The "grave concern" the G7 foreign ministers expressed in the joint statement they issued on Wednesday over China's decision to introduce a national security law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is misplaced and hubristic.
The Chinese national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region fly above the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, China, Aug 5, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]
To begin with, the proposed legislation that they are so strongly critical of, claiming it undermines the region's legal and political institutions and thus its high-degree of autonomy, targets four illegal behaviors — succession; subversion of state power; local terrorist activities, and collaborating with foreign or external foreign forces to endanger national security — that their countries also proscribe.
Also since the legislation is purely an internal affair of China's, and being constitutional and in line with the urgent needs of Hong Kong and those living there, there is no cause for censure — except from those who fear it will thwart their criminal endeavors.
The purpose of the legislation — a draft of which has been submitted to the country's top lawmaking body, the Standing Committee of National People's Congress, for review — is to safeguard China's national security and sovereign integrity. It is also conducive to creating a stable development environment for the SAR. Only those who have been instigating the unrest in Hong Kong and their foreign patrons will have cause to feel uneasy about the legislation.
Contrary to the claims of those raising their voices to criticize it, the legislation neither contradicts the Basic Law, nor jeopardizes Hong Kong's high-degree autonomy and prosperity. Instead, it plugs a loophole in the Basic Law that has enabled those who have been challenging the principle of "one country, two systems" to do so with a sense of impunity. In the normal course of events, the SAR would have enacted the security legislation itself, however, the stonewalling of opposition lawmakers has made that impossible.
As such, as senior Chinese foreign policy official Yang Jiechi told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during their meeting in Hawaii on Wednesday, the country's determination to introduce the law is "unwavering".
He made clear that China not only took issue with the statement made by the G7 foreign ministers on Hong Kong-related issues, but it was also opposed to the US interfering in Hong Kong affairs.
Washington's so-called Hong Kong bill, and the sanctions it has threatened to impose on Hong Kong are nothing but political coercion that will only backfire on itself.
And the G7 foreign ministers ought to feel ashamed of their studied silence over, and in some cases open support of, the violent antics of the separatist-minded rioters who have run amok in Hong Kong over past year. Where were their "grave concerns" while people's lives were being put at risk by those whose actions they were condoning.
The legislation shows the nation will never allow Hong Kong to become a pawn for others to use in their games targeting China.