By | Rachel Brooks
Staff | Telegraph Local
Above, a recent Bloomberg Quicktake broadcast, President Xi Jingping appears at National People’s Congress.
China is poised to expand control over Hong Kong. This was reported by NPR News within the last 24 hours. Beijing has signaled its sweeping advance of national security legislation for Hong Kong. This is the most aggressive campaign yet to exert control over the city that is semi-autonomous in Chinese politics. Hong Kong was returned to Chinese control in 1997. This campaign will be the most aggressive Beijing control over Hong Kong since 1997.
“Hong Kong is an inseparable part of the People’s Republic of China. In light of recent circumstances, the NPC is exercising power enshrined in China’s Constitution … to uphold the institutional framework of one country, two systems,” said Zhang Yesui, a spokesperson for China’s National People’s Congress, as quoted by NPR News.
The force of Beijing’s control over Hong Kong comes after a clash between the Hong Kong lawmakers. Fox 28 reported within the last three days that a pro-Beijing chair has been elected. This drives the surge of Beijing-oriented control in the city.
Tensions flared in the legislature as chairperson Dennis Kwok was ousted for deliberately delaying matters and causing a backlog of bills that impacted public interest, citing Fox 28. At this point, Kwok was replaced by chairperson Chan Kin-por. Scuffles and shouting matches ensued at the legislature, and Chan Kin-por ejected most of the pro-democracy lawmakers due to this. At that stage, pro-Beijing lawmaker Starry Lee won with ease.
Reuters reports that China maintains the new Beijing control over Hong Kong national security will not hamper the separated judicial systems. Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong leader, stated that the Beijing measures were targeted at cracking down on illegal activities that were deemed to have damaged national security.
This crackdown by Beijing comes amid surmounting tensions between China and the United States. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration warns of a strong U.S. reaction to this new crackdown, further citing Reuters.
President Trump specifically told Reuters that “nobody knows yet” what precise plans Beijing is taking with its new crackdown.
“If it happens we’ll address that issue very strongly,” said Mr. Trump, as quoted by Reuters.
An echoed warning comes directly from Daniel Russel, the top U.S. diplomat for Asia, that is until early in the Trump administration. Russel suggests that Chinese President Xi Jingping should likely expect some U.S. “muscle flexing” as Hong Kong makes ready to make up lost time for its setbacks, citing Reuters.
Trump’s sentiments were echoed throughout the Congress by U.S. lawmakers.
“A further crackdown from Beijing will only intensify the Senate’s interest in re-examining the U.S.-China relationship,” said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as quoted by Reuters.
Mr. Trump has had critical words for the current Chinese political theater with direct regards to U.S. domestic politics as well.
“China is on a massive disinformation campaign because they are desperate to have Sleepy Joe Biden win the presidential race so they can continue to rip-off the United States, as they have done for decades, until I came along!,” said Trump via Twitter on May 20.