tv HAR Dtalk BBC News July 6, 2020 12:30am-1:00am BST
the headlines: india's tourist attraction stay shut as the country overtakes russia to become the country with the world's third—highest confirmed coronavirus infections. a sharp rise in new cases has taken the total to about 690,000. more than 19,000 people have died so far. in the australian state of victoria, several breaches of hotel quarantine have led to a spike in coronavirus cases. in melbourne, over 30 suburbs have been locked down, and 3,000 residents living in public housing will not be able to leave their flats for m days. the authorities in the north—western spanish region of galicia have imposed restrictions on about 70,000 people after a fresh outbreak of the coronavirus. it comes a day after catalonia also introduced a local lockdown to curb the spread of covid—19. now on bbc news, hardtalk.
welcome to hardtalk. i am stephen sackur. the people of hong kong are getting used to a new reality, a draconian national security law made in china and imposed on the territory with no meaningful consultation. pro—democracy activists call it the death of the one country, two systems principle. my one country, two systems principle. my guest today is the former pro—democracy politician turned beijing loyalist ronny tong. is china suffocating the life out of hong kong's special status?
ronny tong in hong kong, welcome to hardtalk. hello. let me begin with the concept of consultation. are you co mforta ble the concept of consultation. are you comfortable with the fact that china has just imposed a law on the territory of hong kong with no meaningful consultation with the government or people of hong kong?” government or people of hong kong?|j don't government or people of hong kong?” don't think that is quite right. i think there are two things one needs to remember. first of all, it is a law enacted by the mainland according to the legislative law, it is not a law enacted by the legislative council. so they would consult the way in which their law provides as to how to consult in relation to lawmaking process. i wouldn't say that there was no
meaningful consultation. i think why the contrary. a lot of people put in opinion and advice, and i did so also, and the government was consulted, the basic law committee was consulted. as far as i can tell, the many opinions that are provided, some of them were taken up. 0thers resulted in introducing some kind of compromise in relation... ronny tong, i think it is hard to take that seriously, this notion there was meaningful consultation, and even your chief executive, carrie lam, said she did not know what was in the national security act until literally hours before it was implemented. ah, you misunderstood what she meant was that she did not read the actual text of the statute. but of course, the parameters of the
law known to everybody, we know that it is to be a law which may touch upon human rights in hong kong, and therefore, our advice basically centres on how to introduce a proper balance between protecting the safety of the nation on the one hand, and protecting the core values and freedoms of people of hong kong on the other. well, unless you no longer believe in the one country, two systems policy... i do believe. in the one country, two systems policy... ido believe. icannot believe then that your advice was taken in beijing, because the entire national security act is, in spirit, if not in the letter of the law, a blatant violation of that principle. why do you say that? why do you say that? if you have read the statute itself, article number four deals
with the preservation of freedoms and rights under the basic law and under the two conventions for human rights, andi under the two conventions for human rights, and i am talking about international for civil and political rights on international economic social and cultural rights. those two conventions are actually not applicable to the rest of china, although china is a signatory to those two conventions. china had never rectified those two conventions. but the fact that the two conventions are in the basic law and again, specifically mentioned in article number four of the and again, specifically mentioned in article numberfour of the national security law, demonstrates quite clearly that the central government has proper respect for the differences in hong kong. article numberfive... differences in hong kong. article number five. .. can you tell me... sorry, can i just finish? number five. .. can you tell me... sorry, can ijust finish? you can't bully me into accepting your question without. ..
