Month: January 2021

International Law

Hong Kong’s National Security Law: Yet Another Attack on the City’s Crumbling Democratic Foundation

January 29, 2021 Jacob Rosenzweig 0

Since China first hoisted its flag on the soil of Hong Kong in 1997, the former British colony has suffered a downward spiral away from autonomy; its citizens have been stripped of democratic rights and found themselves increasingly subject to the whims of the authoritarian mainland government. Prominent among a recent string of Beijing’s power displays was the mass arrest of 53 people by the Hong Kong police on January 6, 2021, an action taken under the authority of a relatively new national security law—officially named the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region—that the Chinese government enacted last June. Police notably cited this controversial law last December when they charged the Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai with “colluding with foreign forces and endangering national security.” The foreign ministers of the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia, […]

International Law

Jack Ma, Alibaba, and the Anti-Monopoly Probe: Taming China’s Burgeoning Tech Industry

January 28, 2021 Cameron Page 0

Introduction As a billionaire, philanthropist, and business magnate, Jack Ma is perhaps China’s most renowned post-Reform success story. In 2014, Ma’s Alibaba IPO set records as the world’s largest public stock offering, raising $25 billion in its New York release. Moreover, October 2020 saw the flamboyant billionaire come surprisingly close to pulling off a mind-boggling $35 billion dual-listed IPO in Shanghai and Hong Kong for his fintech juggernaut, Ant Group. Yet, Ma’s colossal Ant Group IPO was halted indefinitely by Chinese authorities in a move that is “clearly an escalation of coordinated efforts to reign in Jack Ma’s empire.” At the same time, Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) stocks continue to face fierce volatility amid momentous antitrust allegations. When more stringent antitrust regulations were imposed on Facebook, Twitter, and Google in recent months and years, they evoked a mere shrug-of-the-shoulder from investors. Yet, the announcement of a probe into Ma’s Alibaba empire […]

International Law

France’s “Islamic Separatism”: Using “Republican Values” Against Itself?

January 28, 2021 Tianjiu Zuo 0

In the very first article of the French Constitution, the nation guarantees that “it shall respect all beliefs.” But before this succinct, 5-word statement, the Constitution states that France shall be a secular republic. The reconciliation between secularism and respect for all beliefs, teeter-tottering over history, has finally come to a head in France. In a state that enshrines Liberté, égalité, fraternité, — liberty, equality, brotherhood — there is understandably public outrage against French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed legislation to fight back against “Islamic separatism.” France’s journey to secularism has not been a tranquil one. Before the French Revolution, the official religion of France was Roman Catholicism – a faith still very much alive today with little over half of the French population Catholic. But after a struggle with the Catholic clergy, the ‘Separation of the Churches and the State’ law was established in 1905. This law abolished the system […]