China’s New National Security Law Puts Pressure On Hong Kong
Despite protests, China is moving ahead with a Hong Kong law to suppress opposition to Communism in the region.
New Security Law is likely to Cause More Protests in Hong Kong
Last week, the Chinese government proposed a new national security law for the Hong Kong area. The proposed law aims to suppress opposition to the Communist government and is likely to cause more protests as the Chinese pressure mounts.
The issue lies in different versions of Hong Kong and mainland China history. While the Chinese government believes that their rule over the city should be celebrated considering the British had ruled it as a colony for over 150 years, Hong Kongers have a different interpretation of their history.
Throughout history, Hong Kong acted as a sanctuary to the Chinese fleeing turmoil, from the Qing Dynasty collapse to the rise of communism. During the tumultuous times of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Hong Kong experienced incredible economic growth. The city developed with its own government, economy, foreign relations, and legal system.
As a special administrative region in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong had the right to its own judicial and educational system, government, and regulations. The differences are reflected even in the language – Hong Kongers prefer the Cantonese dialect, as opposed to Mandarin.
The Chinese push towards the integration of the area is threatening to further alienate Hong Kong’s population. A December survey found that two-thirds of native Hong Kongers support the street protests against the mainland government.
A University of Hong Kong survey showed only one-fourth of the population was proud to become a Chinese national.
Even though the mainland government has the power to integrate Hong Kong by force, such strategies could lead to deepening divisions, civil unrest, and even financial crises.