Hong Kong on the Security Council table after passing a law in Beijing
Hong Kong police try to contain pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong on May 27. ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP
Text by: RFI Follow
The UN Security Council will discuss the fate of Hong Kong in the morning of Friday, May 29, with an emergency meeting convened at the request of the United States and the United Kingdom after the adoption of the adopted security law. by the Chinese Parliament on Thursday May 28. The international community accuses Beijing of wanting to further restrict fundamental freedoms on the former British colony.
It is the English-speaking world that warns: Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom accuse China of one voice of violating its international obligations .
" China's decision to impose the new law ", they write in a joint statement, is to disregard " the joint declaration signed by China and the United Kingdom, legally binding and registered with the ONU ”, from the mid-1980s. This agreement provided for the sanctuary of Hong Kong's autonomy until 2047.
Yet, Western diplomats insist, the legislation passed in Beijing " would limit the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and thus dramatically erode their autonomy " by paving the way for " prosecutions for political reasons ", add the four countries.
The signatories express their deep concern and ask the Chinese authorities to work with the people of Hong Kong to find a solution acceptable to both parties.
Informal meeting that cannot be blocked by Beijing
The subject will be addressed during an informal videoconference and in camera in a format allowing any member to address various questions. Thus, China cannot in principle oppose it, according to AFP diplomatic sources. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the United Nations has adopted new methods for videoconferencing. Henceforth, the members of the Security Council must unanimously agree on the holding of a formal meeting.
Beijing objected Wednesday May 27 to a formal meeting of the Security Council urgently wanted by Washington on the same subject, affirming that Hong Kong concerned the " internal affairs " of China.
Quoted by the official Chinese news agency Xinhua, a spokesman for the representation of the Beijing government in Hong Kong on Thursday called on pro-democracy activists to " not play with fire ".
Washington threat of sanctions " barbaric " for Beijing
Donald Trump also announced for the same day that the UN meeting a press conference where he must announce " that we are going to do vis-à-vis China ", without further details. Its head of diplomacy Mike Pompeo had affirmed Wednesday May 27 that “ Hong Kong is not any more autonomous ” of China .
Today, I reported to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China, given facts on the ground. The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong.Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 27, 2020
Concretely, Washington can now end the preferential trade status granted to the former British colony.
The American threat was described as " barbaric " on Thursday 28 by the representation in Hong Kong of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Priority of Beijing after the protests
Despite the threat of American sanctions, the nearly 3,000 deputies of the Chinese National People's Congress (ANP) unsurprisingly adopted the controversial national security provision in Hong Kong on Thursday May 28. Made in response to the 2019 protests in the former British colony, the measure has already caused renewed unrest in the autonomous region of southern China .
Only one MP voted against and six abstained. The vote was greeted with long applause in the solemn setting of the People's Palace in Beijing, in the presence of President Xi Jinping. China has made this law a priority after the 2019 massive protests against the central government, which had led to violence and fueled a feeling of independence .
Democratic opponents of Beijing's influence in the territory say the measure paves the way for an unprecedented regression of freedoms in the financial metropolis of seven million inhabitants.
" This is the end of Hong Kong, " summed up AFP Claudia Mo, a pro-democracy deputy on the Hong Kong Legislative Council. " From now on, Hong Kong will be a Chinese city like any other ." Joshua Wong, one of the opposition figures, believed that the future law would " kill democratic movements " in the autonomous territory.
► Read also: National Security Law: "Chinese power will create instability in Hong Kong"
Green light from August to bypass local legislation
In the pro-Beijing camp, on the other hand, the chief executive of the Hong Kong executive Carrie Lam welcomed the vote of the Chinese Parliament. As requested by the bill, she promised " to strengthen law enforcement and education in order to defend national security ".
The provision now mandates the ANP Standing Committee to draft a bill to be incorporated into the Hong Kong mini-constitution, bypassing the local legislative council. This committee could seize the text in June and adopt the project at the end of August, according to the site NPC Observer , specialist in the mysteries of Chinese legislation.
Newsletter Receive all international news directly in your mailboxI subscribe
Follow all international news by downloading the RFI applicationgoogle-play-badge_FR
- Hong Kong
On the same subject
For the United States, "Hong Kong is no longer autonomous" from China
National Security Law: "Chinese Power Will Create Instability in Hong Kong"
Taiwan proposes humanitarian action plan to help Hong Kong people