Britain to drain Hong Kong's brain
The People’s Republic of China is finalising its long-standing plan to bring Hong Kong back under its control after decades of British rule and then semi-autonomous government. A controversial new law against separatism and subversion of the state is set to come into effect soon, sparking protest from pro-democracy groups.
For those of you who don’t pretend to be legal experts, this means treason, secession and inciting rebellion against China will all have been criminalised. China’s secret service will also be there to enforce said laws in Hong Kong as they see fit.
Despite a long time fetish with ‘taking back control’, Britain has been urged to take a leading role in this crisis. The response has been simple yet effective by essentially bribing a third of Hong Kong’s population with visas into leaving the country for the UK. This means we finally know what Priti Patel means with the ‘right sort’ of foreigners.
But this is about all the UK can do for now. You see, while the UK can’t get Hong Kong back territorially, they’ll have to make do with taking Hong Kongers out of Hong Kong. Unless, that is, the Chinese should regain their appetite for that sweet, sweet opium…
Chinese officials, unsurprisingly, have reacted furiously to this announcement. ‘Interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs’ said the Chinese news agency AFP, will ‘definitely backfire’. But whatever happens, nothing can backfire worse than a pangolin cooked medium-rare.
Like jokes about the origins of the most serious global pandemic in a century, China’s desire to one-up the west and install its state apparatus in every corner of Asia will also never get old.
The UK should ‘step back from the brink and recognise that Hong Kong has returned to China’. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson is eager to show the international community that China’s actions won’t go unchallenged.
A ‘brain drain’, whereby large numbers of international professionals leave, could threaten Hong Kong’s position as a regional centre of trade and commerce. Which is the very reason why it is so desirable to China.
Writing in the Times, Boris Johnson said that if the security laws were pursued, “Britain would have no choice but to uphold our profound ties of history and friendship with the people of Hong Kong”.
The US has too opposed the new security laws. President Donald Trump hates to see the use of militarised riot police to crush peaceful protest, especially when there isn’t a good photo op at the end of it.