On July 8th, 2020 the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (CPGNSO) was temporarily inaugurated at a hotel in Causeway Bay, the commercial district which has long been the focal point of marches and rallies critical of the regional government and the central power structure behind it.
At the opening ceremony, also attended by Zheng Yanxiong, appointed CPGNSO Director, and Luo Huining, head of the Hong Kong-Beijing Liaison Office, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that the national security law just implanted in the territory still would enable people in Hong Kong to “exercise their rights and freedoms without being intimidated and attacked”.
The controversial legislation, which according to Chinese officials merely restores stability after the violent protests that started last summer, was passed on June 30th and is the legal basis for the establishment of the CPGNSO.
It has caused worldwide alarm for supposedly undermining the “One country, two systems”, a concept agreed on by Great Britain and China before the handover in 1997, which for 50 years granted the former Crown colony extensive privileges compared to the rest of the country.
For the first time ever, security agents from other parts of the Middle Kingdom will have the power to investigate suspects for a wide range of new (political) crimes and potentially extradite them to China proper for trial, where conviction rates are quite high.
The main offenses to be persecuted in the future are secession from the motherland, subversion of authority, terrorism (which could include the damage of public property) and collusion with foreign or external forces, all punishable with a maximum of life in prison.
At the end, those in Hong Kong who vehemently opposed the withdrawn national security bill of 2003, the measures announced in 2018 targeting the growing independence movement, and the shelved Extradition Law of 2019 got much more of what they didn’t want. Fearing for his safety, one prominent opposition figure left for an unknown destination.
Not the peaceful demonstrators worried about the curtailing of rights that they considered incompatible with autonomy, but the steadily increasing number of regular rioters and their acts of senseless destruction have done a disservice to their home town and confirmed the Chinese falcons’ very skeptical opinion about the fragility of democracy.
On October 1st, 2019, when the People’s Republic of China (PRC) celebrated 70 years of existence, Hong Kong experienced one of its most chaotic days, involving black-clad, well-equipped urban fighters.
While the police was being attacked with petrol bombs, bamboo poles, baseball bats, bricks and other projectiles, a young man was shot in the chest. Unnecessary provocations, like dishonoring the PRC’s symbols and attacking its institutions, had happened before.
In Western nations it has become fashionable to burn national flags with complete impunity, though this concept of freedom of expression doesn’t go down well in other cultures, especially as it required huge efforts to stir up nationalism in China, where traditionally it was more common to identify with one’s province of origin.
It is indisputable that the Red Mandarins had the intention of tightening the strings in the financial hub before 2047 anyway. But the recent developments in the United States, where after the death of a Black criminal at the hands of a White police officer law and order basically broke down, have shown the weakness of the much-trumpeted civil society.
The leadership in Peking noticed again how self-hating Antifa hooligans and self-proclaimed eternal victims of abuse from the Black Lives Matter orbit have destroyed, looted and killed without any noticeable negative consequences for them.
As if that wasn’t bad enough already, they could witness how peaceful sympathizers around the world defended deadly vandalism as somehow justified by alleged systemic racism, which is clearly denied by those conservative successful Blacks in the US that never appear on mainstream media.
The image of the security forces both in the US and Europe has been further damaged by absurd decisions such as the dismantlement of the police department in Minneapolis under its first Black chief or the public kneeling down of police in full gear in Germany. If it ever was against racial discrimination, now it’s obviously about the hated system as a whole.
Above all, the Chinese Communists are power politicians who carefully observe how the West is following a path of self-destruction adorned with flowery words and faked moral superiority.
To prevent the virus of false or misunderstood Western ideas from spreading further in their sphere of influence, Peking has taken decisive action. Mao Tse-tung’s heirs might be scoundrels, but they aren’t idiots.