Rising Tensions Over Crackdown
Tensions between Canada and China reached a breaking point over China's Crackdown on Hong Kong Dissidents.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is required by law to deliver an annual opinion on Hong Kong’s autonomy, told Congress that “no reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China.”
Canada Suspends Extradition Treaty
Today Canada's Primer Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada will Will Suspend its Extradition Treaty with Hong Kong along with other measures.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is suspending Canada’s extradition treaty with Hong Kong, making it the first country to break law enforcement links with the former British colony since China tightened its control over the territory.
Steps will include a ban on the export of sensitive military equipment to Hong Kong and a new travel advisory warning of the impacts of new security legislation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a landmark national security law for Hong Kong earlier this week, a sweeping attempt to quell dissent that drew fresh retaliation and condemnation from around the world. On Friday, Hong Kong filed its first charges under the new law while declaring illegal a key slogan chanted by hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy protesters over months of rallies.
The move by Trudeau will only heighten tensions between the two countries after the arrest of Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in 2018. Beijing subsequently arrested two Canadians and charged them with espionage in June.
U.K. Offers Home to Hong Kong Citizens
Boris Johnson’s government will allow almost 3 million Hong Kong citizens to move to the U.K., risking a further escalation of tensions with China after it enforced a sweeping security law on the former British colony.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, the British prime minister said the new legislation contravenes the 1984 treaty between London and Beijing, which set out the “one country, two systems” approach to protect Hong Kong’s autonomy when it returned to Chinese control in 1997.
Under the U.K. plan, the status of British National (Overseas) passport holders will be upgraded to offer them a path to U.K. citizenship. BNO passports are held by 350,000 people in Hong Kong, with a further 2.5 million eligible for them. China accused the U.K. of meddling in its internal affairs after the proposal was first put forward in May.
Johnson said he’d made clear “that if China continued down this path, we would introduce a new route for those with British National Overseas status to enter the U.K., granting them limited leave to remain, with the ability to live and work in the U.K. and thereafter to apply for citizenship -- and that is is precisely what we will do now.”
Hong Kong Activist Nathan Law Flees
On July 2, NPR reported Hong Kong Activist Nathan Law Says He Has Fled Abroad Amid Beijing-Backed Crackdown.
Prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Law says he has fled the city following the enactment of a new Beijing-sponsored crackdown on free expression, telling NPR that the new national security legislation amounts to a "complete destruction" of Hong Kong's autonomy.
Hours after testifying online to a U.S. congressional hearing about the new law — which comes after a year of anti-Beijing protests and is aimed at punishing acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion — Law announced in a Facebook post late Wednesday that he had fled.
"Hi this is Nathan. I have already left Hong Kong and continue the advocacy work on the international level. Based on risk assessment, I shall not reveal too much about my personal whereabouts and situation now," he said, according to a translation published in the South China Morning Post.
"I think we need to understand that the national security law is tailor-made to target any person" advocating for Hong Kong, Law told NPR from an undisclosed location.
US Cancels Defense Exports to Hong Kong
On June 29, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced U.S. Government Ending Controlled Defense Exports to Hong Kong.
The Chinese Communist Party’s decision to eviscerate Hong Kong’s freedoms has forced the Trump Administration to re-evaluate its policies toward the territory. As Beijing moves forward with passing the national security law, the United States will today end exports of U.S.-origin defense equipment and will take steps toward imposing the same restrictions on U.S. defense and dual-use technologies to Hong Kong as it does for China.
The United States is forced to take this action to protect U.S. national security. We can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled items to Hong Kong or to mainland China. We cannot risk these items falling into the hands of the People’s Liberation Army, whose primary purpose is to uphold the dictatorship of the CCP by any means necessary.
It gives us no pleasure to take this action, which is a direct consequence of Beijing’s decision to violate its own commitments under the U.N.-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration. Our actions target the regime, not the Chinese people. But given Beijing now treats Hong Kong as “One Country, One System,” so must we. The United States is reviewing other authorities and will take additional measures to reflect the reality on the ground in Hong Kong.
Global Tensions With China On the Rise
1984 treaty between London and Beijing is the controlling factor. China broke that treaty with the UK as Boris Johnson and others have noted.
The US, Canada, and the UK have now all taken actions against China.
Those actions are reasonable and measured in these eyes. But the casualty will be global trade.