Littlejohn: Hold China Accountable for Crushing Dissent in Hong Kong

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2020 /Christian Newswire/ — Reggie Littlejohn, Founder and President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, releases the following opinion for publication and is available for comment: 

Hold China Accountable for Crushing Dissent in Hong Kong 

The CCP has circumvented the rule of law by issuing a National Security Law that would crush all dissent in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s new law represents the end of “one country, two systems” and replaces it with “one country, one system.” 

The National People’s Congress (NPC) has passed a law bypassing Hong Kong’s own Legislative Council. A top official quoted in the CCP-owned China Daily stated that the new law is merely “to protect Hong Kong residents from the criminal acts of a small number of extremists.” 

In practice, however, this law can be used to crush free speech, criticism, protest and dissent. Countless Chinese dissidents have been jailed on groundless charges of “subversion.” Hong Kong activists rightly fear that this new law will render dissent, or even political discourse, a criminal offense. Countless Chinese human rights activists have been jailed on groundless charges of “subversion,” including Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, who in 2009 was sentenced to 11 years in prison for calling for democratic reform. He died while serving his sentence. 

Equally worrisome, the new law implies that security forces from mainland China, such as the Ministry of State Security, will be set up in Hong Kong. According to a second article in China Daily, “The NPC draft decision has also stipulated that organs of national security of the central government will set up agencies in Hong Kong, whose operation will be according to law.” 

The people of Hong Kong mounted massive protests to prevent extradition from Hong Kong to mainland China. Now, the dreaded national security apparatus of mainland China will take residence in Hong Kong. 

We stand with the people of Hong Kong, who have suffered so terribly in their struggle to maintain the autonomy promised them. We commend the actions the U.S. government has already taken to disengage economically from the PRC, including the May 27 declaration that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous, and President Trump’s announcement that the US will end Hong Kong’s trade privileges. These tragic actions should be blamed on the CCP, whose shameless maneuvers and raw power grabs have brought us to this point. 

We likewise acknowledge the joint statement issued by the governments of the United States, UK, Australia and Canada, condemning China’s violation of the “one country, two systems” policy promised in the 1997 transfer of power from British to Chinese rule. 

The global community needs to protect international security and economic interests. On the table should be various economic and financial sanctions, such as those recommended by the Committee on the Present Danger: China. In addition, we need to hold individuals accountable through the Global Magnitsky Act

We also need to increase our commitment to the people of Taiwan, especially in light of the ominous statement by a top Chinese general that China will attack Taiwan to stop independence. Hong Kong now, Taiwan next? 

Taiwan is opening its arms to Hong Kong citizens who want to resettle in the face of the tightening grip of the CCP. We call upon the United States and governments the world over to do the same. 

While our two organizations advocate for women’s rights, we note that half of the people of Hong Kong are female, including many brave protesters. Our organizations will, as always, do our part to assist women and children persecuted by China’s authoritarian regime. 

Reggie Littlejohn, Founder and President, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers 

Jing Zhang, Founder and President, Women’s Rights in China 

SOURCE Women’s Rights Without Frontiers

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