There have been some very disturbing developments in Hong Kong that are hastening the slide of the former democratic island government under the jackboot of the Chinese Communist Party.
Part of a new “security law” that China has rammed down Hong Kong’s throat includes the power of the government to “disqualify” legislators for being “unpatriotic.”
The law gave the government power to remove any legislators deemed “a threat to national security” without going through the courts. Hong Kong promptly removed four of the more visible members of the pro-democracy movement, leading the remaining 15 members of the Legislative Council to resign.
The four had initially been banned from running in the semi-autonomous city’s legislative elections, which were scheduled to be held September 6, after calling on the U.S. to impose sanctions on Hong Kong officials. Those elections were postponed, with authorities blaming the coronavirus.
“We, from the pro-democracy camp, will stand with our colleagues who are disqualified. We will resign en masse,” Wu Chi-wai, convener of the legislature’s remaining 15 pro-democracy members, said later on Wednesday, confirming the mass-resignation.
It’s amazing and disheartening to watch a free people being subjugated. The entire national character of Hong Kong is being obliterated before our eyes.
All pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong resign after 4 colleagues ousted under new law disqualifying “unpatriotic” legislators.
Legislature w/ no effective opposition for the first time since the city’s 1997 handover.
While the US is distracted, Hong Kong thrown under the bus. pic.twitter.com/75aTUWxkgo
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) November 11, 2020
The takeover has been swift and sure — almost as if Beijing planned it this way.
Their strategy was relatively simple. First Hong Kong’s Basic Law, which is considered a local law, was introduced into the larger legal framework of the constitution of the People’s Republic of China.
This meant officials with China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), could now intervene in interpreting Hong Kong’s Basic Law, expanding Beijing’s reach into legal matters in the territory.
This has happened five times to date, including with this week’s decision from Beijing allowing Hong Kong lawmakers to be expelled from the city’s legislature, without having the recourse of a court hearing.
All China was waiting for was the right moment. This is a 3,000-year-old civilization that has learned to be patient. They waited for the fortuitous correlation of forces of the pandemic and America’s distraction and saw the opportunity to pounce.
Now the legislature is a rubber stamp for Chinese policy. What that means going forward is that China can impose its will on Hong Kong “legally” and there will be few complaints.
After all, is it worth going to war for Hong Kong’s independence? I didn’t think so.
Chinese Communism is not like the old Soviet-style communism. China is not expansionist — yet. And they have recognized the value of semi-free markets. But in regime brutality, they match the Soviet Union body for body.
Hong Kong will be milked dry by Beijing and the people left wondering what happened.