World Beijing Imposes Security Law in Hong Kong

Beijing Imposes Security Law in Hong Kong

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Ignoring Western calls, the National Parliament voted unanimously for this text, which comes a year after the start of monster protests in the former British colony against the influence of the central government.

It comes into force on Tuesday, said the head of the pro-Beijing Hong Kong executive Carrie Lam.

Life imprisonment could be imposed for crimes against national security committed in Hong Kong and Chinese justice will have jurisdiction for the most graves of them, according to the new law whose content has just been published.

It also provides for the establishment by Beijing of a national security agency.

The official news agency China Nouvelle had given the outline in June, saying that it had to repress the separatism, the terrorism, the subversion and the collusion with external and foreign forces.

A protester pours champagne into another's plastic glass.

Supporters in Beijing, Hong Kong, celebrate the adoption of the National Security Law.

Photo : Getty Images / Anthony Kwan

Scalded by these events, Beijing will have imposed this law in a few weeks which bypasses the local legislative council and makes the Hong Kong opposition fear an unprecedented decline in freedoms since the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997.

For the central government, this law is about ensuring stability, putting an end to the vandalism that has peppered the demonstrations of 2019 in the city of 7.5 million inhabitants, as well as repressing the pro current -independence.

This law will be a sword hanging over the heads of members of the small minority who threaten national security.

The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, in a statement

For the pro-democracy opposition of Hong Kong and for several western countries, including Canada and the United States, this law constitutes an attack on the autonomy and freedoms of the territory.

Serious damage to the autonomy of Hong Kong

The idea of ​​entrusting a body of Chinese power with prerogatives in the autonomous territory greatly worries the local opposition, because the separation of powers does not exist in mainland China, led by the CCP.

It marks the end of Hong Kong as the world knew it. With extensive powers and an ill-defined law, the city will turn into a “secret police state”.

Joshua Wong, one of the figures of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement
A flag of China flies behind Joshua Wong.

Activist pro-democracy Joshua Wong.

Photo : Reuters / Tyrone Siu

The Demosisto political party, which Joshua Wong founded with other activists in 2014, announced its dissolution on Tuesday. This formation called in particular for the self-determination of the territory, a position which could fall under the blow of the new law.

Since its handover, Hong Kong has enjoyed broad autonomy from mainland China, in accordance with the principle one country, two systems.

Hong Kong people thus enjoy freedom of expression, freedom of the press and independent justice.

The European Union (EU) has lamented Tuesday the adoption of the text.

This law is likely to seriously undermine Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and have a detrimental effect on the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council

The G7 foreign ministers (Canada, United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Japan) also called on Beijing to reconsider this project.

Anticipating the vote, Washington announced Monday the end of sales of sensitive defense equipment in Hong Kong to avoid let it fall into my hands of the Chinese army. Beijing on Tuesday promised reprisals.

The United States has already imposed visa restrictions last week on Chinese officials accused of question the autonomy of the territory. China retaliated with similar measure targeting Americans having misbehaved by criticizing the law.

Close-up of Carrie Lam, who is wearing a mask.

Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong

Photo : Getty Images / Anthony Kwan

Carrie Lam lambasted Western pressure in a video message broadcast during a session of the UN Human Rights Council:

I urge the international community to respect our country’s right to guarantee national security and the aspirations for stability and harmony of the people of Hong Kong.

Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Executive

What will be the reaction of Hong Kongers after the vote on the text? Large-scale protests seem at first sight difficult to organize: the Hong Kong authorities are still banning gatherings of more than 50 people due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Hong Kongers admire a panoramic view of their city.

Beijing passed its national security law on the eve of the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China.

Photo : Getty Images / Anthony Kwan

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