National security draft on HK a death knell for Patten-like Sinophobes
First Voice
Chris Patten, the last British Governor of Hong Kong.

Chris Patten, the last British Governor of Hong Kong.

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The national security legislation designed to improve Hong Kong's legal system and enforcement mechanisms is attracting a great deal of attention during the Two Sessions. Without suspense, any move contributing to the city's peace and prosperity is not what Sinophobes are happy to see. Former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten is a representative of these anti-China hawks.

Within days after the legislature was submitted to China's top legislature, Patten "stood up" for Hong Kong people, urging the G7 nations to put the issue on the agenda of next month's meeting. At his instigation, more than 200 policymakers from 23 countries signed a statement denouncing the draft. "The Hong Kong people have been betrayed by China" and the West should stop kowtowing to Beijing for an illusory "great pot of gold," Patten was quoted by the Times as saying.

It is not the first time that Patten has engaged in scaremongering and stirred up anti-China sentiments. Earlier, the anti-China politician claimed that the absence of fugitive arrangements between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland was a "firewall." The "firewall" rhetoric, to some extent, fueled the large-scale violent protests in Hong Kong last year. Instead of calling an end to violence, Patten and his proxies urged for an investigation into police handling of the riots.

The seasoned political operator has been adept at manipulating the situation in Hong Kong to suit his anti-China campaign – While firing at local police's righteous actions against violent protesters, Patten chose to turn a blind eye on terror-like riots. Nostalgic about the colonial time, the retired politician goes above and beyond to interfere into Hong Kong affairs and sling mud at China's law-based governance.

Anti-fugitive bill protesters break into the Legislative Council building during the anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China, Hong Kong SAR, China, July 1, 2019. /Reuters

Anti-fugitive bill protesters break into the Legislative Council building during the anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China, Hong Kong SAR, China, July 1, 2019. /Reuters

In an attempt to justify his anti-Beijing endeavor, Patten has demonstrated his unrivaled skills in confusing freedom with the need to safeguard national security. He is, again, using "autonomy" and "freedom" to stigmatize the proposed national security legislature.

Since 1997, Hong Kong has maintained a high degree of autonomy under the "One Country, Two Systems" principle. The need to safeguard national security does not contradict the protection of freedoms. Countries across the world, including traditional bastions of freedom like the UK and the United States, have enacted and followed strict laws on national security. The draft decision on Hong Kong should not be stigmatized just because it was proposed by the Chinese central government – a "foe" in the eyes of some Westerners.

Since the suspension of Article 23 of the Basic Law, there has been a huge loophole in Hong Kong's legislative system. This may explain why separatists have managed to collude with exterior forces to launch several rounds of violent protests in the past few years. The Occupy Central Movement in 2014 and riots in 2019 all demonstrate the urgency of passing a national security legislature.

While the draft decision submitted to the Two Sessions is China's latest attempt to protect Hong Kong people from violence, the likes of Patten, as Grenville Cross, former director of Public Prosecutions of Hong Kong, argued in a CGTN article, are only interested in stirring up trouble in China. All their provocations are not protecting Hong Kong's autonomy, but have only dealt a heavy blow to the rule of law.

It has already been more than two decades since Hong Kong's return to China. But it's regrettable that the "last governor of Hong Kong" is still stuck in his colonialist mentality. Anyone who really cares about Hong Kong does not want to see the city swallowed by violence again. Hong Kong had been functioning as a prosperous and democratic city before the West's intervention. The naive should stop being fooled by Patten-like anti-China hawks. They will only destroy, not protect, the highly civilized, prosperous, and democratic society of Hong Kong.

Scriptwriter: Liu Jianxi

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