Senator Ngo calls for a principled and coordinated global response as China enacts national security law in Hong Kong
[For immediate release]- July 20, 2020
Today, Senator Thanh Hai Ngo issued the following Statement in relation to China’s enactment of a controversial national security law for Hong Kong:
June 30th, 2020 coincides with the 23rd anniversary of the end of British rule in Hong Kong and subsequent handover to China. It is telling to note that China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress (NPC) has deliberately chosen this very day to officially pass into law sweeping anti-sedition legislation for Hong Kong, in complete disregard and in contravention of Hong Kong’s Basic Law. A chilling provision in the new law, Article 38, extends the iron-fist of the communist state even beyond Hong Kong’s borders, applying offences under this law to foreign citizens outside the region as well. This effectively marks the end of an era for the special administrative region as a haven for basic human rights, freedoms, democracy, the rule of law, and free trade. The high degree of autonomy it has hitherto enjoyed under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ framework has essentially been dismantled, supplanted instead by the more authoritarian, CCP-endorsed version of ‘One Country, One System.’
This unilateral imposition of a draconian law under the guise of national security, is only the latest attempt by China to significantly curtail fundamental freedoms, human rights and rule of law to the people of Hong Kong under their constitution, the Hong Kong Bill of Rights, as well as the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. China’s aggressive repression also contravenes the rules-based international order as formulated by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
China’s ongoing aggression in defiance of internationally recognized and established agreements also extends to other groups, which include ethno-religious minorities and prisoners of conscience such as Uyghurs, Tibetans and Falun Gong practitioners. The destruction of Hong Kong’s autonomy must therefore be addressed in tandem with these other atrocities. Reprehensible violations in brazen defiance of the global order, as evidenced by the Chinese communist regime, must not go unsanctioned. A principled and coordinated global response would include Magnitsky-style targeted sanctions against Chinese and/or Hong Kong officials responsible for or complicit in human rights abuses and asking the UN to appoint a Special Rapporteur and/or Special Envoy on the situation in Hong Kong.
A substantial collective reset in strategy vis-à-vis China on the international trade agenda is also critical. To counter its global economic hegemony (despite its egregious human rights record), all trade negotiations henceforth should include a human rights clause (and any existing agreements should be revised to the same effect). Incentivising and supporting companies to relocate operations to democratic and like-minded nations would also help reduce over-reliance on China as a trading partner and mitigate economic vulnerability.
It is the collective duty of the international community, in the interests of global peace and security, to demand China’s respect for and compliance with international commitments and obligations. It is therefore critical that we adopt a zero-tolerance policy for rogue behaviour and extensive criminality by taking substantive action if we are to deter further transgressions by an increasingly despotic Chinese politburo as well as uphold the international rules-based order and fundamental rights and freedoms that are universal, inherent and inalienable.
For more information, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Thanh Hai Ngo