As the CCP launches its most important political event of the year, the National People’s Congress, after a two month delay due to the pandemic, the Chinese government’s repression of Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers, Southern Mongolians and Han Chinese democracy activists is only intensifying. The National People’s Congress ostensibly serves as the parliamentary organ of the Chinese government that votes on and passes legislation. However, it is a parliament in name only, as any meaningful form of democracy and representation in China remain completely absent from CCP governmental structures. Power instead remains in the hands of a few in the Standing Committee of the CCP and ultimately under Xi Jinping’s authoritarian rule.
Unsurprisingly, China’s horrific treatment of Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers, Southern Mongolians, Han Chinese activists and millions of others will not be addressed and the views and concerns of China’s people will be ignored. This session instead will reportedly focus on security and the economy, as China seeks to extoll its disastrous response to the COVID19 pandemic and continue efforts to remake the international order in its image.
The Chinese government’s recent actions in the days, weeks and months ahead of the NPC have shown that its treatment of Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious groups will continue to worsen. This week in Hong Kong, the Chinese government is pushing through legislation that will essentially dissolve any meaningful autonomy and destroy the ‘one country two systems’ principle and violating the terms of its treaty with the United Kingdom. The National Security law would ban “treason, secession, sedition and subversion”, a broad definition that would allow Chinese authorities to arrest and punish Hong Kong citizens for virtually any reason. It would also establish a branch of the CCP’s secret police in Hong Kong, putting activists at significant risk of torture, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances. The people of Hong Kong who have been bravely demonstrating for their rights and democracy in Hong Kong are now seeing any semblance of autonomy and respect for their rights and freedoms being stripped away by the CCP. Decades ago, Uyghurs, Tibetans and others also helplessly watched as the CCP’s promises of rights and autonomy were broken and the people subjected to inhuman treatment.