President Donald Trump said the US would react “very strongly” if China mainland enacted a security law for Hong Kong.
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The US State Department on Thursday accused mainland China of running against commitments to maintain Hong Kong as a semi-autonomous region, after Beijing announced its proposal to build national security laws. to restrict the activities of the opposition in the special administrative region.
“We call on Beijing to respect its commitments and obligations to the Sino-British Joint Statement,” State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement, referring to the bilateral treaty signed in 1984, ensuring “a high degree of autonomy” for Hong Kong until as early as 2047.
Ortagus said these commitments were key to maintaining Hong Kong’s unique position in international affairs and in compliance with US law, as well as current US treatment of Hong Kong.
“Any attempt to impose national security laws but not expressing the will of the Hong Kong people will cause high instability and face strong condemnation from the US and the international community,” she insisted.
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The draft resolution on security for Hong Kong is empowered by mainland China to establish its own legal framework and law enforcement mechanism to prevent and punish subversion, terrorism, and breakaway acts. and interference from outside, “Or any other act that seriously jeopardizes national security“.
Article 23 The Basic Law of Hong Kong requires the special government to enact its own security law. However, Beijing later concluded that the Hong Kong Legislative Assembly could not pass security laws under current political conditions and that China would accept this responsibility.
It is expected that the draft resolution will be submitted at the National People’s Congress (NPC) meeting on the afternoon of May 22. The Chinese National Assembly will vote for this resolution at the end of the session, on May 28. The resolution after being approved will be transferred to the relevant agencies to build specific laws.
Mrs. Ortagus said Beijing’s move was “Undermining the People’s Republic of China ‘s commitments and obligations to the Sino – British Joint Statement.”
Prior to the State Department’s statement, President Donald Trump also warned that he would respond strongly if China resolutely passed a separate law proposal to Hong Kong.
“If that happens, we will handle the case very strongly,” Mr. Trump told reporters while leaving the White House to Michigan.
Wrath over Beijing’s proposal erupted on the Capitol Hill, where US lawmakers on both parties agreed to pass legislation that strengthened U.S. oversight over Hong Kong issues last year.
Jim McGitas, chairman of the Congressional Executive Committee on China, called on the Trump administration to respond using the rights under the Hong Kong Democratic and Human Rights Act, and said that the US should “Leading a global alliance to support the people of Hong Kong”.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on Twitter, said that Beijing’s move to end the “one country, two regime” regime has been “Deeply concerned.” Ms. Pelosi said that Beijing’s attempt to circumvent Hong Kong law “Shows complete disrespect for the law.”
Many others are quick to issue resolutions condemning the proposal, as well as bills calling for sanctions against Chinese officials – despite the fact that the US government has authority to sanction individuals. in addition to is believed to be responsible for breaking autonomy in Hong Kong.
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Meanwhile, government officials in Europe and the United Kingdom issued similar pro-Hong Kong statements to the United States.
Ms. Virginie Battu-Henriksson, EU foreign affairs spokesman, emphasized that the EU sees the “one-country, two-regime” model of great significance. She said that “Democratic debate in Hong Kong and respect for rights and freedoms are the best way” to preserve the model above.
Chris Patten, the last British governor of the former colony, called Beijing’s proposal “A comprehensive attack” to Hong Kong’s autonomy, law and fundamental freedoms.
A spokesperson for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said “Closely monitoring the situation,” and wishes for China “Respect Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms and high levels of autonomy,” at the same time emphasize “The UK is committed to defending Hong Kong’s autonomy.”