US Condemns Beijings Move to Impose National Security Law on Hong Kong

Pompeo said the United States 'will continue to stand with the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong'

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a stern warning against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) after it decided to impose a draconian national security law on Hong Kong, saying that the United States “will not stand idly by while China swallows Hong Kong.”

“Today marks a sad day for Hong Kong, and for freedom-loving people across China,” Pompeo stated in a press release from the State Department on June 30.

“Hong Kong demonstrated to the world what a free Chinese people could achieve—one of the most successful economies and vibrant societies in the world,” he observed. “But Beijings paranoia and fear of its own peoples aspirations have led it to eviscerate the very foundation of the territorys success, turning One Country, Two Systems into One Country, One System.'”

“One Country, Two Systems” is a framework by which Beijing promised to preserve Hong Kongs autonomy upon the citys transfer of sovereignty from Britain to China in 1997.

The national security law went into effect at 11 p.m. local time on June 30 after ceremonial votes by Chinas rubber-stamp legislature, the National Peoples Congress (NPC) on the same day.

The law criminalizes individuals for any acts of subversion, secession, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces, with maximum penalties of life imprisonment.

police in hong kong
police in hong kong
Police officers ask people to leave during a protest after Chinas parliament passes a national security law for Hong Kong, in Hong Kong, on June 30, 2020. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

Among the different provisions under the law, the Chinese regime has ultimate jurisdiction over security cases and will establish a security bureau that would instruct and supervise the Hong Kong government over the laws implementation.

The passage of the law immediately drew criticism from the pro-democracy camp in Hong Kong, with lawmaker Tanya Chan equating the law to a “death certificate” for “one country, two systems.”

There has been an international outcry, with criticisms coming from more than 27 countries, as well as Taiwan and the European Union. Many U.S. lawmakers also voiced their opposition, with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saying the laws passage “signals the death of one country, two systems.”

Pompeo said in his statement that the CCPs move to enact the national security law “demonstrates once again that Beijings commitments—in this case, the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law—are empty words,” referring to the treaty that governed Hong Kongs handover and is supposed to guarantee Hong Kong people 50 years of freedom.

“The United States will not stand idly by while China swallows Hong Kong into its authoritarian maw,” he said, adding that the United States has already taken a number of actions in response, which include imposing visa restrictions on CCP officials for eroding Hong Kongs autonomy and freedoms, revoking Hong Kongs special trading status, and imposing similar export restrictions on the city as iRead More – Source