Australia, US, UK, and Canada Unite to Condemn Beijing’s Hong Kong Security Bill for Second Time in a Week

Diplomacy expert says Beijing seeks to establish 'Greater China'
May 28, 2020 Updated: May 29, 2020

A coalition of democratic nations including Australia, the United States, the UK, and Canada have combined to condemn Beijing as it formally passed a new security law targeting Hong Kong. It is the second time this week that Australia combined with a number of other nations to do so.

The statement was signed by Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and her international counterparts on May 28. The statement called Hong Kong a “bastion of freedom,” and said Beijing’s actions would “jeopardise” the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong.

On May 28, Beijing approved the new security bill with it passing by 2,878 votes in favour, and one vote against. The bill was passed by the regime’s rubber-stamp legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC), and not via Hong Kong’s legislature, effectively overriding the democratic city’s official lawmaking body.

The joint statement said the move would “curtail the Hong Kong people’s liberties and, in doing so, dramatically erode Hong Kong’s autonomy and the system that made it so prosperous.”

“We are also extremely concerned that this action will exacerbate the existing deep divisions in Hong Kong society,” the statement read. “The law does nothing to build mutual understanding and foster reconciliation within Hong Kong.”

“The world’s focus on a global pandemic requires enhanced trust in governments and international cooperation. Beijing’s unprecedented move risks having the opposite effect.”

The statement concluded by calling for “a mutually acceptable accommodation that will honour China’s international obligations under the UN-filed Sino-British Joint Declaration.”

Prior to this statement, Australia’s foreign affairs minister, along with her Canadian and UK counterparts issued their first statement on May 23.

The first statement condemned Beijing’s initial announcement of the laws and said Australia, Canada, and the UK were “deeply concerned” that Beijing making law on behalf of Hong Kong without participation from its “people, legislature or judiciary, would clearly undermine the principle of “One Country, Two Systems.”

U.S. President Donald Trump has denounced the Chinese regime’s actions and is considering further action.

Hong Kong Protests Restart Due to Beijing’s Security Law

Protests in Hong Kong have been reignited with Beijing’s controversial security bill. The bill bypasses Hong Kong’s legislature completely, while in the past, previous attempts to pass similar legislation have been through the city’s Legislative Council.

The entire document of the law is not available for review, however, an outline has been published on the Chinese regime’s state-owned media website Xinhua.

The bill gives the NPC power to pass laws to “safeguard national security” and prevent alleged activities that could “split the country, subvert state power, organize and carry out terrorist activities,” as well as prevent “foreign and external forces” from interfering in the city’s affairs.

A wide reading of these clauses means Beijing has the authority to make major changes to the “one country, two systems” framework, which underpins civil rights in Hong Kong.

Joseph Siracusa, professor of international diplomacy at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, told The Epoch Times that Beijing’s new security law “effectively ends” the current legal framework of Hong Kong and will see the communist regime attempt to “crush” the protest movement.

Siracusa said protestors could resist but eventually would retreat “in the face of brutal force.”

Under Beijing’s laws “leaders will be arrested and tried for various breaches of secession, subversion, or terrorism; some will go underground, and some will flee,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo
An anti-extradition bill protester is detained by riot police during skirmishes between the police and protesters outside Mong Kok police station, in Hong Kong, on Sept. 2, 2019. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

“Beijing will crush the movement as an example to others (including Taiwan) that dissent will not be tolerated,” Siracusa said.

However, Beijing will likely pay a “heavy political price” and create a “tsunami of anti-Chinese feeling throughout the international community.”

At the same time, young Hong Kong protestors could provide a “rallying cause” internally within China.

Why Is Beijing Moving on Hong Kong Now?

The Chinese communist regime must currently contend with a new outbreak of the pandemic in its north-eastern regions, and a severely weakened economy caused by the global shutdown.

Siracusa believes that despite these challenges, the Chinese regime has made its move because “the time was perfect, under the radar of the [CCP virus] pandemic crisis.”

“Xi Jinping, who can no longer count on a booming economy, has moved to complete the Greater China,” he said. “And he could not hope to bring Taiwan to heel, without first crushing the [protest movement] in Hong Kong.”

“Greater China” is an adoption of an expansionist policy from the former Soviet Union, which sees the communist regime uniting ethnic Han Chinese across Asia under the one banner.

“In any case, Xi’s endgame is the return of Hong Kong and Taiwan to the fold, and he will pay any political price to do so,” said Siracusa.

Control of Hong Kong is important because Beijing sees the pro-democracy protests as a potential “counter-revolution” to its rule.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has, since gaining power in 1949, instigated regular crackdowns whenever a perceived threat emerges, these crackdowns include the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 and the persecution of the Falun Gong meditation movement in 1999.

“You can always trust communists to act like communists,” Siracusa said.

“The CCP is mindful that Bolshevism (Soviet rule) only lasted 73 years, and that they (the CCP) are already up to 70. Or to put it another way, how long can 90 million party members hold back 1.3 billion fellow countrymen?”

The Chinese Communist Party gained power over China in 1949. Oct. 1, 2019, marked the 70th year it has ruled the country.