The new National Security Law imposed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Tuesday, June 30, has further increased tension between CCP and the United States in recent days.
Last Thursday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation that seeks to impose mandatory penalties on Chinese officials, protest repressors, and also on banks that finance activities that attempt to take away Hong Kong’s independence following the passage of the new National Security Law.
Already at the end of May, the Chinese Foreign Ministry had said that Beijing would react to any sanctions from Washington, “If the U.S. insists on hurting China’s interests, China [CCP] will have to take every necessary measure to counter and oppose this,” warned spokesman Zhao Lijian.
Recently, new defiant statements were made by a Chinese financial institution (which did not want to be identified) to the South China Morning Post saying, “The Chinese mainland and Hong Kong financial authorities certainly have prearranged plans. We won’t allow others to threaten or make trouble freely,” “[Sanctions] do no good to the Chinese economy and finance, so they do no good to the global and U.S. economies,” he added. “It will dampen the confidence of international market participants, and increase the systemic risks to the global economy, international markets, and particularly American financial markets.”
Amid the many pro-democracy protests and demonstrations in Hong Kong recently, the National Security Law was enacted Tuesday night, which criminalizes “acts of secession, subversion of state power, terrorist activities and collusion with foreign or external forces to endanger national security.” The maximum penalty given for each of these four main crimes—secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces—is punishable by life imprisonment.
The British government believes that the imposition of this law is an attack on democracy and violates the “One Country, Two Systems” principle established in the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that the National Security Law “violates Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and threatens the freedoms and rights protected by the joint declaration.” In addition, he promised that up to 3 million Hong Kong residents could settle in the UK and eventually obtain British citizenship. Pro-democracy activists, such as legislator Nathan Law, have already left the region.
With a tough security agency already operating in Hong Kong, the intention is to silence the voice of the people in order to “calm the waters,” but conversely, tensions between world powers are increasing every day in the face of these events.