The recent Five Eye criticism of draconian Hong Kong policy has earned an obvious sneer from Chinese Foreign Ministry – as dictated by spokesperson Zhao Lijian.
On November 18th, the foreign ministers of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, expressed their concern regarding the misuse of Beijing’s power in curbing Hong Kong’s autonomy.
The Five Eyes alliance is a unique coalition of the five English-speaking countries that joined forced in the early stages of the Cold War in an attempt to collect and share intelligence reports.
The Five Eyes has evolved from being an intelligence collaboration to a policy coordination mechanism, particularly as the focus shifts towards ongoing events in the Indo-Pacific.
The brand, which earlier, was discussed in hushed tones, is now being officially denoted in correspondence, and now, in the form of the Hong Kong joint statement signifying the unification of the powers towards destabilizing Chinese forces that have been muting the voices of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, East Turkistan, Tibet, Southern Mongolia and even Taiwan.
Hong Kong saw a massive wave of protests in 201,9 as millions took to the streets to display their displeasure over the introduction of a Fugitive Offenders amendment in the Anti-Extradition Law.
With a sordid record of human rights abuses, critics feared that this would lead to the endangerment of dissidents and undermine the judicial autonomy of Hong Kong.
Protesters faced the wrath of the dragon with numerous cases of police brutality, arbitrary arrests, and even cases of live rounds being fired at teenagers.
To curb the ongoing protest, China installed the National Security Law (NSL) on 30th June 2020.
The law criminalized all activities deemed to be secessionist, subversive or terrorist.
It also gave powers to China to deploy state security within Hong Kong.
Through the legislation, China has tried to silence pro-democracy lawmakers and has disqualified several over allegations of ineptness of their pledges to Beijing.
November 11th saw the disqualification of four key lawmakers – Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki & Kenneth Leung – from the pro-democracy bloc of the Legislature.
This action led to the resignation of all the remaining 15 pro-democracy lawmakers leading to widespread concerns over the puppetry on display in the pro-Beijing Legislature.
The Five Eyes condemned the breach of China’s obligation of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration which assured the world of Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and the right to freedom of speech.
The coalition also urged the Chinese government to reinstate all the elected lawmakers.
This display of tact has not gone down well with China which lashed out with a 14-point statement attacking the alliance through childish offences.
The statement spoke of how China’s determination of defending its national sovereignty and developmental interests is unwavering despite all the dissent rocking the former British state.
The statement also attempted to mock the coalition’s stance and its need to interfere in what Beijing deems as internal matters.
This is the third time that China has violated the Joint Declaration since it was signed in 1997, according to the UK.
The US has levied heavy sanctions on those responsible for the NSL- including Hong Kong’s CEO Carrie Lam, a vocal supporter of Beijing.
The EU, too has not taken China’s clampdown lightly as it released a statement saying that the blow to pluralism and freedom of opinion in Hong Kong would not be tolerated.
China’s expansionist policies and its pursuit in being seen as a ‘Great Power’ has led to the demolition of the basic threads of humanity and the extinction of freedoms of expression, life and dignity in China as well as in its colonized regions.