Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong and the, persecution of activists, politicians, academics and businessmen has awakened the solidarity of the international community. Victims of China’s actions in Hong Kong have received strong support in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
U.S. House of Representatives welcomes Hong Kong exiles
The House of Representatives voted in favor of the act promoted by Democrat Tom Malinowsk, which grants temporary status to the inhabitants of Hong Kong who don’t have another option other than the nationality of the People’s Republic of China. The bill provides Hong Kong’s businessmen, scientists and academics with an easy way out to escape the Communist threat.
The pillars of the act are to ensure that the U.S. continues to treat Hong Kong residents as distinct from China, provide expedited admission for the most qualified citizens, and expedite residency for Hong Kongers who have fled or found refuge in America, replicating the law used by George H.W. Bush to protect Chinese students in the country during the crackdown on Tiananmen.
The House voted in favor of “Temporary Protected Status” for a period of five years for Hong Kong citizens, giving them the right to work in the United States and not be subject to deportation.
The initiative, which has the support of all parties, must be approved by the Senate. In the past, Democrats have pushed a similar initiative to extend the status to Venezuelans, but it was blocked by President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
British bill to prevent the government from making trade agreements with countries that have been condemned for genocide
British Parliamentarians have debated the trade bill that defines the UK’s post-Brexit trade relations. Lord Alton of Liverpool, Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, Baroness Falkner of Margravine and Lord Forsyth of Drumlean introduced an amendment that would prohibit the UK from trading with countries that perpetrate genocide. The amendment received majority support by 287 to 161, and will go to the House of Commons for discussion, the press reported.
The UK government will have to decide again on its relations with China. The genocide amendment adds to the decision that the Boris Johnson Administration previously had to make regarding vetoing the development of the 5G network with the Chinese company Huawei, due to strong pressure from the United States.
British Minister Viscount Younger de Leckie said: “China is an important economic partner, trade with China is worth approximately £76,000 millon.” China is the UK’s fourth largest trading partner, and is also the sixth largest export market and the third largest import market, added Johnson’s minister.
However, the government confirmed that it has no plans to start negotiations on free trade agreements with China and is committed to supporting the victims of the Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong.
The United Kingdom’s Passport Office issued more than 200,000 British national passports to Hong Kong citizens in the first 10 months of the year, a rate that amounted to about five per minute, according to Bloomberg News.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab expressed his support for the Australian government’s measures against aggressive actions by China. Australia and China are engaged in an unprecedented trade battle following strong allegations by the Australian government of human rights violations and press freedom.
China attempts to subjugate Australia
In early 2020 Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent “investigación on the origins of COVID-19,” prompting China to warn of a boycott of Australian products, according to the Australian press.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, China is Australia’s most important two-way trading partner, claiming to account for 27.4% of its foreign trade. However, Beijing announced an increase in tariffs on Australian products, for example it imposed a 212% tax on wine.
Simultaneously, Australian Prime Minister Morrison demanded that China apologize after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian shared a Twitter post showing an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child.
The tense situation between Canberra and Beijing began when Australia became the first country to exclude the Chinese giant Huawei from its 5G network for national security.
In addition, Australian authorities have joined U.S. efforts to diminish China’s influence in the Pacific region, where there is tension between China and Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and Australia.
It is worth remembering that in October 2020, Marise Payne, Australia’s foreign minister, met with Secretary Mike Pompeo and his Japanese and Indian counterparts in the so-called Quad, which seeks an Indo-Pacific region, “free and open, composed of nations that are independent, strong and prosperous.”
On the other hand, on August 2020, the Australian government, in line with its allies Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, granted 10,000 Hong Kong passport holders in Australia “a five-year extension to their visas, providing a path to permanent residence,” a measure introduced in light of recent political developments in the Chinese-controlled city, the press reported.
Australia has run out of accredited journalists in China, as the last two were evacuated last summer in 2020 after being questioned about coverage of the National Law imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong, the BBC reported.