Timmy Wong: Chinese-Canadian groups that support Hong Kong’s National Security Law do not represent all Chinese-Canadians

Of note:

As Hong Kong-Canadians residing in Metro Vancouver, we are shocked and saddened by local groups supporting Hong Kong’s National Security Law who claim to represent all Chinese- and Hong Kong-Canadians. The National Congress of Chinese Canadians (NCCC), along with the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver, have both publicly supported this law, which was unilaterally imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing on June 30. They ignore the diversity of opinions among the 1.7 million Hong Kong- and Chinese-Canadians, many of whom chose to immigrate to Canada for freedoms and rights that do not exist under the authoritarian rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

NCCC chairperson David Choi has made a video statement claiming that the majority of Hong Kong- and Chinese-Canadians support the National Security Law. Furthermore, he condones the atrocities committed by Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam and the brutality of Hong Kong police in the name of “National Security.”

Choi further provoked the sensitive issue of Quebec separatism and terrorism, purposely misreading Canadian history to justify his support of this draconian law. NCCC has not been authorized by Hong Kong- or Chinese-Canadians to represent their view or voice since it has not received any mandate to do so from either of these communities.

What is more worrying is that the Beijing government — not any Hong Kong judicial or policy body — will have the ultimate power over how the law should be interpreted. If the law conflicts with any Hong Kong law, the Beijing law prevails. By supporting the National Security Law as Canadians, NCCC is persuading Canadians to support authoritarian rule in Hong Kong and beyond.

This legislation has effectively ended the “One Country, Two Systems” constitutional principle that guided the CCP’s rule of Hong Kong during the 50-year period of handover from Britain. Overnight, Hong Kong has become “just another Chinese city” under the dictatorial CCP. It has also turned into a police state with the establishment of the National Security Bureau, where protesting is essentially prohibited, social media posts are closely monitored, and any slogans supporting Hong Kong’s freedom are outlawed. Any speech that criticizes the CCP could lead to conviction under the charge of subversion. Even the investigation into the Hong Kong Police Force’s brutality against protesters for freedom could lead to charges against people in education institutes or religious and non-profit organizations who are engaged in the exchange of ideas and information. Also their foreign counterparts could be convicted under “Collusion with External or Foreign Forces” provisions in the new law.

Under the new National Security Law, anyone from any quarter in the world who is critical of China could be arrested and tried in secrecy and extradited from Hong Kong to Communist China without any opportunity to appeal. Crimes of “secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion” with foreign forces are punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison. The impact is so serious that the Canadian government has issued a travel warning to Canadians that they could be arbitrarily arrested by the Hong Kong government under this draconian law. Yet NCCC still endorses the National Security Law, betraying the core Canadian values of free speech and human rights.

Hong Kongers are looking to the free world for refuge and protection from China’s state-sponsored terrorism, but the members of NCCC ignore their pleas for help. Instead, they endorse the totalitarian policy of CCP for Hong Kong and echo the CCP’s need to “defend National Security.” They do not and must not represent the voices of 1.7 million Canadians.

We, a group of Hong Kong-Canadians, have been protesting and advocating in solidarity with our fellow Hong Kongers in Hong Kong since June 2019. The world has seen the atrocities of how Hong Kong and Beijing governments treat the Hong Kongers and, one by one, countries are making a stand for freedom with Hong Kongers.

Unlike the NCCC, there are many Chinese- and Hong Kong-Canadians who are deeply aware of the privilege they have as settlers, and who are aware of the long history they have had in this nation fighting for political agency. Chinese-Canadians (who include Hong Kong-Canadians) were finally given the vote in 1947 after many of them served the country bravely and proudly in the Second World War. Their right to vote was a sign that Chinese-Canadians were finally accepted as full Canadians and given access to democracy, freedom, equality and human rights.

Unfortunately, the NCCC, the Chinese Benevolent Association, and many Chinese-Canadians appear to have now forgotten the hard-fought battle for their rights and freedoms in Canada. They enjoy the rights and privileges as protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and use their free speech to deny others the same freedom by propping up an authoritarian, power-hungry regime.

Many Hong Kongers who first moved to Canada moved here out of their fear of the CCP when the handover from the U.K. to China was first announced in 1984. On June 4, 1989, the Tiananmen Massacre hit the souls of many Hong Kongers and it triggered another wave of migration to Canada.

Many of us Hong Kong-Canadians are forever grateful to Canada for allowing us to settle and prosper in this free land. It is a duty as Canadians to stand on guard for freedom. It means that we will defend freedom of speech for the oppressed through our political agency. Many Hong Kong-Canadians have voiced their concerns over the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong through petitions, letter-writing campaigns, protest, and other forms of advocacy. The Canadian government has taken a clear stand by calling out Beijing’s crackdown as illegal and a violation of human rights, to the extent of suspending the extradition treaty with Hong Kong indefinitely. What NCCC claimed is in fact a direct contradiction to what many Canadians believe.

Source: Timmy Wong: Chinese-Canadian groups that support Hong Kong’s National Security Law do not represent all Chinese-Canadians

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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