US, Canada, UK Express Alarm at Mass Arrests in Hong Kong

19 Jan 2020 sanction hk govt 44 by etanliam is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

While the Western media focuses on the political chaos going on in the United States there is a lot of trouble brewing overseas.

The reason? Communist China.

The authoritarian police state in China doesn’t want Hong Kong to be free of its tight economic and political grip so it’s been using an iron fist to smash pro-democracy protests there ever since they started in 2019.

Last week alone police arrested 55 pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong under China’s new national security law.

Now the UK, Canada, Australia and US say they’ve had enough and put out a statement on Sunday saying they have “serious concern” about what China is doing.

‘The National Security Law is Being Used to Eliminate Dissent’

The national security law is necessary in order to clamp down on disorder and rioting according to the government in Hong Kong and Beijing. However, the statement from the US and others stated clearly that China is using its law to persecute political opponents.

“It is clear that the National Security Law is being used to eliminate dissent and opposing political views,” the statement reads.

The pro-Chinese government in Hong Kong – which is what protesters are so angry about – was dismissive and pretended to be outraged by the Western concern.

“We are appalled by remarks made by some overseas government officials that seemed to suggest that people with certain political beliefs should be immune to legal sanctions,” the Hong Kong government said in a comeback to the statement by the US and others.

19 Jan 2020 sanction hk govt 25 by etanliam is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Why Were Protesters Arrested?

Most of those who got locked up by China most recently were trying to hold a primary election for the Hong Kong legislature. According to China they were trying to conspire to throw a political coup and force Hong Kong’s leader out of office.

At this point all of the 55 arrested except three have been let out on bail and no charges have been laid. However if they are charged they won’t be able to run for office in the future which would neatly neuter them for any future challenge to the communist state.

What Do the US, UK, Canada and Australia Want?

The US, UK, Canada and Australia say the next legislature election should allow a broad variety of political parties and positions instead of trying to force people into an ideological box.

“We call on the Hong Kong and Chinese central authorities to respect the legally guaranteed rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong without fear of arrest and detention,” the statement read.

It was signed by the foreign ministers of all four nations, Marise Payne of Australia, Francois-Philippe Champagne of Canada, Dominic Raab of the UK and Mike Pompeo of the United States, respectively.

Also Pompeo recently announced that the United States will be increasing its diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which is a place that China considers part of its country. Taiwan, on the other hand, considers itself to be the real China and does not recognize Chinese communist authority. US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft will be visiting Taiwan later this week which has made China furious.

It is clear that the gulf between the US and China is getting wider. What is not clear is how incoming President-elect Joe Biden will deal with that. The establishment approach to China has not worked, which was part of why President Trump was elected. If Biden continues the status quo of chasing Chinese money, outsourcing American jobs and letting Beijing walk all over anyone it wants then the future looks dark indeed.