bully me into accepting your question without... allowing me to a nswer question without... allowing me to answer the question. article five of the law also said doubt all the elements of the rule of law that needed to be respected, like your presumption of innocence, right to silence, right to defend, and so on and so forth. so why on earth with anybody say that the law is an affront to the rule of law? i can't understand it. for one thing, beijing now puts a very significant office full of its own national security and intelligence personnel in hong kong to carry out law enforcement activities in the city, and its staff are entirely not subject to hong kong law while carrying out their duties. 0ut subject to hong kong law while carrying out their duties. out of that with one country, two systems? now, you are talking about the national security office. now, the law makes it quite clear. the enforcement and the application of the national security law is
entirely to be carried out by the hong kong sar, right. the office, during that time, would only provide advice, doesn't have any law enforcement powers in that regard. now, the only time... hang on... let me finish! it hasn't even started the workout. the only time that it would take on cases would be under one of the sections, i think it is article 55, were very special circumstances but not exactly, for turning to article 55. i appreciated. because article 55 makes it plain that in serious and complex national security cases, as defined by beijing, that the defendants can be transferred to the chinese mainland for prosecution. now, if you look at article 55, it
makes it quite clear that the office would only come into play if, due to some circumstances, which makes it impossible or difficult for the government to enforce the law, and it is only in those circumstances that the office would come into play. but even then, when it takes on the case, it would take on the case in enforcing the national security law, the one looking at, not the mainland national security law. so that all the provisions of the national security law, as we are looking at it, are still applicable and would be applied by the office. mr tong... and would be applied by the office. mrtong... is quite and would be applied by the office. mr tong... is quite plain that in so—called serious complex cases, they can be taken to the mainland for trial. now, we have seen over many months hong kong people express their deep discontent and fury with
their deep discontent and fury with the notion of an extradition law. we now have a national security law which makes it plain that in cases defined as serious by beijing, they can be taken to the mainland for trial, and those defendants can face anything from ten years to life imprisonment. some people believe that the death penalty could be inflicted upon defendants who are found guilty in mainland courts. again, it is a simple question, mr tong, which you appear unable to answer. how does that fit with one country, two systems?” answer. how does that fit with one country, two systems? i resent that. i'm sorry. you just haven't been listening to what i am saying. i am saying that under this law, the only time when the office can come into play and bring cases against people in hong kong would be within a very narrow compass as defined in the law, and even then, when it take on
the case,... i haven't finished. you are not answering any of my questions. you are not allowing me to finish the question, you are not allowing me to answer.” to finish the question, you are not allowing me to answer. i am asking you simple questions which require simple, straightforward, honest a nswe rs , simple, straightforward, honest answers, not of the station. you are putting questions on a false premise, and i am trying to explain to you. i dunno, premise, and i am trying to explain to you. idunno, i am premise, and i am trying to explain to you. i dunno, i am certainly not. i ask simple questions. frankly, i expect simple, clear, straightforward a nswers expect simple, clear, straightforward answers and you are not giving them. the questions are based on facts and i am not expecting questions based on misinformation, all right?” expecting questions based on misinformation, all right? i am not giving you any misinformation, mr tong, and you know it. you have i have been trying to say to you that when the office takes on a case, it ta kes when the office takes on a case, it takes on the hong kong national security law, not the mainland national security law. the only difference is that it would come
into play if and when the government is not in a position to enforce the law or is not in a position to govern hong kong. exactly. those decisions will be taken in beijing. that is clear. it is clear that when there is a situation, the hong kong government is unable to govern due to serious disturbances or perhaps in the state of law, then the national government would come in. that is the same situation as you... mrtong, ifi that is the same situation as you... mr tong, if i may say so... that is the same situation as you... mr tong, ifi may say so... in that is the same situation as you... mr tong, if i may say so... in any other federal government. mr tong, if i may say so... in any otherfederal government. i mr tong, if i may say so... in any other federal government. i see nothing wrong with that. it is a is respect of the 100, two systems. perhaps you will engage... if you will not engage with me, mr tong, maybe you will engage with some of the most respected legal scholars in hong kong. professor chan at the university of hong kong, quote, it is clear this law will have a severe
