Hong Kong’s new leaders look to China

Facts: Hong Kong

On July 1, 1997, the previous British Crown Colony Hong Kong was handed over to China after Beijing promised that the world would get pleasure from a excessive diploma of autonomy for 50 years in accordance with the precept of “one nation; two methods ”. With the transition, Hong Kong’s structure got here into power, setting out the varieties of Hong Kong’s autonomy, the independence of the authorized system and the freedoms and rights of residents till 2047.

During the primary 20 years, Hong Kong’s economic system flourished due to the world’s strategic location as a bridgehead between mainland China and international markets.

In June 2019, violent protests erupted in opposition to a proposal for a brand new extradition regulation that will make it attainable to extradite people to international locations with which Hong Kong didn’t have bilateral agreements, together with China. The Extradition Act was thus related to apparent dangers for democracy activists. The protesters’ calls for had been prolonged to incorporate basic elections to each the Legislative Council and the put up of head of presidency.

Despite the covid-19 pandemic silencing the protests within the spring of 2020, Beijing’s persistence started to wane. In the shadow of the pandemic, the Beijing authorities determined it was time to take management of Hong Kong and introduce a nationwide safety regulation. It occurred on the evening of June 30, 2020, only one hour earlier than the twenty third anniversary of the give up to China.

Source: UI

The corona pandemic and the brand new safety regulation have put a cease to Hong Kong as Asia’s monetary middle. Analysts now predict that different cities within the area could take over the position of monetary hub, whereas Hong Kong will grow to be more and more built-in into China.

“Hong Kong’s role as a global financial hub has diminished sharply,” Joseph Armas of the US Chamber of Commerce advised the Associated Press.

Closer ties to China

On Friday, Hong Kong celebrates 25 years for the reason that British handed over management of the previous colony to China. In reference to the celebration, Hong Kong’s new management was put in early on Friday morning Swedish time, underneath Prime Minister John Lee who will take over from Carrie Lam. John Lee has promised “a new chapter” for town and needs to strengthen town’s competitiveness by forging nearer ties with mainland China.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The journey to Hong Kong is his first for the reason that pandemic broke out in January 2020 and the safety preparations for the go to have been huge, with a number of arrests of opposition and journalists who’ve been denied entry to deliberate occasions.

In latest years, Hong Kong has skilled more and more strict management from the Beijing regime. The indisputable fact that John Lee – a former safety chief who oversaw the brutal crackdown on democracy protests in 2019 – is now taking up the management in Hong Kong is seen as an additional tightening of the Communist Party’s grip on town.

Following the introduction of the National Security Act in 2020, opposition politicians and journalists have been imprisoned, free media have been shut down and bans on rallies have been launched. The pandemic has additionally fueled the growth, says Johan Englund, China analyst on the Swedish Defense Research Agency.

– My image is that the pandemic has affected this growth as a result of the strict restrictions have made it even harder to collect and meet. It has been attainable to make use of the pandemic as a bat to crack down on democratic rallies.

“Another Chinese city”

But work to combine Hong Kong into China has been occurring for a very long time, regardless of the regime’s guarantees throughout the 1997 takeover of “one country, two systems”.

When the brand new safety regulation was launched in 2020, many warned that it might hasten Beijing’s ultimate takeover of Hong Kong.

– All indications, all alerts point out that Hong Kong will grow to be one other Chinese metropolis, says Johan Englund.

– The hole, what distinguished Hong Kong from the mainland, is getting smaller.

It was precisely 25 years in the past, on July 1, 1997, that Britain returned Hong Kong to China. The Beijing regime then promised that town would get pleasure from freedom of speech and nice measure of democracy for a minimum of 50 years to return, regardless of the indisputable fact that dictatorship prevails in the remaining of China.

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