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”.
- This Monday, four armed men attacked the building of the Karachi Stock Exchange in Pakistan, killing two security guards and a policeman. The attack was claimed by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a breakaway group that opposes the Pakistani state and China’s investment in the country.
- Research work published in the journal “Nature Climate Change” states that the South Pole, the most isolated part of planet Earth, will be heating up exponentially, with temperatures rising since the beginning of the 20th century at a rate three times faster than in other parts of the globe.
- China announced this Monday that it will impose visa requirements on US government officials who “behave badly” in Hong Kong. This retaliation followed the announcement made by Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, regarding the imposition of visa restrictions on former and current officials of the Chinese Communist Party who are believed to be “responsible or complicit” in the weakening of the region’s autonomy
- According to an IMF report released this week, 39 million people could fall into extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, admitting that the region could experience a 3.2% recession in 2020 due to the widespread pandemic situation.
- Nicolás Maduro, president of Venezuela, reversed the decision to expel European Union ambassador Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa from the country, announced this Monday, after diplomatic talks with the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell.
- Dissident journalist Ruhollah Zam, whose actions were fundamental in the 2017 wave of protests in Iran, was sentenced to death.
- France informed NATO that the country would suspend its participation in the Sea Guardian naval operation until the investigation of the maritime casualty that opposed French and Turkish warships in the Eastern Mediterranean was completed.
- The constitutional reform that will allow Putin to remain in power until 2036 has been approved by 78% of the Russian population, despite reports that the vote was the result of a fraudulent process.
- Four members of Amnesty International have been sentenced by a Turkish court to prison, accused of terrorism, with another seven being acquitted.
- The trial of 20 Saudis accused of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi began on Friday in Istanbul.
- Two weeks after the conflict between India and China, Modi visited soldiers on the border of the Himalayas, saying that “the era of expansionism is over”.
- After being sentenced to life imprisonment in 2015, Ahmed Douma, considered one of the main figures in the 2011 uprising that led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak, had his sentence reduced to 15 years and confirmed by the Egyptian Court of Appeal.