New security law will tighten Beijing’s grip on Hong Kong

23 Mai, 2020, 00:40 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Beijing has made clear it wants new security legislation passed after Hong Kong was rocked by massive and sometimes violent pro-democracy protests last year

Tanya Chan, a pro-democracy member of member of Hong Kong's Legislative Council, countered that the proposal violates the Basic Law.

Critics have said the national security law, which is likely to pass into law in the coming days, will effectively wipe out the "one country, two systems" framework that gives Hong Kong freedoms not seen elsewhere in China.

US businesses oppose any change in Washington's recognition of Hong Kong as a sufficiently autonomous city, where major USA companies enjoy access to China and Southeast Asia, and where bilateral trade flourishes across various parts of the economy, from wine to financial services. Up to now, the worst charge most arrested protesters have faced has been for rioting.

New Chinese national security restrictions imposed on Hong Kong could draw a USA revocation of the former British colony's "special status" under US law, a move that would have far-reaching trade and investment implications.

Mr Pompeo said the decision to bypass Hong Kong's lawmakers ignores "the will of the people".

Protests have already started to erupt in the city, in response, against what they see erosion of Hong Kong's autonomy. Over the previous year, charges of rioting, illegal assembly, public obstruction among others have failed to dent the demonstrations.

The notion of "terrorism" also features in this proposed law.

HRW China Director Sophie Richardson said the move "manifestly marks the end of any pretense that the central government in Beijing is going to respect norms, practices or binding worldwide treaties in Hong Kong".

Prominent pro-democracy figures in Hong Kong echoed HRW's sentiments.

The State Department said 85,000 USA citizens lived in Hong Kong in 2018.

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China on Friday introduced the draft of a controversial national security law in Hong Kong in its parliament to tighten Beijing's control over the former British colony, in what could be the biggest blow to the territory's autonomy and personal freedoms since 1997 when it came under the Chinese rule.

According to a draft document, Beijing would reserve the right to set up national security agencies in Hong Kong to "safeguard national security".

China has long indicated its intention to bring Hong Kong under tighter control - it warned in a 2014 policy white paper that it has "comprehensive jurisdiction" or "comprehensive power to rule" over Hong Kong.

The introduction of the bill came after Hong Kong was embroiled in prolonged riots previous year as the city's opposition attempted to create a "color revolution".

"More than 20 years after Hong Kong's return, relevant laws are yet to materialize due to the sabotage and obstruction by those trying to sow trouble in Hong Kong and China at large, as well as external hostile forces", Wang said.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump stepped up his attacks on China, suggesting that the country's leader, Xi Jinping, is behind a "disinformation and propaganda attack on the United States and Europe". Some have described the proposed anti-sedition law as a "mark of desperation" after nearly a year of not being able to halt the protests.

China will build more medical facilities and expand testing capabilities, as part of medical reforms to prevent the resurgence of an epidemic like Covid-19, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday (May 22).

"Numerous American companies invest in Hong Kong because of its special status, its geographic location and market-based economic system", the U.S. "It would impact, for example, media freedom, the free press, the ability of civil society to exist".

Lam added this would ensure the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong under "one country, two systems". "It's going to be a very hot summer".

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