søndag 4. juli 2021

On the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party, the West must kowtow no more

July 1 should be a day of mourning for all freedom-loving people: It’s the 24th anniversary of Britain’s handover of Hong Kong to China, the first anniversary of Beijing’s imposition of a draconian national-security law on the territory and the centenary of the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party.

Britain handed over Hong Kong to the People’s Republic in 1997, following the expiration of a 99-year-lease. The Sino-British Joint Declaration, an international treaty lodged at the United Nations, made the handover conditional on two explicit promises, valid for 50 years, or until 2047: first, that China would uphold the model of “one country, two systems,” respecting Hong Kong’s basic freedoms, rule of law and “high degree of autonomy”; and second, that Britain would monitor and safeguard that first promise.

Twenty-four years later, the dual promise lies in tatters. Communist Party quislings dominate the Hong Kong government, and Beijing is increasingly imposing direct rule.