US and China take their fight over Hong Kong to United Nations

WION Web Team
New York, New York, United States of America Published: May 28, 2020, 03:00 PM(IST)

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

China has adopted the plan of imposing a new national security law on Hong Kong in the aftermath of last year's violent unrest that plunged the city into its deepest turmoil since returning to Chinese rule in 1997.

The United States and China clashed over Hong Kong at the United Nations on Wednesday as Beijing opposed a request by Washington for the Security Council to meet over the former's plan to impose new national security legislation on the territory.

China has adopted the plan of imposing a new national security law on Hong Kong in the aftermath of last year's violent unrest that plunged the city into its deepest turmoil since returning to Chinese rule in 1997.

The country’s legislature on Thursday nearly unanimously approved the plan to tackle secession, subversion, terrorism, foreign interference and any act that might threaten national security in the semi-autonomous city.

The new law is expected to take effect by September.

The move is being seen as a turning point, as it would allow China to garner greater control and a sense of security over Hong Kong.

To this end, the US mission to the United Nations said in a statement that the issue was "a matter of urgent global concern that implicates international peace and security" and therefore warranted the immediate attention of the 15-member council.

Also read | China's proposed security law for Hong Kong could lead to US sanctions, says White House

China's UN Ambassador Zhang Jun, to this end, posted on Twitter that Beijing "categorically rejects the baseless request" because the national security legislation for Hong Kong was an internal matter and "has nothing to do with the mandate of the Security Council."

The US request came in the wake of the rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over the coronavirus pandemic. Washington has questioned China's transparency about the outbreak, which first emerged in Wuhan, China late last year. 

China has said it was transparent about the virus.

The US said China's opposition to a Security Council meeting on Hong Kong coupled with its "gross cover-up and mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis, its constant violations of its international human rights commitments, and its unlawful behaviour in the South China Sea, should make obvious to all that Beijing is not behaving as a responsible UN member state."

Also read | China parliament adopts plan to impose security law on Hong Kong

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress on Wednesday that Hong Kong no longer qualifies for its special status under US law because China had undermined its autonomy, potentially dealing a crushing blow to the territory's status as a major financial hub.

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