The World in June 29-5 2020

The new Chinese national security and its impacts in Hong Kong

This week Hong Kong has entered a new phase in its political life: the new national security law came into force. This law will allow Chinese authorities to pursue and condemn any practices considered “subversive and secessionist” in Hong Kong, as well as reinforce the role of the Chinese Communist Party in the former British colony. Critics fear it could be a way to end the pro-democracy movement.

With this new law, British prime-minister, Boris Johnson, considers that China violated the 1984 Sino-British joint Declaration, ending the ‘’One country, two systems’’ principle, signed by the former Chinese prime-minister, Zhao Ziyang, and his British counterpart, Margaret Thatcher.Great Britain returned Hong Kong to China, which, in 1842, had transferred part of the city to the United Kingdom after the first Opium War, on July 1st, 1997. Although the term “one country two systems” is not used directly in the Declaration, being used only to describe the system, the “one country” principle underpins Hong Kong’s right to be directly under Beijing’s authority. “Two systems”, on the other hand, refers to an agreement under which Hong Kong would enjoy a “high degree of autonomy”, leaving its social and economic systems and lifestyle unchanged for 50 years, from 1997 to 2047.

After the officialization of the law, many protests followed, and the first arrests were made by the Hong Kong police. Hundreds of people protested this law, that intends to forbid disputes, divisions, insubordinations, acts of terrorism and collusion against the Chinese government or other “foreign forces”.

Russian-American relations and Taliban involvement

According to the New York Times, Donald Trump was informed, in February, by the United States’ secret services, of an operation in Afghanistan in which Russia reportedly offered money to Taliban-related groups as a reward for attacks on both American soldiers and NATO forces.

Since the leak of this information, several American media outlets have corroborated the story and added new information. However, the American president said on Thursday that he was not informed about the and dismissed it, saying that “many intelligence officers did not believe that this had happened”. Trump made this claim despite conflicting reports, from the CIA to the Pentagon – including of an American official who told CNN that information about the rewards were included in the president’s Daily Brief sometime during this spring.

The suspicion goes back to January of this year, after the US special forces have recovered large amounts of money in posts controlled by the Taliban. After interrogating captured militants and mercenaries, the secret services concluded that Russia was involved.

In the course of these revelations, eight Republican members of Congress participated in a briefing led by the director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe, with some voicing concerns, calling for action to be taken on Russia if the reports are confirmed.

Criticism towards the president continues to surface, with Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s candidate to the US presidency, stating that “Trump’s presidency has been a gift to Vladimir Putin”.

Other developments

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