Six months on since the imposition of Hong Kong’s National Security Law, and the “one country, two systems” framework has been thoroughly debunked, exposing the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) duplicitous nature, a Taiwanese national security official said, urging Taiwan to safeguard its democracy against Chinese encroachment, as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has similar ambitions for Taiwan.
The territory’s law was not the only of its kind to be passed in recent years, said the official, who wished to remain anonymous, as he pointed to the 2015 National Security Law of the People’s Republic of China.
The CCP is passing a flurry of security legislation to consolidate its power, using it as a tool to both muzzle domestic dissent and expand its foreign influence, the official said on Jan. 3.
In addition to maintaining its authoritarian grip, the CCP ultimately aims to do away with universally recognized values and implement its “Chinese dream” of hegemonic expansionism, he said
Academia, the media, religion and other sectors have all felt the effects of the new law, even public officials, who are coerced into swearing allegiance to China lest they risk their careers.
The Hong Kong National Security Department’s reporting hotline, launched on Nov. 5, received more than 10,000 tips in the first week alone, the South China Morning Post reported.
Taiwanese experts have warned of the danger this could pose to foreign nationals doing business or traveling through Hong Kong.
If it receives a tip, the department could detain an international traveler for questioning during their layover, disrupting itineraries and causing losses, even if the person is found innocent, they have said.
The national security official warned that Hong Kong is now riddled with “speech crime” landmines, creating an atmosphere by which “those who follow the CCP prosper, while those who oppose the CCP perish.”
Beijing and the Hong Kong government are attaching particular importance to purging dissent among young people, as evidenced by the approach championed by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥), who in her annual policy address in November vowed to promote education and employment opportunities for young Hong Kongers in the mainland, he said.
Because of the rapidly deteriorating situation, the number of Hong Kong students choosing Taiwan for tertiary studies has skyrocketed, climbing from 6,824 in the last academic year to more than 7,500 this year.
Hong Kongers enrolling in an undergraduate program through the University Entrance Committee for Overseas Chinese Students rose 60 percent to 3,093 last year, while graduate school enrollment increased 150 percent to 648 people, not including those who applied independently or to private schools.
The CCP is not only violating the freedoms and rights guaranteed by Hong Kong’s Basic Law, but also its promise that the territory would maintain a “high degree of autonomy” and “not change for 50 years,” the national security official said.
Its actions also fly in the face of the universally agreed values and obligations laid out in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, he added.
“The fundamental nature of this duplicitous, perfidious regime is self-evident,” he said.
The failure of “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong should serve as warning and motivation for Taiwan, he said.
“The CCP unscrupulously tramples on human rights and the rule of law, not only hurting the people of Hong Kong, but also threatening everyone in the world who holds freedom and democracy dear,” he said.
To protect Taiwan’s sovereignty and security in the face of Beijing’s expansionist ambitions, Taiwanese must cherish their hard-won democratic way of life and maintain a sense of caution, he added.
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