Since the transfer of "Hong Kong 26 years ago, China has broken its promises"
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Since the transfer of “Hong Kong 26 years ago, China has broken its promises”

Since the transfer of "Hong Kong 26 years ago, China has broken its promises"

Beijing pledged to uphold Hong Kong’s freedoms, the rule of law, human rights, way of life, and autonomy for at least fifty years as part of an international treaty. Beijing has fully betrayed its commitments, torn up the treaty, and eroded Hong Kong’s freedoms throughout the previous ten years, but notably in the last few. Hong Kong has changed from one of Asia’s most liberal cities to one of its most oppressive police regimes as a result.

The loss of Hong Kong’s liberties started about ten years ago, but Beijing dealt a fatal blow to what little freedom the city still had when it enacted a harsh National Security Law without consultation, discussion, or much advance notice.

Over 60 civil society organisations, including political parties

trade unions, student unions, and human rights organisations, have disbanded in the three years since this law was passed. Additionally, books have been banned, and the legislature has changed from a thriving hub of discussion into a zombie quisling puppet show.

According to legal expert Johannes Chan, 251 persons have been detained for crimes involving national security by the end of May this year. An arrest was made every 4.2 days. Politicians, journalists, professors, students, and members of the press are among them. The majority of those charged are denied bail, and others have been detained for more than two years while they wait for their cases. 100% of defendants are found guilty.

This is eerily reminiscent to mainland Chinese law. This week, I welcomed two really brave individuals who spent years in prison in China. Both people are from abroad. Both Peter Humphrey and Marius Balo are theologians with nearly 50 years of combined experience in China. Peter Humphrey is a British national. Marius Balo is a Romanian. For crimes they did not commit, Peter, his wife, and Marius each endured eight years in a Shanghai prison.

Peter emphasised the point that in China “police, prosecutors, and judges are all part of the same family – the Communist Party” during their Monday testimony before the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission in Parliament. The police don’t look into things with any detective or forensic procedures.

“They depend on extricating admissions from prisoners while they are being grilled step by step locked inside an enclosure,” Peter made sense of at our hearing. Moreover, witness proclamations are forced, arraignment witnesses are not questioned – or even expected to show up in court – and “no problematic proof is permitted,” as per Peter. Effective broadcast admissions are oftentimes utilized, and no guard observers are put to the stand. It’s nothing unexpected that the Chinese framework has an almost wonderful conviction rate.

This is the general set of laws that Hong Kong has advanced into. A city that once invested heavily in law and order is currently an individual from the Chinese Socialist Coalition’s loved ones. Thus, the specialists have denied Hong Kong media business person Jimmy Lai the valuable chance to pick his own business.own legal counselor, and impeded English advodate Tim Owen, KC from regardless of orders by the Court of Definite Allure that Mr Owen ought to be permitted to guard Mr Lai, and banished English attorney Tim Owen, KC from addressing him.

All of this has three grim lessons.

First, the Beijing dictatorship simply cannot be trusted to follow its word. Its pledges in any treaty are worth less than the paper on which they are written.

Second, conducting business in China entails significant risks. Physical, moral, and ethical dangers are in addition to financial concerns. If you try to conduct due diligence, you could end up in jail for a long period, especially given that a new espionage legislation takes effect today and defines business due diligence inquiries as spying. The case of Peter Humphrey is a trailblazer; the recent crackdown on Mintz, Bain, and other corporate investigators foreshadows worse to come. However, if you are unable to conduct due diligence, you are exceedingly risky.
You’re probably unknowingly using forced labour or jail labour in your supply chains, while also turning a blind eye to corruption.

Third, China exclusively values power. If we continue to kowtow, erroneously believing that attempting to befriend the dictators in Beijing will soften their hearts, we will only fuel Beijing’s rising persecution of its own peoples and aggression outside its boundaries.

We must demonstrate courage. This includes speaking up for our nationals when they are imprisoned, defending international accords when they are violated, promoting our values when they are challenged, and ensuring that Beijing’s crimes are punished.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is rumoured to be planning a trip to Beijing soon. I have reservations about this, but the most significant issue about such a visit, in my opinion, is not whether it should happen at all, but what the conditions and aims should be. If he uses the visit to deliver very clear, robust demands for the release of British citizens imprisoned in China – including Mr Lai in Hong Kong – and spells out the consequences if the current trajectory of repression, aggression, slave labour, and atrocity crimes continues, then I am willing to listen. If he sacrifices human rights in order to pander to Xi Jinping, he will betray Britain.

Let us take an honest and educated look at our relationship with the dictatorship in Beijing as we observe the anniversaries of the handover of Hong Kong and the adoption of the security law. Can we have faith in them? The evidence suggests that the answer is no.
. As a result, we must confront them. Failure to do so not only violates our convictions, but also invites them to continue assaulting, infiltrating, intimidating, influencing, and threatening us. On this anniversary of broken promises, that is not an invitation I feel we should extend.

Benedict Rogers is the co-founder and CEO of Hong Kong Watch, as well as the author of “The China Nexus: Thirty Years In and Out.”Around the Chinese of Communist Party’s Tyranny”.

 

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