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tv   Inside Story 2020 Ep 143  Al Jazeera  May 23, 2020 2:32pm-3:01pm +03

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plans for a new security law in hong kong a last governor of the british colony chris patten says it's a betrayal by a new chinese dictatorship the proposed legislation that would ban activity china's communist party considers subversive residence in the indian city of call cats are demanding electricity and water to be restored to their homes 2 days after being hit by the powerful. protesters blocked roads with large branches to disrupt traffic. british government is defending the prime minister's chief advisor saying a trip he took during the long didn't break guidelines dominic cummings drove to his parents' home in northern england when he was supposed to be self isolating after showing symptoms of the virus i was i had lines it's inside story now.
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23 years he was returned to china and hong kong is facing the biggest threat yet to its prized autonomy china now plans to get directly involved in the territories affairs through a new national security law so is this an assault on hong kong's democracy this inside story. but everyone i'm come on santa maria one country 2 systems don't be so sure about that because with china moving to pass a national security law for hong kong they could see the most significant reduction
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in its autonomy since it was handed over by britain in 1907 well there are definitely changes afoot china's premier league chang announced the bill at the n.p.c. the national people's congress china's biggest annual political gathering the draft law has 7 articles and will almost certainly be approved by the n.p.c. once passed it would allow chinese agencies to operate in hong kong to quote prevent stop and punish acts in danger in national security the thing is he. kongs government says it will help beijing enact the law which of course has upset the territories pro-democracy activists on friday day and opposition politicians marched to the chinese liaison office to protest they were stopped by police who said they could actually only continue in groups of 8 because of a ban on public gatherings coronavirus protesters say the national security low puts an end to people's political freedoms in hong kong so let's start with an
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overview from adrian brown our correspondent in hong kong. well this has been a dark day for people who were already concerned about autonomy here in hong kong now china's leaders say that this new law is needed to come back things like terrorism succession sedition as well as foreign interference now the latter is a reference to the united states which beijing has often accused of being behind and funding some of the protests here in hong kong now on friday this new law was debated by members of china's national people's congress that's the parliament which meets once a year in beijing and it seems this new law could take effect as early as august there were protests in hong kong on friday as well as skirmishes inside the legislative assembly now currently social distancing rules mean that people can't gather in the streets in groups of more than 8 now those rules are due to continue
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until june the 4th the question i guess is when will those rules be lifted and what happens when they are will there be a return of those big street protests that we saw last year there was one line in premier league could chung's speak to the n.p.c. on friday which has started a lot of speculation here in hong kong that is led to many people suggesting that china might now set up its own spy agency here in hong kong something that would be separate but parallel to the hong kong police force ok so before we introduce the panel for today i want to just take a closer look at this plan law and why it is considered so controversial by many in hong kong i said it before one country 2 systems that is the rule that defines hong kong's relationship with beijing until the year 2047 it guarantees rights and freedoms for its people back in 2003 an attempt by the hong kong government to
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enact a similar national security law was met by widespread protests in the bill was shelved . now beijing has bypassed the territory's legislature and proposed the national security bill directly to the national people's congress it aims to prevent subversion foreign interference and what i described as terrorism. right as promised here is today's panel starting in hong kong itself we have got james token son who is a senior legislative hong kong's democratic party in the legislative council in beijing the wrong yang is the vice president of the china institute of international studies and rounding up the panel in nursing him in the u.k. and dress folder senior fellow with the asia research institute at the university of nottingham gentlemen thank you for your time we do appreciate your. expertise on a very important topic i want to start with a quote virtual quote it's from human rights watch today who called this the end of
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hong kong and that's a dramatic headline but james if i can start with you is it may be the end of hong kong as we know it at least well. it is. probably well. homegrown we were there to see or no role nothing is agreed you know and no beating does this leave for us. or long do you think it will go up you know if you know human rights group in hong kong we are a great theater. if they feel or are we not respect human rights bringing will come to you in beijing i think your view will probably differ about whether this is the end of hong kong. indeed i would say rather the end of our company if it was the beginning of a new car into a beginning of a new best stable peaceful and the how can other law and order is going to be
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established i don't know that the reason the reason that the background are establishing that in cruelty and in the purpose of this draft decision our security our national security unless there is a man to to risk to restore to protect to take the national aegis interest and to restore lot. the law and all that you were just being undermined is dropped in the past a year or so that literally is going to how we're going to have a new home come back that neal how can a stable going to have a law and order and it's going to protect the interests legitimacy but also rather than. ok i'm going to come back to you on some of those points because i think we might have some disagreement just 1st of all under as a quick opening words when you're at the safest idea of the end of hong kong as we know it well certainly what we're seeing here is an overbearing central
