The British Government must realise that now is the time to act strongly against the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party, Dr Andreas Fulda, a senior fellow at the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute, has warned. This follows the implementation of a controversial new national security law in Hong Kong that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said has violated the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. Dr Fulda spoke to Express.co.uk about how western governments could take decisive action on the eastern state.
He said: “People may wonder what else can realistically be done by the West to constrain the authoritarian excesses of the Chinese Communist Party.
“Hong Kong Watch co-founder Benedict Rogers has made the following very specific proposals.
“He has called for the appointment of a UN special envoy, the passing of targeted sanctions against the perpetrators of human rights abuses and the formation of an international contact group to monitor the situation, and the coordination of international lifeboat policy to help Hong Kongers in need of a lifeline.
“I agree with Benedict wholeheartedly and I think now is the time for both the British Government and the European Union to act.”
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Dr Fulda claimed the crisis in Hong Kong is forcing Western Governments to “reevaluate” their approaches to China.
He stressed that, in his view, it is very important that in this process, foreign policymakers overcome the binary “reductionist choice” between engaging with China and containing them.
As examples, he claimed German Chancellor Angela Merkel was a proponent of China engagement, who is now “reluctant” to act against the state.
US President Donald Trump’s former adviser, Steve Bannon, stood as a marked contrast, calling for strong action to be taken, he claimed.
The minister told the Commons: “Those measures represent a flagrant assault on freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful protest for the people of Hong Kong.
“The Prime Minister and the Government are crystal clear the United Kingdom will keep its word and live up to our responsibilities to the people of Hong Kong.”
Beijing defended the legislation by claiming that they hadn’t broken a treaty because the Joint Declaration was only a declaration.
Beijing and the Hong Kong Government have promised that Hong Kong’s traditional freedoms (of speech, of assembly, of protest) will be protected.
However the new legislation has far-reaching consequences for the freedom of the former British colony.