Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is calling for Canada to organize an international coalition to protect Hong Kong and counter the Chinese regimes aggressive push for more control over the autonomous region.
During question period in the House of Commons on May 25, Scheer quizzed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on whether Canada will condemn the Chinese regimes new national security law it aims to impose on Hong Kong and in what way Canada plans to support the city.
“The government of China has launched an unprecedented attack on the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. Now this [Canadian] government should go beyond statements and should act in concert with our allies to show the government of China they must abide by their commitments,” Scheer said.
Mass protests erupted in Hong Kong this week in opposition to Beijings proposal for a tough new “national security” law that was presented at the Chinese regimes rubber-stamp legislature on May 22—bypassing the Hong Kong legislative council.
The move was met with international criticism as critics argued that the law would undermine Hong Kongs autonomy and freedoms, which the Chinese regime promised to preserve after the citys sovereignty was handed over by Britain to China in 1997.
When Scheer accused the Liberal government of not doing enough to counter the Chinese regime at this critical time, Trudeau reiterated “deep concern” about Beijings actions and the need for a “de-escalation of tensions.”
“We stand with the people in Hong Kong who believe that freedom of expression and freedom of assembly continue to be an essential part of their way of life,” he said.
Trudeau noted a May 22 joint statement issued by Canada, the U.K. and Australia expressing concern that the proposed security law “would clearly undermine the one country, two systems principle under which Hong Kong is guaranteed a high degree of autonomy.”
Canada-China Committee Voted Down
A motion moved by Conservative MP Garnett Genuis on May 25 to convene the Commons Canada-China committee to hold urgent hearings on Hong Kong through remote sessions was defeated by the Liberals and NDP.
Genuis called the defeat “very disappointing” and a “real step backwards,” but said committee members would continue looking for opportunities to support Hong Kong.
“Were going to continue to stand strong and to call for meaningful accountability and to call for a thoughtful and serious response to the security challenges and human rights challenges presented by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) regime,” he said in an interview with The Epoch Times.
Genuis noted the potential effectiveness of coordinated international action, using the example of condemnation and sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.
The Beijing regime will not back down on power grabs unless their actions are effectively challenged on through a similar coordinated response, he said.
The regime “has an aggressive plan to advance their position in violation of international law—We see it in Hong Kong, we see it in the South China Sea, we see it in some of the aspects of neo-colonialism in Asia and Africa,” Genuis said.
“Every time this regime is able to get away with it, theyre going to continue and escalate their push, so we have to demonstrate our seriousness if we want to deter further aggression,” he explains.
“And if we dont do that, in the case of Hong Kong, its not as if its going to stop … until we show the resolve and have the organization to really have meaningful consequences in terms of cooperation, relationships, that stem from these kinds of actions. That response needs to be coordinated among allies. But it needs to be a serious and strong response.”
China Flouting Human Rights Standards
Speaking in the House on May 25, Conservative MP David Sweet said Canadians are becoming more aware of and concerned about the dubious actions of the CCP, noting the issue is now “probably what I hear most from my constituents.”
Thats why, he said, the work of the Canada-China committee is vital, and emphasized the committees recent report on the Chinese regimes five main human rights victims as examples: Uyghur Muslims, Tibetans, Christians, Falun Gong practitioners, and all Chinese people living under oppressive communist rule.
“These examples underscore the long, consistent, and deliberate pattern of the CCP in flouting any acceptable international standards of human rights,” Sweet said.