China is 'flexing its muscles like Hitler' over new security law for Hong Kong former Royal Navy head warns
CHINA has been accused of ‘flexing its muscles like Hitler’ by a former head of the navy over the country’s new national security law.
Admiral Lord Alan West blasted Beijing for its controversial enforcement bill, which would allow the Communist state to tighten its grip on Hong Kong.
The draft bill, approved by China’s National People’s Congress, has paved the way for sweeping anti-sedition laws in the city, giving China greater control over millions of citizens in the former British colony.
Aimed at stamping out protests which have caused chaos in the city recently, the law would ban ‘any acts or activities’ that endanger China’s national security, including separatism, subversion and terrorism – charges often used in mainland China to silence dissidents and other political opponents.
But the rules have been condemned by the West, with Boris Johnson this week vowing to change Britain’s immigration rules to allow millions of Hong Kong residents ‘a route to citizenship’ if China imposed the legislation.
Now Lord West has called for ‘deterrent action’ and demanded the setting up of a new Nato-style alliance in south east Asia.
Speaking during a debate in the House of Lords, the outspoken Labour peer said: ‘China is flexing its muscles rather like Hitler’s Germany in the early 1930s, using the distraction caused by the Wuhan virus to see what it can get away with.
‘China is already breaking international law by its actions in the South China Sea; its threats to Taiwan are becoming more vociferous; it is stealing intellectual property on an industrial scale and taking other aggressive actions in cyberspace; it is increasingly using its economic clout to browbeat and threaten smaller nations; and its treatment of minorities and trade in human organs is unacceptable among civilised nations.
‘Is it not time to take some deterrent action, rather than appeasement, to show China that the international community will not put up with this?’
Hong Kong is a former British colony. It was handed back to China in 1997.
As part of an agreement signed at the time, it enjoys some freedoms not seen in mainland China – and these are set out in a mini-constitution called the Basic Law.
The last British governor of Hong Kong, Lord Patten, accused China's ruling Communist Party of employing ‘bullying’ tactics, adding: ‘Sooner or later with a bully you have to stand up to them, otherwise you'll get knocked about.’
Lord West added the new security law would ‘fatally damage’ the freedoms given to Hong Kong citizens agreed when Britain handed back the colony to China.
‘Appeasement, as we found with Hitler, will encourage bad behaviour and could finally lead to war,’ he said.
‘We should, for example, encourage the main westernised trading nations to recognise Taiwan; set up a new south-east Asia treaty organisation on the sort of scale we did with NATO in 1949; revitalise like-minded nations to review the successful world order established post World War Two and make it fit for purpose in this new world; work with our allies to review all trading links with China; and review Chinese investments and educational links. Urgent action is needed.’