Why the Hong Kong people will not accept it and will continue with the protests and the attempts to secure a second citizenship?
Will there be any chance of peace and reconciliation in Hong Kong after this bill from Beijing?
During a regular meeting of Chinese lawmakers in Beijing in May (delayed by Covid-19) it became clear that China intended to impose the national security bill (NSB) on Hong Kong. And local Hong Kong lawmakers will not have a say in its creation.
The bill will be imposed on the former British colony in order to prevent “any conduct that seriously endangers national security.” These include problems such as the relentless protests on the island, separatism, attempts to secede from China. And “activities by foreign and overseas forces” that “interfere” in Hong Kong’s affairs. It is expected in June Beijing to widely promulgate bill on the island.
The US reaction
On May 27, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the facts clearly showed that China no longer respected the autonomy of the HK. This further intensified the confrontation between the two great powers in an arena called Hong Kong. And United States will now treat HK business as it treats China business. The introduction of new duties and tariffs is being considered on Hong Kong goods and businesses. And this could do much more harm to the HK than the introduction of the communist NSB.
The “final murder” of autonomy
The rulers in Beijing and their puppet government in the HK now have to figure out how to reassure major international investors that the NSB will not ultimately kill the island’s good business environment. Only a year and a half ago, HK was an economic paradise for investors from all over the world…
On May 25, during a press conference with journalists, diplomats and businessmen, Xie Feng, a foreign affairs commissioner in the territory, tried to reassure everyone that there was no cause for concern. The law was aimed at criminals backed by dark foreign forces bent on splitting China from the island. And other good people, especially businessmen and investors, have nothing to worry about.
However, according to Margaret Ng, a barrister and former member of Hong Kong’s quasi-parliament, the NSB will drastically violate the agreement between China and the UK on broad autonomy on the island, including in the judiciary. The fundamental right of the Hong Kong residents to be tried and punished only under its own criminal laws by Hong Kong agencies will be deleted. The promise of broad autonomy was given by China during the island’s transition from London to Beijing in 1997.
In order to “safeguard” national security and oversee the new legislation, Beijing can send its secret police to Hong Kong permanently. This will really guarantee Beijing’s influence on the island. The Constitution does not give the continental government the right to interfere directly in the internal affairs of the HK. But it does not apply to Beijing’s secret agents, as we know. Remember 2015 and the case of the Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing-kee. The man was kidnapped by Chinese agents for the sale of banned books across the border!…
The effect of the secret services on Hong Kong business is already visible. When China tried to impose an extradition law last year, local businessmen actively supported the protests. Now, however, their voices are less and less heard (almost total mute) in support of Democrats and protesters against the deprivation of broad autonomy.
How will the Hong Kongers react? What next?
It is expected that after the lifting of the restrictions related to the coronavirus, the disagreement with the NSB, which China wants to impose, will explode with new force on the streets of the city. The people of Hong Kong have proven that they love and value their independence more than anything. More than their personal freedom, more than their own lives. That is why they will not pass this bill peacefully and quietly.
The other very important question that stands with great power in front of HK is: what the United States will do? Will they enact economic sanctions on Hong Kong? Which would be extremely unfair to locals and HK businesses. They have no guilt. On the contrary! They fight like real lions for their freedom and independence. The introduction of economic sanctions in the HK will be another wrong step of Mr. Trump on the international stage. But this will not reduce the burden of such a decision on the economy and life of the small but proud Hong Kong community.
A whole new generation of HongKongers grew up with the street protests. They are hardened in the battles to preserve the democratic nature of their island. Will these awesome young people be betrayed? Will they be sacrificed by the US, the UK and the international community at the stake of good relations with China?
The choice of Hong Kong people
How to preserve their democratic values? How to preserve their autonomy? What choice do they have in these conditions – for themselves, for their families, for their business? These are some of the most vital questions that free-thinking residents of HK are currently asking themselves.
Protests and battles with democratic means on the streets of the city to the last. Until they are arrested or crushed. Or to some compromise “victory”.
But there are other solutions. Solutions that could secure the future of many Hong Kongers. One of them is dual citizenship. For Hong Kong people of British nationality, the choice is clear – applying for a British passport. Recently, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK could offer British National (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong a “path to citizenship”. However, it turned out that he meant “citizenship” for only 12 months, and only for work and study.
European and in particular Bulgarian citizenship is among the options that are increasingly used by Hong Kongers. The Bulgarian Program Citizenship by Investments is the only one actually working in Europe at the moment. Fees and costs are proven to be the lowest, and the effectiveness of the program is the highest not only in Europe but also worldwide. The Bulgarian passport provides full European citizenship to the applicant and his family with all the ensuing benefits. Both for travel and business.