MS Risk Blog

China’s Political Encroachment into Hong Kong

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China’s political encroachment into Hong Kong and new Bill passed is causing outrage in the city, with many residents having no choice but to “shut up or leave”. Additionally, tensions have arisen between China and the G7 members over the city.

At the end of May a bill was passed in Hong Kong, which reduces the publics ability to vote and increases the number of pro Beijing lawmakers making decisions for the city. The changes to Hong Kong’s elections come as Beijing further tightens control over the semi-autonomous city that saw months of anti-government protest and political strife in 2019. These new changes are another string of movements by Beijing in controlling the city and ensuring the people are loyal to Beijing and China. China has already rounded up and jailed opposition politicians, teachers, journalists and students. The bill has already caused uproar in the city and international community, who are fed up with Beijing’s “bullying”. Arguably, this new bill will only anger Hong Konger’s more and the city should be ready for new protests in the near future.

Due to China’s aggressive encroachments into the city, many Hong Konger’s are seeking residence elsewhere, in particular the United Kingdom. Last year the UK announced a visa scheme for all Hong Kong people with a British national status, which accounted to almost 3 million people. In fact the UK set up a £59 million scheme to help Hong Kong migrants settle into the UK. As of last month, over 8,000 migrants had already moved to the UK and the government are expecting up to 300,000 Hong Kong residents to use the programme in the first 5 years. However, this has increased tensions between China and the UK, with the Chinese government accusing the UK of sheltering ‘wanted criminals’, due to the migrants not showing loyalty to the nation. The UK has no plans on slowing down the intake of Hong Kong migrants due to the threat from China, yet the British pubic are critical of the new migration into their country. Many Brexiter’s that voted to leave the EU, due to migration and to “Take back control” of their country are criticising the new bigger intake of the Hong Kong community. However, the majority of the British public are advocates for the migration, arguably due to Hong Konger’s stereotyped as “well off” and “highly qualified”, which will boost the UK’s economy.

This week the G7 members held a 3 day meeting in Cornwall to discuss various geopolitical issues, with a main concern over Beijing’s role in Hong Kong. The G7 members are; Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. The leaders of the group announced that China needs to “Respect human rights and fundamental freedoms”, with regards to the abuses of the Uyghur Muslim minority group and the crackdown on Hong Kong pro-democracy activists. However, China has responded and accused the G7 pf “political manipulation” and a Chinese spokesman said ‘Stop slandering China, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and stop harming China’s interests’. The tensions are continuing to rise between China and the international community as they clash over morals and opinions, which in turn could cause a conflict if not resolved peacefully in the near future.

Overall, the new bill is likely to incite further protests in the city and also cause more residents to feel the need to move for either their safety or freedom. The bill and new encroachments haven’t come without international criticism, as the G7 members have met this week and highlighted China’s neglect to fundamental freedoms. The UK in particular has created tension with China as the country has taken migrants from the city into their own country to escape the communism from China. If China and the G7 members don’t sort out a peaceful negotiation soon, there could be a potential conflict very soon.