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government which has effectively disempowered hong kong s.c.r. government they have marginalized the legislative council and they have suppressed hong kong's democracy movement so yeah i mean this this is you know the beginning of a new hong kong and what we've just heard like the you know the implementation of law and order then and certainly the more accurate way to describe that is that we're seeing that hong kong loses its rule of law and it's being replaced by rule by law and this means of course the rules of the chinese communist party. ok so wronging i need to come back to you to about some of the points you made there and james don't worry we'll come back to you as well but what was wrong you talk about law and order and stability and what about all the protests we've seen for so long now there is so much discontent in the streets of hong kong you can't genuinely think
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that people are going to accept this and are going to move into some sort of new era of stability and happiness with the situation in fact i would suggest quite the opposite. well remember i assume that the question of protecting safeguarding national each wrist and national security in hong kong is a call to the basic nor the so-called article trying to sweep it i mean it has to be i mean in that according to that article i think. both to be in that that the laws. its own to protect national eat unfortunately more than i think totally free. from parts and. that being due to some version of the abstraction i don't force this not to want to see. realty law and order you harm car it would never be able to do that and that is why
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we have seen the party years these violence violent demonstrations these acts out terrorism and the loss of law and order in hong kong that has been not only the aegis to the law and order but also icing the certainly international image national security china of the central government i think the central government but i. 8 8 whole thing is just that decision and it would help. up a whole national security and knows those rather than and i think people around the world who want to see step the libyan want to see law and order want to see i think lasting prosperity homecoming been joy in the past 2 years whether well can certainly this legislation ok let's put it let me interrupt you sorry mr on that was that i've. let me interrupt you let's put it to james' toe
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in hong kong itself runnings argument is that this is about and he used the word servant against ability law in order and national security it is a national security bill tell us in your experience how you think all of that is going to be received. well 1st supposed to be untrue that we don't have any laws again to protect the law and order but like. any other society we have all the criminal that's in place in front of all your money you don't need people under the so we have all the laws to protect law and order the problem is that they think that look here that's no human rights come and what they're breaking want is to curtail freedom of speech it's not about law and order it's about freedom of speech of assam peaceful assembly.
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take for example recently there are people who are punished under our law for peaceful assembly. calling on peaceful time i mean it is thought to be against the human and that's the human rights come and the beijing one. so gen so says it's about assembly and freedom of speech running says it's about law and order and stability dress what do you think. well i think we need to bear in mind you know the role of propaganda and so what we've just heard from our participant from beijing i think falls in that category i would like to just bring to everyone's attention that china's hong kong and macau affairs office has actually very recently used what you know what i consider
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a genocidal language such as referring to hong kong's democracy movement as and i you know quote political virus unquote and they have called for the elimination and again a quote so-called poisonous and violent protest and you know this is you know some of the context we need to bear in mind and also the hong kong police force which just has been praised as kind of upholding law and order in fact they have themselves used dehumanizing language referring to peaceful protesters as dogs or even cockroaches so i do think that this kind of belies all of this kind of verbal acrobatics that we're hearing that this is somehow by national security this is all about protecting the authority of the chinese communist party full stop wronging in beijing it's very strong language isn't it what andreas just told us about that is very emotive and it goes beyond your argument certainly about stability and law and order. well i think the it to our panel is
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that about freedom of speech i don't think that we have any problem at all but the big problem for me and i think for people who have conscious that you know. the rights i know not only i think hong kong but also you know another part of the china is that their freedom should not be exercised at the expense of others and it should not be the execute to attack and to use the islands against the. innocent people there like as we have seen the reports like about innocent. death the chance and all of that human police officers exercise. to protect the law and order that these big victimized they're being checked and i don't see that it's the screen this is not the kind of
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freedom i think people you hongkong would like to have and for any government i sing it with that duty to excess to whatever it takes to make sure the law and order being restored and that bill if you were meant to write and i don't and the reason i think that the central government and china to do that and are you know just as a government central government and seeing national security is their duty and it has all the right to ensure that it's a national security whether or not to be and how much you know general i've got a list of questions in front of me but i'm actually just really interested in just getting reactions from each of you to each other at this moment james again i i come back to your position as someone who obviously is in the democratic party in hong kong who opposes what is going on when you hear what ring young is saying there about the way police have even been treated i mean how does
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a balance out for you. well i must emphasize again we have all the local criminal role. models. and so anybody all from me thinks i. will be part of it and rao we're not talking about so little of the ordinary criminal or what they think we're on is something more about very freedom or peace for some who may be calling on something which rating. is against their principle picking their reputation up and so we're not talking about violent behavior not being punished final ground 0 or no. ok so what we have talked a lot about so far gentlemen is the cause and effect what people feel what they
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feel will happen if i can come back to you just for well let me play devil's advocate here a little bit yes there is one country 2 systems but in the end sovereignty over hong kong rests with china and the government in hong kong appointees of china therefore i'm not going to china can do what it wants but it does have the final say over all of this. but you know the party also signed the $184.00 signed a british joint declaration which is 7 internationally binding treaty which is lodged with the united nations and of course the united kingdom is one of the signatories and based on that internationally binding treaty they made a pledge that they would not change the system over 50 years they're doing it now after 23 years so that shows us that they're not honoring international law so this is a direct attack actually on the international rule based order so let's not you know
