China’s latest acts of oppression must act as a wake-up call

Lord Owen writes in The Times, 26 November 2020

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The third breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration by the Chinese Communist Party should serve as a wake-up call not just to Britain but to her allies as well.

The pace at which President Xi has dismantled Hong Kong’s democracy through the purging of pro-democracy and the recent arrests of former pro-democracy lawmakers only points to further trouble ahead.

Such a brazen move by Beijing to rule in favour of the mass expulsion of all pro- democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong would previously have been unthinkable, but with the eyes of the West fixed on the fallout from the US election, the Chinese Communist Party has pounced at the opportunity to turn the screws further by annexing one of the remaining remnants of opposition in the city.

Xi based his calculation on the premise that this would produce far less international outcry than the outright cancelling of pending democratic elections in the territory. With the exception of Canada, the response to this latest encroachment has culminated in little more than a flurry of statements of condemnation paired with a noticeable absence of concrete actions, which appears to have proved Xi’s assumption correct.

Even the UK government’s welcome oNer of UK citizenship for Hongkongers now needs additional action, preferably in concert with the US government…. more

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