China takes strong Hong Kong position due to sovereignty issues: ex CIA expert

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China takes strong Hong Kong stance due to sovereignty concerns: ex CIA analyst

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China’s desire to show its sovereign may could be part of why it has actually authorized a draft nationwide security law for Hong Kong, one expert informed CNBC.

“There’s probably sort of a multi-layered cake of Chinese motivations,” Christopher Johnson, Freeman Chair in China Studies at think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, stated Thursday prior to China’s parliament voted to authorize the expense that some state infringes on the city’s flexibilities and autonomy.

The proposed expense is extremely controversial as it bypasses Hong Kong’s legislature and might weaken the city’s semi-autonomous status that entered into result when Britain handed Hong Kong over to China in 1997.

One of the factors China is prepared to take a strong position towards Hong Kong might be due to the fact that Beijing is bothered by current U.S. assistance for Taiwan, stated Johnson, a previous China expert with the Central Intelligence Agency.

Beijing views Taiwan as a breakaway province without any rights to state-to-state relations. The Chinese Communist Party has actually never ever governed Taiwan.

U.S.-Taiwan relations

“China has a lot of concerns about what’s happening on Taiwan … rather how the U.S. is approaching Taiwan,” Johnson informed CNBC.

Taiwan has actually become relatively effective in handling to manage the coronavirus break out, and published simply 442 cases and 7 deaths in a population of almost 24 million. That’s regardless of its distance to mainland China and their close organisation ties.

Earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — together with a clutch of world leaders — freely backed Taiwan’s involvement in a World Health Organization conference. The relocation provoked Beijing which views Taiwan as an area that cannot have its own diplomatic representation.

China has apparently informed the U.S. that Taiwan is the most delicate concern in their relationship.

U.S. assistance of Taiwan “stimulates the desire on China’s part to demonstrate the inviolability of Chinese territory integrity. They can’t reach out and touch Taiwan, but they certainly can (for) Hong Kong,” stated Johnson.

‘Sense of stress and anxiety’

Another factor is that with China being inspected — both abroad and even in the house — over its handling of the coronavirus, the Chinese Communist Party is seeking to fortify assistance and nationalism, even as it looks for to get its economy back on track.

“It is reflective of a sense of anxiety … on the part of the Chinese leadership coming out of the Covid situation, whether there are serious concerns about the state of economy, the employment situation and so on,” stated Johnson. He included that there is likewise “the desire to show that this is not the time to suggest that perhaps the leadership in Beijing is not in control of Chinese sovereignty.”

In addition to that, Hong Kong is no longer as financially crucial to China as it was more than 20 years back.

According to Reuters, Hong Kong contributed just about 2.7% to China’s GDP in 2015, compared to more than 18% in 1997 — when it was turned over to China.

“So therefore, China probably sees this as worth the risk in terms of the ability to demonstrate to its population that it’s standing up to foreign pressure,” stated Johnson.

China’s National People’s Congress, the nation’s parliament, on Thursday voted to authorize the proposition to enforce a brand-new nationwide security law for Hong Kong. The relocation leads the way for the law to be completed and carried out in the city.

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