lørdag 30. mai 2020

What lies behind Beijing’s imposition of a national security law in Hong Kong? Fear, not arrogance

Many people believe that Beijing’s decision this week to introduce national security legislation for Hong Kong reflects a confident China that feels it has weathered Covid-19 and that, given the West’s distraction with its own virus crisis, now is the best time to act. I don’t see it that way.

Over the past few months, the Western media have reported on the bevy of dangers facing China. These are the same dangers that those who say China is acting out of a sense of confidence, even hubris, trumpet regularly as signs that the country is in trouble. What are they? The economy is
faltering, with 2019 marking the first major decline in gross domestic product in four decades, and many say it may not recover quickly. The virus may not have been eradicated – China just locked down 100 million people in the Northeast. Unemployment is rising – the National Bureau of Statistics reported that youth unemployment was 13.8 per cent in April.