“Clean up this mess”: Chinese thinkers behind Xi’s hardline

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A Chinese government article in 2014, which Professor Jiang is widely credited with contributing to the writing, claimed that Beijing had “complete jurisdiction” over Hong Kong, dismissing the idea that China should stay away. The framework that defined Hong Kong’s status was drafted in the 1980s, when China was still weak and in the grip of foreign liberal ideas, he later said.

“They treat Hong Kong like it’s part of the West, and they treat the West like it’s the whole world.” Professor Jiang recently spoke about the protesters in Hong Kong. “The rise of China has not, as some have imagined, prompted Hong Kong society to trust central authorities.”

After protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong in 2014, he and other academics insisted that China had the power to impose national security legislation there, dismissing the idea that such legislation should be left in the hands of reluctant Hong Kong authorities.

“The survival of the state comes first, and constitutional law must serve this fundamental objective,” wrote Professor Chen, an academic at Peking University, in 2018, citing Mr. Schmitt, the authoritarian German lawyer, to argue in in favor of a security law in Hong Kong.

“When the state is in grave jeopardy,” wrote Professor Chen, leaders could set aside usual constitutional standards, “especially civil rights provisions, and take whatever action is necessary.”

Professor Chen submitted an internal study to party policymakers on the introduction of security legislation in Hong Kong, according to a Peking University report in 2018, more than a year before the party publicly announces plans for such a law.

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