Hong Kong Has Fallen, Taiwan is Next

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(Newswire.net— May 29, 2020) —  The Chinese parliament almost unanimously adopted a controversial law on national security for Hong Kong in response to last year’s protests in the former British colony. The United States has requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council regarding the new changes to the autonomy of Hong Kong by the recently passed law.

Nearly 3,000 members of parliament passed the law, which has already provoked reactions from the United States.

U.S. authorities said Wednesday that Hong Kong no longer has the autonomy promised by China’s central government, paving the way for the United States to lift its preferential trade and financial status to the former British colony, which it has had since it was returned to China from the UK in 1997.

The legislation would ban “any acts or activities” that endanger China’s national security, including separatism, subversion, and terrorism. Also, the legislation would allow Chinese security forces to operate in the city, the Guardian reports.

“It is definitely the start of a new but sad chapter for Hong Kong,” said the pro-democracy legislator Claudia Mo. “Hong Kong as we knew it is finally dead.”

Taiwan has become a refuge for a small but growing number of pro-democracy protesters fleeing Hong Kong, but the question is for how long this can continue because Beijing will not lower its ambitions when it comes to Taiwan, Chinese analysts say.

“We should think about how to demonstrate the advantages of unification” to the Taiwanese,” said Zhang Nianchi, a Taiwan expert at the Shanghai Institute of East Asian Studies. “We are not doing enough now but will definitely have some changes in the future,” he said.

The United States has requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the disputed law.

Due to procedures introduced during the coronavirus pandemic, all UN Security Council video meetings are organized by a consensus of 15 members. Prior to the pandemic, each member of the Security Council could oppose the holding of a meeting if it collected nine out of 15 votes.

“The United States is deeply concerned about the actions of the Chinese parliament, which essentially undermines the high degree of autonomy and freedoms established by the British-Chinese declaration in 1984,” the US envoy to the UN said.

She added that it is an “urgent world problem” that could affect “international peace and security”.

China, however, has refused to hold that virtual meeting, the U.S. mission said, criticizing “a lack of international transparency and accountability” on the issue.

The Chinese envoy to the UN did not comment on the American request to hold a meeting.