collaborating with the US interfering with HK have gotten away with it, Dr Micheal Pilsbury Hudson Institute Washington DC has confirmed that the US NED has funded these rioters with millions of $ and connected with Benny Tai one of the Occupy HK leaders this clear US funding is only scratching the surface.
What you can actually see with your own eye's Joshua Wong and a few of his mates flew to Washington DC multiple times the most outrageous was when he and his buddies testified in front of congress at what was called "The Summer of Discontent" which was basically anti-China carnival where they shared ideas about how to contain China and tried to push through legislation to sanction HK which is ridiculous. You've got countries where people are dying because of US sanctions and these protest leaders begging for sanctions. Guess who HK is going to have to rely on when it's cut off from the rest of the world and loose their special trading statuses.
Joshua Wong's active measure to try and destroy HK and cheering on US aggression against China is a national security issue.
US Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Holly and many others came to hang out with the protesters in HK and they had such beautiful words for them too which is in stark contrast to what they have said about the black lives matter protesters who they don't seem too eager to meet in the streets like they did with the HK protesters and not needing to fly half way around the world.
How would the same actions be tolerated in the US if China did the same to them?
"How would the same actions be tolerated in the US if China did the same to them?"
It is now illegal for anyone anywhere to speak out against the Chinese government wrt HK.
Article 38, applies to 'offenses' committed "outside the region by a person who is not a permanent resident of the region."
We didn't back in the day when we stripped them of their UK residency rights before handing Hong Kong back. So why do you think in these anti-immigration times BoJo will roll that decision back?
Different times with different people in power. Mistakes of the past can and should be learned from.
I think Boris will open the door to it as a debt of honor and because we have no wish to watch 100,000's of young kids get massacred on telly. Educated and driven young people are going to be in demand the world over soon enough, so why not here?
I quite agree with another poster that many, most, maybe even all would not take up the offer, but I think we owe it to those people to offer the chance. I expect other nations will open their borders too.
Totally agree with you, but:
Boris Johnson and honour in the same sentence?
After the last few years of denigrating refugees/migrants/immigrants and amping up the "Britain is full." "We don't have enough local resources." angle, how could the government possible try and sell this to middle England?
There'll be some supportive noises, but in the end they will do nothing, I think.
There'll be some supportive noises, but in the end they will do nothing, I think.
Especially when one looks at what is actually proposed, who will be offered it. It's a long way off "come on in" and automatic citizenship.
The wonderful people arriving on the Windrush also thought they had found a welcoming new home.
The precedent is the Ugandan, and Kenyan, case. Where we gave passports to the ethnic Indian families that were driven out. Though I think that was under 100,000 people who actually moved to the UK. But then if you issue the passports, not everyone will have to use them, as they’re an insurance policy. I know a few people who came here after being kicked out of Uganda, and only some of their families came fo live here. As a group they also tended to integrate quite well, as they spoke english, were well educated and a lot had family businesses.
"I think Boris will open the door to it as a debt of honor ..."
Are you kidding.The Brexiters are still cheering that they can now tell any foreigner they like to fuck off. I can't see them welcoming another 3 million.
Of course, many a Brexiter in left-behind middle-Engerland wouldn't know what a foreigner looked like as there aren't that many where they live, but their ignorance in so many ways won't stop them wanting to turn the clock back to 1955.
The Brexiters are still cheering that they can now tell any foreigner they like to fuck off. I can't see them welcoming another 3 million.
I voted to leave and I welcome them here - I even wrote to my MP about the idea months ago. I realize many remainers will disagree with my view that leaving the EU allows us to build a more open global Britain, but that is my hope. There's a whole world out there of opportunity, cultures, people, and possibilities.
My wife is an immigrant and I've not desire for her to "fuck off", as are many of our friends. All of my friends have married partners from elsewhere in the world, so I have to say I think you're generalizing unfairly.
This isn't about Brexit, its about doing the right thing by people we made a commitment too. Don't we all want our country to do that?
I don't think Hong Kong want this kids that have been manipulated by the US NED National Endowment for Democracy spun out of the CIA to fund opposition movements and media to support regime change.
The US wants to break off the Xinjiang autonomous region from China and want to weaponise minority groups of countries it doesn't like.
Why are you criticising China when you and your allies are doing worse things. A year of protests and riots in HK and there was never a kerfew. The US brought in a kerfew and soldiers after days or similar riots in the US, yet they threatened China if they did the same. The rioters killed a street cleaner and burned a construction worker pouring gasoline on him and setting him on fire.
The NED has funded these protests,
Why are you criticising China when you and your allies are doing worse things.
I haven't really criticized China. I've stated repeatedly that I love the country, its people, and its culture. It's one of my favorite places I've ever spent time. I have learned an awful lot from its people.
