By Dilip Barua
General Secretary, Communist Party of Bangladesh (ML)
General Secretary, Communist Party of Bangladesh (ML)
The British entered in China as opium traders. Later, in 1841, they occupied Hong Kong. After occupying Hong Kong, British imperialism implemented a highly centralised colonial political system. Hong Kong’s colonial governors were appointed by the British government instead of being democratically elected. Under British rule, Hong Kongese could not enjoy equal citizenship and equal participation in politics, and they suffered from colonial oppression.
But an outstanding leader like Comrade Deng Xiaoping had formulated one country two systems, and afterwards in 1997 British colonial rule ended and Hong Kong was handed over to the government of the People’s Republic of China.
In this way Hong Kong has become a legal and sovereign component of China, with its basic law constitution endorsed by the National People’s Congress – which, as China’s foremost legislative body, issues such formal power. Hong Kong has designated autonomy, but it is not something ‘independent’ of China, it is legally and constitutionally part of China.
Before unification with mainland China, the Hong Kongese were the subjects under the British Crown, and they did not enjoy the fundamentals rights of citizenship. Now they are the proud citizens of a prosperous and prestigious country – the People’s Republic of China. The Hong Kongese are enjoying a unique way of life, and their economic and social system is not going to change. But although “two systems means two systems”, “one country means one country”.
Now, 23 years after returning to China, Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy and Hong Kong’s people also enjoy more political rights than they ever had under British rule. Since Hong Kong returned to China in 1997, the city has had nothing to do with the UK. However, some British politicians such as Chris Patten, the last British Governor of Hong Kong, still dream of the time when the UK ran this Chinese port. These days the UK’s intervention in Hong Kong affairs will be not go beyond verbal complaints and, as far as I understand, they can never truly affect Hong Kong affairs.
After returning to China, Hong Kong benefited greatly from various preferential economic policies. The establishment of the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macau Greater Bay Area is also a huge support for the development of Hong Kong. Under the “one country two systems” principle the people of Hong Kong enjoy more freedom and democracy today than they have ever had before, and the city’s economic and social system remains unchanged.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is an inseparable part of the People’s Republic of China and the central government exercises overall jurisdiction over HKSAR. To implement and exercise overall jurisdiction over security and development interests, as well as maintaining the prosperity and the stability of the HKSAR, is both a right and a responsibility of the central government.
When Hong Kong was a British colony the Hong Kongese did not enjoy democratic rights and freedom. Their colonial masters hated the people of Hong Kong and treated them like serfs. Some Hong Kongese developed a slavish mentality, these people did not want to reunite with the mainland or become citizens of the People’s Republic of China. Some of these people are the local base of the imperialists seeking to restore the old order.
Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, US imperialism has played an active role in cultivating anti-communist forces in Hong Kong. The lack of a national security law has enabled the USA to extend its influence into the education, social life and media spheres in Hong Kong.
Last year US imperialism began to use the deeply rooted anti-communist and anti-China forces in Hong Kong as part of its trade war with China. Massive, violent protests rocked Hong Kong.
US imperialism’s strategic design is to create deadlock in Hong Kong. Anglo-American imperialism, backed by Japan and the Taiwanese regime, are fomenting unrest to destabilise the Chinese government. The Americans can count on the Taiwan regime to give direct support to the anti-China forces in Hong Kong. Taiwan may give political asylum to the Hong Kongese secessionist forces; they may even create a puppet Hong Kongese government in Taiwan.
In recent years Hong Kong’s autonomous government has faced an increasingly acute situation in safeguarding national security. When the anti-extradition protests erupted in 2019, the imperialist-inspired reactionary separatist forces started to call for “Hong Kong independence”. They brought terror to the streets of Hong Kong in their attempt to challenge the
authority of the central government and the HKSAR basic law. Their violent acts threaten the prosperity of Hong Kong and seriously challenge the principle of “one country, two systems”.
The Americans use ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’ to poke their nose into the internal affairs of any country they dislike. But President Trump would be best advised to turn his attention instead to the genuine democratic movement of the American people against racism and establish a democratic system for 99 per cent of the citizens in his own country.
Time has shown the need to improve the legal system and enforcement mechanism in Hong Kong to ensure the long-term stability of the “one country, two system” principle, and to protect the prosperity and stability of the HKSAR.
Whilst Hong Kong will continue to have a high degree of autonomy, China has the sovereign right to implement national security legislation in its own territory, as per any country.
No country will turn a blind eye to actions severely undermining its national security. That’s why China’s top legislative body had to plug the loopholes in Hong Kong concerning national security. China’s actions fully demonstrate the utmost care for the overall interests of Hong Kong and the fundamental wellbeing of their Hong Kong compatriots.
External forces are openly meddling in Hong Kong affairs and severely challenging the bottom line of the principle of “one country, two systems”. These forces have colluded with the rioters who have seriously threatened China’s national security. It is, therefore, a necessary and urgent task to restore stability and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security.
The national security legislation for Hong Kong is targeted at secession, subversion, terrorism and external interference. The new law will end the chaos. It only targets the small minority who are committing crimes to damage national security. It will in no way affect the legitimate rights and freedoms enjoyed by most of the citizens. The principle object of the security law is to protect the territory from falling into the hands of the hostile forces at all costs.
US imperialism is using Hong Kong as a pawn in its struggle to undermine China. The continued instability in Hong Kong may plunge the once prosperous Asian financial hub and business crossroads into long-term recession.
US imperialism is piling the pressure on China, imposing sanctions against Beijing and withdrawing customs facilities. But the USA is no longer as wealthy and strong as before, weakened by the coronavirus pandemic and the disarray within the Tramp administration.
Mainland China is the hinterland for business, so any sanction or withdrawal of facilities from Hong Kong will be a futile exercise. In this objective situation China should go forward by implementing the security law in the interest of Hong Kongese. I strongly believe that when the security law is implemented Hong Kong will takes its place, once again, as a global economic hub.
With its vast experiences of struggle, China will face the future relying on the people and strong institutional processes.