By U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
May 29, 2020
Nikkei Asian Review
The Chinese CommunistParty is moving aggressively to bring Hong Kong under its control by destroying the city's legally enshrined autonomy and democratic system of law.
If the CCP gets its way, the consequences will extend well beyond the citizens of Hong Kong: it would unravel the city's stable international business environment and mean that everyone, including foreign nationals, would be forced to trade under an unpredictable legal system and business climate.
For a clearer vision of that future, look no further than the rest of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Kidnappings, exit bans and other kinds of detention are a regular form of dispute resolution between Chinese businesses and international companies. Collusion between party authorities and Chinese companies means that cutthroat businesses there are frequently backed with the full force of the CCP, which can rapidly turn a business deal into a hostage negotiation.
Outside of business deals, we also know that the PRC detains foreigners visiting or living inside China for flagrantly political reasons...If Beijing is able to successfully extend its national security laws, it will effectively grant itself carte blanche for many more detentions.
This is a far cry from the kind of dependable rule of law required for a thriving business environment. If the CCP's desired reforms are successful, Hong Kong will no longer be able to serve as a transit point for Chinese financial transactions with the rest of the world. Any money in those accounts will be vulnerable to seizure, for almost any reason the CCP can concoct. International business will no longer be able to view Hong Kong as a trusted intermediary for transactions with the PRC.
If this sounds like a problem for tomorrow, observers should recall that the CCP uses announcements like that of the national security law to reveal what already exists in practice. Beijing has been bearing down on Hong Kong for years now, with CCP meddling in business transactions and people's day-to-day lives only increasing. Allowing that process to be formalized is unacceptable.
Although we may feel Beijing's destabilization of Hong Kong in the wallet, the real cost will be the human one, as the CCP has amply demonstrated inside China...What happens to Hong Kongers will happen to anyone.
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