The international battlefield of Hong Kong ’s National Security Law: how Beijing ’s “perfect time” and the West play

In the two sessions, which passed the most important political trend in China, the international community’s focus over the past week has been Beijing’s sudden announcement that it will consider drafting the formulation of Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Many Chinese observers described the shock as a nuclear bomb.
It is expected that this bill will be announced at the closing ceremony of the National People’s Congress of China on Thursday (May 28). According to the draft report by the Beijing authorities, the Beijing central government will establish a national security agency in Hong KongAs soon as this news came out, Hong Kong and the international community immediately worried that it would violate Hong Kong‘s Basic Law and erode Hong Kong‘s fundamental freedom and a high degree of autonomy.
Beijing seems to no longer care about possible Hong Kong protests and rebounds, US sanctions, and economic impact. It uses some analysis to call bottom-line thinking to push Hong Kong to the battlefield of international gaming.
 
Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations of Hong Kong Baptist University, told the Chinese analysis that Beijing’s choice to act at this time is a perfect time.
But why did Beijing launch the Hong Kong National Security Law at this time? In the current international environment, to what extent can Western countries support Hong Kong‘s pursuit of freedom participate in this game?
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Perfect timing in Beijing

The pandemic of the new coronavirus has plunged many countries into crisis. Officials from various countries are too busy dealing with the epidemic in their own countries and have no time to look around. Hong Kong is also affected by the epidemic, and regulations do not gather more than eight people in public places. Protests lasting six months last year are not yet known. This is what Gao Jingwen calls perfect timing.
In addition, Gao Jingwen also believes that adopting the new National Security Law before the September Legislative Council election will help prevent pan-democrats from being elected.
 
In November last year, the Hong Kong Democrats won a significant victory in the District Council elections during a large-scale protest movement against the revision of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. Analysts believe that the camp that criticizes Beijing will also prevail in this legislative election.
Xia Ming, a professor of political science at the City University of New York, also believed during the Chinese visit that Beijing s introduction of the Hong Kong National Security Law at this time has an opportunistic solid character.

Mainland China Confluence of Democracy and People’s Livelihood

However, Xia Ming believes that this does not mean that Beijing is adopting an offensive strategy against Hong Kong. It is a “defensive measure” taken because of the deep fear of threatening the security of the political system. This is closely related to the current political and economic situation in China.
Xia Ming said that in the past 40 years, the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist regime had been mainly sustained by domestic economic growth. This year, the Chinese economy has been hit hard by the epidemic. Therefore, it has become a “crucial test for the Chinese regime.
 
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang read out the government work report at the May 22 National People’s Congress meeting, which clearly stated that China does not set a GDP growth target for 2020. This is the first time in 30 years that China has no economic growth target, which means that China’s financial recovery process is complicated and facing unpredictable effects.
Xia Ming believes that this is “the first merger of democratic and livelihood appeals” in the past 40 years. In the past, most Chinese intellectuals and elites spoke for the working people at the bottom, including the requirement to abolish the deportation system and improve the rights and treatment of migrant workers. The impact of the new crown epidemic has affected the survival of many people in China. Many people realize that without freedom of information, people may pay the price for their lives.

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In this case, Beijing is worried that if Hong Kong continues to be an economic, political, and cultural enclave beyond the control of the CCP, it will cause considerable shock to the CCP’s ideology. Xia Ming said.
It is not difficult to understand that although China’s economy has suffered setbacks, its defense spending has continued to grow. At the two sessions, the Chinese government revealed that China’s defense budget would increase by 6.6% yearly in 2020.
Wu Qian, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, said that China faces new risks and challenges in national security. The anti-secession struggle situation is more complicated. He emphasized that China must calculate both the financial account and the security account when considering the federal defense budget.

Central administration of Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s then Chief Executive, Dong Jianhua, tried to promote Article 23 legislation of the Basic Law relating to national security in 2003, triggering large-scale demonstrations and putting this law on hold. Beijing believes that since then, the law has been severely stigmatized and demonized, and it has been practically difficult for the Hong Kong government to complete the legislation. Therefore, it was decided that the central government should intervene directly.
In addition, in 2019, a protest movement that shook the world broke out in Hong Kong. For several months, Beijing continued to condemn demonstrators’ violence in Hong Kong and even said that there had been terrorist signs in Hong Kong.
Zhu Zhiqun, a professor of political science and international relations at Bucknell University in the United States, told the  Chinese that this is the detonation of Beijing’s decision to legislate.
Analysts pointed out that since last year, Beijing’s move towards Hong Kong has been taking shape. In October last year, the Fourth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party drew a blueprint for the central government’s Hong Kong governance policy, which clearly stated that “the establishment and improvement of the legal system and enforcement mechanism for the particular administrative region to maintain national security. Earlier this year, Luo Huining and Xia Baolong were appointed to manage two crucial Hong Kong governance systems: the Central Liaison Office and the Hong Kong and Macao Office, a crucial part of the central government’s authoritarian governance of Hong Kong
 
They were assigned to complete a task: to force Hong Kong to comply with the regulations and control the protests. Gao Jingwen said.
There are already indications that the two officials began to deploy immediately after taking office. On April 18 this year, the Liaison Office issued a statement saying that the two offices are authorized by the central government to deal with Hong Kong affairs and are not subject to the regulations of the Basic People’s Government’s various departments under the Basic Law not to interfere in Hong Kong affairs. They have the right to represent. The central government exercises supervisory power.
 

 

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