China’s state-run Global Times went to bat for the heavy-handed “national security law” Beijing is preparing to impose on Hong Kong with a slew of editorials on Monday and Tuesday, denouncing criticism as fear-mongering and predicting Hong Kong would welcome the stability provided by a massive crackdown on protesters.
On Monday, the Global Times declared that critics of the law are a pack of hysterical fearmongers and probably on the payroll of hostile foreign governments like the United States to boot:
In interviews with the Global Times, many foreign investors and business representatives in Hong Kong hold favorable attitudes toward the upcoming new National Security Law as they shared a consensus that with specific targets, the legislature would put an end to street violence, helping the once-prosperous Asian financial hub restore peace and stability, which, they say, will guarantee long-term business confidence.
Many pointed out that there are widespread misinterpretations of the legislation among some Western officials and media outlets, with some even raising questions about whether the law would end the “one country, two systems,” ignoring the fact that the law is only targeting a narrow category of actions that jeopardize national security.
Washington has threatened to impose sanctions over the law, including revoking special trading status for the city, but economists and business representatives said that the so-called punitive measures would have little effect, as the city’s prosperity has been largely dependent on the mainland rather than foreign capital. Potential sanctions from the US would also see it shoot itself in the foot, since many US businesses will be affected as well, analysts said.
The Global Times asserted that a wide range of foreign entrepreneurs with interests in Hong Kong was absolutely thrilled that Beijing is preparing to silence and criminalize dissent, returning order to the streets.
For good measure, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) paper quoted former Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-hwa delivering the most elementary defense of every authoritarian regime by insisting “there is no reason to be afraid of this new law if people are not taking part in acts such as splitting up the country, treason and subversion, organizing terrorist activities and colluding with foreign forces to interfere in the internal affairs.”
As for those businesses and governments who plan to leave Hong Kong or scuttle the special trade status it has long enjoyed as a semi-autonomous entity, managing director Hong Hao of BOCOM International cavalierly dismissed their concerns: “Those who are leaving are the ones you don’t want to keep.”
Another Global Times op-ed expanded on the theme that only “separatists” are worried about a law meant to ensure Hong Kong’s integrity as part of China, and what the “separatists” are really worried about is losing the support of their sinister foreign patrons, such as those troublemakers in Taiwan:
This move could make it more difficult for Hong Kong residents to visit, immigrate to and invest in Taiwan, and observers noted that this is showing that the separatist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has found their “friends” among Hong Kong rioters are getting useless, and it wants to cut off the ties with these lawbreakers to prevent negative impacts.
Tsai Ing-wen, the regional leader of the island and the head of the separatist DPP, posted on her Facebook account on Sunday that the proposed national security legislation by the central government of China was a “serious threat to Hong Kong’s freedoms and judicial independence” and that Taiwan would provide the people of Hong Kong with “necessary assistance.”
According to the “Law and Regulations regarding Hong Kong and Macau Affairs” of Taiwan, residents from the two special administrative regions can visit and immigrate to the island more easily than people from the Chinese mainland.
Although Tsai said her authority would provide “necessary assistance” to the Hong Kong separatists and rioters who could face legal consequences under the new national security law, Tsai also said if there were a “change in the situation,” Taiwan’s “law and regulations” regarding Hong Kong “could be partly or even all revoked.”
The useful “analysts” quoted by the Global Times hastened to assure Hong Kongers that Taiwan will abandon them as soon as their usefulness to President Tsai’s DPP party is ended. A few mean-spirited social media posts from Taiwanese citizens opposed to accepting political refugees from Hong Kong were quoted as evidence that the Taiwanese do not think highly of the protest movement, no matter what Tsai and her administration say to the contrary.
The Global Times even tried the tricky propaganda bank shot of claiming that Hong Kong’s separatists do not really want to separate because their foreign puppet masters find them more useful as agents of chaos inside the People’s Republic of China. That supposedly includes Tsai, whose elaborate master plan is to employ Hong Kong as a distraction for Taiwan’s for-real separatist agenda.
“Tsai always wants to decrease connectivity with the mainland, as well as Hong Kong and Macao, to get more intertwined with the US and Japan, and push their New Southbound Policy to increase economic activities with Southeast Asia,” Hong Kong solicitor and CCP political consultant Kennedy Wong Ying-ho told the Global Times, predicting that Tsai will use the controversy over the Hong Kong security law as “another excuse for further decoupling with the mainland.”
On Tuesday, the Global Times touted the support of the Chinese military, specifically the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) garrison in Hong Kong, for the national security law.
“This important decision will contribute to containing and punishing any attempt to sabotage the national unity or split the country, help deter all kinds of secessionist forces and foreign forces attempting to interfere [in China’s internal affairs], and demonstrates our resolute will in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said PLA garrison commander Maj. Gen. Chen Daoxiang – who also happens to be a delegate to the National People’s Congress in Beijing, the very body that will bypass Hong Kong’s legislature to impose the national security law.
The New York Times quoted pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmaker Tanya Chan describing Chen’s comments as “shocking,” especially since he delivered them in a Chinese state television interview from the sidelines of the National People’s Congress that was mixed with video clips of PLA troops training to fight rioters and conduct amphibious landings on Hong Kong.
“I have never heard of a garrison official in Hong Kong publicly commenting on Hong Kong’s affairs, even though of course the legislation is being done in Beijing,” said Tanya Chan.
The really shocking comments came from other PLA officers quoted by the UK Daily Mail, who said at a meeting in Beijing on Monday they are “confident and capable of smashing any activities that would damage the national unity or separate the country.”
All of these PLA officers parroted the CCP line that the national security law is vitally important for the “severance of the separatist forces and external intervening forces,” as Chen put it.