Bad Judgement: We Can’t Ignore China’s Actions In Hong Kong’s Judiciary

The struggle for freedom and democracy in Hong Kong continues. While protests have effectively stopped, there has been an ongoing development in the city state’s judiciary system with judges, diplomats and lawyers informing Reuters that Beijing’s efforts to crackdown on the protesters have extended even further – despite the onset of COVID-19

Hong Kong has its own constitution that respects the separation of powers – core to many liberal democracies around the world. China on the other hand, does not believe in the separation of powers and therefore does not respect Hong Kong’s independent judiciary. In what seems to be yet another over-reach into the affairs of Hong Kong’s independence, it is widely believed that China will seek to influence appointments to Hong Kong’s judiciary.

Prior to the democracy protests last year, conventional wisdom in the international community believed that the “one country – two systems” approach taken by China to Hong Kong since the 1997 handover would take a natural path towards integration. However, while the international community deals with the outbreak of COVID-19, it becomes increasingly likely that Beijing will step up its efforts to ensure Hong Kong’s desire for democracy and independence does not continue to grow. This is a direct threat to world peace and stability; Hong Kong’s rule of law that respects human rights is directly threatened by China.

Territorial expansion is essential to the Chinese regime’s narrative of unification which includes Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Senkaku Islands and various regions on its border with India (including but not limited to the territory of Arunachal Pradesh). This ultimately explains why Beijing has chosen to infiltrate the independence of countries in its periphery. In undermining security, the rule of law and democracy, China can infiltrate smaller nations that respect human rights and the rule of law.

The international community must take note. Global norms of peace, respect for the rule of international law and world stability are undermined when such actions go unnoticed. In the wake of COVID-19 the world can not afford to ignore the risk posed by an authoritarian state undermining the integrity of a smaller one – especially one that respects human rights.

World peace is undermined when such actions go seemingly unnoticed and/or are ignored.

Mitchell Thomas