This week, my home country has been on my mind a lot.
While dealing with local news, it is often easy to overlook what is happening on an international stage, in depth. Especially when the news cycle is dominated by local and hyper-local content. So when things went south at the India-China border, I decided to actually look at what the Chinese government has been up to while its people and the rest of the world is trying to recover from the year 2020.
Last month, a border battle broke out between China and India that resulted in the death of almost 20 Indian troops. There was an obvious finger-pointing with over who started it, but a lot of satellite imagery, data and information, including the Indian military’s transparency as opposed to the Chinese government’s secrecy over the incident, point to the latter being the obvious instigator.
Now while the Chinese government was launching these military attacks, it was also busy dismantling Hong Kong on a policy level with the sneaky “national security” law that was passed recently in response to months of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Without any consultation with Hong Kong’s Legislative Council or without any public consultation, China passed the law overnight that would punish secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with life in prison.
United Kingdom’s response to the Chinese autocracy has been to offer safe haven visas to residents of Hong Kong. Australia is now considering the same after China’s passage of the security law that would threaten to end the ‘one country, two systems’ promised by China 23 years ago. And China has already threatened U.K. and Australia with countermeasures and consequences if any such refuge is given to fleeing Hongkongers.
Canada is also taking steps to respond to China’s national security legislation, by ending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and starting to treat exports of sensitive goods to Hong Kong the same way as those that go to mainland China. PM Trudeau made the announcement hinting that there would be more measures that would be coming, especially around immigration to ensure the safety of the citizens of Hong Kong.
India is not taking China’s attacks lying down either. The Indian government has been preparing for retaliation. India’s PM, Narendra Modi even ventured down to the border to meet with the soldiers, to boost their morale or simply to send a message to the Chinese government and show them that India would be prepared to go to war if it was attacked. The government has also banned 59 Chinese mobile applications from India’s market for being “prejudicial to sovereignty of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”
Would these actions be enough though?
Because while the entire world, including several Chinese residents and citizens are trying to regain some semblance of normal, the Chinese government has already moved on to waging wars with neighboring countries, seizing more control over Hong Kong, launching sneaky security measures, threatening countries with military action.
For a country that is so blatantly, on an international stage threatening the world, threatening the security of its own people and threatening democracy, several additional stricter sanctions need to be put in place.
Why should we care? Because as preachy as it might be, we are all humans and we need to come out of our local bubble once in a while and look outside to those who need a hand of humanity more than anything.