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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

An Affront To All Nations

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. The TV is on. While typing casually on the phone, a TV anchor's announcement catches PETER's attention.

  5. PETER (V.O.): Oh, the investigative journalist will interview the Secretary for Justice live.

  6. Recalling.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I prefer live interviews. The audience can make the contextual interpretation. The interviewee can have his/her messages broadcast. Edited ones would only fit the broadcaster's narrative.

  8. Peter begins to watch TV.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd) : The interview will take place casually in the Department's conference room. This is a lot better than doing that inside a broadcaster's studio - which isn't a level-playing venue. Neutral matters are characterized as controversial.

  10. Peter continues to watch.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Commercial media always want to tell stories that their audience like to hear. If they're anti-China, the news stories carry the same tone.

  12. The live TV interview continues.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As expected, the investigating journalist narrates his channel's usual anti-China stance...

  14. Act 2

  15. PETER (V.O.): It's a surprise that the Secretary would talk about "ICJ" and the case of Nicaragua v US in a brief interview.

  16. Peter surfs the web.

  17. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The International Court of Justice (ICJ) actually decided the Nicaragua v US case on June 27, 1986.

  18. Recalling.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Then, I had just sit my 1st LLM exam in International Law. Soon, I won a UK Foreign Office scholarship and began reading my 2nd LLM in International Law in UK.

  20. Recalling.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As I had already done the general subjects of International Law in my 1st LLM, including International Protection of Human Rights, I focused on specialty subjects of Sea, Air and Space Law.

  22. Pausing.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In the many law seminars I attended in UK and continental Europe from 1986-1987, there were discussions about the Nicaragua v US case.

  24. Peter surfs the web again.

  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Nicaragua charged US in recruiting, training, arming, equipping, financing, supplying and otherwise encouraging, supporting, aiding, and directing military and paramilitary actions in and against Nicaragua, breaching international law by violating Nicaragua's sovereignty, using force and the threat of force against Nicaragua, intervening into the internal affairs of Nicaragua etc.

  26. Pausing.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Our academic discussions were all focused on whether ICJ had the jurisdiction and competence to render the judgment.

  28. Pausing.

  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The ICJ ruled that US, despite its objections, was subject to ICJ's jurisdiction.

  30. Pausing.

  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Among other things, ICJ decided that US had breached customary international law not to intervene in the affairs of another State and not to violate the sovereignty of another State.

  32. Pausing.

  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): These are just basic fundamentals that anyone can understand.

  34. Pausing.

  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There was no secret that the goal of the US policy was to overthrow the Nicaraguan Government. President Reagan confirmed that.

  36. Reflecting.

  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Regarding the US' political merits, I used to be couldn't care less.

  38. Pausing.

  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Now, US calls China's Hong Kong's national security law an "affront to all nations".

  40. Thinking.

  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Obviously, the political language is designed to make falsehood sound truthful and respectable.

  42. Pausing.

  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): How can it be legally right for such nations to intervene in the internal affairs of China and violate China's sovereignty over Hong Kong?

  44. Pausing.

  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Such nations prefer to return to the law of the jungle, as they did against China in the 19th century.

  46. Pausing.

  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): They're said to be peace-loving just for politically convenient reasons.

  48. Peter shakes his head sideways.

  49. Act 3


  51. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In 2003, I became disillusioned with international law when US, UK, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq regardless.

  52. Pausing.

  53. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The US-led coalition destroyed the sovereign country of Iraq, alleging it an immediate and intolerable threat to world peace.

  54. Pausing.

  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Regime change in Iraq was a wonderful thing for them. There's no world order as such, just power politics.

  56. Pausing.

  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That's why they are deaf to international law and the general law that affront them.

  58. Pausing.

  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As they see their operations in Hong Kong, China, will be contained by China's Hong Kong's national security law, their agents here have every reason to be extremely upset.

  60. Pausing.

  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): What they lose will be Hong Kong, China's gain.

  62. Pondering.

  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): If law is an affront to all such nations, it will be up to China, and Hong Kong, China, to uphold the rule of law and remain civilised.

  64. Pausing.

  65. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'll be excited and delighted to play my creative role.

  66. THE END

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