impact on the freedom of expression in hong kong, also on the personal security of the people of hong kong, effectively, china is imposing the people's republic of china's mineral system people's republic of china's mineral syste m o nto people's republic of china's mineral system onto a hong kong common law system, leading beijing with discretion to decide who should fall into which system. is that a question? that is his analysis of this law. i am asking, is that the question? you are simply repeating somebody, what somebody said. this isa somebody, what somebody said. this is a violation. you are not putting the question properly. now, the law says that it would be enforced in the common law, under the common law system, as i have explained it to you, with reference to protections under the basic law and the two conventions on human rights, and with reference to the rule of law and all the projections to a defendant will be there. it would be
applied by hong kong courts by the way. your suggestion seems to be that hong kong got mad... at the hong kong bar association which has condemned the national security law and utterly inconsistent with the basic law, former bar association share who says that hong kong, as we know it, as a result of this law, is gone why are all these respected legal institutions and voices incomplete disagreement with you, who it has to be said for the last few years, who it has to be said for the last few yea rs, has who it has to be said for the last few years, has been a very obedient voice and opinion former on behalf of beijing. why do you think they all completely disagree with you?” entirely resent that. i was a chairman before, all right, and i have been the queens and a senior counsel for 25 years. yes, they are
politically motivated... i have not finished! i have not finished! the bar association and all other senior respected independent lawyers in hong kong... this is absolutely ridiculous. there is no way to carry on an interview like this. you should be ashamed of yourself.” on an interview like this. you should be ashamed of yourself. i am really looking for answers. you can't get an answer with questions like that. you are not putting it properly, and you don't seem to be ina properly, and you don't seem to be in a position to give an opportunity for the interviewee to say something. there is no point to carry out this conversation if you like that. let me ask you another question and see if you can answer this one. we have seen people arrested already under the new national security law, at least ten of them as i understand it in recent protests a nd of them as i understand it in recent protests and demonstrations. it seems that those who have been charged under the new law were
waving banners, asking for greater democracy, some of them asking for independence for hong kong. do you believe those are sorts of crimes should be prosecuted under this national security law imposed by china? you have not read the news. 0nce stabbed the policeman the other drove a bike towards a group of policeman and these people are arrested on suspicion of committing arrested on suspicion of committing a crime. they are yet to be prosecuted under national security law and under the law, if you care to read it, any prosecution needs to meet the concern of the secretary of justice, all right? so you have a lot of violence in the street and people get arrested, that does not prove anything. it is the same world over. i bet the same it is not the same the world over. i wonder what happened to the ronnie tong who when you left the pro—democracy civic
party in 2015 said i am leaving the party in 2015 said i am leaving the party but that does not mean i am giving up the fight for democracy or that i am going to be subservient to the central government. what happened to that ronnie tong? nothing. but you don't believe it does not mean that i am not doing it. i still fight for democracy for hong kong. there is no way to fight democracy by trying to call for independence, is there? is there any real chance for anybody in hong kong or elsewhere, seriously think that by calling for independence for hong kong we will succeed in getting full democracy? in hong kong? forgive me ifi democracy? in hong kong? forgive me if i misunderstand. you seem to be saying that anyone who expresses an opinion pro—independence is committing a crime. you never allowed me to give you an answer. this is ridiculous. the law does not
say any of those things at all and i am not saying it stop the law says you would only commit an offence if you would only commit an offence if you organisers, plans, participate and carry out, you know, a purpose in the form of, you know, harming the national interest or national safety of the country. you know as well as i do that the people in hong kong who call for independence right now are living in fear because they fear, and indeed they know, based on what they have seen over the last few days, that they face serious risk of arrest under this new law. no. it is not that at all. come to hong kong right now and you see that life goes on as always and nobody is infear, life goes on as always and nobody is in fear, nobody is fleeing the country, quite the contrary full dog tens of thousands of people...” think people are fleeing the country. we have every confidence in
the sar government. nathan law who is one of the leaders of the movement for democracy and fundamental reform in hong kong has fled the country because, in his words, he says that what we are seeing is the start of a bloodied cultural revolution and he cannot continue his political activities in your territory. i think it isjust a political ploy. he is free to go and free to come back. there is no warrant against him and nobody persecuting him or prosecuting him. but he would like to make use of what he's doing a political ploy. so he is free to do that. nobody blames him. he is free to return if he wa nts to him. he is free to return if he wants to it is about hong kong's international reputation. whether you like it or not, the us government is talking about new sanctions on hong kong. it has withdrawn the special trade status.