That doesn't mean that I don't think mistakes were made at Tienanmen or in the approach to HK today. We're all human and we all make mistakes. You don't for a moment imagine that I think my governments throughout my lifetime have been above reproach? They've all made mistakes. They've all got things wrong. For the UK, swap out Tienanmen Square for the Amritsar massacre. We're not above reproach, and I've never pretended that we were.
I love China. I respect the Chinese people. But I do think the current projection of strength is misplaced and unnecessary, that's all. I'm honestly sad that all you've taken from my posts is criticism. That wasn't how I intended it to appear, and I'm pretty sure the upvoters of my comments didn't interpret it as one-sided criticism of China.
Bit odd replying to my own post, but they've only gone and done it!
Well done Boris et al, regardless of who you vote for at elections, I think most people would agree offering a route to full citizenship to all affected is the right thing to do here. It enables us to meet historic moral obligations, hopefully without antagonizing China, while giving a choice to the protesters.
Hopefully it'll allow a little pressure out of the situation and produce an opportunity to avoid further escalation and bloodshed.
Some background on what uk.gov got up to during the Uganda expulsion.
There's a MigrationWatch meat puppet on R4 right now spouting the usual, "MEEEELLIONS of Hong Kong Chinese are coming !!!!!!"
@LucreLout - "hopefully without antagonizing China, while giving a choice to the protesters"
Well, I think China feels very antagonised.
As for the protesters, I'm sorry to say there's a bit of a gap... Boris has offered the route to full citizenship for BNO passport holders and their dependents (Good!), but the last BNO was issued in 1997, so anyone under 23 is not a BNO holder, and anyone over 18 is unlikely to still be counted as a dependent. Many of the protesters have been in the young adult age range, and so most likely to be in the gap.
Well it hadn’t happened until now. Which was a decent run...
While the Chinese Communist Party remembered the dangers of dictators for life with absolute power, things were running along just about OK. Danger to themselves of course, not the ordinary people... it’s why they originally built the system of major leadership transitions every 5 years, for protect themselves from the major purges that many of them suffered under Mao. And that President Xi has started up again, although in a far smaller and more targeted manner. There’s a lot less of the ideological madness than in the Mao years. Now it’s much less random, and more an a tool of applied power.
That's Spain from a year or two ago, not 1936.
You'll recall that there was a bit of a kerfuffle in Catalonia due to the regional government wanting to hold a referendum on Catalonian independence. The Spanish government objected and tried by all sorts of means to block the vote. They also arrested and tried about a dozen leaders, 9 of which were found guilty of sedition and sentenced to prison terms of 9 years and up.
Hong Kong is part of China. Unlike Catalonia it doesn't even have the historical basis to be an independent state, it just became a UK posession through a lease granted as a result of colonial era pressure. Its now part of China again so the Chinese government -- and a good part of the population -- is going to take a dim view of any separatist movement. What's surprising about this new legislation isn't that it was passed but rather what took the government so long to get around passing it.
There is a tendancy for the encompassing nation to oppose being dismantled, but it's worth requesting the right to hold a referendum by legal means before conducting an illegal referendum or just declaring independence.
Hong Kong was never part of communist China, so the government of Taiwan may in fact be the continuing political entity to whom the land of Hong Kong should have been returned.
> Hong Kong is part of China. Unlike Catalonia it doesn't even have the historical basis to be an independent state, it just became a UK posession through a lease granted as a result of colonial era pressure.
A pedant writes... Hong Kong Island was permanently ceded to Britain and, in theory, did not have to be returned. It was the New Territories surrounding it that were leased. When that lease ran out, it would have been impossible to continue with just Hong Kong Island alone so it was handed back as well.
And the majority of Hong Kong residents *fled* the Communists. My ex-wife's family piled into a boat and rowed across 50 miles of open sea hours before the Cultural Revolutionary fanatics were due to slaughter them.
Edit: I've just measured on Google Maps - 80 miles of open sea, fleeing for their lives, in an open human-powered boat.
@martinusher - "Hong Kong is part of China. Unlike Catalonia it doesn't even have the historical basis to be an independent state"
It depends what you call an independent state, Kowloon was (reputably) named by the boy Emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty around 1278, when the Empire was just this tiny scrap of land. https://www.scmp.com/magazines/hk-magazine/article/2036314/ask-mr-know-it-all-how-did-kowloon-get-its-name
Beijing is insistant that Hong Kong is Just Another Chinese City, and the best thing we can do is just say: ok then, it's Just Another Part Of China. So, no HK membership of the WTO, no HK membership of the Olympics, no HK trading deals, no HK membership of the ITU, no HK membership of the Post Office Union, no Hong Kong trading territory, no Hong Kong international entrepot trade arrangements. You insist that Hong Kong is Just Another Bit Of China, ok, it's Just Another Bit Of China.
Beijing is trying to kill the Golden Goose but want to keep being supplied with Golden Eggs. That's not possible.
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