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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 22-May-2020
22-May-20 World View -- China to pass law threatening full control of Hong Kong

Web Log - May, 2020

22-May-20 World View -- China to pass law threatening full control of Hong Kong

China puts 100 million people under lockdown, as possible virus mutation emerges

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

China to pass law threatening full control of Hong Kong

Annual Hong Kong vigil on June 4, 2019, to commemorate the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. (Hong Kong Free Press)
Annual Hong Kong vigil on June 4, 2019, to commemorate the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. (Hong Kong Free Press)

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has run "out of patience" with the repeated pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in the last year, and will pass laws on "Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanisms for Hong Kong to Safeguard National Security." The law will be discussed on Friday by the National People's Congress (NPC), and the rubber-stamp NPC is expected to pass it.

Depending on the details, the new laws could mean the complete repudiation of the "one country, two systems" formula that the CCP committed to honor in its 1984 agreement with the United Kingdom. The net of all the new laws is that the CCP is ending any pretense of meeting its commitments under the agreement.

The laws for Hong Kong will cover secession, foreign interference, terrorism and subversion against the central government.

Even talking about "secession" is already illegal, and presumably the new laws will specify even harsher punishment for speaking out. "Foreign interference" refers to American support of pro-democracy activists' free speech in Hong Kong, but also refers to Britain's insistence that the CCP abide by the commitments it made in the 1984 joint declaration treaty to allow freedom of speech and assembly in Hong Kong and a free press. The treaty is now part of international law, but the CCP considers itself superior to international law and not bound by it, although it demands that everyone else be bound by it. "Terrorism" is the catch-all phrase that dictators and war criminals use to justify mass arrests or mass slaughter. "Subversion" refers to any speech or act that the CCP feels threatens it. For example, even showing a Winnie the Pooh cartoon is considered subversive, since Xi Jinping looks like Winnie the Pooh.

A top CCP official, Wang Yang, in a speech on Thursday that free speech in Hong Kong was only permitted to "stop violence and curb disorder." In describing the new laws, Wang pointedly omitted phrases frequently used in the past, like "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong," nor the city’s "high degree of autonomy."

The CCP has already been cracking down on Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement since January, by arresting a number of people under vaguely specified charges. It's believed that the CCP is taking advantage of the worldwide distraction from the Wuhan Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic crisis to get away with passing this law without any international reaction.

In addition, the CCP is hoping that the strict enforcement of social distancing regulations will prevent the large public demonstrations and riots that occurred last year.

However, the CCP may be underestimating the anger of the Hong Kong activists, or the support that the international community may be willing to provide them.

Mike Pompeo harshly criticizes the CCP as a 'brutal, authoritarian regime'

Even before Thursday's announcement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to end America's special economic treatment of Hong Kong, if the CCP did not meet the requirements of the "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019," passed by the US Congress in November of last year.

That threat was part of an extremely harsh set of criticisms of the CCP related to the pandemic handling, and CCP threats against Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong:

"I want to begin today with a few observations on China, because the media’s focus on the current pandemic risks missing the bigger picture of the challenge that’s presented by the Chinese Communist Party. First, basic facts. China’s been ruled by a brutal, authoritarian regime, a communist regime since 1949.

For several decades, we thought the regime would become more like us through trade, scientific exchanges, diplomatic outreach, letting them in the WTO as a developing nation. That didn’t happen.

We greatly underestimated the degree to which Beijing is ideologically and politically hostile to free nations. The whole world is waking up to that fact. ...

Second point on the bigger picture: The Chinese Communist Party’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan have accelerated our more realistic understanding of communist China.

The Party chose to destroy live virus samples instead of sharing them or asking us to help secure them.

The People’s Liberation Army has claimed more features in the South China Sea’s international waters, sank a Vietnamese fishing boat, threatened a Malaysian energy prospector, and declared a unilateral fishing ban. The United States condemns these unlawful acts.

The Chinese Communist Party chose to threaten Australia with economic retribution for the simple act of asking for an independent inquiry into the origins of the virus. It’s not right.

We stand with Australia and the more than 120 nations now who have taken up the American call for an inquiry into the origins of the virus, so we can understand what went wrong and save lives now, and in the future.

The Chinese Communist Party also chose to pressure the World Health Organization’s director-general into excluding Taiwan from this week’s World Health Assembly in Geneva. ...

Turning for a moment to Taiwan: I want to say congratulations to President Tsai on her inauguration. The democratic process in Taiwan has matured into a model for the world. Despite great pressure from the outside, Taiwan has demonstrated the wisdom of giving people a voice and a choice.

In Hong Kong, our decision on whether or not to certify Hong Kong as having “a high degree of autonomy” from China is still pending. We’re closely watching what’s going on there.

This week pro-democracy legislators were man-handled while trying to stop a procedural irregularity by pro-Beijing legislators. Leading Hong Kong activists like Martin Lee and Jimmy Lai were hauled into court. Actions like these make it more difficult to assess that Hong Kong remains highly autonomous from mainland China."

With regarding to Hong Kong, Pompeo was threatening to end America's special economic treatment of Hong Kong, if the CCP did not meet the requirements of the "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019," passed by Congress in November of last year.

The law requires that "Hong Kong must remain sufficiently autonomous from the People's Republic of China to justify treatment under a particular law of the United States, or any provision thereof, different from that accorded the People's Republic of China."

The law requires that the CCP support free elections and "the robust exercise by residents of Hong Kong of the rights to free speech, the press, and other fundamental freedoms," and "freedom from arbitrary or unlawful arrest, detention, or imprisonment for all Hong Kong residents."

The special economic treatment of Hong Kong grants such things as tariff-free special access to US markets and easier visa approval, things are not granted to mainland China. If that treatment is withdrawn, then Hong Kong will be treated the same as mainland China.

Needless to say, the CCP was infuriated by Pompeo's statements, and went into their usual acting out expressions of outrage, this time accusing Pompeo of "blackmailing" the Hong Kong government, and of blatantly interfering in China's internal affairs.

So it's worth pointing out that Pompeo is only demanding that the CCP honor commitments that it already made which, or course, is a laughable concept to the CCP, leaders of the Master Race.

Still, it's hard to overstate how harsh Pompeo's criticisms of the CCP were. The point is that we're continuing on a long-term trend of growing hostility between China and the US, with no end in sight. Chinese and Americans are becoming increasingly xenophobic toward each other, and this has increased substantially since the pandemic crisis began.

Long-time Generational Dynamics readers will be aware that this is the path to war. Due to the mutual belligerence and hostility, a small military confrontation in the South China Sea or elsewhere could spiral into a larger and larger war, and engulf other nations. That's the path that China and the US are on. This will not end well.

China puts 100 million people under lockdown, as possible virus mutation emerges

China has put over 100 million people into renewed lockdown, as major new virus outbreak clusters have appeared, in a feared "second wave." The outbreaks are occurring in China's Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces (the former Manchuria in China's northeast), on the borders with Russia and North Korea. There are also new outbreaks in Wuhan.

According to one Chinese expert, those infections in Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces are presenting slightly different symptoms, suggesting that there may have been a mutation. In the 1917-1919 Spanish Flu pandemic, a mutation occurred in the summer of 1918 that made the second wave in fall 1918 much worse than the first wave. That doesn't mean that the same thing will happen with Covid-19, but there are fears that it might.


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