carefully avoiding any idealisation of the chinese state

Beijing passes anti-democratic security law for Hong Kong
Ben McGrath, WSWS, Jul 2 2020

China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee on Tuesday passed a controversial national security law for HK that will allow the central government to crackdown on political dissent in the city and further curtail democratic rights. The new law took effect Tuesday night, shortly before the 23rd anniversary of the UK’s handover of HK to China. Beijing stated the law is necessary to counter “foreign forces,” which it has blamed for the protests that erupted in HK last summer. An “Office for Safeguarding National Security” will be set up in the city that will allow Beijing’s judicial system to take over criminal cases where there is supposed foreign interference, it is deemed a particularly serious case, or if authorities believe there is a threat to national security. The four types of criminal designations under the new law include subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces. The law states, for example, that anyone who damages government facilities, which became the targets of public anger in protests last year, could be charged with subversion. Workers who attempt to shut down public transportation in a citywide strike could face terrorism charges. Penalties for a conviction range from a minimum of 10 years in prison to life behind bars.

The law has already been used to attack the democratic rights of HK people. On Wednesday, thousands gathered to mark the anniversary of HK’s return to China as well as to speak out against the legislation. Police used water cannon, tear gas, and pepper spray to break up the demonstrations, and arrested nearly 200 people, at least seven specifically under the new law. The legislation will undoubtedly be used to suppress mass protests like those that erupted last year against planned extradition legislation. While millions of people in HK concerned about China’s encroachment on democratic rights joined the demonstrations, the movement was hijacked by protest leaders who appealed to Pindo and British imperialism to intervene to defend democratic rights. This has created the pretext for Beijing to ram through the latest national security legislation. Pindostan & its vassals, including Britain and Australia, are now cynically posturing as defenders of human rights in HK and denouncing the new legislation. Their aim is not to combat the erosion of democratic rights, but to exploit the issue to further ratchet up their confrontation with Beijing. The Trump administration has already announced that it intends to end the special status of HK that continued after its return to China in 1997. Pompeo tweeted on Wednesday:

The previous day, he had tweeted:

Pindo Sec of Commerce Wilbur Ross warned of more economic penalties:

With the CCP’s imposition of new security measures on HK, the risk that sensitive Pindo technology will be diverted to the PLA or MSS has increased, all while undermining the territory’s autonomy. Those are risks that Pindostan refuses to accept and have resulted in the revocation of HK’s special status. Commerce Dept regulations affording preferential treatment to HK over China, including the availability of export license exceptions, are suspended. Further actions to eliminate differential treatment are also being evaluated. We urge Beijing to immediately reverse course and fulfill the promises it has made to the people of HK and the world.

The rank hypocrisy of such comments is underscored by the Trump administration’s response to sustained mass protests in Pindostan against police violence. Last month Trump attempted to mount a coup announcing that he would deploy the military to suppress the demonstrations in a naked breach of the Pindo constitution. Trump’s denunciations of China are in part to deflect attention from his administration’s criminal negligence towards the COVID-19 pandemic that is responsible for the deaths of more than 130k Pindos. Without a shred of evidence, he has blamed China for the pandemic, even accusing it of releasing the virus from a Wuhan virology laboratory. Trump’s virulent anti-China campaign is a continuation of Obama’s “pivot to Asia,” to undermine and ultimately subordinate what Faschingstein regards as the chief threat to its global dominance. HK is just one of the flashpoints in the Indo-Pacific that Pindostan is deliberately inflaming, including Taiwan, the South China Sea and India’s border conflict with China. In an editorial on Tuesday, Global Times criticized Pindostan for declaring the new security legislation marked the end of “one country, two systems,” under which HK was guaranteed limited autonomy after returned to China. It declared:

There is a malicious scheme afoot to pull HK from China into the Pindo power circle and turn the city into a fulcrum for Pindostan to contain China.

While Beijing has concerns about imperialist intrigues in HK, its chief fear is that social and political unrest in the city over democratic and social rights will spill over the border into the rest of China. HK is one of the most socially unequal cities in the world, and the eruption of strikes and protests has the potential to trigger anti-government opposition in China where the economy has slowed dramatically and social tensions have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Officially, 5.9% of the Chinese work-force is unemployed, down slightly from a record high of 6.2% in February, a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, according to Wei Yao and Michelle Lam, economists at Société Générale, some 10% of those considered employed are in fact out of work, meaning as many as 80m workers are without employment. Yao and Lam wrote in May:

The Covid-19 shock to the job market is unprecedented in its scale, length and nature.

Another 600m workers are highly exploited, earning just ¥1k or $140/month, which is not even enough to rent a room in a medium-sized city. Students and workers whether on the mainland or in HK face the same conditions: unemployment or low-paying jobs, unsafe housing and brutal social inequality. It is to the working class throughout China that those fighting for democratic rights in HK have to turn, not to Pindo & British imperialism. Only a unified movement of workers in China and internationally can defend democratic and social rights on the basis of a struggle for genuine socialism.

3 Comments

  1. Posted July 3, 2020 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    Beijing passes anti-democratic Soros-mob security law for Hong Kong.

    doesn’t Beijing realize that Antifa Lives Matter?

    (i was in HK over new years’ meeting my son and sections of Kowloon did look like forerunner to CHAZ, especially businesses connected with mainland—i guess what the Sassoon/Rothschild empire gained in Opium wars they are unwilling to give back without fight, so yeah, commie chinks hate our freedoms or sumpin’)

  2. niqnaq
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    how paradoxical that observation seems to me. I am at least vaguely sympathetic to CHAZ (though I am not a fan of the transsexual element).

  3. Posted July 3, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    in the sixties there was in Toronto a Rathnelly Republic north of Dupont+davenport, a civilized forerunner but asserting political independence of Canada and no one bothered much with it—i guess it died a natural death as the age ground it into oblivion and money-grubbing yuppies took the center stage.
    Also the Rochdale College, a breakaway from UofT that for a while sold perfectly certified bachelor’s degrees for maybe $25? because the main admin cut off their funding.
    It was the all-star place to buy pristine acid, “Sandoz pure” but various bike gangs infiltrated it, and started running it as business instead of hippie haven, violence started, clashes with cops and eventually the place was dismantled.
    my high school classmate’s older brother was the property manager and always gave us good advice on our purchases.

    but i do suspect CHAZ and BLM more broadly to be invisibly connected to and manipulated by these forces fronted by Soros, despite many genuine participants—looking at the result as it ties in with COVID/lockdown/vaccination/contact tracing paradigm, it is almost blindingly obvious.
    Trump on the ropes, walking dead Biden ahead, the coast is clear for the final takeover.

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