Another pivotal battle is being fought over Hong Kong between Beijing and political forces backed by the special administrative region’s former British colonial masters.
At the heart of the battle is a proposed law that will allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China, Taiwan or Macau.
The BBC in its article, “Hong Kong lawmakers fight over extradition law,” would claim:
Critics believe the proposed switch to the extradition law would erode Hong Kong’s freedoms.
By “critics,” the BBC is referring to US and British-backed opposition, with the article specifically linking recent protests against the proposed law to the US-funded “Umbrella Movement” demonstrations in 2014.
The BBC would also remind readers of the conditions the British imposed on China as a condition of returning Hong Kong:
Under a policy known as “One Country, Two Systems”, Hong Kong has a separate legal system to mainland China.
Beijing regained control over the former British colony in 1997 on the condition it would allow the territory “a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs” for 50 years.
The BBC would also quote the last British governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, as if to dispel any doubts over how the fault lines of this most recent political controversy formed, and the interests really driving opposition to the recently proposed law.
Patten would claim the proposed law was, “an assault on Hong Kong’s values, stability and security.”
Hong Kong’s “values, stability and security” in this context reflects Western desires to maintain the region as a foothold not only for its interests in Asia-Pacific, but within China itself. The slow, incremental erosion of Western influence in Hong Kong and elsewhere across Asia-Pacific appears to be ending what has been centuries of European and then American primacy over the region.
The West’s Losing Battle for Hong Kong
Colonised by the British Empire in the 1800s, Hong Kong served for over a century as an Anglo, then Anglo-American outpost in Asia-Pacific. Since its handover in 1997, Beijing has incrementally reasserted control over the territory.