China warns 'narcissistic' Britain to stay out of Hong Kong affairs
Chinese state newspaper warns ‘narcissistic’ and ‘bullying’ Britain to stay out of Hong Kong affairs because ‘the city has nothing to do with the UK’
- The Global Times blasted Britain after being criticised for a Hong Kong law bill
- The bill will ban secession, foreign interference and treason, sources revealed
- Hong Kong’s last British governor has urged world leaders to stand up to Beijing
- Lord Patten labelled the Communist Party ‘a very nasty, brutal, bullying’ regime
- Police fired pepper balls at pro-democracy protesters in the financial hub today
A Chinese state-backed newspaper has attacked Britain and told it to stop intervening in Hong Kong affairs because ‘the city has nothing to do with the UK’.
Beijing’s propaganda outlet The Global Times accused London of being ‘narcissistic’ in its views towards the former British colony.
It claimed that Hong Kong ‘suffered from British bullying’ under the UK rule and now ‘enjoys a high degree of autonomy’ because of the Communist Party.
Beijing’s propaganda outlet The Global Times has urged the UK to stop intervening in Hong Kong matters and focus on tackling its COVID-19 crisis. Pictured, riot police guard detain a protester during a rally against a controversial national anthem law bill in Hong Kong today
Anti-government street protests have restarted in Hong Kong after China proposed a new national security law for the semi-autonomous city to clamp down on the unrest. Pictured, piot police stand guard during a protest near Central Government Complex on Wednesday
The Communist-run tabloid handed out the scathing criticism just before the Chinese rubber-stamp parliament is due to pass a national security law bill that would significantly reduce the freedoms of Hong Kong citizens.
Meanwhile, riot police in Hong Kong today used pepper pellets and arrested dozens of protesters who demanded independence for the city as they demonstrated against Beijing’s tightening grip.
‘Hong Kong is one of the few places where Britain can narcissistically show off its position as a former overlord state,’ the Global Times condemned.
‘Under British rule, Hongkongers could not enjoy equal citizenship and equal participation in politics, and they just suffered from British bullying,’ the paper continued in an opinion piece published yesterday.
The author urged Britain to worry about its COVID-19 crisis instead of Hong Kong.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Premier Li Keqiang (right) are pictured arriving for the opening session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Premier Li criticised the so-called ‘outside forces’, warning them not to interfere in Hong Kong affairs
Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam (pictured in Beijing on May 22) expressed her support for the bill, adding that ‘maintaining national sovereignty, safety and development interests are the constitutional requirements of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’
Beijing has bypassed Hong Kong’s parliament to propose and review the controversial legislation.
The national security law, aimed to clamp down on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, is expected to ban people from inciting and participating in demonstrations as well as activities deemed ‘subversive’ by Beijing.
The proposed decree would block secession, foreign interference, terrorism and all seditious activities aimed at toppling the central government and any external interference in the former British colony, said the South China Morning Post newspaper, citing unnamed sources.
China’s troops have said that they are ready to ‘smash’ any protests against the bill.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign affairs said on Wednesday that China would take necessary countermeasures to foreign interference regarding the new legislation.
Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the remarks during a daily briefing in response to a question about US President Donald Trump’s comments that Washington is working on a strong response to the legislation that will be announced before the end of the week.
Chen Daoxiang, Beijing’s army chief in Hong Kong, said he and his soldiers were ready to quash pro-democracy rallies. Pictured, members of the People’s Liberation Army perform drills during a demonstration at the Shek Kong Barracks on June 30, 2018, in Hong Kong
The national security law bill proposed by Beijing has re-ignited anti-government rallies in the financial hub. Pictured, pro-democracy supporters take part in a rally on May 24 in Hong Kong
The Chinese parliament is expected to pass the bill at a major political conference this week amid mounting global fears that Beijing could take full control of the city. Pictured, a Hong Kong riot police officer tackles a protester during an anti-government rally on May 24
China says the law was necessary because Hong Kong has become a ‘national security risk’ following years of anti-Beijing demonstrations.
But the move prompted immediate warnings that the law would be used to persecute protesters, and China could bring charges of subversion and terrorism against them.
Critics say the act would lead to the widespread use of secret police, arbitrary detentions, surveillance and even control over the internet on the island territory.
China says the law was necessary because Hong Kong has become a ‘national security risk’ following years of anti-Beijing demonstrations. Pictured, police guard an MTR station exit near the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on May 27 ahead of a debate over a national anthem law
Beijing’s act has prompted immediate warnings that the law would be used to persecute protesters, and China could bring charges of subversion and terrorism against them. Pictured, riot police detain a group of people during a protest in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong
Lord Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, has called on world leaders to stand up to Beijing and help Hong Kong fight for its freedom in a column on the Financial Times.
