China: Foreign Affairs warns about arbitrary detention
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs has warned Australians living in, or travelling to China, that they could be arbitrarily detained. This warning broadens previous advice about new legislation covering Hong Kong, which warned Australians that they could break the law without intending to, and even be subject to life imprisonment.
Even holding up a blank piece of paper, as some protesters have done, can be interpreted as a threat to the Chinese state. The new laws in Hong Kong apply to foreigners as well as Chinese citizens and include retrospectivity and extra-territoriality – that is, as a foreigner, you may have done something in the past before the laws were proclaimed outside China, and still be imprisoned for such an act.
Needless to say, these laws are right outside international law conventions, not to mention treaties and the United Nations.
China was already scary, with all foreigners meant to register with the local police. Now it sounds downright dangerous.
It’s lucky that travel between the countries has been dramatically reduced due to COVID-19.
This is very alarming. China is where Australia imports most goods from, and exports most too. While China has not had a recognisable ‘Rule of law’ for a long time, up until recently, Hong Kong did – god bless British colonialism. But now all bets are off. Check out the statement from Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI.
China has already entered the arena of tit-for-tat arbitrary arrests for perceived transgressions by Canada, and even regards British and Australian government offers to fast-track Hong Kong residents as citizens as ‘foreign interference’.
Better brace for hacking attacks.