Hong Kong’s controversial security law could serve as a model for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to destroy the autonomy and freedoms achieved by Taiwan.
The national security law that came into force on June 30, by the CCP is at the center of criticism from human rights bodies and organizations promoting the freedom of individuals and peoples. But these days a new concern has emerged that the legislation could be the perfect link to intervene in Taiwan. With the approval of the law, the CCP took a big step to prepare for war with the neighboring island’s democracy.
Li Su is the president of the Modern think-Tank Forum in China, a fervent supporter and influential academic of the CCP. Through a posting on social networks, Li interpreted the new law as a tool that paves the way for governing in Taiwan.
According to an opinion piece in the Washington Post, Li has given speeches in Taiwan warning people on the island that they will soon be invaded by the CCP. In April 2019, the Taiwanese government banned him from returning to Taipei to give another speech promoting the use of force. Li also led a delegation of Chinese academics to the United States in 2019 to force the CCP’s intentions to take over the island.
He also chillingly predicted how the CCP would launch its current repression in Hong Kong. In his speech on Chinese social networks, Li said he interpreted Hong Kong’s security law as a “test case” in which the CCP will model its takeover of Taiwan. “We will learn to control Taiwan by experimenting with this law in Hong Kong,” he said. “From the experiment in Hong Kong, we will tell the people in Taiwan that after we join by force, we will have a way of dealing with you. In short, that would be to bring together “your independence activists, democracy activists, students who cause problems and take them to the mainland to be sentenced. After that, Li asked, “Who would dare oppose us?”
At least 10 people have already been arrested in Hong Kong under the new law, and CCP officials said they could be tried in mainland courts.
The CCP openly claims that Taiwan is part of China and has never abandoned the threat of using state violence to take over the island. Chinese leader Xi Jinping himself, in a speech published by various media in early 2019, declared that he would take “all necessary measures” to absorb the island.
According to the The Washington Post, there has been considerable speculation in China that Xi wants to resolve “the Taiwan question” sometime around July next year. Li said the enactment of the security law last week basically confirmed that theory. “Sometime around 2021,” Li predicted, “we will definitely liberate Taiwan.
Hong Kong’s New Security Law
Critics argue that the law severely limits freedom of expression in Hong Kong, allows authorities to arrest suspects from Hong Kong and try them in mainland China, where there are many complaints about the lack of minimum rights of expression. It also provides for the creation of a kind of secret police, which would act directly under the orders of the CCP, placing the territory under the same authoritarian rules as mainland China.
The law was approved in secret by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in Beijing and signed by Xi before people in Hong Kong had seen the text. The law defines as punishable offenses: “secession, subversion, organization and perpetration of terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security.” Section 29 of the said act specifically states to allow the prosecution of any person “who provokes hatred by illegal means among Hong Kong residents” toward the CCP or Hong Kong.
President Trump, among others, has long pointed out that the new security law will not uphold human rights and democracy in Hong Kong.