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Security against what?

“China proposes controversial Hong Kong security law”, reports the BBC:

China is proposing to introduce a new security law in Hong Kong that could ban sedition, secession and subversion.

And:

Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, which provides the territory certain freedoms not available on the mainland, does require its government to bring in a security law. It had tried to enact the so-called “sedition law” in 2003 but more than 500,000 people took to the streets and it was dropped.

I would have welcomed more information on this mysterious clause in the Basic Law that requires Hong Kong’s government “to bring in a security law”. On what timescale? Who is the judge as to whether a security law does or does not meet this mysterious requirement? Oh yes, and SECURITY FROM WHAT?

But that paragraph was a model of robust independent reporting compared to this one:

A mainland source told the South China Morning Post that Beijing had decided Hong Kong would not be able to pass its own security law and the NPC would have to take the responsibility.

That makes it sound as if Hong Kong’s parliamentarians were not clever enough to pass this law, or that they were dodging the “responsibility” of passing it the way a negligent father might dodge his maintenance payments. To be charitable, these are the words of a “mainland source”, that is, a man whose tongue is operated from a distance by a controller with a joystick, but why does the British Broadcasting Corporation let pass without challenge the Orwellian language of the Chinese Communist Party? We do not have to do that. We are not in the EU any more.

13 comments to Security against what?

  • bobby b

    Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23.

    “Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23 is an article in the Basic Law of Hong Kong. It states that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region “shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.””

  • decnine

    “…why does the British Broadcasting Corporation let pass without challenge the Orwellian language of the Chinese Communist Party?”

    In the words of Bob Dylan, “How come you have to ask me that?”

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Bobby B,

    Thanks for the link. As I thought, “security” here means “security of the ‘People’s Government’ against the people of Hong Kong”.

    decnine,

    Quite. Many claim that some of Orwell’s inspiration for the atmosphere of the Ministry of Truth in 1984 came not from his copious research into what was going on in the Soviet Union, but from his time working in the BBC. That’s probably a little unfair to the Beeb, but still…

  • Mr Ecks

    Does anyone have an idea of what the realistic costs/damage might be from a nuclear war with China? In the spirit of Herman Khan–maybe better to fight it now than 20 years from now.

    No comedians please.

  • Penseivat

    When Hong Kong was handed back to China, there was an agreement that the ex Colony would be a Special Administrative Area for 50 years. That period still has some way to go. The current activities of the CCP show that, despite what they agreed on, they were lying, and have shown time and time again, how little they can be trusted.

  • Paul Marks

    The People’s Republic of China a vicious dictatorship – and the Communist Party dictatorship all over the world, not openly but by pushing its type of government (but with a bit of window dressing).

    This evil is firmly supported by most international “governance” bodies – and by most of Big Business.

    This is unfortunate.

    The PRC “Social Credit” system is also the de facto goal of most of the international establishment – government, and business.

    The education systems and “mainstream” media also push this evil.

    It does not matter if it is the ruler of China, a Western teacher or academic, or Big Business type (such as Mr Bloomberg or Mr Gates) or the “mainstream” media – they all have the same objective.

    Tyranny. That is NOT the word they use (not at all) – but they the people of the world to do as they are told, and have no choice. And that is tyranny.

  • the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region “shall enact laws ON ITS OWN to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government

    Thanks for promptly locating this, bobby b. I fear it will not help Hong Kong much that the weasel words speak rather plainly to their decision to break the agreement in this area, but I agree with Natalie that the beeb could have mentioned (we can hope will, at some point, mention) the detail.

    It is fairly clear that great deference to the CCP – what the treaty originally intended – has been given since the treaty, but that is not enough for the CCP now.

  • Nico

    We are not in the EU any more.

    But you haven’t left the UK yet, it seems. More charitably, you’ve not yet become a shadow of what the UK once was. You can have the Tories win an election very very convincingly, but as they are indistinguishable from Blairite Labour, just what is the point? And now you’re stuck with a useless government for five years.

    There is just one good thing about parliamentary democracy: early elections. But this time you won’t even get that. Five years.

    No no, at least the American system gives us a safety valve every two years. True, our Republicans are almost as useless as your Tories. Still. It’s such a pleasure to see Democrats defeated, even if by useless Republicans, and we get a chance every two years.

  • bobby b

    Penseivat
    May 22, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    “The current activities of the CCP show that, despite what they agreed on, they were lying, and have shown time and time again, how little they can be trusted.”

    Not to disagree on the “how little they can be trusted” point, but from a pure legal view, HK did itself no favors when it breached that Agreement itself by failing to enact its own version of that law.

    And, given that it has been in breach since 1997, it really can’t fall back on a “but we’re getting to it!” excuse. They shot themselves in the foot.

  • Mudplugger

    When Britain’s 150-year lease came up in 1997, it was only necessary for Britain to hand over control to China, both parties knew that. A period of (unnecessary) negotiation produced a format for the next 50 years – at the time, the Chinese government was content to go along with that.

    The world has moved on greatly in the past 20+ years, China is a vastly different entity, it sees no reason to adhere to those earlier terms in either letter or spirit and, quite frankly, no-one can or will do anything about it now.

    The Hong Kongers got an extra 20 years from those negotiations, be thankful for that, but their time is now up, China will not play along any more, Honk Kong is just a part of China, get used to it.

  • China will not play along any more, Honk Kong is just a part of China, get used to it.

    Mostly true but so what? There is no need to ‘get used to it’, this is an opportunity to exact a price, politically & economically. I’d like to see Hong Kongers, a particularly educated & wealthy group of people, in the express lane for UK passports & if China dislikes that notion (which apparently they do), all the better.

  • bobby, that completely misunderstand the realties of HK politics & the role of China in it. No, they did not “shoot themselves in the foot” because there was never the slightest chance of enacting that section of the treaty that did not give China 100% of what it wanted, which was always unacceptable to a majority of Hong Kongers.

    This can was always going to get kicked down the road for as long as possible, because it was a choice between “fudge” and “the end one nation two systems”. This has been explained to me by a great many Hong Kong residents over the years.

  • bobby b

    Perry de Havilland (London)
    May 26, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    “No, they did not “shoot themselves in the foot” because there was never the slightest chance of enacting that section of the treaty that did not give China 100% of what it wanted, which was always unacceptable to a majority of Hong Kongers.”

    I appreciate your loyalty to them, but unless you’re saying they could never have passed any legislation that purported to address that treaty requirement (even if it didn’t actually do anything except to give them some legalistic hook to argue that they were in compliance and thus at least delay China’s unilateral move), then you’re mostly arguing WHY they shot themselves in the foot.

    Alternatively, if you’re saying that HK society is too polarized between pro-China and anti-China to have passed any such legislation, then I’ll concede that they’re all shooting each other in the feet.

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