Is Beijing’s Vice Grip on Hong Kong Jeopardizing Japan-China Relations?

Is Beijing’s Vice Grip on Hong Kong Jeopardizing Japan-China Relations?
Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, left, and China’s leader, Xi Jinping, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Dec. 23, 2019 (pool photo by Noel Celis via AP Images).

Editor’s Note: In accordance with a recent change in policy by the Japanese government, WPR is changing its style to render Japanese names in English with the family name first. Hence, in this article and in others, the Japanese prime minister’s name will appear as Abe Shinzo, not Shinzo Abe.

Just over a week after China’s decision to impose a sweeping new security law on Hong Kong, the scale of the fallout is coming into full view. As WPR columnist Howard French wrote this week, “the law sharply curtails what was left of Hong Kong’s semiautonomous status, which was promised to last for 50 years after the city’s handover to China from Britain in 1997.”

In response, tech giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter announced that they would put a hold on sharing information with authorities in Hong Kong. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. was looking at banning Chinese social media apps like TikTok. And British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new rules making it easier for millions of Hong Kongers to emigrate to the United Kingdom.

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