Britain’s stick – The Hong Kong Bill (Part 2)

Regardless of political affiliations, we can agree that Britain must find its voice on Hong Kong. In the last article we looked at the Hong Kong Bill correcting historic irregularities on British Nationality. The Right of Abode for British Nationals (Overseas) British passport holders is UK’s crucial response to protect all her people. It is also a tangible action, since it provides passage to these Isles. Yet, our diplomatic approach should be proactive and capable to respond to future threats.

Therefore, we move on to the next provisions of the Hong Kong Bill.

A regular report on the safety of British nationals in Hong Kong is necessary and it will provide the guidance to enact sanctions on person(s) or institution(s) if necessary. The Chinese government have made it clear that the National Security Law forced upon Hong Kong will be conducted under Chinese concepts. Special courts will be set up and legal representatives must be Chinese nationals.

So what makes ‘Chinese legal concepts’ so worrying? Under Chinese Law as simple as reporting, suggesting or researching meteorological data, outbreak of diseases like the situation in Wuhan back in December 2019 and food safety without authorisation or adhering to official lines is considered as subverting national security. China also rules by law instead of applying the rule of law. Its courts are known to protect the Party first and foremost when cases are heard.

British Citizen Lee Bo have disappeared in the Chinese judiciary system since his abduction from Hong Kong. His abduction alone is a breach of the principles in the Sino-British Joint Declaration which clearly states Chinese judiciary is not applicable within Hong Kong. On 21 May 2020, Peking has decreed that Chinese jurisdictions and security agents will be set up in Hong Kong. Thus, by a total disregard to the Rule of Law and International Order, Peking can legalise Chinese security elements to conduct any arrests, interrogate by Chinese standards and deny habeas corpus.

Britain must tell China that abductions of British Nationals such as Lee Bo and British Consulate staff Simon Cheng is outrageous. Simon Cheng’s personal account of torture can be read here. With Chinese laws implemented in Hong Kong, these abuses of humanity can be practiced in Hong Kong entirely approved by Peking.

The regular report made compulsory by the legislation, will specify each cases of British persons being targeted or endangered. Any suspected case must be fully investigated and responded proportionately. The Hong Kong Bill will include sanctions provisions.

JD has been breached and continues to be challenged by China. In the evening as this article is penned, the United States candidly says Hong Kong’s decertification “should come as no surprise” and HK is no longer autonomous from China in its report made under the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (2019). It is time for Britain to find her voice with the Hong Kong Bill. In the next article, we will look continue to look into the provisions of the Bill and the reasons for the provisions.

Add your name to the Liberal Democrats petition to Stand with the people of Hong Kong.

This is the third post in the Lib Dem Campaigners for ‘Hong Kong Bill’ Series:
1. China’s new Tiananmen crackdown
2. Britain’s stick – The Hong Kong Bill (Part 1)

 

 

* Nicholas Chan is a member of Sevenoaks, Dartford and Gravesend Liberal Democrats who migrated from Hong Kong under the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Selection Scheme the Liberal Democrats campaigned for after 1989. He writes on human rights issue in Hong Kong and China while preparing for solicitor qualification.

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