Freedom is something which must be the right of every one whether its an individual , company or a country. No one likes when an outsider intrude in the affair of a free country. Still China has guts to introduce a New National Security Law which will be implemented in Hong Kong soon. Confused? How can a country introduce an Act in other country? Well lets discuss the status of Hong Kong and its history with China and how the US step to revoke the special status of Hong Kong is going to affect it?
Hong Kong was given to China on 1 July 1997 as a result of Sino – Britain Declaration on the condition that China will follow ‘One Country Two Party System’ and treat it as Special Administration Region .
The question which should hover over us is why Britain gave Hong Kong to China? Why not keep it to themselves or free it and establish them on their own? The answer lies in the Opium War of 1842 during which Britain won Hong Kong from China . Britain thought that it will be fair enough if we return it to China. Britain emphasised on some points :
Hong Kong would have an autonomous status for fifty years( till 2047).
- It would have freedom of speech and expression.
- Judiciary will be independent.
- It will follow its capitalist ideology .
- It can have trade relation with other nations.
China is allowed to only take decision over defence and external affairs matter of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is not a fully democratic country as per international standard. In recent years students have formed group like Youngspiration and Hong Kong Indigenous and Demosisto who are demanding more democratic structure.
China in it’s annual meeting introduced a New Security Bill which will allow China to punish those in Hong Kong who perform sedition, secession, subversion will be punished strictly. A security force will be established in Hong Kong to look over the selection of judges who will hear the matter regarding the national security case. Basically this law is to eradicate the massive protest which was happening in Hong Kong. Many protestors have been prosecuted as a result and others are forced to leave the country.
This step of China is worrisome as student group in Hong Kong is very active and tend to protest against China ‘s extradition policy now and there. Some of the highlighted movements are Umbrella Movement and Silent Movement In 2012 the same national security legislation was introduced. School curriculum was also tried to be amended regarding Chinese national identity which was seen as a propaganda of China. In 2014 universal suffrage to vote for city’s Chief Executive lead to movements like Umbrella Movement. Media censorship is the major concern nowdays as we can see. These movements are strong evidence that they are not robots and slave of China and they will be vocal and protect their autonomy. They burn China’s flag during protest and speaks against them in mass scale. China is afraid that if Hong Kong’s action won’t be stopped it would lead to exposure of China’s real face around the world.
Before this Act was even decided China sent demarches to the embassy of countries stating that Hong Kong is China’s internal matter and no country is allowed to interfere.
But there are some nations who had strongly put across a valid stand on this like US has revoked their special status. The United States- Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 talks about the relationship between US and Hong Kong .S.102 and 103 of law states that Hong Kong iss fully autonomous from the People’s Republic of China and it should be treated like a separate body. China’s grip on Hong Kong matters are quite evident now and it contradicts the special status and thus the preferential treatment of US given to Hong Kong will be deemed to be given to China. Hence US no more considers Hong Kong separate from mainland China and the President has power to do so under S.202 of the US-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992.
US, Australia , Canada, New Zealand has suspended their extradition treaties with Hong Kong
China is benefitting from the present scenario in every manner but Hong Kong is going to face fall in every tax relaxation they ever got and because of this step by US, Hong Kong will not be strong in re exporter business like before, the export of technologies from US will also get affected as if now Hong Kong have 70% technology of US. The investment policy will remain mostly untouched from this.
UK has extended helping hands and ready to take three million Hong Kong residents to settle in the country and allowed them to apply for citizenship also.
In United Nation fifty three countries supported China’s step whereas only twenty seven countries were against it clearly states that people don’t want to interfere in China’s matter.
India ‘s stand on this matter is neutral which is fair enough according to ne as China never interferes in India’s internal matter so India should also keep that mutual respect between the nation. On the other hand steps taken by US by revoking the special status of Hong Kong is applauding as China is taking away the basic conditions of autonomous status from them. The President of US is also trying to restore the status of Hong Kong. The UK step to provide citizenship to those who wish to leave Hong Kong is visionary but no one would want to leave their country and settle in another one. The situation can be tackled only if China let Hong Kong run the country in whichever manner they want by preventing themselves to indulge in their affairs. Hong Kong acts as a bridge between China and rest of the world.