Source: YouTube Published: 2020-5-28
Editor's note: Deputies to China's 13th National People's Congress (NPC) voted overwhelmingly to approve a decision on the national security legislation for Hong Kong on May 28, 2020. On the same day, Russia`s top international media "Russia Today" (RT) gave an exclusive interview with Wang Wen, the Executive Dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY) on this issue. The following is the full text of the interview.
Host: Well, let us bring in a guest now. We're joined by Wang Wen, the professor and executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China. Welcome to the program. It is great to have you with us now. Many Hong Kongers are viewing that Beijing’s decision to impose national security legislation is an attempt to strip away basic freedoms. Is that what’s happening?
Wang Wen: I think that every big country has its own national security law. The United States has, Britain has, France has, so I think that China should has one. So Hong Kong is a part of China, as you’ve said, of course we need a national security law. This year is just a makeup, and this national security law is formulated under the framework of “One Country Two Systems”. It is the supplement of Hong Kong Basic Law and does not affect Hong Konger's of freedom. So at present some people in Hong Kong are not worried about freedom, but do not recognize Chinese system, do not recognize China and Hong Kong legislation. So I think this is a basic current reality.
Host: So from a legal perspective, does Beijing have the authority to establish this law in Hong Kong?
Wang Wen: Of course. This question is very interesting. Firstly, don't forget that the full name of Hong Kong is Hong Kong SAR, which means Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It means that Hong Kong is a region of China. Secondly, Hong Kong is very special because, as you said, before 1997 Hong Kong was a colony of UK, and after 1997 Hong Kong became the special administrative region of China. So it always means the authority to safeguard a national security. So this issue of legislation on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong SAR is purely China internal affairs, which should not be interfered by any foreign country.
Host: Well, critics are saying that if this is implemented, it will be used to criminalize protests, like we've seen in Hong Kong over the past year. Are they right to be concerned about this?
Wang Wen: As I said that just now, in Hong Kong about one third of residents freed from the mainland to Hong Kong before 1960s, they don't like the communist party system. So no matter what Beijing does, they will oppose it. So I believe that the law of Hong Kong will not affect their freedom, but if they strike national security as a foreigner, so there is a nationally law to punish them.
Host: As Donald Trump vowed a strong response to the plan's legislation. What has the US got to do with the Hong Kong case and might this be seen as foreign interference?
Wang Wen: As a Chinese scholar, I think that it is a very foolish for Trump and his administration to interfere Hong Kong affairs, so this is a typical foreign intervention, a challenger to China's law and China's sovereignty. So it's very hard to imagine how the White House will react to Hawaii administration if a country want to interfere. So I advise Americans do not do such foolish things, I also asked some Hong Kong people do not have a new hope for Americans. In fact from the perspectives of many countries in Middle East and North Africa, Syria, Iraq, Libya, etc. the more United States’ interference, the more chaotic their errors will be.
Host: We watched how US-China relations have plunged amid the pandemic. Do you think Hong Kong could become a potential battleground for these rivals?
Wang Wen: Yes, also no. What do I mean? Hong Kong will become a topic of public opinion in struggle between the two countries, between United States and China. But Hong Kong will not be a new Afghanistan in 1980s when the cold war between United States and Soviet Union made Afghanistan a new battlefield, as you said. So I believe that in the end, Hong Kong people are intelligent and can solve those problems. Also, China has an ability to protect a Hong Kong national security internally.
Host: Wang Wen, professor and executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China. Thank you for your time.