Written by Michael Ford

Following a vote on Tuesday at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the communist government in China declared victory in its enactment of a new security law which essentially ends Hong Kong’s autonomy and basic freedoms for its citizens.
In the vote, 53 countries backed China’s new security law, which went into immediate effect after supreme leader Xi Jinping signed it on Tuesday. Just 27 countries criticized the law.

To sum up, 53 countries on the Human Rights Council voted to support a draconian law enacted by one of the most egregious human rights violators on the planet.

The law criminalizes secessionist, subversive and terrorist activities in Hong Kong, as well as acts of collusion with foreign forces that endanger national security — all of which can be punished with jail terms. Collusion offenses include espionage and efforts to impose sanctions against Hong Kong or the whole of China, and incite hatred against the local or central government.

The law empowers China’s central government to supervise the policing of so-called “subversive activities” in Hong Kong and, in some cases, intervene directly. Its provisions would supersede Hong Kong legislation should there be inconsistencies between them.
The U.S., which has been highly critical of China over the law, withdrew from the Human Rights Council in 2018.
All 27 of the law’s critics are considered “free” countries in Freedom House’s global ratings.

Of the 53 nations backing China, most are considered “not free” and “partially free” countries, including many of the world’s most brutal dictatorships.

Three small “free” countries backed Beijing: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Suriname. All three, and at least 40 of the other supporters, have signed onto China’s Belt and Road infrastructure project.

Many of the African signatories are trying to renegotiate debt payments to China.

Supporting: China, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belarus, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo-Brazzaville, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, UAE, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Opposing: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

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