Jordan Laramore of Crestview warns that China is not only restricting the freedoms of its own citizens but, through economic coercion, attempting to restrict the freedoms of people living in other countries.

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We don't think much about it but Communist China is eroding freedom everywhere. In Hong Kong, the only free city in China, they have implemented a new national security law. This outlaws actions that "subvert" the state, which can be anything from protesting to a post on Facebook or Twitter.


This time, however, it's a little different because not only does it kill free speech in Hong Kong but it wants to impose its will on other nations. The law allows the Chinese government to arrest non-resident foreigners who violate the law, even if that person is outside of China at the time. In effect it means that you can't criticize them even in your own country. Western companies have already been caught censoring themselves to have access to the China market, the NBA and Activision Blizzard being prominent examples.


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The national security law also requires companies to hand over personal data to authorities without a warrant. This will expose pro-democracy protesters and lawmakers in the city, or in theory even critics outside of China. American tech companies like Google and Twitter have paused all data sharing with the authorities in Hong Kong until they make a final decision on what they will do about the latest developments.


President Trump and Congress have not sat idle, in about the only thing that's bipartisan anymore. Congress has passed sanctions on banks that do business with the Chinese officials responsible. The president has also ended the city's special treatment under U.S. law, meaning it's no different from the rest of China.


The U.S. has a duty to speak out for people whose freedoms are being taken away from them. If we don't, our freedoms will be threatened by foreign powers. Dictatorships have become brazen and harsher action needs to be taken to protect the freedoms we value so much.


Jordan Laramore, Crestview