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. let's be very clear about this and you know we have to discuss hong kong also in relationship ship to taiwan premier league today spoke about taiwan few made it term peaceful when talking about the desire from central government to quote unquote reunify with taiwan and so what's happening in hong kong will not you know it will not stop there i think taiwan is very much inside for the central government and that is incredibly concerning given that this is self-governing liberal democracy an open and vibrant society well interesting is you brought up this issue and it's definitely on my list of questions to do with the international obligations this international pact which was signed that broadens it out to how others will react and the united states to settle react strongly it's saying beijing should reconsider its disastrous proposal the u.k. expects china to respect hong kong's right to freedom again they're all strong
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words but what can slash will the international community actually do if this law comes into force. well based on the principle of reciprocity it is a lot that the u.s. government and the british government can do see if they violate this internationally binding treaty then the u.s. government the u.k. government they can also take a very unfriendly act freeze on the can and i think they will sanction individuals both in mainland china but also in hong kong who are complicit with this law and so we've seen such action of being taken against russian oligarchs and i think we're now are nearing a stage where we will see similar actions taken against officials both in mainland china and in hong kong wronging does that sort of stuff concern you the way the international community might react if we're judging by what's been said already that was actually my pompei or who said that it was a disastrous proposal and that beijing needed to abide by its international
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obligations. or let me before your. respond to the east point just briefly out respond to the point made by the reason why we had what should have let this legislation or the decision since already i mean hong kong criminal laws and law system to your system that is exactly the reason why you had with an act that cost the legal and the the criminal system or communal ought not so far has not been effective enough to do with that and more importantly i think the issues we're talking about the much complicate it and then as we have seen 'd now much more sort of or. related or rather to the national security issues or not so i think the central government you would like to do that and it's a purely for the sake and i said repeatedly that it will work for the good of our
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part at all that is possible and the response is horse actions by hostile force this. crew i mean as the you know the british up analysts to mention china firmly believe that it's doing the right and china the sovereign state it has the right to do its well though it means to safeguard its national security exactly like the u.s. the u.s. and the u.k. were to do and china has not to be afraid of any kind of our sort of intervention that right there with the adoption of that. national security law i seen it and it would be more effective in dealing with these so cigarettes sanctions and not going to work for china and i don't think china would be well in sort of. africa ok james told do you expect well you already hear the the words of
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support coming from the international community again and that statement from white pompei or he said we stand with the people of hong kong do you think they will actually take action that will have an effect on the ground. well i do not want to speculate because after all hong kong thing that's you know city and. the chinese government. lobby for supposed national community we support the side of business consecration and the implementation of the one country through a system we actually run its government actually lobby for support and register the 3 men. and they for so many stakeholders international. concerning. hong kong so you just run that through that everything goes into every state through life through the interest. of both and that's been the. way of
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living in hong kong and from the other side across government i mean one in 5 think that we might get the international community that. beijing research proposal was making then that's been the secret of people in hong kong free for a lot and they have a lot of very good track record on respecting human rights so i've said before. ken starr just a quick final thought from you actually before i go to address is you use that phrase hong kong as an international city you believe that's under threat when we think about hong kong all the ex-pats who live bad the international companies the international market is that genuine the under threat in your view well i generally if you are not. enough in the result the. companies accepted you. they may. inadvertently come in said these are very cold and
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seriously. those of my faith in greece. and yes what's in your opinion the worst case scenario for hong kong do would people want to leave within vestments for would it and this was another description i heard of it earlier today it would become quote unquote another chinese city you see the proposed national security laws really a game changer for hong kong for mainland china but also for the world hong kong really has now become you know has come to the forefront of what is actually a systemic. rivalry between an increasingly totalitarian china and. western liberal democracies and as such the international community does need to and not just pay attention to what's happening in hong kong but actually has to push back because it will not end there i mentioned taiwan
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before and so if we don't want to see a war in the tao and straits must be made very clear to the authorities in beijing that this has to stop. and from the university of nottingham i do appreciate that final thought they also from the china institute of international studies in beijing and james in the hong kong democratic party gentlemen thank you all and thank you for joining us today where if you are watching us thanks for being a part of the show you can catch it or any of our previous editions online at al-jazeera dot com facebook as well we're at facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story at a.j. inside story on twitter and at a.j. if you want to message may or tweet me directly i'm going all santamaria from the whole inside story thanks for joining us and we'll see you considered.
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