Politics

A man wearing a protective mask walks by the waterfront as a barge sails past with a message celebrating the passage of the new national security law in Hong Kong, China, 1 July 2020. (Roy Liu/Bloomberg)

[Photo story] Hong Kong national security law: A different birthday for Hong Kong

Hong Kong returned to China 23 years ago today. Little would it have known then that as it marks this milestone today, a contentious national security law that punishes crimes of terrorism, secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces with sentences as long as life imprisonment has just been passed. With the law in effect, the city has already made its first arrests. ThinkChina brings you on a photo journey through a Hong Kong that will never quite be the same again.
Joshua Wong (L), Nathan Law (C) and Agnes Chow (R) of pro-democracy political group Demosisto hold a press conference in Hong Kong on 30 May 2020. On 30 June, the three announced they were stepping down. (Isaac Lawrence/AFP)

Every man for himself as Hong Kong’s opposition caves under weight of national security law

The new national security law for Hong Kong covering crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion, with possible punishments as harsh as life imprisonment, was passed yesterday. Since then and even before that, opposition camp leaders past and present have been announcing their departure from politics. Does this mean the national security law is having the deterrent effect it was designed to have? And what lies ahead for Hong Kong in such a changed landscape? Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu examines the issues.
A pedestrian walks past a government-sponsored advertisement promoting a new national security law in Hong Kong, 29 June 2020. (Paul Yeung/Bloomberg)

National security law for Hong Kong: Will America's ‘smart sanctions’ work against China?

Following China’s passing of the new national security law for Hong Kong, the US has removed Hong Kong’s special privileges. However, previous evidence shows that economic sanctions seldom work. Zaobao correspondent Tai Hing Shing asks if this time will be any different.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo inspects Indonesian navy ships at Lampa Strait Navy Base, 8 January 2020. (Indonesia Cabinet Secretariat website)

Indonesia crosses swords with China over South China Sea: 'Bombshell to stop China's expansionism'?

Indonesia has recently taken a firmer position vis-à-vis China on the South China Sea (SCS). This was described by some as the first time that any of Manila’s Southeast Asian neighbours had stood up and endorsed the 2016 Arbitral Tribunal Ruling, which rejected Beijing's claims to most of the critical waterway in SCS and ruled in favour of the Philippines. Is Indonesia's assertive stance “a bombshell to stop China’s expansionism” or “an extension of the Indonesian existing policy”?
In this file photo US President Donald Trump (C) is applauded by former President Barack Obama (L) and former Vice President Joe Biden during Trump's inauguration ceremonies at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on 20 January 2017. (Paul J. Richards/AFP)

Trump or Biden, America's distrust of the Chinese Communist Party will stay 

A new report by the White House has cast China as an ideological threat to cherished liberties and the American way of life. This is a bipartisan approach that will endure even if President Donald Trump loses his bid for a second term.
A sticker of the Statue of Liberty wearing a mask is seen on 10 May 2020 in the Manhattan borough of New York City. (Jeenah Moon/Getty Images/AFP)

The US empire will not fall anytime soon, going by ancient China’s experience

In his writings, Norwegian academic Johan Galtung predicted the fall of the US empire in 2020. At this mid point of the year, Deng Xize takes stock and holds fast to his earlier opposition to Galtung’s hypothesis, saying that the US empire is not going anywhere just yet — there is simply no other country that can take on a dominant role in its place.
This file photo taken on 1 October 2019 shows military vehicles carrying HHQ-9B surface-to-air missiles participating in a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Revival of nuclear competition: How should China respond?

As the US and Russia take a more hawkish stance in developing their nuclear capabilities, China may get caught in the fray in this dangerous arena of nuclear power one-upmanship, says Chinese military affairs commentator Song Zhongping. He fears that the US will break its own rules by carrying out traditional nuclear weapon testing, thereby spurring a domino effect.
A pro-democracy activist holds his phone while queueing to pay respects to mark the one year anniversary of a man who fell to his death after hanging a protest banner against the now-withdrawn extradition bill on the scaffolding outside a shopping mall, in Hong Kong on 15 June 2020. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

National security law for Hong Kong: The US will not back down, so where are we headed?

The proposed national security law for Hong Kong is speedily moving along, with the draft text recently reviewed at the 19th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress. Nonetheless, US researcher Wei Da says that this issue is a trigger point that impinges on bottom lines that could set off serious conflict and repercussions in the Taiwan Strait. Is the onset of a hot war unfolding before our eyes?
Employees at a plant of Daimler-BAIC joint venture’s Beijing Benz Automotive Co in Beijing, 13 May 2020. (Thomas Peter/REUTERS)

Germany’s China policy: Will economic interests override values?

Economics professor Zhu Ying notes that German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds a pragmatic approach towards China — specifically, economic interests come first. She has held on to that maxim despite questions from within and outside the government as to whether Germany should be tougher on China on matters that seem to run counter to their value system. In the face of mounting pressures in the wake of Covid-19 and developments in Hong Kong, can Merkel stay the course of balancing economic interests with values?