An important Hong Kong activist and former lawmaker has urged Canada and the rest of the world to openly rebuke China's recent national security law that will be like "driving a truck" through the nation's "one country, two systems" form of governance.
Emily Lau used her interview with Mercedes Stephenson on "The West Block" to ask Canada and other countries to help Hong Kong as China's interference on the city will almost certainly destroy the system that has established democratic autonomy in the special administrative region, according to Global News.
In describing the effects of the new national security law, Lau said that "They are creating offences of subversion, of liaison with foreign forces, with terrorism, and with secession, which I think people in Canada should know... so these offences, the details have not yet been worked out ,but they could be very very broad. So people in Hong Kong are frightened that it could restrict our freedom of expression, including my ability to talk to you right now, and also freedom of assembly, freedom of conscience, academic freedom."
She went on to encourage the west to take a stand. "I certainly hope the Canadian government, the US, the British, the Australians, I hope they will all speak out," said Lau, former chairperson of the Hong Kong Democratic Party. Those nations have all come out vocally against China's action.
"We don’t want to see the Hong Kong people like the Vietnamese boat people in the last century, floating out to sea," Lau said, in reference to those Vietnamese who fled their country as a result of the incursion of war into that country, which divided the nation and left many seeking more peaceful shores.
China agreed to allow Hong Kong to maintain its democratic system after the island metropolis was transferred from British rule to Chinese in 1997, as the fulfillment of a long standing agreement.
Part of the terms of that hand off created one nation, two systems principle, which meant that Hong Kong, while part of China, maintained some level of financial and legislative autonomy.
But Hong Kong has come under heavy pressure in recent years, with China attempting to dismantle the agreement by tightening control and influence over the city's affairs. This led to protests by pro-democracy activists that began in June 2019.
As a result, a number of pro-democracy protests have sparked in an effort to pushback against the invasion of China. Lau said that China's threat to Hong Kong will not go away any time soon, as the regime has worked out the finer points of the bill that its legislature effectively rubber-stamped on Friday.
The new piece of legislation puts a ban on secessionist and subversive activity, along with any form of foreign interference and terrorism. However, the Chinese views any kind of pushback against their iron-fisted rule as such.
Though there are 300,000 Canadians who currently live in Hong Kong, the Canadian government has said little about its intent to address the danger China has on the city.
Conservative MP Garnett Genius mentioned the fact the Liberal MPs voted against allowing the Canada-China committee of parliamentarians to move forward in working to find how relations between the two countries needs to change is evidence of how little the Canadian government wants their approach to China questioned.
“We haven’t seen anything like a principled response on what’s happening in Hong Kong,” he said.
Liberal MP Rob Oliphant, parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister, has said that the Canadian government continues to stand up for Canadian interests.
“There’s absolutely nothing weak or naive about our approach to China,” Oliphant said.
Lau said that the Chinese incursions are not going away and that the Honk Kong protesters will not back down in their fight to protect their democratic rights.
"We’re not trying to fight for independence or secession," she said. "We just want China to keep the promise in the 1984 joint Sino-British declaration — leave us alone."
"While we are here, we will fight," she said.