united kingdom is talking about allowing, in the first instance, hundreds of thousands but possibly up hundreds of thousands but possibly up3 hundreds of thousands but possibly up 3 million hong kong is with the overseas passport which allows them entry into britain, allowing them to come to britain and reside here for at least five years and perhaps seek permanent residency in the uk. governments around the world have looked at what china has done and regarded as utterly unacceptable. no responsible government has succumbed to blackmail based on lies and misinformation. and at any event as i have been trying at pains to tell you, the law is enforced by the sar government, not by mainland china. it is adjudicated upon by our own judges. you seem to me insinuating that our courts and judges are corrupt. they are not. they are not! they are internationally known to be
well respect with adequate learning of the law, known to have ruled on cases justly and properly and are respected by the rest of the common law world. your problem, crosstalk. you can see escape and challenge with me but the problem is that countries around the world are drawing their own conclusions. they are not listening, not buying your justifications and they are taking actions. how worried are you that the united states, for example, has withdrawn hong kong special trade status and is talking about imposing new sanctions and as early as this week, congress could sign, or at least seek president trump ‘s signature, on a hong kong autonomy bill that would force sanctions on banks that do business with certain
chinese government entities. the pressure is building. how worried are you? i am not worried at all and iam quite are you? i am not worried at all and i am quite sure the sar government is not worried at all nor the central government. this isjust a political ploy. the us is practically at war with china and we understand that. as far as we are concerned, the us is one of the largest trading partners for hong kong but it only occupies something like 9% of the trade relationship with hong kong. the us, by the way, makes a huge trading surplus with hong kong. any sanction to be applied in hong kong would only hurt us businessmen. it is like cutting the nose to spite the face. but as i said, no responsible government would succumb to political blackmail. particularly when it is
based on lies and misinformation. you keep referring to lies and misinformation and i keep telling you that countries around the world are lit as they see hong kong becoming more and morejust are lit as they see hong kong becoming more and more just another chinese city. it does not have this special status anymore, it is not a question of one country to systems any more and let me quote to you a politician in japan any more and let me quote to you a politician injapan who is looking, it must be said in terms of self—interest, japan's chance of taking opportunity from hong kong's troubles. the man says that what japan is now offering to the world in terms of being a regional hub is what hong kong cannot offer, and thatis what hong kong cannot offer, and that is freedom to hong kong is becoming the kind of place which does not allow people free expression and it even controls their facebook likes and are people going to put up with that estimate i think not. people want to trade and
deal with a place where people can live normally. that is the new reality that hong kong will have to face. your special status and financial hub status is under threat. so be it to give people would like to carry on in ways like that with total disregard to fact of what is happening on the ground, there is nothing much that hong kong people can do. most hong kong people feel that it is a national criticism and totally unjustified and entirely not supported by fact. i invite you to come any to hong kong and see for yourself. it sounds like... with proper provision for the proper protection of human rights and core values of the people in hong kong. by values of the people in hong kong. by comparison it is, by far, about a piece of legislation than, for instance, the singaporean national security law. it sounds to me, as we
close, it sounds like you threw in your lot with beijing and you will defend beijing come what may. i'm just pointing out the fact. if you can point to fact that would show to me that hong kong judges will not be able to apply this law properly with all the safeguards to human rights and core values, you know, then i can deal with that sort of rational argument. but you are not putting forward any rational westerns. you are simply reciting to me page after page of political rhetoric from people who are known to be against the interest of both hong kong and china. and that does not cut any ice with me. we will have to leave the ice right there. ronnie tong, i thank you very much indeed for being on
hardtalk. monday looks set to be a rather breezy day but not quite as windy as it was on sunday when we had scenes like this with gusts of 50 mile an hour or more across parts of the uk and the sorts of winds we would expect during autumn but are pretty unusual in summer. the area of low pressure responsible not too far away, sliding towards scandinavia, high pressure trying to build in from the south—west but not as windy as it has been through monday. still blustery out there with fewer showers and still some showers, those particularly affecting parts of scotland, northern england maybe entering into east wales and the midlands, certainly the eastern side of england and some for northern ireland as well. the further south and west you are, not as many showers,
more dry weather and spells of sunshine here. still a noticeable north—westerly breeze, these wind gusts we are expecting, just a notch or two lower than the windspeed we saw during sunday. it will still feel cool out there, i suspect, with top temperatures between 1a and 21 degrees and it will remain cool and fresh as we head through monday night. many daytime showers will continue to fade and we will see showery rain drift across the far north of scotland and cloud amounts increasing across northern ireland through the early hours of tuesday morning. we start the day between 8 and 12 degrees. high pressure just about in charge as we begin tuesday. you can see this bump in the isobars here. however there is a frontal system that will work quickly into northern ireland. i showed you increasing amounts cloud, and set in through the morning and then spread eastwards. there is uncertainty aboutjust how far north or south the wet
weather will get and there is likely to be a swathe of dry weather through the southern counties of england and the channel islands, and dry conditions with just showers in the northern half of scotland but those temperatures still around 14—21 degrees. that frontal system is not finished as we head towards wednesday, another pulse of energy, another wave holding it in place with more rain across southern counties and to the north of that frontal system, the air will not get warm with temperatures staying a touch below the average for the time of year. some rain at times through the middle part of the week and the driest of the weather is likely to be
this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm aaron safir. the taj mahal stays locked down as india's coronavirus cases reach a record high. in australia, a partial lockdown returns to melbourne as a breach of hotel quarantines is blamed for a spike in infections. also coming up, how turkey is using its influence in libya to further its ambitions. we have a special report. ankara wants to be a key player in the future, whatever emerges from the chaos in libya, and it's flexing its muscles across the middle east.
IN COLLECTIONSBBC News Television Archive Television Archive News Search Service
Uploaded by TV Archive on