Lord Patten has also described the new law as ‘a frontal assault’ on the relative freedoms granted to the semi-autonomous city.
He said Britain must act over the ‘disgraceful breach’ of China’s international treaty obligations, and branded the Communist Party ‘a very nasty, brutal, bullying and mendacious regime’.
The Global Times lashed out at Lord Patten over his comments, labelling him as ‘a representative of UK’s hypocritical colonialism’.
‘Patten is still living in the colonial era,’ it said. ‘Ever since Hong Kong returned to China in 1997, the city has had nothing to do with the UK.’
Lord Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, has called on world leaders to stand up to Beijing and help Hong Kong fight for its freedom. Lord Patten has also described the new law as ‘a frontal assault’ on the relative freedoms granted to the semi-autonomous city
Prince Charles and the last British Governor of Hong Kong Chris Patten (left) raise their glasses for the loyal toast prior to the colony’s handover to China after 154 years of British rule
Billed as China’s ‘most belligerent tabloid’, the Global Times has been at the forefront of defending Beijing’s actions and castigating the West over its criticism against the Community Party.
The column went on to slam the UK by accusing it of having imposed ‘a highly centralised political system’ on Hong Kong after it ‘occupied’ the city in 1841.
It then boasted how ‘Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy, and Hong Kong people also enjoy much more political rights’ after Britain handed it over to China.
‘The UK’s intervention in Hong Kong affairs will be nothing but verbal complaints, trying to show its sense of presence. It can never truly affect Hong Kong affairs,’ the paper concluded.
Thousands protest against national anthem bill in Hong Kong
Police have fired pepper pellets and arrested dozens of protesters in Hong Kong as they try to block politicians from debating a controversial national anthem bill.
Officers clashed with activists in the city-state’s central business district on Wednesday after plans to blockade parliament were abandoned when the area was flooded with armed officers.
Demonstrations have been ongoing in Hong Kong for days as legislators attempt to push through the bill that would make it a crime to mock the Chinese national anthem.
Police have clashed with pro-democracy activists on the streets of Hong Kong as they try to prevent parliament from debating a bill that would make it illegal to mock the Chinese national anthem
Officers fired pepper pellets at activists in the city’s central business district after a planned protest outside parliament was scuppered by a huge police presence
Hong Kong police took to the streets en masse today in full riot gear, carrying tear gas, pepper bullets, and handguns.
The latest round of protests was sparked last week when – in a surprise move – the central Chinese government said it would develop laws to outlaw secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in Hong Kong.
Those laws will not be debated in Hong Kong after China used a legislative backdoor to bypass the city’s parliament, meaning they will be rubber-stamped by the National People’s Congress in Beijing instead.
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement has called on Downing Street to stand up to Beijing over the sweeping changes.
It also called for Britain to offer ‘sanctuary’ to those in China’s crosshairs as it tries to dismantle the ‘one country, two systems’ constitutional principle.
Claudia Mo, a member of Hong Kong’s legislative council, said Britain had a ‘moral obligation’ to act, warning: ‘They [China] want Hong Kong dead.’
Tory MP Bob Seely said Britain should be prepared to offer ‘mass asylum’ to thousands expected to flee Hong Kong.
He warned there could be an ‘exodus’ from the former British colony amid fears the legislation will target pro-democracy activists.
Claudia Mo, a member of Hong Kong’s legislative council, said Britain had a ‘moral obligation’ to act, warning: ‘They [China] want Hong Kong dead.’ Mo is pictured chatting with another pan-democrat lawmaker Eddie Chu before the second reading of the national anthem Bill
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers sharply criticised China’s move to take over long-stalled efforts to enact national security legislation in the semi-autonomous territory, saying it goes against the ‘one country, two systems’ framework that promises the city freedoms
Hong Kong’s opposition lawmakers held signboards that read ‘CCP tramples on Hong Kong legislature’ and ‘Hong Kong will become Xinjiang’ while protesting in the city’s Legislative Council. The bill was submitted on the opening day of China’s national legislative session
Patten heads Hong Kong protest
Scores of British politicians have signed an international statement calling for a tougher global stance against China’s threat to pass new laws clamping down on residents of Hong Kong.
Led by the former Governor of Hong Kong, Lord Patten, and the former Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, 194 parliamentarians in 23 countries have declared that Hong Kong’s independent status is ‘hanging by a thread’.
The globally coordinated statement reads: ‘We write to express grave concerns about the unilateral introduction of national security legislation by Beijing in Hong Kong.
