How the U.S. Must Respond to China’s Exploitation of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Riot police officers walk as anti-national security law protesters march during the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain, in Hong Kong, China, July 1, 2020. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)
The cost of submission to Beijing’s geopolitical ambitions is one that we cannot, under any circumstances, afford to pay.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE O n June 30, the Chinese Communist Party’s Standing Committee, the functional seat of power in mainland China, approved a “national security” law that effectively obviates Hong Kong’s unique status. Under the new law, the contents of which were classified until it was passed, Beijing can arrest and extradite any Hong Konger it accuses of jeopardizing “national security.” Already, the government has begun to detain pro-democracy activists.

Extra-political crises — pandemics, global economic crashes, natural disasters — typically accelerate geopolitical trends rather than transforming them, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Since Hong Kong’s “handover” to Chinese suzerainty in 1997, the

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