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International Relations

Global Response to China's Security Law on Hong Kong

  • 07 Jul 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, several countries have proposed measures to protect Hong Kong residents fleeing potential political persecution from China's new National Security Law.

  • China’s new security law criminalizes what it deems secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with a foreign country.

Key Points

  • United Kingdom’s Response:
    • It has described the security law as a clear and serious violation of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration under which it handed back its colony to China in 1997.
      • Under the Joint Declaration, China had promised to maintain Hong Kong’s capitalist and more open political system for 50 years under "one country, two systems".
      • Since the handover, Hong Kong residents have accused China of overstepping its authority.
        • The Umbrella Movement was a series of protests in 2014 that called for more transparent elections for the city’s chief executive.
        • In 2019 protests erupted in Hong Kong over a proposed bill to allow extradition to mainland China.
    • It has decided to offer British citizenship to around three million residents of Hong Kong.
    • It is also rethinking its provisional decision to allow Huawei (China’s Company) to be involved in the development of Britain's 5G infrastructure.
  • Taiwan’s Response:
    • It has opened the Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchange Office in order to help facilitate asylum for people fleeing Hong Kong.
    • Taiwan was the first state which pledged to support Hong Kong residents seeking asylum, in May 2020.
      • China also claims Taiwan to be part of China and threatens to use force to take over the island.
      • China has proposed to Taiwan that it follow the “one country, two systems” model to unite with China. But the Taiwanese reject any idea of uniting with mainland China.
  • Other Country’s Response:
    • The USA has passed a Bipartisan Bill to sanction Chinese officials who violate Hong Kong's freedoms.
      • It is also planning to bring the Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act, which would open up a route for asylum for Hong Kong’s frontline activists in immediate danger.
    • Australia is considering offering Hong Kong residents temporary protection visas that will allow refugees to live in the country for up to three years.
    • Japan said that it is seriously concerned about China’s decision toward Hong Kong.
    • India has been keeping a close watch on recent developments in Hong Kong.
  • Chinese Reaction to Global Response:
    • It has said that the security law issue is purely China's internal affairs, and no foreign country has the right to interfere.
    • It has condemned the UK’s citizenship offer to Hong Kongers and warned the UK for serious consequences.
      • It considers all residents living in Hong Kong, including those with British National Overseas passports, as Chinese nationals.
      • It has said that the UK's U-turn on its Huawei decision would damage the UK's image as an open, business-friendly environment.
    • It has accused Taiwan administration of nurturing a separatist plot in Hong Kong and warned for a military response.

Source: TH

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