‘This is a comprehensive assault on the city’s autonomy, rule of law, and fundamental freedoms. The integrity of one-country, two-systems hangs by a thread…
‘Sympathetic governments must unite to say that this flagrant breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration cannot be tolerated.’
Lord Patten said: ‘The statement shows growing and widespread international outrage at the decision by the Chinese government to unilaterally impose national security legislation in Hong Kong. The breadth of support, which spans all political parties and four continents, reflects both the severity of the situation and ongoing unified international support for the principle of one-country, two-systems.’
Sir Malcolm told the MoS: ‘The people of Hong Kong need and deserve our support.’
Lord Patter said that China betrayed the semi-autonomous territory by tightening control over the city it had promised could keep freedoms not found on the mainland.
‘What we are seeing is a new Chinese dictatorship,’ Chris Patten told an interview with The Times of London.
‘I think the Hong Kong people have been betrayed by China, which has proved once again that you can´t trust it further than you can throw it.’
He said the British government ‘should make it clear that what we are seeing is a complete destruction of the Joint Declaration,’ a legal document under which the former British colony was returned to China in 1997 under a ‘one country, two systems’ framework.
It gives Hong Kong its own legal system and Western-style freedoms until 2047. But many fear those are quickly eroding after authorities clamped down on massive pro-democracy rallies that rocked the city last year.
The European Union yesterday urged China to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy.
‘We attach great importance to the preservation of Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy in line with the Basic Law and international commitments,’ European Council President Charles Michel, who represents European governments, said.
Speaking after a video conference with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he said Europe and Japan ‘share the same ideas’ on China. ‘We are not naive about Chinese behaviour,’ Michel said.
He said Europe supported the ‘one country, two systems’ principle that governs Hong Kong’s autonomy.
Hong Kong’s national security law is expected to be discussed by China’s National People’s Congress and approved on Thursday.
What is China’s new national security law for Hong Kong?
China is taking matters into its own hands after last year’s tumultuous anti-government protests in Hong Kong that often descended into tear gas-filled clashes.
In a surprise move, the central government announced last week that it would develop laws to outlaw secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in Hong Kong.
The National People’s Congress is expected to ratify the bill on May 28, and legislation could be finalised this summer.
The introduction of the Hong Kong bill was the most controversial move at the opening of National People’s Congress (NPC) . Pictured, delegates gather before the start of the opening session of China’s National People’s Congress held in Beijing on May 22
Sources said the laws would ban secession, foreign interference, terrorism and all seditious activities aimed at toppling the central government in the former British colony. Pictured: Police hold down a protester in Hong Kong on June 12, 2019
The proposal the Congress is set to approve is really a guideline for future steps. It tasks the legislature’s Standing Committee, a smaller body with decision-making authority, with developing specific laws at future meetings.
Two items in the seven-article draft are getting particular attention. One is the possible deployment of state security. The other is the bypassing of Hong Kong’s legislature by crafting and approving the laws in Beijing.
The Hong Kong government is required to enact national security legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law, its constitution, but has been unable or unwilling to do so because of opposition. An attempt in 2003 was abandoned in the face of huge protests.
Fears have risen that China is eyeing to take full control of the city as the potential legislation could be a turning point for its freest and most international city. FILE: Pro-democracy protesters march on a street during a protest in Hong Kong last December
A group of pro-democracy protesters wearing masks are pictured reacting after police fired tear gas during anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong on June 12, 2019
China dropped its bombshell the day before the opening of the annual National People’s Congress on May 22. In the wake of last year’s protests, the most violent since China took back the former British colony in 1997, it said it was stepping in.
Technically, the central government can do this, but it doesn’t look good.
Article 18 of the Basic Law says that the congressional Standing Committee can add laws on defence, foreign affairs and other matters outside Hong Kong’s autonomy. National security falls into that.
After the initial announcement, the biggest shock came in Article 4 of the proposal, which reads in part: ‘When needed, relevant national security organs of the Central People´s Government will set up agencies in (Hong Kong) to fulfill relevant duties to safeguard national security.’
Speculation swirled. Would Chinese police be able to arrest people in Hong Kong? Would arrested protesters be questioned by both local and national police?
‘This may be worrisome. It depends on what the bill says about what powers these people have,’ said Albert Chen, a constitutional law scholar at Hong Kong University and member of a committee that advises the congressional Standing Committee on the Basic Law.
‘If these people have powers of arrest, of search of people´s home or offices, I think people would find it very difficult to accept that,’ he said.
Details may emerge at upcoming committee meetings in late June and late August.
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