|Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 24 May 2020 Robert Ng, SCMP|
Since they announced a few days ago that the National People’s Congress will insert a national Security Law into Hong Kong’s Basic Law, pro-Beijingers have been busy spinning how it’s nothing to worry about. Beijing, of course, via Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Premier Li Keqiang.And their HK acolytes: Yesterday a double page spread, an ad in the SCMP from a group of Beijing-friendly businessmen, analysing the law and assuring us there’s nothing to worry about. Same day a full page spread in Chinese only from the China Merchants company here in HK, “warmly welcoming” the new legislation.
And this morning at her weekly presser, C-E Carrie Lam on how we have “nothing to worry about”.
Which all rather begs the question: then why do it? If no one need fear it, what’s the point?
But we all know what the point is. It’s to have something to hammer with. To hammer those that have been openly calling in the US to intervene. Who demonstrate waving the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack. Who go to the US Congress and British parliament to beg for interference. And who call for independence for Hong Kong.
On that last point, I’ve said for years on this blog that if you want to have Beijing interfere in our affairs, go ahead and ask for independence. The “high degree of autonomy” never meant independence. And all of us knew that except the blockheads leading the violent protesters.
So we are where we are. With a law to deal with that.
I don’t mind that part. The part that worries me is about “theft of state secrets”. Because I know that’s been used in the mainland to jail journalists.
That’s my biggest fear. Erosion of freedom of the press. Awa the right to freely assemble. Not the bit aimed at stopping moves to independence.