PORT AU PRINCE – Haiti has joined the United States and other western countries in condemning the decision by China to enact the National Security Law aimed at curbing protest in Hong Kong.
Last month, China passed the wide-ranging new security law for Hong Kong which makes it easier to punish protesters and reduces the city’s autonomy. Critics have called it “the end of Hong Kong” and the new law came into effect on June 30, an hour before the 23rd anniversary of the city’s handover to China from British rule.
“The Haitian government is concerned about the possible consequences of this legal instrument on the fundamental rights and freedoms enjoyed so far by the Hong Kong people. After an in-depth analysis of this text, the Haitian government realizes that this law systematically violates the fundamental provisions of the Sino-British retrocession agreement as concluded in 1984,” the Jovenel Moise administration said in a statement.
It said it is important to emphasize that the agreement had provided that from the year of handover, in 1997, “the region would enjoy broad autonomy for half a century and that the sacramental principle ‘one country, two systems’, should in any event characterize the relations between the People’s Republic of China and the special administrative region of Hong Kong.
“However, the National Security Law seems to call into question this principle, which the Chinese authorities had nevertheless promised to guarantee at the time of the conclusion of the Retrocession Agreement.
“It should also be added that this law intervenes in a context where the inhabitants of Hong Kong demonstrated massively for the respect and the defense of their fundamental rights, in particular their civil and political rights, recognized under the British administration and maintained in the Retrocession agreement.”
The government said that it “deplores the fact that this law will inevitably lead to a significant, even irreversible, decline in the fundamental freedoms that have ensured the prosperity of Hong Kong and its people for several decades.
“Based on the opacity characterizing the definition of the offenses that this law would punish, such as secession, collusion with foreigners, terrorism and subversion and the heavy penalties that their alleged perpetrators face, the Haitian government urges the Chinese authorities to bring back this controversial legal instrument which will only push back the prospect of establishing the atmosphere of harmony essential between the Hong Kong people and the Chinese mainland authorities.
“In short, the Haitian Government maintains that dialogue remains the royal road by which a solution can be found between the various protagonists involved directly or indirectly in this file,” the statement added.
Last week, Dominica, which like Haiti belongs to the 15-member regional integration movement, said supports the legal efforts by China to maintain law and order in “all of China including that of Hong Kong” even as Roseau indicated it does not get involved in the internal affairs of countries.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit speaking at the handing over of three bridges funded by Beijing, said while his island does not interfere in the internal affairs of countries, it has nonetheless “recognised that in the international press and in some countries they have attempted to attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of countries.
“And sometimes they do it with impunity and I want to say to you, your Excellency, as I have conveyed to your President and to your government that Dominica stands in total solidarity with all of the legal actions which China has had to take to maintain law and order in the whole of China, including that of Hong Kong and we stand in solidarity with the government of the People’s Republic of China in this regard”, he added.
Dominica enjoys diplomatic relations with China, while Haiti has diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province.