June 14, 2024
Hong Kong’s protests: The political bill for impunity must be paid sooner or later
To move beyond the current political crisis, the central authorities in Beijing and the HKSAR government must demonstrate compliance with their international human rights obligations. However, while that might be like asking the tiger for its skin, the bill for impunity must be paid sooner or later.
To move beyond the current political crisis, the central authorities in Beijing and the HKSAR government must demonstrate compliance with their international human rights obligations. However, while that might be like asking the tiger for its skin, the bill for impunity must be paid sooner or later.

It is becoming progressively clear that Party-state leadership suffers from a complete inability to understand Hong Kong people.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Hong Kong garrison propaganda video released last week may play well to mainland Chinese fans of Wolf Warrior one and two (two wildly popular action movies), but the crude nationalism and military might on display will only reinforce Hong Kong people’s distrust, anger and resolve to defend the city’s autonomy. Hong Kong will never become just another Chinese city.

During the July 29 press briefing by the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (the first since 1997 when the United Kingdom returned Hong Kong to China), spokesperson Yang Guang predictably condemned the actions of protesters, expressed support and sympathy for the Hong Kong police and their families, and reaffirmed the central government’s support for Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

Yang emphasised the government’s bottom line – safeguarding One Country Two Systems, and urged Hong Kong people to uphold the rule of law. He pointed to Hongkongers’ lack of understanding of the mainland’s legal system as fuelling public panic and blamed the usual suspects – “outside forces” – as intent on stoking unhappiness in the city while undermining Beijing.

But Hongkongers understand the mainland legal system all too well: Beijing’s “rule the country by law” (依法治国) is not the rule of law.

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See Also:

(1) Parallel universes: As Hong Kong totters, its government is doing a good job of… inspecting seafood

(2) China waits out Hong Kong protests, but backlash looms

(3) China’s surging food prices won’t weaken its hand in the trade war, economists say

(4) Crop invaders: China’s small farmers struggle to defeat armyworm

(5) Asia shares mixed as Chinese food inflation soars, Japan GDP beats expectations

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