- Date published:
9:49 pm, July 28th, 2020 - 38 comments
Categories: afghanistan, China, democratic participation, exports, Free Trade, iraq, jacinda ardern, law and "order", Propaganda, socialism, Spying, surveillance, terrorism, us politics, war, winston peters - Tags:
According to our Prime Minister, today’s announcement that New Zealand is suspending extradition arrangements with Hong Kong is because of our principles. But it is not immediately clear what these principles are, other than falling into line with our Five Eyes spying partners. Some history is important.
The Hong Kong flag bore the Union Jack because Britain annexed the territory in 1842 after the First Opium War, where Britain required China to take payment for Chinese silk and porcelain in opium rather than silver. The New Territories were ceded after the Second Opium War. Superior naval gunnery decided the issue: millions of Chinese suffered as a result.
Article 23 of the Basic Law in the Treaty of 1997 which formed the basis of Britain’s return of Hong Kong to China states as follows:
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.
This was never done.
After the recent demonstrations and riots in Hong Kong protesting the establishment of a law against the possible deportation of a murder suspect to Taiwan, where there was ample evidence of foreign political interference, the PRC National Assembly passed a law to fulfil Article 23. The specific offences listed are:
preventing, suppressing and imposing punishment for the offences of secession, subversion, organisation and perpetration of terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security in relation to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;
They seem unexceptional for any independent state.
In regard to Jacinda Ardern’s listing New Zealand’s principles of “basic freedom of association and the right to take a political view,” the new law says:
Human rights shall be respected and protected in safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The rights and freedoms, including the freedoms of speech, of the press, of publication, of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration, which the residents of the Region enjoy under the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as applied to Hong Kong, shall be protected in accordance with the law.
Re Winston Peters’ statement that “China’s passage of its new national security legislation has eroded rule-of-law principles, undermined the ‘one country, two systems’ framework that underpins Hong Kong’s unique status, and gone against commitments China made to the international community,” the new law says its principal objective is:
ensuring the resolute, full and faithful implementation of the policy of One Country, Two Systems under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy;
Cue outrage from the Five Eyes, led by the US, which is where the demonising of China comes in. US official policy is to see China as a competitor and adversary. In a speech at the Nixon Institute last week, Secretary Pompeo went further:
We, we the freedom loving nations of the world must induce China to change just as President Nixon wanted. We must induce China to change in more creative and assertive ways because Beijing’s actions threaten our people and our prosperity. We must start by changing how our people and our partners perceive the Chinese Communist Party.
We are going to be asked – bullied – to buy in to regime change led by the US. China will never accept that, and China today is not the China of the Qing empire. Naval gunnery will not decide the 21st century issue.
Pompeo the Cold War warrior said this of China in case we were tempted to treat them as reasonable people and take them at their word:
You know, I grew up and served my time in the Army during the Cold War, and if there’s one thing I learned, Communists almost always lie. The biggest lie that they tell is to think that they speak for 1.4 billion people who are surveilled, depressed, and scared to speak out. Quite the contrary. The CCP fears the Chinese people’s honest opinions more than any foe, and save for losing their own grip on power, they have no reason to. Just think how much better off the world would be, not to mention the people inside of China, if we had been able to hear from the doctors in Wuhan and they’d been allowed to raise the alarm about the outbreak of a new and novel virus.
This from the man who told a graduation class at a military university in the US that when he was the Director of the CIA “we lied, we cheated, we stole; heck we had training courses in how to do it.” He’s a born-again Christian but doesn’t understand the mandate of heaven. He could be in for a surprise at the rapture.
I’m not sure if it is New Zealand he is speaking to here, but we are in the Five Eyes and were with NATO in Afghanistan:
Now it’s true, it’s difficult for some small countries. They fear being picked off. Some of them for that reason simply don’t have the ability, the courage to stand with us for the moment. Indeed, we have a NATO ally of ours that hasn’t stood up in the way that it needs to with respect to Hong Kong, because they fear Beijing will restrict access to China’s market. This is the kind of timidity that will lead to historic failure, and we can’t repeat it. We cannot repeat the mistakes of these past years.
If he was talking about us I think he should told where to go.
But Covid has changed everything. The US has been described as a flailing state, and unlike China it is failing the Covid test. It is the Asian nations that have dealt with it successfully, most notably because they have placed the health and welfare of their citizens first with collective solutions.
And America is not a model for democracy. It is better described as a geriatric, oligarchic plutocracy as the Federal Reserve pours trillions into propping up financial market debt and millions of citizens go jobless and hungry. It is not a model for anything and certainly not an example for us. We would be better off to think like the Chinese and take a long term view of where our future lies.
America is seeking to build another culture of the unwilling. Thus Pompeo:
Maybe it’s time for a new grouping of like-minded nations, a new alliance of democracies. We have the tools. I know we can do it. Now we need the will. To quote scripture, I ask, is our spirit willing but our flesh weak? If the free world doesn’t change, Communist China will surely change us. There can’t be a return to the past practices because they’re comfortable or because they’re convenient. Securing our freedoms from the Chinese Communist Party is the mission of our time, and America is perfectly positioned to lead it, because our founding principles give us that opportunity.
All I can say is remember Iraq, and the lies that were told. We made no mistake then. I was very proud of Helen Clark when she stood up in 2002 and told the Labour caucus we would not follow the US into unnecessary and unjust war. She acted instinctively based on her principles, the same Labour principles that has kept nuclear warships out of our ports and nuclear testing out of our region.