Andrew Castle 7am - 10am
China is threatening "one country, two systems" warns last governor of Hong Kong
23 May 2020, 12:21
New legislation being introduced into Hong Kong is aligning the state closer with China and could spell the end of "one country, two systems."
New national security law being written in Beijing is warning towards an end to the "one country, two systems" policy in Hong Kong as the Chinese Communist Party aims to cut back on democratic freedoms on the island.
Lord Chris Patten is a former chairman of the Conservative Party and was the last governor of Hong Kong before it seceded from the British Empire. He branded the latest plans from China an "assault on the treaty we signed" and insisted that this news should be on everyone's lips amid the coronavirus lockdown.
Lord Patten told Matt that the UK has "a really important stake in keeping Hong Kong an important financial hub in Asia" and for democratic freedoms to be reduced in the state would be a disaster of British foreign policy. He insisted that "we've got to stand up for Hong Kong and Hong Kong's freedoms" and the government cannot stand by while the Chinese government threatens democracy in Hong Kong.
Matt pointed out that in the last few days, he has "not heard a squeak from Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary" on the new policies of China. Lord Patten maintained that he will not wait for the government to buck up and revealed he was himself "helping to organise a statement criticising what China has done."
Lord Patten urged the public to rally behind Hong Kong and the idea of maintaining democratic freedom in the state. "Everybody who lives in a free society needs to stand up against the Chinese regime" he said. Matt noted that some American politicians have been important in gaining support for the former governor's statement on the national security guidelines. He wondered if the support of the USA is helpful, given that Donald Trump has been outspoken on China in the past.
"The problem is even when President Trump has been right on things" Lord Patten began, conceding that there have been times where the US President has been right in criticising the regime, "he goes about it in such a ham fisted way" that the criticism loses power. The former HK governor assured Matt that he had supporters on both sides of the American political spectrum.
"Chinese communism has a lot to answer for" the former governor insisted, pointing at the struggle of the western world to cope with coronavirus all the while the Chinese government is using the distraction to "take advantage in Hong Kong" and other countries in the South China Sea.
"We made obligations to people in Hong Kong - are we to just walk away from them?" Lord Patten added that amid this crisis in Hong Kong, "we have to behave normally with China instead of bending over to them" to prevent such laws going through and potentially putting an end to freedom in Hong Kong. He added that although we must work with the Chinese to work out a solution, "you can't trust them further than you can throw them" at this moment in time.