In sharp contrast to the apocalyptic visions of Hong Kong’s future some Western politicians and their media allies have been peddling since the promulgation of the National Security Law in Hong Kong on June 30, Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, has become more confident in the city’s future, and understandably so in part because the law has helped effectively restore peace, stability, and law and order in the region.
His confidence is shared by the business community, investors and most local residents, as evidenced by the strong performance of the stock market and the stable residential property market, which are unfailing leading indicators. Nothing slightly resembling the kind of “exodus” of either capital or people predicted by those habitual naysayers has happened seven months into the security law’s enforcement — to their disappointment.
The campaign of demonization and scaremongering against the National Security Law might have disturbed public sentiment in Hong Kong briefly, but it has failed to fool most people. Anyone who genuinely worries about the security law should have had enough time and information to learn about it; and any fair-minded person should have no difficulty realizing that it is natural for China to promulgate necessary laws for any part of its territory to safeguard national security as does any other sovereign country in the world.
China-bashing politicians and media outlets in the West, driven by ideological bias or serving certain geopolitical strategies or interests, are fond of citing the Sino-British Joint Declaration whenever they need an excuse to interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs, including their interference with the security law this time. But they deliberately ignored, without fail, Article 1 and Article 2 of the Joint Declaration, which make known the very purpose of this declaration. Article 1 unambiguously states: “The Government of the People’s Republic of China declares ... that it has decided to resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong with effect from 1 July 1997.” Article 2 states: “The Government of the United Kingdom declares that it will restore Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China with effect from 1 July 1997.”
How does it make any sense to argue that the UK, or any other countries for that matter, has the right to interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs, which are essentially China’s internal affairs? Would any sane Western politician or media outlet justify the UK’s right to interfere in the internal affairs of India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore or the United States because of its colonial history with those countries?
Equally nonsensical is the anti-China crusaders’ argument that the National Security Law “violates rights and freedoms”. Like most similar legislation elsewhere in the world, the new law protects all human rights enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 4), and guarantees the fundamental rights of criminal suspects (Article 5).
The crusade against the National Security Law has not only demonstrated the perpetrators’ ideological or political bigotry but also their sheer hypocrisy. And nothing — other than the absence of an exodus of capital or people — is stronger proof of the crusaders’ failure.
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