The New York Times is receiving massive criticism Thursday for publishing an opinion piece titled “Hong Kong Is China, Like It or Not” in which the author defends China’s brutal measures to suppress the millions of Hong Kongers who were protesting the continual loss of their human rights, democracy, and autonomy.
Author Regina Ip, who is a member of the pro-Beijing New People’s Party and a legislator on Hong Kong’s Executive Council, writes that “something had to be done” about the million-person protests against a proposed—now withdrawn—security law that would allow the Chinese government to extradite Hong Kong criminal on the mainland and tried by China’s undemocratic justice system.
“Foreign governments should not benchmark what happens in Hong Kong against standards that prevail in Western countries,” she writes. “They should benchmark Hong Kong against the rest of China.”
She defends the government’s crackdown on anti-government protesters, saying, “The West tends to glorify these people as defenders of Hong Kong’s freedoms, but they have done great harm to the city by going against its constitutional order and stirring up chaos and disaffection toward our motherland.”
In the same op-ed, she also defended a national security law that severely restricted freedom of speech and expression in Hong Kong, saying, “The scale and frequency of antigovernment protests has now subsided — thanks to a national security law for Hong Kong promulgated in Beijing on June 30.”
The New York Times last month published a lengthy piece by Jin Wu and Elaine Yu, “What You Can No Longer Say in Hong Kong,” detailing what Hong Kongers are no longer allowed to say under the aforementioned national security law and how it is affecting the city. After the law was passed on June 30, thousands of pro-democracy protesters challenged it by carrying signs with criminalized phrases, such as “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time.”
All over the internet, people are criticizing the article and the New York Times for even publishing this article defending China’s human rights abuses in Hong Kong by an avidly pro-Beijing politician.
“So,” conservative commentator Ben Shapiro tweets to his 3.1 million followers, “any of those woke staffers who care so much about human rights going to demand the resignation of the op-ed editor who is now printing open Chinese propaganda cheering the complete tyrannical takeover of Hong Kong?”
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) took the opportunity to criticize the piece too, tweeting, “Get a load of this headline. @nytimes publishing a piece of shameless #China propaganda defending Beijing’s violent & lawless crackdown in #HongKong. What next from NYT, “Like it or not, Uighurs are prisoners”?”
Other individuals made comparisons to when many commentators criticized the New York Times for publishing a June 3 op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) in which he said he was in favor of using the military to quell violence at protests, asking them if they would condemn Ip’s piece, too.
“Why is it okay to run this, but not okay to run an op-ed by Tom Cotton?” Reason editor Robby Soave said in a tweet, sharing Ip’s piece.
The New York Times and Ip have yet to respond to the controversy.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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U.S. Commerce Department: Chinese firms are supplying Russian entities
On Tuesday, the United States Commerce Department said several companies in China are supplying Russia’s military. The announcement was made alongside a “new round of blacklist restrictions for foreign firms aiding Moscow’s war against Ukraine” reports National Review.
“These entities have previously supplied items to Russian entities of concern before February 24, 2022 and continue to contract to supply Russian entity listed and sanctioned parties after Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine,” stated an official Commerce Department notice posted to the Federal Register.
“Commerce also blacklisted several Chinese companies and Chinese government research institutes for their work on naval-technology and supplying Iran with U.S. tech in a way that harms America’s national security” adds National Review.
Six companies that are helping further the Russian invasion are also based in Lithuania, Russia, the U.K., Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
National Review reports:
The Commerce Department stopped short of blaming the Chinese government for the sanctions-evasion activity it identified today. Commerce secretary Gina Raimondo previously said that there doesn’t appear to be any “systemic efforts by China to go around our export controls.” The Biden administration has publicly and privately warned Beijing against supporting the Russian war, with White House officials even leaking to the press about an effort to present China’s ambassador in Washington with information about Russian troop movements ahead of the invasion.
While Beijing has not expressed outright support for the invasion, it has used its propaganda networks to back Moscow’s narrative. Meanwhile, top Chinese and Russian officials have moved to solidify the “no-limits” partnership they declared in early February. General secretary Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin held a call this month, marking the construction of a new bridge between their two countries, during which they reiterated their support for the burgeoning geopolitical alignment.
National-security adviser Jake Sullivan said last month that the U.S. has no indications that Beijing has provided Russia with military equipment. A Finnish think tank, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, estimated on June 12 that Chinese imports of Russian oil since the outset of the conflict have amounted to $13 billion, making China the biggest consumer of the country’s oil exports. Previously, it was Germany. “While Germany cut back on purchases since the start of the war, China’s oil and gas imports from Russia rose in February and remained at a roughly constant level since,” the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission noted.
Official advisor Anton Gerashchenko tweeted incredible video of Ukrainian soldiers sweeping through fields, writing “this is how our fields are de-mined so that farmers can harvest crops.” On Monday a Russian missile struck a mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, where over 1,000 civilians were inside.
“Almost two dozen people were still missing Tuesday one day after a Russian airstrike struck a Ukrainian shopping mall and killed 18 civilians inside…On top of the 18 dead and 21 people missing, Ukrainian Interior Minster Denis Monastyrsky said 59 were injured. Several of the dead were burned beyond recognition” reported the New York Post.
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) June 28, 2022
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